Best Mountain Bike Pedals On The Market
Bike pedals have a significant impact on your biking performance. Choosing the right one for you takes careful consideration of different factors. This includes your riding style, the pedal weight, adjustability, and more. To help you narrow down your choices, we've come up with questions that will hopefully lead you to the right pedals in the end.
** Below, you'll find more detailed reviews, but you can click links above to see current prices and read customer's review on Amazon.
What Type Of Pedals Are There?
There are two common types of bike pedals to choose from: platform (also called flat), or clipless pedals.
Platform pedals, also called flat pedals, are probably what your bike came with, just like most entry level mountain bikes. With this type of pedal, you simply have to mount your feet onto the surface of the pedal. With the basic platform pedals, you won't need any special biking shoes.
You can wear any footwear as you please, but a sturdy one with flat bottoms is ideal. However, you may able to find newer designs that are paired with special shoes that make the grip even better.
There are other advantages to platform pedals aside from not necessarily needing special shoes, platform pedals have other advantages. For one, it’s easy to bail off the bike since there are no clips or locks that hold your feet to the pedal. It’s also easy to freely adjust the position of your foot. That way, you can be more comfortable and confident, especially when you are going downhill.
Finally, since it usually has a large surface area, the disadvantage is that, when you’re riding on bumpy terrains or uphills, your feet can easily slip off the pedals. When this happens, you could catch the pedals with your knees or shin and scrape it.
Clipless pedals need a particular type of shoes and metal cleats. It is pretty ironic that the name is "clipless" when you have to clip in the cleats of your special shoes to it.
Before clipless pedals came to the market, toe clips were the only other option for bikers. Pedal toe clips and straps are attached to platforms pedals to allow you to pull the pedals, as well as push down. However, toe clips are a bit dangerous because it might take too long to remove your feet from the strap, in the case of a crash. That’s why clipless pedals are ideal compared to toe clips.
Clipless pedals may need more practice, especially when you are starting out. But it also comes with many advantages. One advantage is that pedal efficiency significantly improves (if you get the technique right!). They are ideal for cross country riding and flat terrains. Clipless pedals also allow you to do hops or lifts easier.
Since you're attached to the pedals, you don't have to worry about slipping off. But in case you need to unclip to prevent a crash, it’s usually not very had to.
One disadvantage of clipless pedals is that they are expensive. Also, it will need some getting used to. However, when you get the hang of it, it’ll be like nothing.
This is a combination of both platform and clipless pedals. It usually has a wide platform but with a clipping mechanism.
What Else Should I Consider When Buying Pedals?
After you’ve decided on either platform or clipless pedals, you still have a few other factors to consider.
For platform pedals, look into how good the traction is. Some pedals have pins that improve the grip on your shoes to prevent slipping. For clipless pedals, look into how easy it is to clip on and off of the pedal.
Pedal Weight And Durability
In most cases, the lighter the pedal is, the better. However, you need to look into strength as well, because more durable pedals are sometimes heavier. Do your research beforehand.
For clipless pedals, you should consider pedal tension setting and float. Pedal tension refers to the force necessary to clip and unclip. Float refers to how much you can rotate your foot while clipped in. For platform pedals, you can find ones that have replaceable spike pins.
Ease Of Use And Mud Shedding
- For clipless pedals, ask how easy it is to clip into and out of. You should also look into what degree the float is. Some cleats have no float, meaning it keeps your feet locked to the pedals. Most bikers would prefer a little float, and cleats are usually in the six-degree range.
- For mud shedding, look for open spaces in the pedals so you can push out mud or snow when you step on the pedals.
The Best Mountain Bike Pedal On The Market
Crank Brothers Mallet Race Pedals
Crankbrothers is a popular retailer of bike components. Their Mallet Race Pedal is a clipless pedal, but you can also use it with regular shoes.
With the wide alloy platform pedal combined with Crankbrother's patent Egg Beater System, the Mallet Race Pedals were designed with comfort and control in mind.
The pedals have a release angle of 15 degrees or 20 degrees. Each component uses a durable material. The spindle is chromoly steel, the body is aluminum, the wing is stainless, the spring is stainless steel, and the end cap is hex alloy. The cleats are premium brass.
