Having the best pedal is a very important piece to having a bike you enjoy riding. When finding the best mountain bike pedals, it comes down to weighing the pros and cons of each model. Today, we’re going to discuss how to choose the best pedal for you and finish with a list of our 7 favorite options.
We want you to feel confident going into your search for the best mountain bike pedal. To help you out, we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions.
How Do I Choose A Mountain Bike Pedal?
There are a lot of factors to consider before purchasing mountain bike pedals. The first question you’ll need to answer is what kind of biker are you? More advanced riders will opt for a clipless pedal while beginning riders and casual mountain bikers will generally choose a platform pedal.
Pedal weight is also a large factor to consider. While lighter is often better when it comes to mountain bike pedals, the most lightweight pedals often suffer from a lack of durability. Make sure you do your research into which pedals are both lightweight and long-lasting.
Adjustability and usability are also important. Make sure you’re picking pedals that has replaceable parts, and customizable settings.
What Is The Difference Between Clipless And Platform Pedals?
One of the first questions you’ll ask yourself when going to buy a mountain bike pedal is if you want a clipless or platform pedal. Here are some of the main ways to distinguish each type and know which one is best for you.
Platform (Aka Flat) Pedals
How We Reviewed
When choosing the best mountain bike pedals to present to you, we looked at a few main areas: platform or clipless, pedal weight, ability to shed mud, adjustability, longevity, and usability. We also factored in price to make sure you get the best value for your money.
We’ve looked at dozens of pedals to make sure the ones we present to you are the best options your money can buy.
Overall Price Range
Mountain bike pedals vary quite a bit when it comes to price. Typically, you’ll find mountain bike pedals anywhere from $$-$$$. The difference in price comes down to the features, durability, and type of pedal you’re looking for.
Pedals that cost more money are generally going to be lighter in weight and have the ability to float. More expensive pedals will also increase the likelihood of that pedal performing well in muddy conditions. Less expensive pedals are still good options, however. If you’re looking for a standard mountain bike pedal with a good grip and wide platform, you can still find plenty of high-quality options for less money.
Our Top Picks
There are so many mountain bike pedals on the market today. It can be hard to know which ones to purchase and which are best to avoid. To make your search a little easier, we have gathered some of the best mountain bike pedals you can buy. We’ve distinguished the key features that separate each pedal, the price, and what we liked and disliked.
If you’re into endurance riding and want a clipped pedal that helps you do it best, check out the Crank Brothers Mallet Enduro MTB Pedals. The design of the pedal is similar to an egg-beater and gives an awesome flicking effect that gets rid of mud in an instant. The pedal comes with a wide platform and a concave shape that keeps ahold of your foot well.
Pros and Cons
We loved these Crank Brother pedals, in fact, we thought they were some of the best mountain bike pedals for endurance riders. The platform on these pedals worked great to let you unclip and ride like normal if you please. The platform feature may be too much for your everyday rider, but die-hard endurance riders will love the extra level of security and customization.
- PEDALS: Concave platform for secure foothold / 6 adjustable pins per side for grip
- PEDALS: Traction pad technology optimizes shoe/pedal interface
- PEDALS: Ribbed body for better traction when unclipped / Chamfered edges to reduce rock-strikes
- CLEATS AND SHOE SHIELDS INCLUDED - This special bundle offer includes a pair of premium cleats and shoe shields with the pedals. This system protects your shoes and lets you lock them into the pedals for unparalleled traction.
- EASY SET UP - Installing Crankbrothers pedals is a simple job that you can do yourself at home. Search YouTube for "How To Install Pedals - Install or Replace Crankbrothers Pedals" to see how easy it is.
For favorite flat mountain bike pedal, we present to you the DMR Vault Platform pedals. This pedal is a smaller version of Vault’s typical pedals with a lot more grip. The pedal has a total of 11 pins, 7 of which are reversible so you can totally customize your pedal to how you want it to be. The platform of this pedal is wide, and even if you can’t get the screws just right, there are enough of them to hold your foot in place.
Pros and Cons
We loved how durable these pedals are. With bombproof construction, you’ll enjoy the DMR Vault Platform Pedals for years to come. The downside of these pedals is that while the 11 pins are nice, they’re also pain and require some patience. The pins require you to repeatedly screw, flip, and unscrew them until you’ve got it right.
