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As I mentioned in our review of the best clipless mountain bike pedals, clipless vs flat pedals is one of the most heated debates in cycling. Like that article, this one will not weigh in on whether clipless or flat mountain bike pedals are the king of the mountain. Instead, we are here to help you find the best set of flat mountain bike pedals for your needs and riding style.

Construction Materials of Flat Mountain Bike Pedals

The vast majority of flat mountain bike pedals are made of either a synthetic, also known as “composite,” material that consists of fiberglass and nylon, or aluminum. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Synthetic flat mountain bike pedals tend to be just as light, if not lighter than their aluminum counterparts. They are much cheaper, every bit as durable, and actually absorb impacts much better than aluminum mountain bike pedals. As an added bonus, composite pedals are the same color all the way through, meaning that scratches and dings do not leave behind an unpainted surface, as is the case with aluminum pedals.

So, what does the hefty price tag of aluminum pedals actually buy you? For the most part, a thinner pedal. Thin pedals have two advantages. First, and perhaps less importantly, a thinner profiled pedal will lower your center of gravity slightly, making you more stable and giving you more control over the bike. More importantly, the extra clearance provided on the bottom side of the pedal means that you are less likely to encounter pedal strikes than you would be with a synthetic pedal.one up

So, which is better, fewer pedal strikes or a less jarring pedal strike when you have one? Naturally, it would be preferable to have none at all. But with only about 5mm between our thinnest aluminum pedals and our thickest composites, this leaves only about 2.5mm clearance difference. Whether or not that is worth double or triple the price is up to you.

Pins and Platform Size

The first and foremost job of any flat mountain bike pedal is to provide a solid, stable, grippy surface for your shoe. While choosing the right pair of flat mountain biking shoes will make a bigger difference when it comes to grip, a good set of pedals will help as well. The “grip” of a flat pedal is usually determined by the number and type of pins that it uses to interface with your shoe. Typically, more pins offer more grip than fewer pins, and smaller sharper pins offer more grip than larger flatter pins.

Another factor to consider is the surface area of the pedal’s platform. Generally, a larger platform will offer more stability and will be easier to find when your foot is off of the pedal.

However, there is a point of diminishing returns here. If the pedal is much wider than your shoe, then you are not benefiting from the increased contact area. This means that larger pedals are not always better, especially because they are that much more likely to bash into rocks, roots, trees, and other trail hazards.

How We Judged

We judged the best flat mountain bike pedals first and foremost on the grip and feel of the platform that each flat pedal provided underfoot.

Weighted slightly behind grip and platform, we judged pedals based on the thickness of their profiles, as well as by their weight.

Finally, we took into consideration the durability of the pedals, as well as the difficulty or ease with which they can be serviced.

Price to Performance Ratio of Flat Mountain Bike Pedals

With anything bike related, there tends to be a point of diminishing returns in regard to price and performance. After this point is reached, components end up being astronomically more expensive for marginal performance gains. This is particularly true when it comes to weight savings.

Nowhere does this price to performance sweet spot seem more in the budget buyers favor than with flat mountain bike pedals. At around $50, pedals like the OneUp Components Composite pedal and Race Face Chester squeeze out extremely light weights, incredible durability, and all of the performance of their much more expensive counterparts for only a fraction of the price.

Of course, this comes with the caveat that they are a few millimeters thicker than the more expensive aluminum pedals that we reviewed, but we feel that they are among two of the best bang for your buck products that we have ever reviewed.

Best Flat Mountain Bike Pedal Review

Top Picks

Race Face Atlas: Best Flat Mountain Bike Pedal for All Mountain, Trail, and Downhill

Deity Bladerunner: Thinnest Profile Flat Mountain Bike Pedal

OneUp Components CompositeBest Value Flat Mountain Bike Pedal

The Best of The Rest

Race Face Chester: Great Value Pedal for Small to Medium Footed Riders

VP Components VP Vice: Best Bang for Your Buck Aluminum Pedal

Spank Spike

Shimano Saint MX80

Race Face Atlas

  • Grip 100% 100%
  • Platform/Profile 100% 100%
  • Weight 90% 90%
  • Durability and Servicing 90% 90%

Pros

Large Platform

Lightweight

Best in Class Traction

Good Clearance

Cons

Platform Might be too Large for Some People’s Liking

Pricey

Weight per Pair: 340g

Platform Dimensions: 101 x 114 mm

Platform Profile: 14.5mm at Edges, 12mm at Axle

Deity Bladerunner

  • Grip 80% 80%
  • Platform/Profile 80% 80%
  • Weight 80% 80%
  • Durability and Servicing 80% 80%

Pros

Among the Thinnest Flat Mountain Bike Pedals on the Market

Cons

Pricey

Not as Grippy as Our Top Choice

Weight per Pair: 380g

Platform Dimensions: 100 x 103 mm

Platform Profile: 11mm at Edges, 14mm at Axle.

