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The best flat MTB pedals in 2023

Improve grip and handling out on the trails with our pick of the most bombproof flat MTB pedals, from £35

Looking for an inexpensive way to upgrade your steed? The best flat MTB pedals enhance grip and offer increased control whether you’re throwing the bike into tight berms or rattling over rock gardens and roots. If your feet are constantly slipping off your current set, then a new pair is about the biggest, most cost-effective upgrade you can make.

Your pedals are one of the three key contact points between you and the bike. Along with the saddle and handlebar, they connect rider to machine, playing an important role in dictating how the bike feels. They need to be grippy enough to maintain control through technical sections of trail or in the worst weather, but they still have to be comfortable enough for grinding up the occasional hill.

Outside of performance, changing your pedals is another way to give your bike some personality. Whether metal or plastic, flat MTB pedals often come in bright, eye-catching colours to make them stand out on the trails.

We considered all of these factors to bring you our pick of the best flat MTB pedals on the market. These are the pedals that perform the best on the trails, stand up to the most abuse and look great while doing it. Whether you’re on a tight budget or are looking to splurge on something high-end and super lightweight, check out the options below to find a flat pedal that fits the bill.

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Are flat MTB pedals better than clipless MTB pedals?

It’s not a case of better or worse. Both types of pedals have their pros and cons, so it’s simply a matter of personal preference. Clipless pedals lock the feet in place, which means the rider can utilise the entire pedal stroke for more efficient power transfer, and they also stop your feet from sliding off when the going gets bumpy. The downside is that they make it harder to get a foot down in a hurry.

Should I buy composite or alloy MTB pedals?

Composite (or plastic) MTB pedals have come on leaps and bounds over the past decade or so. They used to be cheap-feeling, easily broken and perform poorly. However, as technologies have advanced, composite pedals can now offer excellent durability, great grip and good looks for a fraction of the cost of their alloy counterparts. That said, alloy pedals can be made thinner and lighter than composite pedals, which is why a lot of riders prefer them, but they do tend to be more expensive.

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The best flat MTB pedals you can buy in 2023

1. DMR Vault: Best all-round flat MTB pedal

Price: £60 | Buy now from Wiggle

DMR’s Vault have earned a reputation in the MTB community as the benchmark for flat pedals.

They’re a great-looking alloy option, and the concave platform and adjustable pins keep feet planted even over rough, technical terrain. The good-sized platform does its bit to boost stability, too.

The Vaults are famously tough and durable, and on the off-chance you do manage to smash them, they’re fully rebuildable too. Each and every part can be removed and replaced, which extends the lifespan indefinitely, and they’re available in lots of cool anodised colour options, too.

Key specs – Body: Extruded 6061 aluminium; Pins: 11 per pedal; Dimensions: 105 x 105mm; Weight: 430g (pair)

Buy now from Wiggle

2. Crankbrothers Stamp 7: Best lightweight flat MTB pedal

Price: £135 | Buy now from Merlin Cycles

This large-platform pedal from American components brand Crankbrothers is extremely grippy, slim and light. It’s available in two slightly different shapes specifically designed for either small or large feet and has plenty of clever features that set it apart from the competition.

Pins are adjustable and removable, with the same number on both shape options. There’s also a dedicated grease port, which should help keep them spinning smoothly throughout the worst of the UK weather.

Crucially, the platform itself is large and has a concave profile, making the Stamp 7 one of the grippiest and most planted feeling pedals out there.

Key specs – Body: Forged 6061-T6 aluminium; Pins: 10 per side; Dimensions: 100 x 100mm (Small), 114 x 111mm (Large); Weight: 345g (Small), 375g (Large)

3. Chromag Dagga: Best aggressive flat MTB pedal

Price: £197 | Buy now from Amazon

If you want maximum grip and don’t care too much for your lower legs, the aptly named Dagga from Chromag is the flat MTB pedal for you.

With an extremely aggressive pin profile, the Dagga offers more grip than any other pedal on the market. At full length, each individual pin is a whopping 8mm, which lets them really bite into your shoes (and, if you’re unlucky, your shins, too). The platform is also fairly large at 120 x 115mm, which adds to the stable, planted feel.

There are rubber seals to stop water from creeping into the bearings, and lots of different colour options for maximum personalisation.

Key specs – Body: Forged aluminium; Pins: 12 per side; Dimensions: 120 x 115mm; Weight: 480g (pair)

4. OneUp Components Composite: Best plastic flat MTB pedal

Price: £55 | Buy now from Amazon

This modestly priced composite pedal from OneUp is robust, grippy and relatively lightweight.

It performs well for the price and has an unusual convex profile that follows the natural arch of the foot. If you’re used to concave profile pedals then you might struggle to get along with it, but if foot placement is correct then it does aid grip as claimed by the brand.

Durability is excellent for a plastic pedal, too. The nylon body shrugs off ground strikes and rock impacts nicely, and the pins are replaceable if they do get damaged.

Key specs – Body: Nylon composite; Pins: 10 per side; Dimensions: 115 x 105mm; Weight: 355g (pair)

5. Race Face Chester: Best value flat MTB pedal

Price: £35 | Buy now from Wiggle

This robust composite option from Race Face is proof that you don’t need to spend a fortune to get a grippy, hard-wearing and lightweight flat MTB pedal.

The Chester features eight threaded pins to each side that bite nicely and give a nice amount of grip, and it’s built around a sturdy chromoly axle with fully replaceable internal parts.

It’s relatively slim for a composite pedal too, and there are lots of striking colour options available, making it a solid option for aesthetically minded riders on tight budgets.

Key specs – Body: Nylon composite; Pins: 8 per side; Dimensions: 110 x 101mm; Weight: 360g (pair)

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