Sitting just between the XC-sized Candy and enduro-sized Mallet E is the all-new Crankbrothers Mallet Trail Pedal. It’s a mid-sized platform designed for downcountry/trail mountain bikes, and gravel riders who want a little something more underfoot.
They get Crankbrothers’ signature four-sided, spring-loaded retention mechanism for easy entry. The angled design and ramped front help it shuck off rock strikes, and a longer spindle (57mm Q-factor, 5 mm longer than the Candy) gives you a bit wider stance and more heel clearance.
Inside is a combination of an Enduro cartridge bearing on the outboard side, plus Igus LL-Glide Bearings on the inboard side where the spindle is thicker. If you’ve never seen them, the Igus “bearings” look more like bushings, but with a slippery, long-lasting material that holds up really well to high-pressure loads and crappy conditions. These are a custom formulation for Crankbrothers, and both those and the seals are easily replaced to keep everything spinning like new.
Platform size is 62mm wide x 67mm long. It’s the same 6061 alloy body as found on their other Mallet models, with a “7” level build of forged chromoly spindle and no rider weight restriction.
The pedals come with 1mm traction pads installed and a taller 2mm replacement in the box. These let you adjust the gap between the pedal body and your shoe cleats to either make room for taller cleats or close the gap for shorter ones — making it easy to clip in and have a stable footing.
Two adjustable pins per side let you customize the grip, and a choice of cleats lets you customize the release angle.
Available in three colors — black, champagne, and purple — for $/€179.99 per pair. Claimed weight is 344 g, only 24 g per pair heavier than the Candy 7.
Mallet Trail: First Impressions
Steve and I have been riding the Mallet Trail pedals for a couple of months already and are enjoying them. Steve’s normally a flat pedal rider but has tried SPDs in the past, and his impression was that they were initially a bit harder to connect the shoe to the pedal. But after adding one of the included spacers under the cleat to overcome his Bontrager shoes’ deeper treads, he got used to them just fine.
He also liked the extra platform size compared to smaller XC pedals as it provided enough surface to stand on when he had to get back on the pedals after unclipping for a foot-out/flat-out corner, providing a safety net when clipping immediately back in wasn’t possible.
I really like the extra body on them, particularly for more aggressive riding. I’ve kept them on my 120/130 trail bike, even on milder rides, as they provide a bit more confidence.
Honestly, until I sat down to write this and saw the specs, I just assumed they had the same Q-factor as the Candy (which I ride often too), so the extra 5mm width per side didn’t seem to create any weird pedaling dynamics. But, in hindsight, it might have made me a little more comfortable on some of Bellingham’s jumpy-er trails recently. That said, I’ll stick to the lighter, narrower Candy or Eggbeater pedals for gravel.
I’m a fan of the Crankbrothers’ Eggbeater, Candy, and Mallet E pedals, so these are a welcome Goldilocks size for most days for me. The added platform is enough for big days in Pisgah and saves 75 g off the Mallet E, which I’d probably otherwise use for such rides.