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      09-29-2013, 11:40 AM   #1
Hujan
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Review - BMW Pedals' DCT paddles and alloy pedals)

In competitive cycling, it's often said that the most important components are the ones that come into contact with you or the ground. That means tires, grips/bars, pedals, and saddle.

My bike-racing days are long behind me, but that old adage stuck in the back of my head as I surveyed my new-to-me M3 and looked for mods to do. Along with the tri-stitch DCT and e-brake boots from iND, I put alloy paddle shifters and pedals at the top of my list.

I am big on brand loyalty. Whenever possible, I tend to resist mixing and matching parts from different companies as I feel I'm more likely to achieve design consistency that way. Right away, I was drawn to the look and finish of the BMW Pedals DCT paddle shifters. When I saw that they had alloy pedals, too, it was pretty much a no brainer.

DCT Paddles

I put the DCT paddles on the second week I had the car and have over 1,000 miles on them since. As you can see from the photos, I bought the hole-less version in "Clear" finish. I chose "Clear" finish on the assumption it would match the OEM silver trim throughout the cabin. I must say, BMW Pedals did an excellent job, as they match perfectly.

The paddles feel excellent in the hand. They are solid and evoke a sense of quality and luxury that the plastic OEM paddles do not. They are "dished" so that they follow the contour of the wheel perfectly. This makes them very user-friendly when shifting.

Unfortunately, the contouring is also the source of my only complaint with the paddles: They come close enough to the wheel that the edge of the paddles lightly press up against my hands when I close my fist around the wheel, depending on how low I grab the wheel. This is true even though I have fairly small fingers. (You know what they say about small hands!) My wife doesn't like the paddles for this reason, but to me it's a fairly minor issue and can be easily avoided by holding the wheel higher up toward the horns on the wheel. Besides, when I'm driving, I typically have my hand open and fingers around the paddles, which obviously makes it a total non-issue.

But the paddles definitely make shifting easier and more enjoyable. There is a lot more surface area to grab, which is nice when trying to shift while turning. The larger size also allows me to change hand positions during long drives without impairing my ability to shift. I also want to note that there is absolutely no loose play in the levers; the fitment is perfect and they are rock solid.

In short, I very satisfied with the look and feel of the BMW Pedals DCT paddle shifters. While I do wish that there was a little more of a gap between the backside of the wheel and the blade of the paddle, it is a minor issue that is not enough to make me want to give them up.

Fitment: A+ (no play, seamless install)
Looks A+ (perfectly matches OEM interior silver trim)
Install: n/a (had them installed at a shop while I was there for other work)
Feel: B+/A- (feel great in the hand, make shifting easier, but do brush against your hand when you are just grabbing the wheel, depending where you hold it)



Alloy Pedals

The pedals come as a set, including the "dead pedal," the brake, and the gas pedal. The dead pedal is not a full replacement; it is actually a stick-on cover for the existing OEM pedal which uses 3M tape (included). This is also true of the gas pedal, except that instead of sticking to the OEM pedal, it uses four self-tapping screws to bite into the OEM plastic pedal. The brake pedal is bolted onto the OEM metal pedal after you remove the slip-on OEM rubber covering.

The install was pretty easy. At first, I was bummed the dead pedal and gas pedal were just covers rather than full replacements, but now I'm glad. It not only made the install much, much easier, but you absolutely cannot tell that these are slip-on covers.

The only "tough" part of the install is drilling the holes for the brake pedal. Thankfully, BMW Pedals makes this process fairly easy by including a metal drilling template. The template has hooks that help you perfectly line it up on the pedal. The kit includes a zip tie to zip tie the template down on the pedal. With it secure, you simply drill through the three holes on the plate. It worked like a charm. The whole install took me 30 minutes. It would have been shorter but my drill ran out of juice.

My only gripe on the fitment/install front are two-fold:

First, the tolerance between one of the bolts on the brake pedal and the pedal arm are very tight. I had a helluva time getting the nut on the back of that bolt when installing it. And even then, it was impossible to tighten it down very much. The other two bolts are rock-solid, though.

Second, my kit (although it shipped very quickly) did not include instructions. I asked BMW Pedals about this and they assured me that they do ship with instructions, so either it was a one-time oversight on their part, or I inadvertently threw them away, which is very possible. I should note that I e-mailed Brian from BMW Pedals on the Sunday I was doing the installation and got an e-mail from him 30 minutes later. That's pretty good customer service. Also, BMW Pedals has a good how-to for the brake pedal on their website; I might suggest that they go ahead and do a full how-to video.

