Awesome Addition: Pedals

You've finally found it.  The perfect bike.  Its super dialed and you can't wait to take it out for a spin.  Only one problem.  It doesn't have pedals.  Or even worse, it has a pair of cheap plastic pedals, like an unsightly growth on the end of each crank.  You are ready to shred, but those pedals are definitely not.A rider has 3 contact points with their bike: hands, butt, and feet.  A bike can have the best components and best fit, but if one of these things is wrong the entire bike can feel wrong.  Of all these things, the most power transfer happens at your feet.  Ideally, during the course of a ride you will never have to think about your pedals.  Your feet feel secure and comfortable.  Choosing the right pedals is all about personal preference, but knowing whats available can help you make the right choice.

The first decision is between flat or clipless pedals.  Most mountain bike specific flat pedals have a wide platform and pins that help retain foot position.  Not being attached to the pedal allows a rider to shift foot position or easily pull their foot off to retain balance.




Flat pedals will have variations in pin height and placement as well as platform height.  Many allow the rider to adjust height and replace pins as needed.  The Deity Skyscraper has a particularly high pin height and low platform height.




Most pedals are made of aluminum, but some, like the Wellgo MG-1 are made of magnesium, allowing it to come in at a mere 362 grams per pair.




A clipless pedal allows a rider to stay attached to their pedal.  The advantage comes in added security and can aid in a more efficient pedal stroke, as a rider can pull up on the pedal as well as push down.  Shimano makes a mountain specific clipless pedal, called an SPD (Shimano Pedal Dynamics).  SPD's come in a variety in models, including an option with a larger surrounding platform.




For a more minimalist pedal, the Crank Brothers Eggbeater pedal is small and has amazing mud shedding ability.





The Crank Brothers Mallet has the advantages of both a clipless and flat pedal, combining a wide platform, pins and a clipless system.  For heavy terrain and maximum stability, the Mallet is hard to beat.