Best Mountain Bike Flat Pedals

Mountain Bike Flat Pedals - Reviews & Guides For 2020

Our Top Mountain Bike Flat Pedals

Need Help Choosing Mountain Bike Flat Pedals?

Mountain Bike Flat Pedal Buying Guide

Planning for a mountain biking expedition anytime soon? If yes, you need the best bike that proffers exceptional performance while riding as well as jumping over the rough terrain.

To opt for a classic mountain bike, you must check the perfect flat pedals that are equipped with a broad platform for your feet and aid in keeping them secured in one place.

While there are numerous options available online, it is crucial to buy the best mountain bike flat pedals for an ultimate fun experience!

Given below is a handy guide that will help you to learn about all the ins and outs of flat pedals to help you make an informed decision!

Something about Flat Pedals

Pedals are one of three contacts that you have with the bike you are riding and so choosing a pedal for a mountain bike is crucial. Flat pedals are a great choice, for they provide extra grip with strategically placed pins.

As the name suggests, they are flat on both sides so that you do not have to worry about the right side being up every time you begin pedaling. The best part is that they provide more comfort for adventurous biking and jumping.

They provide near-infinite foot positions and extra mobility. Furthermore, they engage you more into the experience of biking and help skill improvement.

What should you choose Flat Pedals or Clipless Pedals?

An alternative to flat pedals is clipless pedals. The name is a misdirect because they are actually used to "clip in" your feet to the pedals. They give you better control over your bike and confidence that your feet won't slip off the pedals. You can choose between flat and clipless pedals depending on your needs, experience, and preferences.

  1. In terms of convenience, flat pedals provide you with more comfort of how to place your foot, whereas clipless pedals commit you to the pedal.
  2. If you are a beginner rider, flat pedals are more befitting, but if you are an experienced rider, clipless is more helpful for your speed.
  3. Doing tricks and jumps is facilitated by flat pedals because clipless pedals keep your feet locked. The latter, however, may benefit you while riding rough terrain.
  4. Clipless pedals require you to buy specific shoes with cleats that would not be a requirement for flat pedals.
  5. It can take you to practice getting in and out of clipless pedals. Flat pedals, on the other hand, require no such exercise.
  6. Clipless pedals give you efficiency and control over your bike and give you more power to transfer when pedaling.

Why should you opt for Flat Pedals?

Several points made in the comparisons can tell you that flat pedals are the right pick for a mountain biker who is a beginner and has a preference for comfort. The cleats shoes can cause inconvenience and keep your feet locked in place, which may be undesired, especially if you are a biker who likes tricks and keeps it adventurous. Some reasons why you should opt for flat pedals, and if you are currently using clipless, should consider switching are:

  1. You can work on your technique in a more productive manner when using flat pedals. Clipless pedals make preloading or stunts use poor technique.
  2. In contrast to some beliefs, climbing performance is not compromised by flat pedals. If used with the correct body position and hovering and standing techniques, they provide just as much ease in climbing.
  3. Downhill performance exceeds 10 times because the flat pedals provide you with the ability to transfer power more effectively.
  4. It is safer to use flat pedals. They contribute to confidence while learning as they teach you better posture and techniques that can be directly applied to drops and jumps. Clipless pedals require clipping off at the exact moment, which can prove to be tricky and lead to crashing and loss of morale.

Things to deem about while buying the best Mountain Bike Flat Pedals

  1. Materials

It is essential to consider what material is used in the making of the pedals. It will affect the price range of the pedals, its durability, weight, and ultimately impact the performance capacities of the pedal. Mostly, all pedals are either made of metal or some combinations of composite options.

· Metal

These types of pedals are durable. They are sturdy and robust and can withstand rough terrains. They are resistant to pedal strikes against rocks and other such slip-ups without getting scraped or gouged. They are stiff, so they allow better transfer of power while pedaling.

Nylon remains one of the most popular choices of material for pedals as it remains affordable apart from its durability. Apart from it, the next best option remains aluminum. It is more expensive than nylon but still affordable. The hike in price is a tradeoff for better quality, more longevity, and strength.

· Composite Material

The lightest and more expensive pedals are made up of magnesium or titanium. They are admired for being ultralight and even more durable than aluminum pedals. They have the only downside of being harsh on the pocket. They are an investment but pay for themselves in the long run with extreme durability.

When it comes to being budget-friendly, thus, nylon is a friend of entry-level riders who does not wish to spend a fortune. Aluminum is an excellent pick for sturdy and durable pedals while being in an affordable range. The most expensive are the exotic composites like titanium and magnesium, which are lightweight and yet robust and of supreme quality.

