Best MTB flat pedals 2024 – we test 10 top options for trail and gravity riding

Grid layout of pedals
(Image credit: Future)

The best MTB flat pedals are popular with those who prefer undiluted trail feedback, combined with the ability to shift your feet while you ride. Riders who like to put serious miles under their belts mostly prefer to clip-in to their pedals for better efficiency and power transfer – for more on them, see our guide to the best clipless mountain bike pedals.

If you're looking to improve your technical riding technique, without the risk of having to follow your bike into a crash if things do go wrong, the best MTB flat pedals are the solution too. Advances in design have delivered larger platform flat pedals with thinner pedal bodies that mean lower weights.

Our team of expert testers have ridden every leading flat pedal over the years and we've featured our choice of the best pedals right here. The level of grip is undoubtedly the most vital aspect of a flat pedal, but we also consider the quality of the pedal bearings, how effective the seals are at keeping the elements at bay, and how the pedal body fares against rock strikes and the like.

It is worth mentioning that even the best flat pedals work as part of a system and must be paired with MTB flat pedal shoes for the best results. Skate shoes, sneakers, or trail running shoes are not a great choice. Lacking in protection, grip, and stiffness, they will feel terrible and will quickly get wrecked by your pedal pins.

Our top MTB flat pedal money-no-object choice is the superbly grippy Race Face Atlas, and our best value pick is the tough, impact-absorbing DMR V11. For more on how to choose the best MTB flat pedals for you, scroll down to the bottom of this page for lots of helpful buying advice. And if you're considering other pedal options as well as flats, maybe our best mountain bike pedals guide will be of use to you too. If you're on a tighter budget, our guide to the best cheap MTB pedals may be of interest.

The quick list

The best MTB flat pedals 

Why trust BikePerfect Our cycling experts have decades of testing experience. We'll always share our unbiased opinions on bikes and gear. Find out more about how we test.

1. Best overall

Raceface Atlas pedals on some mud

The curved edges and low profile shape of the Atlas pedals helps them avoid collisions (Image credit: Rich Owen)
The redesigned Atlas is now the best flat pedal overall

Specifications

Size: 110 x 108 x 14mm
Weight per pair: 386g
Pins per face: 10

Reasons to buy

+
Superb grip
+
Adjustable pin height
+
Thin pedal body
+
Lifetime warranty
+
Easy to service

Reasons to avoid

-
Premium price
-
Super sharp pins

Race Face's latest version of the Atlas pedal improves on the original in every department. The new incarnation has a wider platform and a thinner body, an easier to service bearing and comes with a lifetime warranty.

While the original Atlas platform was deemed a touch small by some riders, the 2022 version is virtually the same size as DMR's massively popular Vault pedal. The only difference in platform is that the front and rear of the Atlas' cage are slightly shorter to accommodate its far more rounded corners. The 10 pins on each pedal face are narrower (2mm) and longer (6mm) than you'll find on most rival pedals (the length can be shortened by adding the included washers), while the chamfered pedal bodies have the faintest whiff of concave.

We've been riding with these pedals for over six months now and are seriously impressed with the support they give and amount of grip on offer. On the flip side, the narrow pins are razor sharp and our scarred calves are proof of their vicious nature. While our beautiful legs may have been disfigured, the iodized graphics (available in nine different colors) on the pedals still look great and there's no sign that the finish will wear away yet either. 

Our reviewer Rich Owen concluded: "The new Race Face Atlas pedals are seriously hard to fault."

For more, see our full Race Face Atlas pedal review.

2. Best value

DMR V11 pedal

The platform and concave profile are the same as the DMR Vault, but the V11 adds an extra 3mm thickness (Image credit: GuyKesTV)
Best flat pedal for value

Specifications

Size: 105 x 105 x 20mm
Weight per pair: 442g
Pins per face: 11

Reasons to buy

+
Tough, impact-absorbing body
+
Proper steel pin grip
+
Replaceable pins
+
Serviceable bearings
+
Eight color options

Reasons to avoid

-
Can slip more when wet
-
Slightly taller than alloy siblings

The 105mm x 105mm platform of the V11 is the same as DMR's popular alloy Vault (see below) as well as the signature DMR concave profile to enhance platform grip. The only difference is pedal thickness, with the nylon construction adding an extra 3mm of thickness to enhance the strength. The foot-centering shape is adorned with 11 replaceable/adjustable steel pins on each side, with a collection of longer ‘Moto’ pins front and rear for maximum grip.

