Reviews You Can Rely On

How We Tested MTB Flat Pedals

Tuesday July 21, 2020
More sunset sending in Carson City
More sunset sending in Carson City
Photo: Matt Stuck

We spent several months testing 10 pairs of mountain bike flat pedals. We tested all the pedals on gnarly downhill trails, flowy single tracks, and fun backyard jumps. Testing took place on a variety of terrain ranging from local Tahoe trails, weekend trips to SoCal and over the hill to Nevada to dodge the snow. We wanted to experience high speeds, big jumps, steep switchbacks, and adverse conditions to deliver the best pedal review to date. By the time we finished testing, each tester individually logged over 350 miles and 56,000 feet of climbing on our batch of flat pedals.

Compare the traction pins of test pedals.
Compare the traction pins of test pedals.
Photo: Sean Cronin

Grip/Traction


To test the grip of each pedal we rode them on various bikes, trail types, and weather conditions. We paid close attention to how well each pedal interfaced with our shoes and held our feet in place on rough and rocky downhills, flow trails, and jump lines. We also went out of our way to test each pedal in wet and muddy conditions to see how it affected grip performance.


Platform


With a digital caliper, we measured each set of pedals to determine their platform dimensions and compare them to the manufacturer's specs. We also measured the pedal's thickness, or profile, to verify its shape. On the trail we focused on the support and balance of each pedal, both fore and aft and side to side.

Pedal Mobility


To test the mobility of each pedal, we performed simple spin tests by hand. This simple test showed just how freely each pedal would spin on its axle. To supplement this basic test, we also paid close attention to the position of the pedals when removing and replacing the foot while riding at the bike park, dirt jumps, and through technical sections of trail.


Service


In an effort to determine the serviceability of the pedals we tested, we took it upon ourselves to dismantle and reassemble each pair. This process revealed how easy or challenging it is to perform the process on your own. We also made note of the availability of rebuild kits and other parts like traction pins and spindles.


Weight


We weighed each set of mountain bike flat pedals on the same digital scale for consistency and comparison to the manufacturer's claimed weight.

Conclusion


We put each set of pedals in this review through the same rigorous test process. Rest assured that these pedals have been put through the wringer to provide you with our expert recommendations for the best mountain bike flat pedals.