18 Flat Pedals for Mountain Bikes Tested and Reviewed

We tested more than a dozen pairs of flat pedals for mountain biking. Use this guide to help you find the best fit.
Flat bike pedals from Hope, PNW, Look, and Crankbrothers

Mountain bike flat pedal preferences can be as personal as grips and saddles, so we’ll share the important characteristics about these types of pedals as well as some insights to popular flat pedals that we have tested.

Some important characteristics of a good mountain bike flat pedal are:

  • Pedal width and support underfoot
  • The number and length of pins that hold your shoe in place
  • Overall pedal shape
  • Rebuild-ability

We should also note that the thickness of the pedal platform can have an important influence on the rider’s maximum saddle height, which shorter-legged riders who want to maximize dropper-post travel will have intimate knowledge of. The depth and width of a pedal body also affect how often you experience pedal strikes and what width ruts the pedals can squeeze between. Check out this article for more general info about choosing the best mountain bike pedals.

Singletracks has tested and evaluated all of the best mountain bike flat pedals over the years. Keep reading to learn more about the most popular flat pedal choices.

Flat PedalPriceWeight (pair)Body Material
Canfield Crampon$149395 gAluminum
Chromag Scarab$142430 gAluminum
Crankbrothers Stamp 11$300330 g (large)Aluminum
Crankbrothers Stamp 7$169375 g (small)Aluminum
Deity Black Kat$119403 gAluminum
DMR Vault$164430 gAluminum
e*thirteen Base$55392 gComposite
e*thirteen Plus$149441 gAluminum
Hope F20$180392 gAluminum
iSSi Stomp$115470 gAluminum
Look Trail Roc$85440 gAluminum
OneUp Composite$59355 gComposite
OneUp Aluminum$144.50386 gAluminum
Pedaling Innovations Catalyst $149.99505gAluminum
PNW Components Loam$99448 gAluminum
Race Face Aeffect$130440 gAluminium
Race Face Atlas$180376 gAluminum
Race Face Chester$50+340 gComposite
Photo: Michael Paul

Canfield Crampon Flat Pedals

The Canfield Brothers Crampon Mountains are a sweet looking flat pedal that is light, strong, relatively affordable, and provide a confident platform that spans multiple riding applications. They are easily serviceable and have demonstrated a level of quality that will go the extra mile despite continuous riding abuse. Read a complete review of the Canfield Crampon flat pedals.

Chromag gives you a TON of options for positioning your pins!

Chromag Scarab Flat Pedals

When it comes to customizing pin placement, Chromag is king, and the Scarab is one of our favorite mountain bike flat pedals tested. With 40 different spots to position pins per pedal, the Scarabs are a force to be reckoned with for flat shoes everywhere. I found them to be the best in show by a long shot.

With a footprint of 110mm x 105mm and a low profile, these pedals inspire confidence while barreling through the rockiest of trails.

The pins are definitely the highlight of the Scarabs. Each pin has a shear line which causes them to break away upon hard impact.

The pedals also have clean, chamfered edges which prevent rock strikes and maximize clearance. They weigh a respectable 430 grams (pair), and come in six different colors. The Scarabs cost $142, but you can also get a composite version, the Chromag Synth for $59.

Crankbrothers Stamp Flat Pedals

Crankbrothers offers flat pedals in a two sizes and at various price points with the more expensive models utilizing upgraded materials and bearings.

Crankbrothers Stamp 11 Large Pedals

Crankbrothers Stamp 11 Large flat pedals are an ultralight platform that the brand says is designed for shoe sizes 43-49, and there’s a Stamp Small (reviewed below) for shorter shoes. There are also far less expensive versions (Stamp 1,2,7, etc) of this pedal that forego the titanium spindle. Crankbrothers is well known for their easy pedal rebuilds and the Stamp 11 pedals can be quickly refreshed with a $25 refresh kit.

