One of the most frustrating things for any mountain biker is not having the right pedals for a comfortable ride. The best mountain bike pedals are designed to give you a comfortable riding experience, while also improving the way you pedal. It is important to look at these accessories in the same way you would your mountain bike if you want to be competitive.
There are tons of mountain bike pedals on the market today and sometimes they are included when you buy the mountain bike, but most of the time they are not. However, numerous upgrades are available and they make a huge difference to your cycling experience. In the following article, we will look closer at some of these pedals and help you find the right one for your needs.
|SHIMANO Saint PD-M820 SPD Pedals||Aluminum||Clipless||$$$$||★★★★★|
|SHIMANO PD-M9100 SPD Flat Bike Pedal||Aluminum||Flat Pedal/Race||$$$$||★★★★★|
|Time Speciale 8 MTB ATAC Pedals||Aluminum||Clipless/Race||$$$||★★★★★|
|Crankbrothers Eggbeater Clipless Mountain Bike Pedals||Stainless Steel||Clipless||$$||★★★★★|
|RaceFace Chester Mountain Bike Pedal||Nylon Composite||Flat||$$||★★★★★|
|OneUp Components Aluminum Pedal||Aluminum||Flat||$$$||★★★★★|
Top 7 Mountain Bike Pedals
As mentioned, there are tons of these mountain bike pedals on the market today, but only a couple of them make sense to buy. Nowadays, it comes down to personal preference, but a few of the top options stand out above the competition. We have compiled a list of reviews that covers some of the most common options available.
Top Pick: SHIMANO PD-EH500
In the mountain bike world, Shimano is a leader for brakes and drivetrains. The SHIMANO PD-EH500 is one of the most comfortable flat/clipless pedals and features a dual-sided design. Instead of having to flip the pedals on the right side, you can simply jump on the bike and have the pedals ready for your first ride around trails.
They are extremely versatile and feature a clipless design as well. If you have the right mountain bike shoes, you can rely on the clip feature to offer you more stability. The pedals are constructed from aluminum, which keeps the weight to a minimum, but the light-release action allows you to slip off at any time using these pedals.
- Dual-Sided: One of the top features is the dual-sided feature, which allows you to use any side of the pedals.
- Lightweight: The pedals are constructed from durable aluminum, which makes it possible to add weight with other accessories.
- Light Release: If you want a light release feature, these pedals allow cleat riders to slip off at any time.
- Expensive: When buying pedals, the goal is to save money, but these can be a bit expensive compared to others.
Best High-End Pedals: SHIMANO Saint PD-M820 SPD Pedals
Sticking to Shimano as one of the top brands, we have the SHIMANO Saint PD-M820 SPD Pedals. Much like the previous Shimano model, these pedals feature aluminum construction and clipless design. However, the dreaded toe clips have been removed to not only reduce the overall weight but also offer more comfort.
A unified power transfer system is what makes them stand out. The entry speed and exit speed can match one another when you need consistency. Additionally, the pedals also have a large head, which means you won’t need to worry about losing them. They allow the rider to effortlessly clip out of them when needed.
- Power Stability: The consistency of these pedals are off the chart and you will find that they offer great power stability.
- Compatibility: Regardless of your mountain bike, you will notice that these pedals are extremely effective for any mountain bike.
- Reduced Weight: Yes, they have an aluminum body, but removing the toe clip keeps them lightweight and comfortable.
- Price: Once again, the biggest issue is the price and these are some of the most expensive on the market today.
Best Race Pedal: SHIMANO PD-M9100 SPD Flat Clipless Bike Pedal
Speed is often associated with road bikes and riders often choose lighter pedals for competitions like the Tour de France. However, the SHIMANO PD-M9100 SPD Flat Bike Pedal is one of the lightest pedals on the market today and it has a minimalistic design. You still need to clip into these pedals, but the flat design gives you more power with each pedal.
These pedals are constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum, but some of the components have also been powder coated. The powder coating makes it more durable when in the mud. While they are expensive, they can take a while to get used to and there is somewhat of a learning curve to understanding them.
- Minimalistic Pedal: These pedals are lightweight, with most of the accessories removed to make them as light as possible.
- Durable: Aside from the pedal construction, the powder coating makes it resilient to mud and other wet chemicals.
- Reliable Brand: Shimano has backed up these pedals for competition purposes and they are often seen in races.
- Learning Curve: Unfortunately, you might need to spend some time learning the tricks of these pedals before starting.