The best thing we can say about the V11s is that most riders will be hard-pressed to tell them apart from the metal rivals. In our tests, we found the plastic platform is a little slippier in the wet, however, the flexible construction can improve connection and reduce foot tiredness on relentlessly battering runs. We found they’re more controlled in terms of ricochet if you ground them when pedaling. The pedals are also serviceable with DMR offering bearing kits and replaceable pin sets.

Our reviewer Guy Kesteven summed up: "DMR’s V11 pedals not only prove that plastic pedals aren’t just throw-away items, but they can actually have advantages in the roughest riding scenarios."

For a more in-depth guide, read our full review of the DMR V11 pedals.

3. Best secure grip

DMR Vault pedal

The leading edges of the DMR Vault pedals are angled and chamfered for deflecting rock strikes (Image credit: Rich Owen)
A proven design that's the benchmark in flat pedals

Specifications

Size: 105 x 105 x 17mm
Weight per pair: 430g
Pins per face: 11

Reasons to buy

+
A legendary pedal for aggressive technical terrain
+
Chamfered edges help deflect rock strikes
+
Available in loads of colors and designs
+
Lighter weight models also available

Reasons to avoid

-
Thicker body than some rivals

DMR has been in the flat pedal business for more than two decades and remains the choice for those who want to experience a surge of confidence when attempting a new section of technical singletrack riding. 

The Vaults might not win on pin count, but we found the positioning of their pins is excellent and ensures great shoe contact, even when we were on the lean angle limit through a fast berm or bouncing through a challenging rock garden. In our tests they've had more than their fair share of encounters with stony lumps and, aside from the odd scraped corner, with the tough anodized finish they're still looking fresh and yet to drop a pin. Serviceability is straightforward too, thanks to the cartridge bearings and bushings.

Our reviewer Rich Owen said: "if you're looking for super dependable grip on a pedal that can laugh off big hits, then the DMR Vault is very hard to beat."

If you're after pedals to match any aspect of your bike, you can't go wrong with the Vaults as they come in a massive range of colors, as well as special edition models such as the triple anodized Liquid Camo finish pictured here – for more on that read our DMR Vault SE review. A lighter version, the Vault Mag SL, is also available. 

4. Best bombproof

A pair of MTB pedals

The fifth generation Burgtec Penthouse Flats are the lightest versions yet (Image credit: Mick Kirkman)
Grippy platform pedal than can take plenty of knocks

Specifications

Size: 100 x 102 x 15mm
Weight per pair: 386g
Pins per face: 8

Reasons to buy

+
Best internal sealing on market
+
Excellent pin placement
+
Body and axle are bombproof
+
Tons of colors

Reasons to avoid

-
Not cheap

Over the years, Burgtec has constantly refined the Penthouse Flat to be lighter, lower profile and even grippier, and its now on its fifth generation. We’ve been fans for years, both in terms of bite, but also of how Penthouses survive in all weathers without attention and even through constant jet washing. Our reviewer Mick Kirkman says his three-year-old Penthouse Flats, "have done thousands of kms, and are undoubtedly the longest-lasting flat pedals I’ve ever used".

The completely redesigned 7075 aluminum platform has extra concavity, fresh pin locations and 7 percent more real estate. The Penthouses are now 65g lighter a pair too. Another key benefit is, despite better crank clearance, the MK5 also sticks out less on the outer edge by a few mm for even better ground clearance. 

In our tests we found the Penthouses totally rock solid and locked on in all conditions. They are big enough to support shoe soles without any hot spots and a decent amount of concavity cradles the foot and stops it wanting to move fore and aft on hectic sections. The pins are tough and hard to bend or smash out and we found the trailing outer edge pin is particularly well positioned for driving the bike through turns or keeping your foot hooked on in wild sections.

