HT Components MEO3T Pedals Review

May 8, 2013
by Mike Kazimer  

HT Components ME03T Pedals

Hsing Ta Industrial isn't a newcomer to the cycling world – their history dates back to 1954 when they began producing spokes and nipples in Taiwan. In 2005 the company started HT Components as a way to expand into the high end pedal market, and they now offer an extensive lineup of pedals, everything from clipless road pedals to flat pedals intended for downhill and slopestyle usage. The ME03T is part of their EVO series, which features of some of the thinnest and lightest flat pedals currently available.

Construction
The ME03T follows the recent trend towards thinner and thinner pedals, with the majority of the pedal's magnesium body measuring only 11mm thick. In addition, HT has managed to create a pedal that weighs in at only 220 grams for the pair, nearly a half pound lighter than many other pedals on the market. Part of the credit for this light weight goes to the pedal's 6-4 titanium alloy spindle, but the usage of titanium also raises the price by a fair bit. HT offers a similar version of this pedal with a chromoly spindle and an aluminum body, the AE03, which weighs more (352 grams), but costs less, coming in at $160 USD.




Details
• Extruded magnesium body
• CNC machined titanium spindle
• Dimension: 102 x 96 x 11mm
• Dual DU bushings and one external bearing
• Replaceable, anodized aluminum pins
• Adjustable spin resistance
• Weight: 220g (actual)
• Price: $285 USD

HR ME03T

Each side of the pedal has ten aluminum traction pins that can be removed from the other side with a 2.5mm Allen wrench. HT includes a handful of spare pins to replace any of the stock ones that break off during encounters with rocks and other non-moveable trail obstacles.


Internals
Two DU bushings are housed inside the body, and HT's unique “EVO” bearing system is secured to the outer end of the spindle. Pedal installation and removal is accomplished with an 8mm Allen wrench – the spindle does not have any wrench flats. Instead of using the more common sealed cartridge bearing at the end of the spindle, HT uses nine small ball bearings that sit in a retainer sandwiched between two races. A small spring keeps tension on the bearings, and the pedal's resistance to spinning can be adjusted via a locking nut on the outer portion of the spindle. It's important not to overtighten the locking nut, as this will make it nearly impossible for the pedals to spin. The reliance of this design on a small spring to provide tension means there may be a slight bit of side to side play once the spin resistance is adjusted, but the amount of movement is minimal, and was not noticeable when riding.

HR ME03T

A look inside the ME03T, from right to left: locking nut, bearing cover, outer race, bearings, inner race, preload spring, and washers.



Performance
As the bottom bracket heights of bicycles have dropped, the demand for thinner pedals has increased. Thin pedals help reduce the number of times a pedal smacks the ground or scrapes across roots and rocks during a ride, and keep your center of gravity as close to the spindle as possible, rather than being perched above it on a towering block of metal. While we still managed to run the MEO3T pedals into a fair number of rocks and roots, the thin profile was noticeable, and they emerged unscathed on a few sections of trail where other pedals have not.

Underfoot, the ME03 pedals do feel slightly smaller than other pedals we've tried recently. The center of the platform is 102mm wide, but at the leading and trailing edge the corners of the pedal are tapered in to around 75mm, which means there is less of a perch to rest on. The upper outside portion of the foot (the pinky toe area) hangs over the edge of the pedal more than it would on a square pedal profile, something riders that prefer a larger platform will want to keep in mind. In addition, there is a 2mm difference between the internal and external height of the pedal body. The pins are tall enough that this was barely noticeable, but if we paid close attention to our foot position it did seem to cant slightly to the outside.

Despite the reduced platform size, the overall grip of the pedal was excellent. The aluminum pins extend a solid 4mm above the pedal body, and when combined with sticky soled shoes there was sufficient traction for even the roughest of trails.

A look at the ME03's ultra-thin side profile. The tall pins provide plenty of traction, especially when paired with sticky rubber shoes.


Durability
The MEO3T's overall build quality and construction is good, but the external bearing is not sealed as well as it could be. The mud and grime often encountered when riding in the Pacific Northwest has a tendency to work its way into every nook and cranny on a bike, and pedals are exposed to the brunt of these adverse conditions. When we disassembled the pedals it was apparent that dirt had begun working its way towards the bearings, entering at the junction of the external bearing and the pedal body. The pedals still spun smoothly, and it was a simple process to clean and regrease the outer bearing and inner spindle, but riders who spend their time riding in wet and muddy conditions should be prepared to spend a little extra time on pedal maintenance.

The aluminum pins shrugged off a number of glancing blows, but a direct hit to the underside of the pedal did break the exposed portion of one pin completely off. The use of aluminum pins is part of the MEO3's weight saving equation, but it does mean that they are more likely to shear off rather than deform like steel pins would. That being said, it was a solid hit that broke the pin, and it didn't take more than a few minutes to extract and replace it.


