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What are the best mountain bike clipless pedals? It’s a decisive question and one that people can be pretty passionate about. Ask any mountain biker and they will tell you the ones they ride are THE BEST and no others can compare.

Which doesn’t necessarily help you choose which ones are going to be right for you. We have researched and reviewed a variety of different mountain bike clipless pedals to find the ones that perform the best across a range of features, so you can select the perfect pair of pedals for you.

Whether you are going to be stepping into clipless pedals for the first time or looking to upgrade what you’re currently running, we have a solid range of styles, designs, and price ranges so you can get back to shredding trails in no time.

For more of our top mountain biking gear recommendations, check out the Best Overall Mountain Bike Pedals.

 

Quick Answer - The Best Mountain Bike Clipless Pedals

  1. crankbrothers Double Shot
  2. HT Components X2
  3. Shimano M530 SPD
  4. iSSi Trail II
  5. HT Components T1
  6. crankbrothers Egg Beater 1
  7. Look X-Track
  8. SHIMANO XTR PD-M9100 SPD
  9. Time Atac XC 12
  10. DMR V-Twin

 

Comparison Table - Best Mountain Bike Clipless Pedas

PictureNameTypeWeightDesignPriceRating
crankbrothers Double ShotEnduro Or All-Mountain11.3ozClipless / Platform$$3.9
HT Components X2Enduro / All-Mountain16.2ozClipless / Platform$$$4.3
Shimano M530 SPDTrail16ozClipless / Cage$4.6
iSSi Trail IITrail14.6ozClipless / Cage$$3.9
HT Components T1HT Components T1Trail13.6ozClipless / Cage$$$4.6
crankbrothers Egg Beater 1XC / Trail9.8ozClipless$4.1
Look X-TrackXC6.8ozClipless$4.9
SHIMANO XTR PD-M9100 SPDXC10ozClipless$$$5.0
Time Atac XC 12XC4.4ozClipless$$$$4.8
DMR V-TwinEnduro Or All-Mountain19.2ozClipless / Platform$$$4.3
PictureNameTypeWeightDesignPriceRating
Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - The Best Clipless Pedals for Mountain Biking

crankbrothers Double Shot

Specs
  • Compatibility: Crankbrothers
  • Design: Clipless / Platform
  • Weight: 11.3oz
  • Type: Enduro Or All-Mountain
  • Materials: Aluminum And Steel
  • Inclusions: Pedals And Cleats
Features
  • Large Platform With Traction Pad
  • Double Sided With A Platform On One Side And Clip-In On The Other
  • Compatible Cleats Included

BEST FOR: CITY ONE DAY, TRAIL THE NEXT

Anyone who has ever tried to ride on clipless pedals with tennis shoes knows it’s far from ideal, but sometimes you just want to pop down the street or go on a family ride – which is where the Crankbrothers Double Shot Pedals come in. Dual sided with a platform on one side and a clipless pedal on the other, these are the best of both worlds.

The large platform makes these perfect for enduro and all mountain style riding. It must be noted these are Crankbrothers pedals and are not compatible with standard SPD cleats. However, the compatible cleats are included and will fit on any clipless MTB shoe.

HT Components X2

Specs
  • Compatibility: HT X1 / X1F
  • Design: Clipless / Platform
  • Weight: 16.2oz
  • Type: Enduro / All-Mountain
  • Materials: Cr-Moly, Aluminum
  • Inclusions: Pedals, X1 Cleats And Pins
Features
  • 5 Removable And Replaceable Pins
  • Low Profile Platform
  • Adjustable Spring Tension

BEST FOR: RIDERS EXPERIENCED WITH CLIPLESS PEDALS

Experienced with clipless and love the feeling of snapping in and feeling super secure  in a set of pedals? Then these could be your next set of pedals! The HT X2 pedals are regarded for their tight clipless system and although it has four different settings, they won’t ever get to that soft clip-out feel. This won’t suit everyone, especially those new to clipless pedals. The proprietary cleat system means these will not fit with standard SPD cleats, but fortunately for you, a set of compatible cleats is included with the purchase of these pedals.