- You can use them with or without clipping, meaning you can also use them with regular shoes.
- The wide surface on the pedals gives you a strong foothold making it perfect for comfortable downhill rides. It works well when you don’t want to clip on.
- Clipping in and out of the pedal is pretty smooth and easy, as soon as you get the hang of it. It’s not difficult to get used to.
- They are heavy but sturdy and durable.
- Quite expensive, but also because the quality is superb.
- When you use it without clipping, you’ll feel something a little irregular on the sole of your feet.
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Crank Brothers Eggbeater 3 Mountain Bike Pedals
The egg beater 3 is another popular innovation by Crankbrothers. It's a clipless type of pedal that use chromoly steel on the spindle, stainless steel on the body, spring, and wing material.
The cleats are premium brass, which is a standard for Crankbrothers.
The Eggbeater 3 is ideal for cross country or trail riding. It has a release angle of 15 or20 degrees, which is relatively easy for clipping on and off.
- Diamond Bicycles also offer great quality bikes with superior materials.
- The chains are also very secure and durable.
- The tires are also very dexterous to user for long rides.
- It’s light and relatively easy to use. Clipping in and out of the pedal is a breeze.
- Shedding mud isn’t as quick and easy as it should be.
- It may be light, but it doesn’t seem very strong. It might not be able to withstand strong hits against rocks or other impacts. (Not that I’m planning on getting those)
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Shimano Ultegra PD-6800 SPD-SL Pedals
Shimano is a leading brand of rowing, fishing, and cycling equipment. The Shimano Ultegra SPD-SL Pedal has a carbon composite body that is lightweight and durable.
It is ideal for competitive cycling, but you can also use it for casual biking.
Ideally, these pedals should be used with the matching shoe with cleats. Though you have the freedom to use regular shoes, it’s not ideal.
They are designed to be used as clipless pedals.
- The wide platform allows for a great foothold and more significant transfer of your push.
- Clipping on may be tricky at first, but it’s not difficult once you get the hang of it.
- You can adjust the tension setting.
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Shimano PD-M780 XT Race Pedal
These pedals feature the classic Shimano Pedaling Dynamics, which is a clipless mechanism.
You can adjust the entry and release tension settings to your comfort.
It's commonly used in cross country racing and cyclo-crossing.
- Though it's meant to be mountain bike pedals, you can also use them for road bikes.
- It sheds mud quickly.
- The material seems unyielding and looks like it can take a beating from rocks.
- The platform offers great support and grip.
- They’re cheaper options to Shimano’s XTR’s, but they are lighter compared to the latter.
- It has two functional sides, so it’s no trouble finding the right side.
- Clipping in isn’t as simple as the other models. There’s also no positive click-in.
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Race Face Atlas Bike Pedal
RaceFace is a Canadian Company focused on designing and creating high-performance cycling components, as well as clothing and protection.
The Atlas pedal is a platform pedal with an aluminum body and chromoly steel axle. It has hex-head threaded pins for a firmer grip and more security.
It's built for trail rides, downhills, and free riding, with ten traction pins on each side of the pedal.
- I love that you can choose from 6 colors for the pedals. That way, you can make it more personal.
- The pins help give a firmer grip on the soles of your shoes, so you don’t have to worry so much about slipping.
- It makes a clicking noise sometimes.
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Choosing a mountain bike pedal can be a tough task if you don’t know squat about what to look for. There are two basic pedals you can choose from, which is the platform type and the clipless type. There is also a combination of the two, known as combo pedals or hybrid pedals.
When choosing mountain bike pedals, you first need to decide between platform, clipless, or combo pedals. This is generally up to you, how often you ride, and where you ride. Each type has their pros and cons. I would choose a hybrid because it gives me the flexibility. I don’t do competitive biking. If I did, I would count that as another factor to consider.
For cross country/trail biking and casual riding, I would choose the Crankbrother’s Mallet Race Pedal for its flexibility. They’re also great for downhills. I hope this helped you on your quest for the best mountain bike pedals. In the end, it is a matter or preference. What I like might be something you won’t enjoy. It’s best if you give the pedals a try if you can.