We are so lucky now that our flat pedal options are so vast. Some of the best pedals are hidden and/or forgotten about, and that is exactly what we found with the flat pedal options from iSSi. iSSi is a brand of pedals you may have never heard of, but I suggest you check them out. They have a full range of pedals, from some of the best flat pedals we have ridden to trail and XC style clipless and even a hybrid clip/flat. Many of the demos going out of our shop will leave wearing iSSi pedals, and most people come back with praise for the way the flat pedals felt out on the trail. iSSi has three different models of flat pedals, and two of them offer small and regular sized platforms as well. There is the Stomp XL that is a CNC aluminum flat pedal with replaceable pins and bearings. Down the line, you will find the Thump, a composite flat pedal with replaceable pins, with two available sizes. Last is the Thump with molded composite pins, also with regular and small options. iSSi’s most budget-friendly pedal works amazingly well for some DJ or BMX action as well as on my bike I ride to the bars and breweries.
The Stomp XL and Thump regular size pedals are the same sizes even though the naming doesn't exactly make that clear. Then we have the Thump small that is a 4mm smaller platform in all directions. All pedals have a max height of 19mm. While that might not be the thinnest, it's how they can get their pedals to feel so damn good compared to other composite and flat pedals that makes them such a strong contender. The pedal profile is a truly concave pedal, with the spindle or center of the pedal being thinner than the outsides. When I first saw these pedals, they reminded me of the Fly Bikes Ruben pedal. Anyone who rode BMX 8-12 years ago would know that the Fly Ruben pedals were some of the best BMX pedals out. When I was 13 spending over $100 for pedals was insane but I had to have them. Now in the mountain bike space, the iSSi pedals have a concave shape like the Fly pedals and I immediately found they have a similar feel, although the iSSi pedals have a bit bigger profile for hard-charging trail riding.
The Stomp pedal features a CNC aluminum body with 11 pins per side. The shape of these pedals is really what set them apart, as they have a concave body profile, meaning the spindle or center of the pedal is thinner than the outside. This helps the shoe really flex into the pedal and grip in all conditions. With serviceable bearings, bushings, and replaceable pins, you will be able to get your use out of these and then some. Our resident video nerd Adam has been putting these iSSi stomp pedals through hell and back, and not only have they survived, but they are his favorite flat pedals to date. Adam was having some issues between a few different flat pedals and shoes, so we finally had him ride the iSSi pedals and within a ride or two he was sold and they’ve stayed on his bike ever since.
The iSSi Thump pedals are really where you get the most bang for your buck and what we have been loving the most! With how many nice composite pedals there are around the $50 mark, it's easy to get lost with options and brands. The same thing that stuck out for me is the feel of the iSSi pedal. It has the best shoe feel and from what I know, the most concave profile for any composite pedal available. One thing we have been noticing with composite pedals is they are trying to make them thin. Thin looks good, but when you are using a composite material you need the spindle to be thick and strong. In order to add strength, the spindle typically grows and ends up being the thickest part of the pedal. This raises the contact spot of your foot, which keeps it from grabbing the pins as you would expect. This is not the case with the iSSi composite pedals. You get all the concave and contact with the pins that you would want and need.
This Thump pedal is available in their regular size, which happens to be the same as the Stomp XL, and the small for the Thump. The regular size is what I would say is best for most trail riding unless you have a shoe under size 8 US, or about 40EUR. The regular will have the platform and support you are looking for. The small pedals would be for smaller shoe sizes OR they feel really good on a dirt jumper bike. Jeff and I ride our dirt jump bikes at the skatepark, pump track, and big jump lines, but you really don't need a large platform. We prefer the smaller platform for this application as I think it gives you more control and feel. But that isn't what you want when hitting rough terrain as the larger platform gives much more support to your foot, causing less fatigue.
The Thump pedals with molded pins have the same platform and mold as the Thump pedals but with molded composite pins. These are more for the casual rider, BMX rider, or just as a great spare set as well.
"iSSi is a pedal brand that is flying under the radar, but we found that sometimes the smaller brands end up having some of the best products, and that is certainly the case for iSSi and their flat pedals. With three models, two sizes and a vast range of colors to choose from, the options are in the rider’s favor. The concave profile of the pedal provides some amazing grip, reminding us of our favorite BMX pedals. If you choose aluminum pedals, composite pedals with replaceable pins, or composite with molded pins, we can confidently say these pedals will feel great on your feet." - Liam Woods