Find out more in our full Burgtec Penthouse Flat MK5 review.

5. Best online only

Mountain bike flat pedal on wood surface

Canyon's Performance Flats have a concave profile and ten height-adjustable pins per side  (Image credit: Paul Burwell)
Impressive flat pedal in two platform sizes

Specifications

Size: Large: 109mm x 110mm x 17mm, Small: 100mm x 95mm x 17mm
Weight per pair: 434g (Large, as tested)
Pins per face: 10

Reasons to buy

+
Understated concavity for enhanced grip
+
Height-adjustable pins
+
Large and small platform sizes

Reasons to avoid

-
Axle seal isn't the best
-
Pricey for a direct sales brand product

Canyon has thought hard about the design of the Performance Flat Pedal. It comes in two platform sizes – small for 36-42 size feet and large for 43–48. It’s 17mm thick measured at the perimeter but is 15.5mm over the axle, creating a small amount of concavity or curve to the face of the pedal, which helps center your foot on the platform. It has ten pins per side, which are a combination of thin set screws and small solid bolts and, while they don't interlock with a flat shoe sole as well as bigger pins, they offer a ton of grip. 

We tested the Large sized platform pedal, which gave our tester the feeling of never missing a target when getting his foot back on after dabbing in a corner or steep descent. However, it does limit cornering clearance and a few times he snagged his pedal in rocky terrain.

There’s enough concavity to push into when setting up for a corner or technical section. The pedal does have different pin heights to keep your feet in place and there are also machined signature stripes into the surface of the platform. Canyon has nailed the pedal shape and the pin design/placement which gives excellent grip.

Our reviewer Paul Burwell concluded that the Performance Flat is, "light years away from what you usually see from a bike manufacturer – most just offer a generic pedal or none at all. Canyon has sweated the details with the Performance Flat and it has paid off."

For more, see our full Canyon MTB Performance Flat Pedal review.

6. Best longevity

Hope F22 pedals on stones

If you want a set of pedals with a maximum lifespan, look no further than the F22s (Image credit: Rich Owen)

Hope F22

Well sealed and easily servicable, these pedals will last a liftetime

Specifications

Size: 105 x 102 x 18mm
Weight per pedal: 360g
Pins per face: 11

Reasons to buy

+
High-quality CNC finish
+
Triple sealed
+
Competitive weight
+
Durable
+
Range of anodized colors available

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the biggest platforms

Hope CNC machines the F22's pedal body from a single block of aluminum for an excellent strength-to-weight ratio before getting a hard-wearing anodized finish. The chromoly steel axle is heat-treated and plated for durability and spins on a bushing with three cartridge bearings in a sealed chamber. Three seals help keep dirt and water away so the internals will spin freely for longer. Hope has designed the pedals to be easily serviceable when the time comes for new bearings.

The F22's platform measures 110mm wide, 105mm long, and 18mm deep (without pins), so it's not as big as some rivals here. A wider leading edge is part of a new asymmetric shape which Hope says, "extends further [than the previous F20 pedal] to give better shoe support and a superior planted feel".

Each pedal comes with 11 pins per side – seven slim 6mm pins across the leading and trailing edges and four stubby 4mm pins on the inside and outside of each face. The pins have a hex shape which Hope says gives enhanced bite, while the surface of the axle section of the body is knurled for extra grip. The F22 has a very slight concave on each face which is made to feel much deeper by the pins of differing lengths. In the package, you also get a set of 1mm washers, which allow you to shorten the pin lengths to help give the feel you want.

7. Best non-metal

OneUp Components Composite

The Composite has a thin leading edge thickness, measuring 18.5mm at the axle and reducing to 13.3mm (Image credit: OneUp)

OneUp Components Composite

One of the best non-metal pedals you can buy

Specifications

Size: 115 x 105 x 18.5mm
Weight per pedal: 355g
Pins per face: 10

Reasons to buy

+
Nylon body more forgiving on rough terrain
+
Unbeatable value
+
Thin profile
+
6 color options

Reasons to avoid

-
As with all nylon flat pedals, removing damaged pins is annoying 
-
Could possibly do with more pins

OneUp Components makes a great aluminum flat pedal with ample platform size and pin distribution. Remolding it in nylon-composite dramatically drops the price without sacrificing any of the pedal's attributes. In fact, the Composite pedals are one of the lightest pedals on our list. The composite body isn't as stiff as some of its alloy rivals, which helps dull impacts on rough terrain.

