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The top 5 best flat pedals for downhill

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 F20

Hope F20 flat pedal
Hope F20 flat pedal
Hope F20 flat pedal
Hope F20 flat pedal
Hope F20 flat pedal
Hope F20 flat pedal

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.

Expert Experience

39 | Johan van Seijen – March 17, 2021

The combination of size and 20 pins per pedal (10 for each side), makes the grip of the Hope F20’s immense if compared with the pedals they’re replacing. But when compared with other modern day flat pedals I can understand why some people would say these pedals are not the grippiest. This means that while riding you can still slide around your foot on the pedal somewhat on the upward stroke.

I also own a set of Deity TMacs with 28 pins per pedal and a very pronounced concave shape. When your foot is on that pedal you simply won’t be able to move it anymore. That means the Hope F20’s grip is perfect for the bike they’re on, since I mostly use the bike for XC.

Pros and Cons

RaceFace Atlas

RaceFace Atlas flat pedal
RaceFace Atlas flat pedal
RaceFace Atlas flat pedal
RaceFace Atlas flat pedal
RaceFace Atlas flat pedal
fallback

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.

Expert Experience

17 | Drew Rohde – 44629

In our relatively short test period with rides through lava rock fields, epic eBike adventures and everything in-between, these pedals have not developed any play, noise, or friction yet. After a couple months of riding, we are fans.

If you’re a flat pedal rider looking for a slim, classy looking pedal that offers a lot of traction, a lifetime warranty and doesn’t need any special tools to be serviced, then the Race Face Atlas pedals could be the ones you’ve been looking for.

Pros and Cons

Burgtec Penthouse MK5

Burgtec Penthouse MK5 flat pedal
fallback
Burgtec Penthouse MK5 flat pedal
Burgtec Penthouse MK5 flat pedal
Burgtec Penthouse MK5 flat pedal
Burgtec Penthouse MK5 flat pedal

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.

Expert Experience

89 | Robert Johnston – 44714

The Penthouse MK5 isn’t the grippiest pedal out there but provides dependable performance that’ll give most riders the sweet-spot of grip they desire while withstanding a huge amount of abuse – both from rowdy riding and woeful weather. For riders who don’t demand the biggest and most stuck-fast pedal out there, the fifth generation of Burgtec’s Penthouse is pretty damn hard to beat for build quality and rider confidence.

Pros and Cons

Chromag Dagga

Chromag Dagga flat pedal
Chromag Dagga flat pedal
Chromag Dagga flat pedal
Chromag Dagga flat pedal
Chromag Dagga flat pedal
Chromag Dagga flat pedal

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.

Expert Experience

52 | Mike Kazimer – 43900

When it comes to flat pedal platform size, I’m a fan of the crop of larger-than-average offerings that have been released recently. Having a platform that matches the width of my shoe sole just makes sense – tiny platforms are best left to clipless pedals, or for riders with tiny feet. I also liked the wide stance that the Dagga’s allow. There are all sorts of opinions out there about the ideal Q-factor, but the position that the Dagga’s put my feet in was comfortable and natural feeling, and the fact that there’s no big bearing bulge next to the crank arm means there’s plenty of possible foot positions. Chromag recommends using the Dagga’s with thicker soled shoes, and I have to agree – these wouldn’t be very comfortable with soft, floppy skate shoes.

Pros and Cons

Crankbrothers Stamp 7 Large

Crankbrothers Stamp 7 Large flat pedal
Crankbrothers Stamp 7 Large flat pedal
Crankbrothers Stamp 7 Large flat pedal
Crankbrothers Stamp 7 Large flat pedal
Crankbrothers Stamp 7 Large flat pedal
Crankbrothers Stamp 7 Large flat pedal

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.

Expert Experience

87 | Simon Kohler – 45001

The Crankbrothers Stamp 7 Large pedals live up to their name with the largest platforms on test. They’re the easiest pedals to service thanks to the lubrication ports and the way the axles are held in place with two bolts on the insides of the pedal cages. On the trail, they offer excellent grip without making your feet feel like they’re stuck in place. The only downside is the fact that the pins screw in from above, which can become a hassle when they’re in need of replacement.

Pros and Cons

Specifications flat pedals for downhill

Name
Price
Weight
Size
Length
Width
Height
Body
Spindle
Bearings and bushings
Pins
Service kit
Hope F20
180 USD
390
110 x 102 x 14 mm
110 mm
102 mm
14 mm
aluminium
Cr-Mo
3 cartridge bearings, 1 bushing
20, rear-loading
available
RaceFace Atlas
179.99 USD
386
110 x 108 x 12 mm
110 mm
108 mm
12 mm
aluminium
Cr-Mo
4 cartridge bearings
20, rear-loading
available
Burgtec Penthouse MK5
99.99 pounds
379
102 x 100 x 15 mm
102 mm
100 mm
15 mm
aluminium
Cr-Mo
1 cartridge bearing, 2 bushings
18, rear-loading
available
Chromag Dagga
161.95 euros
488
120 x 115 x 16 mm
120 mm
115 mm
16 mm
aluminium
Cr-Mo
1 cartridge bearing, 1 bushing
24, rear-loading
available
Crankbrothers Stamp 7 Large
179.99 USD
375
114 x 111 x 13 mm
114 mm
111 mm
13 mm
aluminium
Cr-Mo
2 glide bearings
20, front-loading
available

Sources

39, Hope F20 flat pedals review, Restoration.bike, March 17, 2021
17, RaceFace Atlas Pedal Review, The Loam Wolf, 44629
89, Burgtec Penthouse MK5 Flat Pedal Review, The Loam Wolf, 44714
bio vanseijen

Johan van Seijen

Founder Restoration.bike

Johan van Seijen is the founder of restoration.bike. His cycling career has seen him at the starting line of classics such as the Amstel Gold Race and Liege Bastogne Liege. Realizing his racing capacity would fall short of what was needed he obtained a MS from the University of Amsterdam in engineering. His love for cycling changed into riding in an amateur capacity with his local cycling club TFC Weesp as a roadie and supporting MTB Noordwest as a mountain biker. He repairs, restores, and builds bicycles and shares his knowledge on YouTube, Facebook and this website. 

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