For those looking for the best mountain bike pedals to shed mud with, look no further than the Time ATAC XC 8 Carbon Pedals. These pedals are awesome to ride through mud and other slippery terrains. The pedals are designed with lateral float, meaning the shoe can swivel back and forth on the pedal without causing any damage to your knees and joints. The Time ATAX XC 8s are super lightweight and feel great when riding long durations. The carbon body weighs only 284 grams, making it one of the lightest pedals on our list.
Pros and Cons
These Time pedals are great for people with joint issues, or those trying their best to avoid joint and knee issues. The lateral float makes it really easy on your body to get around without causing any pain. However, the lateral float feature isn’t for everyone. There’s definitely a learning curve involved if you’re not already accustomed to it.
The RaceFace Atlas pedal doesn’t have the biggest body of all the pedals we looked at, but is still large enough to fit most people comfortably. Given the smaller pedal, the RaceFace Atlas also comes with shorter pins that suit the concave platform of this pedal well. We found that this pedal offers a lot of grip and the platform comes chamfered to keep rocks out.
Pros and Cons
The RaceFace Atlas pedal is great for those who don’t like their feet gliding around on larger pedals. It’s also very lightweight with an aluminum body. RaceFace also offers a warranty for up to two years if any manufacturing issues arise with the product, which is good because we did find that these pedals do wear quite quickly.
- At 110 x 105mm, the scarab features one of the widest platforms available
- Our proprietary extrusion and machined design provides an ultra thin true-concave profile that is only 13mm at platform center
- Custom traction pins are made of hardened steel and feature two height options via the removable washer
This platform pedal is made with a stainless steel body and features one of the widest platforms available on a mountain bike pedal. The body is ultra lightweight for a platform pedal. The pedal is concave which lets your foot dip in better for increased comfort and stability. There are lots of extra pins and spacers that allow you to adjust your height placement.
Pros and Cons
These are some of the best platform pedals on our list. We loved that they are relatively light for a downhill pedal. The Chromag Scarabs also is very clean looking and come in a wide variety of colors. We did find that the bearings on the pedals weren’t as high quality as the rest of the parts. If you end up buying this pedal, you’ll probably have to replace the bearings eventually.
- Material: [body] extruded/CNC machined aluminum, [spindle] CNC machined cr-moly
- Cleats: X1
- Compatible Components: HT Components X1 and X1F cleats
- Recommended Use: mountain bike, enduro
The HT T1 pedal is a great low profile clipless pedal that gives you everything you can ask for in a mountain bike pedal. The pedal is built so can withstand the tough conditions of endurance racing while also being lightweight. The HT pedal also provides a large amount of surface area so your foot’s not falling all over the place during your ride. The HT T1 also features a minimalist engagement system which allows you to clear mud in a breeze.
Pros and Cons
This was one of our favorite low profile mountain bike pedals on our list. It’s so lightweight and adjustable that it’s easy for any ride to use. It also sheds mud with no effort at all, making this a great pedal for wet conditions. We didn’t much like the gritty float on the HT T1 which doesn’t give us as smooth of an experience.
- Float: 4deg
Material (Spindle): Chromoly
Pedal Color: Bronze
Pedal Color: Silver
Pedal Material: Stainless
Pedal Spindle: 9/16"
Pedal Style: Clipless
Unit of Sale: Pair
For the rider who wants the most versatile pedals available, the Xpedo Ambix pedals are an ultimate choice. These pedals offer a stable and grippy flat pedal along with a lightweight clipless pedal that is super efficient. They’re crafted with an aluminum body and cartridge bearings. The flat side of the pedal has eight grub pins which are fully adjustable. The release tension on the pedals is also adjustable which makes these pedals great for versatile riders.
Pros and Cons
The pedal size works great with clipless shoes. Either side of the pedal offered great functionality. We loved the grippy platform on the Xpedo Ambix which feet feel very stable when riding. These pedals are also not too pricey, which is a plus. The downside is that while these pedals were versatile, they were also a bit complicated. This isn’t the best pick for something who just want to get up and go without a lot of messing around.
Buying the best mountain bike pedal isn’t always as easy as it seems. As you start your search, we encourage you to use our list of the top 7 mountain bike pedals available today. For those just starting our riding, make sure you look into the platform pedals we’ve listed like the DMR Vault Platform pedals. For those looking for a clipless model, you’ll love the Xpedo Ambix pedals.
Whichever kind of pedal you are looking for, we’re sure our list will be a great place to start.
Last update on 2021-03-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API