The HT X2 are designed with a concave platform shape, along with a low profile platform which delivers a comfortable and more natural feel as you pedal through the stroke. The platform also features 5 adjustable pins for extra traction and security. These also have serviceable bearings and provide the tools needed to dismantle them, so you can grease them up and keep riding.

Shimano M530 SPD

Specs
  • Compatibility: SPD
  • Design: Clipless / Cage
  • Weight: 16oz
  • Type: Trail
  • Materials: Ch-Moly And Aluminum
  • Inclusions: Pedals, Cleats
Features
  • Double Sided Pedal Design
  • Adjustable Spring Tension
  • Robust And Strong

BEST FOR: BEGINNER TO CLIPLESS

You can’t go wrong with a set of Shimano SLX Trail pedals whether your a beginner or an experienced rider. These pedals are designed and manufactured by Shimano, the largest supplier of pedals in the world. They know a thing or two about making a set of pedals that work exactly as they should.

These have the ability to dial in your spring tension so you can choose whether you want a soft and easy clip-out – perfect for those new to clipless – or tighten them up for that solid and secure in-pedal feel. As with a lot of pedals on the market, these are double sided so no matter which way they spin, you’ll be able to clip in. The cage surrounding the pedal also means even if you don’t manage to clip in immediately, you will have a contact point for your shoe to sit on to keep pedaling.

iSSi Trail II

Specs
  • Compatibility: SPD And iSSi
  • Design: Clipless / Cage
  • Weight: 14.6oz
  • Type: Trail
  • Materials: Aluminum And Steel
  • Inclusions: Pedals And Cleats
Features
  • Variable Spindle Length Allows Taller Riders To Adjust Pedal Location As Needed
  • Single Sided Pedal Design
  • Sealed Bearing For Low Maintenance

BEST FOR: TALL AND BROAD MTB’ERS

Things are going to get a little technical explaining what sets the iSSi Trail II pedal apart from the competition, but keep reading because it’ll be worth it. All pedals have a spindle – it’s that cylindrical bit that attaches the pedal to the bike. Most pedals have a standard length spindle which suits most people, but the iSSI Trail II pedals feature a standard length spindle or a +6mm or a +12mm option. Meaning these pedals sit a little further out from the bike, perfect for people with a bigger and broader build or even those with huge feet!

These pedals are also quite beefy so they can withstand some solid riding, with a sealed bearing to keep dirt and dust out. These pedals have a single sided design, so you can only clip in on one side of the pedal. They are SPD compatible with adjustable spring tension so you can choose just how tight or soft you want to clip in/out.

HT Components T1

Specs
  • Compatibility: HT X1 / X1F
  • Design: Clipless / Cage
  • Weight: 13.6oz
  • Type: Trail
  • Materials: Cr-Moly And Aluminum
  • Inclusions: Pedals, Cleats And Pins
Features
  • Adjustable Pins For Extra Grip
  • Open Cage For Stability
  • Robust And Secure Clip-In Tension
HT Components T1

BEST FOR: TRAIL BLING

The HT Components T1 pedals are a serious bit of MTB bling, which you can show off with a range of bright color options available. These high end pedals have a CNC machined cage which is sturdy and gives your foot plenty of support on the pedals. And they feature two adjustable front pins for extra grip and traction.

As with all HT Components pedals, these have a tight clip-in tension, so you will hear that distinctive click and will feel really secure in the pedal. This does mean you will need to be confident with clipping out as that tension holds you firmly in the pedal.

crankbrothers Egg Beater 1

Specs
  • Compatibility: Crankbrothers
  • Design: Clipless
  • Weight: 9.8oz
  • Type: XC / Trail
  • Materials: Steel And Chromoly
  • Inclusions: Pedals And Cleats
Features
  • Unique 4-Prong Design For Quick Clipping In
  • Lightweight
  • Minimal Design Sheds Mud Easily

BEST FOR: NEWBIES AND MUD LOVING MTB’ERS

Crankbrothers takes a totally different spin to the majority of other pedal brands out there, and you’ll see why when you take a look at them. These pedals are a minimal design that really does look like an eggbeater! 

They are super lightweight especially when you check out the higher end models. Plus they have a unique four sided design, which makes clicking in a breeze, especially for those new to clipless. You’ll spend less time struggling to find where your cleat hooks in with these pedals!

