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HT Components AE03 Evo Review

These pedals are engineered for top of the line performance
HT Components AE03 Evo
Photo: HT Components
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Price:  $159 List
Pros:  Super slim profile, solid grip no matter where your foot is positioned, lightweight
Cons:  Moderate size platform, pin heads are somewhat exposed, a bit pricey
Manufacturer:   HT Components
By Al Morrison ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jul 11, 2019
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77
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 14
  • Grip and Traction - 25% 8
  • Platform - 25% 7
  • Mobility - 20% 7
  • Servicing - 15% 8
  • Weight - 15% 9

Our Verdict

Arguably one of the thinnest pedals romping around out on the trails currently, the HT AE03 pedals have an exquisitely machined design that will keep their snazzy look for many miles. Well placed pins in the center and perimeter of the platform 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 trail riding.

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Pros Super slim profile, solid grip no matter where your foot is positioned, lightweightTremendous amount of grip, reasonable price tag, easy to service, versatile, large platformExcellent price point, well-rounded performance, service kits readily availableTough and durable, won’t break the bank, good mid-range sizeInexpensive, functional, lightweight
Cons Moderate size platform, pin heads are somewhat exposed, a bit priceyLimited foot mobility, almost too much gripConvex shape might be polarizing, not the grippiestSmaller platform and only 8 traction pins, no traction pins along the spindleQuestionable durability, not the grippiest
Bottom Line These pedals are engineered for top of the line performanceA versatile flat pedal that delivers outstanding on-trail performance at a competitive priceA well-rounded and effective composite pedal at an unbelievable price pointOverall an affordable, well-built, and durable pedal that will last a long timeAn inexpensive but functional pedal that gets the job done
Rating Categories HT Components AE03 Evo OneUp Components Al... OneUp Components Co... Race Face Chester RockBros Nylon Fiber
Grip And Traction (25%)
8.0
10.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
Platform (25%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Mobility (20%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
Servicing (15%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
Weight (15%)
9.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
Specs HT Components AE03 Evo OneUp Components Al... OneUp Components Co... Race Face Chester RockBros Nylon Fiber
Measured Weight per pair (g) 345 g 370 g 359 g 358 g 367 g
Traction Pins (per side) 10, 2.5 mm hex head bottom loading 10, 3 mm hex head bottom loading 10, 2.5 mm hex head bottom loading 8, 2.5 mm hex head bottom loading 10, 2.5 head bottom loading
Platform Dimensions (mm) 102 mm x 107 mm 114 mm x 104 mm 114 mm x 104 mm 110 mm x 101 mm 99 mm x 99 mm
Platform Profile (mm) - not including pins 9 mm leading and trailing edges, 11 mm at tapered end of spindle 8.8 mm leading and trailing edges, 12.1 mm at axle 13.8 mm leading and trailing edges, 16.9 mm at axle 14 mm leading and trailing edges, 17 mm center of spindle 16.25 mm at leading edge, 14 mm at axle
Concavity 3.5 mm difference from effective edges to tapered end of spindle slight convexity slight convexity 3 mm difference from effective edges to center of pedal 2.25 mm difference from effective edges to axle
Q Factor / Distance from cranks to furthest pin 105 mm 107.6 mm 106 mm 103 mm 103 mm
Bearings EVO + and dual DU bushing bearings 4 double-sealed cartridge bearings DU cartridge Cartridge bearings and DU bushings "High-Speed Bearings"
Body Material Aluminium Forged 6061-T6 aluminum Nylon Composite Nylon Composite Nylon + Molybdenum Steel
Pedal Wrench Type 8 mm hex 8 mm hex 15 mm pedal spanner, 6 mm hex 15 mm pedal spanner, 8 mm hex 15 mm pedal spanner, 6 mm hex

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 drawback to the thin profile of these pedals is that it leaves nothing for the traction screw heads to hide behind making them more susceptible to damage from rock strikes. 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 could 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 solid 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.
Photo: Tasha Thomas

The HT AE03 pedal has a moderate but efficient grip. In wet conditions, the grip stayed true. 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 Deity Bladerunner, these pedals are machined and anodized aluminum, built for a small and light yet durable profile.

Platform


The AE03 pedals were 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 effective platform. That said, we didn't find it to be 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...
Well placed pins in both center and outside keep your feet confident with grip.
Photo: Tasha Thomas

Servicing


We found that these pedals to be fairly easy to maintain. Due to the thinner profile, they didn't strike much and held 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...
These pedals were some of the lightest in the field, due to its shorter length axle and extensive machining on the pedal body.
Photo: Chris Smith

Value


The HT AE03 falls in the higher end of the price spectrum at their retail price. 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