Clip On Mountain Bike Pedals

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Shimano Xtr M9100 Race

6 Mistakes To Avoid With Clip In Pedals | MTB Skills

Just like all of the different components that make up the Shimano XTR lineup, the Shimano XTR M9100 pedals are a top of the line premium product. M9100 race pedals are extremely light weight and are designed for cross country or trail riding. The XTR M9100 pedals are designed to be effective shedding mud and still provide some contact area between the shoe and pedal body. There are two different spindle length options available for the M9100 pedal, one 3mm shorter than the other. The simplistic beauty of these pedals is really impressive. The quality of the materials and finished product is what makes the Shimano XTR M9100 pedals a premium product.


Analysis And Test Results

There are few things as exciting as buying a brand new bike. New bikes, however, rarely come with pedals. Although a seemingly minor part of the bike, you can’t really ride without them. When considering a new bike purchase, we recommend thinking ahead and buying pedals in advance if you don’t already own a set. It’s also a great time to get some new shoes, so you can optimize your connection to your new bike. Likewise, upgrading or replacing your old pedals can enhance your bike’s performance and your riding experience.

Clips Vs Clipless Pedals

If you’re cycling short distances and casually, basic rubber pedals work fine. As you pedal more seriously, say to achieve fitness, the speed and distance that you pedal increases and there’s a risk of your feet slipping off the pedals. At the least, this is an annoyance at the worst, it can cause a crash and injury. Also, even if you never slip off the pedals, rubber pedals allow your feet to change positions while you’re pedaling, which is very inefficient.

Ideally, you’ll always pedal with the balls of your feet over the centers of the pedals. Because it’s difficult to keep your feet in position, toe clips and straps were invented .

Toe clips and straps bolt to regular pedals and form cages to hold your feet in the correct place on the pedals and keep your feet from slipping off. This is a perfectly viable solution and one less expensive than clipless pedals and the special bike shoes needed to complete the clipless system.

There are drawbacks, however. One is that the clips and straps may cut off the circulation to your feet when they’re fastened tightly enough to allow efficient pedaling and control. It’s also a fairly tricky two-step process to get out of the clips and straps when they’re tightened because you must reach down to loosen the strap before you can pull your foot out. Also, when you’re riding off road on the pedal bottoms, the toe straps hang down where they can snag on roots or sticks causing a crash.

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Clipless Vs Flat Pedals For Mountain Biking

with Lindsey Richter, Director of Inspiration, Liv Ladies AllRide Mountain Bike Camps

My mountain bike journey began back in the mid-90s when I jumped right into cross-country racing. Toe clips and straps attached to flat pedals that allowed any shoe to stay secured to the pedal was the standard then. I soon transitioned to clipless pedals because that was the trend, especially for racers. For the next 20 years I never even considered straying from clipless pedals until knee surgery in 2019 forced me to give flat pedals an honest try. Begrudgingly, I put flats on my bike, ordered a pair of Liv Shuttle Flat shoes and gave it a go. For the first ten rides I felt like a beginner mountain biker and wanted to put my clips back on! But after committing to flats for an entire year, I will admit, Im hooked.

What are flat pedals?

Flat pedals have a large platform that usually come with replaceable pins so shoes can grip the pedals to help your feet stay put. Running or hiking shoes will work on flat pedals, but special shoes meant for mountain biking are recommended because they tend to be stiffer, more supportive underfoot and have soles made of grippy rubber with a special tread pattern designed to grip the pins.

Which Mountain Bike Pedal Should I Buy

Mountain Bicycle Exercise Pair Spin Toe Clips Cages Pedals with Clips ...

It kinda depends on your riding style. Racers tend to want the lowest stack and narrowest Q-factor, but also the lightest weight. So, you need to prioritize because none of the pedals above deliver all three. Lets consider each aspect:

Q-Factor: If your bike has wider chainstays, an ultra-narrow Q-factor could cause your heels to rub the stays. So, if youre already running XTR cranks with their narrowest option, and your bikes stays are stout or you have a bike with SuperBoost rear axle spacing, you may not want the pedals with the narrowest Q-factor.

Light Weight: Saving grams normally comes with a tradeoff, but not so much with pedals. Unless youre popping an extra $200 or so for the titanium spindle options on Time, Look, HT or Crank Brothers, none of the pedals here have rider weight limits. Even then, the minute weight savings beyond a mid-range set of pedals is rarely worth the extra cash unless its also upgrading their quality or durability. If youre only looking to save weight, there are more cost-effective ways to do that.

Beyond these three considerations, think about how much you move around on the bike. Higher retention strength will be better for more aggressive riders. Efficient, steady, and lighter riders might prefer a less aggressive pedal like the Eggbeater. And those riding in foul conditions or snow should prioritize pedals, like Time, that can quickly clear and remain easy to clip into.

