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The Best Pedals for Your Mountain Bike

bike pedals and hardware resting on a wooden background

Though they may be overlooked in comparison to more pressing cycling equipment, your mountain bike’s pedals can provide an even larger impact on your ride than you’d think. We’re far too quick to playoff heel slips and calf scrapes from our bike pedals with a curse and a huff, but the reality is that these things shouldn’t be happening as frequently as they do. A good set of pedals should do just as well for its rider as does a highly-cushioned seat or maximum power headlight. If you’re looking for an improvement, for convenience, and if nothing else, for a chance to stop losing control of your pedals, here are a few that we recommend.

How to Find Your Footing

Consider these factors when buying your next set of bike pedals:

  • Traction: How well your next cycling pedals keep your soles on the platform may be the most important factor behind the purchase. Skidding off of your pedals is one of the most headache-inducing moments of everyday bike riding, so you should consider a pair that uses specific means to hold your feet down.
  • Construction: We’re moving well beyond the flimsy, plastic pedals of our youth. High-grade materials such as aluminum alloy and nylon also provide the necessary grip you’ll need when riding and are better equipped to handle various environmental conditions.
  • Versatility: It’s also important to consider a pair of pedals that can adapt and provide more for your rides. Some pedals are interchangeable between a variety of bikes and provide numerous methods for use, while others include reflective strips on each side of the platforms. A versatile set of pedals is the hardest to pass up.

Best Overall: Mzyrh Mountain Bike Pedals

lattice yellow and black mountain bike pedal

Made from a long-lasting aluminum alloy that’s highly resistant to wear and tear, Mzyrh’s Mountain Bike Pedals would make for a great addition to any cyclist’s wheels. They are stylish and smooth, and we mean that literally, given their lubricated three-bearing platforms. Among this pair of pedals’ best attributes is the anti-skid pin design in which tiny nail-like bits rise off the platforms and provide users with great grip to the soles of their feet through rain or mud. Riders can expect these pedals to hold up well for either casual riding or racing, so if you’re a BMX star or just looking to coast around the neighborhood, you can’t go wrong here.

Best Overall

MZYRH Mountain Bike Pedals, Ultra Strong Colorful CNC Machined 9/16" Cycling Sealed 3 Bearing Pedals (Black Black Glod 3 Bearings)

Rain or shine, mud or dust, these pedals are a sleek and sturdy option for your wheels.

Best Control: Ybeki Bike Pedals with Clips and Straps

two strap-in black mountain bike pedals with a black clip-on strap

Superior traction while riding should be immediately apparent in the mountain bike pedals you buy, and there’s no better way to keep you strapped into your bike than by, well, actually strapping you in. The Ybeki Bike Pedals use a series of easily attachable metal grip-clips, nylon straps, and a rubber shoe cage to keep a rider’s feet positioned firmly in place. With these three features, a rider is allowed complete control over their speed while cycling while conserving energy at the same time. Their fit around a rider’s shoe can be adjusted by pulling on or loosening the strap for ideal comfort. Each pedal also features a built-in reflector strip, so you can ride safely in the evening knowing your presence is visible.

Note: To avoid potential mishaps, it is recommended to not use the straps and clips on difficult terrain, as riders may need to quickly remove themselves from the bicycle on short notice.

Best Control

YBEKI Bike Pedals with Clips and Straps, for Exercise Bike, Spin Bike and Outdoor Bicycles, 9/16-Inch Spindle Resin/Alloy Bicycle Pedals, Half Year Warranty (Black)

Bringing the handling of a stationary bike to the quick speed and turns of a mountain cycle, these pedals provide you with the utmost control.

Most Versatile: Venzo Dual Function Bike Pedals

two open dark gray mountain bike pedals with their attachment screws

Whether you’re riding on these pedals with clips or without them, the Venzo Dual Function Bike Pedals provide any rider with the same great cycling experience. When ridden with pedal clips, the platforms, and thus your bicycle, become an extension of you, allowing for a more fluid pedaling process. However, riders can just as easily throw on a pair of clipless running shoes for an almost equally efficient transfer of energy between revolutions on the pedals. As a dual functioning product, these pedals guarantee stability and incredible grip, from their low profile to their smooth bearings, so you don’t have to worry about shelling out extra for clips if it isn’t in your budget.

Most Versatile

Venzo Multi-Use Compatible with Shimano SPD Mountain Bike Bicycle Sealed Clipless Pedals - Dual Platform Multi-Purpose - Great for Touring, Road, Trekking Bikes

No matter how you spin it, these pedals offer a consistent hold on the soles of your feet with or without clips.

Also Consider: Fooker Mountain Bike Pedals

two bright green mountain bike pedals with small, raised black attachments

Compatible with a variety of touring, track, and mountain bike equipment without sacrificing quality output, Fooker’s Mountain Bike Pedals are a rugged pair built for the trails. Their hardy nylon fiber construction makes for a shock-proof, abrasion- and corrosion-resistant product with long pedaling life before ever garnering a stress crack. Among this pair of pedals’ most notable features are the sealed bearing system that actually protects a bicycle’s spindles from dirt and water damage, as well as the emphasis on providing an anti-slip performance. Hex-head threaded traction pins on each side of the pedal hold a rider’s soles in place regardless if they are soaking wet or caked in mud, so you can ride without fear of skidding off your pedals.

Also Consider

FOOKER MTB Pedals Mountain Bike Pedals 3 Bearing Non-Slip Lightweight Nylon Fiber Bicycle Platform Pedals for BMX MTB 9/16"

Placing stability at the forefront of their priorities, these pedals are the ideal choice for riders who aren't afraid to coast through rainy days.

Hollis Mills Hollis Mills
Hollis Mills is a freelance journalist and a content writer for LifeSavvy. He has a bachelor's degree in English literature, and as an undergraduate at Texas A&M University, Hollis wrote and edited for the nationally recognized student newspaper, The Battalion. When he's not writing, you can find him complaining about Boston Celtics basketball or giving plenty of peanut butter biscuits to his always-hungry Catahoula dog, Blue. Read Full Bio »
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