Greatest mountain bike clipless pedals reviewed and rated by consultants

Discover the most effective mountain bike clipless pedals. Together with what to search for when shopping for the brand new breed of larger platform path clipless pedals.

No matter model of mountain biking you favor, we’ve examined the most effective mountain bike clipless pedals designed for each XC effectivity and wide-platform stability. Our listing of beneficial clipless pedals (or clip-in pedals, when you desire) contains platform and non-platform choices.

As a part of a system, bear in mind to consider the opposite half of the pedalling equation; the shoe. Head over to our famed purchaser’s information part for the greatest mountain bike sneakers recommendation. Or, when you fancy a extra playful journey expertise, try our purchaser’s information to the greatest mountain bike flat pedals.

crank brothers mallet e

Implausible intersection between clip-in pedal and flat

Weight: 445g | Platform: 80 x 90mm | Ranking: 10/10

Professionals: Not too hulking. Nice within the mud. First rate foot stability from platform. Good sturdiness.

Cons: Expensive. Cleat setup usually requires spacers. Brass cleats put on quicker than metal variations.

Because of the 4 bar, rotating mechanism you may just about interact in any course, even straight down. Plus, the open design makes the Mallet the most effective performing pedal in muddy circumstances; the motion of engagement appears to squeeze any mud away from the cleat. For optimum foot stability the Mallet DH is the last word selection, however the Mallet E’s platform and pins make it a superb choice if clearance via rock gardens and stump fields is a crucial consideration.

Learn our full take a look at overview of the Crank Brothers Mallet E

Shimano XT Race PD-M8000

Basic racer’s favorite

Weight: 390g | Ranking: 9/10

Professionals: Safe. Snappy engagement. Sturdy.

Cons: Not a mud specialist. Small platform space.

Shimano pedals are usually a benchmark for worth, sturdiness and efficiency at any given price ticket. Principally, you may’t go unsuitable shopping for a Shimano SPD pedal, and this XT mannequin (or its newer PD-M8100 model) isn’t any completely different as we’ve got came upon time and time once more. The XT just isn’t the lightest, or most cost-effective choice available on the market, however it can proceed to carry out to a excessive stage over years of service.

Learn our full take a look at overview of the Shimano XT Race PD-M8000

Nukeproof Horizon CL CRMO DH

Our favorite flat pedal goes clip-in

Weight: 523g | Platform: 109 x 83mm | Ranking: 10/10

Professionals: Giant platform, constructive engagement and good sturdiness

Cons: Giant platform – look ahead to pedal strikes!

The Nukeproof Horizon CL provides the most important platform of any clip-in pedal on the market, simply shading out the HT X2, and foot assist is second to none consequently. Three pins every finish assist with that safety, and in contrast to most of the different techniques, the pins had simply sufficient clearance to minimise any fouling of the only real. The mechanism engages with a pleasant constructive motion that might be appreciated by followers of Shimano’s clip-in pedals.

Learn the total overview of the Nukeproof Horizon CL CrMo DH

shimano xt m8020 trail

Shimano XT Path PD-M8020

Nice bumpers for rocky using

Weight: 405g | Platform: 91 x 68mm | Ranking: 9/10

Professionals: Usually crisp clicks mixed with rock-protection

Cons: Cage provides minimal foot assist

Although the physique and ‘cage’ is smaller than most DH/enduro-specific clip-in pedals, Shimano’s XT Path nonetheless feels supportive beneath foot thanks partly to the stiff axle and broad stance. The solid aluminium physique is as robust as outdated boots and regardless of receiving the types of pedal strikes that had us on the lookout for shards of steel, they’ve survived comparatively unscathed.

Learn our full take a look at overview of the Shimano XT M8020 Path pedals

Shimano PD-M540

Arguably all you want in a SPuD

Weight: 405g | Ranking: 9/10

Professionals: Does all the things it must at a terrific worth

Cons: Presumably outshone in worth by its barely heavier M520 sibling!

Shimano’s PD-M540 pedal continues the Japanese model’s custom of constructing excellent, dependable XC clip-in pedals, and we couldn’t fault its reliable bearing high quality, sturdy supplies and constructive motion. Clipping in ends in a particular click on, whereas the discharge is predictable, with loads of really feel and suggestions whenever you twist out. The stress adjustment works a deal with too, with a variety, from extraordinarily mild to nearly locked.

Learn our full take a look at overview of the Shimano PD-540 clipless pedal

Crank Brothers Mallet DH

The very best clipless pedal for any gravity using

Weight: 480g | Platform: 100 x 79mm | Ranking: 10/10

Professionals: The texture and connection of a flat pedal with the safety and effectivity of a clip-in pedal

Cons: Tender engagement – no audible click on. Brass cleats take cautious set-up and put on quicker than metal variations.

