2013 Crankbrothers Mallet DH/Race

Components

So how is the new pedal?

Before we rode it, we took it apart. We took the dustcap off, removed the retaining spindle nut and removed the two long bolts holding the pedal together. We got a good look at the all the internals of the new pedal. The outer bearing is a sealed bearing type and the the inner one is a needle bearing. Both sides are protected by a rubber seal that is recessed and has a double-lip.

The retention body is held in place by the axle and two plastic bushings on each end. The retention body spins but not too freely. It will keep its place in relation to the pedal body. The pedal itself spins on those two bearings and thus spins freely with little friction.

How does it ride?

The body is huge and the Q-Factor is bigger than before. With flat shoes, we put the 8mm pins out and we were able to hit the local dirt jump park with our Teva Links shoes. We had a good interface with the shoe despite the presence of the retention mechanism in the middle.

The wider Q-Factor is interesting. As we have been brainwashed that lower Q-Factor is important for cycling (feet closer to the bottom bracket), Crankbrothers has discovered that downhill and freeride riders actually need larger Q-Factors since they have wider shoes and need more positions for descending and handling the bike.

We then took the shoe to the trail with our Pearl Izumi XC Carbon shoe. Click in was very positive as we achieved the perfect spacing between the shoes and pedal using the supplied shims. The front of the shoe came in to contact with the pedal body as we climbed and as we descended and put the heel down, the rear of the shoe rested on the rear of the pedal body. Riding the pedal unclicked was ok but not entirely comfortable.

Finally, we used a Vans clip in shoe with the pedal and it worked very well. Clicked in, it worked like a champ. And we were able to ride with confidence while clicked out as well. When carving and turning hips during descending, the roominess of the pedal came in handy as there was a lot of room to move around and point apply some body english to the bike.

We had a little bit of mud in our trails and we tried in vain to clog up the pedals. There’s just big gaping holes in the pedal platform so mud evacuates quite easily. The stronger spring came in handy for getting that positive click in and out action even during muddy conditions.

There’s a lot more rides to come but we cannot be more pleased with the initial test rides.

The Revelation

Although this pedal was developed for the world cup downhill circuit, we feel that this pedal has a lot of range beyond that. Downhill demands have shaped it to be strong, light and clear of mud. The wide stance allows the rider to have a lot of room and flexibility to move around and maneuver the bike through the most demanding courses.

The first ‘other’ application is the the Enduro Racing scene. Enduro races are timed downhills where riders hurtle down exciting descents as fast as they can. But then they have to make it up the climbs within an allotted time. So great descending bikes are key but they need to be light as well to complete the course. So we believe the Mallet DH/Race is ideally suited for this task.

The final application we’d like to point out is All Mountain riding and Skills Building. This style of riding is sweeping the land as riders ride up and down exciting terrain with enthusiasm. Wide bars, dropper posts and flat pedals are becoming preferred equipment as riders are focusing more on the ideal riding, dropping and cornering position.

Finally, as mtbr has taken a few skills classes, coaches always recommend flat pedals to enable learning and to create a safety margin. When a rider can ride without being clicked in, they are learning to stick to the bike and use physics, not just a locking retention mechanism. The Mallet DH/Pro is not a true flat pedal but it bridges the gap between clip-in and flat pedals. The wide platform and high Q-Factor provide offer some extra room to the rider who is tackling more challenging terrain.

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About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.


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  • Steve Rogers says:

    I’ve used two pairs of the old Mallets. Performance was excellent, durability was not. I hope the old ones work as well and are a whole lot harder to break!

  • JimmyDee says:

    “Crankbrothers revamped the Mallet with several new features merge modern day technology with the original vision for the Mallet.”

    -article ends-
    ?

    So the new features that make it so great are…?

    Looks like a pretty average pedal to my eye.

  • Rob says:

    I received my new pedals a few weeks ago. First impressions were great, however on the second ride I ventured off road again onto fire roads. I know these are DH pedals, but I still recovering from a knee injury. Half way round the bearings were loose. Not by much, but they had lost the initial robust feel and you could feel lateral movement when rocking them by hand.

    Contacted CB´s straight away. The guy there was responsive and pleasant, but as I live in Spain suggested I return them to the Spanish distrubutor for “inspection and if possible repair”. Am now a week into the process and the supplier have not even responded to the shop. Due to this the shop are considering replacing them off their own back. I know this is a short time, but initial impressions on the product and the “5 year” afterservice warrantee are dissapointing. When you pay top dollar you expect that the company should react to resolve the problem ASAP. In this case there has been a lot of talk and no action.

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