In this article I’m going to give you my top picks for the best flat pedals for downhill mountain biking.
Considering the amount of abuse flat pedals have to endure for the downhill mountain biking discipline, I place durability and serviceability high on my list of priorities. If you’re going to spend good money on a set of pedals, you simply don’t want them to fall apart at the first pedal strike or crash.
And after they have been through enough abuse and it is time to service them, you want a service kit to be both available and easy to use. The best of the best flat pedals set themselves apart from the competition because they run on more than a single bearing and/or bushing, to prevent the tremendous amount of pedal load to be distributed among a higher number of components.
Next up is the pedal design itself. Everybody who’s ever run a trail knows the difference between staying on the trail and landing somewhere else entirely is largely dependent on you staying in control of your bike. And one of the key elements of control, besides your handlebars, is your pedals.
And especially for flat pedals, which don’t clip your feet into position, you want the overall design and pin position to provide ample grip. And a concave design to move your foot in place and keep it there is not a nice to have, but an absolute requirement.
That’s enough talk for now, let’s see what overview of the best flat pedals for downhill I came up with.
Hope’s F20 refers to the number of pins located on each pedal. They only offer a single pedal for adults. Why have more if you put your best effort in a single product? Makes sense.
They obviously look nice, with the best machining I’ve ever seen on any pedal. But Hope also has an outstanding reputation for making superb-quality products and these pedals are no different. Both in the durability and serviceability department. And it doesn’t hurt to get a “best in test” seal of approval in this regard.
They contain 3 sealed cartridge bearings and a single bushing that spin freely and are sealed off to prevent outside contamination from happening. The seals on this pedal feel incredibly tight and after many miles have not shown any signs of loosening.
I also was looking for a pedal with rear-loading pins. Not that I intend on crashing them into any obstacles, but it is the better option.
They are very pricey for a pair of pedals but I guess that’s part of the allure as well. And the entire design, platform, bearings and bushing, seals, simply ooze high-quality. If you decide to spend money on buying the best the market has to offer, the Hope F20 simply will not disappoint.
The RaceFace Atlas looks kind of similar to the Crankbrothers Stamp 7.
But it has an asymmetric layout which enables the large 110 x 108 x 12 mm platform to use 20, rear-loading steel pins instead. And rear-loading pins are easier to remove when damaged so that’s a plus.
The biggest difference however is in the bearing setup. The Atlas flat pedal uses a whopping 4 sealed cartridge bearings; a huge one sitting near the crank and 3 further along the machined axle. This both increases the Q-factor and ensures the pedal can endure a tremendous amount of load, and is the perfect companion for a downhill beatdown.
It might be this incredible durable setup that has convinced the manufacturer to provide the pedal with a lifetime warranty. Either way this pedal coming in 9 different colors is built to last.
Burgtec Penthouse MK5
UK’s Burgtec Penthouse MK5 is a very high-quality premium mountain bike flat pedal.
The aluminum body with chromoly axle runs on 2 bushes, not one, and a single cartridge bearing. It means each rotating part gets a lesser amount of load from the pedal which ensures a longer lifespan. A characteristic offered only in the best pedals.
Personally I like the square design very much, and the CNC machined body is simply stunning. It hold 16, rear-loading pins, and weighs in at 379 grams for the pair. It dips at the axle enabling a concave design for more grip.
One of the best for sure.
The Chromag Dagga sits at the right side of the spectrum when it comes to mountain bike flat pedals in a number of ways.
It easily has the biggest platform of any premium flat pedal out there, with a body measuring 120 x 115 x 16 mm.
Chromag further complemented this in-your-face design by offering a staggering amount of 24, rear-loading pins with a height of 7 mm. It basically means that once you plant your feet, they simply won’t come off the pedal again without the use of a tire iron.
If that pin-height proves a bit too much, you can also get height-adjustable pins to further tune your needs.
The rest of the body proves to be industry standard premium pedal characteristics. A chromoly axle, single bearing and bushing, and CNC machined aluminum body with service kits available.
