The HT X1 is a full platform clipless pedal for downhill mountain biking. At the beginning of our test we had high hopes that these pedals would have the thin profile of the Crankbrothers Mallet 3 while having the adjustable tension of Shimano SPDs, but unfortunately they just aren't that rad. The main downside is that they are difficult to clip in and out of, which makes them hard to use.
HT X1 Review
Cons: Super hard to clip into, most expensive pedal by far, doesn't use a common cleat
Our Analysis and Test Results
The HT X1 is the pedal worn by the world's fastest downhiller, Aaron Gwin! But will they work for you? Read on to see why we don't recommend these pedals mere mortals.
Ease of Entry
The HT X1 is the most difficult pedal to clip into that we've ever used. Though the cleats look very similar to Shimano SPD mountain cleats, they are not the same. (You've been warned.)
The cleats are hooky and grab other parts of the pedal as you try to line up your cleat with the clip-in mechanism and delay the engagement. We're sure this ain't a problem for Gwin, who only clips in at the start gate and out when he walks to the hot seat, but look up some internet photos of Sam Blenkinsop's HT pedals from the Lenzerheide World Cup to see how his mechanics modified his pedals to make them easier to get back into should he have to take a foot out.
Ease of Exit
These pedals are hooky when unclipping also. Like the two Crankbrothers full platform models, the traction pins can be dialed up and down for more or less grip on your shoes, but these pedals are already so tricky to get in and out of that we don't think they are needed.
The HT X1 pedals do have adjustable tension for the clip-in mechanism, which is a clear advantage over Crankbrother's pedals which have no adjustable tension.
This is the third heaviest pedal in the review. We don't recommended them for uphill use. They are virtually the same weight as the Crankbrothers Mallet DH Race depending on how many pins you use. The Mallet DHs are also aimed at the down where weight is less of an issue.
The HT pedal has the largest platform if you only consider maximum length and width, but the edges taper considerably making the overall surface area a bit smaller. The Mallet DH feels bigger underfoot due to the less tapered edges.
You can add three traction pins to the front and two to the back of this pedal, which is one less pin than the Mallet 3 and three less pins than the Mallet DH Race per side.
Mud Shedding Ability
This pedal has a pretty open design which is good for shedding mud and dirt, but since it is so difficult to clip into, a small amount of mud would just make it worse.
This pedal is all metal, which is a sign of longevity. The edges of these pedals are squarish, which may grab rocks a little bit more than pedals with more tapered edges.
This full platform pedal is best used for downhilling. It is a little on the heavy side for intensive pedaling.
This is the most expensive pedal in our test at $170. Considering it is also difficult to use, we don't suggest spending your money on these pedals. The Crankbrothers Mallet DH Race is $20 less with just a slightly smaller platform (though we think it feels larger) and the Mallet 3 is a full $40 less and weighs less too. We'd seriously recommend either of those pedals over the X1s.
We couldn't wait to get these things off of our test bikes. We don't recommend them to anybody. (Sorry Gwin.) If you want a full platform clipless pedal for downhilling and enduro racing, we highly recommend the Crankbrothers Mallet 3, our Top Pick winner for gravity-powered styles of mountain biking. If you want a huge platform and maximum traction when not clipped in and don't mind extra weight go with the Mallet DH Race.
Put this pedal on your DH rig and wear soft sticky rubber shoes like the Five Ten Hellcat.
Other Versions and Accessories
HT makes the X2, which appears very similar to the X1. HT also makes a number of flat pedals which might be worthwhile since the main downside to this model is that it is difficult to clip in and out of.
— McKenzie Long and Luke Lydiard