Flat Pedal Roundup: 6 of the Latest Flat MTB Pedals Reviewed

Flat bike pedals from Hope, PNW, Look, and Crankbrothers

Flat bike pedal preferences can be as personal as grips and saddles, so we’ll share all the info available about the options below. Some important characteristics of a good flat pedal are its width and support underfoot, the number and length of pins holding tightly to your shoe, overall shape, and rebuild-ability. The thickness of the 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. Let’s see how this pile stacks.

Crankbrothers Stamp 11 Large

Crankbrothers Stamp 11 Large 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 of this pedal that forego the titanium spindle. Crankbrothers is well known for their easy pedal rebuilds and the Stamp can be quickly refreshed with a $25 kit.

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.

  • Price: $300
  • Weight: 165g each
  • Pins per pedal: 20
  • Width, length, depth: 115 x 115mm x 13.5mm
  • Rebuild: Refresh kit
  • Different models available in other colors
  • Available at Amazon.

Crankbrothers Stamp 7 Small

The Crankbrothers Stamp 7 Pedals are less expensive than some of the other Stamp models. 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 shoes containing rubber compounds that absorb pins for maximum connection. The 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.   

I tested the Stamp 7 pedals concurrently with the Stamp lace flat shoes. In theory the tread pattern on the Stamp shoe fits perfectly to the 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 Stamp 7s 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.

  • Price: $169
  • Weight: 375g per pair
  • Pins per pedal: 20
  • Width, length, depth: 100 x 110mm x 13.2mm
  • Rebuild: Refresh kit
  • Different models available in other colors
  • Available at Backcountry.

Hope F20 bike 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 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.

Look Trail Roc flat bike pedal

Look Trail Roc 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.

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

I asumed 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.

  • Price: $80
  • Weight: 219g
  • Pins per pedal: 24
  • Width, length, depth: 115 x 109 x 16.4mm
  • Available in black
  • Find them at Amazon.

PNW Components Loam bike pedal

We had a quick look at the PNW Components Loam 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 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 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.

  • Price: $99
  • Weight: 224g each
  • Pins per pedal: 22
  • Width, length, depth: 115 x 117 x 16mm
  • Available in black, silver, or purple
  • Purchase online from PNW.

Race Face Atlas flat pedal

A classic in the 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 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.

  • Price: $180
  • Weight: 188g each
  • Pins per pedal: 20
  • Width, length, depth: 120 x 118 x 13.3mm
  • Available in nine colors
  • Find them online at REI and other retailers.