Around since 2005, Burgtec’s UK-designed (but also available in the US) Penthouse Flats are so long in the tooth, this latest generation is the fifth. One of the original big surface area platform MTB pedals, they’re long of pin too, meaning the Penthouse has always offered excellent grip and foot hold. Over the years, Burgtec has constantly refined its Penthouse design to be lighter, lower profile and even grippier too.
I’ve been a fan for years, both in terms of bite, but also how Penthouses survive in all weathers without attention and even through constant jet washing. While other brands internals eventually get sloppy and wither, Burgtec’s double bushing design keeps going longer and lasts for years before any signs of giving in; even for high-mileage muddy riders.
To prove this point, the used pedals in one of the photos below are over three years old, have done thousands of kms, and are undoubtly the longest-lasting flat pedals I’ve ever used. And that’s from a very long list of flats including leading rivals like Nukeproof Horizons, DMR Vaults and Hope.
Design and specifications
Previous generation Penthouse Flat MK4s could position shoes too tight up against crank arms unless you fitted the brand’s longer aftermarket axles (especially with feet over US11 / UK 10/ EU44). This issue is now fixed on this latest version and the completely redesigned 7075 aluminium platform has extra concavity, fresh pin locations and 7 percent more real estate. At 15mm tall, with a 2mm concave profile (1mm deeper than previously) and 0.5mm thinner pins the latest Penthouses interface with shoe soles better 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. This detail can stop you catching on edges leant over or threading through terrain and help prevent some of the biggest crashes you can have MTBing. And if you don’t reckon on a few extra mm to slot through tight gaps at ground level is that important, you’ve likely never been catapulted to your head at various speeds like I have.
Burgtec’s proven reliability is based around using two sets of bushes and a sealed cartridge bearing per pedal with a separate rubber seal lip. The plastic sleeve bearings are the most water-resistant Igus ‘W300’ bushes with extremely high wear resistance, whilst the axle uses a steel blend called EN24T that’s so tough I’ve never managed to bend one.
The Penthouse Flats 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 I 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.
In terms of pin grip levels, there’s an argument for Nukeproof Horizons being the outright grip kings, and some riders might like the most concave dished-out platforms like a DMR Vault, but the Penthouse is still totally rock solid and locked on in all conditions. I’ve never had any issues with shoes wriggling out of position and by being marginally less grabby than the Horizons, there’s a chance to reposition feet easier if you put them back on slightly out of place. There's also less chance of flipping a pedal and smashing shins accidentally by staying locked into sticky soles too long and accidentally flipping over when you take a leg off suddenly for balance or to dab the ground for stability. To be fair, this has only been an issue for me anywhere when wearing the very grippiest and stickiest flat pedal shoes like Specialized’s 2FOs.
Bottom line is Burgtec’s Penthouse Flat MK5 pedals are now 65g lighter a pair, offers the right amount of traction and comfort and a low maintenance design that trumps other brand’s durability. Add to this good ground clearance and resistance to flipping too easily (by studs not being excessively high), and the $160 / £130 cost isn’t that hard to justify.
Yes, this is slightly more cash than some other well sorted pedals, but since Burgtec’s internals last longer, costs should balance out long term, and also save maintenance hassles. Another bonus is, if things do ever go as baggy as the shorts we were all riding in in 2005, you can buy a full internal rebuild kit online to give them a freshen up.
Tech specs: Burgtec Penthouse Flat MK5
- Price: $158.39 / £129.99
- Materials: 7075 Aluminum platform EN24T axle
- Colors: Black, Red, Blue, Purple, Bronze, Orange, Silver, Gold, Pink
- Internals: 2 x IGUS w300 bushes, single sealed bearing and inboard rubber seal per pedal
- Dimensions: 100mm x 102mm x 15mm
- Weight: 386g pair
- Rival products: Nukeproof Horizon, DMR Vault, Hope F22