More key specs of the Crankbrothers Stamp 11:

  • Weight: 165g each
  • Pins per pedal: 20
  • Width, length, depth: 115 x 115mm x 13.5mm
  • Rebuildable: Yes

The wide body on these pedals provides a lot of footing options and loads of platform for your shoe to land on after a quick and greasy dab. The Stamp 11 looks wide and long enough to cause additional pedal strikes, but that thin body makes up for its spread, leaving the pedals with similar strikes to those that are thicker and narrower. That svelte profile gets the pedal low enough that I had to drop my saddle by a few millimeters when switching to these form the Look Trail Roc pedals.

Sole connection could be measured as an 8.5 of 10 across the Stamps, with a nicely concave pin pattern that allows your shoe to sink into the pedal a bit and really hold tight. The connection feels a little less locked compared to the Race Face Atlas pedals below, with easier foot movement when things do get knocked loose. The dipped center and large open space feels solid underfoot.

Crankbrothers Stamp 7 Small Pedals

The Crankbrothers Stamp 7 flat pedals are less expensive than the Stamp 11. I tested size small which will accommodate shoe sizes 37-43 (US sizes 5-10). For those of us with smaller feet, this is a welcome offering for optimal foot placement and less pedal strike. I found the size, shape, and profile of the pedals to be quite perfect. My size 40 feet (US Men’s 7.5) fit easily on the platform and unlike larger pedals, I didn’t have to worry about extra pedal mass sticking out and hitting rocks by accident.

The pin placement is spaced correctly and results in a wide body of grip that is comfortable and sturdy underfoot, especially combined with flat pedal shoes containing rubber compounds that absorb pins for maximum connection. The Crankbrothers Stamp 7 pedals come with two sets of pins and are easy and inexpensive to rebuild if you happen to lose a few.  Though the Stamp 7s are not lighter than some of the other Crankbrothers pedals, they felt noticeably lighter than other aluminum pedals I’ve used, weighing 375g for the pair.   

  • Weight: 375g per pair
  • Pins per pedal: 20
  • Width, length, depth: 100 x 110mm x 13.2mm
  • Rebuildable: Yes

I tested the Crankbrothers Stamp 7 pedals concurrently with the Stamp lace flat shoes. In theory the tread pattern on the Stamp shoe fits perfectly to the flat pedal, providing maximum contact surface and compatibility with the pedal platform. Nothing magical happened there, but I can say the pedals grip even if your foot placement isn’t perfect. Overall, the Crankbrothers Stamp 7 flat pedals hit the mark on the important aspects: size, profile and connection, regardless of shoe choice. They’re a nice size for smaller feet, the pins are placed in a pattern that feels secure, and they work well with most flat shoes.

Deity Black Kat Flat Pedals

Weighing a mere 403 grams (pair), the Black Kat flat pedals by Deity take the award for lightest pedals tested. They also have the smallest body platform, measuring in at just 100mm x 100mm.

Using only 8 pins per side, the Black Kats lacked the grip and concavity of some of the other pedals tested. They are the thinnest pedals I reviewed, but this comes at a cost.

The center of the pedal where the spindle goes through has a bulge that is immediately noticeable when riding. On wet trails I noticed my feet slipping around on the pedals and I never felt as confident as I did with some of the others.

The Black Kat pedals are available for $119 and in six different colors.

DMR Vault Flat Pedals

  • Tested by: Patrick Goral
  • Price: $164
  • Available at Jenson USA

Using an extruded and CNC-machined body, the Vault flat pedals by DMR make a statement straight out of the box.

Weighing in at 430 grams, the Vault isn’t the lightest mountain bike flat pedal out there, but the large platform, and thin profile make it a solid option for most riders. Measuring 105mm x 105mm wide with 17mm of concavity, they disappear under your feet when riding rough, technical terrain.

Each side of the pedal uses 11 reversible pins to fine tune the grip and feel no matter what shoes you’re wearing. Utilizing an outer sealed bearing and an inner DU bushing, they held up well during my tests, even in nasty conditions.

The DMR Vault flat pedals are available in a ton of different colors, and run about $164.

e*thirteen Flat Pedals

e*thirteen offers both composite nylon flat pedals and aluminum alloy flat pedals.

