Best Mountain Bike Pedals Reviews 2021 – Ranking and Buying Guide

The mountain bike pedals are more than just a place to put your feet down. As the component responsible for keeping your feet attached to the bike, it is vital to make an informed choice and make sure you buy the best mountain bike pedals for your needs.

For a couple of decades, pedals have been a watershed in the world of bikers. It classifies between people who cannot do without flat pedals to feel freer and riders who can no longer live without the quick release of SPD pedals.

If you have bought a new bike and it comes with stock pedals, they are highly unlikely to be useful. Replace the cheap plastic pedals with a wonderful quality pair.


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Top 6 Best Mountain Bike Pedals You Would Like

Top 1: Shimano XTR M9020 MTB Pedal

Shimano XTR M9020 pedal is a great compromise between having a platform around the clip mechanism and keeping the weight low. The small platform provides enough area to support the foot in non-truncated emergencies. The aluminum body and excellent workmanship make the pedal not too heavy.

With the anodized body and the polished spindles, the mud will not stick to them. A similar coating also presents on the engagement mechanism to allow for easy clipping in. And we can adjust the voltage to tune the resistance.

Standard versions are available for side cleats and other cleats. They unlock after a certain amount of upward force. These features are the safest option if you are new to the type of pedals clipless.

The height is 18mm that is thin enough for pedals without nails. Because of the small size of the platform, these pedals are better suited to cross-country and trail riders. Once you get into a more aggressive or enduro track, you will want a pedal with a larger platform. Overall, we would say the XTRs are the best clipless MTB pedals.


  • Lightweight and durable
  • Aluminum body and excellent workmanship
  • Side cleats included
  • Large capacity


  • Not suitable for enduro track

Top 2: Time Atac XC8 Carbon Pedal

Time Atac XC8 Carbon pedals are super lightweight with excellent mud avoidance. It allows for lateral buoyancy to reduce strain on the knee joints. It can take time to get used to as the foot is not connected properly.

Because of the mechanism that allows this float, the release can be inconsistent depending on where exactly the cleat has been engaged. The release tension can be adjusted by turning a screw on the side of the pedal body. The stock cleats have a 13 or 17-degree release.

The main body is carbon, and the pair weighs a whopping 284 grams. There is a little platform available that makes inserting Eggbeater 3 pedals easier. But the complete body is still small, so precision is vital. You do not have to worry about mud clogging the mechanism as the design forces mud out the front as you clip. We have no choice but to be expelled. The low weight and reduced profile of the Time Atac XC 8 pedals make it suitable for cross-country.


  • Excellent mud avoidance
  • Super lightweight
  • Premium materials
  • Advanced mechanism


  • Inconsistent release

Top 3: Crankbrothers Mallet Pedal

If it is an enduro and you want to be supported by a great platform for extra support, then the Mallet Enduro is the pedal for you. The clips in the pedal’s heart have the mud dispersion design, like the Eggbeaters with 15 or 20 degrees of change.

The clip mechanism is surrounded by a large platform with adjustable traction pads and pins. The platform has a slightly concave shape and the edges are beveled to deflect rock hits. The platform works excellently and allows you to unhook and continue driving normally on the platform.

For example, it could be useful when engaging a series of fast turns where one foot out and then the other. You can simply unclip and still have a secure grip on the pedals.

Despite the platform, the Mallet Enduro is not heavy at 420 grams for the pair. While the platform would be overkill for cross-country riders, aggressive enduro racers and cyclists will love the safety on offer.


  • Clip mechanism
  • Large platform
  • Best for enduro roads
  • Lightweight and compact


  • Expensive


ROCKBROS MTB pedals have an elegant and particularly refined design. It can satisfy the aesthetic needs of all those who pay attention to detail. They are aluminum alloy and it seals the bearings. They weigh only 398 grams per pair and measure 90 x 85 x 15 millimeters. The axle is 9/16.

Overall, the pearls are simple to assemble as they come with keys. The pack comes with an external part in aluminum alloy and a central body in plastic. So, we appreciate them for their lightness. Their large surface also provides optimal traction.


