Last Updated on August 12, 2022
Pedals are an essential part of mountain biking because they’re our major contact point with the bike.
You also need to choose what kind of pedal to use. Will you go for flats so you can do tricks and have no constraints when dabbing? Or would you prefer clipless to improve pedaling efficiency and foot security?
If you go for the latter, you’ve just found the perfect place to be.
Here, we’ll show you the best mountain bike clipless pedals. This ensures you get the best bang for your buck and the right fit for your riding style.
1. Crankbrothers Mallet
Crankbrothers is one of the most popular brands with mountain bike pedals. They’re known for manufacturing premium quality pedals for different disciplines.
One of which is the Crankbrothers Mallet. This is what you need if you are into downhill and enduro riding. This Crank Brothers pedal gives you the control needed to tackle technical trails and sections.
It also runs on Crankbrothers’ exclusive Egg Beater engagement system. Crank Brothers pedal systems ensure your feet are clipped into the clipless pedals regardless of how technical the trail is.
The adjustable release tension of Crank Brothers pedals is also one of the most comfortable clipless pedals because of its ergonomic shape and design, similar to the Crank Brothers Mallet E, which also has nice tension adjustment on its very lightweight cleat mechanism.
Crank Brothers pedal systems also ensure that your trail bike has fewer chances of having pedal strikes compared to other pedals thanks to its spring tension, clipless mechanism, and functionally designed mountain biking crank arm.
It features a four-sided entry that makes this Crank Brothers pedal system ideal for shedding mud compared to other pedals with simpler spring tension and pedal systems designed for mountain biking.
The Crank Brothers Mallet also comes with its standard release cleats. This goes perfectly well with the wide pedal platform of Crank Brothers Mallet E pedals you need to keep yourself in place.
- Ideal for downhill racing
- Solid construction
- Secure platform
2. Shimano SPD
Shimano SPD is another choice you might want. It’s what you need to improve your pedaling efficiency, making this one of the best mountain bike pedals. They make this thanks to their SPD system. SPD stands for Shimano Pedaling Dynamics. They design this to make walking on clipless bike shoes more comfortable.
These Shimano pedals for trail and enduro riding also help remove the need for toe clips. This integrates the outsole and pedal into a unified power transfer system. Shimano SPD pedals have better-pedaling efficiency while improving the rider’s control of their riding style.
They design the platform of the clipless pedals to adapt to the shape of the rider’s shoe while clipping it directly to the sole. This is also beginner-friendly because the cleat’s tightness is adjustable.
- Reliable brand
3. Crankbrothers Doubleshot Hybrid
Crankbrothers doesn’t just cater to the pro racers and athletes. But it creates pedals for everyone.
Introducing the Crankbrothers Doubleshot Hybrid. This is Crankbrothers’ pedals designed for commuter bikes. But this doesn’t mean it’s only for urban use. Because they can also use this in the mountains. Just make sure that the trails are light and aren’t very difficult.
These clipless pedals are also ideal for long rides because of their comfortable large platforms. And it does this while it’s clipped onto your shoes. You also don’t have to worry if you’re tired of wearing clipless shoes. Because you can wear flats or even slippers on this without feeling uncomfortable or risking pedal strikes compared to other flat pedal brands.
These clipless pedals feature sealed premium bearings and double deals, which helps avoid internal rusting, which is also why many consider this one of the best clipless mtb pedals for your mountain bike.
The platform of these Crank Brothers pedals is also made from stainless aluminum and is backed with diamond plate pads similar to other Shimano pedals. The Crank Brothers Hybrid also has a release angle of 15 to 20 degrees, common in most Speedplay pedals and mid-sized crank arm lengths.
4. Funn Mamba
Funn is another brand regarded for its balance between durability and affordability. And Funn did a good job on this with their Funn Mamba clipless pedals.
This mountain bike pedal features a large platform similar to flat pedals. But it has a single-sided SPD mechanism cleat on the center. It’s just like a hybrid between flat pedals and a clipless pedal. However, a flat pedal is better for beginners.
They design this for enduro, downhill, and freeride because you can do tricks with it, making this one of the best mountain bike pedals you can get on the market.
Just unclip your shoe, and you’re free to do your tricks. It’s SPD-compatible and includes a pair of cleats that work with Shimano SPD clipless pedals. These clipless pedals feature their patented grease renew system.
This lets you easily re-grease it. They make their body from 6061 alloy. There are also six colors to choose from, similar to other flat pedals and clipless mountain bike pedals brands.
5. Shimano Deore XT SPD
The Shimano Deore XT SPD clipless pedals are another choice you might want. This is ideal for downhill and enduro riders because of the flat platform. But you can also use this for cross-country riding because of its lightweight body.
What makes these clipless pedals stand out is the extended contract area between your clipless pedals and shoes. This makes it easier to ride on in gnarly sections. It also has an integrated cage that protects its mechanism against crashes and impacts.
