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Crank Brothers Mallet E Mountain Bike Pedal Review: Best Clipless Mountain Bike Pedal Review

Top Pick for Best Downhill, Enduro, and Aggressive Trail Riding Clipless Mountain Bike Pedal

  • Platform feel 100% 100%
  • Ease/feel of entry 90% 90%
  • Ease/feel of exit 70% 70%
  • Mud shedding ability 80% 80%
  • Weight 70% 70%

Weight per Pair: 420g

Clean Type: Crank Brothers Brass

Use: All-Mountain, Enduro, Downhill

Price: ~$120-$169

What We Like: Lightweight for the size of the platform, great pedaling platform, the most adjustable Crank Brothers pedal, easy to clip into

What We Don’t: Vague sense of clipping in and out, heavier than Candy 7, pins can make clipping out more difficult

The Crank Brothers Mallet E is Crank Brothers’ enduro focused pedal. It is also a great all around pedal for pretty much everything shy of cross country racing. The Mallet E is legendary amongst enduro and rowdy all-mountain riders, and it is our top choice for best enduro pedal.

Compare to Similar Products

See Our Best Clipless Mountain Bike Pedal Review

Crank Brothers Candy 7

  • Platform feel 60% 60%
  • Ease/feel of entry 80% 80%
  • Ease/feel of exit 80% 80%
  • Mud shedding ability 100% 100%
  • Weight 90% 90%

Pros

Great performance for a reasonable price, excellent mud shedding, best weight to cost ratio available

Cons

Small platform compared to the similarly priced Crank Brothers Mallet E

Weight: 320g

Cleat Type: Crank Brothers Brass

Use: All-Mountain, Enduro XC

Shimano XT M8020

  • Platform feel 70% 70%
  • Ease/feel of entry 80% 80%
  • Ease/feel of exit 80% 80%
  • Mud shedding ability 70% 70%
  • Weight 80% 80%

Pros

A high-end pedal for a mid-tier price

Cons

Significantly heavier than the Crank Brothers alternative

Weight: 404g

Cleat Type: SPD Mountain

Use: All-Mountain, Enduro XC

Crank Brothers Mallet E

  • Platform feel 100% 100%
  • Ease/feel of entry 90% 90%
  • Ease/feel of exit 70% 70%
  • Mud shedding ability 80% 80%
  • Weight 70% 70%

Pros

Lightweight for the size of the platform

Great pedaling platform

The most adjustable Crank Brothers pedal

Easy to clip into

Cons

Vague sense of clipping in and out

Heavier than Candy 7

Pins can make clipping out more difficult

Weight: 420g

Cleat Type: Crank Brothers Brass

Use: All-Mountain, Enduro, Downhill

Shimano Saint M820

  • Platform feel 90% 90%
  • Ease/feel of entry 90% 90%
  • Ease/feel of exit 70% 70%
  • Mud shedding ability 60% 60%
  • Weight 30% 30%

Pros

The most adjustable pedals that we reviewed

Great pedal platform

Satisfying SPD feel

Cons

Heaviest pedals in our review

Not the best for extremely muddy conditions

Weight: 545g

Cleat Type: SPD Mountain

Use: All-Mountain, Enduro, Downhill

Crank Brothers Candy 1

  • Platform feel 60% 60%
  • Ease/feel of entry 80% 80%
  • Ease/feel of exit 80% 80%
  • Mud shedding ability 100% 100%
  • Weight 90% 90%

Pros

Extremely lightweight and well-rounded pedal for the price

Cons

Lack of traction pads found on higher end Candy pedals

Not the most solid platform

Weight: 294g

Cleat Type: Crank Brothers Brass

Use: All-Mountain, Enduro, XC

Shimano M530

  • Platform feel 70% 70%
  • Ease/feel of entry 80% 80%
  • Ease/feel of exit 80% 80%
  • Mud shedding ability 80% 80%
  • Weight 70% 70%

Pros

Virtually the same pedaling and clipping experience offered by the much more expensive Shimano XTR M9120 and XT M8020 at an entry-level price

Cons

Heaviest mini platform pedal in review, painted cage is slippery when wet

Weight: 453g

Cleat Type: SPD Mountain

Use: All-Mountain, Enduro, XC

Crank Brothers Eggbeater 3

  • Platform feel 30% 30%
  • Ease/feel of entry 50% 50%
  • Ease/feel of exit 90% 90%
  • Mud shedding ability 100% 100%
  • Weight 100% 100%

Pros

A high-end pedal for a mid-tier price

Cons

Significantly heavier than the Crank Brothers alternative

Weight: 404g

Cleat Type: SPD Mountain

Use: All-Mountain, Enduro XC

Shimano XTR M9100

  • Platform feel 50% 50%
  • Ease/feel of entry 60% 60%
  • Ease/feel of exit 80% 80%
  • Mud shedding ability 90% 90%
  • Weight 90% 90%

