The best flat pedals for mountain biking

What are the best MTB flat pedals for your mountain bike? Thanks to long-term work, the flat pedals’ design has gradually improved over the years, and the current models are better than ever. The flat-shaped pedals have become thinner to lower the driver’s center of gravity.

Besides, these new pedals are more significant to give more surface and support to the rider. Bearing constructions have been perfected to provide a better grip as well as better durability.

A quick recommendation for MTB flat pedals:

MTB Pedals – Reverse Escape

Best Price – Aaron Rock

RaceFace flat pedals

The best flat pedals for mountain biking

guy pedaling

1. Best MTB Flat Pedals – Reverse Escape

Advantages:

  • Smooth surface
  • Solid axle with low weight
  • 8 aluminum pins per pedal
  • Several colors for your bike

Cons:

  • Not suitable for a small budget
  • Imposing
  • Good, but not perfect for the descent

You will make a good impression with this pedal. The red-colored nuts will show off when you use your mountain bike on the trails.

The ability to make minor foot adjustments increases the efficiency of this flat MTB pedal.

It is suitable not only for endurance mountain biking but also for trial, figures, freeride, or Bikepark.

Twelve interchangeable spikes hold your feet exactly where they need to be, and you can use these pedals even with simple sneakers. They hook all types of shoes. They can be used in rainy weather or mud.

Whatever the position of your foot, it will not move.

Although the pedals weigh 406 grams that are not the lightest, they are lightweight and robust enough to meet all riding styles’ needs.

The reverse is a German brand that offers high quality with these aluminum body pedals.

Be prepared for people to watch you because the beauty of these pedals can’t be beaten!

2. Cheap – Aaron Rock MTB pedals

Advantages:

  • Overall performance
  • Cool design
  • Stable axles
  • No special tools required for assembly
  • Excellent value for money

Disadvantages:

  • Small size
  • You can feel the axle under your feet
  • Little Grip

This pair of pedals is still high quality because it has a heat-treated axle. It is made of aluminum.

3. Endurance pedal – RaceFace Atlas Pedal

Advantages:

  • Super efficient Grip
  • Large and easy
  • Double Concave
  • Integrated grease nipple

Disadvantages:

  • ¬†Quite expensive and few models
  • Not compatible with all-mountain bikes

RaceFace Atlas pedals take all of the things we love about mountain bike pedals and combine them.

It’s not a mix of random pieces, and the research and development team just wanted to create a masterpiece because every component was made even better:

Concave? How about making it double open?

Do these tension pins have enough Grip? Yes, but they would be even better if we tilted them inward.

A built-in grease nipple would be nice. Let’s add more.

How is it possible that the giant pedal on this list is also the easiest? I’ll leave that question to the engineers, but the point is, this pedal is light in weight with a large platform and crazy Grip.

Testing and buying MTB flat pedals – 8 tips

bike pedal

1. The shoes

Your flat pedals’ performance will be significantly improved with a good pair of Mountainbike-specific shoes with rubber soles.

You don’t just have to find the best flat pedals, and other things are essential! With Trailrunning shoes combined with your new MTB pedals, you can take full advantage of their efficiency.

You are going to need shoes designed especially for cycling with flat pedals:

SHIMANO SH-XM7 – MTB shoes

These shoes use a sticky rubber mix that allows the pedal’s pins to properly grip the sole and support the foot even on rough terrain.

There are different shoes for every riding style, from DH to Freestyle:

Shoes made for downhill are usually more reinforced to protect against hazards along the way and maybe fitted with lace protection which provides additional security and prevents the laces from entering the chain.

Everyone who spends a lot of time in Bikepark prefers light shoes with less padding and thinner soles for better handling and more successful tricks.

2. Profile

bike in a winter

In recent times the trend is to choose thinner pedals. The main argument is that a slimmer pedal offers greater clearance, a lower center of gravity, increased efficiency, and resistance to unintentional turning.

Pedal strokes on the driver’s center of gravity and unwanted pedal rotations will be avoided in the future.

A thinner pedal is less likely to contact stones and pebbles because the distance is better.

If you’ve ever dropped your bike after hitting a rock, you’re going to appreciate the comfort of a slim mountain bike pedal.

3. The pins

The pedals’ pins catch the shoe’s sole and prevent the foot on the platform from slipping. Some cheaper pedals have grips that sit directly on the surface of the pedal.

These pins’ position can make them very vulnerable to damage since they can be more easily exposed to stones and roots.

Some pins are inserted from below with the hooks’ heads into the pedal body and are thus protected.

4. The Q factor of flat pedals

The Q factor is the distance from the middle of one pedal to the other pedal center.

A more comprehensive Q Factor’s advantages are better handling of turns and a larger surface for your foot without meeting the crank arm. So you have more control with a high Q Factor.

What are the disadvantages of a more extensive Factor Q? You risk hitting obstacles or stones and thus lose efficiency for your pedal.

5. Grip

This evaluation metric relates to the interface between the soles of our shoes and the pedal platforms.

There are different kinds, with other numbers and heights which will give you an extraordinary feeling.