Ignore the DH tag, the Crankbrothers Mallet DH is a good pedal for path use, particularly when you benefit from the traits of a flat pedal, however need additional effectivity and safety. The platform is massive and concave, so your foot wholly contacts the physique. The Mallet DH is a standout pedal with regards to foot stability and confidence. You may actually really feel the platform supporting your entire foot, regardless of how a lot stress you place via it, creating in all probability the one true flat/clipless hybrid available on the market.

Learn our full take a look at overview of the Crankbrothers Mallet DH pedal

DMR V-Twin

DMR V-Twin

Provides a little bit of color to your journey

Weight: 553g | Platform: 82 x 100mm | Ranking: 8/10

Professionals: Glorious pivoting cage design actually works effectively

Cons: A bit costly and a bit heavy

Riders of a sure age could bear in mind the basic pink Shimano DX caged SPD. Effectively, Shimano’s patent on the sprung/pivoting exterior cage expired a number of years in the past and DMR have been fast to pounce on the chance to provide its personal tackle it.

When not clipped-in, the inner mechanism stands barely proud, popping its head out of the platform, which makes it simpler to find when clipping-in. As soon as discovered, the cage rotates to lie in the identical airplane because the mechanism. It’s a terrific system that we’re shocked extra corporations don’t use.

The system does clearly contain extra bearings and transferring components however DMR does supply full rebuild kits for all its pedals. So you may run its pedals for years and years. Which is to be counseled on this age of ‘disposable’ components.

In a single regard we truly desire the V-Twin’s listed stress adjustment system in comparison with different Shimano cleat-friendly engagement mechanisms which lack indexing. It’s simply simpler and extra reassuring when trying to get every of the 4 mechanisms behaving in the identical approach.

Learn our full take a look at overview of the DMR V-Twin pedal

How we examined the most effective mountain bike clipless/clip-in pedals

We examined and evaluated every pedal to learn the way effectively the pedal engages with the only real unit of our take a look at sneakers. Sole engagement mustn’t compromise cleat engagement, nevertheless, one thing that’s depending on the thickness of the rubber and the depth of the cleat recess. To supply a good comparability, each pedal was examined utilizing the identical pair of Specialised 2FO Cliplite (EU dimension 44) sneakers. Of equal significance is the platform dimension; pedaling and cornering testing helped decide the bottom clearance and practicality in addition to figuring out how straightforward the pedal is to find in a rush.

What to search for with mountain bike clipless/clip-in pedals:

best mountain bike clipless pedals

Grease the bolts beforehand to avoid wasting getting the drill out later!


The cleat is the bodily hyperlink between pedal and shoe. Usually manufactured from metal or brass alloy, all mountain bike cleats use a two-bolt design to connect them to the shoe. They’ve particular shaping to allow them to have interaction with the pedal mechanism. Many cleats are based mostly on Shimano’s authentic SPD design and are cross-compatible. However some manufacturers, akin to Crankbrothers, use a particular, distinctive design. Brass cleats will put on out quicker than metal ones.

best mountain bike clipless pedals

HT’s X2 pedal has a stress scale so you may guarantee all 4 sides are equalized. 

Launch stress

That is how a lot pressure it takes to launch your foot from the mechanism. Many of the pedals on take a look at permit for some type of spring stress adjustment to change the pressure wanted to clip and unclip. On pedals akin to Crankbrothers, with its twin-bar mechanism, stress can’t be adjusted.

best mountain bike clipless pedals

Mid-size platforms (left) give a little bit of foot assist and defend the mechanism whereas giving a great deal of floor clearance. Bigger platforms (proper) add assist for higher really feel and luxury, however on the expense of clearance. 

Platform dimension

The larger the platform across the clip mechanism, the higher the foot assist. A bigger platform will provide you with someplace to relaxation your foot if unclipped, particularly on a technical part of path. A bigger contact patch may also make pedalling extra environment friendly and rather more snug, particularly with softer soled path sneakers.

Nukeproof Horizon CS CrMo Trail

Two pins at every finish supply grip when not clipped in


Lots of the bigger, trail-style pedals take inspiration from flat pedals and embrace adjustable peak pins to change grip. Usually these must be finely-tuned to steadiness traction and the power to unclip safely.

SPD or flat pedals: they each want somewhat TLC to maintain rolling easily

Bearings and sealing

Most pedals use a mixture of bearings to maintain them spinning easily and forestall lateral play. The standard set-up is a mixture of 1 or two cartridge bearings mixed with a plastic or ceramic bushing. Sealing is essential because of the location and forces that undergo the pedals with a view to preserve mud and water from penetrating.

Giro Chamber

Float is decided by the form of the cleat


The entire pedals right here have floating cleats. Float is the free motion you’re feeling when you’re clipped into the pedal. For almost all of techniques float is an effective factor, because it helps to cut back the stresses of being clipped in in your joints and might forestall undesirable launch.