  1. Pins

Pins of pedals determine, to a great deal, the strength of the grip between your shoes and the pedals. The more the pins and the longer they are, the better is the grip and so you enjoy more confidence against your feet slipping. The best mountain bike pedals have a series of pins rather than a few, to facilitate firmer grip. About 10-12 pins for each pedal side is deemed appropriate for a good grip.

There are mainly two types of pins that pedals use: permanent pins that are built into the structure of the pedal and removable pins that can be replaced upon wear-and-tear. This difference often brings about a change in pricing.

The cheaper pedals have permanent pins, and so, they have limited grip and life. Once they wear out, they can’t be replaced at all. The better pedals are those with changeable pins.

They allow you to adjust the stickiness of the pedal depending on your preference by adding or removing a certain number of pins. They also permit replacing the broken or worn off pins to increase the life of the pedals. These are customizable and add to the increased life span, and so they are costly.

  1. Pedal Size

The size of the pedal must be just right for maximum performance. The ideal size may be tricky to determine and find. It cannot be too big because if the pedal size exceeds your shoe size, you will not be able to make full use of the pedal pins.

It will result in less than an efficient grip and can prove dangerous. It must not be too small either because then, your foot size would not be distributed evenly, and comfort will be compromised.

The pedal needs to be large enough for you to have enough surface area in contact to give you better control. It can help prevent skidding and slipping of the feet. It should feel a comfortable size and should be compatible with your shoe size.

  1. Shape

The shape of the pedal is determined by its curves and edges. All pedals require a little concavity so that your feet can be cupped comfortably for a better grip. However, this cupping or concavity should be the bare minimum for a "flatter" feel. However, some riders may prefer it otherwise i.e., highly concave. It depends from rider to rider as some may even prefer convexity in pedals.

· Concave Shape

The concavity of a pedal is determined by the difference of height between the highest pin of the pedal and the middle of the pedal body. The main reason for the concavity of pedals is the better grip of feet. A better concavity with better grip results in high traction and comfort.

When pedals are made thinner, this adversely affects their concavity and so has a lesser cupping grip. However, a downside to high concavity is the increased thickness of the pedal. It makes it prone to pedal strikes, which roughen up the biking experience.

· Convex Shape

Just like concavity, convex pedals are designed to fully engage the pins that allow greater traction. And increase grip. One can also achieve similar effects of better grip by raising the pedals' pins in the middle so that the grip is better than would be provided by a completely flat pedal.

  1. Structure

The design of the pedal, how it is structured and framed, can make a lot of difference in the performance of the pedal. A well-structured pedal will provide maximum comfort with high traction along with easy mobility of the foot.

The structure will also determine 4 main things i.e., how easy it is to clean, how many pins it can accommodate for gripping, its concavity or convexity, and the size taken together for a great functioning pedal.

The best flat pedals are light with smooth motility. They have enough surface area for high contact and better control. It makes the pedal have enough strength for bearing hovering and standing techniques as well as take up high power transference.

They are not entirely to be flat, but barely concave for a cupping grip so that your foot finds easy fitting to the pedal. The cut-outs of the pedal facilitate self-cleaning as the hollows do not let debris accumulate. This style also makes the pedal lighter and easy to use.

  1. Serviceable Bearings and Bushings

With the increasing price, quality is bound to be better. And one aspect of a good quality pedal is that it is easily serviceable and easy to repair so that it has a long life. Even the best of bearings and bushings become rusted, dull, or are worn out with continuous usage.

They need to be replaced to keep the pedal in perfect working condition or else; the entire pedal may require replacing. Some pedals, however, will not have replaceable bearings and bushings, which will prevent the extension of the life of that pedal.

It is thus vital that you choose a pedal that can be serviced, and the bearings and bushings can be renewed. Several pedals manufacturers even come an extra mile to provide kits of the serviceable parts. Upon getting a detailed look into a pedal, you will understand that it is the bearing and the bushings that allow the pedal to its mobility and so they must be changed time and again for smooth movement.

  1. Profile

The width of the pedal constitutes its profile. The latest trend has shifted towards pedals with thinner profiles. It is because thinner pedals are less prone to continuous and unwanted flipping. They have more ground tolerance as well as a lower center of gravity.

All of these features add to the increased efficiency of the pedal. Additionally, a thinner pedal is lighter in weight, which is desirable.

The making of a thin pedal which is lightweight and hollow and easy to use but remains durable and houses enough pins for grip and traction can make the manufacturing process expensive. It leads to such pedals becoming more and more costly.

Yet, the price issue remains the only downside to thinner profile pedals as they are less likely to be stricken with rocks and other rough debris. The prevention of pedal strikes not only increases safety but makes the pedal remain as good as new. The grips remain functional for longer, and so the pedal has a longer lifespan.

