(Last modified May 17th, 2022
You can start riding your mountain bike with your best foot forward using the 2022 rated mountain bike pedals. The pedals are vital to comfort and efficiency because they are the only point where your body can contact the bike.
Mountain biking requires stability and connection to the bike. It is therefore important that you choose the right pedal. Explore this useful buyer’s guide to see the best mountain bike pedals available.
There is no standard mountain bike pedal or one-size-fits-all option— riders can choose from a large variety of pedal shapes and features. To help them climb and descend the trails, mountain bikers prefer flat platform or clipless pedals. Be sure to learn about the differences among mountain bike pedals before choosing your pedal.
Different types of mountain bike pedals
Flat Mountain Bike and Pedals
Flat pedals allow riders to pedal with a wider range of foot positions. Flat pedals have a large surface area, and are characterized by pointed pins that provide good grip between the shoe’s sole and the pedal. Flat pedals are typically slightly concave to accommodate the ball of your foot pushing into the pedal’s center, making for a more secure connection.
Flat pedals, unlike other pedals that secure your foot with a clipless or strapped cleat, rely on friction between the platform and your shoe to prevent slippage. Flat pedals can support your entire football, and allow you to move your feet around to find the ideal position.
Flat pedals are favored by many riders because they allow for freedom and simplicity. Flat pedals let riders wear whatever shoes they like, instead of sticking with clipless-specific footwear. Large platform allows riders to move their feet during rides.
Clipless Mountain Bike Pedals
Clipless pedals feature a retention system which connects to special bicycle shoes’ soles. Despite the confusing ‘clipless’ name, the pedals actually clip onto those cleats to lock your feet into place. Old-style pedals used to have toe clips and straps to keep your foot from sliding around— that cumbersome solution was replaced by this sleeker ‘clipless’ design.
Most clipless mountain bike pedals are double-sided so that riders don’t have to think about which way the pedal is facing as they clip in. That makes them easier to clip into on bumpy roads but adds a bit of weight— road bike pedals, on the other hand, are single-sided to save a few grams.
Clipless pedals are typically much smaller than flat platform pedals because they don’t need tons of surface area to get grip. Sometimes, the whole pedal is just the mechanical retention system. This is a bit smaller than a golfball. Some pedal designs have a smaller cage around the clipless pedal to give your shoe a little more support.
Variations on the Main Mountain Bike Pedals
There are many styles of pedals available, including the flat and clipless types. Dual-sided pedals have one flat and one clip-in side. The design is ideal for riders who take the same bike everywhere.
I’m a huge fan of dual-sided pedals, and I never need to worry about which shoes I have on. My dual-sided pedals have lasted for years and always make it into the essential bike gear I travel with, so I’m never caught out with the wrong pedal-shoe combination.
Clipless pedals can have a variety of attachment mechanisms. This is the metal area where the shoe cleat clips in. The most popular choices are Shimano’s SPD and Crankbrothers’ Eggbeater designs, but there are also Time’s ATAC and Expedo’s Posi-Fit. Ultimately, it’s up to personal preference, but you’ll have to stick to one design to make sure your shoes are compatible with your pedals, especially if you have a couple of bikes.
Mountain Bike Pedals Buyer’s Guide
These tips will help you to choose the right type of mountain bike pedal.
- Flat/platform: Ideal choice for riders who want more freedom during riding. Compatible with all flat-soled footwear For high-impact trails, a larger surface area allows for more force to be spread across the foot.
- CliplessClip mechanism locks the pedals into place, making them more secure and efficient. This is the perfect choice for advanced riders or cross-country racing.
- Dual-function: One side flat, one side clipless. Compatible with any shoe. Multipurpose bikes are ideal for riding trails and commuters.
These Mountain Bike Pedals: How did I Choose?
Based on user reviews and manufacturer specifications, I selected the mountain bike pedals that made it onto this list. Each pair of pedals I selected differs in price and design, so that every rider can find the right pedals for them. You can be sure that every recommended pedal is worth the investment and will keep you on your feet for many miles. I chose reliable brands to base my rating.
Utility: It offers quality performance due to its design and other useful features (e.g., grippy Pins, concave Shape, lightweight, or Clipless System).
Durability: Mountain bike pedals can be damaged by bumps on trails and dirt. The pedals are built with solid materials and last longer.
Price: Pedals are a necessary component and shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg. I’ve recommended budget-friendly options as well as premium pedals.