Even the local bees thought these pedals were a pretty sweet deal.

e*thirteen Base: Composite Pedal

The e*thirteen Base Pedal has a lot to offer riders at an unbeatable price. With a large concave platform and an abundance of pins, the Base Pedal gives your feet all sorts of space to get settled in for the ride. With sharp lines and clean shapes, e*thirteen put as much effort into making these pedals look good as they did into making a high-quality bike part at an affordable price. For only $54.95 these affordable composite flat pedals bring a lot of value to the table. 

The platform itself is robust and offers a lot of surface area to stand on. The body of the pedal itself is concave, meaning the axle is thinner than the leading and trailing edges, creating a bit of a cavity for your shoe to flex into for extra security. 

Totalling 22 removable 6mm steel pins, these Base Level composite pedals proved to be the prickliest of mountain bike flat pedals in our line up. Included in the box was a pack of 22 4mm pins, giving you the option to carry spares or fine-tune the fit and feel of the pedals. I really like the distribution of the pins because you don’t have to be lined up perfectly to still get a whole lot of bite. 

At a glance, these pedals look perfect. Huge platform, plenty of pins for grip, and a cozy concave nook to nestle into. After my experiences riding the other two composite options I was ready to be dazzled and fall in love at first ride. Unfortunately, the chemistry wasn’t quite there and the e*thirteen Base Pedal and I decided to remain friends. 

By testing these second to last, I can’t help but wonder if I got spoiled by the lower profile of the other pedals in the lineup. Similar to the Race Face Aeffect pedals, the Base Pedal offers up a taller stack height, putting the bulk of your weight a few millimeters higher than the spindle when compared to the OneUp Composite or Aluminum and the Race Face Chester pedals. Despite having a large platform to stand on, I still felt like I wasn’t in a position to really leverage the bike with my feet. It felt as though I was riding on top of my bike, not riding in it. 

Say what you will about nitpicking small details, but bike fit is a game of millimeters. Subtle changes can make a huge difference in comfort and performance, and flat pedal performance is no exception. My original theory was that the platform of the pedals was simply too big for my feet and that someone with a larger footprint would benefit from these pedals, but when I compared the measurements of these with my preferred pedals (the OneUp Aluminum), I was surprised to see that they weren’t too far off from each other. 

In the end, I think the Base Pedals have a lot to offer. While I didn’t quite find myself enjoying them as much as I had hoped, I wouldn’t completely rule them out for other riders. If I were to keep riding these pedals, I would simply have to work a little extra to make sure my feet stay attached. 

e*thirteen Plus: Aluminum Pedal

Everyone dreams of having a little red sports car parked in the garage, ready to break out for a weekend cruising in the mountains, right? That’s the feeling I got when I unpacked these pedals for the first time. It’s hard to ignore the beautiful anodized red color of these machined beauties. e*thirteen has found a recipe for success in their pedal design, creating two distinct product tiers that don’t skimp on performance or looks. Just like their Base pedal, the e*thirteen Plus Pedals bring a generous platform, a plethora of pins, and a few upgraded details that help sweeten the deal. 

Design-wise, the two pedals are more or less fraternal twins, featuring a lot of similar design elements with subtle changes. At a glance, the most distinct difference is the bulge in the axle by the threads. This is housing one of two bearings, whereas the Base model has a slimmer profile with a bearing/bushing combo. I didn’t mind the extra bulge, but I did notice that it puts the pedaling platform slightly further away from your cranks. 

Much like the composite version, the Plus pedals feature 22 removable traction pins and a 100x110mm platform. This premium version does not include spare pins in the box, so make sure you order extras if you’re prone to pedal strikes. The pins are hexagonal and smooth at the tip, giving them a more precise bite than threaded screws. The grip performance of the Plus pedals is similar to the Base model, and there’s plenty of it but you have to work a little harder to hang on compared to other pedals in this review.

I really enjoyed riding these pedals, and found myself staring longingly at my bike when they were mounted up. The color and design are striking and stand out, and despite the minor grip shortcomings, I still wanted to get out and ride these more and more. If you’re going for the ultimate color coordination on your rig, e*thirteen also gives you the option of ordering matching tubeless valves through their website. Making your bike look good makes you ride better and have more fun, right?

