The X2 has the largest platform of any pedal in HT’s vast range, and was developed with the help of Aaron Gwin. It approaches retention a little differently to most other systems, using a mix of Crank Brothers-style stirrup at the front and a more Shimano-inspired design at the back. Both of which are independently sprung, so engagement is easier and you can stamp down vertically as well as toe-first, as you need to with the Shimano units.
The mechanism is very positive with a nice audible click when you clip in, something echoed by the fact that the X2 has the strongest spring retention on test. Even the lowest tension setting requires considerable force to disengage. This is a good thing if you move about a lot; no matter how loose you get on the bike, there’s no chance of unclipping accidentally.
The obvious downside being that it can hold onto your shoe when you don’t want it to; something to consider if you are a lighter rider or prefer a lighter release tension. The stepped, flat pedal-like cage comes with three forward pins and two at the rear. During set-up it was obvious how much the rear pins gripped the shoe and prevented unclipping, so the X2 is best run with just the forward pins in place.
It’s also noticeable just how low-profile the body is; at just 13mm, pedaling feels really efficient, allowing you to push low into corners.