Pedals Reviews and News


Nukeproof Horizon CL and CS clipless pedals debut


Nukeproof’s first foray into clipless pedals offers high-end features and new technology at competitive prices.

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Crankbrothers Mallet E 11 goes on Titanium diet


The Mallet E 11 uses titanium wings and a dual chamfered design to shed weight, making it the lightest Mallet pedals ever offered.

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  • Don says:

    At over $5/gram that’s over even this weight weenie’s budget. If I see them half-off maybe I’d pick some up. Would be nice to have seen them use magnesium for the body to really drop some weight like many quality flat pedals do. 34 grams isn’t that much savings, especially for an extra $185.

    I’ve actually been thinking about picking up some of the regular Mallet E pedals instead of ripping Moab enduro trails on my Eggbeater 11s. They’ve held up fine with no issues for over 3 years now, but I don’t want to push my luck. That type of riding would really be more appropriate for the thicker axled models, like the Mallet.

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MagLock magnetic pedals review


MagLock tries to bridge the gap between platform pedals and clipless using powerful magnets. Find out how well it worked.

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  • butch says:

    I think the idea is good but this needs to be a pedal+shoe combo and cant be adapted to clipless shoes. Add some strong magnets to an already good flat pedal and then put a metal plate underneath the rubber of a good flat pedal shoe and I think this would work great. My biggest problem with flats is my feet come off the pedal when Im in the air, a little bit of magnetic force would help with that a lot.

  • azimiut says:

    magnets out here in the desert get dirty fast. doesnt seem like a good idea

  • MAXBUWAYa says:

    I think Velcro shoes and pedal would do a better job. 🙂

  • fred says:

    I don’t think a magnet system could ever work unless they improved batteries enough to make an electromagnet that would exert 100 plus pounds of force which could be turned off or turned on with a button.

    What I did find odd in the review was the comment that it takes months to learn how to clip and unclip? I use Speedplay Frog pedals and it took me about a 1/2 an hour to learn how, and I came from toe clips and straps; I have yet to fall over due to failure to unclip and I’ve been using them for 3 years.

    • Phil Jones says:

      Hey Fred, sorry to hear about your Speedplay Frog pedals, that’s a tough hand to be dealt having to use those. Our thoughts are with you.

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Xpedo Zed flat pedal review


$100 may seem like a lot of money for a chunk of aluminum, but it’s pretty reasonable considering that most premium pedals retail for nearly double that price. So how does the Xpedo Zed compare to its pricier competition?

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Crankbrothers Mallet E LS offers longer spindle


The Crankbrothers Mallet is one of the most popular pedals in the gravity scene. For 2017, they’re offering a new version of the enduro “E” model with a wider spindle. Click through to find out more.

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Canfield Crampon Mountain flat pedals first look


Canfield updates their Crampon pedal with an even larger 112-millimeter by 106-millimeter platform and virtually maintenance free internals that utilizes a bushing at the axle side and stacked bearings at the end internally.

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Speedplay Syzr mountain bike pedals review


Great pedal for riders with specific fit requirements who are seeking smooth float and walkability.

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  • dan says:

    Thanks for the honest and objective review. I rode Frogs for about a decade then went Eggbeater. Many have bearing issues with EB, but my two pair are over 8 years old. New set picked up last week for $30 (pedals and cleats, brand new mailorder). I also use my mtb pedals on the road bike, saves money on shoes and cleats, and I truly wanted the Syzr to get back on, but as you wrote there are too many issues when compared to other options that cost less, weigh less or don’t require so much maintenance. Thanks for the writeup.

  • Brian says:

    Haven’t used mine in debilitating mud but I’d agree with most things said here. The solid connection with free float is a revelation. Maybe wouldn’t be the best enduro pedal but for something like all day pedals it’s amazing. And for me a squirt of lube in the cleats once a week keeps them fresh.

    Also one thing to note, the pedal connection is so solid you can get away with less stiff shoes and not get hot spots. I think this would be the idea bikepacking pedal.