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Evo Strapless Toe Clips For Bike Pedals

These actual clips are designed to work with pretty much every toe clip pedal option out there, especially those that feature the more modern MTB style design that most manufacturers are moving towards.

Optimized to get your feet into the perfect position to more efficiently pedal your bicycle, the engineering behind these pedals is top-tier. Combine that with high quality construction materials and its not hard to understand why so many people like these clips.

Key Features

  • Aggressive design specifically catering to those riding road bikes in urban conditions
  • Made to last a lifetime thanks to the highly durable resin construction materials used
  • Easy enough to snap into any of your favorite toe clip pedals in just a few minutes

Customer Opinion

The majority of reviews online paint a positive picture of these toe clips, though there were a handful of customers that found them to be a little too lightweight and a little too flimsy compared to some of the more premium options out there. Still, at this price point, its hard to argue with the value and performance you get out of these toe clips.

Final Verdict

Perhaps not the fanciest or most expensive toe clip options on the market today, if youre looking for a more budget focused choice that gets the job done these clips are well worth a closer look.

Are Mountain Bike Pedals Universal

Yes, mountain bike pedals are essentially universal. Technically, there are two types of pedals: half-inch in diameter and 9/16-inch in diameter.

Because half-inch pedals are usually only used in older or low-cost bikes, you should feel comfortable buying 9/16-inch pedals for almost any modern mountain bike.

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Drawbacks Of Hybrid Or Dual Pedals

  • Requires more speed to enter the pedal because you not only have to be able to get the cleat into the clip, but first you have to spin the pedal to be clip-side-up.

Now, once you decide between flat, clipless or hybrid pedal styles, youll have to decide on an actual pedal-cleat system. Egg-beater style clipless pedals? SPDs? BMX-style platform pedals with aggressive grips? This is quite a question in the biking world, and everyone seems to have their own preference. Also, much of the decision will depend on the type of terrain you like to ride and any physical considerations that effect your riding.

Spend some time reading product reviews on biking and bike product websites. If youre part of a cycling club, put the question out to the group for a variety of opinions. The founder of DIY Mountain Bike has compiled some wisdom from his own pedal-prolific experience and sums up his pedal recommendations for both mountain biking and commuting .

While breaking down each pedal system individually is too ambitious for this article, you now know the most important thing: how to remove and install mountain bike pedals. When youre jumping with excitement to get out on your new bike, you wont be held back by struggling to change the pedals. Youll be ready to ride!

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Mtb Clipless Pedals Buyer’s Guide

Blake Tries Clips! | How To Ride Your MTB With Clipless Pedals

In this mountain bike pedals Buyer’s Guide, we are breaking down everything you should consider before buying your next set of clipless pedals for your mountain bike. Just how important your pedals are can sometimes go unnoticed or forgotten. The pedals are one of the few contact points your have with the bike and can drastically change your experience on the trail. If you are riding clipless pedals that are hard to get the cleats in and out of, coming unclipped when you need to can be a bit hectic. At the same time, if riding with your clipless pedals is like seamless clockwork, chances are you have forgotten all about them. We are here to walk you through what makes a good pedal a good pedal and which pedals give you the most bang for your buck.

Crank Brothers Mallet Enduro pedals mounted to a set of Race Face Next SL cranks – a killer combination!

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For Wild Riders: Ht Components M1

The HT Components M1 comes in a whopping 11 colors, including an oil slick finish. So, you can get wild with your bikes look. More importantly, you can get wild on the bike HT has one of the highest retention ranges of anything weve tested. Despite their minimal appearance, they extend out from the retention mech enough to provide decent support. If you tend to use a lot of body english while riding and pop out of your pedals more than youd like, give these a try.

Just make sure to use the X1 cleats that come with them if you want the tightest retention. They offer three additional cleats, ranging from 4-8º of float, one of which also lets you roll your foot out in addition to twisting. After a year of regular use, they developed a little play, but HT offers to rebuild kits to replace the worn bearings.

  • Actual weight: 148g/pedal 296g/pair

How To Ride With Clipless Pedals

  • To clip in, place one foot on the pedal with the cleat lined up so when you push down and forward into the mounting system, your shoe locks in.
  • Start by practicing clipping in and out. You can have someone hold the bike while you practice getting in and out, then move to a safe grassy area to practice. There will most likely be some tipping over when learning how to react.
  • In a grassy area clip in with one foot and start pedaling forward. Rest your unclipped foot on the other pedal and take your time getting it aligned to clip in.
  • To clip out, push down and twist your foot to the side to release the cleat out of the pedal.
  • Once on the trail, clip out earlier than necessary. If you see a section you arent sure about, unclip early, step off mindfully and check it out so you enter with full confidence.
  • Learn how to make full pedal strokes by practicing wiping the bottom of the shoe across the ground during the bottom of the stroke and then pulling up with that foot while pushing down with the other foot on the downstroke.

