Best Mountain Bike Pedals

Mountain Bike Pedals - Reviews & Guides For 2020

Our Top Mountain Bike Pedals

Need Help Choosing Mountain Bike Pedals?

Mountain Bike Pedals buying guide

Love to take your mountain bike to different and challenging terrain? Opt for suitable mountain bike pedals to have proper control over the speed and thrust of your bike.

The pedals allow you to control the speed and motion of your bike. You can quickly change the thrust according to the terrain and enjoy your sport safely.

While selecting pedals, you have to look into certain characteristics like size, shape, style, and other additional properties. With several models available in the market, you have to pin down the one that suits your needs and is compatible with your bike.

For this, you have to study every aspect of the product. Researching all the information online can waste a lot of your valuable time, and you may even end with incorrect details. A comprehensive buying guide provides you with all the essential information under one roof.

You can quickly go through the pointers and analyze the models with your requirements to funnel down the best product for your bike.

However, before all this, you must know the advantages of the product. So, let us start with a brief introduction and then dive deep into this immense pool of information.

What are Mountain Bike Pedals, and why should you buy them?

Cycling is an effective workout, and many people prefer it over any other exercise. The muscles of your legs become stronger and healthier, and the entire body gets toned.

While cycling is fun on the plains, some individuals prefer it even in the mountains to satisfy their adrenaline rush. The thrill and excitement are unmatchable. Keeping in mind the terrains and future challenges, mountain bikes are specially designed to be used while moving in the mountains.

These bikes are geared and have a specific design to help the rider use them effortlessly. If the bike's overall design is entirely different from a regular bike, the pedals are no exception.

Mountain bike pedals are the essential parts of any mountain bike, without which using them will be difficult. They have many more features in them, which is attraction seeking and so, you should consider buying one.

The power you exert by your legs is converted into useful energy by these pedals, helping the bike move forward. These sturdy pedals offer high-performance on the rugged terrain. They have incredible durability and provide you the necessary support for better biking experience.

So, the next time you plan to ride on the mountains with your friends, don't forget to replace your bike's old pedals with a new pair of these robust pedals for mountain bikes.

Types of Mountain Bike Pedals

There are typically two variants of these pedals, and they are listed below. These two variants are not much different from each other, but some features make the difference. They are manufactured to meet your convenience and provide you the desired results.

Many riders get confused about whether to opt for the flat pedals or the clipless ones, and we are here to remove that confusion. Both of them have their pros and cons about which you should know before opting for your suitable match. Hence, scrutinize them and make the most out of the one that you choose for.

  1. Flat or platform pedals

These pedals are the most popular ones and found on many bikes. They form the best pair of pedals that are ideal for beginner riders. Since they perform many tricks while riding, their shoes don't have to be clipped, and hence flat pedals are the best choices for them.

Pros:

  • You can take your foot off the pedal whenever you want.
  • These pedals are useful while riding slippery terrain and the unknown trails you have visited for the first time.
  • These pedals are meant just for you if you perform tricks while riding and indulge in slopestyle riding.
  • They are the perfect choice if you want to use your regular shoes and don't want to buy shoes dedicated only for mountain biking.

Cons:

  • Your foot can slip anytime off the pedal, putting your life in danger.
  • Doesn't provide adequate support for fast pedaling
  1. Clipless pedals

Though their name is clipless, they actually 'Clip-in' onto your shoes. These pedals have a small cleat that gets attached to your shoes and keeps them in place. The riders who ride daily and are professional bikers use these pedals. The reason professionals use them lies in their efficiency and the ability to keep your shoes in place.

Pros:

  • These pedals provide high efficiency and performance.
  • They help keep your foot in the designated place and provide adequate support to ride on rough terrains.
  • They help you in controlling your bike effectively and give you enjoyable riding experience.

Cons:

  • They are not too convenient to use and are used only by professional riders.
  • You cannot take off your feet from the pedals suddenly because the cleat has to be removed.

Things to deem about while selecting appropriate Mountain Bike Pedals

Mountain bikes are very famous, and so are their pedals. These pedals are manufactured in large numbers to meet the increasing demands and fill the market with sufficient pieces.

There are many pedals available that feature different designs, styles, and serve other functions.

To find the perfect one for you is quite tricky and can be difficult. You may also need to browse through innumerable irrelevant articles and scan the reviews, which prove to be of no use. This process is tedious and kills the enthusiasm inside you.

For a thrilling experience, you need to maintain the same zeal and buy yourself a suitable one. We have come up with this comprehensive buying guide for these great pedals to help you surpass the challenging task.

