While less common on the trail than clipless pedals, flat pedals are about as likely to go extinct as the eastern gray squirrel. For many riders, flats are confidence-inspiring, and they can improve any riders’ riding technique. We’ve reviewed quite a few pairs of flats over the years, and these are some of our favorites. Click the title of each pedal’s description to read the full review.
Deity has a reputation among core riders for high-quality, incredibly durable products that feel right and look good. The Bladerunners match that description. They sport a thin 11-millimeter profile and boast incredible traction. Plus, after a year under two of our testers, they’re still spinning smooth and without any detectable play. They’re a bit pricey at $144, but they’ll last longer than most less expensive options. Also, if you’re looking for a concave profile, Deity’s T-Mac pedals are a better bet–the Bladerunners sport a concave pin profile, but the bodies themselves are flat. $144 / deitycomponents.com
If you like options, Chromag’s Scarab pedals would make a fine choice. Designed by Chromag head-honcho Ian Ritz, these platforms sport 42 screw holes so you can fine tune your pin placement. They’re taller (by a whole two millimeters) than the Bladerunners, but have the concave profile that many riders prefer for both traction and comfort. The cartridge-style bearings promise good longevity for the $150-ish price tag. chromagbikes.com
Given their $80 price tag, it’s tough to complain about the Sprys. Grip isn’t on the same level as, say, Deity’s Bladerunners, mostly because of the mushroom-style pins employed on the Sprys, but after a year-long beating the Pacific Northwest, our test set is still rolling smoothly. $80 / xpedo.com
The Spikes take the middle ground of all the pedals we tested. Designed with both dirt jumping in mind, the Spikes don’t spin quite as freely as most pedals, which is a bonus if you’re taking your feet off the pedals mid-air. They’re tightly sealed, so contamination is not a concern here. They’re also sit in very close to the crank–so close that they sometimes won’t spin freely without washers in place–so if you’re after a low-Q-factor, these might be your ticket. Traction isn’t quite on par with the stickiest pedals around, mostly due to the bulging spindle that reduces contact with the center pins. $125 / spank-ind.com
If you’re after a light pedal, and are willing to cough up the cash so long as the durability is there, the Predators might be worth looking into. These $270 platforms keep weight down to a paltry 340 grams with a titanium spindle and aluminum pins. It’s the pins that make the Predator unique. Normally, every time you bash a pin on a rock you risk damaging the threads on the pedal body–that’s not a risk many riders will take with a pedal costing nearly $300. With that in mind, the engineers behind the Predator crafted the pins to fail long before the body of the pedal would incur any damage. That means that the Predators lose pins quite frequently–maybe too frequently for some buyers, but if you’re willing to regularly put in new pins, the Predators are a lightweight option that will keep spinning for a long while. $270 / twenty6products.com