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The top 15 best flat pedals for gravel bike

In this article I’m going to provide an overview of the best flat pedals for gravel bikes.

My initial observance would be that putting flat pedals on a gravel bike is not often seen. Then again, who am I to argue with the fact that not everybody likes the clipped-in feel of SPD-type pedals. I for one don’t.

When doing gravel riding you probably don’t need the characteristics that come with a flat pedal designed specifically for enduro or downhill purposes. And I certainly hope that pedal strikes are an uncommon sight for gravel riders.

If my assumptions are correct, it doesn’t really make sense to add on really heavy duty pedals, with huge amounts of grip for the most difficult and technical trails. That’s the reason I’ve chosen both budget-friendly and high-quality offerings.

The items on this list have dual bearing and bushing setups for longevity. If not, it’s reflected in a cheaper price. And most are offered with durable aluminum bodies and service kits.

Either way, this list of the best flat pedals for gravel bikes will prove to have a pedal that suits your specific needs.

HT AE05

HT AE05 flat pedal
HT AE05 flat pedal
HT AE05 flat pedal
HT AE05 flat pedal
HT AE05 flat pedal
HT AE05 flat pedal

The HT AE05 flat pedal is one of HT’s premium offerings in the pedal department.

The aluminum platform measuring 100 x 96 x 17 mm dips to 12 millimeters at the axle, which makes for a 2.5 mm concave platform to seat your foot. E.g. a very grippy pedal, which is also one of the smaller on the market.

Deviating from industry standards, HT offers their proprietary EVO+ bearing setup, which is a single bushing and bearings seated between two races. It all spins on a chromoly axle.

Expert Experience

56 | Rachel Sokal – 42489

The key of the EVO is its thinness at the centre of the pedal and at 11mm, the AE05 is pretty thin. The mechanical theory of a thinner body is that it puts your foot closer to the axle and thus improves pedalling efficiency. Certainly there seemed to be much less of a wallowy feel with these pedals than my thicker DMRs. A thinner body also improves ground clearance although a few millimetres are unlikely to make a big difference in practice. Despite its thinness I haven’t perceived any flex on either pedalling or landing my full weight off jumps and drops.

Pros and Cons

HT AN14A

HT AN14A flat pedal
HT AN14A flat pedal
HT AN14A flat pedal
HT AN14A flat pedal
HT AN14A flat pedal
HT AN14A flat pedal

The HT AN14A is a high-quality platform pedal with a rather small body.

That means the 94 x 95 x 17 mm CNC’d body is better suited for smaller feet up to size 10.

If you fall into that category the 20 pinned, rear-loading body will prove to have ample grip in a smattering of anodized colors.

On top of that you’ll also get a CNC machined chromoly axle with dual cartridge bearings and a single bushing, which is above the industry standard of a single cartridge and bushing setup.

For its size it’s not the lightest, weighing 475 grams.

Expert Experience

82 | MBA Action – 43067

I installed the AN14A pedals on my favorite enduro bike, strapped on our Five Ten flat shoes and took off for the trails. These pedals are a tad smaller than other pedals I’ve ridden but are far from the smallest. I combined stealth rubber-soled shoes with these pedals and found they mated extremely well. It was almost as if I glued my shoes to the pedals. Once I applied pressure, my feet felt secure and movement-free.

The pins came pre-installed on our pedals, and the height was perfect right out of the box. I beat up these pedals ride after ride, and they showed no sign of slowing down, other than the inevitable cosmetic damage from smashing rocks and other trail debris. Overall, I had nothing to complain about when it came to HT’s AN14A pedals. They appeared to be bulletproof and provided me with comfort and support when ripping around my local trails.

Pros and Cons

HT PA03A

HT PA03A flat pedal
HT PA03A flat pedal
HT PA03A flat pedal
HT PA03A flat pedal
HT PA03A flat pedal
HT PA03A flat pedal

The HT PA03A is a premium nylon composite MTB flat pedal.

