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HT Components AE03 Evo Review

These pedals are engineered for top of the line performance
HT Components AE03 Evo
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Price:  $159 List | $143.49 at Amazon
Pros:  Sleek construction with grippy removable pins. Solid feel no matter where your foot is positioned. Lightweight.
Cons:  A smaller platform may pose comfort issues for those with larger feet. Heavy price for less material.
Manufacturer:   HT Components
By Al Morrison ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jul 11, 2019
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74
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 10
  • Grip and Traction - 25% 8
  • Platform - 25% 7
  • Mobility - 20% 7
  • Servicing - 15% 8
  • Weight - 15% 7

Our Verdict

Arguably one of the thinnest pedals romping around out on the biking trails currently, the HT AE03 pedals are an exquisitely machined design that will keep their snazzy look for many miles. Well placed pins in both center and outside keep your feet confident with grip, wet or dry. However, this high-quality pedal comes at a fairly steep price and features one of the smaller platform dimensions in its category. Regardless, these pedals are engineered for high-performance and make a great set of flats for enduro racing and riding.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award  
Price $143.49 at Amazon$168.99 at Competitive Cyclist$149 List
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Pros Sleek construction with grippy removable pins. Solid feel no matter where your foot is positioned. Lightweight.Maximum grip, large concave platform, built with high quality parts, versatileUnshakeable grip, huge platform, lightweight, hidden grease port, angled traction pins, double concave.High grip, strong build, fairly pricedSuper versatile do-it-all pedal, cool industrial styling, bottom loading pins, strong stubby axle, no fancy tools required for service, affordable.
Cons A smaller platform may pose comfort issues for those with larger feet. Heavy price for less material.Expensive, sometimes too grippy, prone to pedal strikesVery expensive, not very versatile, difficult compatability with some cranks.Hard to relocate foot mid-decent. Not as playful, heavy if you do a lot of pedaling. Not ideal for dirt jumpingSmall-ish platform, some may want more grip, slight hump underfoot at axle.
Bottom Line These pedals are engineered for top of the line performanceThe Diety TMAC is the king of all pedals with next level grip.The perfect match for weight-conscious enduro racers that want a huge platform with unshakeable grip.Beautifully machined CNC finish combined with high durability makes this pedal one tough trooper.No matter where you ride or what you ride, the Vice has you covered.
Rating Categories HT Components AE03 Evo Deity Components TMAC Race Face Atlas Nukeproof Horizon Pro VP Components VP-Vice
Grip And Traction (25%)
10
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8
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8
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Weight (15%)
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Specs HT Components AE03... Deity Components... Race Face Atlas Nukeproof Horizon... VP Components...
Measured Weight per pair (g) 345 g 437 g 347 g 426 g 415 g
Traction Pins (per pedal) 20, 2.5 mm hex head bottom loading 28, 2 mm hex head top loading 20, 3 mm hex head- bottom loading 20, 2 mm hex head bottom loading with 1 mm washers per pin 24 (16 hex, 8 grub) bottom loading pins
Platform Dimensions (mm) 102 mm x 107 mm 110 mm x 105 mm 101 mm x 114 mm 100 mm x 105 mm 105 mm x 96 mm
Platform Profile (mm) - not including pins 9 mm leading and trailing edges, 11 mm at tapered end of spindle 19 mm leading and trailing edges, 14 mm at axle 14.5mm, 12mm double concave 18 mm leading and trailing edges, 16 mm at axle 14mm
Concavity 3.5 mm difference from effective edges to tapered end of spindle 5 mm difference from effective edges to center axle. Super concave 2.5mm pedal profile per side. 2.5 mm difference from effective edges to tapered end of spindle 2 mm difference from effective edges to middle of axle
Q Factor / Distance from cranks to furthest pin 105 mm 113 mm 111 mm 110 mm
Bearings EVO + and dual DU bushing bearings Multi micro sealed bearings and Deity DU bushing internals 4 full sealed cartridge bearings per pedal 4 per pair LSL and sealed cartridge bearings
Body Material Aluminium 6061-T6 Aluminium 6061-T6 aluminum Forged 6061-T6 Alloy body with CNC finishing Extruded and CNC aluminum
Pedal Wrench Type 8 mm allen 15 mm pedal spanner, 8 mm allen 8mm allen 15 mm pedal spanner, 8 mm allen 8mm allen
MSRP Cost $160.00 $168.99 $145.34 $74.99 $33.99
Manufacturer's Website/purchase site www.ht-components.com www.deitycomponents.com www.chainreactioncycles.com www.chainreactioncycles.com www.amazon.com

Our Analysis and Test Results

The HT AE03 pedals offer a knife-thin profile with exceptional internal components and plenty of traction. These exquisitely machined pedals are some of the thinnest and lightest flats available. Designed for top of the line performance, these pedals keep ground strikes to a minimum and your bike light for any climb without sacrificing grip.