A wide platform has a thin leading edge thickness, 18.5mm at the axle and reducing to 13.3mm, which gives you a terrifically stable platform from which to pedal. The 10 pins are well distributed across the platform and there are textured ridges to help with traction in the wet. 

8. Best long pins

Chromag Dagga

The Dagga has extra-long pins for the ultimate in grip potential (Image credit: Chromag)

Chromag Dagga

Extreme pin length for absolute grip requirements

Specifications

Size: 120 x 115 x 14.3mm
Weight per pedal: 480g
Pins per face: 12

Reasons to buy

+
The most aggressive pin profile you can get

Reasons to avoid

-
Painful consequences if you do slip a pedal 

These Canadian flat pedals look intimidating, with their long pins. Designed to offer a large platform, with impressive axle balance thanks to a slim profile, the Daggas are engineered for extreme descending riders. 

With a structure that allows the use of extra-long pins, you might risk painful shin strikes if your shoe does slip, but the theoretical grip profile is tremendous. If you are committed to riding with a heel-down technique, these large platform Chromags, with their threatening pins, will reward you with unequaled levels of metal-to-rubber grip.

9. Best extra large

Pedaling Innovations Catalyst

The Catalyst features a large platform with 18 contact pins (Image credit: Pedalling Innovations)

Pedaling Innovations Catalyst

If you believe bigger is better, these are the flats for you

Specifications

Size: 143 x 95 x 16mm
Weight per pedal: 505g
Pins per face: 18

Reasons to buy

+
The largest platform you can buy, with unrivalled stability
+
Massive pin count guarantees huge grip levels

Reasons to avoid

-
More material means more weight

Designed by American strength coach James Wilson, this is the largest flat pedal you can buy. The Catalyst operates on a power transfer concept which believes that the more force you can apply through the entire foot (or shoe), the better your stability will be in any athletic endeavor on the bike. 

The result is a huge pedal, which is particularly well suited to riders wearing large shoes. With its massive structure, there is room for an unrivaled 18 contact pins. 

Big size does mean an increase in weight, which makes these less rotationally efficient than other flat pedals. There isn’t quite the concave shaping refinement to the Catalyst’s overall structure, either. 

10. Best super-thin

Crankbrothers Stamp 7

The Stamp 7 is available in two different platform sizes based on shoe size (Image credit: Crankbrothers)

Crankbrothers Stamp 7

Super-thin shoe-size-specific platform pedals

Specifications

Size: 100 x 100 x 11mm (small), 114 x 111 x 11mm (large)
Weight per pedal: 345g (small), 375g (large)
Pins per face: 10

Reasons to buy

+
Two platform options
+
Super thin
+
Lightweight

Reasons to avoid

-
Concave platform shape could be more pronounced

Crankbrothers has been making high-quality platform pedals for a long time now and its current Stamp series of pedals caters to a range of riders and price points. The pro-level Stamp 7 is an excellent balance of price and performance with its Igus LL-glide bearings and svelt 11mm depth at its thinnest point.

Interestingly Crankbrothers offers two platform sizes based on your shoe size. For shoe sizes of 10-15 (US) the large pedal is recommended while riders with 5-10 (US) size feet should go for the smaller size.

How to choose the best MTB flat pedals

Do more pins equal more grip?

Pins are what give you the grip interface between a soft compound rubber mountain bike shoe and a flat pedal. The logic is that a greater number of pins gives you superior grip, and the longer they are, the more secure your shoe-to-pedal interface is. 

Having more pins might be theoretically superior, but they don’t help if the distribution of pins isn't right. Pin placement is vital and this is where the pedal engineers really earn their money. 

Should I go for metal or plastic flat pedals?

