10 Best Mountain Bike Pedals: Reviews For A Buyer in 2021
Every bike has three main contact points. We have the saddle, hand grips, and pedals. Such components give you control, comfort, and the anchorage you need to sustain traction, whether on a rugged trail or a smooth road.
The best mountain bike pedals enhance your contact with the bike and the terrain. They also come with features that enable you to get the feedback you need to tackle rugged terrain like muddy conditions. Unfortunately, factory-installed pedals often fall short of the mark.
Therefore, you need to take loads of factors into consideration when looking for the best mountain bike pedals. Fortunately, we’ve run an extra mile in our research to tell you all you need to know when buying the best mountain bike pedals.
Why Should You Upgrade Your Mountain Bike Pedals?
Replacing Mountain bike pedals could positively affect the comfort and traction you experience in your mountain biking. This rings true, especially when you try riding on flat pedals with the right SPD cleats.
Here are a few more reasons to upgrade your bike with the best mountain bike pedals:
Toe clips can present an occupational hazard. They work well for most road racers but contribute little to no advantage for mountain bikers. So, your best bet is installing clipless mountain bike pedals.
Efficiency in power transfer is hard to achieve without optimal traction. And that’s what the pins on mountain bike pedals offer. You won’t have to harness your feet to get them to stay in place with the right upgrade.
Changing your pedals can make your bike lighter. Most advanced mountain bike pedals are relatively lighter than factory-installed variants. This means you can transfer more kinetic energy with each stroke of the pedals.
Modern mountain bike pedals are stronger and more durable than conventional pedals. They feature more robust material construction, so they can take anything you throw their way.
What Are the Best Mountain Bike Pedals?
Here’s a selection of the best mountain bike pedals on the market:
Best Universally Compatible Pedals: ROCKBROS MTB Lightweight Nylon Fiber Mountain Bike Pedals
- Material: Nylon Fiber & Cr-Mo
- Color option(s): red, orange, black & green
- Size: 4.7 x 4.1 x 0.78 inches, 0.8 lb.
- Fit: Universal compatibility
- Pins: 10 per side
Are you looking for well-rounded and perfectly balanced pedals? Well, you won’t have to break the bank with ROCKBROS MTB Lightweight Nylon Fiber Mountain Bike Pedals. These clipless mountain pedals help you keep your feet in place through muddy conditions.
The nylon material makes them durable and resistant to corrosion. You’re also safe as you ride through wet conditions because the bearings are sealed. These flat pedals are just the right size and will fit the average rider.
Despite the lightweight proportions, they have a broad support platform size that adds to their agronomic and support factor. These ROCKBROS pedals also come with a CR-L and CR-R, which makes them easy to install.
- Well-proportioned and balanced
- Grippy replaceable pins
- All-weather and terrain performance
- Standard features
- Too small for some
Best All-terrain Mountain Bike Pedals: Shimano PD-M828 Saint flat Mountain Bike pedals
- Material: Anodized Aluminum & Chromoly Steel
- Color option(s): Chrome on Black
- Size: 6.3 x 5.12 x 2.36 inches; 5.29 Oz.
- Fit: trail and mountain bikes
- Pins: 12 pins per side
Shimano PD-M828 Saint flat is one of the best mountain bike pedals for loads of reasons. For starters, these concave pedals are ideal for any terrain. They can take a beating thanks to robust aluminum and Chromoly steel construction. So you don’t need to hold back as you power through any terrain.
Each pedal features 10 pins, which means you get excellent grip and traction. These Shimano PD-M828 Saint flat Mountain Bike pedals are not your typical concave pedals. They are engineered with a proprietary ‘fore-aft concave’ design. This means you’re assured of support and comfort even on bumpy trails fraught with obstacles.
Another handy bonus is that Shimano PD-M828 Saint flat Mountain Bike pedals come in 2 sizes. Therefore, you can get the best fit, which makes life easier on the trails.
- Robust construction
- Varied pin length for enhanced traction
- Mud block the small openings
Best Clipless Mountain Bike Pedals: Funn Mamba Clipless Mountain Bike Pedal Set
- Material: aluminium alloy (AL6061)
- Color option(s): red & black
- Size: 4 x 4.01 x 0.53 inches, 1lb.
