Reviews

Best Mountain Bike Flat Pedals: Gain Control of Your Bike

Handle your bike smoothly and safely with these high-quality mountain bike flat pedals

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BY Jovan Nikic , Norah Tarichia / LAST UPDATED ON October 4, 2019

A good pedal will help support your whole foot, improve your pedaling power, and give you more control of your bike. That’s only possible if you get a great pedal design that conforms to the shape of your foot and your riding style. Consider using some of the flat pedals in our buying guide if you love to cycle with a flat shoe.

Best Overall
RaceFace Chester Mountain Bike Pedal
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Summary
Summary
A high-quality selection of bike pedals that comes in a variety of unique colors. Each pedal is developed out of high-grade materials and is lightweight and grippy.
Pros
Pros
The pedal axle is made out of a durable chromoly steel, while the body itself is designed with a nylon composite, increasing its reliability. The pedals are lightweight and can be found in nine different colors.
Cons
Cons
The side pins are rough and can hurt your shins, and they may not be the most comfortable.
Best Overall
RaceFace Chester Mountain Bike Pedal
Best Value
Lumintrail Mountain Bike Platform Pedals
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Summary
Summary
These platform pedals offer an enhanced biking experience. They are ideal for cross country cycling, road racing, and recreational cycling.
Pros
Pros
The wide pedal platform offers strong foot/pedal stability. The wide cleats and the binding mechanism make for better shoe/pedal contact compared to conventional pedal systems. They are made of lightweight and durable aluminum alloy.
Cons
Cons
The pedals aren't labeled “left” or “right,” so you can’t tell which is which. You can’t tighten them with a wrench, as they don’t have a flat spot.
Best Value
Lumintrail Mountain Bike Platform Pedals
Honorable Mention
Crankbrothers Stamp Flat BMX/MTB Bike Pedal
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Summary
Summary
The pedal features Enduro and Igus bearings and seal system. It is made from scm 435 chromoly steel spindle. It comes with a three-year warranty.
Pros
Pros
The pro-level concave platform pedal provides the best shoe/pedal interface. The 10 adjustable pins on each side allow you to customize the pedal for optimum grip and feel. The high-quality bearings and seal system ensure the pedal offers lasting performance.
Cons
Cons
It does not have a concave shape like the other Stamp versions. It also lacks pins in the middle around the spindle.
Honorable Mention
Crankbrothers Stamp Flat BMX/MTB Bike Pedal

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Benefits of Mountain Bike Flat Pedals

  • Improve your skills. If you want to increase your technical abilities on the trail, flat pedals are ideal. The platform allows you to stand on and balance on the bike for greater stability, which is particularly important if you're a beginner.
  • More power. The best mountain bike flat pedals provide the strength you require to ride across various terrain by transferring power from your legs to the drivetrain.
  • More security. You will build more confidence because you don't have to think about unclipping your feet. For example, if you're going over a jump and something goes awry, you can easily eject yourself off the mountain bike.

Types of Mountain Bike Flat Pedals

Flat

These pedals have a wide platform with pins that are placed in key spots for a better grip. The wider platform provides a larger area for you to set your foot, which maximizes the contact between you and your bike. There are also special mountain bike flat pedal shoes with extra-grippy soles that you can purchase for even more efficiency. The best mountain bike flat pedals are safer than some other types of pedals because you can quickly and easily put your feet down. However, your feet may slip on certain terrain, which can cause injury. 

Clipless

Clipless pedals are used in conjunction with special cycling shoes. They feature a cleat that bolts or clips into your footwear. Despite what the name suggests, clipless pedals require you to clip your feet into the pedals. They are double-sided and are much smaller than flat mountain bike pedals. They are great for technical trails because they keep your feet locked in. However, it can be hard to remove your feet quickly during an impact.

Top Brands

Shimano

Shimano, based in Osaka, Japan, was founded in 1921 and is considered by many to be the best mountain bike pedal company. It produces a variety of bicycle components, as well as fishing tackle and rowing equipment. One of its top products is the SHIMANO Dual Platform Bike Pedal.

Race Face 

Race Face has been making cycling performance products since 1993. The company is based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and manufacturers handlebars, stems, seatposts, as well as pedals. One of its top products is the RaceFace Chester Composite Platform Pedals.

Meetlocks

Meetlocks is based in Sugar Creek, Mo., and has been producing cycling accessories since 1998. In addition to bike pedals, the company manufactures bike tubes, locks, grips, handlebars, and sports sunglasses. One recommended flat pedal is the MEETLOCKS Bike Pedal CNC Aluminum Body Cr-Mo Machined 9/16" Screw Thread Spindle.

Mountain Bike Flat Pedals Pricing

  • $20 to $50: You don't have to pay a lot for good-quality MTB pedals. In this price range, you will find pedals that feature good grip and are easy to install.
  • $50 to $150: If you want the best mountain bike pedals, prepare to spend a little extra. Pedals at this price point provide better control and feature greater mud-shedding capabilities.