If you ride in muddy terrain you will also find the minimal design means they shed mud easily. And if there is a bit of mud built up on one side of the pedal, you still have three other sides to click into. They do use a proprietary cleat system but this will fit any 2-hole mountain bike shoe and they provide cleats with the pedals.

Look X-Track

Specs
  • Compatibility: SPD And Look
  • Design: Clipless
  • Weight: 6.8oz
  • Type: XC
  • Materials: Chromoly And Aluminum
  • Inclusions: Pedals And Cleats
Features
  • Adjustable Spring Tension
  • Wide Surface For Good Power Transfer
  • SPD Compatible

BEST FOR: VALUE FOR WEIGHT

Coming in at the lower end of the price scale for clipless pedals, these are a really solid option if you are looking for an SPD compatible pedal that is inexpensive and lightweight. The design and construction of the pedal is not compromised at all by the lower price tag either.

This model supersedes the old Look S-Track. The company added adjustable spring tension to this pedal so that you can dial in how tight or soft your cleat is held. This is great for anyone new to clipless – start with it soft while you are learning and then tighten it up as you become more confident. Its double-sided pedal design and slightly wider shape means the contact platform is a little wider, allowing you a bit more leeway while you’re learning to clip in.

SHIMANO XTR PD-M9100 SPD

Specs
  • Compatibility: SPD
  • Design: Clipless
  • Weight: 10oz
  • Type: XC
  • Materials: Chromoly And Aluminum
  • Inclusions: Pedal And Cleats
Features
  • Adjustable Spring Tension
  • Dual Spindle Length Options
  • High Quality And Durable Design

BEST FOR: RACE READY

The Shimano XTR PD-9100 are a go-to amongst riders who race, or simply spend a lot of time out on the trails. Why? Because they want a product that works. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

These are the top of the line version in the Shimano line up, so they are the lightest weight available. They’re designed to shed mud and dirt easily along with the ability to fine tune the tension when you clip in. The slightly wider contact area on the pedal helps with power transfer when you are pedalling. It’s no doubt these pedals were designed with performance in mind!

They also feature serviceable bearings, so if you are diligent in maintaining them, they have a long life span, which makes them better value for money.

Time Atac XC 12

Specs
  • Compatibility: Time
  • Design: Clipless
  • Weight: 4.4oz
  • Type: XC
  • Materials: Carbon Composite And Titanium
  • Inclusions: Pedals And Cleats
Features
  • Robust Yet Lightweight Design
  • Sealed Bearings For Low Maintenance
  • Adjustable Spring Tension

BEST FOR: WEIGHT WEENIES

Do you like nice things and super lightweight bike gear? Weight weenies, I’m looking at you! The Time ATAC XC 12 is probably going to be your go-to option.

Now as we know in cycling, most things that are ridiculously lightweight are usually made from carbon and titanium and have an eye watering price tag. These babies are no exception. But if you want a set of pedals that are also ticking some extra boxes such as being high quality, really robust, and eye catching to boot, then these are a good place to start. The Time proprietary cleat system paired with their minimal design makes these excellent in muddy conditions, and easy to clean.

DMR V-Twin

Specs
  • Compatibility: SPD
  • Design: Clipless / Platform
  • Weight: 19.2oz
  • Type: Enduro Or All-Mountain
  • Materials: Aluminum And Steel
  • Inclusions: Pedals, SPD Cleats, And Pins
Features
  • Large Platform Featuring 7 Pins For Grip
  • Heavy Duty Construction
  • Fully Serviceable Bearings

BEST FOR: ALL MOUNTAIN RIDERS

If you like to spend time customizing and optimizing your bike gear, the DMR V-Twin Clipless pedals allow you to do just that. These award winning clipless pedals feature multiple pin options allowing you to perfect the grip and traction level on the platform, so that it’s dialled exactly the way you like it.

These are an all-mountain style pedal, with the wide platform and heavy duty construction. Although not overly light, they will be able to take a beating on rough trails. Featuring a fully serviceable bearing, if you keep them maintained they should last you for years.