  • Lightweight
  • Simple assembly
  • Elegant design
  • High traction


  • Small platform

Top 5: Crankbrothers Eggbeater 3 Pedal

The Crankbrothers Eggbeater 3 pedals are the unrivaled leaders in getting rid of any kind of mud that might cling to. The simple design with large spaces between the spindle and the guides offers a little surface for the mud to cling to.

You can clip on the four sides of the Eggbeater 3 pedals, but it does not make them easy to engage. It is difficult to put your foot in the correct position as the target area is small. And there is no platform to use as an orientation.

Without a platform, they are easy to cut out. But because of the precision required to get the foot hooked, they are not an excellent choice for users approaching clipless models for the first time. Especially, there is not much adjustability.

It is possible to swap the orientation of the cleats to have 15 or 20 degrees of float. But it fixes the tension of the mechanism. Eggbeater 3 is a low-profile pedal. So, it is no surprise that they are light at just 280 grams per pair. Overall, these pedals are best for weight-conscious cross-country riders with previous experience of bad pedals.


  • Large capacity
  • Fixed tension
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Best for weight-conscious riders


  • Low profile
  • No orientation platform

Top 6: Shimano Deore XT PD-M8120 SPD Pedal

If you want to test an SPD pedal without breaking the bank account, Shimano has an XTR alternative for you. Although the price is lower, the XT PD-M8020 pedals are still durable and functional.

The small platform helps guide the foot into the clip. The platform is not so functional as it is too small and smooth to offer any real grip.

The docking is not as convincing as the XTR model, but you can insert it with confidence. The exit is loud and noticeable enough to let you know for sure you have not unscrewed. The cleats are the same as the XTR. The weight is slightly higher than the Shimano XTR at 408 grams, but it is the trade-off for a lower price.

It does not compromise reliability and durability. So, XT PD-M8020 is an impressive pair of low-end or starter pedals. We think these are the best MTB pedals under $130.


  • Durable and functional
  • Premium exit and cleats
  • Affordable price


  • Low-quality docking
  • Heavyweight

Why Should Buy Mountain Bike Pedals

The choice of pedals on a mountain bike has been a hotly debated topic among enthusiasts for years. The debate about whether the hooked or free approach is better is almost infinite. It is an impossible skein to unravel.

Normally, they prefer pedals in all areas of use of the mountain bike. It is according to a logic whereby in the more technical passages of mountain biking afoot. With a pedal, you are free to move on the point of contact with the bicycle.

It also allows the biker to find greater balance, to be less linked to the vehicle, and to leave or resume the contact with greater timing and speed

Who Should Buy Mountain Bike Pedals

Many mountain biking downhill specialists prefer the use of quick-release pedals because with these they can best express their driving technique. They find the greater feeling in the vehicle’s management and in the execution of the many acrobatic elements that characterize these specialties.

It is a question of habit that the various bikers cultivate from an early age. It leads to different styles and ways of driving the vehicle. In one case, we find the use of free pedals, in the other of release pedals. For each person, they can best express their driving technique.

Best Mountain Bike Pedals FAQs

Flat or SPD mountain bike pedals?

The choice of one type or the other of the pedals depends on the personal approach. The technology that differentiates them reflects two radically opposite worlds. With a flat pedal, the footrests on a flat surface with an area larger than the foot sole. In this way, there are no constraints for the shoe that can be positioned freely regarding the axis.

They named the quick-release pedals for MTB after the Shimano company. They first marketed them starting in the 90s. The acronym SPD means Shimano Dynamic Pedal.

Flat pedals for mountain bikes?

The flat pedals are the most traditional techniques. They mount a flat body on the pivot, with no possibility of hooking. It leaves the foot free to move and lift at will.

These pedals can be plastic with reflective inserts in simpler models and low-end bikes. They have coated and painted steel with a large support surface. The flat type is suitable for freestyle use that involves acrobatics in the air such as Freeride, Enduro, or DownHill.

Hybrid pedals for MTB?

Hybrid pedals combine the advantages of SPD technologies with the freedom of flats and are ideal for approaching the coupling.

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