Best Clipless Pedals: Time Speciale 8 MTB ATAC Pedals
Not all pedals need to be clipped in, but having a clipless pedal is very beneficial to anyone looking to have a secure ride. Some of the top mountain bikes have clipless pedals, but if you don’t like your standard pedals, the Time Speciale 8 MTB ATAC Pedals can be some of the most useful to transition to. They have many features we have seen with Shimano.
A bright orange color will make them stand out and while it might not be the best for every rider, it is still one of the best-looking options. The pedals feature a race-like design, clipping you into the pedal and helping you generate a lot of power. A simple 8mm Allen Wrench is all you need to set them up and be on your way.
- Easy Setup: As mentioned, you only need an 8mm Allen Wrench if you want to assemble the pedals to your bike.
- Race Design: These pedals are specifically designed for racing, which makes them ideal for the best trail bikes.
- Reasonable Price: You don’t want to overspend on your pedals, which makes these effective for those that want quality without breaking the bank.
- Colors: Unfortunately, you can only find them in an orange color, which might not be the best for every rider.
Best Budget Pedals: Crankbrothers Eggbeater Clipless Mountain Bike Pedals
One of the last clipless options on our list is the Crankbrothers Eggbeater Clipless Mountain Bike Pedals. These pedals are slightly different from the others and it has a 4-way design, which allows you to clip into the pedals from either side. They are constructed from durable stainless steel and features a unique setup for more comfort.
One of the main reasons we have included these pedals is the price. They are some of the cheapest options currently available and the look is very simple. One does not need a ton of tools to set them up and they are compatible with most bikes. The affordability makes them ideal for most beginners just starting.
- Unique Design: The 4-way clip-in design means that you can clip into these pedals from any side of the bike.
- Easy setup: It should not take you more than a couple of minutes to set them up on your mountain bike.
- Price: As you might have guessed, these are some of the cheapest pedals we have on the list for beginners.
- Durability: Since they are crafted from stainless steel, one should not expect to have a ton of durability from them.
Best Budget Flat Pedals: RaceFace Chester Mountain Bike Pedal
One of the best flat pedals to try on a budget are these RaceFace Chester Pedals. These pedals are made of a Nylon composite to remain tough and light. They give you great performance for an incredible value.
If you ride flat pedals these are a great choice. For the price you get a solid product to shred some trails. For new mountain bikers these will be a good option to use on your bike and start with a good pedal.
- Great Grip: The large platform has an 8 hex pin system for stellar grip to avoid slipping of and losing momentum.
- Lightweight: The pedals are just as tough as the alloy cousin but made with a Nylon Composite to shave off a few grams.
- Colors: RaceFace gives you multi color options to give your bike some style when your riding.
Durability: The Nylon composite helps shave off some weight but the durability of these is not the best.
Best Flat Pedals: OneUp Components Aluminum Pedal
If you want one of the best overall flat pedals the Oneup Components Aluminum pedals tops the list. The oneup pedals are also super grippy with a 10 pin hexagonal formation to avoid any slip offs. They have an ultra thin shape and are one of the lightest flat pedals to try on your mountain bike.
The Oneup pedals wont slow you down on any climbs. Each pedal contains 4 double sealed full cartridge bearing and no bushings, to eliminate axle play and provide ultimate long-term durability.
- Lightweight: The Oneup pedals weigh 355g and is one of the lightest flat pedals available for your mountain bike.
- Thin: Ultra thin leading edge chamfered design to deflect off any obstacle with a slick loock while riding.
- Durability: 4 double sealed full cartridge bearing and no bushings, to eliminate axle play and provide ultimate long-term durability.
3 Key Features To Consider When Buying The Best Mountain Bike Pedals
As you might have noticed, not all of these pedals are the same and you might need to spend some time combing through these features to see which ones you might need. While this is by no means a complete buyer’s guide, we have isolated the most common features. These features can make or break your pedals:
One of the main features to consider is the overall design of these pedals. Many of them are flat, but allow you to clip your cleats into the small sections. However, some of these pedals have no clip-in feature and you might need to retain your stability. The clip-in options work best for high-end mountain bikes.
Most of the best mountain bike pedals feature an aluminum construction. The use of aircraft-grade aluminum makes them resilient and the additional powder coating will keep them from being rusted. However, stainless steel is another material used for cheaper pedals and might be great for any budget mountain bikes.
These pedals will need to be set up on your mountain bike and occasionally, it can take a few tools to get the job done. Fortunately, the manufacturer will let you know which tools are needed for the process. However, you should do your research to find out if the pedals are compatible with your bike and your riding style.
It can be tedious to find the best mountain bike pedals. However, the pedals on your mountain bike are not always the best. As you are improving as a rider, you might need to invest in some of these high-end pedals. Much like your dropper seat post, these small differences can go a long way to improving your overall riding experience.