You also don’t have to worry about tight cleats because these Shimano pedals have an adjustable entry, making them one of the best mountain bike pedal systems that lower down pedal strikes, thanks to their spring tension adjustable release tension system, and clipless mechanism. They make this possible thanks to its release tension settings.
The clipless pedals have a Chromoly spindle and an 8 mm hex mount common in most flat pedals and other clipless mountain bike pedals brands.
- Reliable brand
6. Shimano XTR SPD
Shimano’s XTR SPD is what you need if you want to get a more premium feel on your clipless pedals. This is Shimano’s top-of-the-line flagship clipless pedal that matches their XTR drivetrain line.
It has superior drivetrain efficiency and a seamless and intuitive interface. This lets you predict your movement about your steering and traction. Note that the XTR SPD is the clipless pedal of choice in the UCI World Cup championships.
It comes with a cylindrical contact area that improves mud shedding. You also have two axle length options to choose from. There is a 52 mm variant and a longer 55 mm crank for these clipless pedals, similar to other flat pedal variants.
The pedal body is made from premium aluminum, and its spindle is made from steel Chromoly similar to most flat pedals and road bike pedals with traction pads.
These are some of the features you need to look for to get the best mountain bike pedals, whether flat pedals or clipless mtb pedals with clip mechanism for superior power transfer thanks to its solid platform, and adjustable pins, and bike park design.
There is also an 8 mm hex wrench mount for the clipless pedals.
- Solid construction
- Premium materials
- Not beginner-friendly
7. Crankbrothers Candy
Here comes another pedal from the Crank brothers. The Candy is the clipless pedal of choice of trail and enduro riders because it features a flat pedals platform. This gives a comfortable feel to those who aren’t used to riding clipless.
It’s also specifically designed for pedals that have high torque mechanisms, making this one of the best mountain bike pedals being sold in the market.
The bearings are sealed and coated with corrosion resistance. The clipless pedals are also made from forged 435 Chromoly steel along with a plastic composite pedal body. These features make this one of the best mountain bike pedal choices on this list for your mountain bike.
They make the wings of this Crank Brothers pedal from stamped steel wings, a feature you won’t see in most mountain bike clipless pedals.
This is also similar to the design of the Crank Brothers Egg Beater design. However, the Crank Brothers Egg Beater is more inclined towards a lighter trail and better foot support, common in most SPD pedals.
You’ll also find springs made from Crank Brothers 300 series stainless steel, which are ideal for a trail bike with pedal axle and foot support design with tension adjustment.
These are the features you need to search for if you’re looking for the best mountain bike clipless pedals or if you need your first clipless pedals.
- Simple design
8. Shimano Saint
The Shimano Saint is the ideal choice if you’re looking for a clipless pedal for downhill riding. This is specifically designed for downhill riding because of its large flat pedal platform. It also comes with Shimano’s exclusive SPD mechanism that ensures you’re tightly clipped.
But you can always adjust it to your preferences if you want these mountain bike clipless pedals to be lighter. Pedaling is more efficient and comfortable with this because of its balance between comfort and security.
They make its spindle from Chromoly and its body from premium aluminum. This makes it durable and light. It’s also strong enough to manage powerful impacts if you crash downhill trails.
It doesn’t matter if you have the best mountain bike in the market if you have flimsy cheap pedals.
Good thing you don’t have to worry about that when you have the best mountain bike pedals like the Shimano Saint because this features an intricate release tension design, remarkable foot support, and lightweight pedal design, which are also present on the Crank Brothers Egg Beater and Crank Brothers Mallet E.
This is also why many consider this one of the lightest pedals for mountain bikers. It might not be the most affordable pedal, but it’s certainly one of the most adjustable pedal ideals for stiff shoes.
It’s also what you need if you want pedals that have easy tension adjustment and superior foot support.
This features other models’ cups and cone-sealed bearing systems to lengthen usage life. There are also four pins on these clipless pedals on each corner to give additional support to your downhill shoes, which are essential if you are looking for the best mountain bike pedals. It’s also the mountain bike clipless pedals of choice of many UCI Downhill World Cup racers.
- Durable construction
- Secure clipping mechanism
Choosing the best mountain bike clipless pedals might sound easy. But it’s really difficult because of the many choices out there.
Good thing you found this article because we’ve discussed the best mountain bike clipless pedals.
Choose one that fits your riding preference. Are you a cross-country biker? Or a downhill racer? Maybe just a mountain bike enthusiast? Answer these questions to know which kind of clipless pedal you need.
Just remember to always prioritize safety and security over comfort and design if you want to get the best mountain bike pedals. Also, choose one from which you can easily remove your foot.
Don’t worry about the price too much. Remember that expensive pedals are worth it because they’re stronger and perform better than cheaper ones.