Compare the Top Mountain Bike Pedals in a Glance
|Model||Pedal Style||Material||Prices||Weight||Horse riding style|
|Xpedo Ambix||Clipless/flat dual-sided||Aluminium||$99||384g||All mountain, commuting to city|
|Crankbrothers Eggbeater 3||Clipless||Aluminium||$130||280g||MTB with rigid-soled shoes|
|Crankbrothers Stamp 1||Clipless with platform||Composite||$49||small 299g; large329g||All mountain, enduro and downhill|
|Nukeproof Horizon Pro Downhill Sam Hill||Flat||Aluminium||$99||430g||Trail, Enduro and Downhill|
|HT Components – T1||Clipless with platform||Aluminium||$135||372g||All mountain|
|Shimano PD-M520||Clipless||Aluminium||$45||374g||Trail, enduro, gravel, city|
|Chester: Race Face Chester||Flat||Composite||$45||360g||Trail, all mountain|
Best Dual-Sided Peddle
Types of riding: All mountain, commuting and city
The Expedo Ambix has a flat platform one side, and an SPD clipless pedal the other. This all-in-one system can be used with any shoe, regardless of whether they are bike-specific. This multi-purpose bike is ideal for both trail riding and city running.
This pedal has a large platform and an aluminum body. It provides excellent grip and contact with your feet. The pedal feels as natural and comfortable as a flat standard flat pedal, with eight easily adjustable pins.
The SPD clipless mechanism has adjustable tension settings. This makes it easy to insert and remove the pedal from the other side. Whichever side of the pedal you are using, it feels perfectly normal, so it’s easy to forget it’s double-sided. It can be a little difficult to clip in the pedal right away, so this pedal didn’t get full marks.
Unfortunately, it can take extra time to place your foot on the correct side for the shoes that you are wearing. To clip in, or pedal flat on the flat side of the pedal, you might need to tap the pedal with your foot. But once you’re used to that extra step, you won’t think twice about it.
- Greasy platform
- Dual function
- Adjustable release tension
- It can be challenging to clip in
The Best Overall Lightweight Pedal
Crankbrothers Eggbeater 3
Type of riding: Any mountain biking style with stiff-soled footwear
The Crankbrothers Egg Beater 3 mountain bike pedal is one of the most unique and innovative. It’s also one of the lightest options on this list. The almost futuristic design utilizes Crankbrothers’ clipless mechanism and forgoes a pedal cage to save weight. The pedal is only composed of the pedal body and clipless mechanism, weighing in at 280g.
Cross-country racers love the pedal. cyclocross Riders looking to pedal faster with the lightest possible pedals. The unique clipless mech (which resembles an eggbeater) has an open design that allows clipping in on all four sides, and they won’t easily clog up with mud. It’s easier to clip in and get out in wet conditions and after a ride.
This pedal is best suited for advanced riders due to its small profile. It can be hard to get used too. It is very easy to use but requires precision to match the shoe cleat with the clipless pedal. The lack of a pedal cage or platform means there’s no additional shoe support, so you’re better off wearing cycling shoes with stiff soles.
These pedals are great choices for mountain bikers who often ride in muddy conditions. This pedal doesn’t receive a full 10 rating because it’s a niche clipless design that isn’t for everyone. Overall, these ultralightweight pedals are a solid investment in podium-worthy components if you’ve got the cash.
- Easy to clean
- doesn’t get clogged with mud
- It can be hard to clip in
- Best paired with shoes that have stiff soles
- Small profile
Best Flat Pedal for Lightweight
Crankbrothers Stamp 1
Weight: Small 299g and large 329g
Types of riding: All-mountain, Enduro, and downhill
If you’re searching for an ultralightweight pedal for your flat mountain bike, look no further. The Stamp 1 from Crankbrothers features a sleek profile with plenty of surface area, so there’s no compromise on grip. The Stamp 1’s low weight is thanks to the composite material. It can withstand all types of impacts, hits, digs, and other damage.
Crankbrothers is a different company and offers the pedal in both small and large sizes. Because riders have different-sized feet and pedal sizes, Crankbrothers believes that their pedals should be different in size. This is especially useful for riders who have smaller shoes. They can also benefit from a 299g super light pedal.
The entry-level pedal comes with nine hexagonal pins per side, which provide sufficient grip. It is also available in a few colors. The smaller size is recommended for shoes sizes 37-43, while the larger is recommended for sizes 43 and above. The pedal drops one point from my rating due to riders wanting ultra-durable aluminum over composite material.
- There are two sizes available
- composite material isn’t everyone’s favorite
Best Downhill Flat-Pedal
Flat pedal Nukeproof Pro Downhill Sam Hill
Type of riding: Enduro and Trail.
The large platform is constructed from an alloy body and features ten adjustable pins. The pedal features a concave design to fit your feet and a flat surface (except the pins) that ensures a consistent, solid contact between the shoe & pedal.
These flat pedals were created in collaboration with multiple-time World Champion mountain biking champion. Sam Hill. The current generation of the Enduro and tough trail pedal is the most recent. This pedal style has been race-winningly used by professionals riders, and their namesake champion.