As much as I love the look and style of these flat pedals, I was surprised to see that they were the most expensive ones in this lineup. Priced at $139, they are a whole $10 more expensive than my first choice, the OneUp Aluminum pedals. Given the choice between the e*thirteen Base and Plus pedals, I would stick to the Base model because it gives you a better bang for your buck. As much as I love the pretty, shiny red sports car appeal, I don’t think the premium price point is worth it. I recommend these pedals for anyone looking for a thicker platform with a clean style and a lot of bite who doesn’t mind spending a little extra.

Hope F20 Flat Pedal

The Hope F20 pedal body is a little thicker than some, keeping with the company’s component longevity focus. There are three sealed bearings and a bushing inside that can be serviced with tools you have at home, though it may take a while to reach the service interval.

This slightly thicker body raises your center of gravity a tiny amount, and maybe it’s enough to fit that additional centimeter of dropper travel. All of the tall pins sit at the same height across the pedal, with an entirely flat pedal body from tip to tail. Some additional thickness doesn’t affect the F20’s stone strike numbers too much, with maybe one more small smack per lap.

The additional support pieces in these mountain bike flat pedals give them a super solid foot feel, with no way to tell where things are hollow or whole beneath you. Hope says that the pedal has a slight concave shape, but that “slight” is too minimal to see or feel. Despite the level plane this pedal hooks up really well with all of the shoes I’ve tested, and I’d give it a connectivity score of 7.7 out of 10, sticking with surprisingly similar tenacity as the Crankbrothers pedals above.

  • Weight: 196g each
  • Pins per pedal: 20
  • Width, length, depth: 110 x 110 x 16mm
  • Available in six different colors

The ISSI Stomp has no shortage of grip!

iSSi Stomp Flat Pedals

  • Tested by: Patrick Goral.
  • Price: $115
  • Available at Amazon

Issi is a relatively new house brand of pedals from Quality Bicycle Products (QBP.) The Stomp is the brand’s first foray into flat pedals, and they clearly did their research.

The Stomp has a very large platform, measuring 107mm wide and 120mm long. The pedals certainly provide a ton of traction as well, with 11 reversible pins per side.

One of the coolest features is the full-length chromoly-steel spindle. This makes the pedals feel incredibly stable, and should prove beneficial for heavier riders. The only downside is this adds weight and thickness to the pedals. At 18mm thick, the Stomps are the thickest pedals I tested by far.

Also, at 470 grams they were among the heaviest flat pedals. In use, neither the weight nor thickness affected my ride at all. I was mainly impressed with the smooth bearings, wide platform, and solid ride.

The iSSi Stomp pedals are available in four colors, and cost $115.

Look Trail Roc Flat Pedals

  • Tested by: Gerow.
  • Price: $85
  • Available at Amazon and REI

Look Trail Roc flat pedals feel like they could also be named “the hammer.” They feel thick and tough in the hand and under foot. The middle six pins are 2mm shorter than the outer sets, allowing your shoe to rest down in the pedal for a solid connection. Inside, there are two pairs of ball bearings and a DU bushing to keep things rolling smoothly. These are one of two sets in this roundup that needed a rebuild after some wet riding, as the bearings in both became fairly crunchy and loud.

  • Weight: 219g
  • Pins per pedal: 24
  • Width, length, depth: 115 x 109 x 16.4mm
  • Available in black

Body shape for this mountain bike flat pedal is similar to most: a dough mixing tool with pins screwed in. For the low price, the Look Trail Roc does the same job as most other flat pedals in terms of creating a comfortable and confident place to put half of your descending touch points.

I assumed that the added pins on this pedal would make it stickier, but that’s not the case. Sole connectivity on the Trail Roc is similar to the PNW Loam pedals below, allowing for a little easier foot re-placement than some of others. While riding fast some like to be able to relocate their shoe on the pedal without having to totally unweight one or both feet, and that’s slightly easier with these pedals. I would give their sole grip a 6.5 out of 10.

OneUp Components Flat Pedals

OneUp components offers their flat pedals in both composite and alloy versions. Singletracks has tested both.

OneUp Composite Pedal

There’s nothing particularly remarkable about the OneUp Composite nylon pedals at first glance. From an aesthetic standpoint, they offer a rather rugged and utilitarian look combined with some technical features. No frills, no thrills, but these pedals certainly get the job done. 