All you need to do is refer to the sections mentioned in this guide and look for the crucial features in the pedal you have chosen. After you have found a suitable one for you, invest in it, and bring home your biking companion.

Let's get started and pick out the best mountain bike pedals that will provide you long years of service without any further ado.

Size

All the pedals feature the same size irrespective of the gender and the type of bike you are using. There are no size specifications mentioned, and all these pedals come in a standard size. However, you can select a pedal in terms of the height of your pedal's platform.

Mountain bike pedals allow you to ride anywhere with ease, and no hindrance is caused. Your riding style isn't affected while the convenience is at its peak. Thanks to the desired platform height, riding has become much more comfortable and fun.

If you opt for the clipless pedals, you will find that they have a uniform size and height of the platform, which gives you the desired support while riding at an incredible speed in that rugged terrain. In the flat pedals, you will find thinner and lower platforms.

This design of these flat pedals keeps you comfortable and enables you to pedal efficiently. Despite being lower in height, they don't hit any rocks or bushes at the ground level, which lets you pedal with ease and at the desired speed without worrying about any accidents.

Shape

The shape of the pedal denotes the amount of grip that you will get. In the case of a clipless pedal, the shape doesn't play a significant role because your shoe will be clipped to it using a cleat. This connection enhances the grip automatically as your foot doesn't slip.

If you opt for flat or platform pedals, the shape is a vital aspect that needs to be considered. Its shape affects your riding style as you need to ensure that your foot stays in a better position while riding.

To lay your hands on a good pair of flat pedals, look for the ones that have a concave shape. This concave design provides stability and adequate support to your foot. Make sure that the concaveness is not too much as it can have the opposite effect.

A slight indentation is enough to place your foot accurately on the platform and ride with ease. This shape is suitable for the new bikers as they can perfectly put their feet and ride well.

Release tension

While using a clipless pedal, you need to release the cleat attached to your shoe to free your foot from the pedal and place it on the ground. This releasing action and the pressure required to do it is known as the release tension.

If you are afraid that your foot might accidentally slip off the pedal midway, you should search for variants with higher release tension as it requires enormous pressure to release the cleat.

However, the best pedals strike the right balance of this tension and help you release your foot faster and place it on the ground. This fast release prevents you from falling by helping you maintain the desired balance.

You will also find variants that have adjustable tension with a spring. This design enables you to regulate the amount of tension by rotating the spring.

You should remember the vital principle while opting for the pedals according to which a variant with higher tension will hold onto your shoe more securely. In comparison, the one with lower pressure will be easy to disconnect.

Functionality

Mountain bike pedals are famous for their high functionality and are used by many riders. They don't break while you are using them or storing them in your garage. The durable materials they are made of and the robust construction add up to make these crucial bikes' gears the most efficient.

These pedals are designed to endure heavy-duty usage and withstand rugged use. They have sealed bearings, which is another crucial factor that you should look for while purchasing them. These bearings help the pedals stay attached to your bike firmly.

The presence of these bearings also prevents your pedals from getting damaged by rough materials like rocks, debris, etc.

Also, search for variants that have replaceable parts that ensure that you can use these pedals for longer. If you find these replaceable parts damaged, you can replace them with the new ones and use them further.

Float

To stay comfortable while riding, you should have some space to move your feet to maintain the blood flow and pedal smoothly. There is plenty of room in flat pedals, while the clipless pedals have a different story.

Being connected to a cleat, you don't get to move your foot freely while riding. The room available to move your foot in these pedals is measured in degrees and known as the pedals' float.

Mountain bike pedals have a float of 13 to 20 degrees, but you will also find variants with a lower float of only 6 degrees. Hence, you must emphasize more on the float settings of these pedals before investing in them.

If you opt for a clipless pedal with a lower float setting, you will not experience a smooth ride and will be annoyed. While on the other hand, if you choose one with a significantly higher degree setting, you might not be able to disconnect it quickly and will fall.

Therefore, search for the variants that offer moderate float settings with the option of disconnecting them from any direction. This type of setting will help you ride effortlessly and prevent any injuries.

Pins

Pins are tiny structures present on your bike's pedals that provide you a firm grip. These structures are similar to the spikes found in the sprinters' shoes but are not that sharp.

These pins prevent your shoe from slipping off the pedal by digging deep into the soles. Some variants also feature adjustable pins that let you decide the amount of traction you want and adjust them accordingly.

You can opt for short pins when planning for cross-country riding. Medium pins enable you to ride on the trails while the tallest ones are desired by the aggressive riders who plan for downhill rides.

Platform

The mountain bike pedals' platform is sturdy and robust, enabling you to put your entire body weight on them while they provide adequate support to you.