OneUp Components

  • Grip 100% 100%
  • Platform/Profile 80% 80%
  • Weight 90% 90%
  • Durability and Servicing 90% 90%

Pros

Top Performance in Every Category for a Budget Price

Cons

Thicker Than Aluminum Pedals

Weight per Pair: 359g

Platform Dimensions: 115 x 105 mm

Platform Profile:  13.3 at Edge, 18.5mm at Axle

Race Face Chester

  • Grip 80% 80%
  • Platform/Profile 70% 70%
  • Weight 90% 90%
  • Durability and Servicing 80% 80%

Pros

Great All Around Pedal for a Bargain Price

Cons

Smaller and Less Grippy than OneUp Composite

Weight per Pair: 340 grams

Platform Dimensions: 110 x 101 mm

Platform Profile: 15mm at Edge, 18.4mm at Axle

VP Components VP Vice

  • Grip 80% 80%
  • Platform/Profile 80% 80%
  • Weight 70% 70%
  • Durability and Servicing 90% 90%

Pros

Great Value Aluminum Pedal

Cons

Doesn’t Really Shine in Any One Category

Weight per Pair: 415 grams

Platform Dimensions: 105 x 96 mm

Platform Profile: 14mm

Spank Spike

  • Grip 90% 90%
  • Platform/Profile 80% 80%
  • Weight 70% 70%
  • Durability and Servicing 60% 60%

Pros

Great All Around Pedal for a Bargain Price

Cons

Smaller and Less Grippy than OneUp Composite

Weight per Pair: 340 grams

Platform Dimensions: 110 x 101 mm

Platform Profile: 15mm at Edge, 18.4mm at Axle

Shimano Saint MX80

  • Grip 70% 70%
  • Platform/Profile 60% 60%
  • Weight 50% 50%
  • Durability and Servicing 90% 90%

Pros

Bombproof Pedal That Will Outlast You and Your Bike

Cons

Heaviest Pedal in Review

Preinstalled Washers Reduce Grip

Small Outline

Weight per Pair: 490 grams

Platform Dimensions: 95 x 90 mm

Platform Profile: 18mm at Edge, 15mm at Axle

Race Face Atlas

Best Flat Mountain Bike Pedal for All Mountain, Trail, and Downhill

  • Grip 100% 100%
  • Platform/Profile 100% 100%
  • Weight 90% 90%
  • Durability and Servicing 90% 90%

Weight per Pair: 340g

Platform Dimensions: 101 x 114 mm

Platform Profile: 14.5mm at Edges, 12mm at Axle

Price: $152.99

What We Like: Large Platform, Lightweight, best in class traction, Good Clearance 

What We Don’t: Platform Might be too Large for Some People’s Liking, Pricey.

The Race Face Atlas is our top all-around choice for the best flat mountain bike pedal on the market.  It offers grip, platform, profile, and weight that are all class leading or just shy of it. Rarely does any product claim the top spot in one area without making sacrifices in others, but that is just what the Race Face Atlas does.

What really clinches it for the Race Face Atlas is the large platform and super locked in grip. If you want a smaller, more skatey pedal, then look elsewhere. For us, the large, grippy platform, thin profile, and ultralightweight justify the high price tag.

Deity Bladerunner

Thinnest Profile Flat Mountain Bike Pedal

  • Grip 80% 80%
  • Platform/Profile 80% 80%
  • Weight 80% 80%
  • Durability and Servicing 80% 80%

Weight per Pair: 380g

Platform Dimensions: 100 x 103 mm

Platform Profile: 11mm at Edges, 14mm at Axle.

Price: $142.99

What We Like: Among the Thinnest Flat Mountain Bike Pedals on the Market

What We Don’t: Pricey, Not as Grippy as Our Top Choice

As enduro bikes get longer and lower, pedal strikes become more and more of an issue. If you are riding one of these new school enduro rigs and minimizing pedal strikes is a top priority for you, then the ultrathin Deity Bladerunner might be the best flat pedal for you. 

It does not offer the grip or the platform of the Race Face Atlas, but small to medium footed riders who prefer being able to easily adjust their feet to being locked in tight might see that as a positive. 