Measuring 115mm by 105mm, the OneUp Composite pedals offer a massive amount of real estate to bring you along for the ride. The platform is wide enough to allow for a little bit of wiggle room when things get rowdy but the size is not so overwhelming that you fear clipping obstacles on the trail. 

With a lower stack height, it’s easier to feel like you’re riding on your bike rather than tromping around the woods in platform shoes. The leading edge of the pedal is thinner, promising to help deflect obstacles on the trail. I certainly appreciated the feeling of being less prone to pedal strikes.

With ten pins per side, there’s plenty of grip to be had. Placement is well distributed and does a good job of really biting into the sole of your shoe. OneUp highlights the subtle concave shape of the pedal, claiming it provides better grip by sitting in the natural arch of your foot. I will have to agree with them because whatever they’ve done with their pedal design is obviously working — the OneUp Composite pedals fit my shoe like a glove.

At only 355g, these were one of the lighter offerings in the lineup. I don’t feel as though the weight of a pedal has that big of an influence on its performance, but if you’re into counting grams on your bike build then these super grippy bad boys will save you a whopping 10g over the aluminum version. 

Same, but different.

Despite the gram savings of the nylon composite, I do have some concerns over their durability. I noticed some deep gouges on the body of the pedal, and I have to wonder how many impacts this plastic pedal can take before it finally snaps. I also managed to bend one of my pins thanks to a rock strike, but it’s still functional so I haven’t replaced it. Additional pins are available on OneUp’s website, along with axle rebuild kits. 

During testing I rode in relatively dry conditions, very rarely even finding puddles or creek crossings. The bearings are not sealed, so my next question is whether or not they’re prone to getting dirt in all the wrong places. If you do get to the point of your bearings feeling crunchy and you need to breathe some new life into your pedals, OneUp sells a rebuild kit and has instructions on their website. 

To say that I have fallen in love with these pedals might sound like overkill, but I can safely say I will be devastated if I ever destroy them. I wasn’t a huge fan of the look of the plastic material, but the grip and performance of the OneUp Composite pedals exceeded all of my expectations. The combination of pedal shape, pin layout, and stack height really hit all the marks for me in terms of ergonomics, providing me more confidence on the trail. I highly recommend these pedals to anyone looking for a reliable workhorse ready to slay some singletrack. 

OneUp Aluminum Pedal

OneUp Components has come up with a fantastic pedal design that does nothing but build confidence from the ground up. If you’re looking at the OneUp Aluminum pedal then chances are you’ve already considered its nylon composite cousin, and you find yourself wondering if it’s worth paying a premium for metal. Read on for a more in-depth look at the major differences between the two.

Just like its more budget-friendly composite counterpart, the OneUp Aluminum pedal boasts a large platform measuring 115x105mm. At its thickest point around the axle, the pedal measures just 12mm, while on the leading edge it tapers off to a svelte 8.3mm, making it noticeably thinner than its cousin. The familiar hexagonal shape makes for a wonderful surface to stand on, fitted with 10 traction pins on each side that complement the slightly convex aluminum body, resulting in a pedal that sticks to your shoes like velcro. The pins are long and not threaded the whole way through, giving them a cleaner, more elegant bite than the grub screws used on other pedals. 

Bearings mark one of the major differences between the aluminum and the composite version of this pedal. While the composite version uses smaller bearings hidden inside the spindle of the pedal, the aluminum version features a fully sealed bearing encased within the bulge right next to the threads. 

From an aesthetic standpoint, the bulge blends right in with the rest of the lines of the pedal and it didn’t feel too distracting while ogling or riding my bike – but not everyone will agree with that view. The unfortunate downside to this design is that the aluminum version is not compatible with SRAM carbon cranks or crank boots, so make sure you’re not investing in a pedal you can’t use (or maybe go ahead and buy a crankset that works with these pedals because they really are that good).

I rode these pedals for a couple of days and found myself loving every moment, that is until my bike developed a mysterious squeak. After running through an elaborate checklist of possible culprits ranging from a dry chain to a loose bottom bracket, it turned out to be my left pedal. I was a bit disappointed with how quickly these pedals required service. I barely had any miles on them! Fortunately, servicing the bearings is a straightforward process. OneUp has rebuild kits and instructions available on their website. One thing to note is that a cassette tool is required to service the aluminum pedals, so make sure you have one available before you start trying to take things apart. 

