Best Mountain Bike Pedals: Top 5 Picks for 2020

Last updated: April 06, 2020
BEST OVERALL
Versatile, Easy to Maintain and High-Performance
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BEST BUDGET
Great Value, Weatherproof and Durable
Read Review
BEST FLAT
Lightweight, Great Grip and Concave Platform
Read Review
BEST CLIPLESS
Dual Function, Easy to Adjust and Durable
Read Review
BEST WITH TOE CLIPS
Affordable, Lightweight and Sturdy
Read Review
Your guide

The majority of cyclists use the stock pedals that came with their bike – but if you’re in need of a replacement, or just angling to get an upgrade, bike pedals can be a great, inexpensive investment.

Purpose-built mountain bike pedals are a must-have for anyone that’s looking to seriously get into mountain biking, so if you’re in the market, take the time to give your purchase some thought – it will certainly pay off.

Top Picks for Mountain Bike Pedals

Bike pedals are an often overlooked and underappreciated component. But make no mistake – as the most active primary point of contact with the rest of your bike, they can make a huge difference in performance.

DMR V-Twin Pedals Service Kit diffenet colors

Utilizing premium materials and cutting-edge design, modern mountain bike pedals offer a much greater degree of control, stability, and pedaling efficiency. Combine that with the ever-increasing popularity of clipless systems, and it’s clear that stock pedals just won’t cut it anymore.

We’ve selected five great mountain bike pedals that differ in a lot of ways – but they’re all durable, well-built, high-quality products that are fairly priced. So if you’re interested in upgrading your bike setup in the simplest of ways, don’t waste any more time – put the pedal to the metal and take a look.

1. Best Overall - Funn Mamba

Specifications:

  • Cleat compatibility → Shimano SPD
  • Size → 101mm x 102mm
  • Material → Aluminum alloy
  • Weight → 500 grams/pair

Key Features:

  • Can be used with or without cleats
  • Patented grease renew system
  • Large, wide platform
  • Replaceable threaded pins

Funn Mamba Single Side Clipless Pedals Review

Can a pair of mountain bike pedals really make a tangible, noticeable difference in performance? Let’s immediately put that question to rest – the answer is yes. Top-notch pedals use a variety of modern materials to reduce weight, and offer the kind of traction, stability, and pedaling efficiency most cyclists can only dream of.

But don’t take our word for it – we’ve prepared some evidence. Exhibit A, in this case, is Funn’s Mamba clipless pedal – specifically, the single-sided version.

Their cutting edge design and premium materials mean that you don’t have to dream about the aforementioned traction, control, and efficiency – you can experience them.

Premium Build Quality, Impressive Design and Materials

One thing that you’ll immediately notice about the Mamba pedals is that they stick out – they don’t look like your typical clipless pedals. Instead, they have a distinct, classic wide platform flat pedal design.

And those similarities aren’t just skin-deep – the Mamba pedals are 3.97 x 3.97 x 0.53 inches in size – a true-to-form wide platform pedal.

The body of the pedals is made from a durable, high-quality, aerospace-grade and CNC-machined 6061 aluminum alloy, while the axle is constructed from rugged, heavy-duty chromoly steel, and features sealed bearings.

Despite the pedals’ impressive size, durability and construction, they aren’t nearly as heavy as one would naturally assume, weighing in at just 500 grams per pair – quite a feat for a pedal with a 101 x 102mm footprint.

Funn’s patented GRS or grease renew system makes maintaining the pedals a breeze – each pedal features a grease port with a small, easily removable 2mm hex bolt. Simply remove the bolt, insert your grease gun, and voila – you’ve just successfully lubricated the pedals without making a mess.

High-intensity Performance

The Mambas’ large profile allows you to project quite a lot of force into your pedal strokes. One of the most impressive things about these pedals is their versatility – they’re a strange but innovative hybrid of flat and clipless pedals.

The Mambas feature a clipless mechanism that is compatible with Shimano SPD systems on one side and a traditional flat pedal surface on the other side. It’s a simple solution, but it manages to strike a perfect balance in the “to clip in or not to clip in” debate.

The tightness of the clipless mechanism can be adjusted by using a 3mm hex key at the front hook. Achieving the right amount of float with your cleats will take some trial and error – but thankfully, not too much.

The pedals also feature replaceable threaded pins on each side. The pins provide a fantastic amount of grip, so you won’t ever have to worry about your feet slipping. The clipless side of the pedals has four pins, while the flat side has 11.

Brilliantly designed, the Mambas are large and in charge – guaranteeing an unprecedented amount of performance, as well as enough versatility to suit anybody’s needs.