- Fit: Mountain Bikes, Downhill Enduro, & Freeride
- Pins: 4 per side
The Funn Mamba Clipless Mountain Bike Pedal Set has all the marks of ideal mountain biking and downhill riding pedals. They may come with only 4 pins per side, but you get plenty of traction and support with these clipless mountain bike pedals. The greasing system is also worth raving about. It features a small port that allows you to re-grease minus the hustle of taking the pedals off your bike.
The Funn Mamba Clipless Mountain Bike Pedal Set features a fixed bearing system. So, you get an excellent level of pedal engagement that you won’t get with floating alternatives. It’s also compatible with most Shimano SPD cleats. So, you can fit it onto any bike with ease.
- Compatible with Shimano SPD cleats
- Time-saving re-greasing system
- Durable alum-steel construction
- Support platform too wide for some
- Premium price point
Best Unisex Traction Pads: CHROMAG Dagga Unisex Adult Mountain Bike Pedals
- Material: 6061-T6 aluminum & Rubber
- Color option(s): Black & luminous shads
- Size: 5.5 x 9.7 x 1.9 inches; 1 lbs.
- Fit: extreme downhill and mountain bikes
- Pins: 12 per side
At first sight, CHROMAG Dagga Unisex Adult Mountain Bike Pedals looks intimidating with its long pins and large platform. These pedals have 12 pins per side for adequate grip. But, nothing on this list gives you the traction needed to tear down rugged hills and extreme downhill obstacles.
These flat Canadian pedals have a slim profile, which means they are engineered for downhill riding. The extra-long pins may present an occupational hazard. But, none on this list come the grip-ability of CHROMAG Dagga Unisex Adult Mountain Bike Pedals. Best of all, they come in exciting shades of luminous so you can add a touch of style.
1. Engineered for downhill riding
2. Uncompromising grip-ability
3. Aggressive pin profile
1. Extra-long pins present a hazard
2. Unsuitable for users with a laid back riding style
Best Flat Trial Mountain Bike Pedals: Shimano XT Deore PD-T8000 SPD Trekking Mountain Bike Pedals
- Material: Forged alloy and Cr-Mo
- Color option(s): Black
- Size: 4.61 x 8.46 x 2.64 inches; 13.83 Oz.
- Fit: Enduro, trial, and mountain bikes
- Pins: 8 pins per side
The best thing with these Shimano XT Deore PD-T8000 SPD Trekking Mountain Bike Pedals is their comprehensive SPD compatibility. They are also easy to install so that you can fit them on any bike, and you’re good to go. These concave pedals have a flat profile that features 8 versatile pins on each side. This concave shape ensures your feet remain firmly nestled on the pedals as you ride.
However, the pins are a bit on the high side, so it may be wise to exercise a measure of causing when mounting or dismounting your bike. And, you get loads of mileage from this SPD compatible flat mountain bike pedal.
- Wide support platform
- Effective Anti-skid mechanism
- SPD Shimano compatibility
- Long pins
- Fewer color options
Best Non-metal Mountain Bike Pedals: OneUp Components Aluminum Pedals
- Material: Nylon composite with Chromoly steel components
- Color option(s): 8
- Size: 6 x 5 x 3 inches; 1.1 lbs.
- Fit: mountain bikes & hybrid bikes
- Pins: 10 per side
OneUp Components Aluminum Pedals offer the best value for money on our list. They are made from aluminum remolded in composite nylon. Such a factor significantly reduces the production cost without impacting the performance. Each pedal features 10 pins per side that are held firmly in place. You’ll also enjoy the ease at which one has in mounting or dismounting these concave pedals.
The only drawback is that removing the pins can be challenging. OneUp Components Aluminum Pedals have a broad support platform that accommodates most shoe sizes. Their leading-edge is also thick and streamlined. And, all these factors culminate in perhaps the most stable mountain bike pedals on our list.
- Value for money product
- Comfy grip
- 5-star rating on MTBR
- Low pin count
- Tedious pin removal process
Best Mountain Bike Pedals For Stunts: Crank Brothers Stamp 3 Platform Mountain Bike Pedals
- Material: Chromoly steel
- Color option(s): 7
- Size: 6 x 8 x 3 inches; 1.05 Lbs.
