8 Best Mountain Bike Clipless Pedals

Pedals are a very important 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?

You’ve just found the perfect place to be if you go for the latter.

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. It gives you the control needed to tackle technical trails and sections.

It also runs on Crankbrothers’ exclusive Egg Beater engagement system. This ensures your feet are clipped into the pedals regardless of how technical the trail is. It’s also one of the most comfortable pedals because of its ergonomic shape and design.

It features a four-sided entry that makes it ideal for shedding mud. It also comes with their standard release cleats. This goes perfectly well with the wide pedal platform you need to keep yourself in place.

Pros

  • Ideal for downhill racing
  • Solid construction
  • Secure platform

Cons

  • Heavy

2. Shimano SPD

Shimano SPD is another choice you might want. It’s what you need if you want to improve your pedaling efficiency. They make this thanks to its SPD system. SPD stands for Shimano Pedaling Dynamics. They design this to make walking on clipless bike shoes more comfortable.

It also helps remove the need for toe clips. This integrates the outsole and pedal into a unified power transfer system. This boosts the pedaling efficiency while improving the rider’s control in relation to their riding style.

They design the platform to adapt to the shape of the rider’s shoe while clipping it directly to the sole. This is also beginner-friendly because the cleats tightness is adjustable.

Pros

  • Reliable brand
  • Price
  • Weight

Cons

  • Design

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.

This is also ideal for long rides because of its 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.

It features sealed premium bearings and double deals which helps avoid internal rusting. The platform is also made from stainless aluminum and is backed with diamond plate pads. It also has a release angle of 15 to 20 degrees.

Pros

  • Beginner-friendly
  • Price
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Design
  • Weight

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 a flat and clipless pedal. They design this for enduro, downhill, and freeride because you can do tricks with it.

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 pedals. It features their patented grease renew system.

This lets you easily re-grease it. They make its body from 6061 alloy. There are also 6 colors to choose from.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Versatile
  • Secure

Cons

  • Sizing
  • Weight

5. Shimano Deore XT SPD

The Shimano Deore XT SPD 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 this stand out is its extended contract area between your 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 this has an adjustable entry. They make this possible thanks to its release tension settings. It has a Chromoly spindle along with an 8 mm hex mount.

Pros

  • Durability
  • Reliable brand
  • Adjustability

Cons

  • Price

6. Shimano XTR SPD

Shimano’s XTR SPD is what you need if you want to get a more premium feel on your 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 in relation to 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.

The pedal body is made from premium aluminum and its spindle is made from steel Chromoly. There is also an 8 mm hex wrench mount.

Pros

  • Solid construction
  • Premium materials
  • Adjustability
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Price
  • 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 pedal 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. The bearings are sealed and coated with corrosion resistance. It’s also made from forged 435 Chromoly steel along with a plastic composite body.

They make the wings from stamped steel wings. You’ll also find springs made from 300 series stainless steel.

Pros

  • Aesthetics
  • Secure
  • Versatile

Cons

  • 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 platform. It also comes with Shimano’s exclusive SPD mechanism that ensures you’re tightly clipped.

But you can always adjust it to your own preferences if you want it lighter. Pedaling is more efficient and comfortable with this because of its balance between comfort and security.

They make its spindle from Chromoly, while they make its body from premium aluminum. This makes it durable and light. It’s also strong enough to manage powerful impacts in case you crash on downhill trails.

This features the cup and cone sealed bearing system of other models to lengthen usage life. There are also four pins on each corner to give additional support to your downhill shoes. It’s also the pedal of choice of many UCI Downhill World Cup racers.

Pros

  • Durable construction
  • Secure clipping mechanism
  • Downhill-oriented

Cons

  • Heavy

Conclusion

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. 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.

Related:

The Best Flat Mountain Bike Pedals

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AUTHOR
Jomar Teves
A writer by day, a tech enthusiast by night, and a mountain biker at the weekends. After four years in business school and working for multinational clients, Jomar believes he can improve the world through his writings. Jomar has six years of experience as a writer and has a degree in entrepreneurial marketing. Some of his works have been published on Blokt, Clutch Points, and iTech.