Best Mountain Bike Pedals: Never Lose Grip in the Woods

Great pedals will keep you comfortable on long rides

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The right pedals on your mountain bike are critical to enjoying your ride.  The best pedals are comfortable and durable enough to survive on the trail or on the road. They also repel mud and feature a good grip that keeps your feet firmly planted. This guide features three of the best pedals available today. 

  • Best Overall
    Shimano Deore XT
    Summary
    Summary
    These clipless pedals are durable and have customized entry and release tension settings to suit different riders.
    Pros
    Pros
    They have a large platform for added comfort and a mud-shedding design to get rid of debris while on the move.
    Cons
    Cons
    The price is a bit high compared to some rivals. The pedals also require an 8mm hex wrench for installation.
  • Best Value
    RockBros Mountain Bike Pedals
    Summary
    Summary
    These platform pedals offer a large, comfortable surface and lightweight aluminum alloy construction at a budget-friendly price.
    Pros
    Pros
    The pins are just the right length to offer fantastic grip, and they come in a wide range of eye-catching colors to suit any bike.
    Cons
    Cons
    The thin aluminum isn’t made to withstand the harshest conditions. They are also known to damage the crank threads if not installed correctly.
  • Honorable Mention
    Shimano XT PD Pedals
    Summary
    Summary
    These lightweight aluminum pedals have a concave design for comfort and a large platform with 10 pins for extra grip.
    Pros
    Pros
    The pedals are very durable and have a two-year warranty. They come in a couple of different sizes to suit riders and include two sets of pins.
    Cons
    Cons
    The longer pins can wear out shoes at a fast rate. If the pedals aren’t cleaned and lubed regularly they get a bit stiff.

Tips

  • It’s worth buying good quality pedals because there’s a high probability that they will get banged against obstacles or operate in harsh elements. Cheap plastic pedals should be avoided.
  • Clipless pedals can easily get clogged up with mud, adding extra weight and affecting the mechanism. The best pedals come with some form of mud-shedding design.
  • When choosing platform pedals, choose one that can cover as much of your foot without any part of the pedal sticking out. The pins provide a good grip but can scratch if they are too long.

FAQs

Q: What types of pedals are available for mountain bikes?

A: Flat and clipless mountain bike pedals are the two most common types. Flat pedals are double-sided and act as a platform to rest your foot. Clipless pedals act in a similar fashion but have special attachments that hold onto to cleats on the bottom of the riding shoe.

Q: Why are bike pedals called clipless pedals if they have clips?

A: The name goes back to the era in which riders used straps and toe clips to keep their feet on the bike. When this type of pedal first came out they were called “clipless” because they did away with the old-style clips and straps.

Q: Which type of mountain bike pedal is best?

A: It depends on the rider and the use. Flat pedals make it easier to disconnect the foot in case of a hazard and are more suited to beginners. Clipless pedals allow advanced moves like the bunny hop and give riders a more secure connection to the bike.

Final Thoughts

Our pick for the best mountain bike pedals goes to the Shimano Deore XT. They are lightweight and durable and offer different tension settings.

For a more budget-friendly option, try the RockBros Mountain Bike Pedals.