Written by 1:47 am MTB, MTB Gears

My Best Mountain Bike Pedals (Reviews & Buying Guide)



Best for mountain riders on a budget
Best Mountain Bike Pedals
RaceFace Chester
-Weight: 340g
-Type: Platform/Flat
-Material: Nylon composite (body), Chromoly steel (axle)
  • Inexpensive
  • incredibly lightweight
  • Durable
  • great tract
  • A not so great look
Best for rides or even races in the mud, and any other unfavorable conditions
Best Mountain Bike Pedals
Crank Brothers Egg Beater 3
-Weight: 280g
<-Type: clipless
  •  Material: forged Chromoly steel,
    • High performance
    • reliable
    • premium component
    • high mud-shedding capabilities
    • pedal is relatively small
    • Pricey
    Best for riders looking for efficient clipless pedals but would still want to save money
    Best Mountain Bike Pedals
    Shimano Deore XT M8020
    -Weight: 408g
    -Type: clipless
    -Material: Chromoly steel
    • Robust construction
    • superb stability
    • adjustable
    • A bit heavy
    • extremely small
    Best for Enduro riding  and racing as well
    Best Mountain Bike Pedals
    Crank Brothers Mallet Enduro
    -Weight: 420g
    -Type: clipless
    -Material: Chromoly Steel
    • Versatile design
    • easy to install
    • customizable
    • large platform
    • Heavier than its alternative
    Best for riders looking for a lightweight option for cross country rides
    Best Mountain Bike Pedals
    Time ATAC XC 8 Carbon
    -Weight:  284g
    -Type: clipless,
    -Material: Hollow steel/flat
    • Ridiculously lightweight
    • self-cleaning
    • easy to install
    • relatively small platform
    • expensive
    Best for all-round trail riding and adventures
    Best Mountain Bike Pedals
    VP Components VP-Vice
    -Weight: 406g
    -Type: platform/flat
    -Material: CNC machined aluminum
    • Great design
    • lightweight
    • great grip
    • sealed cartridge bearing
    • Available in only one size
    Best for female riders and children
    Best Mountain Bike Pedals
    Swank Spoon Bicycle
    -eight: 420g
    -Type: Flat/Platform
    -Material: Forged chromo
    • Versatile design
    • durable
    • strong
    • colors are said to come off almost immediately
    Best for all-mountain and downhill riding
    Best Mountain Bike Pedals
    Shimano PD-MX80
    -Weight: 494g 
    -Type: Flat/Platform
    -Material: alloy
    • Affordable
    • Robust
    • sleek design
    • adjustable pins
    • Relatively heavy for some riders




    RaceFace Chester

    •  Weight: 340g
    •  Type: Platform/Flat
    •  Material: Nylon composite (body), Chromoly steel (axle)
    •  Pros:  Inexpensive, incredibly lightweight, Durable, great tract
    •   Cons: A not so great look


    Crank Brothers Egg Beater 3MTB Pedal 

    • Weight: 280g
    • Type: clipless
    •  Material: forged Chromoly steel
    •  Pros:  High performance, reliable, premium component, high mud-shedding capabilities
    • Cons: pedal is relatively small, Pricey

    Shimano Deore XT M8020 Trail MTB Pedals

    •  Weight: 408g
    •  Type: clipless
    •  Material: Chromoly steel
    •  Pros:  Robust construction, superb stability, adjustable
    •  Cons: A bit heavy, extremely small


    Crank Brothers Mallet Enduro MTB Pedals

    • Weight: 420g
    •  Type: clipless
    •  Material: Chromoly Steel
    •  Pros: Versatile design, easy to install, customizable, large platform
    •  Cons: Heavier than its alternative


    Time ATAC XC 8 Carbon Pedals

    • Weight:  284g
    •  Type: clipless,
    •  Material: Hollow steel/flat
    •  Pros: Ridiculously lightweight, self-cleaning, easy to install
    •  Cons: relatively small platform, expensive