Key Features

Material

Mountain bike platform pedals are made with a variety of materials. Cheap, entry-level pedals are often made of plastic. If you want a super-secure pedal, go for steel. Aluminum pedals are some of the lightest pedals and can be of high quality as long as they are manufactured properly. The most expensive material is titanium. These pedals are light, strong, and durable and are generally only used by serious riders and professionals.

Surface Area

The larger the surface area, the more space you have to rest your feet. In addition, more surface area equals more grip because there are more pins on the pedal to hold your feet in place. Your feet are less likely to slip off a bigger pedal than a smaller one. However, wider pedals have less ground clearance, which means you may get them caught on debris and obstacles on the trail. Slimmer pedals are better for rocky and uneven terrain.

Platform Shape

It's important to look at a pedal's platform shape before making a purchase. These days, flat pedals are relatively thin and lightweight. If you're looking for a stronger grip, consider a pedal body with a concave platform. Try to avoid taller pedals because they don't provide as much ground clearance as other types of pedals.

Other Considerations

  • Pins: Pins vary in their size, shape, height, and placement on the pedal. They're critical for keeping your feet from slipping. They poke out of the pedal's body and grab onto the sole of your shoes. The more they protrude, the more they grip. The best mountain bike platform pedals have pins that screw from underneath. This way, they are less likely to be damaged on rough or uneven surfaces.
  • Rider Experience: The more you ride your mountain bike, the more you'll get a handle on the type of flat pedals that work best with your style of riding. With experience comes knowledge. The best thing to do is to try different types on your bike. Sometimes you can try them out at a bike shop, or you may have to actually purchase a set to see how it feels. Also, read reviews from experienced riders to get an idea about a particular make and model's performance.

Best Mountain Bike Flat Pedals Reviews & Recommendations 2020

Best Overall
RaceFace Chester Mountain Bike Pedal

The RaceFace Chester Mountain Bike Pedal is an altogether unique pedal when it comes to looks and functionality. They are available in nine colors to match with your bike, or you can mix them up for fun. Each pedal is built out of high-grade nylon material, increasing their ride, grip, traction, and making them lightweight.


Each pedal’s axle is developed out of a durable chromoly steel, while the body itself is designed with a nylon composite, both of which enhance the pedal making it able to handle more difficult terrain and higher speeds. Plus, there are eight traction pins that allow you to grip the pedals better. We can’t really describe their grip any better than they are ultra-grippy.


However, you may find that the side pins are on the rougher side and can hurt your shins if they collide with them. Another issue is they may not be the most comfortable, as they are smaller and not as wide as other brands.

Best Value
Lumintrail Mountain Bike Bicycle Platform Pedals

The mountain bike pedals you choose can make or break your mountain biking experience. If you're looking for a lightweight and strong flat pedals for your bike, get the Lumintrail Mountain Bike Platform Pedals. They are lightweight and ideal for long-distance riding. Their anti-skid pins make them suitable for both riding and racing. 


These bicycle pedals feature wider platforms that make for awesome foot and pedal stability. Their wide cleats and binding mechanism ensure better shoe and pedal contact. The pedals are made from solid and durable aluminum alloy for a long lifespan. They are ideal for recreational cycling, road racing, and cross country cycling. The pedals come in a wide range of colors and make a stylish addition to your bike. 


However, it seems the manufacturer forgot to label them "left" and "right," so you may have a hard time figuring them out. They also lack a flat spot, so there is no way to tighten them with a wrench.

Honorable Mention
Crankbrothers Stamp Flat BMX/MTB Bike Pedal

If you want to ride like Sam Hill this year, it is important that you get the right pedals for the job. Pro-level bike pedals, like the ones made by Crankbrothers, can make biking fun and exciting. The company has put the time and effort into creating this pedal that keeps you locked in no matter how long you ride your bike. The Stamp 1 pedal comes with 10 adjustable pins on each side that grab onto your shoe.


The pedal comes in two sizes. The large size is best for bikers who wear a size 10-15 shoe. The small pedal is ideal for bikers with a size 5-10 shoes. The pedal is only 13 mm thick and features a concave design that helps keep your tread locked into place. It is constructed using sturdy chromoly steel. Igus and Enduro bearings make this platform bike pedal lightweight. 


However, we are not pleased with the fact that it is not as concave-shaped like the other Stamp versions. Additionally, it doesn't offer a good grip as it lacks pins in the middle around the spindle.

Honorable Mention
FOOKER Mountain Bike Pedals

FOOKER’s mountain bike pedals come in 15 different colors which makes up for their bland and boring look. Each one is developed out of hard, rugged nylon fiber which increases their overall strength and makes them all the more easier to grip. This also means they reduce the amount of shock and bounce you feel on the trail, making your ride more comfortable.


The pedals come in 15 colors that look great mounted on the bike with their sleek modern design. They’re built to lower shock resistance over bumpy terrain and feature eight anti-skid nails for improved grip. Another benefit is they are compatible with all types of bikes. They are also comfortable and may even be more comfy and useful than clip-on pedals.