Pinkbike's take:
bigquotesAs Keith Bontrager famously said, 'Strong. Light. Cheap. Pick two.' The MEO3T's $285 price tag might have some riders spitting out their energy drinks in disbelief, but it's worth taking a step back before starting to pound out a diatribe about how expensive mountain biking is, and how you could buy a dirt bike for that much money. There's no denying that $285 is a huge investment for a pair of pedals, especially ones that need a little more preventative maintenance than others on the market. However, constructing a pedal out of titanium and magnesium isn't cheap, and for the rider who is trying to shave weight off their bike, the ME03T could be just the ticket; a few minutes with an 8mm Allen wrench might end up knocking off half a pound. We could also see downhill racers who are still riding flat pedals using these as a race day special, thrashing around on a less expensive set for training, and then putting the ME03Ts on for the main event. There are certainly a number of other pedal options out there that cost a good deal less and offer a wider platform and better sealing against the elements, but not many of them are as thin and weigh as little as HT Components' ME03T. - Mike Kazimer

www.ht-components.com


110 Comments

  • + 94
 My shins are shaking in fear
  • + 15
 I've never slipped on these in a season and a half of riding on them. The combo of a super skinny platform, deadly looking pins, and Five Ten shoes means they're glued to your feet. Scary to look at, but it translates to excellent grip and control. I've never had my foot slip forward. I have Spanks for DH, and these on my AM bike. I like that they are slightly smaller than the Spanks. It gives me more clearance in narrow spots but they still feel big enough for excellent grip. I would buy them again for AM use.
  • + 6
 i bought some and rode them in Bidwell Park(rock/skinny trails) yesterday. The pedal feel felt great, no regrets. However I had two pedal strikes and two sheared off pins. One per strike on opposite sides of the pedal. In Bidwell park these things arent going to make it. If you ride wider less rocky trails then they will be great. If you do buy some keep a handful of extra pins around and make sure they arent strong. If i could do it all over again if would buy there cheaper pedals(AE03).
  • + 2
 The aluminum pins are fully sacrificial. For good reason. The problem with the steel pins is when they fully bend or shear off. As you back out the stub, any twisted or outward bending metal gouges the threaded mounting hole. This shaves the magnesium or aluminum to a wider opening. Loctite will work for a bit, but there's just not enough pedal there to thread. And who has time to file or dremel the pin flush before backing a broken stud out... The AE03 pedals replaced my PointOnes and feel and perform better imho. Moar funner.
  • - 9
flag Jimmy0 (May 8, 2013 at 19:18) (Below Threshold)
 CLIP IN OR GO HOME
  • + 19
 CLIP IN OR GO HOME... IN ONE PIECE.
  • + 2
 Flat pedals for life, and I'm faster than all my friends and win races on my XC bike with flats. Clipless is overrated.
  • + 3
 HT should start making hubs adapting these same principals.
  • + 1
 To each their own on that, I will never run flats in my entire life. It's about half and half with my riding buddies.
  • + 3
 Hey these opinionated rants about clip vs flats is troll behavior and its hurting my very sensative feelings, boohooooo bohhhoooo hoohoo. I going to put in a Dave Mathews cassette tape and eat a granola bar now.
  • + 3
 Mmmmmm granola bar
  • + 1
 I thought the same but gave them a try. I have the AE03 and they work great. They didn't mate well with my Specialized 2F0 shoes at first, I found my feet were bouncing around a bit on the center pins. So I took out those center pins, wrapped a bit of Teflon tape on them and screwed them in half way. Now they have a more concave feel that locks in my shoes perfectly.
  • + 16
 Having run these for a year myself (in the AE03 variant), I have to say - good but not great. The flatness is awesome but the complete lack of concavity means your foot doesn't have that feeling of wanting to centre itself, unlike a lot of pedals, and it is surprisingly easy even with 5.10s to have your foot slip forward on the pedals, especially if you do any seated climbing with them. Also, every time I tagged a pin on anything, it either broke or pushed through due to using such thin screws - I ended up drilling and retapping both pedals (takes friggin ages, wouldn't bother again) for larger ones, which seemed to solve the issue. Not sure whether the AE03 uses aluminium or steel pins, but in any case they broke easily and commonly damaged the thread in the pedal body (often just smacked the pin right through the other side of the pedal). The bearing setup seems pretty good though, occasionally squeaks (easily fixed with a drop of chain lube) but never seizes up unlike some other pedals that use bushings. I wouldn't buy them again personally.
  • - 3
 Socket: " I ended up drilling and retapping both pedals (takes friggin ages, wouldn't bother again)"

I have done this a shed loads of time to pedals and other parts on and off the bike.. It should not take ages.. (depending of your definition of ages). lets say 8 pins a side.. 32 hole and pins. Should be able to do that in under 25min while enjoying a cuppa and piece of cake....