Even though composite pedals are very affordable, this pedal is a bit more expensive but for good reasons. It has a big concave platform measuring 105 x 107 x 18 mm.

Weighing 345 grams, the platform has 16 rear-loading pins, and 4 nylon ones sitting at the axle.

The machined chromoly axle holds dual cartridge bearings and a single bushing, which sets these pedals apart from the rest of the competition. These dual bearings ensure a longer lifespan, because the load get’s spread out.

The concave design and relatively large platform is simple but very effective in keeping your foot in place.

Expert Experience

83 | Mick Kirkman – 43116

Even sized with similar dimensions to plenty others here, the PA03A parallelogram feels really big, and the combination of a traditional, extended axle design, good concavity and well spread pins, means the HT is absolutely planted underfoot.

In dry weather the HT’s are a total winner, but in the worst mud and slime, the inner, fatter plastic studs offer little purchase and the overall grip levels are reduced to marginally less than the best aluminium pedals on test.

Pros and Cons

Crankbrothers Stamp 1 Small

Crankbrothers Stamp 1 Small flat pedal
Crankbrothers Stamp 1 Small flat pedal
Crankbrothers Stamp 1 Small flat pedal
Crankbrothers Stamp 1 Small flat pedal
Crankbrothers Stamp 1 Small flat pedal
Crankbrothers Stamp 1 Small flat pedal

The Crankbrothers Stamp 1 Small is the nylon composite version of their aluminum counterpart.

It measures 100 x 100 x 13 mm and offers a chromoly axle with both a glide and cartridge bearing.

Slightly concave with 18, rear-loading pins, it’s one of the best-looking and lightest nylon offerings out there, weighing only 299 grams.

Expert Experience

85 | Obé Swinney – 44028

My local bike park in the southeast of England is rock heaven, so it’s Inevitable I’m going to scrape them on rocks. An advantage of composite pedals is you don’t get the paint scrapes like you do on a metal pedal.

As I received these back in December they had to put up with a lot of wet weather abuse. With the bearing setup I was pretty confident they would take winter as a breeze, and they did. With three months of on and off wet weather I had no problems what so ever. With my previous pedals I had an issue of pins constantly falling out but with the stamps I haven’t lost one.

Pros and Cons

Crankbrothers Stamp 1 Large

Crankbrothers Stamp 1 Large flat pedal
Crankbrothers Stamp 1 Large flat pedal
Crankbrothers Stamp 1 Large flat pedal
Crankbrothers Stamp 1 Large flat pedal
Crankbrothers Stamp 1 Large flat pedal
Crankbrothers Stamp 1 Large flat pedal

The Crankbrothers Stamp 1 Large is the larger version measuring 114 x 111 x 13 mm.

This makes this pedal more suitable for riders with size 10-15 (us) or 43-49 (eu).

The large version is slightly heavier, but still very light, sitting at 329 grams.

Expert Experience

84 | Hannah Dobson – 43941

For the Stamp 1s, I’ve got the large ones which are recommended for shoe size 43-49. I wear size 41 bike shoes, so technically I should have been on the small ones (platform 100x100mm), but these (with a platform of 111x114mm) have felt good to me, and not too far off my DMR Vaults (105x115mm).

As with my Vaults, there are occasions when riding ruts that I’ve had to watch my feet, or wished I was one of those teeny weeny narrow clippy pedal riding people, but on the whole this isn’t an issue and I like the grip and security of a large flat platform.

I have found them grippier than the earlier Stamps I tested, but I’d be looking for more grip for more technical trails. The pins aren’t huge, but with sticky shoes there’s just about enough there to grab on to – though softer rather than stiffer soles seemed to grip the best.

Pros and Cons

Crankbrothers Stamp 2 Small

Crankbrothers Stamp 2 Small flat pedal
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Crankbrothers Stamp 2 Small flat pedal
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The Crankbrothers Stamp 2 Small is one of the best sub-100 dollar flat pedals you can buy.