Fraternal twins, killer traction.

Another notable difference is the obvious fact that these pedals are made of metal and not plastic. From a performance and grip standpoint, I think both pedals perform exceptionally well, and platform material should not be a factor. But from a durability standpoint, that’s where I start to wonder which one will put up with more use and abuse. Modern plastic pedals can certainly take a beating, and they hide their scars well. Anodized metal tends to tell a more dramatic story as the top layer is scraped away by pedal strikes and unfriendly encounters with the ground. 

So the question remains: is the aluminum version worth the extra money over the composite? Ultimately, I think the choice will come down to aesthetics. OneUp sure knows how to make a pedal that packs a punch on the trails, regardless of platform material. I felt right at home on both versions of these pedals from the moment I saddled up and cruised through the parking lot. 

Smooth curves and lines fit in nicely with carbon frames.

I highly recommend the OneUp Aluminum pedals if you’re looking for excellent grip, clean design, and prefer the look of anodized aluminum over composite. I do not recommend this pedal if you have SRAM carbon cranks or use crank boots because they simply won’t work. 

Pedaling Innovations Catalyst

The Catalyst Pedal is by far the biggest pedal on the market at 128mm x 95mm x 16mm. The main idea of the massive platform is to move your foot on the pedal to a more mid foot position, rather than placing the pedal on the ball of your foot.  This allows for a more forceful downward motion, creating more power than a standard flat pedal where you have to drive slightly forward and down. Watch the video above for a full review.

  • Tested by: Colton Lock
  • Price: $149.99
  • Buy from pedalinginnovations.com

PNW Components Lo

am Flat Pedals

We had a quick look at the PNW Components Loam flat pedals when they were released earlier this season, and here they are for some comparison. This first pedal offering from PNW is affordable, durable, and good looking — if you’re a bread or pizza baker. The Loam spindles are still spinning freely, but they are ready for a re-grease. Like all PNW products, the sealed cartridge and roller bearings inside are easily serviceable.

Unlike a lot of other mountain bike flat pedals, this pair is slightly thicker in the center, tapering toward the front and back sides where longer pins stand in plane with those in the center. The pedal body grows narrower toward the outside edge, creating a nice underfoot feel with a little less material to interact with the ground.

I got on well with the narrower profile of these pins, and really felt comfortable with the easier foot placement these pedals provide. On long, rough descents my foot does move around slightly more on the Loam if I’m not careful of my foot placement, but the designers seem to have struck a nice balance between stickiness and maneuverability. I can give these flat pedals a six out of ten for stickiness, which is just what some riders will be looking for. For more grip on these pedals, simply add a Five Ten Stealth sole. PNW is also making a composite version of this pedal for half the price and a little more weight.

  • Weight: 224g each
  • Pins per pedal: 22
  • Width, length, depth: 115 x 117 x 16mm
  • Available in black, silver, or purple

Race Face Flat Pedals

Race Face Aeffect: Aluminum Pedal

The Race Face Aeffect Pedals are an aesthetically pleasing pair of flats offered by the Vancouver, BC-based components company. The lines on the pedal are clean and sleek and they are sure to bring a touch of style to any bike build. There are twenty replaceable hex traction pins ready to grab whatever rubber comes their way, and feature a fully rebuildable axle. The simple and elegant design of these pedals is available in three colors: black, red, and blue.

According to Race Face, the Aeffect Pedal caters more to cross country, trail, and e-bike riding, although it’s not clear to me what criteria separate the categories. I found myself really having to fight to stay on this platform while riding my usual routes. My first thought was that maybe the pin layout wasn’t optimal, but with 10 pins per side, surely there’s plenty of traction to be had. It turns out that is only one part of the equation.

The body of the pedal measures 101mm x 100mm, which isn’t too far off from their cheaper composite cousin, the Chesters. However, I never found myself feeling confident on the Aeffect pedals. The gravity/all-mountain Chester pedals have a larger platform and seem to provide much more grip and support. While testing the Aeffects I felt like I was being forced to ride on my tippy toes a lot because there wasn’t room for my whole forefoot to rest on the pedal. 

