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HT X1 Review

Ht X1
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Price:  $170 List
Pros:  Large platform, adjustable tension, adjustable traction pins
Cons:  Super hard to clip into, most expensive pedal by far, doesn't use a common cleat
Manufacturer:   HT
By McKenzie Long and Luke Lydiard  ⋅  Aug 7, 2015
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58
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Ease of Entry - 20% 2
  • Ease of Exit - 20% 5
  • Adjustability - 15% 9
  • Weight - 15% 6
  • Durability - 10% 7
  • Platform - 10% 8
  • Mud Shedding Ability - 10% 6

The Skinny

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.


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.

Performance Comparison


The HT X1 is a full platform clipless pedal for downhill mountain biking. It is best paired with a pair of soft  flexible bike shoes like this model  the Hellcat  from Five Ten. Note the Velcro strap which protects the laces from tangling with your chain.
The HT X1 is a full platform clipless pedal for downhill mountain biking. It is best paired with a pair of soft, flexible bike shoes like this model, the Hellcat, from Five Ten. Note the Velcro strap which protects the laces from tangling with your chain.

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.)

An SPD mountain cleat? Wrong! This is the proprietary HT cleat  which looks incredibly similar but is not compatible with the very common Shimano pedals.
An SPD mountain cleat? Wrong! This is the proprietary HT cleat, which looks incredibly similar but is not compatible with the very common Shimano pedals.

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.

One of our testers looks down at the HT X1 in frustration while trying to clip in. We found ourselves in this position a lot while testing the X1s.
One of our testers looks down at the HT X1 in frustration while trying to clip in. We found ourselves in this position a lot while testing the X1s.

Adjustability


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.

One advantage to the HT X1 is that you can adjust the tension on the clip-in mechanism  which you can't do with Crankbrothers pedals. Note the traction pins  which grip the soles of the shoes and can make exiting the pedal a little trickier.
One advantage to the HT X1 is that you can adjust the tension on the clip-in mechanism, which you can't do with Crankbrothers pedals. Note the traction pins, which grip the soles of the shoes and can make exiting the pedal a little trickier.

Weight


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.

Platform


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.

The full platform pedals in our test (plus a pair of flats) for size comparison. From left to right: Shimano DX  Crankbrothers Mallet 3  Crankbrothers Mallet DH Race  HT X1  Shimano Saint flats.
The full platform pedals in our test (plus a pair of flats) for size comparison. From left to right: Shimano DX, Crankbrothers Mallet 3, Crankbrothers Mallet DH Race, HT X1, Shimano Saint flats.

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.

Durability


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.

Riding Northstar's Bike Park with the HT X1 pedals.
Riding Northstar's Bike Park with the HT X1 pedals.

Best Applications


This full platform pedal is best used for downhilling. It is a little on the heavy side for intensive pedaling.

Value


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.

Conclusion


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.

Recommended Pairing


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