Video by Dustin Vance
Words and Photos by Ryan Palmer

The last rendition of the Crankbrothers Mallet, the 1/2/3, has become popular among all mountain riders since its inception in 2011, but World Cup downhill athletes kept asking for a pedal that was more like the original Mallet. Listening to their feedback, Crankbrothers started the yearlong process of creating a brand new, “old-style” Mallet, exclusively for downhill racing. The result: after a season of World Cup DH racing under some of the world’s fastest racers, not one of the new Mallet DH/Race pedals broke. Oh, and Minnaar won World Champs on a set.

We spent a day in Laguna Beach with the engineers and designers at Crankbrothers, checking out the new Mallet DH/Race pedal and getting down to brass tacks: What challenges did Crankbrothers face in creating a pedal that met the needs of World Cup racers and what did they do to improve on the company’s track record for durability?

Check out our video above and the photos below for the answers.

The new Mallet DH/Race platform, with the other renditions in the background. The Mallet DH/Race enjoys a 50 percent improvement in bearing sealing.

With their rapid prototyping machine, Crankbrothers can literally print out samples (like this one here) that are accurate within the thickness of a human hair. This significantly speeds up development time.

The Mallet DH/Race two-piece body allows the wings and spring to be compressed when assembled, creating a more reliable system.

Eliminating stress risers on the spindle by moving to a tapered design, they were able to double spindle strength. They haven't seen a single bent spindle yet.

Box-o-springs. The Mallet DH/Race sports a stronger spring. By reversing the wind of the spring (pedal engagement unwinds the spring instead of winding it) they found that they were much more durable.

Mallet DH/Race Features at A Glance
New Design, Familiar Shape: The Mallet DH/Race has the same profile as the original mallet, with many new design features and all of the improvements of the new pedal line.
Improved Mud Clearance: The redesigned body is more open, reducing weight and improving mud shedding.
More Traction Pins: The Mallet DH/Race has eight adjustable traction pins, while the original mallet had only six.
Lighter Weight: Increased machining and a redesigned internal shape reduces weight.
Wider Q-Factor: The q-factor is increased a total of 10 millimeters (5millimeters per spindle) to allow for a wider stance and better crank clearance with flat riding shoes.
Stronger Spindle & Spring: The redesigned spindle tests to be 50 percent stronger than the previous design, and the reverse-wound, over sized springs are said to be virtually unbreakable.
Improved Sealing: New construction eliminates leak paths and greatly improves sealing.

Weight: 479 grams
Warranty: 5 years
Price: $140