  • SomeDude says:

    I had issues with mine in just the SoCal endless sandy dirt. But, it came down to lubing just like in the review. IF you need the float these pedals are great. If you don’t, get Shimano.

  • John says:

    I’ve been riding the Syzr pedals from the time they first came out. I agree with Dan that the solid connection between bike and rider is an ah-ha moment. It really does have the connected feel that a road pedal system has but in an mtb format.

    I’ve not had any issues with mine but most of my riding is gravel riding. I also put them on my fatbike that sees solely winter trail riding and beach riding. There, the only place I had a problem, was with the super sharp crystal sand that we have on our beach. The problem then wasn’t with the pedal per se but with the rotating wings on the cleat and the shoe (Lake winter cycling boots) where some sand got in between the guides on the cleat and the shoe sole and made it hard to rotate the cleat. I’m not writing this off to a cleat/pedal problem since this sand that we have has trashed all kinds of beach equipment that isn’t supposed to have sand problems (ask me about the destroyed windsurfer mast for example).

    I think it’s fair to say I’m an enthusiastic Syzr user. I haven’t had problems with mud nor with most dirt/grit. Snow is no problem. The only place I had an issue is with our large grain sharp crystal sand and then only with one shoe/boot. I like them a lot and I like the ability to set up different spindle lengths. I’m really looking forward to the ability to cant the cleat side to side that they are supposedly getting ready to provide. You can’t do that with any other cleat and I need a wedge on one side.

  • David says:

    Hello Nick,

    Thanks for writing this review! I’m considering this pedal because of the option to order one pedal with a higher stack height. I have a 5mm lift on my left shoe when road biking, but this becomes harder to accomplish with spds. You mentioned you use one XT and one XTR pedal. I was considering something similar. Do you know of any combo of mtb spds with a 5mm stack height difference? Thanks, David

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Race Face Chester flat pedal review


Folks charge an arm and a leg for exotic pedals so it was refreshing for us to try a $55 nylon pedal and discover an absolute gem.

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  • Smithhammer says:

    The Chesters are a really good pedal for a great price. I have them on two of my bikes. For the weight, durability, servicability and insane gription, I see no reason to buy a metal pedal ever again.

  • butch says:

    I was going to buy these but wasnt sure how they would grip with rubber, I know 510’s love smooth metal but wasnt sure if the matte plastic would create a non-stick coating. I’ll probably be getting these next time, I like the idea of plastic over aluminum, the strength/weight/cost ratio is much better than aluminum and no paint to scratch.

  • GuyOnMTB says:

    Need new pedals, good timing on the article.

    I once tried the Fixation nylons and they turned me off of nylon pedals as the bearing retainer screw was pushing the threads out of the nylon pedal body, allowing the platform to move slightly, which was unnerving to feel under foot while hauling butt. They were replaced under warranty, but the warrantied pair did the same thing after two months of regular use.

    I would assume that it may have been to soft a nylon for its intended use. So I’m wondering if this has been an issue with other nylon pedals?

    At $55usd I’m willing to consider the risk, specially since it’s a company I’m familiar with and have parts from that have been exceptional. I’ll just need to see how well the ESI Red Chunkies match up?

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Clips vs Flats: Which pedal is more efficient?


Like 1x vs. 2x or ideal handlebar width, people love to argue over clips vs. flats. But when it comes down to it, which is actually more efficient? Check out this video to learn more.

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  • Andy says:

    Unless you’re riding with no food or covering an EXTREMELY long distance, relatively slowly, who cares about efficiency?

    Personally, I care about getting from point A to point B as fast as possible. Which is mostly influenced by, you guessed it, power production. There are quite a few peer reviewed papers demonstrating an advantage to clipless in that area.

