First Impressions: HT AE03 Pedals

Wafer-thin, ultra-light and under my feet

By Vernon Felton

HT AE03 Pedal

Last year, Taiwanese manufacturer, HT, rolled out a new line of four "EVO" flat pedals, all of which follow the same basic formula: ultra-thin platforms paired to a unique spindle dual DU bushings and an outboard patent bearing.

The AE03 is one svelte puppy: just 352 grams a set and a mere 11 millimeters thick across most of the body. For comparison's sake, I was blown away a few years back when I reviewed Deity's Decoy LTs which were just 17 millimeters thick (back then, that was considered pancake thin). Time and technology march on.

The HT's body is made of extruded aluminum that's been CNC'd into final shape. Each side of the pedal bristles with 10 steel pins that err on the tall side of the spectrum. The pins are placed evenly over the platform and grip is strong on every shoe I've paired this pedal with. The AE03s sell for $150…that's not stupid-pricey, but it does lean towards the trust-fund side of the cost spectrum.

Thin pedals are a dime a dozen these days—it seems like everyone and their brother has a few in the line up. There are a few goods reasons for that: thin pedals offer more clearance, which means they smack into fewer rocks and you, by extension, spend more time on the bike than off it. Thin pedals also have less of a tendency to roll under your foot during awkward moments than their thicker-waisted brethren and simply offer better pedaling ergonomics than the chunky flats of the past.

HT AE03 EVO Pedal

Thin and light: with a body that measures 11 millimeters thick and a total weight of just 352 grams, HT's AE03 pedals cut an impressive swath, which probably explains why riders like Aaron Gwin, Brian Lopes and Kyle Strait have begun bolting them to their own bikes.

Having touted the benefits of thin flats, it's worth noting that some of the early models from years past shit the bed right quick. Durability simply wasn't always on the menu.

How will the HTs hold up? It'll be interesting to see. I've got a month of riding on them so far, and as you’d expect, it's all peaches and puppies at this point: I haven't mangled any of the traction pins, the bushings are hunky dory and the chromoly spindles are doing fine (again, you kind of expect that from steel, but I have bent a few over the years).

Since I ride nothing but flats, I'll amass some good miles on these pedals before the years out. Look for an in depth review in the near future.