  1. Q-Factor

The Q-Factor is the distance measured between the centers of both the flat pedals. It is more ideal that the Q-Factor be wider than shorter because this allows your foot to hit the pedal rather than the crank arm. But too wide Q-Factor can make the pedal more likely to strike rocks and can also lead to reduced pedal efficiency.

Often, a narrower Q-Factor is chosen for facilitation in speed, but it does not always remain a good idea. It may begin with higher power and more speed, but it lowers efficiency in the long run with a gradual decreasing speed.

So, for a sustainable performance benefit, a Q-Factor that is not too wide or too narrow, according to the rider, is apt.

  1. Right Shoes

It is essential that you choose pedals that are compatible with your shoes. You may buy either of the two items first, but the other item must fit like a perfect pair to the other. Both the pedal and the shoes depend upon the type of riding you intend to do. It will help you determine whether to give more importance to traction between the shoe and the pedal or is durability and cost a priority.

The features of a good pair of flat pedal shoes are flat bottoms and a rubber compound for stickiness so that traction and gripping are facilitated. These features make your biking suited to the toughest terrain by warding off the danger of slippery feet.

Bikers who are into jumps and tricks prefer lightweight shoes so that thinner soles allow them more precise control. Mountain terrain biking requires that your shoes be heavily padded for protection against trail hazards. An extra layer of protection over the laces is also welcome as it prevents their entanglement with the cycle chain.

  1. Durability

A rough sport like mountain biking requires that the pedals be sturdy and durable to withstand rugged terrain. The pedals are exposed to rough and rocky debris, pedal strikes, and immense strength and power transference. They, thus, need to be resilient to damage and have a long life.

The durability of a pedal is determined by the material used for its makeup, the style, and the profile of the pedal. Metal pedals are the most durable, and so they are high in demand. The longevity of life is expected of any investment, and metal pedals are often expensive but sturdy too. Its serviceability and replacement of pins can also enhance the durability of the pedal.

  1. Pedal Stance

By using axles in the pedals without pedal spanner flats, the platforms can move very close to the crank arm, which is desirable. It is because this improves ground clearance and pedaling efficiency as well. It, however, can lead to a compromise of risking the feet rubbing against the crank arm. It can lead to scraping of the shin. The narrow stance of the pedals also might push the feet outwards and lead to the toes digging into an effective shoe area.

Another consideration is that wider pedals generate more flex and twist in the crank.

  1. Thickness

Minor details like the pedal's thickness, if neglected, can have adverse effects on the performance of the pedals. Very thin flat pedals lead to less rotational momentum and result in weak power transference. Relatively thicker pedals can give you more stability in movement. They can bear more weight and power without snapping off, which is not true for thinner pedals.

However, very thick pedals make for an extra heavy, which can also affect performance. So you must find an appropriate thickness of the pedal for optimum performance.

FAQs

  1. How to ride a bike having flat pedals?

The mechanism of riding a bike is mostly dependent on the way you place your feet on the flat pedals. The foot's ball must be put to the axel's front. It ensures that your feet have a secure grip on the pedals. Thus, you will have an excellent time enjoying the mountain bike ride without any fear of losing balance.

  1. As a beginner mountain biker, how many pins should I use in my flat pedals?

Whether you are a beginner or a professional mountain biker, the apt number of pins required should be anywhere between 10-12. This number is sufficient to keep your pedal intact so that you can ride your bike confidently.

  1. What are the right steps to follow while jumping a mountain bike using a flat pedal?

Follow the given instructions so that you can get an ultimate jumping experience with your mountain bike:

  1. Pull the front wheel by using your upper body and keeping the feet intact on your bike's pedals.
  2. Now you need to push your bike's handlebars to experience a shift in your body weight towards the direction you want to ride.
  3. Land back on your wheels, keep your feet on the flat pedals and hold the handles firmly so that you don't lose balance.
  1. What are the best affordable material flat pedals should I buy?

For beginner mountain bikers, buying a budget-friendly pair of flat pedals is the ideal choice. It is because they are still in the learning stage and may lose balance, often leading to more wear and tear. Thus, we recommend you opt for any of the given options that are both robust and highly durable and at the same time, super-affordable:

  • Nylon
  • Aluminum

The Bottom Line

With this guide, you have now gained all the accurate knowledge about mountain bike flat pedals and how you can pick the right one for your bike.

Once you thoroughly read all the information above, all you need to do is search the best flat pedals available in the market and shortlist a few that fit in your budget.

Then, take some time to select the one that caters to your needs well, and you are all set for your next mountain bike trip.

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