  • Richard Parcells says:

    For pavement and graded/compacted “bike paths”, clips are a good choice, though NEVER mandatory. For true “Off-Road” trail riding, AIN’T NO WAY I would clip in!!! If it isn’t off road, then it’s just roadies with course tread fat tires. It is NOT a question of gradient. Off road involves obstacles like rocks, roots, uneven and downright very rough surfaces, soft soil, rocky bottom creek crossings, portages, dab spots and other reasons to need to step off the cranks. Try THAT sort of trail with clip-ins.

    • M5 says:

      I have been riding “true off-road” for 15+ years on clipless, it’s not hard to pull your foot out to “dab” when you need to once you learn how to do it. There are lots of “true” MTBers that ride “off-road” with clipless. Just because you’re too intimdated to try it, doesn’t mean that it can’t be done.

    • Luke says:

      If you look at pro downhill racers, the vast majority ride clipped in and only a few ride flat pedals. Keep in mind that these guys are reaching breakneck speeds over the absolute roughest and gnarliest terrain you can find. They use clipless instead of flats because it provides a more reliable connection to their bike; in the rough stuff, they don’t get chattered off of clipless pedals. It has less to do with efficiency or power output than it does bike control.

  • MissedThePoint says:

    The problem is they used the word efficiency too literally, using its proper definition. When people speak of efficiency, they speak of effectiveness.

    You are able to put out more power with clipless, which allows you to brute force your way through clutch situations. Flat pedals only saves you roughly 1/3 of a second, to get your foot off the pedals, which only is useful if you’re dabbing or trying to eject.

    Might be no more efficient, but if you already know the course and practiced your lines, clipless will serve you better by lessening situations where you could lose time, especially the kind where your bike is being knocked around. If dabbing around a tight techy section saves time, it’s not you can’t also do that on clipless.

  • Nancy Theory says:

    One rider? that’s not science.
    Test a hundred then come back and tell us what you find.

  • Sean says:

    Clips give you more power, and more constant power throughout the pedal stroke. I can climb things with clip in pedals that I can’t with flats. I haven’t been with a rider yet for whom this is not the case. So if you are trying to ride everything, advantage to clipless pedals. If you are ok with pushing the bike up hills, then the advantage on the downhill may go to flats.

    The only time I would care about efficiency is when you are able to do the same thing with either choice. Since you can’t make it up the hard stuff in flats, you aren’t being more efficient, you aren’t even doing it.

    • John says:

      I’m not sure why you have problems climbing hills in flats as I certainly don’t, I primarily ride natural trails which have steep uphill sections that others in the group (clipped and flat) end up walking due to the steepness and never had any problems climbing with flats. In fact some of my best times overall are from quickly climbing hills.

      I’m not bothered whether people ride clipless or flats nor what benefits others get from them, having tried both flat pedals work far better for me but I do find it odd how often I’m told what’s not possible with flats and at that point I’ll need to go clipless when I’ve already done said activities regularly on flats.

  • Butters says:

    @Nancy – In what way is the test not ‘scientific’??? What a stupid statement.

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Gamut Podium flat pedal review


When the original Point One Podium pedals launched, they heralded a new era for ultra-light performance platform pedals. So how does their successor stack up?

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Ritchey launches WCS XC and Trail pedals


Ritchey says new pedals were redesigned from the ground up, and feature a revamped engagement system that has a fixed front claw for better entry and release along with reliable mud-shedding.

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iSSi Trail and Trail Triple clipless pedals review


If you’re dying to color coordinate your pedals or if you would benefit from having longer than standard pedal axles, iSSi pedals will fit the bill.

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  • Peper says:

    Shimano pedals only for me thanks. I’m not down with the whole pimped out colorway kit featuring Wellgo re-branded ISSI. According to them they don’t support the multi release of the M56 cleat shimano offers. However if single release mechanisms are good enough then you can’t get better than Shimano’s standard m51 cleat offered in the 520 pedal for under $30 bucks or the 530 trail pedal under $32 at http://www.jensonusa.com on sale now!