The fit and finish of the alloy pedals are every bit as good as the paddles. The "Clear" finish is identical to the paddles and, thus, the OEM interior silver trim as well. Everything looks very harmonious together, which is exactly what I wanted.

One thing to note: The dead pedal has a space for a laser-etched graphic. Most people choose some version of the "///M" symbol. They can also fill in the laser-etching with ink and can even add vinyl colors, which is what they did with the "M" colors on my dead pedal. I think it looks good, though if I had to do it again, I would probably just have them laser etch the "///M" symbol in the pedal without ink or vinyl colors.

Functionally, I have absolutely no complaints. Other pedals use rubber "feet" on the pedal face to maintain traction. My only hesitation with using rubber is that it is difficult to clean quickly gets torn up from use. So I went with BMW Pedals and their metal nubs hoping that my feet wouldn't slip. I am very happy to say that the traction is at least as good as the OEM rubber pedals. My feet have not slipped at all (knock on wood!). Perhaps the best way I can say it is that I don't even notice the pedals.

This is quite a testament because, as my daily driver, I am constantly driving the M3 with my Allen Edmonds dress shoes. If you are familiar with Allen Edmonds, you know that their shoes use an all-leather sole. You might think that the combination of metal nubs and leather soles would equal significant slippage, but my feet stick to the pedals like glue!

Fitment: A (they line up perfectly with the OEM pedals, but pedal arm on brake pedal makes tightening one of the bolts very difficult)
Looks A+ (perfectly matches OEM interior silver trim; adds a subtle race-inspired look without being over the top)
Install: A (very easy, though for some reason mine didn't come with instructions)
Feel: A+ (feel excellent; no slipping)

Edit: After posting, I realized a couple of things might make it easier for you folks to find and order the pedals or paddles.

First, although I referred to them as "BMW Pedals" the company name is actually "bwmpedals.com," all lower case. From that, you can probably deduce what their web address is.

Also, you can find a lot more images of their work on their Facebook page, www.facebook.com\bmwpedals. Seeing all of those images was helpful to my decision to go with them.

Lastly, I originally went with the no-holes paddles because the ones with holes struck me as a touch too hardcore. Now that I have their pedals too (which obviously have holes drilled out), I might have more seriously considered the paddles with holes so that they match. I mention this only because if you are going to do both, you might want to give some thought to the paddles with holes. (Though, to be honest, you can't go wrong either way.)






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Last edited by Hujan; 10-02-2013 at 01:14 PM.
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      09-29-2013, 12:24 PM   #2
mkPOTO
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Love the pedals! I need to get a set, thanks for the pics and review
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      09-29-2013, 12:55 PM   #3
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Dang. Looks good. We're did you buy them?
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      09-29-2013, 02:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkPOTO View Post
Love the pedals! I need to get a set, thanks for the pics and review
You're welcome! Definitely gives the interior an OEM+ look.

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Originally Posted by CoronazonaM3 View Post
Dang. Looks good. We're did you buy them?
I bought the paddles from EAS and the pedals from BMW Pedals directly.

If you want any kind of laser etching on the pedals, I'd probably go through BMW Pedals to cut out a middle man, which can only increase the potential for problems. Also the shipping was super fast from BMW Pedals.
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      09-29-2013, 10:11 PM   #5
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Looks boss
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      09-30-2013, 09:56 PM   #6
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Why would you go without the coloring on the dead pedal? Does it look cheesy in person? I think the pics make it look pretty damn good.
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      10-02-2013, 01:07 PM   #7
Hujan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1M_@teewhybs View Post
Looks boss
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OilPatch View Post
Why would you go without the coloring on the dead pedal? Does it look cheesy in person? I think the pics make it look pretty damn good.
No, it looks pretty good in person. It's just that I saw a setup somewhere that had the "///M" laser etched with no ink or colors and liked the subtle look. I was as subtle as the "+" and "-" on the paddles, which I dig. You can't go wrong either way.
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      10-02-2013, 02:51 PM   #8
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I have the same pedals...I love them as well!


IMG_2219a by dj_dub, on Flickr


IMG_2221a by dj_dub, on Flickr
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