- Fit: BMX and Mountain Bikes
- Pins: 10 per side
Crank Brothers Stamp 3 Platform Mountain Bike Pedals allow you to challenge various terrain conditions with such versatility. They also fit most bikes with such ease they’ll fill like your old ones. These concave pedals have a large platform that fits shoe sizes 5 to 10. You can even perform bunny hops and other stunts, minus the fear of slipping.
Each pedal features 10 adjustable pins, which means you can gauge the amount of traction and grip you need. Crank brothers thought of everything as these pedals are quite durable despite their lightweight profile. These concave pedals are thick, so you’ll use them for years to come. It’s no small wonder the mountain biking community received Crank Brothers Stamp 3 Platform Mountain Bike Pedals with such enthusiasm.
- Streamlined concave pedal shape
- Sturdy construction
- Accommodates most foot sizes
- Wide height profile
- Some find the spindle bump a bit obtrusive
Best Technical Riding Mountain Bike Pedals: Race Face Chester Mountain Bike Pedal
- Material: Chromoly Steel & Nylon composite
- Color option(s): 8 plus
- Size: 11 x 6 x 2 inches; 15.87 Oz.
- Fit: Trail, FR & DH
- Pins: 8 per side
Race Face Chester Mountain Bike Pedals are specially engineered for technical riding. But you can also use them for touring and mountain biking. They feature 8 pins per pedal in a hex pattern with an adequate support platform. This means you get excellent traction and grip as you challenge any terrain.
The body is made of durable composite nylon material, while the axle features Chromoly steel. The axle is also sealed tight to prevent water and dirt infiltration. Such construction details give Race Face Chester Mountain Bike Pedal a lightweight profile and enhanced durability. They are also easy to take off and service, a factor that saves you loads of time and undue anxiety.
- Lightweight yet durable
- Easy to service
- A tad on the bulky side
- These pedals spin slower than most
Best Versatile Mountain Bike Pedals: Alston 3 Bearings Mountain Bike Pedals
- Material: Aluminum alloy
- Color option(s): 9
- Size: 4.85 x 3.94 x 0.69 inches; 0.72lbs
- Fit: BMX, folding, urban, unicycles, mountain, and other types of bikes
- Pins: 8 per side
Alston has been in the bike component game for over 50 years. Alston 3 Bearings Mountain Bike Pedals bear a make of durability and experience to your mountain biking. Each pedal comes with 3 bearing systems, which ensure smooth pedaling with minimal noise. This also keeps the pedals flat, stable, and supportive.
As for quality? Alston 3 Bearings Mountain Bike Pedals feature a robust aluminum body backed by Chromoly steel spindles. Such construction means they’ll outlast most conventional metallic pedals. To add to your efficiency, Alston put 10 pins per side. The gasket features a unique Du material that keeps dust and other debris out. Plus, they accommodate a foot size of up to 15.
- Easy to install
- Wide support platform
- Available in a variety of colors
- Heavyweight profile
- Incompatible with hex pedal wrenches
Best Mountain Bikes Pedals For Women: DMR Vault-Midi Mountain Bike Pedals
- Material: nylon composite Chromoly steel
- Color option(s): 8
- Size: 9.65 x 5.63 x 1.38 inches; 1.22 lbs.
- Fit: Mountain bikes, enduro
- Pins: 8 per side
DMR Vault-Midi Mountain Bike Pedals are built to address the concerns of riders with small feet. These concave pedals come with the same thickness and pin positioning as standard DMR pedals. However, the axle has a higher load DU bush and bearing system profile. The pins are also interchangeable with other DMR models.
Each pedal has 8 pins per side, which you can adjust to meet the tread pattern and sole thickness of your shoes. This means you ride in any type of shoes. Talk about convenience! The DMR Vault-Midi Mountain Bike Pedals are compatible with Shimano SPD clips. So, you don’t need any crazy DIY modifications to get it to fit your mountain bike.
- Height adjustable pins
- Super-light profile
- Robust Titanium axle
- It Doesn’t come with alternate spacers or pin sizes
- Supports riders of up to 187 lbs.
Factors to Consider When Looking For the Best Mountain Bike Pedals
The Size and Shape of the Platform
Mountain bike pedals come in many shapes and sizes. This makes zeroing in on the best that more of a challenge. The following ground rules make things a bit clearer:
1. The size
The larger the support platform, the more even weight distribution. This also determines the comfort and level of traction you experience as you power up or down a hill or negotiate obstacles. The size of the pedal should also match your shoe size. You may not be able to engage all the pins if the pedal is too big for your shoe size. That’s why it’s wise to consider the maximum shoe size when looking for the best mountain bike pedals.