Pros
  • Large platform
  • Flat pedal / clipless hybrid
  • Easy to maintain
  • Durable
Cons
  • Fairly priced – but nonetheless expensive
  • Might be too large for some

2. Best Budget - Fooker MTB Pedals

Specifications:

  • Cleat compatibility → N/A
  • Dimensions  → 4.30 x 3.94 x 0.98 inches
  • Material → Nylon fiber
  • Weight → 358 grams / 12.64 oz each

Key Features:

  • Durable Cr-Mo spindle
  • Lightweight nylon body
  • 3 sealed bearings
  • Traction pins

FOOKER MTB Pedals Review

Most of us don’t have high expectations when it comes to our mountain bike pedals. In fact, we usually only think about them when they need replacing.

But even if your bike pedals are performing just fine and you’re not in the market for a replacement, there are a lot of extremely affordable pedals out there – and chances are that they’d be an upgrade for you.

For this category, it goes without saying that price was the priority – but FOOKER’s MTB pedals aren’t cheaply made. In fact, they’re durable and well designed – let’s take a closer look at our best budget pick.

Materials and Design

The sleek, almost minimalist design of FOOKER’s MTB pedals features a 4.30 x 3.94 x 0.98 inch body. The body of the pedals is made out of a rugged, high-strength nylon material.

The pedals can withstand some serious cycling – they’re quite resistant to high pressures, so going all-in when sprinting won’t pose an issue.

The pedals are mounted on a 9/16 inch durable, high-strength chromium/molybdenum alloy spindle which is corrosion-resistant, abrasion-resistant, and shockproof. However, it doesn’t add too much weight to the overall setup – as the pedals weigh 12.64 oz or 358 grams each. These aren’t cutting-edge, high-performance pedals – but the weight is decently light.

The sealed bearing system features 3 bearings, allowing for a good amount of durability. This also reduces the overall upkeep and maintenance that is required.

Once you factor in the price point, the FOOKER MTB pedals are extremely well-made and use a combination of unexpectedly high-quality materials.

Useful Features

The FOOKER MTB pedals are a solid all-rounder – they offer a great blend of weight, durability, and features for cyclists who don’t need cutting-edge performance, and they also incorporate a number of useful features.

For starters, the pedals feature an array of hex-threaded traction pins or nails. With 16 of these pins on each side, the FOOKER MTB pedals provide a surprisingly good amount of grip and traction.

Even if you’re cycling in muddy or wet conditions, the nails will keep your feet in place. Sealed bearing systems are also much more resistant to the effects of dust and water, which can cause an unpleasant noise when pedaling.

The standard 9/16 inch spindle of the pedals is widely compatible – meaning that you can also use them with hybrid bikes, cruisers and road bikes.

The pedals are also quite easy to install – the whole process can be done in a couple of minutes. The axles of the pedals are marked with CR-L for the left one and CR-R for the right one.

Durable, well-made, and featuring a couple of very handy design elements, FOOKER’s MTB pedals are a fantastic, affordable entry-level product that deserves a closer look.

Pros
  • Great value
  • Easy to install
  • Durable construction
  • Resistance to the elements
Cons
  • Adjusting or replacing the pins is difficult
  • Replacement pins not included

3. Best Flat - Crankbrothers

Specifications:

  • Cleat compatibility → N/A
  • Recommended shoe sizes → 10-15 US / 43-49 EU
  • Material → Aluminum alloy
  • Weight → 345 grams/pair

Key Features:

  • 10 adjustable pins per side
  • 100mm x 100 mm footprint
  • 13mm thin profile
  • Igus LL-glide bearings

Crankbrothers Stamp 7 Flat Pedals Review

If you’re like most mountain bike owners, you haven’t (yet) made the switch to a clipless system – and even if you have, it’s unlikely that you clip in every time.

Clipless pedals might be all the rage among the performance-obsessed, but there’s no denying the value of a good old fashioned flat pedal.

We’ve chosen Crankbrothers’ Stamp 7 flat pedal as our top pick in this category – it’s a lightweight, durable, and well-designed piece of kit that won’t feel out of place in any serious cyclist’s arsenal.

Fantastic Build Quality and Materials

The sleek, minimalist contours of the Stamp 7 immediately stand out. This large yet low-profile pedal is made from a high quality, forged 6061-T6 aluminum alloy, while the spindle is forged from a durable SCM435 steel/chromium/molybdenum alloy.

