Ever coy with product titles, Crank Brothers has done its damnedest to confuse us as to the purpose of its Mallet DH Race Pedals. After trying them out in multiple applications ranging from crits to TTs to 'cross, we've determined that their huge, alloy platforms, enlarged spindle, eight adjustable pins per side, and debris-clearing Egg Beater clipless design are uniquely suited to DH riding.
We admit that we didn't reach this conclusion unaided, as Crank Brothers has strewn clues throughout its Mallet line. For example, the enduro-specific Mallet E features a smaller platform with fewer traction pins, suggesting to us that the bigger, pinnier DH model was likely meant for carrying a rider through bigger hits and more calamitous drops than the typical all-mountain, single-crown course might entail.
The elephantine platform and increased pin count also mean the Mallet DH Race plays well with flats for courses where frequent foot-downs are key to staying upright. The final bread crumb in the trail of clues is that the DH Race also have a wider Q factor than the rest of the Mallet line, making for a more secure stance that, again, lends itself to the rigors of gravity runs. The final breadcrumb in the trail of clues is that
The oversized spindle is 5mm girthier than the standard Mallet models, and it rides on both cartridge and needle bearings with long-life seals to ensure these essential components stay clean and smooth after seasons of use. The cleat retention system is classic Egg Beater with a corrosion-proof stainless steel spring. The included brass cleats allow for either 15 or 20 degrees of float depending on set up.
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Reviews & Community
Difficult to get out of.
So, I was really looking forward to these pedals. The reviews were good and they were somewhat similar to the pedals I've been using for years, the TIME ATAC Z platform pedals. I also purchased a pair of Five Ten Impact XVI sticky rubber shoes because my old Shimano shoes were disintegrating after 5 seasons. Got the pedals and the shoes and mounted the cleats with the metal spacer shield that I purchased separately. I torqued the cleat bolts to 5nm so they were totally secure. I dialed down the pins on the platforms to give my shoe some room to twist to the side to disengage and not get hung up on the pins. All well and fine but still very difficult to twist my foot out of the egg beater spring, even with full outward rotation of my heel. My foot has to be down and forward before it will disengage (5 o'clock and 7 o'clock respectively.)
I've been mountain biking for nearly 30 years and have been using clip-less pedals for many of those years and I have to say that I will not be using these again. I took several tumbles trying to disengage from these in the past 2 days. The picture below shows the results of my last one. Climbing a stiff hill, got caught up on a rock and had to dab my foot. Cleat would not disengage and I went down and speared my chest on the upright bar end of my handle bar. At that point I was done not only with my ride but with these pedals. I took my cleats off the shoes and rode out on the platforms. Seriously thinking it is time to go to flat pedals. Wish I could get my money back...
For Gettin Sendy
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Few things i like a lot about this pedal: The 8 pins lets you really dial in the interface between the pedal body and the bottom of your shoe for a secure fit when you're clipped in. The wider than normal Q-Factor puts you in a more confident and comfortable position when you're shreddin downhill and gettin sendy for da boyz. Solid pedal.
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
Upgraded from older clipless set. These are easy use pedals with awesome versatility. Reliable clips for great XC, sticky flats for technical DH. seem really well built, like I'll have them for decades if maintained.