The reason is that they come in two sizes with this small one measuring 100 x 100 x 16 mm, perfect for feet up to size 10 (43).

The body is made from durable aluminum, with a chromoly axle holding not 1 but 2 cartridge bearings, and a single bushing to spread the load.

20, front-loading pins are used on a slightly concave 439 gram platform to add a firm grip and keep your foot into place. And all Crankbrother pedals including this one are fully serviceable.

Expert Experience

86 | Rachael Wight – 43719

The platform of the small pedal is pretty small compared to favourite flats I usually ride on; take the OneUp Components pedal at 115 x105mm and Hope F20’s at 110 x 102mm for example. There aren’t any bearing housings obstructing the inboard side so the Stamp does provide a useable space but it’s still pretty small and I felt I missed the support near the midsole of my foot when riding downhill. On longer rides, this led to fatigue and some aching over the footbed with both stiffer and more flexible shoes.

Pros and Cons

Crankbrothers Stamp 2 Large

Crankbrothers Stamp 2 Large flat pedal
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Crankbrothers Stamp 2 Large flat pedal
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The Crankbrothers Stamp 2 Large is the larger version with a platform measuring 114 x 111 x 16 mm. It’s perfect for size 11 (44 EU) and up.

The pedals weigh a total of 494 grams.

Pros and Cons

Crankbrothers Stamp 7 Small

Crankbrothers Stamp 7 Small flat pedal
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Crankbrothers Stamp 7 Small flat pedal
Crankbrothers Stamp 7 Small flat pedal
Crankbrothers Stamp 7 Small flat pedal
Crankbrothers Stamp 7 Small flat pedal

I don’t know why, but Crankbrothers is the only company offering their pedals in two separate sizes.

The Crankbrothers Stamp 7 Small is obviously the smaller version of their most popular Stamp 7, which for years has been one of the best-selling flat pedals in the market.

It makes sense, because many riders have found the 100 x 100 x 13 mm body to fit their feet perfectly and hold just enough grip with 20, front-loading pins.

The easy-to-service chromoly spindle with 2 glide bearings ensures a long-lasting life and is very durable.

Expert Experience

43 | Logan Watts – 42779

Reports of long-term durability encouraged us to spec them for my ~900 mile Cuba trip. The large platform size and shape made for a comfortable ride over long days and offered an additional level control that was immediately noticeable. While we only put a third of the miles on them that Dave reported, they were really hard miles, and they still feel solid and are showing no signs of play or wear. If you are looking for a pair of comfy flats for a big trip, or to use for many years to come, the Crankbrothers Stamp pedals are highly recommended.

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

Burgtec Penthouse MK5

Burgtec Penthouse MK5 flat pedal
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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

RaceFace Aeffect

RaceFace Aeffect flat pedal
RaceFace Aeffect flat pedal
RaceFace Aeffect flat pedal
RaceFace Aeffect flat pedal
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The RaceFace Aeffect is a premium high-quality performance pedal.

Measuring 101 x 100 x 16.9 mm with 20, rear-loading pins, it offers dual cartridge bearings and dual bushings on a chromoly spindle.

That means many miles with this sturdy, great-looking pedal weighing a decent 375 grams.

The aluminum pedal body is available in a number of colors, as is a service kit, should you need one.

Expert Experience

93 | Jim Clarkson – 44055

Grip is decent if not outstanding, so it’s easy to adjust foot position, which some riders will prefer – I’d still rather feel secure as possible, however, and the Aeffects need a more conscious effort than some if you’re to keep them underfoot when things get rough.

That small platform doesn’t help hugely with clearance, as at 16.9mm it’s not especially thin. The corners are pretty square, too, and I clipped them fairly frequently on rocky or rutted climbs. They are at rounded, at least, which does help them slide rather than stop dead.