The Stamp 7’s utilize a sealed bearing system that makes use of high-quality Igus LL-glide bearings. The pedals also feature a very understated 13mm thin profile, while retaining a quite large, 100mm x 100mm footprint.

Despite the sturdy construction of the pedals and the axle, they aren’t at all heavy – weighing in at 375 grams/pair. Simply put, the pedals boast a very impressive weight to durability ratio.

The slightly concave and open design of the pedals helps reduce the amount of dirt and mud buildup, cutting down on the required amount of upkeep. The single external seal system does a great job of preventing any unwanted water or road debris from accumulating near the bearings, making the Stamp 7 a truly low maintenance pedal.

With its daring, innovative design and high-quality materials, the Stamp 7 is a serious contender in its price range – as far as any metric can be concerned.

Top of the Line Performance

These light yet sturdy pedals won’t weigh down your overall setup, but they also feature a rather large footprint. This allows you to retain a solid, dependable footing at all times – and increases pedaling efficiency.

The Crankbrothers Stamp 7 features 10 adjustable pins per side, further improving the grip that the pedals provide. The pins are well-placed and designed in a smart way – with the outer pins being slightly longer than the ones in the center of the pedal.

The way the pins are set up results in a slightly concave platform – increasing both comfort, grip, and pedaling efficiency. The pedals are a fantastic choice, particularly for rougher terrain.

The Stamp 7 pedals are available in two sizes – small and large. The small model is recommended for shoe sizes 5-10 (US) or 37-43 (EU), while the large model is recommended for shoe sizes 10-15 (US) or 43-49 (EU). The small version of the Stamp 7 is some 40 grams lighter, but there are no other differences to speak of.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Large platform surface
  • Great grip
  • Durable axle
Cons
  • Pins can be rough on shoe soles
  • Hard to adjust foot placement

4. Best Clipless - Venzo

Specifications:

  • Cleat compatibility → Shimano SPD
  • Size → 100 x 90 mm
  • Material → Aluminum alloy
  • Weight → 580 grams/pair

Key Features:

  • 9/16 inch axle
  • Sealed bearings
  • Flat side
  • Adjustable tension

Venzo Dual Function Pedals Review

As confusing as it might sound at first glance, clipless pedals are pedals that you can clip into with a pair of shoes that have cleats. Clipping in is a huge step up in performance – and riding a bike while clipped in is an entirely different ballgame.

For our top pick in this category, we’ve selected a durable, high-performance pair of pedals. They also happen to be dual-purpose – so if every once in a while you want to cycle without clipping in, there’s no need to switch out pedals.

Light, Durable, and Well-Made

Clipless pedals are a product that is aimed at serious bikers – those in need of cutting-edge performance. But that can’t come at the price of durability.

The Venzo dual function pedals have a strong, die-cast aluminum body and feature a 9/16 axle that is made out of a durable steel/chromium/molybdenum alloy. A pair of these pedals weighs 580 grams – which is a fantastic achievement for a pair of dual purpose pedals. With all of that in mind, the weight to durability ratio of the pedals can only be described as fantastic.

The large, 100 x 90mm body provides a decent footing and allows you to project more power into your pedal strokes. The pedals feel solid and robust, guaranteeing a stable and enjoyable ride.

The bearings of the axle are sealed – this is widely considered a superior design to traditional ball bearings, as it is more durable and requires less maintenance.

Versatile, Easily Adjustable, Cleat Compatible

One of the things we like the most about these pedals is how versatile and easily adjustable they are.

For starters, Venzo’s pedals were designed as dual-purpose pedals – which means that they perform just as well when not clipped in. If you’re on the fence about clipping in or usually cycle in casual footwear, there’s nothing to worry about. The pedals perform just as well in either case – providing more pedaling efficiency when not clipped in, and a solid, reliable footing when not.

The pedals also feature a wide degree of cleat compatibility – they’re compatible with all of Shimano’s SPD MTB pedal systems, and cleats are also included in the purchase.

But regardless of your cleat of choice, it’s easy to achieve a great fit with Venzo’s pedals. The tension of the cleats can quickly be adjusted by using the easily accessible screws on the sides of the pedals.

So, to recap – this is a pair of well-made, light, and durable pedals. They’re incredibly versatile, and a great choice for both high-intensity and casual cycling – and the asking price is quite fair.