Other than that good constructive feedback. Props to you sir.
  • + 8
 mmmm cake and aluminum filings. What were we talking about..
  • + 1
 was looking at this convex pedal shape and thinking just that.. no matter how many pins or how grippy the shoe a nice deep concave is what gives a pedal the Feeling of grip and stability
  • - 1
 Wow. You need shorter cranks.
  • + 11
 Nice pedals but I think I'll buy a Mongoose beast and use the extra $85 to buy some beer.
  • + 1
 =))
  • + 2
 I' ll get ice and Doritos!
  • + 7
 I have a set of the ae03's and I love them! They not only preform very well, they look awesome! They do have a slightly smaller platform, like the article said. If you are picky about having the largest platform posible, these pedals are definatelly not for you.. No complaints yet!
  • + 1
 I just got a pair of ae03's on my stumpjumper and I gotta say so far they feel great. I found the grip to be really good on them compared to some other pedals I've used. It's Only been a few weeks since i bought them so I guess we will see how they hold up in the long run.
  • + 1
 Same same. I have had my ME01's for a while now and they preform as well as they look!
  • + 8
 the price of these has always kept me from riding em but every time i've picked some up(sea otter) they have felt awesome
  • + 6
 294 gram flats right here with steel pins included. just £65! Take a look. www.raleigh.co.uk/RSP/Product/Default.aspx?pc=2&pt=128&pg=9931
  • + 1
 I was personally thinking the fact they missed a comparison to something like DMR Vaults. They are much much cheaper and have a lot of grip, not sure on weight though
  • + 1
 were can you get the rsp from?
  • + 1
 Any shop that deals with Raleigh can order them. Should be back in stock on their website soon by the looks of it.
  • + 7
 285 bucks for a bit of machined ally and an axle BARGAIN
  • + 4
 Had a set of ae01's, they are similar to ae03's. Didn't feel right under my feet. Got rid of them and picked up a set of spank spikes, I like the spikes better. But it's all personal opinion.
  • + 4
 Like you said, it's all personal preference. I love my AE01s. Bought a second set for techy trails on my AM bike. To me they're a poor man's Canfield Crampon.
  • + 4
 Ya The Crampon Ultimate is still the king of slim pedals, and the new Mag version is almost as light still uses a cromo axel, and is $85 cheaper with a little bit wider of a platform and a concave feel.

canfieldbrothers.com/components/pedals
  • + 1
 I also have the AE01 and they're not bad but,,,they are pretty high maintenance and don't feel that smooth because of that tiny bearing at the end of the axle...besides the bearing issue, I have sheared off, bent or lost every flimsy traction pins located closer to the axle...I paid 105$ from my lbs (retail's 150$) and still feel they are way overpriced !!!...I will tap those 4 pin holes on each side and fit some socket head pins (à la Straitline) and finding a way to fit better bearings would make them perfect...
  • + 6
 It was Colin Chapman of Lotus racing that coined the phrase "Light, strong, cheap, pick two."
  • + 0
 Bontrager said it
  • + 3
 Just got back from my 1st ride on my new crampon ultimates.
Sick grip. Definitely noticed a reduced dead spot over my old neutrons. Also noticed the lower bottom bracket feeling of having more grip/control/leverage when leaned over in tight corners. Very impressed.
  • + 2
 " There's no denying that is a huge investment for a pair of pedals ,especially one need a little more preventative maintenance than others on the market" ...for me this is a huge and stupid investment... at this price your suppose to have the less preventive maintenance pedals on the market!!t
  • + 2
 Great axle design. Probably an alltime great. Many patterndesigns for boutique brands. Using the titanium/magnesium noname pattern version for dh for 2 months, mostly dry use. The slight resistance feels fine and thin platform - very positive for dh.
  • + 2
 I have these pedals and they pretty well beat to shit. I've been running them for almost a year and they just aren't holding up that well. There's a little play in the spindles, but the worst is I've lost several pin. They aren't just lost, they are torn out and there is no replacing them. The mag is too soft, there are no threads left. I wish I'd just saved these for racing and not shuttle days. AWESOME pedals, but not ideal for guys (or gals) that shred on a more than regular basis.
  • + 1
 I'm not going to pay $285 for pedals. No concave, the article says the bearings aren't even sealed that well, for $285 bucks they better be perfect. Lame. There are so many other pedals at a third of the price or less that will give you the same performance. I want a side by side pedal comparison from $30 pedals to these things. I have run cheap pedals that had ridiculous grip, why waste time on these unless im racing and need to save weight, and then i would roll clip ins, I just don't understand what the point of these are.
  • + 1
 I agree, I bought Shimano Saint pedals for $88 Canadian and use them with 5-10 Karvers . Comfortable, great grip and haven't bashed my shins yet with this combo. I liked the Saint pedals so much I bought another pair for my Giant TCX that I use for a road bike.
  • + 3
 There's a very easy solution to your feet slipping off pedals and not having enough grip........Clip in!!! #preparingforthebacklash
  • + 1
 spd for life
  • + 1
 I was SPD for almost 20 years (man am I that old) started having knee pain I couldn't get rid of until I went to a platform. DMR V12s and lovin it.
  • + 1
 That fair enough they can cause knee issues for sure.
  • + 2
 How much....damn, they could be made out of Santa's shit and I still would'nt pay that. Still use a 5yr old pair of mag V12's with Ti axle, just as good today as the day I got them.
  • + 2
 I can stand the point to be close to the rotation point, but....less material, not a rocket science tech and more expensive?
And the real advantage is?.... how less 200 grams will make me a better rider?
  • + 1
 They are a good pedal, spares are not the easiest to get hold of. I have them under the fatspanner brand, they were good, but so far their replacement on my bike, which is basically the same pedal has proved a better pedal, with them still spinning nicely, unlike the ht ones which spun too fast after a few rides. The pin diameter is the win win for me, they give noticeably more grip than the likes of the superstar nanos.
  • + 1
 I run super star components pedals, magnesium and ti axle. 260grams. Maybe not as light as these, but way cheaper and much more reliable.

