Every mountain bike needs to be outfitted with a pair of pedals or else you won’t be able to turn the gears. But while every bike has a set of pedals that doesn’t always mean that the design is comfortable for the rider. Riders may also encounter difficult terrain that can break a pedal, and this is when you would need to start looking for the best mountain bike flat pedals as a replacement.
But for the majority of riders are unaware that your pedals can be changed out of preference or necessity, which can make it difficult to choose a new pair. Mountain bike flat pedals are the favored design for many mountain bikers because their large platform gives you more power and ensures secure foot placement.
With so many designs on the market, we wanted to help you narrow down your field of choices, so we’ve selected ten quality products that we think excel at innovation and functionality. Plus, our buying guide will review all the important highlights and features that you should take into consideration to guarantee that you find the right pedals for your needs.
How To Choose Mountain Bike Flat Pedals – Buying Guide
The best mountain bike flat pedals will have a series of pins, which provide you with a strong grip so that your foot is less likely to slip off the pedal. Some designs will use permanent studs that are built into the structure of the pedal, while other will use removable pins so that they can be replaced if they are worn down or broken.
If you are looking for the best value, you should look for a design that has replaceable pins or studs because this will increase the life of your pedals. But be aware that most mountain bike flat pedals under 50 dollars will likely have permanent studs because they are more cost effective.
Structure is another important consideration of your flat mountain bike petals because the features of the design can affect how well the pedal performs on the trail. The best flat pedals for mountain bikes have been made to be lighter but also have a larger surface. This makes it easier to use and gives the pedal more strength to bear your weight.
Top rated flat pedals for mountain bikes will also actually not be entirely flat. Instead, the pedal should concave ever so slightly. This makes it easier to find the pedal without looking down and helps to correctly position your foot on top of the pedal.
The literal structure of the pedal should also be taken into consideration. Pedals that have more cutouts or a hollow style are better at self-cleaning, which means that you can easily rid them of debris like caked on dirt, mud, or snow. With less material, the pedal will also be lighter in weight. But you should be sure that there is still enough surface structure that you can successfully use the pedal without it breaking.
Pedal size can be tricky to choose because it needs to fit just right. While the biggest trend is to have large pedal because it gives you more surface area to make contact with your foot, it also can be dangerous if the pedal is too big. With an oversized pedal, you may risk bashing it into debris or rocks on the trail, which could throw you off balance or stop your wheels from turning.
The size of a pedal should be included in the product specifications. Most mountain bike flat pedals will be no larger than 5 inches in width and height. This is a good size because you can still find the pedal with your foot, but it is less likely going to scrape against the ground and cause problems while you ride.
Mountain bike riders should also look at the materials of their mtb flat pedals. The most common materials used are nylon and aluminum, but there may be some high-end models that are made out of magnesium or titanium. For riders who are looking for mountain bike flat pedals under 50 dollars, nylon is the best choice. Nylon is both durable and affordable, which makes it great for entry-level riders.
Aluminum is another popular choice that is a little more expensive than nylon, but also longer lasting and stronger. However, there are plenty of affordable aluminum pedals offered on the market too. If you need more strength, but don’t want to make a huge investment, aluminum is the best material for you.
Finally, the most expensive and the lightest flat pedals will be made out of either magnesium or titanium. Both of these materials are more durable than aluminum and are praised for being ultralight. While many aluminum lightweight flat pedals claim to weigh less than other designs, magnesium or titanium pedals are so light that they could almost float like a feather.
The materials used in your pedals should always be provided in the product specifications, so you know exactly what you’re purchasing. You can also look at the price and guess what material is used. Again, the most expensive mountain bike platform pedals will be made out of magnesium or titanium.
Material can also affect the durability of your pedals. While all materials are durable, metal pedals will always outlast nylon designs. If you are concerned about the materials and their performance, mountain bike flat pedal reviews can help you choose a quality pair of pedals.
The thickness of your pedal may seem insignificant, but small things can throw you off balance. The right pedal thickness will help support your body as you ride and keep you balanced. Flat pedals that are thinner will put your center of gravity lower. This means that you will have less power and rotational momentum.
A slightly thicker pedal will have more stability, which allows you to put more weight and power on the surface as you pedal along the trail. Thinner pedals are less likely to bear weight well and may actually snap. However, you don’t want a super thick pedal because it will be awkward to use. Most pedals will be less than 1 inch thick, but you can always check the product specifications for the exact dimensions.
Mountain biking is a tough sport and the trails are often fairly rugged. This means that your equipment needs to be durable and your platform pedals are no exception. Your pedals need to be able to resist damage and be long lasting. While durability needs to be inherent in the design, the materials used can also affect the overall durability. Metal is always more durable than nylon, which makes aluminum pedals the most popular choice.
Mountain bike flat pedal reviews are another great resource to determine the durability of a design and many riders will comment on the performance of a design in relation to its durability.
As we mentioned earlier, the true shape of mtb flat pedals actually feature a slight concave so that your foot can easily find its grip. It also allows your foot to naturally rest against the pedal. But you want the concave shape to be barely noticeable. If a pedal concaves too much, it can cause more problems while you ride on the trail.
Q: Why Are Flat Pedals Better?
The increase your technique and skill. By forcing yourself to ride with flat pedals, you can actually learn all your riding skills and techniques better so that you can advance your abilities. Without cleats, the body is required to learn how to stabilize and balance yourself so that you can efficiently maneuver on the trail. While it may seem harder to ride with platform pedals, it can actually increase your confidence on the trail because you’ll know how to truly ride.
Q: How Do You Ride With A Flat Pedal?
The shoes you wear, pedals you use, and placement of your feet can all affect how successfully you can ride with flat pedals. But ultimately it will come down to learning how to use the pedal. When you use flat pedals, you should always align the ball of your foot slightly in front of the axel. This will feel more natural and allow you to put more power into each push. This will also help keep you balanced if you are carrying heavy weight in your hydration pack.
Q: How Do You Keep Your Feet On A Flat Pedal?
With proper positioning. Your feet should natural change as you start the pedaling cycle, but ideally, you want your heel down in the forward position. It should then transfer up as your foot begins to head towards the rear of your bike. Your forefoot should always be placed slightly in front of axel, which means that your arch is in the center. If you feel your foot begin to slip, you can turn your heel downwards to retain a strong grip.
Q: How Do You Jump A Mountain Bike With A Flat Pedal?
When you use top rated flat pedals for mountain bikes, jumping is a whole new game. Unlike pedals where you clip into the frame, you cannot rely on pulling up on the pedal to support your jumping momentum. Instead, it is more of a workout and even the best flat pedals for mountain bikes can be difficult to use when jumping.
Ultimately, you will have to use more upper body strength on the handlebars to pull your wheel up, while your feet remain firmly on the pedals. You should then shift your body weight forward and push the handlebars in the direction that you want to go. This will give you the best chance to successful make and land jumps while using flat mountain bike pedals.
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Whether you’re an avid fan of flat pedals or you want to learn a new skill, it is important that you have a reliable way to power your bike forwards. Mountain bike platform pedals are not only durable, but they can help you hone your mountain biking skills and achieve perfection. With our guide, you have everything you need to find the best mountain bike flat pedals so you can hit the trails in confidence.
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Do you own a pair of the flat mountain bike pedals that made it onto our list? Let us know which platform pedals your favorite are in the comments section below.