Pedals are the parts of a bike that connect the rider’s leg to the trail. With various types of bike pedals being sold around nowadays, choosing the right pedal for your cycling need can be confusing. But today we will be going to give you brief guidance on how to choose mountain bike pedals so make sure you follow this article closely.
What are Mountain Bike Pedals?
The pedal is the part of a bicycle that allows riders to push their foot to propel the vehicle, providing connections between the rider’s foot and the crank, giving the leg access to turn the bottom bracket spindle and people the bicycle’s wheel.
Bikers often ignore the importance of this part, using it until it’s completely worn out and inappropriate to use before deciding to get a new one. Using an old pedal to a new bike is not a very rare sight, ironically.
The truth is, there will be a huge difference when you are using a quality pedal compared to when you are using one that isn’t compatible with your riding style. For example, deciding to use a road bike pedal for mountain biking can be very questionable and there’s probably going to ruin your riding experience.
Type of Mountain Bike Pedals
Generally, there are two types of mountain bike pedals which may cause an argument about which one is best although the definition of “best” itself varies from one type of rider to another. But anyway, here are the type of mountain bike pedals:
Flat or Platform Pedals
Flat pedals, as the name suggests, come with a flat surface on the pedal for the rider’s foot to sit on and often come with pins that help riders to dig into the sole for extra traction. The flat platform pedal is usually built-in in metal or aluminum material although the usage of reinforced plastics is also common since the material is inexpensive and tends to obstacles easier than metal-built materials.
The advantages of using the mountain bike flat pedals are:
- Provide easy access to get riders to foot off to a correct slide, escaping crash, or changing position;
- Improving rider’s confidence since they are not being held in one place;
- Didn’t clog up in the muddy conditions;
- Entry-level flat platform pedals usually offer a more affordable price compared to the clipless type.
The disadvantages of using the mountain bike flat pedals are:
- Riders are required to be able to control the pedal so it can offer its best performance;
- Riders should be prepared for the probability of bouncy feet off rough terrain.
A flat platform pedal is one of the mountain bike pedal types which is popular among the BMX riders and is said to be the perfect choice for downhill riding since most riders of this type of riding style need to have easy access to get off the bike in a hurry.
This type of pedal is also ideal for beginners despite requiring the rider to learn some specific technique to make the pedal perform at its best. In recent years, the flat platform has also been popular among trail bike riders even though it doesn’t deliver the most efficient pedaling compared to the clipless pedals.
Polygon mountain bike pedals for their enduro bike the Siskiu N9 are also made of flat platform pedals.
Clipless pedals are the most common choice for mountain bikers in general because they improve riding efficiency since riders’ feet will be directly connected to the pedal, allowing them to pull up and push down with their feet. These clipless mountain bike pedals also improve security when bouncing over rough terrain because riders can’t move away their foot unless they unclip the pedals.
Oh yes, you read that right. Despite the name being “mountain bike pedals clipless”, actually you still need to clip on them. The name clipless is inspired by the original bike pedals with straps. It is the flat platform pedals with additional toe clips and straps at the front used to secure the rider’s foot.
Since the invention of the pedal with cleats didn’t need the additional toe clips, it was then called clipless pedals as we know them today—still not making sense but it is how it is. But anyway, the name itself doesn’t matter, right? What you have to pay attention to more is the advantages and disadvantages this type of pedal is going to bring you.
The advantages of clipless mountain bike pedals:
- Help to increase the pedaling efficiency;
- Securely hold riders’ feet in place during the ride over rough terrain;
- Clearing rocks is easier because of the smaller footprint cuts;
- Lighter for similar quality pedal;
- Riders got easier access to hop and lift the bike.
The disadvantages of clipless mountain bike pedals:
- Riders can’t reposition their foot on the pedal once clipped in;
- Tricky to be clipped in and out when the riders are in hurry;
- Requires careful setup so riders can protect their knees;
- Cost a little bit more than the flat platform pedals.
Tips on Choosing Mountain Bike Pedals
Now you have been familiar with the mountain bike pedal types along with their pros and cons. Then what about choosing the perfect pedal based on your riding style? When you are looking for a pedal, it is important to pay attention to:
- The adjustability of the pedals;
- Whether or not it has mud-shedding features;
- The weight of the pedals;
- The durability of the pedals;
- Whether or not the pedal is easy to maintain.
When talking about the best clipless MTB pedals for beginners, we have to give the Shimano PD-M540 a shout-out because it features both the adjustable tension and a platform to offer support when the pedals are not clipped in. But if you are the type of rider who wish to have easier access to correct slides, change positions, or escape from a crash, it will be best if you invest in the flat/platform pedal.
The Shimano MTB pedals of this type are the perfect choice for beginners and are designed to be suitable for almost all-road riding. The pedal quality is also at the top tier with excellent performance, durable, easy to install, and requires less maintenance. Definitely a quality you can expect from Shimano. The cherry on top of this all is the price offered is surprisingly affordable despite the quality that comes with it.
Looking for a high-quality mountain bike that is affordable? Try to visit Rodalink and take a look at their wide range of bike selections, especially the Polygon mountain bike. All Polygon bikes are manufactured with their advanced frame material, the ALX Alloy, and the ACX carbon. This material is guaranteed to be more lightweight and durable compared to any of its competitors.
Coming with the top tier groupset like the Shimano and SRAM and suspension from Fox and RockShox, Polygon bike offers the most excellent performing bike at the most competitive price. It is undoubtedly that Polygon is the most affordable bike in the market and if you want to buy the original bike, come and visit their official distributor at Rodalink.
The benefit you will get by purchasing at Rodalink you can also get free delivery for every non-bike purchase over SG$200. Such a beneficial offer, right? Visit Rodalink right now and take your dream bike home immediately.