Oddly enough the smaller platform is one of Race Face’s marketing points with the Aeffect Pedals. I went into this test thinking I was really going to like these pedals because they have a similar layout to the Chesters, but the diminutive size of the platform really distracted from the ride feel. I don’t have an exceptionally large foot by any means (I wear a women’s 8.5, or Euro 40.5), but without any real wiggle room for positioning, I found myself having less fun because I had to focus so much on foot placement.

I won’t claim that one genre of mountain biking is more or less difficult than any other, but if you want a good looking pedal to accompany you on mellower, flowier rides, or you have a smaller foot, then the Race Face Aeffect Pedals might be a good fit for you. 

Race Face Atlas Flat Pedal

A classic in the mountain bike flat pedal field, the Race Face Atlas saw a full refresh for the 2022 season. I like that these and other pedals are coming in a raw colorway so they always look like they did on day one. Home mechanics will be able to service these with readily available tools, which is good since one of my test spindles had fully seized.

Race Face removed as much material as possible from the body of these pedals, hollowing the external and internal edges to save grams. The body and pin height is about the same same thickness all over, though the raised inner edge where the inside bearing sits may be bothersome to riders. It can take a while to teach your leg not to place your foot too close to the crank where that awkward lump lies.

This might be the stickiest flat pedal in the bunch, deserving a 9.5 of 10 on my armchair connection scale. Ten narrow pins per side are perfectly placed to dig deep into any sole, making these an ideal flat pedal for gravity racing. After testing with a dozen shoes there was only one pair that didn’t stick to these pedals tightly enough that I could feel my shoe break free. I did manage to lose a few pins in the Atlas platform, and fortunately replacements are easily found. For a higher priced option, this would be my go-to flat platform.

  • Weight: 188g each
  • Pins per pedal: 20
  • Width, length, depth: 120 x 118 x 13.3mm
  • Available in nine colors

Race Face Chester: Composite Pedal

  • Tested by: Carolyn Baldwin.
  • MSRP: $49.99 – $59.99
  • Colors: black, blue, green, orange, purple, red, turquoise, yellow, forest green, mustard, magenta, mint, burnt orange, battleship grey, and electric blue
  • Available at Amazon and other online retailers

The Race Face Chester nylon flat pedals offer excellent grip on a wide, supportive platform and the pin layout makes for an excellent connection between shoe and pedal with minimal effort. Sixteen replaceable pins bite the rubber and leave plenty of room to adjust your foot position without concern. The Chesters ride smoothly and move freely without hindrance, letting me focus more on riding and not as much on footwork.

These gravity-oriented pedals did a great job of dancing with my feet as I floated down the trail. The lightweight composite body provides plenty of support underfoot without the burden of those extra grams that come with aluminum pedals. These are comfortable without any awkward pressure points thanks to a slightly convex platform, allowing shoes to virtually melt into place.

The composite body has a very unique shape, with accents and details interspersed with technical features that make these pedals one of my favorites from the lineup. Available in a whopping 15 different colors, there is bound to be something that works with your color scheme. 

Be warned, however, that the nylon composite material may not be as aesthetically pleasing up close. With a slight texture and an opaque and dull finish, the Race Face Chesters may not win any beauty contests, but they will do a great job of keeping your feet glued to your pedals. The nylon composite was hard to keep clean and I very quickly gave up on spot cleaning after messy rides. One benefit of being made from a softer compound is that they are more malleable and reportedly slide over rocks more easily than their aluminum counterparts, but how much of a beating can this material really take? Short term testing proved that they are durable, but only time will tell.

Overall, I was very impressed with the Race Face Chesters. I’ve seen this particular pedal recommended across the board, but I never paid much mind because I couldn’t get past the look of the composite body. Nonetheless, I was blown away by how confidence-inspiring the grip is. For now, the Chesters have found a home on my hardtail, and I have no intentions of replacing them any time soon. If you’re on the fence about trying flats, these are a perfect pair of pedals to try out due to their excellent performance and lower price point.