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Four new flat pedals from Sea Otter


Looking for a new flat pedal option? Here are four new offerings we spotted on Day 1 at Sea Otter.

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Bontrager Drop Line stem, bars, pedals and dropper post


Bontrager’s new Drop Line dropper post is easily serviceable, claimed to perform well in extreme temperatures (for all your fat biking needs), and is infinitely adjustable.

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Deity TMAC flat pedal review


With a price tag nearing $200, how does the newest pedal from Deity justify its price and differentiate itself from the rest of the market? Find out in our review.

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  • jerry's kid says:

    I have these on my dirt jumper. They feel very nice under foot. The symmetrical design is very noticeable in a good way. Feels very stable and comfy. Grip is really good. They kinda stick to your shoes for a few rides and then when the pins dull a little you can pull your feet off and readjust easily but still have the great grip. My only issue is I want them to spin slower for no-foot tricks. I’m not sure how to do that.

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Art’s Cyclery 2015 Mountain Bike Gear of the Year


Here’s a look at some of the mountain bike products that made riding more enjoyable these past 12 months.

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Speedplay expands SYZR MTB pedal system line


Speedplay is growing its line of SYZR mountain bike pedals, adding a new chrome-moly version to go along with the existing stainless and titanium models.

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Video: Clips versus flats


Clips and flats both have their advantages and disadvantages. In this insightful GMBN video, former world cup DH racers Neil Donoghue and Marc Beaumont explain why they prefered to race in one versus the other.

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  • Christopher Slade says:

    I’m 100% confident in clipless pedals (Good clipless pedals!) As far as I am concerned, clipless pedals are NOT all created equal, and bad ones leave you nervous. Certain clipless are fine under some circumstances, but on more technical stuff where pedal strikes are a reality, they are not as good.

    Did my first lifted downhill a few weeks ago, and I loved my clipless, except a few times where I got kicked sideways hard. My foot clipped out, and being as steep as it was, it was difficult to get the foot to stay on the pedal without slipping off. I can see the benefits of a large platformed clipless, or flats in that instance.

    I use normal Shimano XT pedals, so they are small. Both have benefits and security, and both can have downsides.

  • Roger says:

    I’ve switched to flats after 25 years of clips (Time Atac). The main reason I switched to flats was, I found the older I get (49) the less aggressive my riding was while in my clips. I’ve never had a big crash caused by being clipped in, but I never seemed to be able to jump clipped in without always leaning/falling to my left. Another thing I found since switching to flats, my left knee pain has gone away, I realize that the pain may have been caused by the cleat not being properly set, that’s where the Time pedals (and their copycats) helped with a large window of side-to-side movement.

    Just last week I was contemplating going back to the clips, I guess I’ll see how my knee feels after a slight cleat adjust ?

    • JAL says:

      For the last 3 years I have been using flat pedals/flat shoes for XC type riding, I love the freedom of being able to dab your foot if needed, I have never fallen over because i couldn’t get my foot unclipped, I have no trouble keeping up to my clipped in friends on the flats,uphills and downhills.
      I tried clipless this spring, my knees didn’t like it, so I went back to flat.
      Just recently I installed an Oval Chainring from Absolute Black, it works fantastic with flat pedals, you get a mini rest at the top of each pedal stroke, but max load when your leg is just straightening near the bottom of the stroke, noticeably less leg burn, your foot is less prone to slip off the pedal at the top of the stroke because of the reduced load and it is easier on the knees.
      I can see how somebody who has always rode clipped in has a problem when trying flats, but give it time to develop technique, proper pedals and shoes and you can enjoy the freedom that flat pedals offer.

  • kenj says:

    I use clipless pedals for local trails mostly XC but always flats when the trails are technical rocky and steep, much much safer.

