HT Components is a Taiwanese company with a long history in cycling. Over the years, the company has produced components for everything from road to mountain bikes with a focus on wheels and pedals. With stars like Aaron Gwin and Marcelo Gutierrez using their pedals on the World Cup circuit, HT has developed a loyal following of racers and riders. We tested HT’s T1 enduro pedal last season with great success and were eager to try the Leopard M1 pedals that were designed for cross-country and general trail riding.
Tech info: The Leopard M1 pedal was designed for cross-country and general trail riding with durability and performance in mind. HT designed the M1 with a CNCmachined chromoly spindle paired with an aluminum pedal body to keep the weight down. The aluminum pedal body is extruded, allowing for a stronger and cleaner finished product. Inside the pedal body are sealed bearings and Igus bushings for a smooth spin.
Like the T1, the Leopard uses HT’s exclusive cleat system that comes in two different float options. HT offers plenty of ways to customize your pedals with 12 different colors. For the engagement, the M1s use a wound spring that has adjustable tension. HT built in a massive range of adjustment to suit just about any rider’s preference as to how tight the engagement should be. Our test pedals weighed in at 300 grams for the pair, and retail for $130.
On the trail: We installed the Leopards on one of our go-to test bikes and the cleats on a pair of Pearl Izumi shoes. Clipping in for the first time, we noticed that the engagement point between the cleat and spring was a little deeper than the Shimano XT Race pedals we were accustomed to. The spring tension on the engagement was also much snugger than our test riders were used to. The M1s had an audible click that assured us the cleats were in the right place.
The Leopards proved to be very durable pedals; they did not develop any excess play in the bearings, even after countless hours on the trail during months of testing. HT designed the Leopards to be easily rebuilt and maintained. The tighter spring tension made for a very confidence-inspiring engagement and assured our test riders they wouldn’t come unclipped when they didn’t want to. We used the cleats with 4 degrees of float, which felt like a lot less than that, especially with the tighter spring tension.
Compared to other pedals currently available, the Leopards make a strong case for themselves with ample tension adjustment, a competitive price tag and lightweight construction that is also durable. For $130, you’d be hard-pressed to find lighter and sturdier pedals for cross-country and trail riding.
• Snug but reliable spring tension
• Lots of color options
• Difficult to clip in when muddy