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.
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.