Headline News
FIELD TEST: ORANGE SEAL TIRE SEALANT (November 22, 2014 4:15 am)
Photo of the Day: Bryson Martin Jr. in Canada (November 22, 2014 1:40 am)
Video: Dean Tennant shreds B.C. (November 21, 2014 2:37 pm)
Amir Kabbani – Into the Woods (November 21, 2014 9:22 am)

Shootout: Seven Flat Pedals Go Pin to Pin

March 26, 2013
Comments off
1008 Views



Aside from your hands on the bars, the pedal is the most important interface between you and the bike. While a clipless system and a stiff-soled shoe will offer the most efficient platform, there are some pretty talented riders who swear by platforms?and not just gravity guys. For this shootout, we rounded up some of the best flats in the biz, grabbed our Teva Links shoes and hit the trail.

Rating Definitions:
Thickness: The measured height of the pedal on the leading edge, not including pin height.
Platform size: Measured surface area of the pedal.
Traction/pins: Not necessarily how many pins, but how well they gripped our shoe. (We also gave bonus points for pin configurations that allowed custom setups.)
Shape: A combination of ergonomics, concavity, platform size and overall feel.
Bearings: The quality of the bearing configuration for durability and “spinability.”
Overall quality: A combination of aesthetic and functional features, including overall attention to detail.


Spank Spike 

The Wrecking Crew’s Choice, $120 


Price: 2
Weight: 3 

Thickness: 5 

Platform size: 4 

Traction/pins: 3 

Shape:5 Bearings: 3 

Overall quality: 4

Total: 29

Comments:
The Spike wins for a number for reasons. This beauty is ultra thin, with aggressively chamfered leading edges that make the pedal feel like a greased watermelon over rocks?that is, if you ever hit one. The pedal also comes in at a very competitive weight, yet still sports one of the biggest platforms available for gripping the bottom of your shoes like a pit bull on a poodle. This is the perfect platform pedal for the all-mountain rider. Nuff said.


HT AE02

The Flyweight Contender, $150 

 

Price: 1
Weight: 5 

Thickness: 3 

Platform size: 3 

Traction/pins: 3 

Shape: 5 

Bearings: 2
Overall quality: 4 

Total: 26


Comments:
Despite the price tag, the HT AE02 comes in a close second. The ultra-concave shape won our testers over right from the start. It offers great traction and provides a very connected feel to the bike. This is the lightest pedal in the test. And while this flyweight setup might not be durable enough to handle life on a rental bike at Whistler, it’s perfect for a trail-bike. The exposed axle and exotic look will also keep the fashion-conscious happy.


E*Thirteen LG1+

The Slopestyler’s Dream, $120 


Price: 2
Weight: 2
Thickness: 2 

Platform size: 5 

Traction/pins: 5 

Shape: 2

Bearings: 4 

Overall quality: 3 

Total: 25

Comments:
This pedal is clearly not designed for the all-mountain crowd, but the LG1+ scores high with us for innovation. The ultra- large platform and tons of customizable pin options make this pedal our choice for dirt jumpers and slopestylers. While the huge platform makes this pedal an easy target for rocks, that same large platform makes the pedal easier for your feet to find when throwing tricks.

While our trail riders’ trick repertoire is limited to crank flips and lame no-footers, we can see the benefits. The adjustable spin tension also keeps the pedal from spinning freely, another feature the slopestyle crowd will appreciate.


Shimano Saint 

Old Faithful, $105

 

Price: 3
Weight: 2
Thickness: 2 

Platform size: 2 

Traction/pins: 3 

Shape: 3
Bearings: 5 

Overall quality: 4 

Total: 24


Comments:
Shimano is not the kind of company that releases a design with- out first doing their research. The Saint component group is designed to take all the abuse a gravity rider can throw at it. This pedal is a reflection of that mindset.

This pedal would have been at the top of our list for downhilling and bike parks. The tried-and-true bearing and axle system, combined with the burly pedal body, make for a bomber of a pedal that is perfect for gravity bikes. For trail riding, though, this pedal is overbuilt.


VP Vice

The Little Guy in the Group, $80


Price: 5

Weight: 3 

Thickness: 4 

Platform size: 1 

Traction/pins: 2 

Shape: 2
Bearings: 3 

Overall quality: 3 

Total: 23


Comments:
This is the most affordable pedal in the bunch, and it delivers plenty of high-end features for the price. The body is the second thinnest in the group, and the pedal comes in at a very respectable weight. The overall quality is also high, with a combination of cartridge bearings and DU bushings to keep the pedals spinning.

Where this pedal falls short is the connection between the shoes and the pedal. The platform is the smallest in the bunch, and the shape is somewhat convex rather than concave. Despite loving the price, finish quality and thinness of this pedal, most crewers simply never felt the same rock-solid connection as with the other contenders.


Xpedo Face Off 13

The Pedal With Enough Pins to Rip your Face Off, $90 


Price: 4 

Weight: 4 

Thickness: 2 

Platform size: 3 

Traction/pins: 2 

Shape: 2
Bearings: 3 

Overall quality: 2 

Total: 23


Comments:
This doesn’t look like the lightest pedal in the bunch, but it’s close. The skeletal construction has a lot of air in it, and that’s what keeps the weight down. The Face Off 13 is also one of the most affordable pedals in the group. While the construction and bearing quality are up there with the best, we prefer a larger platform and thinner profile than what the Face Off delivers.

We love the ability to customize the pins. In fact, the Xpedo includes many extra pins and a wrench in the box so that you can find your ideal setup. While we liked the exotic looks, price, and customizable traction of the pedal, the small platform and lack of a truly concave feel kept it from hitting the podium.

Crankbrothers 50/50 3

The Consistent Performer, $100


Price: 3
Weight: 3 

Thickness: 2 

Platform size: 3 

Traction/pins: 2 

Shape: 2
Bearings: 3 

Overall quality: 3 

Total: 21

 

Comments:
Crankbrothers pedals have been used to win countless World Cup races, World Championships and are favorites of athletes everywhere. We’ve given a five-star rating to the Eggbeater pedal, and we also love their Mallet platform/clip combo pedal.

Unfortunately, the 50/50 just doesn’t stack up against the competition here. The 50/50 is the thickest pedal in the group, has an average-sized platform and is right in the middle when it comes to price. Where the pedal falls short is the ergonomics. The pedal doesn’t feel concave, thus the rider feels like he is riding on top of the pedal axle instead of feeling connected to the bike.

We also had issues with the setscrew pins migrating, even when installed with thread-locking compound. We love Crankbrothers pedals. If you’re in the market, go for the Mallet, which benefits from Crankbrothers’ stellar engagement system, in addition to the platform.

By the Numbers:

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditmail

Comments are closed.