The bottom line is that mountain biking should be fun! Its also a sport that requires practice, patience, and skill development to stay as safe as possible to ride for life. Ease into whatever pedals you choose, and if you can, try learning both flats and clipless so you can be a well-rounded rider.

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For Weight Weenies: Crankbrothers Eggbeater 3

The Eggbeaters are unique in that they offer four-sided entry. Just step down on them and their wings will grab the cleat. The open design means theres basically no way theyll get clogged up with mud or snow.

Theyre the lightest pedals on the market but also have the least supportive feel. Theres essentially no platform, but they do offer Traction Pads that slide onto the body on either side of the wings, giving you a bit better feel on shoes with lower profile tread blocks.

Its not just the pedals that are light , the cleats are about half the weight of others, too. But thats because theyre brass, so they wear faster. And youll basically need to use their shoe shields to avoid having the wings dig into your carbon soles:

Crank Brothers metal shoe shields fit between the cleat and your shoe.

It seems that people either love Eggbeaters or hate em. If you smash a rock on the downstroke, it can release the cleat and pop your foot out. And, though rare, its possible to roll your foot off the front of them under extreme efforts.

The upside? Their cleats are left/right-specific, giving you the ability to choose between 0º or 6º of float. Theyre also easily rebuildable. Key reasons to upgrade from the Eggbeater 2 to the Eggbeater 3 are stainless steel wings, a tooled alloy end cap, and better Enduro Max bearings insideand theyre 5g lighter for the pair.

  • Actual weight: 140g/pedal 280g/pair

For Pedal Mashers: Look X

Bike Pedals with Toe Clips/Cages and Straps, 9/16"  Aluminum Alloy

Looks X-Track pedal lineup comes in four flavors, ranging from $50 to $270 per pair. We recommend something in the middle, like the Carbon XC model shown here. Theyre 30g lighter than the base model, comparable in weight to XT, but have the largest platform of any pedal listed here. This provides excellent stability, making it the perfect option for people who want to stomp on the pedals hard, perhaps before they even get fully clipped inlike during a mass start when youre gunning for that hole shot!

These have proven durable, thanks to a double row of cartridge bearings on the outer edge and a wide bushing closer to the crank arm. In fact, the placement of these are among the widest of any pedal, too, which provides better support for the platform itself. Read our full review of these pedals for more details.

  • Actual weight: 175g/pedal 350g/pair

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The Best Clipless Mountain Bike Pedal Of 2021

What We Like:Lightest SPD pedal in test, fairly large contact area for an SPD pedal

What We Dont:Pricey and heavy compared to Crank Brothers alternative

With a weight of only 314g, the Shimano XTR M9100 is within ~40g of the Crank Brothers Egg Beater 3, although they are a bit pricier. The XTR M9100 forgoes the mini platform found on most of the Shimano SPD lineup. Instead, you get only the clipping mechanism itself, which actually offers a surprisingly solid pedalling platform.

What To Look For When Buyingtoe Clip Pedals For Road Bikes

Now that weve covered our favorite toe clip pedal options for road bikes, its important to highlight a couple the key factors youll want to consider before you buy this aftermarket accessory for your bike.


Straightaway, the stability of the new pedals that you purchase will have a huge impact on how your bike operates going forward.

You need toe clip pedals that are strong, lightweight, and well-balanced all things that are going to contribute to improvements instability when you are manipulating the pedals of your bike.


Using a toe clip is a great way to get a little more leverage and a little more power out of your bike. But thats only true if the toe clip itself is rock solid arent going to fly out without any warning.

Look for toe clip options that are secure, use trusted designs for the actual clip components, and will lock your feet into place.

Easy Disconnect

Easy disconnect options are essential for a variety of different reasons, but especially when you are running a road bike. The odds are pretty good youre going to want to get onto and off of your bike pretty easily, and toe clips that are tough to disengage can be a nightmare to use in urban environments.

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Hybrid Pedalstoe Clip & Dual Sided Pedals

Were making up a term here, hybrid, to describe an increasingly common pedal design combining toe clip and clipless aspects.

Youll see and hear the term dual sided pedals more and more in the future. It simply means this combination of clipless bracket on one side and toe clip on the other.

For instance, one side of the S301 has a standard flat pedal design that you would be plenty familiar with. The cage bolts to the pedal bodys front. The body itself rests on a standard pedal axle the strap threads through the rear.

Whenever you want to stop using the toe clip mechanism, you flip over the pedal exposing the cleat bracket. Clip-in with your cleat-compatible cycling shoes, simple as that.

Best Pedals For Types Of Riding

Road Or MTB Pedals – Which Should You Choose?

With mountain bike shoes, we chose favorites for certain types of riding. Pedals are a little different since its really up to riders preferences for what they want. In light of that, we chose winners for different categories: Best Flat Pedals and Best Clipless Pedals Best Bargain Best Nylon Flat Pedals Best Metal Flat Pedals Best Clipless Platform Pedals and Lightest Clipless.

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