However, there are a few not so great things about these pedals. There have been complaints about the pins breaking after more difficult rides. You will also want to be careful around the edges, as they are rough and sharp.

Honorable Mention
ROCKBROS Mountain Bike Pedals

If you’re looking for some rugged-looking mountain bike pedals, then ROCKBROS has you covered. Each pedal is built to handle difficult terrain while providing a grippy platform for your shoes with 10 total traction pins. Plus, they look great on any mountain bike and are built with nylon fiber material that increases grip so your feet don’t fly off the pedals.


As another benefit, the pedals are available in five distinct colors. Plus, each features 10 anti-skid nails so your shoes stay in place even if they or the pedals are muddy. The base is wide too, providing a more comfortable foot placement. They’re also lightweight and easy to install.


However, while they may be simple to install, fitting them can be painful, as they have spiked edges. Another downside is the plastic feels cheap and may chip if hit hard enough on a rock or hard surface.

Honorable Mention
MZYRH Mountain Bike Pedals

If you’re more interested in stylish, elegant, and high-performance mountain bike pedals, these MZRYH pedals are a great choice for any biker. They come in eight different colors and have a wide base (105mm x 91mm x 26mm) for your feet. Each also features an anti-slip design and 12 traction pins that improve grip.


The 12 anti-slip pins and anti-slip cleats make the pedals better built to handle high-speed racing or endurance hill climbs. Plus, the durable aluminum build increases their durability and comfort on your feet. They are even compatible with road, hybrid, kids, and commuter bikes.


While it may not be a huge negative, the pedals do not come with reflectors, so they may not be the best for street riding. They may also make a rattling noise, which can be quite annoying on longer rides. Another issue is the color may be slightly off from what is shown in the pictures.

Honorable Mention
Imrider Lightweight Polyamide Bike Pedals

The Imrider Mountain Bike Pedals may not look like the most hardcore of pedals, but looks are often times deceiving. They look like your standard set of flat pedals, but they have many enhanced features that make riding off-road more comfortable and enjoyable. The best function of all is their polyamide build, which increases their strength and grip.


The pedals are available in four colors, which makes up for their rather boring look. Where they lack in design they make up for in reduced vibration and increased shock absorption. Plus, they function with mountain bikes as well as hybrids, road, kids, and cruiser bikes. Not to mention, there are 10 nail pins that provide an extra grippy surface.


However, there are some negative things to discuss with these pedals. The first is that they don’t stand up to rocks all that well. They can also make a rather unpleasant grinding noise while pedaling.

Honorable Mention
Puroma Mountain Bike Pedals

There is even a lower-priced, more budget-friendly option when it comes to mountain bike pedals. You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to find comfort with the Puroma Mountain Bike Pedals. They, like the previously mentioned Imriders, aren’t the best to look at but they sit comfortably beneath your feet and provide a grippy wide surface as well.


They are available in five different colors, are lightweight, and are developed with a nylon body. Each pedal is also designed with a fully sealed bearing that prevents water and dust from entering them and causing rust or blockages. Another benefit is they are easy to install, and come with 12 replaceable hex head pins for more grip and traction.


However, you will want to be aware that the colors may vary slightly from what you see on Amazon or eBay. Also, stay clear of the edges, as they can be quite sharp. Plus, they may creak or whine while in use.

Tips

  • Grease up your pedals at least once every two weeks and even more regularly if you are a daily rider. This will help reduce friction wear on the movable parts. 
  • Keep your pedals free of dirt and debris. It's best to detach the pedals from the mainframe of your bike and use a soft brush and a cleaning cloth to get rid of the dirt.
  • If you step on the pedal and it starts to spin, be sure to adjust the bearings to make it a tight fit. A spinning pedal may hurt your foot if you step on it at a wrong angle.

FAQs

Q: Are flat pedals good for long-distance riding?

A: If you wear flat sole shoes for riding, then flat pedals will feel comfortable on a long-distance ride. They are also safer since they conform to the shape of your foot. It should feel like an extension of your shoe’s sole. It may, however, feel uncomfortable if you wear cleat or studded sole shoes. 

Q: How often should I change my mountain bike pedals?

A: Most pedals can last about a year before they start to make a squeaking noise and at least one or two more years before they break from the pedal frame. With daily commuting, the pedals may break after 8,000 miles or about a year. However, you should replace your pedals if you notice that they have started to crack, break, or lose their grip. 

Q: What causes bike pedals to bend?

A: Bike pedals bend with time due to the constant pressure exerted on the flat structure. If you use your bike for daily commutes, the pedals may appear to bend. Consider buying high-quality pedals with a hardened-steel construction that's more resistant to bending. 

Final Thoughts

We chose the RaceFace Chester Mountain Bike Pedal as our top pick due to its versatility, looks, design, and grippy wide surface.

If you are looking for a more affordable mountain bike flat pedal, consider the Lumintrail Mountain Bike Bicycle Platform Pedals.