    VP Components VP-Vice

    •  Weight: 406g
    •  Type: platform/flat
    •  Material: CNC machined aluminum
    •  Pros: Great design, lightweight, great grip, sealed cartridge bearing
    •  Cons: Available in only one size


    Swank Spoon Bicycle Pedal

    • Weight: 420g
    •  Type: Flat/Platform
    •  Material: Forged chromo
    •   Pros: Versatile design, durable, strong
    •   Cons: colors are said to come off almost immediately


    Shimano PD-MX80

    •  Weight: 494g 
    •  Type: Flat/Platform
    • Material: alloy
    •  Pros:  Affordable, Robust, sleek design, adjustable pins
    •  Cons: Relatively heavy for some riders


    How To Choose The Best Mountain Bike Pedals:

    For you to nail a perfect set of pedals there are a number of things you need to factor in at all times.

    Platform or Clipless Pedals

    Which one should you really go for? Ideally, when you are out there combing through places and comparing different types of mountain bike pedals you may want to decide if you need a platform or clipless pedals. To help you make a very informed choice, let’s take a quick look at each one of them.

    Platform/ Flat Pedals

    This design has been there for one of the longest periods. It is one of the oldest types of MTB pedals and you will find them in most entry-level bikes. It is often made from plastic and at times a type of metal.  In the recent past, these types of pedals have continued to be refined and they are now sleeker, light and grippier than never before. Although it is probably one of the oldest forms of a pedal, it is still being loved by many riders because of a number of reasons. Most say it is just as stable as clipless pedals. Here is why is it still quite popular.

    • With platform pedals, you don’t really have to acquire some special shoes in order to use them. If you can get a tough pair of shoes with a flat bottom, you can’t go wrong
    • Compared to clipless, platform pedals are incredibly cheap. For you to have them, you won’t be forced to dig dipper into your pocket
    • It is an amazing option for riders who are trying to learn to ride for the first time. It is easy to get off the bike in case of potential danger.
    • They are incredibly light.
    • It is also great for those dangerous downhill rides.


    In the end, really, platform still does offer excellent benefits. However, if you are looking for a tough foot pedal attachment for those gruesome rides, you may want to go for clipless pedals

    Clipless Pedals

    One of the newest technologies in the market; it outdoes the platform pedals in a number of ways and that is why these forms of pedals are fast gaining more and more popularity. It set up is incredibly simple, but the number of things you could actually do with these pedals will blow you mind.  Clipless pedals often come with a special cleat that is seamlessly attached to a specific mountain bike shoe.

    This actually gives you a true connection between the pedal and your foot itself. All you need to do is to step on the pedal and release the clips by twisting your heel to the side. It can take a bit of practice to pull this off, but with time you will get used to. Here some of the practical benefits you can net from this form of pedals.

    • Clipless pedals are all about improved efficiency. Energy is seamlessly transferred all through the pedal stroke.
    • Enhanced handling: Clipless pedal are the best for technical rides. They can effectively keep your foot on the bike even on some of the bumpiest rides ever. This will make things a bit easier for you.
    • Compact and small: clipless pedals are smaller than platform pedals. This can make the clearing of rocks or any other obstacle along the trail a bit easy. They are also incredibly lighter, reducing the overall weight of your bike.


    Clipless pedals do come with their own share of issues. It is all about the price. This option sits right at the top of the price range. They are expensive. Plus you will be forced to get a special shoe for these pedals. If you are on a budget, you might be forced to hurt your wallet a bit. Secondly, since your foot is fixed on the pedal, it can get really difficult to bail off the bike in case of an emanating danger like collision or even a fall, because your foot is fixed on the pedal.

    Combo Pedals

    This is pretty much a combination of the two pedals; platform and clipless. Combo pedals bring all those features you see on platform and clipless pedals in on complete package. With combo pedals, you get a reasonably wide platform alongside a clipping mechanism.