Pros and Cons

RaceFace Chester

RaceFace Chester flat pedal
RaceFace Chester flat pedal
RaceFace Chester flat pedal
RaceFace Chester flat pedal
RaceFace Chester flat pedal
RaceFace Chester flat pedal

We at least know that the design of the RaceFace Chester was deemed nice enough to be copied. And it’s a nice-looking mountain bike flat pedal.

It has a big non-concave shape measuring 110 x 101 x 18.4 mm, with 18, rear-loading pins.

The weight is average, sitting at 360 grams.

It offers the same single cartridge bearing and bushing on a steel axle as many of the competitors.

Expert Experience

80 | Paul Burwell – 45066

The Race Face Chester offers outstanding value for the flat pedal rider, especially for those who are newer to the sport, don’t ride frequently, or are more mindful of how they spend their dollar. The Chester provides a supportive platform, and fairly good grip, although they don’t perform as well in mud or as pedals in our review with more pins. The straightforward serviceability adds value to these pedals, making them a great choice.

Pros and Cons

Reverse Escape

Reverse Escape flat pedal
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Reverse Escape flat pedal
Reverse Escape flat pedal
Reverse Escape flat pedal
Reverse Escape flat pedal

I like the Reverse Escape very, very much, if not for the fact that it seems they don’t offer service kits. They should get that in order. You can get it serviced for 25 euros, but it means sending it off to Germany.

Apart from the lack of service kit, the Escape flat pedal has a lot going for it. Great design in a 100 x 100 x 16 mm aluminum body, running on a CNC machined chromoly axle with a classic setup of bearings and a single bushing.

Once Reverse starts offering a service kit, this pedal could truly be one of the best sub-100 USD offerings.

Expert Experience

94 | Nikki Stafford – 42405

The pedals were tested in a range of different conditions. I found they offered a good amount of grip in all the conditions they were tested in, although they definitely aren’t the grippiest pedals I have ridden on. However there was still sufficient enough grip and I definitely felt comfortable & in control of the bike. These Reverse pedals were also the first flats that I had ridden in a long time that didn’t lose any pins within the first few rides. The pedals are a lot thicker than some of the leading competitors so I found they were more susceptible to hitting off the ground and low lying debris & rocks underneath the pedals.

Pros and Cons

VP Vice

VP Vice flat pedal
VP Vice flat pedal
VP Vice flat pedal
VP Vice flat pedal
VP Vice flat pedal
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The VP Vice is one of the best budget mountain flat pedals on the market.

For less than 50 USD you get a CNC machined aluminum body measuring 105 x 96 x 13 mm, with a total of 24, front and rear-loading steel pins.

The pedal is finished with a chromoly axle running inside 2 cartridge bearings and a single bushing, and weighs 406 grams.

It means this pedal has no equal within its price category.

Expert Experience

63 | Sean Cronin – 42746

You don’t always want to be glued to your pedals. I typically ride clipless pedals and felt most comfortable on these pedals when I opted for flats. The grip was solid but not overkill, and allowed small adjustments of foot position similar to the amount of float offered by many clipless pedals. Rock-solid construction I could work on (with tools we already had in our toolbox) made me smile. Whether hitting the bike park, riding epic high elevation singletrack, or bombing rocky descents in the tall pines, these pedals will get the job done.

Pros and Cons

VP Aim

VP Aim flat pedal
VP Aim flat pedal
VP Aim flat pedal
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The VP Aim is another great product from this Taiwanese giant.

A barrel-polished aluminum body weighing 445 grams, comes equipped with 20, front-loading steel pins.

Just like many other MTB flat pedals from this brand, 2 cartridge bearings and a single bushing spin around a CNC machined chromoly axle.

A very durable pedal for people who don’t mind the extra bit of weight.

Expert Experience

95 | Nick Zuzelski – 42541

The VP Aim pedals have proven to be a decent set of flats with good durability. It’s rare to see a set of metal pedals with sealed bearings slot in at $60 or less per pair, which may offset shortcomings in weight and grip for less discerning riders. The Aims don’t redefine the pedal market or set any new benchmarks, but instead give budget-minded riders a trusty set of flats without breaking the bank.