Performance Comparison



Grip and Traction


Each HT AE03 pedal uses 20 hex head traction screws (10 per side) placed in key points along the perimeter of the pedal body, with two in the center near the axle. One major drawback to the thin profile of these pedals is that it leaves nothing for the traction screw heads to hide behind making them perfect targets for a stray rock. The profile of the pedal tapers slightly towards the outside edge of the pedal, with a notable rise over the axle close to the crank arm. We can feel this raised section under our shoes ever so slightly, and our soles don't sink quite as far onto the adjacent pins. Still, these pedals provide decent traction in technical terrain. In instances where a thicker pedal may want to roll underfoot, the AE03 stays glued to your foot with the pins engaged into your shoe.

HT AE03 ultra thin aluminum extruded 20 pin grippers.
HT AE03 ultra thin aluminum extruded 20 pin grippers.

The HT AE03 pedal has a moderate but efficient grip. In wet conditions, the grip stayed true. The mud build-up wasn't an issue; it cleared well. Depending on shoe size, these pedals can quickly transition from lots of grip to very little if your foot gets off position. These pedals were tested in some very wet and muddy conditions, and they performed well. Similar to the Bladerunners, these pedals are machined and anodized aluminum, built for a small and light yet durable profile.

Platform


The AE03 pedals are designed to be paper-thin and as streamlined as possible. This platform is a bit smaller than many of the other pedals in its category. With its offset top and bottom design, this pedal gives the allusion of being larger than the actual active platform. That said, it's not too small. These pedals benefit from being less prone to ground strikes though they feel narrow when compared to some other pedals. Their light weight is most noticeable on the climbs. The platform is flat relative to other pedals. It's obvious there's more meat in the middle of the pedal for your shoe sole to make contact with, this helps maintain a solid feel on the pedals even if your foot moves slightly.

Pedal Mobility


The HT AE03 spins well but not so quickly that your shins get hung up on the pins if you slip a pedal. There is a slight bit of peculiar chatter in the pedals, and that could be related to the axle not extending the entire length of the pedal. A nut at the end of the pedal spindle allows for adjustment of the tension and the ease of spinning.

Well placed pins in both center and outside keep your feet confident with grip.
Well placed pins in both center and outside keep your feet confident with grip.

Servicing


We found that these pedal have a fairly easy to maintain construction. Due to the thinner profile, they didn't strike much and hold up well in terms of avoiding rock strikes. The pin size could be changed to add more grip if desired. A rebuild kit for the AE03 starts at $18.00 but does not include a replacement spindle or a new set of pins. Those together will run you about another $25.00.

Weight


The HT AE03 sacrifices a little real estate in platform size in trade for its lightweight. With aluminum construction and a weight of 350 grams, they are lighter than many of the other platform pedals in our test. That weight savings comes at a premium, however, and these pedals are geared toward gram counters who are willing to spend more to lighten up their ride.

These pedals were some of the lightest in the field  due to its shorter length axle and extensive machining on the pedal body.
These pedals were some of the lightest in the field, due to its shorter length axle and extensive machining on the pedal body.

Best Applications


These pedals are well suited to enduro racing and aggressive all-mountain riding and riders looking to keep weight to a minimum. They are better for smaller riders who won't be hitting large jumps and want great pedal clearance with good reliability.

Value


The HT AE03 falls in the higher end of the price spectrum with a retail price of $159. These pedals held up great under our testing and will last for many seasons. We feel the solid performance, durability, and reliability of these pedals makes them a solid value despite their higher price.

Conclusion


The HT AE03 pedals are a high-performance option for the rider or racer looking for a well-designed pedal that is durable and gets the job done in all conditions. Aside from riders with larger feet searching for a wider platform, there aren't many flaws to these pedals. They're light, thin, and made with high-quality materials. Low profile design keeps ground strikes to a minimum.


Al Morrison