Recommendations: flat pedals


I’ve been searching for some good flats for xc and have tried Xpedo XMX13ACs. They had great grip and they were light, but they didn’t hold up very well. A few rocks and the frames were all bent up. I’m looking at another Xpedo pedal, the XMX11AC which it looks like it might offer more grip (two more pins), weigh a bit more and be more durable (the frame is has a more solid design).

Do you have any recommendations for a flat pedal. I’m not looking for a downhill flat as I don’t need a huge platform but I would like something durable and grippy.

Any recommendations on shoes that light and stiff for good drive and might hold up to to sometimes very wet and muddy northeast single-track. I have some bontrager shoes for my clips, they’re great but the tread pattern doesnt work well with the pinned flat pedals.


Hi Michael,

I’ve seen Xpedo pedals around, but I’ve never used them.

Pedals I’ve used and like

Answer Rove FR

Specialized Lo Pro Mag. I’ve been rocking two pair since 2004. Check out my review from back in the day. I liked these pedals then, and I’m still using them. Their low profile might work well for you.

Truvativ Holzfeller. Another solid set of pedals. They also have a pretty low profile, and the pointy little pins hold very well.

Answer Rove FR. I’ve ridden these almost daily since Captain America was born. They are pretty light. They seem very strong. They feel big and secure underfoot. And they are inexpensive.

Very few modern pedals suck, as long as you’re rocking decent shoes.

It’s the shoes

Montrail AT Plus. I am currently wearing this shoe. It fits my strange feet. It’s light. It works OK on pedals, but the little lugs are kind of squirmy.

Today’s flat-pedal standards are made by Five Ten. Their Stealth rubber soles make it easy for even XC nerds to ride flats. When I started riding Stealth soles, flats finally made sense.


They are not particularly light, and, unless you install insoles, they are not great for long days on your feet. I love riding in Five Tens, but walking and working in them … Blister Town USA. (Caveat: I have weak feet.)

You might look into light-hiking or approach shoes. Most are light, have sticky soles, offer great support and are made for weather. Look for:

• A flat sole (minimal rise at the arch).

• Big, low lugs (less wiggling on the pedal).

• Protection in front (for rocks).

Most outdoor shoe makers — including Five Ten — offer these types of shoes. As a matter of fact, I wore the Five Ten Mountain Masters (complete with Stealth soles) before they made a riding shoe. I’d also look into parkour or “freerunning” shoes.

Get a decent pair of pedals. Try on some shoes. Rip it!

— Lee

Know more. Have more fun!

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