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Race Face Atlas Mountain Bike Pedal ReviewBest Flat Mountain Bike Pedal Review

Great Value Pedal for Small to Medium Footed Riders

  • 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

Shimano is a giant in the clipless pedal game. In fact, Shimano and Crank Brothers make up the entirety of our Best Clipless Mountain Bike Pedal Review. Furthermore, the Shimano Saint MX820 was one of our favorite clipless pedals for downhill and enduro use. How then does Shimano’s flat version of the Saint fair? Frankly, not as well as its clipless counterpart.

Compare to Similar Products

See Our Best Flat Mountain Bike Pedal Review!

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

Grip

The Shimano Saint MX80’s grip comes from 9 rear mounting pins per side. For some inexplicable reason, each of these pins is rendered shorter and less effective by a preinstalled washer. We have no reason why Shimano makes this the stock setup, and I don’t think that I have ever seen a set of these in the wild without the washers removed. In fact, we would go so far as to say that the washers reduce the traction of the Shimano Saint MX80 to something more akin to what you would expect to find on a Walmart pedal, not on a pedal that is obviously meant for bombing the gnarliest descents.

However, once you go through the trouble of removing the washers, effectively lengthening the pins by over half of their original length, then the Shimano Saint MX80 feels much more like you would expect a downhill pedal to feel, offering a solid grip, though still not on par with the Race Face Atlas or OneUp Composite.

Platform

Another surprise for such a hefty, downhill oriented pedal is that the platform of the Saint MX80 measures only 95mm x 90mm, giving it the smallest platform of any pedal that we tested. As we mentioned with other pedals, a reduced footprint is not necessarily a bad thing. Those with smaller feet and those more worried about clearance might prefer the smaller outline. However, we found it surprising that a pedal so clearly aimed at hard-charging downhillers, who generally prefer larger platform size for increased confidence and control, would opt for such a small platform.

With a profile of 18mm at the front and rear edge and tapering to 15mm underfoot, the Shimano Saint MX80 is also one of the thickest pedals in our review. This puts it much more in line with our top synthetic picks, rather than with the generally thinner aluminum pedals.

With one of the thickest center widths of any pedal on our list, the Saint MX80 takes a bit of getting used to, and the fact that the thick center does not extend all the way to the outside edge of the pedal makes the already small platform feel even smaller underfoot, and does nothing to add to its grip.

Weight

There is not much to say about an aluminum mountain bike pedal that weighs 490g, other than to say that it weighs 490g. The Shimano Saint MX80 is a heavy pedal. Of course, it is not aimed at weight weenies, so if you are the type of person considering purchasing the MX80, you are probably not terribly put off by its heft. Still, there are lighter pedals that offer more platform, more grip, and more clearance without the extra weight, so the added weight doesn’t feel like it is giving you much in return.

Durability and Servicing

This is the one section where we were not the least bit let down by the Shimano Saint MX80. Perhaps there is not much that carries over between making flat and clipless mountain bike pedals, the need for good bearings certainly does. With bearings on the inside and outside of the axle, these pedals should have a longer life than most flat pedals, which typically include at least one bushing. While getting the Saint MX80 apart for a service job might be a bit more work than with most of the pedals on our list, you will probably never have to worry about it!

The Bottom Line

It is easy to be overly harsh on the Shimano Saint MX80, because Shimano’s clipless pedals have left us with such high expectations. However, there is no real area where the Shimano Saint MX80 outshined its competition, save for our expectations of its durability.

Nonetheless, if you want a bombproof downhill pedal, you might be willing to live with its drawbacks for its very reasonable price of $89. However, we would steer budget conscious riders toward the OneUp Composite pedal, as we found it to be a much better pedal and a much better value if you don’t mind pedaling on plastic.

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