Clipless pedals feature a standard size, but the platform has enough room to accommodate your foot and connect the cleat system effortlessly. If you opt for flat pedals, the requirements change. Flat pedals should have large platforms equipped with multiple pins.

The large size enables your foot to rest on it comfortably and get the pins' support and grip. A large area means more pins, which in turn means a better grip. Since flat pedals lack the cleat system, it is necessary to have more pins so that your foot doesn't slip.

Clipless Pedals and Shoe Compatibility

While using clipless pedals, you should ensure that you are using a shoe compatible with the clipless system. If the shoe isn't compatible, you cannot ride properly, and all the investment on this pedal will be a sheer waste.

Before purchasing the shoes, you should know that mountain bike shoes have two-cleat systems, while road bike shoes have three cleat systems. Besides, the shoe shape and that of the pedal also matter. Some variants of both the shoes match because they have the same curvature and sole patterns.

Clipless pedals are more suitable for these types of shoes as the shape, and the number of pins matches and, when combined, provide adequate support to you. Don't opt for the ones with flat soles because they won't be as efficient as these shoes.

However, the shoe choice depends entirely on your preference, but you should check both the pedal and the shoe's compatibility before any purchase. If ill-opted, they can affect the traction offered and hinder your ride.

Materials

Mountain bike pedals are constructed either of metals or nylon and plastic composites, which provide durability and strength to these pedals. Let's have a look at these metals closely to decide which one you should opt for.

  1. Metals

Metals are incredibly durable and don't get damaged easily. Pedals made of metal are suitable for use in rugged terrains, where you will find many rocks that might damage your pedal. They are stiff and transfer all the power generated by your legs to the wheel for fast speed.

  1. Composites

Pedals made of composite materials have all the goodness of nylon and plastics. They are lightweight and robust but are highly susceptible to damages. When used in trails full of rock and other debris, they get damaged due to the scrapes. Though they get damaged quickly, they are highly affordable and less expensive than metals.

How To Use Clipless MTB Pedals?

Many beginners find clipless pedals to be daunting when they initially use it, but they become familiar with it after further practice. Once they get acquainted with these pedals, they don't prefer the flat or platform pedals.

To help you get familiar with the not-so-intimidating pedal, we have listed some helpful steps that you need to follow while using these pedals. Believe us, once you get the hang of it, you won't be leaving it. So, let's see how to use the clipless MTB Pedals.

Step-1: Support

When you are using it initially, hold on to sturdy support or practice next to a wall. This support will keep you stable while you are practicing the clipping and disconnecting techniques.

Step-2: Clipping

Start by placing the cleat on the pedal using downward pressure. Slide the cleat forward to put it in its position. Some cleats have two sides, which makes no difference and so you need not worry about the side you are clipping.

Practice clipping the cleat with both feet, and once you have mastered it, you can go for a ride all by yourself. It is better to start with the foot you use first to strike the pedal and after you have gained decent stability, try clipping it with the other foot.

Step-3: Unclipping

Unclipping is the most effortless process because you have to twist your heel slightly and pull your foot out. Though unclipping is effortless, you should remember to unclip your foot; otherwise, you will fall.

But the best part is, as you start to fall, your foot automatically disconnects from the cleat, rescuing from the tangled up situation that you might have faced if this feature wouldn't be there.

FAQs

  1. What is the best material suited for beginners?

Plastic pedals are the best-suited one for beginners. They are excellent for occasional riding and can be comfortably maneuvered on different terrain surfaces. The pedals are light and easy to control. However, they are not as durable as the metal and carbon fiber variants.

  1. I am looking to opt for top-rated pedals for my bike. Which material should I look for while making a suitable purchase?

You should opt for pedals fabricated with carbon fiber or metal. They are robust, powerful, and exceptionally durable. They allow your feet to make proper grip and contact so that you can have the desired power and thrust.

Also, they have a high threshold against the wear and tear of mountain biking and will last for a long time.

  1. Are clipless pedals worth their value?

If you are looking to hone your skill to the next level and bike around tight corners, then you should invest in the clipless pedals. These pedals ensure full contact with your feet every time you ride. Guaranteeing 100% contact, you can quickly maneuver the speed and power and also try new moves on your bike.

However, at times of emergencies, you may find it quite tricky to disconnect from the pedals. So, analyze your riding style and make an informed decision while selecting the pedals for your bike.

Final Verdict

Mountain bike pedals allow you to control the thrust and power of your bike with ease. To get optimum control, all you need is to invest in the right option.

Here, in this guide, we have laid out all the critical pointers that will aid you in your selection process. Go through them and purchase an elite product for your bike.

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