This is the renaissance of flat pedals. Riders can now choose between being clipped in or not and there are now many options when it comes to flats. Since the rider is not locked on to the bike, the rider can put a foot down or jump away from the bike when needed. Also, since the rider is not locked on to the bike, he’s forced to use proper weighting and loading/unloading techniques to maintain contact and pressure on the bike.
The options today feature thin, low-profile options. Light weight and huge surface areas are available too.
VP Components Harrier
The VP Components Harrier is huge at 120 x 110mm of platform size. It is light at 362 grams and the price is right at $120. The 12mm thickness is a winner as well. If you have a wide foot and don’t ride in rock-strewn trails where side clearance is an issue, this is a good option. They are wide indeed but if your trails are not boulder-strewn like a minefield, these Harrier pedals are a good option. $120
Spank Oozy Trail
The Spank Oozy Trail pedal is indeed thin with a 12mm pedal height not including the pins. At the same time, strength is not be compromised as this kind of pedal will be subject to a severe beating throughout its lifespan. The body itself is cold-forged for strength. Cold forging has proven itself over the years as the best way to mold metal into a shape that flexes the least and exhibits the most durability. The Oozy Trail is only 360 grams. And if the rider is not too concerned about weight the less expensive Spank Spike is a great option as well. $150
Shimano Saint DX
The classic Saint DX Flat pedals have a solid aluminum body, adjustable traction pins, and legendary Shimano serviceability. It’s safe to say that pedal is now a classic. Shimano includes washers with the PD-MX80s, so you can lower pins where necessary and fine tune the pedals to your shoes and personal preference. Not light at 460 grams and not thin either, but these pedals will last forever and won’t break the bank. $100
The Xpedo Spry has all the right moves with a 260 gram weight, 11mm thickness and a $79 price tag. The platform has a nice shape to it too and is right in the sweet spot with a big 106 x 110 area. There’s some reports on the forums that the pins and the body get damaged badly with repeated rock hits due to the softer magnesium material used. These Spry pedals can get gouged and scratched by very hard hits on sharp rocks but if that’s not a concern, these may work well for you. $79
DMR Vault MG Ti
The DMR Vault is not thin, nor is it new but it is beloved by downhillers across the globe and new versions of the pedal keep coming out. At 17mm, it is far from the thinnest but it has a platform shape that is concave for better fit with the shoe sole. The edges of the Vault MG Ti pedal are angled nicely to bounce off rocks and other trail obstacles. There is an affordable Vault and a lighter Vault MG (magnesium) version. $170