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The top 13 best flat pedals for grip

In this article I’m going to provide a list of the best flat pedals for grip.

Mountain bike flat pedals have a number of advantages over clipless pedals except in one area, which is grip. When configured correctly clipless pedals will stay connected to your feet at all times. That means that the occasional jarring nature of a mountain bike trail won’t end up in an accidental foot slip on the pedals, with possible disastrous results.

To prevent these foot slips, flat pedals offer concave platforms with pins. The concave nature of a pedal helps get the ball of your foot into the correct position of the pedal, and the pins bite in the soles of your shoes to keep them there.

If you’re looking for grip you’re looking for flat pedals specifically designed for mountain biking, since these pedals tend to offer the most grip. And it’s the characteristics just mentioned, concave platform and pins, that will offer a greater amount of grip. With a more concave structure, more pins and longer pins naturally increase grip.

These characteristics are not necessarily related to price. Cheaper flat pedals can demonstrate such traits with equal effectiveness as premium ones. So you’ll find both budget-friendly and premium offerings on my list.

So with that being said, let’s head over to my top picks for the best flat pedals for grip.

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

Chromag Synth

Chromag Synth flat pedal
Chromag Synth flat pedal
Chromag Synth flat pedal
Chromag Synth flat pedal
Chromag Synth flat pedal
Chromag Synth flat pedal

The Chromag Synth is not a carbon copy, but (almost) a nylon composite copy of the Chromag Scarab.

It means that where the Scarab sits far above a hundred dollars, the Synth is half that price.

For that price you get an 18-pin, front- and rear-loading, nylon composite MTB flat pedal measuring 100 x 107 x 13 mm, sitting at 380 grams.

Probably one of the biggest advantages of this nylon composite pedal is that you can buy a replacement pedal body should you smash it. If you ask me, every other pedal manufacturer should follow this, because it makes it much more attractive to choose a certain brand.

Expert Experience

80 | Paul Burwell – 44864

Grip with the stock pins is not bad, but like most nylon platforms I’ve tested, I can feel the plastic surface. It just feels a little bit more slippery compared to aluminium, especially in the wet. However, a lot depends on the flat shoes you’re running; it’s stable wearing a Five Ten Freerider, but with something slightly harder – like a Bontrager Flatline or Crankbrothers Stamp – I just didn’t feel as engaged.

Pros and Cons

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

RaceFace Atlas

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

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

Specifications flat pedals for grip

Name
Price
Weight
Size
Length
Width
Height
Body
Spindle
Bearings and bushings
Pins
Service kit
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
Chromag Synth
56.95 euros
380
107 x 100 x 13 mm
107 mm
100 mm
13 mm
nylon composite
Cr-Mo
1 cartridge bearing, 1 bushing
18, rear-loading
available
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
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
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
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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