Most of these pedals are flat. But, some come in a concave or convex shape. Each has its set of advantages and disadvantages:
- Convex platform pedals
Concave pedals give your feet more flexibility. This means you can move your feet with a degree of freedom, and it’s also easier to adjust the pedals to conform to your riding style.
- Concave platform pedals
Concave pedals allow you to sink your feet deeper into the pedal’s center of gravity. This maximizes your grip and will enable you to transmit kinetic energy with ease as your ride.
3. Pin Dynamics
Number of pins
The rule of thirds is simple when it comes to pins. The higher the number of pins, the higher the grip and traction you achieve. From the list, you can see that the lowest pin count is 4, and it goes all the way to 12. So the decision on how many pins you need falls on your shoulders.
4. Servicing and customization
It may also be wise to consider whether you want a pedal with replaceable pins or not. Some mountain bike pedals also come with adjustable pins, while others don’t. Many seasoned riders prefer something customizable. This is because pins wear out with use and get less grippy with time.
The general rule here is, the lighter the pedal, the more comfort and traction you can achieve. However, you should shop around to ensure your choice is durable enough to take whatever you throw at it. This is because some manufacturers compromise on a pedal’s durability by using cheaper materials and production techniques.
Best Mountain Bike Pedals: FAQs
1. What Are the Best Mountain Bike Flat Pedals?
The Shimano PD-M828 Saint flat Mountain Bike pedals seem to stand as one of the best clipless options on our list. These concave mountain bike pedals have a more advanced gripping system thanks to innovative pin placement and adjustability.
Such features ensure optimal traction and enhanced comfort on long-distance journeys.
Alston 3 Bearings Mountain Bike Pedals also make a strong case and should probably have featured higher on our list. For one, they have over five decades of experience in manufacturing biking components.
Their products have Shimano SPD compatibility and are made from the most rigid materials on the list. So, it makes a great choice if you’re looking for durability and enhanced performance.
2. Are Clips in Pedals Better For Mountain Biking?
The debate between the flat and clipless pedal still rages on. Perhaps, it may never be settled once and for all. So, it may be easier for you to look at the pros and cons of either and decide which row of the aisle suits you.
Advantages of flat mountain bike pedals
- It’s easier to bail out of flats whenever things don’t go your way.
- They make it easier for you to finesse your riding skills and even perform maneuvers such as bunny hops.
- You get a better feel of the terrain, which is essential when riding on uneven surfaces or muddy conditions.
- You can adjust your foot positioning while you cycle.
Drawbacks of flat mountain bike pedals
- Pedal pins present an occupational hazard, especially if you slip from your pedestal.
- Your feet can slip off the pedals in the face of bumpy trails or steel downhill descends.
Advantages of a clipless pedal
- A Clipless pedal firmly attaches to your feet. This gives you adequate traction for a smoother pedaling experience.
- They make cornering easier as your feet attain the right positioning.
- You get more stability when hopping over various features and obstacles of your terrain.
- You won’t slide off the pedals.
Drawbacks of a clipless pedal
- Un-clipping can be a bit of a challenge, especially when you need to get off your bike as quickly as possible.
- You can have a nasty fall if you forget to unclip before hitting the brakes.
3. Are Metal Pedals Better Than Plastic?
Plastic pedals tend to cost less and weigh less than metal pedals. However, the trade-off is plastic is less durable and offers fewer enhancements to your riding experience. That also means plastic pedals come at a lower price point. That’s a good deal, but then again, you get a better bearing system on metal mountain bike pedals.
Metal pedals grab hold of your feet for adequate traction, while plastic pedals tend to slide. Plastic mountain bike pedals are also available in more colors as opposed to metallic variants. Your choice comes down to your riding style and other personal factors.
Therefore, it may be wise to shop around and do a little research before splurging on mountain bike pedals.
As you can see, settling on the best mountain bike pedals can be difficult if you don’t know what to consider. And, with so many brands and models, the difference between authentic and knock-off can get blurry.
That’s why we hope this list and buyers guide will help you make the most educated purchase. So please keep it handy when scouring the web for the best mountain bike pedals on the market.