    We have quite a number of styles of combo pedals. For example, there is one that features a clip on one side and platform on the other. In other cases, you will find one with a clip integrated right into the platform and on both sides.

    Most people prefer this option because of the amount of versatility it comes with. It is a perfect option if you are looking for a handful of applications, and would still want to be clipped.


    It is not popular among riders because of a number of reasons.  One should you decide to go for these types of pedals, There is always the penalty of weight. Secondly, combo pedals feature only one clip on one side that is said to keep on rotating, making the clip side point towards the ground. This makes the whole setup quite cumbersome.


    The kind of weather you will be using the pedals on is paramount. As when you are buying mountain bike saddles, it must be factored in at all times. There are different pedals in the market which have been designed to handle different conditions. For this, when making a purchase of your mountain bike pedals, you need to know exactly the kind of condition you will be dealing with and move onward from there. For example, if you are going to have to deal with technical terrains, you need a solid piece of pedals that can effectively handle that.

    Spindle Length

    We currently have quite a number of spindle lengths and you can choose one based on your needs. The choice you make must be a perfect fit. Those flat pedals often tend to vary in width and that is because of a number of reasons. For example, if you don’t want your heels to rub your chainstay, a set of pedals with longer spindle length will be a more practical choice. However, this will come with a few consequences. It may change the overall angle of the pedal stroke, and that will put more pressure on your knees.

    Multi Release Cleats

    Most low and middle entry bike pedals come with a cleat that releases laterally. However, for better performance, a design that comes with a multi-release cleats feature will make a lot of sense. This provides a much better angle.

    Clips and Straps

    If you are using a clipless pedal, you know what these two do. They ensure your foot is seamlessly attached to the pedal. This allows for better control of the pedal. It also helps enhance the overall efficiency of your pedals. These things can get really uncomfortable. For this reason, you need to ensure they come made from lightweight materials. That will enhance comfort and you won’t even feel a thing when you move, but still have that great pedal control.

    Other Factors to Consider

    • Weight

    Well, we all know lighter pedal comes with excellent benefits; however, at times, it might actually come with durability issues. So as much you want to strike perfect lightweight pedals, you might want to ensure they are durable. They must have been designed to withstand any tough conditions and use as well.

    • Adjustability

    This goes to clipless pedals. How much force do you need to clip or unclip? Ideally, you need to focus on the pedal tension setting and the float as well. A set of platform pedal allows you to replace spike pins. You can also change their color. In the end, really, enhanced adjustability will make more sense.

    • Maintenance

    After spending a sizeable share of your savings on the best pedal in the market, the last thing anyone would want is the pedals developing some mechanical issues. For this, you may want to go for a piece that has been built well. It must be solid. The bearing should also be smooth as that won’t need a lot of maintenance. Any good pedal design should be able to withstand any degree of abuse.

    • Mud shedding abilities

    This is paramount. Take your time and look for those open spaces in your pedals; places where mud can be effortlessly pushed out when you put your foot on the pedal. Great mud-shedding capabilities mean enhanced performance.

    • How to care for your Pedals

    For these parts to last long, you need to care for them. That is the only way you will make them perform optionally and most importantly last forever. Take your time and have them cleaned once in a while. All you have to do is to remove the dust cap. Remove the bolts that hold the axle and lastly Remove the bearing form it.

    Once you have all the parts separated, get rid of old grease from the axle and also those on the bearing cup. Now, equipped with a paintbrush, dust away every single dirt and also debris from these parts. Once you are through with that, wash them with clean soapy water. Dry these parts and before you assemble everything back, apply a bit of lubricant in areas where you need that smooth rotation.

    Bottom Line

    Overall, there is nothing that beats a solid set of pedals. If you know what you want and what to look for, there is no way you would go wrong with the choice you make today. During the whole shopping process, don’t be in any rush. Take your time and make sure you pick a perfect choice that suits all your riding needs.

    Updated on January 22, 2021 by Ben

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