It might be that you've just invested in a new bike, or you simply fancy treating your two-wheeled companion to some new pedals, but having a good quality set of flat pedals that match your riding style is more important than you think.
There are 3 main contact points between you and your bike: Hands, feet and bum. So ensuring you have a suitable set-up for your riding style, and the right components is important for a comfortable ride.
The MTB industry are obsessed with evolving the way we ride. Riders want lighter bikes, stronger components and stylish steeds, and we've seen a lot of developments in this area, especially in the flat pedal market.
The flat pedal is designed to provide optimum surface area for contact between your foot and the bike, whilst being strong enough to withstand pedal power and the occasional bashing.
What to Look for in a Flat Pedal?
SHAPE: It's important to consider the shape of the pedal. Our weight saving obsession has seen pedals getting slimmer, and wider for more efficient pedalling power and a greater level of ground clearance.
PIN PLACEMENT: Pins are really important because they are what grip the pedals to the soles of your shoes. You need a pedal with secure and efficient pin placement so you can get the optimum grip. There are commonly two types of pins: Grub and Thru-Style. Grub pins offer great grip, but are near impossible to remove if they are damaged. Thru-pins are most preferred because they are easier to service and replaced if damaged. For additional security, hex bolts are great because if the Allen head is crushed or clogged up, you can use a spanner to remove them instead.
BEARINGS: Good pedals will have securely sealed internal bearings with rubber o-rings to help prevent grit and dirt getting inside to the axle itself. Pedals are quite easy to service yourself at home with a little know-how and some research.
COLOUR: We're all a little colour coordinated with our riding attire and bikes, so pedals should be no different.
These iconic super slim pedals from Superstar are just 14mm thick. They look great and you can choose between a great range of colours, but let's focus on the features first...
The Delta Evo's have 10 replaceable steel thru-pins per side, evenly distributed for great contact. They come with 3 bearings per axle and an oversized polymer bushing for smooth running. A pair of these weigh 400g, which doesn't make them the lightest, but for an additional £40 you can upgrade to titanium axles and save yourself 70g.
With developmental input from multi-world champ, Sam Hill, Nukeproof pedals are lightweight and durable. Unlike most metal flat pedals, these are constructed from a hardwearing nylon material. This results in a super light pair only weighing 318g, with a Cro-Mo axle.
They have 4 sealed cartridge bearings, and 20 thru-pins per pedal. We love the huge variety of colours available also: Black, White, Yellow, Orange, Blue, Green and Purple.
If you're not bothered by a slim profile, or saving those precious grams, then the Specialized Bennies are a great MTB flat pedal. They are built to take some serious trail beatings with their aluminium body profile of 19mm, and 24 grub pins for extra grip.
The slight concave design adds comfort for the rider, and weighing 430g a pair, makes them the heaviest in the round up.
The highly reputable brand, Burgtec, has become renowned for their Penthouse pedals. Previously designed for downhill racing, they've been reinvented for all-mountain purpose. They're known for the their strength and lasting durability, and we love them.
They have an oversized platform with a 16mm profile, creating a larger surface area for the foot, coupled with easy to remove steel pins. The Penthouse MK4 pedals weigh 440g a pair with a steel axle, and 370g a pair with a titanium axle, but you'll be shelling out an additional £50 for them.
You just can't have a flat pedal round-up without the appearance of the legendary manufacturer, DMR. Their iconic V8 pedals revolutionised the flat pedal, introducing a concave structure which they've since built upon and improved.
The DMR Vaults is the next generation from the classic V8 pedal. They are wide and slim in shape and extremely hard-wearing. Their platform is a clean 115mm x 115m, and a pair weighs and even 400g. They don't have the slimmest profile of the round-up, but 17mm is still pretty good.
You can upgrade from a Cro-Mo axle, to a titanium axle which will reduce the weight by 65g. Oh, and did we mention that they are available in 10 beautiful colours?
Another staple flat pedal in the MTB industry is the legendary Hope F20. Built in Britain at the Hope factory, they are designed with British weather in mind. Super sealed internal cartridge bearings use a Norglide bush to provide long lasting use, whilst keeping the axle safe from dirt, grit and grim.
All the pins are fully replaceable with a titanium option available. A pair of Hope F20's weigh 390g, and lighter still if components are upgraded to titanium.
Race Face are renowned for their innovative and effective bike components, well engineered and constructed to give the rider control and comfort.
The Atlas pedals have a super slim profile of 14.5mm, and a wide aluminium body measuring 101x114mm. All 20 of the pins are hex-head threaded for additional security and ease of removal. The pins have been carefully angled for even better grip with your shoe sole, and it works really well. Even with Cro-Mo steel axles, a pair of these weigh 355g which is pretty light considering there are 4 sealed cartridge bearings.
Good contact shoes are the perfect partner to a good pair of pedals for contact, grip and avoiding those shinners!
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