For 2012 Crank Brothers updated their biggest platform clipless pedal, the Mallet, with a host of changes. Are the changes for the better? We put them to the test to find out.
We’re fans of platform clipless pedals here at Bikemagic. We occasionally dabble with flats, but for most of our riding, we prefer to be clipped in. Platform clipless pedals however offer all the extra stability of flat pedals but with the security of being clipped in, and the enhanced pedalling efficiency that comes from being attached to the pedals.
The Mallet now comes in at three prices, with the designations 1, 2 and 3 – 1 is the entry-level offering and 3 the top-end model. The 2 is the pedal most people will probably opt for, costing £74.99. We can’t help but feel that Crank Brothers have got their number designation upside down, but we digress.
At the centre of the pedal is Crank Brothers unique clipless pedal, a compact design offering four-sided entry. Mud clearance has always been a big bonus of this design over rival systems. The platform body has been given similar changes to the other pedals in the range, with the bolted-together body design like can be found on the new Candy.
The Mallet now has a sleeker and better looking shape. Weight has been reduced a touch thanks to the new two-piece aluminium and polycarbonate design, hitting the scales at 472g a pair. Six 8mm pins per side are placed along the front and rear and help to hook up with Five Ten or Shimano DX clipless shoes for a noticeably more planted feeling, particularly when getting loose through rock gardens. The pins can be adjusted for height, or if preferred can be removed completely. We found them wound in quite a bit offered the bit fit with our shoes.
Still as bombproof as the previous Mallet, the changes prove to be a step in the right direction, keeping it a favourite for the harder hitting rider. We know downhill racers love them but plenty of trail riders prefer the extra platform real estate over other pedals. They take a lot more punishment as well, with impressive durability so far in out test schedule with them – time will tell though and we’ll report back once we’ve punished them a bit more.
Whether you go for Crank Brothers over other clipless pedal systems comes down to personal preference. The Mallet’s offer a stack of smooth float that is a real bonus when riding, and they’re easy to set up – the cleat can be switched around to offer less or more float. The smooth and silent clip in/clip out takes a little getting used to if you’re transferring from Shimano, but once you get used to it you don’t even think about it.
They’re easy to get in and out of, provide loads of grippy support and their bombproof reliability make the new Mallets better than ever. A solid pedal