  • Tamas says:

    I use flats on my MTB and clips on my road bike. I rode spd pedals for years but I never really felt any advantages for my type of riding. Three years ago I switched to flats and I never looked back. I think it’s important to get proper pedals and shoes. I am running Saints and DMR Vaults with 510 Freeriders and they work perfectly for me. I even ride flats on local XC races and there are many spd riders behind me so it’s all good. 🙂
    I would say try both and decide which one works for you. I see many new riders pressured into using spd pedals which is plain wrong in my opinion…

  • max martinez says:

    I’m truly amazed how similar my opinion was to yours not the same as many of my local friends opinions. I always use flat pedals when I decide rocky rides, All Mt. for -4 hours, they feel very confortable. Relation between pedals-shoes is also truly important in it, as hard as it seems, lot of the specific BMX/Skateboarding (hi tops) shoes fits very well for technical rides, Globe, Vans, DC…they all feel fastastic, lot of them are very grippy and comes with hard soles, harder to climb hills though. Pedals with interchangeable pins are the best. An 15 degress floating pedal clipless work great for long rides, I’m attached to most Time pedal system specially the old Z-Controls (even for XC!), never cameback to the Shimano types anymore.

  • butch says:

    I live with a lot of rock gardens and climbing rock gardens on flats is a massive pain because your feet keep coming off the pedals. Clipless solved that problem with a bonus of much better climbing efficiency. You also dont need to spend a ton on a good pair of pedals, the bottom of the line SPDs for $20 are just as good as anything else youll buy, you cant say that about flats which get ridiculously expensive very fast.

  • josh says:

    Flats are by far the best thing for new riders. Clips are a disaster until you can manage your bike.

  • sgniwder99 says:

    I kind of always felt like this was mostly personal preference. I’m certainly not willing to say clipless are superior, but I do think the ominous warnings against clipless pedals often levied at novice riders tend to be fairly pretty overblown. Back when I was a teenager several of my buddies and I got clipless pedals pretty much immediately upon starting riding (sort of a teenage boy’s pack mentality at work there). We all fell over/looked stupid/had getting trouble getting clipped back in after dabbing quite a bit at first, then less pretty quickly, then pretty soon not at all really. I’ve also had a couple of girlfriends get into riding who got clipless right off the bat because that was what I had and recommended, and neither of them had any more difficulty with them.

    I’m sure that there are real horror stories out there about someone who has suffered a bad crash while getting used to clipless pedals. But at least in my experience, people who match their novice riding abilities to the trails they were trying to ride don’t find that going clipless adds any significant difficulty to learning to ride off-road in the first place.

  • Fritz says:

    MTBR has a guy writing for them that doesn’t know the difference between clips and clipless pedals? What he is calling clips, are clipless. Clips (or toe clips) have a part that goes over the top of your shoe to retain your foot. Clipless pedals attach to a cleat on the bottom of your shoe.

  • Brent says:

    People still ride flats…..Why??

  • Francis Cebedo says:

    >>MTBR has a guy writing for them that doesn’t know the difference between clips and clipless pedals? What he is calling clips, are clipless. Clips (or toe clips) have a part that goes over the top of your shoe to retain your foot. Clipless pedals attach to a cleat on the bottom of your shoe.

    We are trying to NOT USE the term ‘clipless’ from the vernacular. It is the dumbest term ever because it is in direct conflict with the term ‘clip-in’ shoes. It is based on the extinct device called toe clips which most mountain bikers don’t even know about.

    So for our purposes, clipless and clips are the same. 🙂

  • Ross says:

    I have been on flats for over 20 years, never clipped in. Most of my riding partners are clipped in and a few of them have had accidents with injuries that would have been avoided if not clipped in. I have gone over the bars before and landed on me feet because I could walk over them. I ride the 2FO’s and Boomslang Pedals. They work awesome I never “slip off”, do lots of rocky sections and drops in Tahoe area. Bottom line is if you are a skilled rider and set them up properly they are just as good if not better than any clip in style pedal. Opinion No, Fact “Yes” I out climb racer types all the time in Tahoe that can’t navigate steep rock climbs on our trails because they are fussing with their pedals. If you have not tried them do so before you think being clipped in is the only way to ride.