OneUp Components Composite

Best Value Flat Mountain Bike Pedal

  • Grip 100% 100%
  • Platform/Profile 80% 80%
  • Weight 90% 90%
  • Durability and Servicing 90% 90%

Weight per Pair: 359g

Platform Dimensions: 115 x 105 mm

Platform Profile:  13.3 at Edge, 18.5mm at Axle

Price: $49.00

What We Like: Top Performance in Every Category for a Budget Price

What We Don’t: Thicker Than Aluminum Pedals

The OneUp Components Composite pedal is one of the best price to performance products that we have ever tested. On the whole, synthetic mountain bike pedals are just as and sometimes more capable than their much more expensive aluminum counterparts, and no synthetic pedal is better proof of that than the OneUp Composite. It offers a large pedaling platform with best in test grip, along with being lighter than most of the aluminum pedals that we reviewed.

If you want a pedal that offers best in class performance with best in class price, then look no further the OneUp Composite.

The Best Of The Rest

Race Face Chester

Best Bang for Your Buck Aluminum Pedal

  • Grip 80% 80%
  • Platform/Profile 70% 70%
  • Weight 90% 90%
  • Durability and Servicing 80% 80%

Weight per Pair: 340 grams

Platform Dimensions: 110 x 101 mm

Platform Profile: 15mm at Edge, 18.4mm at Axle

Price: $49.99 

What We Like: Great All Around Pedal for a Bargain Price

What We Don’t: Smaller and Less Grippy than OneUp Composite

While the OneUp Composite stole the show for our best bang for your buck flat mountain bike pedal award, the Race Face Chester is another solid budget option. In fact, depending on your needs, you might even prefer it to the OneUp Composite.

For small footed riders who prefer being able to easily adjust their feet, the Race Face Chester is the perfect flat mountain bike pedal at a bargain price. Furthermore, it is as tried and tested as any pedal on our list.

VP Components VP Vice

  • Grip 80% 80%
  • Platform/Profile 80% 80%
  • Weight 70% 70%
  • Durability and Servicing 90% 90%

Weight per Pair: 415 grams

Platform Dimensions: 105 x 96 mm

Platform Profile: 14mm

Price: $82.00 – $95.00

What We Like: Great Value Aluminum Pedal

What We Don’t: Doesn’t Really Shine in Any One Category 

While it might not offer quite the performance of our favorite aluminum flat pedals, nor the value of our favorite composite pedals, the VP Components VP Vice strikes a sweet spot between them both. A budget aluminum pedal, the VP Vice is a great option for riders who want a thin, aluminum pedal that does not break the bank. Furthermore, removable middle pins make the VP Vice one of the most versatile pedals on our list, and a great pedal for those who want to bomb gnar and shred in the park.

Spank Spike

  • Grip 90% 90%
  • Platform/Profile 80% 80%
  • Weight 70% 70%
  • Durability and Servicing 60% 60%

Weight per Pair: 340 grams

Platform Dimensions: 110 x 101 mm

Platform Profile: 15mm at Edge, 18.4mm at Axle

Price: $49.99 

What We Like: Great All Around Pedal for a Bargain Price

What We Don’t: Smaller and Less Grippy than OneUp Composite

Great looks, a decent price for an aluminum pedal, and an extremely thin profile make the Spank Spike a solid all-around flat mountain bike pedal. In many ways, it is a cheaper version of the Deity Bladerunner, and it will no doubt appeal to the same audience. However, subpar traction and reports of the Spank Spike coming without sufficient grease gives us cause to pause about this pedal.

Shimano Saint MX80

  • Grip 70% 70%
  • Platform/Profile 60% 60%
  • Weight 50% 50%
  • Durability and Servicing 90% 90%

Weight per Pair: 490 grams

Platform Dimensions: 95 x 90 mm

Platform Profile: 18mm at Edge, 15mm at Axle

Price: $89.00

What We Like: Bombproof Pedal That Will Outlast You and Your Bike

What We Don’t: Heaviest Pedal in Review, Preinstalled Washers Reduce Grip, Small Outline

The Shimano Saint MX80, Shimano is a victim of Shimano’s own success. With clipless pedals that dominate the SPD world, we had high expectations for the Saint MX80, but it failed to live up to them. The Shimano Saint MX80 is heavy and comes with pre-installed washers that need to be removed before it offers anything resembling a quality grip. It also has the smallest platform of any pedal in our review.

The Shimano Saint MX80 is a bit long in the tooth. Hopefully, this Bombproof pedal will get a facelift in the not so distant future, and live up our expectations of what a Shimano mountain bike pedal should be.

We participate in affiliate programs to help us fund Gear Hacker. Some of the links in this website are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase a product using our link, we will earn a small commission. Don’t worry! This comes at no additional cost to you, and we will never base our reviews on whether or not we earn a commission off of a product. With that said, if you find our review helpful and decide to purchase an item we review, we would be very appreciative if you use our links to do so. It will help us bring you more awesome content in the future!