Most premium flat pedals are made from aluminum alloy as it's light, durable and it's much easier to change broken pins on a metal pedal body than a plastic one. 

Plastic pedals have the advantage of being much cheaper though, and some brands offer versions that are exact size and shape replicas of their best aluminum pedals. However, you will have the disadvantage of problematic pin removal with the plastic incarnations.

Are bigger flat pedals better?

Bigger pedals are generally better as they give you a greater surface area on which to adjustment your feet. A larger contact area will also spread impact forces when riding drop-offs or landing jumps.

However, if your pedals are too large, they are likely to strike more rocks or stumps as you ride. While the pedals listed here are all suitable for average size feet, if your feet are particularly small, try before you buy. If there's lots of the pedal platform protruding from the side of your shoe, go for a smaller model.

What do I need to know about pedal bodies?

As a general rule, the more material you remove from a flat pedal’s structure the better its self-cleaning properties are, enabling it to shed mud during a winter ride. A pedal structure with more metal removed also yields a lighter pedal, but you still need enough pedal surface to provide a sufficient distribution of pins.

Material and manufacturing improvements have enabled pedals that are larger, lighter and capable of accommodating more pins. Having pins around the edge of the pedal makes the most sense, because the axle body area, in the middle, isn’t where you source most grip when descending. The skills philosophy of ‘heel-down’ pedal technique applies force to the fore and aft, so this is where most of the rider input happens during technical riding.

Although we refer to them as flat pedals, most are in fact slightly concave. This rise at the front and rear of most flat pedals is a subtle design feature that isn’t as obvious as pin placement, but vital. This concave shaping gives you an intuition of where the limits of the pedal are when having to readjust shoe position during a descent.

Is flat pedal thickness important?

Pedal thickness is a factor that is often ignored when choosing a pedal. But it's an important one that can affect balance and confidence on technical trails.

The thinner a pedal is, and this difference is often in single-digit millimeters, the lower your center of gravity will be. When off-the-saddle descending with level cranks, thinner pedals mean you're less likely to get bucked around on rougher trails.

How we test MTB flat pedals

We test these MTB flat pedals over several months at least in all manner of different riding situations, so we're able to see how they handle the roughest terrains and the worst conditions. We rate the pedals according to their grip, robustness, durability and serviceability.

Meet the testers

Bike Perfect's Richard Owen
Rich Owen

Rich has been riding mountain bikes since the early nineties and testing bikes and kit for over a decade. While he does occasionally clip-in, his pedal of choice is definitely of the flat variety and he's tested every leading model over the years. 

Guy Kesteven
Guy Kesteven

Guy Kesteven is Bike Perfect’s contributing tech editor. He spent a few years working in bike shops before starting writing and testing for bike mags in 1996. Since then he’s written several million words about several thousand test bikes and a ridiculous amount of bike components and riding gear.

Graham Cottingham
Graham Cottingham

Graham is all about riding bikes off-road. Based in Edinburgh he has some of the best mountain biking and gravel riding in the UK right on his doorstep. With almost 20 years of riding experience, he has dabbled in downhill, enduro, and gravel racing. 

Mick Kirkman
Mick Kirkman

An ex-elite downhill racer, Mick's been mucking about and racing mountain bikes for over 20 years. He's tested all manner of flat and clipless pedals so knows exactly what makes for a good pedal and what doesn't.

Paul Burwell bio
Paul Burwell

Paul has been testing mountain bikes and products for the best part of 30 years, he’s passed comment on thousands of components and bikes, from the very first 29ers and dropper posts to the latest e-MTBs and electronic drivetrains.

Richard Owen
Editor, Bike Perfect

Rich has been riding mountain bikes for over 30 years and mostly likes hitting flowy yet technical trails that point downhill. A jack of many trades, he has competed in cross-country, enduro and long distance MTB races. A resident of North Devon, Rich can mostly be found pedaling furiously around his local trails, or slightly further afield in the Quantocks, the Mendips or Exmoor. 

Current rides: Merida One-Forty 6000, Banshee Paradox

Height: 175cm

Weight: 68kg

With contributions from