  • Fleas says:

    Maybe I just need more practice riding flats, but I cannot ride my bike up a flight of stairs without being attached to my pedals.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOcA9cs3_bg

    If I am doing any serious off-road riding, I am attached. Telling someone else that they “should” use one type or another is silly, though.

  • Bryan says:

    Another advantage of flats, is the shoes are much better for hike-a-biking on rock. Also a simpler pedal with no cleats is much less likely to have breakage problems in the back country. If you ride sketchy terrain, where a fall can be disastrous, flats are the way to go! And if you aren’t racing, the extra three minutes of in a one hour climb is a non-issue. Flats can also teach you better bike handling skills. But other than that, it is a matter of personal preference. If you go for flats, I would recommend 5-10 shoes.

  • Anthony Kahn says:

    OK, us old riders know they were called “clipless”, after the leather strap toe clips of ancient times (and current track use). Many kids at BMX tracks started using “clipless”, which they always call “clips” since they were as young as 5 years old. Many other cyclists never even knew about clips-and-straps.
    The new vernacular has become “clips”- as people clip in, like ski bindings. Thus “clipless” is dropping from usage.

  • Dirtman says:

    Could never get used to clips. Got tired of unclipping at the worst possible time or watching my friends disappear as I’m trying to clip back in after a gnarly section requiring me to unclip.
    I have been riding with Power Grips for 25 years and swear by ’em

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Tech: Are size specific pedals the next big thing?


Flat pedals have changed minimally in recent years but that may soon change. Two manufacturers are seeking to help improve performance with new size specific platforms. How did the concept originate? We called Spank and Crankbrothers to learn more.

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  • GuyWithFlatTire says:

    WTH? Pedals have come in different sizes for as long as I can remember, and I’ve been mountain biking for over 19 years. Now, each manufacturer is seeing the benefits of making different sizes in each model, as where before, you had to find a specific manufacturer that sold an oversized platform.

  • Ben K says:

    Now if only someone would build a shoe that is stiff enough for all day rides, doesn’t weigh a ton, is breathable, and is designed for platform use.

  • duder says:

    Next big thing? Not really…

  • tb says:

    Great. Now I have to decide if my size 10 shoes would be better on a small or large size pedal…

    Just like my 5’10” body has to deal with M or L in frames.

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Hit List: This week’s best MTB components, gear and apparel


This week’s Mtbr Hit List includes 2.35 Michelin tires, Pearl Izumi X-Project shoes, the MRP Stage fork, Bontrager’s Foray shorts, grips and gloves from Ergon, a Bell helmet, and one very cool tool.

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Deity launches Tyler McCaul Signature Flat Pedal


After thoroughly thinking (and rethinking) every facet of the modern platform pedal, Deity Components finally releases the Tyler McCaul Signature Flat Pedal.

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Round up: Eight new pedals for the flat-out-foot-out crowd


2016 trends in flat pedals include size specific platforms and hybrid flat/clipless designs. Some are also more affordable!

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Interbike 2015: Xpedo ZED pedal


The new Xpedo ZED is the company’s largest pedal ever with a 110x110mm platform. Despite it’s size, they’ve managed to retain a very slim profile.

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Eurobike 2015: Shimano debuts new shoes, 25th anniversary pedals


Component and apparel giant has your feet covered with limited edition 25th anniversary pedals and shoes, plus new all-mountain range, multi-season mountain touring and Gore-Tex lined winter enduro shoes.

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Eurobike 2015: Crankbrothers pedals and new dropper post


Crankbrothers showed us the new internal components for all pedal types. Beside that: revamped Candy 7 & 11 pedals, new Double Shot, Mallet E enduro and Stamp Small/Large pedals; the new High Line dropper post is looking great!

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  • Forster says:

    I asked about a pedal like the doubleshot over a year ago and they said they weren’t working on one. Too bad I already bought another pair of eggbeaters, I’d love a set of these instead.

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