Pros

Lightest SPD pedal in test

Fairly large contact area for an SPD pedal

Cons

Pricey and heavy compared to Crank Brothers alternative

Weight: 310g

Cleat Type: SPD Mountain

Use: XC

Crank Brothers Eggbeater 1

  • Platform feel 30% 30%
  • Ease/feel of entry 50% 50%
  • Ease/feel of exit 90% 90%
  • Mud shedding ability 100% 100%
  • Weight 100% 100%

Pros

Unbeatable weight for budget XC pedals

Cons

Difficult to clip into

Weight: 280g

Cleat Type: Crank Brothers Brass

Use: XC

Shimano M520

  • Platform feel 50% 50%
  • Ease/feel of entry 60% 60%
  • Ease/feel of exit 80% 80%
  • Mud shedding ability 90% 90%
  • Weight 70% 70%

Pros

The same pedaling experience of the XTR M9120 for a third of the price

Cons

Heavier than the Egg Beater 1

Weight: 310g

Cleat Type: SPD Mountain

Use: XC

Shimano XTR M9120

  • Platform feel 70% 70%
  • Ease/feel of entry 80% 80%
  • Ease/feel of exit 80% 80%
  • Mud shedding ability 70% 70%
  • Weight 80% 80%

Pros

All of the great features of the XT M8020 in a lighter package

Cons

Heavier than Crank Brothers alternative and not enough difference to justify the price increase over the Shimano XT M8020

Weight: 398g

Cleat Type: SPD Mountain

Use: All-Mountain, Enduro, XC

Platform

Among the more robust pedals on our list, the Crank Brothers Mallet E pedal offers one of the best platforms in the test. Of course, it will depend on your shoes, but the Mallet E pedals use a slightly concave shape to make sure that your shoes make contact with the pedals. Furthermore, the Mallet E has six adjustable pins per side, to further dial in the fit of the pedals to your shoes. Finally, the Mallet E pedals come with two different sets of plastic traction pads, which are the little rubber inserts in the middle of the pedal. These help you adjust the middle of the pedals to your preferred level of contact, much like the pins do the edges.

While we still don’t recommend using them as flats, the Mallet E pedals provide fairly solid footing should you come unclipped due to a pedal strike. It also makes those scary moments when you need a desperate unclipped pedal stroke or two much more manageable.

Finally, choosing the right shoe to pair with full cage clipless pedals, such as the Mallet E, is very important. For instance, stiff soled XC racing shoes might not flex enough to make use of the cage, rendering it much less effective while pedaling. Meanwhile, softer-soled shoes take full advantage of the extra weight that you are pedaling around.

Ease of Entry

Like all Crank Brothers pedals, the egg beater clip mechanism offers four-sided entry. However, the robust nature of the Mallet E pedals’ cage means that you can only practically clip into two sides. The cage also makes it easy to get the pedal flat and into clipping position under foot when it is time to clip in. Also like most Crank Brothers pedals, the egg beater clips are not affected by mud, so it is easy to clip into in almost any conditions.

The clipping sensation can be slightly hit or miss with the Mallet E pedals. While they are easy enough to clip into, sometimes they seem to give a fairly distinct clicking feel/sound. Other times, you simply slide into them with very little feedback.

Ease of Exit

Similar to their entry, the Mallet E’s don’t give too much in the way of feedback when unclipping. In fact, the beginning of unclipping feels very much like the float of the pedal, and it takes some getting used to in order to tell where one ends and the other begins.

Unlike SPD pedals, the tension for clipping and unclipping cannot be adjusted. However, the release angle can be switched for 15 to 20 degrees by simply reversing the way that the cleats are mounted.

Weight

In general, Crank Brothers pedals tend to be lighter than their SPD equivalents. This is certainly true of the Crank Brothers Mallet E, which weighs in at 420g. This is a full 130g lighter than the Shimano Saint M820s. While they certainly do not pass for ultralight, the Mallet Es are extremely light for the platform that they offer, and we would certainly take on those extra few grams for the pedaling platform that they provide.

Mud Shedding Ability

The Crank Brothers egg beater style clipping mechanism has long been the gold standard for mud shedding among clipless mountain bike pedals. While the larger cage offers a few more places to pick up mud, the clips stay mud-free, making the Mallet Es our top pick for all mountain and enduro riders who frequent muddy trails.

The Bottom Line

The Crank Brothers Mallet E pedals are among the best available. They offer a combination of lightweight, pedaling platform, and mud shedding ability that makes them one of the most well-rounded pedals on the market. If we were going to travel the country with only one pair of clipless pedals, riding in everything from hot and dry to wet and muddy, cross country to downhill, then the Crank Brothers Mallet E would probably be the pedal that we chose.

Finally, with sale prices dipping to ~$110, the Mallet E also offers a great value for the price.

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