How To – How to Select Platform Pedals

I have always believed in flat pedals as a preferable ‘propulsion mechanism’ when compared to the clip shoes and pedals. I have been sold to by many bike store professionals about the great value and benefits offered by the clip based pedals for mountain bikes, but for some reason – just personal preference I would say – I have always stayed with the platform pedals.  Now I have been vindicated – more and more trainers and store assistants offer the platform pedals for mountain bikes as the preferred approach.

Why do I like the flat pedals:

  • They offer the ability for you to jump off the bike easily if you see yourself and the bike falling
  • the big surface of the pedals allow you to exert significant power and propel the bike well
  • the large surface they offer also provide for good stability when you ride upright for additional power as you climb hills
  • overall they offer a lot more stability on the bike and make you feel more in control

Assuming you like the pedals (as I do) here is a list of pedals you can consider for your mountain bike:

  • Spank Spike Platform Pedals: these pedals are about 420gr. weight, thikness of 12mm, 20-adjustable pins for traction; made of cold forged alloy – which has proven to be the best approach for rigid / stiff body while still being molded in a thin size for best fit on the bike – i.e. not to be in the way.  (The Oozy Trail is another option from Spank – costlier but lower weight)


  • Shimano PD-MX80 Saint Pedals:  These pedals are very comfortable, offer VERY strong grip to your shoes – still no clips mind you! — and a big platform, hence lots of ability to push for power.  Their key differentiation: Concave platform shape for long ride comfort and pedaling efficiency;  These pedals come also with washers to allow you to adjust the pins for the right fit to your shoes.


  •  xpedo Spry pedal: I like this pedal for it is probably the lightest at 260 gram weight and 11mm thickness and of course a very low price.  The manufacturer has used softer material – magnesium – and that contributes to more scratches and dents on the trail.  But overall a good set for your mountain bike.
  • DMR Vault Pedals:  has a platform shape that is concave for better fit with the shoe sole – and makes this pedal well liked even if it is larger overall and heavier; 

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