In this series of Our Five Favorites, we are diving in to the best clipless pedals for mountain biking. With so many great options from brands like Crank Brothers, Shimano, VP Components, Xpedo, iSSi, and HT Components, pedals come down to rider preference. Every brand uses a different cleat and retention system with a different feel. Some riders prefer the direct feeling Shimano SPD system, and others like the freedom of being able to stomp in to the Crank Brothers Eggbeater design without any hesitation. Here we are going to highlight our five favorite clipless pedals for your mountain bike. Let's do it!
The HT Components X2 pedals are some of the best clipless pedals and have been developed and proven by riders like Aaron Gwin, Neko Mullaly, and Troy Brosnan. That's quite the resume builder for HT. Featuring a large anodized machined aluminum body and HT's own clipless mechanism, the X2 pedal provides maximum support and security. The X2 has a much more locked in, direct feel than some of its competitors. The cleat retention can be adjusted with a small allen key depending on your preference. Weighing 460g per pair, the HT Components X2 pedals are certainly a contender for some of the best mountain bike pedals on the market. They work great for the rider that needs one set of pedals to ride both downhill and trail bikes with.
Shimano makes a quality product. The same could be said for the Shimano XT M8020 Trail pedals. Shimano's legendary SPD system is known for its reliability, and matched with this new aluminum pedal body, the XT M8020 pedals are designed to stand the test of time. These pedals do use a slimmer design than the pedals from Crank Brothers and HT we've seen already, relying on the SPD clip mechanism to keep your shoe locked in without any traction pins. The XT M8020 Trail pedals weigh in at 408g and are ready for any trail bike out there.
The iSSi Trail II pedals are fully serviceable and feature one slide bearing and bushing to support the spindle. With a SPD style clipless mechanism, these pedals rival the Shimano XT pedals we just mentioned. The Trail II pedals are available in three different spindle lengths, 52.5mm, 58.5mm, and 64.5mm, so you can fully dial in your bike fit. The Trail II pedals come with a very fair $105 price tag and available in 10 different colors. No matter if you match your bike's color scheme perfectly or go with the all black look, you can't go wrong with the Trail II pedals from iSSi!
When it comes to clipless mountain bike pedals, the Crank Brothers Mallet DH pedals are king! The Mallet DH pedals are ridden by 7 of the top 10 UCI Downhill World Cup riders. They are certainly the most popular clipless pedal for riding downhill because of there large grippy platform and eggbeater clip mechanism. The eggbeater design allows you get in and out the pedals without any hesitation, perfect for racing when every millisecond counts.
For 2017, the Mallet DH pedals received an overhaul. With a new body shape, the chamfered front edges are more likely to glance off rocks and the interchangeable shoe contact pads let you dial in the feel between the pedal and bottom of your shoe. All Crank Brothers pedals come with a five year warranty. You can't beat that!
Be sure to check out all of Our Five Favorites for great tips on some of the best flat pedals, lock on grips, saddles, and trail riding knee pads on the market!