We did a little Q&A with Amanda and head designer Colin Esquibel to learn more about the new Mallet DH/Race.
Mtbr: What was the original vision for the Mallet when it was introduced several years ago. How has it evolved over the years and into this latest generation?
Crankbrothers: When crankbrothers first launched the mallet in 2003, it was a decision to cater to a wider range of riding styles. While the eggbeater garnered a great following with the XC crowd, adding a platform gave the additional support that trail riders were looking for. The mallet gained almost a cult following among DH racers, largely starting with support from Steve Peat and quickly growing from there. As the years went on, the mallet got further and further refined to the point of the current half composite/half aluminum mallet 1/2/3. This pedal became very popular among trail and all-mountain riders, but the top World Cup DH racers still loved and kept their original style mallets. In response to numerous requests, we adapted what they loved about the order mallet and incorporated our newest designs and features into the latest member of the mallet family, the mallet dh/race.
Mtbr: Who is the ideal user for this pedal? Is the new Enduro Racing scene a good showcase for this pedal’s versatility?
Crankbrothers: This pedal was designed as a pure DH pedal, truly inspired by and developed alongside World Cup DH racers. So, first and foremost, DH racers are the ideal user for the mallet dh/race. However, with the growing popularity of enduro racing, we’ve seen that many DH racers are branching into enduro and using this pedal on their enduro bikes. We’ve found that although the pedal was designed for the abuse of World Cup DH courses, the platform and milled out body lend itself very well to all types of trail riding–in fact, it’s the pedal you see on most trail bikes here in the office! The wider platform is very confidence inspiring.
Mtbr: What shoe or type of shoe is this pedal ideally suited for? Is there any development going on with shoe companies to perfect the interface between the pedal and shoe?
Crankbrothers: In testing the latest mallet and working with a wide range of World Cup DH racers, we wanted to make sure the pedal and cleat interface worked well with both traditional cycling shoes, as well as wider DH style shoes. The mallet dh/race was designed as a purpose built DH pedal. With that, it’s important to realize that riders and DH racers use both traditional shoes and the wider lace-up style shoes, depending on their riding style. Product development did a lot of research on shoe tread depths and variances to make sure the pedals were compatible with a wide variety of shoe styles. We work on different levels with many shoe companies to make sure we are all aware of the specifications each other’s product requires to perform at its best.
Crankbrothers: The mallet dh/race is currently available in red only at one weight (479g) and pricepoint ($140), with no immediate plans to add to the line. Our product development department keeps very busy though, so you never know what might come down the line!
Mtbr: Why is high Q-Factor good when we were trained in the past to think low Q-Factor is preferred?
Crankbrothers: The narrower q-factor is definitely preferred for XC riders, but in working with the World Cup DH racers, we’ve learned that a wider q-factor is better for dh riding and racing. The wider q-factor allows for a wider stance, which provides more stability. It also improves crank/shoe clearance, which is important for riders who are using wider, lace-up style shoes. With the current mallet 1/2/3, riders who used DH style shoes would have problems with crank clearance, so a wider q-factor accommodates a wider range of shoes, in addition to providing the added stability. The additional clearance also lends to more adjustability options.