This pedal doesn’t receive full marks on my rating because the pins are almost too spiky, but that can be resolved with a heavy-duty pair of shoes. The pedal body spins smoothly due to the use of DU bushings, sealed cartridge bearings, and can withstand heavy impacts and loads. Nukeproof also sells replacement parts to give your bike a new lease of life after years of hard riding.
- Good weight
- Good size
- Pins give you great grip
- straightforward design
- Extended pins can become very spiky so be aware
Best Clipless Pedal for Platform
HT Components – T1
Types of riding
The HT Components T1 clipless mountain bike pedal is an excellent all-rounder with a few clever touches that elevate it above its competitors. Although the T1 is a standard, clipless pedal with a medium platform, its X-1 attachment mechanism provides better mud clearance than the SPD and allows for tension adjustment. This attractive alternative is for those who love the Shimano XTR m-9120 pedal.
The T1’s low-profile aluminum body is super strong and built for tough riding. The T1’s mid-cage design provides additional support and the two pins at its front increase grip. Clipless mechs are a little more flexible than the SPD system. This means that mud will not get stuck or make it difficult for you to clip in. This pedal doesn’t receive a full 10 rating because of the hefty price tag.
There are two cleat options for the pedals. The X-1 cleats offer 4 degrees of float, while the X-1F cleats offer 9 degrees. You can adjust the tension to make it easy for beginners to use, or tighten it to allow for more intense riding. The fact that it is available in 14 different colors is also a plus!
- Many colors
- It is not as fluid as it seems.
- heavy cleats
Best Clipless Pedal for Budget
Type of riding: Enduro or trail, gravel, city
This straightforward clipless pedal keeps it simple, and that’s part of its charm. Because of its minimalist design and low price, the Shimano PD-M520 has become a popular mountain bike pedal. They are dual-sided, so riders don’t have to mess around with which way their pedals are facing and can clip in quickly.
There’s no cage or platform, so you can only ride this pedal with clipless cycling shoes. It’s that simple. no-frills This pedal is perfect for any type of riding other than mountain biking. It’s loved by commuters and gravel riders alike. This budget pedal loses a point since the clipless mechanism isn’t as long-lasting as some other models.
The PD-M520 uses a lower-priced SPD clipless mechanism. It is plenty reliable and works great, but isn’t as luxurious as the higher-spec models. As long as you keep the pedals well-adjusted and lubricated, you won’t see any lack of performance compared to the more expensive pedals.
- Easy to adjust
- Double-sided Entry
- excellent value
- won’t last as long as higher spec models
Best Flat Pedal for Budget
Chester: Race Face Chester
Type of riding: Trail, all-mountain
The Race Face Chester flat pedal, a reliable mountain bike brand, is an affordable pedal that delivers far beyond its price. This composite pedal strikes the impressive balance of being both ultralightweight and durable— and the wide range of colors to match your bike is an added bonus. If you’re looking for quality pedals that won’t break the bank, the Chester is a no-brainer.
Most of the pedals on this list are metal, but the Chester’s nylon composite material competes with the best of them when it comes to handling serious impacts and stress out on the trail. Once you purchase these pedals, it’ll be a long time before you’ll have to get any replacements. Each pedal has eight replaceable hex-traction pins for grip. The concave platform is stable under the foot.
This pedal is a great budget option but it loses one point from my rating. Many riders prefer a stronger aluminum body to the composite material. The Chester is better suited for moderate mountain biking, rather than speedy or aggressive downhill riding. While some riders may find the grip difficult on steep descents, they are capable of handling most terrains.
- Many colors
- Lack of grip when aggressive riding
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Frequently Asked Question (FAQs).
For a secure connection between foot and pedal, clipless pedals are the best choice. Flat pedals are more popular and offer greater mobility. Dual-function pedals combine both of these designs into one pedal.
Higher-end mountain bike pedals are a good investment if you regularly ride or compete in races. Their low weight is the main benefit of high-end pedals. They are made of durable materials.
Flat pedals usually have several pins that extend a few millimeters above the shoe to strengthen the connection between pedal and shoe. These pins keep your feet safe on bumpy terrain without the clip mechanism.
Jeffrey Brown He is a professional bike mechanic, writer, editor, as well as a journalist. He has over seven years of experience in both full-service and community-based shops. As a bicycle educator, he supports youth programs in the US that teach bike mechanics as well as life skills to help prepare the next generation.
Jeffrey He began his professional career as a mechanic at his university’s bike co-op. This is where he learned about the power of the bicycle community. He was initially self-trained to be a mechanic. His subsequent roles as lead educator and manager gave him formal training. He has received numerous awards and grants for his work as an environmental advocate, and bicycle rider.