What is suitable for Dirt Jumping could be even more so on a rocky Downhill-Trail (rocky trail).

In general, I find that the threaded screws provide better Grip even though flat mountain bike pedals equipped with these types of pins may not give the best Grip. Other factors, such as the platform’s shape, play a significant role in the pedal feel.

The angled pins and the open platform offer maximum Grip, perfect Grip, while the large pins offer comparatively less interest since they are too broad in appearance to hold the shoe soles effectively.

Like many things in life, balance is essential. Some pedals offer good Grip and are not binding. These pedals should allow you to move freely.

6. Platform

Good pedals should support you but not crush you. A large platform provides a solid base for riders to press, pedal, straighten the wheel in turns and take advantage of the terrain characteristics without slipping off the edge of the pedal.

But there is a limit:

If the platform size you have chosen is too large, it will quickly be a problem as soon as you learn deeply into the bends. Stones, roots, and stumps will feel more significant when your pedals touch them continuously.

A thinner pedal can alleviate some risks by providing more leeway. Of course not all.

The beveled edges allow the pedal to ignore the blows sent to other pedals directly to the trash.

A slim profile gives it the ability to roll without hitting the stones directly.

7. Mobility of the pedal

guy sliding bike in the snow

By pedal mobility, we mean the speed and quality with which the pedal rotates around its axis.

If you have correctly prepared your circuit that you are entirely focused that you only hear the sounds of nature and your friends hissing and screaming enthusiastically behind you. A flat pedal will allow you to master your run. Enjoy the race without worrying.

Don’t think cheap pedals are the best in this category:

Many inexpensive pedals that come with the equipment on your ATV do not have good Grip and spin very quickly.

Inexpensive bearings and poorly designed materials that do not match perfectly with your ATV gradually contribute to increasing your BMX / ATV failures when you are riding.

If you are doing Freestyle tricks to take your feet off the pedals, it will be challenging to get your feet back on the moving pedals. Putting your foot on a pedal that is oriented vertically can be extremely dangerous. Therefore, I prefer pedals that have a smooth movement and turn at a moderate speed.

Knowing that your pedals are introduced correctly if your foot meets the platform is reassuring and much safer.

With stiffer pedals, a rotation with your hand will not allow you to make a complete turn, and you will not feel comfortable guiding these pedals when making a jump.

If the pedal is oriented vertically when removing your foot, it will remain in this position throughout the flight. If you step on your foot, the pedal’s resistance creates force, and so you step up with the edge of the foot on the leading edge of the pedal. Since you don’t want to break your ankle, you had to swap out the following round pedals.

8. Maintenance

Usually, Mountain bike flat pedals are among the few bike components you needed to have very little work with. In any case, you will have to take care of it.

Types of Pedals – Clipless vs. Flat Pedals

guy raising bike

Do you prefer the freedom of flat pedals or clipless pedals when your feet are secured to the pedals with spiked shoes?

Each product has its advantages and disadvantages.

You should experiment with both types of the pedal and decide which one is most comfortable for you.

Perhaps, you might even like both and therefore switch between the two styles of pedals.

This article contains tests on flat pedals only. Fifteen years ago, experienced mountain bikers would have laughed at flat pedals, but that has changed and most certainly has to do with bike development over the years.

Several years ago, it was simple to classify climbers and their equipment as cross County (XC) – or Downhill (DH):

XC riders wore Lycra and rode without clipless pedals, while DH riders had large full-face helmets, loose shorts, and flat pedals.

The starting tracks of today do not look at all like the track of yesteryear.

For example, their mountain bikes are very different:

Modern endurance or trail bikes weigh as little as the lightest cross country racing bikes but still have a high-quality suspension of 6 inches or more at both ends. These bikes are suitable, for example, for mountain adventures of 80 kilometers, since they can be loaded onto chairlifts and can then be unloaded in the Bikeparks in the ski area.

But not only the technology of the bike has changed, but also the design, the design of the track:

To create sustainable paths, we said goodbye to the DH-Trails straight starts. Now instead, the tracks meander and cross inclines that can be used on the way up and also on the way down. Stones play an essential role in keeping the earth in place. All over the world, mountain bike trails appear that allow you to practice on a smooth path that leads on vertical bends. These trails were once used exclusively for challenging downhill routes. Wooden ladders and tree trunks are located on the tracks’ sides and allow cyclists to spice things up a bit.

Thus, riders of all cycling disciplines are found, whether it is XC, DH, Trials, Street, Freestyle, Cyclocross, Enduro, or BMX. They are on the same routes. Everyone brings their skills and shows what they can do – it’s evident that regular mountain bikers have a much harder time climbing a ridge.

They are alL mountain bikers.

Young riders or new mountain bikers no longer know the difference. They see buddies with flat pedals jumping on a ramp (kicker) and another friend using clipless pedals and tackling difficult stairs on the same course and probably on the same bike.

Many mountain bikers can accomplish both on both types of pedals.

Summary of MTB flat pedals

Many riders do not consider their MTB pedals’ choice, although, in principle, they are a component that deserves a lot of attention.