Pros
  • Dual purpose
  • Easy to adjust cleat tension
  • Durable axle and bearings
  • Cleats included
Cons
  • Narrow flat side
  • Could stand to be a bit lighter

5. Best With Toe Clips - NAMUCUO

Specifications:

  • Cleat compatibility → N/A
  • Recommended shoe sizes → 3.7 x 2.5 inches
  • Material → Aluminum alloy
  • Weight → 408 grams/pair

Key Features:

  • Nylon straps
  • Resin cage
  • Metal grips
  • 9/16 inch spindle

NAMUCUO Bike Pedals with Clips Review

Clipless pedals are very popular in the cycling community – but there’s an alternative that can give you most of the benefits of clipping in – without actually clipping in, and at a fraction of the cost.

We’re talking about pedals with toe clips – a much simpler mechanism that can provide you with more grip, safer footing, and a greater degree of pedaling efficiency.

Using a pair of pedals with toe clips is much easier, and much more similar to pedaling with traditional, flat pedals.

Quality Materials and Design

Mountain bike pedals with integrated toe clips are a rare breed. Seeing as how clipless pedals fill the high-performance niche, most toe clip pedals are oriented towards a more casual audience – and this means that they’re much cheaper.

But don’t let humble price tags fool you – cheap or affordable doesn’t (have to) mean cheaply made, and NAMUCUO’s bike pedals illustrate that point perfectly. The body of these pedals is made from a light, durable aluminum alloy, while the sturdy cage is constructed from a robust engineering resin material.

The pedals feature a standard 9/16 inch spindle and are compatible with indoor exercise bikes and spin bikes, as well as outdoor bikes, which is a handy bonus. A set of rugged, well-placed metal grips on the bottom of the pedals ensures added grip.

The pedals are 3.7 inches long and 2.5 inches wide, while the clips are 5.1 long. Even with the added weight of the clips and straps, the pedals weigh 408 grams – a far cry from featherlight high-performance pedals, but fantastic considering the price range and purpose of NAMUCUO’s product.

Comfortable, Inobtrusive, High-Performance

The large profile of the pedals, together with the rather long clips makes for a comfortable, easy to use pedal. NAMUCUO’s pedals are also very easy to install – and the entire process shouldn’t last longer than a couple of minutes. Slipping in and achieving a good fit also won’t prove an issue.

The nylon straps are very durable, and once you tighten them, the pedals become quite unobtrusive. The combination of the metal grips and nylon straps will securely keep your feet in place, even when going at breakneck speeds or over rough terrain.

Fastening the clips will give you a noticeable improvement in pedaling efficiency – at the same time, the metal grips will provide a fair amount of added stability. And stability is the overall impression that these pedals give off – they’re a set of long-lasting, rugged, toe clip pedals, and they help inspire confidence when cycling.

Performance-wise, the pedals offer a decent blend of benefits – the increased pedaling efficiency will make commuting and cycling over flat terrain much easier, while the added stability and control work wonders when it comes to rough terrain.

Pros
  • Very affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Sturdy cage and straps
Cons
  • Slightly stiff straps
  • Subpar axle

Mountain Bike Pedals: Frequently Asked Questions

When Should You Replace Mountain Bike Pedals?

If you notice a reduction in performance, it might be time to get your mountain bike pedals serviced - or to buy a pair of replacements.

If your feet are slipping off the pedals more than they usually do, or if the pedals start producing a clicking noise, it’s time for a replacement. In the same vein, if the body of your pedals has become chewed out or broken, get a new pair - as the old one will no longer be able to provide you with solid footing.

Cleats can also wear out - but thankfully, keeping them clean and occasionally tightening and lubricating the screws should help them last a good bit longer.

What Are Clipless Mountain Bike Pedals?

Clipless mountain bike pedals allow you to use cleats and cycling shoes to clip into your pedals. This establishes a secure connection to your pedals - your feet can’t slip off, and the transfer of power from your pedal strokes to the road is much more efficient.

Clipless pedals allow for a greater degree of power and control when you’re cycling - anyone looking to get an edge should consider getting a pair.

Are Clipless Mountain Bike Pedals Worth It?

This mostly depends on your specific needs. There’s no denying that clipless systems are a much more high-performance approach - but for some, it may just be overkill.

If you truly need a performance boost, or if your cycling routes are usually long-distance - 15 miles or longer, then the added pedaling efficiency is well worth the investment. However, if that description doesn't fit the bill, you’ll do just as well with a pair of regular pedals.

What Should I Look for in a Mountain Bike Pedal?

Once you’ve established what your needs are, first decide on whether you want to go with clipless or flat pedals.

Weight and durability should be top priorities - durability is non-negotiable, and the weight you’re looking for depends on the level of performance that you want to achieve.

Take into consideration what material the pedals are made out of, as well as what type of bearing system they use. You should also pay attention to the axle, and whether it’s durable enough.

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