 

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING MOUNTAIN BIKE CLIPLESS PEDALS

It’s interesting to note that the name “clipless,” often thought of as a misnomer since you actually do have to clip into them, came about when there was a need to differentiate from the original pedals that have clip-on toe cages and platform pedals that don’t come with the cage. Sometimes you will still see these “clip” or “cage” pedals on hipster or fixed gear bikes. You can read more about how the name “clipless” came about here.

PEDAL STYLE

Choosing a mountain bike clipless pedal that’s going to feel right and ride well will firstly come down to making sure you select one that’s built for your intended riding style.

There are three main pedal styles:

Cross Country (AKA “XC”) pedals are the most minimal looking pedal style. They don’t have a platform or cage surrounding the claw mechanism that the cleat clicks into. They are often designed to be lightweight, just like other XC components.

Trail pedals are designed to be lightweight but also offer a small platform around the claw mechanism which gives you extra traction on the pedal and more support around your foot.

Enduro or All-Mountain pedals will feature a chunky and solid platform around the claw mechanism. While not outrightly heavy, they are commonly twice the weight of a XC pedal. The robust platform gives your foot more support and protects the claw mechanism in case you encounter rough and rocky trails that could damage the mechanism. Because this style of riding is all about downhill speed and not uphill, lightweight is often not the priority.

 

SPRING TENSION

This tension on the spring relates to how tight or softly the cleat is held in the claw mechanism. Many, but not all, clipless mountain bike pedals have varying amounts of adjustment so that you can tighten or loosen the spring tension.

The looser the spring tension, the easier it is to click in and out of the pedal. However some pedals, such as the HT Components, are well known to be very tight. Some experienced riders prefer the feeling of a tight spring, but tight spring tension probably won’t be favorable to beginner riders new to clipless pedals.

 

WEIGHT

If you are all about the numbers and you are into racing cross country, then weight is really important. However if you’re out there having a good time and just love riding your bike, then the weight of the pedal is probably not such a big deal – and not worth paying extra money to have a super light set of pedals.

Keep in mind that Enduro and All-Mountain pedals will naturally be heavier due to the extra material in the platform and extra strength required for really rough trails.

 

COST

As with anything, there is a huge spread in the cost of a set of pedals. This comes down to weight, materials, and even the brand. There are some excellent value for money options in the short list, so don’t overlook these if you’re on a budget.

 

MAINTENANCE

Pedals house a bearing which allows the pedal to turn on the spindle. When the pedal stops spinning freely or begins to feel loose (you may not understand this now – but when your pedal is loose on the spindle, you will be able to feel it when you ride), that means it requires some maintenance to get it back in shape.

There are a few options for maintaining your pedals depending on your pedal style:

  1. Your pedal has a sealed bearing, in which case you can dismantle and replace the bearing if the manufacturer offers it.
  2. Your pedal has a serviceable bearing, in which case you can dismantle the bearing and re-grease it. If you are mechanically minded, you can check out how to do this on Youtube or simply take your pedal to your local bike shop and have them do it for you.

It is best to routinely check your pedals as they can easily fill with dirt and grit or the bearing can dry out and require more grease. Prevention is always better than a cure!

 

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

CLEATS

Cleats are the metal attachments that screw into your clipless mountain bike shoes. The cleats click into the claw mechanism of the pedal. Most brands have their own proprietary cleats, which they will include with each set of pedals.

Shimano has a system called SPD (Shimano Pedal Dynamics) which are considered an industry standard. Many brands will have their own cleats but will also be SPD cleat compatible to make it easy to transition pedals.

PLATFORM AND CAGE

This is the metal piece that surrounds the claw mechanism. Enduro and All-Mountain style pedals will have a larger platform, while Trail pedals will have a smaller and often thinner surrounding mechanism known as a cage. They are used to provide extra support to your foot while riding.

SPRING TENSION

This refers to how easy or hard it is to click into the pedal. There is a spring on the claw mechanism which can be tightened or loosened depending if you prefer to be held really securely in the pedal or if you prefer to be a little looser and easier to click out.

BEARINGS

The bearing is housed within the pedal and allows the spindle and pedal to spin freely.

SPINDLE

This is the cylindrical piece that attaches the pedal to the bike.

READ MORE

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