Pros and Cons

Specifications flat pedals for gravel bike

Name
Price
Weight
Size
Length
Width
Height
Body
Spindle
Bearings and bushings
Pins
Service kit
HT AE05
160 USD
360
100 x 96 x 17 mm
100 mm
96 mm
17 mm
aluminium
Cr-Mo
EVO+ bearing, 1 bushing
20, rear-loading
HT AN14A
80 USD
475
94 x 95 x 17 mm
94 mm
95 mm
17 mm
aluminium
Cr-Mo
2 cartridge bearings, 1 bushing
20, rear-loading
available
HT PA03A
69 USD
345
105 x 107 x 18 mm
105 mm
107 mm
18 mm
nylon composite
Cr-Mo
2 cartridge bearings, 1 bushing
16, rear-loading
available
Crankbrothers Stamp 1 Small
49.99 USD
299
100 x 100 x 13 mm
100 mm
100 mm
13 mm
nylon composite
Cr-Mo
1 glide bearing, 1 cartridge bearing
18, rear-loading
available
Crankbrothers Stamp 1 Large
49.99 USD
329
114 x 111 x 13 mm
114 mm
111 mm
13 mm
nylon composite
Cr-Mo
1 glide bearing, 1 cartridge bearing
18, rear-loading
available
Crankbrothers Stamp 2 Small
99.99 USD
439
100 x 100 x 16 mm
100 mm
100 mm
16 mm
aluminium
Cr-Mo
2 cartridge bearings, 1 bushing
20, front-loading
available
Crankbrothers Stamp 2 Large
99.99 USD
494
114 x 111 x 16 mm
114 mm
111 mm
16 mm
aluminium
Cr-Mo
2 cartridge bearings, 1 bushing
20, front-loading
available
Crankbrothers Stamp 7 Small
179.99 USD
345
100 x 100 x 13 mm
100 mm
100 mm
13 mm
magnesium
Cr-Mo
2 glide bearings
20, front-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
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
RaceFace Aeffect
119.99 USD
375
101 x 100 x 16.9 mm
101 mm
100 mm
16.9 mm
aluminium
Cr-Mo
2 cartridge bearing, 2 bushing
20, rear-loading
available
RaceFace Chester
59.99 USD
360
110 x 101 x 18.4 mm
110 mm
101 mm
18.4 mm
nylon composite
Cr-Mo
1 cartridge bearing, 1 bushing
18, rear-loading
available
Reverse Escape
79.9 euros
405
100 x 100 x 16 mm
100 mm
100 mm
16 mm
aluminium
Cr-Mo
2 cartridge bearings, 1 bushing
20, front and rear-loading
not available
VP Vice
44.99 USD
406
105 x 96 x 13 mm
105 mm
96 mm
13 mm
aluminium
Cr-Mo
2 cartridge bearings, 1 bushing
24, front and rear-loading
VP Aim
60 USD
445
105 x 105 x 18 mm
105 mm
105 mm
18 mm
aluminium
Cr-Mo
2 cartridge bearings, 1 bushing
20, front-loading

Sources

56, Review: HT AE05 Alloy Pedals, Singletrack World, 42489
82, Review – HT Nano AN14A Pedals, Mountain Bike Action, 43067
83, HT PA03A flat pedal review, MBR, 43116
85, Crank Brothers Stamp 1 Pedals, Pinkbike, 44028
89, Burgtec Penthouse MK5 Flat Pedal Review, The Loam Wolf, 44714
93, Race Face Aeffect Flat Pedal Review, Off.road.cc, 44055
80, Race Face Chester Review, Outdoorgearlab, 45066
94, Reverse Components Escape Pedals – Review, MTB Girls Ride, 42405
63, VP Components VP-Vice Review, Outdoorgearlab, 42746
95, VP Components VP-Aim Flat Pedal, Vital MTB, 42541
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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