What Kind of Pedal Clips Are Best on a Mountain Bike?

Last Updated on January 17, 2022

Many mountain bikers are discovering the many benefits they can get when riding with clipless pedals.

Not only do these improve balance on the bike, but they also improve pedaling efficiency and stability especially if you are riding long distances or if you are fond of riding through very rough trails.

In this article, we are going to show you the best clipless pedals you can get in the market today. We will also help you choose the right ones depending on the kind of mountain biking you do.

What are the best hybrid clipless pedals for XC and trails?

Shimano M8100

Shimano is a staple name in the world of mountain biking because of its focus on durability and quality. One good example of that is the Shimano M8100, a clipless pedal that is specifically designed both for cross-country riding and for trails.

Its focus is on improving pedaling efficiency while also having the capability to reduce mud shedding.

Aside from that, it also has a smooth release and engagement because of its retention claws that work alongside its adjustable tension settings.

This makes it easy for you to clip in and out anytime you want. The spindle is made from Chromoly and has an 8 mm hex wrench mount.

Get this one if you want a large-pedal platform with a built-in clipless system that makes you go faster.

Aside from these, the M8100 also has an offset binding design that ensures smooth engagement depending on your preferences.

It’s the go-to pedal of choice if you are into cross-country riding, but don’t want to compromise durability when you’re out in the trails.

What is the best trail clipless pedal?

Crankbrothers Candy 7

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Crankbrothers is one of the biggest names in the realm of mountain biking because of its excellence when it comes to designing stylish and durable components.

Check out the Crankbrothers Candy 7 which is made from premium 6061-T6 aluminum.

Its spindle, on the other hand, is made from 435 Chromoly steel and combined with 300-series stainless steel for maximum durability. There are 6 floats and a 2-bolt cleat with an entry and release measurement of 15 and 20.

It is the ideal pedal if you are into trail riding because of its large platform and robust design. This also has a four-sided entry so you will have an easier time clipping in even if you’re stuck in a tight spot.

This Crank Brothers pedals also allows mud to just pass through the structure of the pedals instead of it usually climbing around its sides which usually happens on other mountain bike pedals.

This means that you don’t have to worry about your shoes and pedal getting a lot of mud because they’ll just be wicked off automatically

It has a rugged build that can tolerate constant crashing and hits from the usual abuse you can expect from the trails. You also have a release angle of 15 and 20 degrees for easier and safer unclipping alongside the double seal system.

What is the ideal enduro and downhill racing clipless pedal?

Nukeproof Horizon CS

Then there is Nukeproof, another top brand when it comes to the best mountain bikes and best mountain bike pedals for enduro and downhill.

One of its products, the Nukeproof Horizon CS is a pedal that can withstand the abuse of the extreme downhill scene because of its solid structure.

It has adjustable pins that can suit various kinds of soles and treads that ensure easy clipping in and clipping out. It even has an unclipped grip in case you want to have one foot riding on flat pedals platform while the other one clipped in.

It has a double-sprung SPD design which comes in a standard for most trail-oriented shoes, such as those from Giro and Specialized.

Furthermore, you’ll see 4 and 8-degree float cleats that provide a tuned feel when racing in high-performance competitions, which also makes it one of the lightest pedals.

Another thing that sets this apart from the other pedals is its anodized and raw design that comes in different colors, making your bike look better and faster than ever.

Which downhill clipless pedal is the best?

DMR V-Twin

The DMR V-Twin is one of the best mountain bike pedals, if not the best clipless pedal for downhill riding.

Thanks to its ultra-robust structure and rugged build, you won’t have a hard time bashing this off to any trail you can imagine.

It has a chunky alloy cage that provides better side support alongside its plastic bumper that allows higher security and protection.

You will find seven pins on the platform alongside the fully adjustable cleats. There are four pins upfront and three pins at the rear for maximum stability and grip even if you’ve unclipped.

You can even adjust the length of the pins for better personalization. It even has a pivot mechanism similar to the Shimano SPD feature on Shimano pedals.

If you are looking for a downhill-specific clipless pedal, then the DMR V-Twin is what you need.

Not only is it stylish and head-turning, but it also has a very durable mountain bike pedal body that keeps it performing at its best despite the rugged circumstances for enduro and trail riding, and also racing.


Choosing the right kind of clipless mountain bike pedals is important for mountain biking because this is where your safety and overall performance depend on.

Note that bikes depend heavily on how you pedal them, which is why you need to focus on pedaling efficiency if you want to go faster.

However, you need to consider many things so you can choose the right pedal. Know the brand so that you can ensure quality.

Also, see to it that you are in tune with the number of mountain bike pedals present, as well as the shape, knowing that our feet have different shapes and sizes.

And most importantly, choose the right clipless pedal that is specifically designed for your mountain biking discipline. Follow these tips, and you’ll surely have a better time on your mountain bike.