It’s such an angry-looking, aggressive pedal for people who’re very serious about grip.
Crankbrothers Stamp 7 Large
If my sources are correct, the Crankbrothers Stamp 7 pedals are probably the most used premium mountain bike flat pedals on the market.
It looks great. Crankbrothers offers two different sizes for all their pedals, with the Stamp 7 large aluminum pedal body measuring 114 x 111 x 13 mm.
The Stamp 7 works with two glide bearings on either side of the chromoly axle. These bearings are much wider than your average sealed cartridge bearing, ensuring a flatter platform and a larger contact area. With proper maintenance it means the Stamp 7 could probably last you a lifetime (pedal strikes not included).
The pedal body has a very slightly concave shape, which aids in keeping your foot in place. And 20 front-loading pins enable a nice symmetric design.
The combination of design, color options, and bearing setup with service kits makes this flat pedal a winner among the competition.
Flat Pedals Weight Rating
As with any other aspect of a bicycle product, weight is always an important component of a high quality product. When looking at flat pedals, there’s an important tradeoff to make between the strength of the pedal, versus how much weight you’re trying to save.
And unlike many other products that use carbon, which is very expensive, budget-friendly composite pedals are actually both cheaper to produce and lighter than aluminum versions.
A popular way to lose weight is to use titanium spindles. It makes the pedals extremely expensive however, so you have to wonder how much money you’re willing to spend to save 100 grams.
In the following graphs you find the weight rating of flat pedals, which is calculated based on the place between the heaviest and lightest pedals researched. A 0 percent rating means you’re looking at the heaviest pedal, and a 100 percent rating the lightest.
Flat Pedals Bearing Rating
An important aspect of pedals is their internals and bearing setup. Almost all pedal manufacturers sell bearing kits, and it’s nice that you can rebuild your pedal internals if you need to.
What’s even better is that the quality of the bearings are of such a nature that you either don’t have to rebuild the internals at all, or after years of service. This saves you both time and money, and you simply enjoy your pedals more.
In the following graph you can find the bearing ratings in relation to the highest quality setup. The bearing rating is calculated based on the bearing setup and the maximum load it can endure. It’s an approximation of the quality of the setup that does not take into account how well the internals are sealed from outside elements. The setup deemed best receives a 100 percent rating.
Flat Pedals Grip Rating
Obviously the biggest difference between clipless pedals and flat pedals is that you’re not stuck to the platform. To have better grip than your standard flat pedal, pins were introduced. They dig into the soles of your shoes and provide the grip necessary on rocky trails.
The grip rating calculated here is based on the amount of pins in combination with platform size. Another factor is pin height. Since pins can be replaced, whereas platform size cannot, I didn’t factor it into the equation.
Another factor is how concave a pedal is, and how much you’re able to naturally place your foot on the platform. Feet with shoes on them aren’t totally flat, especially not when you’re actually starting moving or pedaling.
The grippiest pedal, even without pin height taking into consideration, is the Chromagg Dagga. Those pedals have set the baseline against which all other pedals are measured. You can see the respective flat pedal grip ratings in the graph below.
Specifications flat pedals for downhill
Bearings and bushings
Buy at Amazon
110 x 102 x 14 mm
3 cartridge bearings, 1 bushing
110 x 108 x 12 mm
4 cartridge bearings
Burgtec Penthouse MK5
102 x 100 x 15 mm
1 cartridge bearing, 2 bushings
120 x 115 x 16 mm
1 cartridge bearing, 1 bushing
Crankbrothers Stamp 7 Large
114 x 111 x 13 mm
2 glide bearings
Johan van Seijen
Johan van Seijen is the founder of restoration.bike. His passion for cycling in general, and restoring older bikes turned into a website to share his knowledge with a broader audience. Starting out on his father’s road bike and riding classics as the Amstel Gold Race and Liege Bastogne Liege he has shifted his attention to trail, XC, and gravel riding since. No matter how much he loves writing about everything related to cycling, nothing beats actually using his ever-expanding bicycle collection.
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