superstar.tibolts.co.uk/product_info.php?cPath=42&products_id=276
  • + 4
 Hmm? $285 = 1 pair of Wellgo MG1s and 12 cases of beer Smile
  • + 0
 For downhill racers who are still using flats, why phrase it like that. I still ride flats and can ride as fast if not faster than the majority of my peers who are clipped in. 4th out of 322 riders on a sprint section of a DH trail for example.
  • + 2
 would have been 1st if you were clipped in
  • + 1
 Why are to reading an article on flats?
  • + 2
 cause i like bikes. i ride dh but still read articles on enduro and shit. same principle applies here. but it's always interesting to me how amped people get about a product like bars/pedals/grips where there is no significant differences between two different models.
  • + 1
 Penthouse flats mk3. Tough as hell. Thick and ugly but tough and smooth as the day I got em. Do Ti axles still have recommended weight limits for riders or have they made it strong enough for normal size men
  • + 3
 i'll stick with my Straitlines and as reverb said buy some beer with the change
  • + 0
 pretty easy folks if you like a bigger platform go with the twenty six predator haver had a pair for over a year and only had to replace a couple of pins way better then their pre-runner set-up but if you like a little bit smaller of a platform get the new hope pedals they are awesome and if Hope releases something you can be damn sure they are good.
  • + 1
 I'd like my next pedals to be really flat, I don't mean thin, just flat, most have a profil, the axle or the ends thicker. chromag Scarab or straitline are the one I noticed for now
  • + 0
 Nothing like mixing the units...

...a pedal that weighs in at only 220 grams for the pair, nearly a half pound lighter than many other pedals on the market.

(Reaches for calculator to work out what half a pound is in Metric...)
  • + 2
 I run the AE03's...they are the Cats ass.... I wear Van's and 5-10s depending how Im riding... practically feel clipped in with either.
  • + 0
 Psh! I'll stick with my [insert other pedal here] and just buy some beer with the leftover money!

You guys are a broken record. No one cares what pedals you would rather run instead.
  • + 0
 I have to say I have tried plenty of different pedals but the only ones I like are the cheap welgo platform pedals yes a little thick but i have never had a foot slip on them and for £35 a pop can't fault them.
  • + 0
 They made stuff like spokes and nipples since 1954? If these pedals are so good for $285 - Just imgine how much it would cost for a set of NIPPLES made in 1994.
  • + 1
 It's all personal preference. I prefer SPD and a lot of you prefer flat.... nuff said stop the bitching.
  • + 1
 My saints and fivetens together were cheaper and the grip is amazing. These are for weight weenies with bank.
  • + 2
 just buy Saint pedals. theyre like $85
  • + 1
 won't the threads in the pedals get stripped when it's time to replace the traction pins after they get beat up a bit?
  • + 1
 cut the damaged section off them turn em out, easy peasy
  • + 2
 looks like youd have to book your whole afternoon just to replace all those damn pins!
  • - 1
 Owned a pair of HT AE01 and sold them before seeing the first speck of dirt on them, the little bushing system they have, along with how exposed it is was ridiculous. Sold them asap.
  • + 0
 I've had mine for a season and a half and they still feel brand new.
  • + 2
 You must not ride your bike a lot then. Wink

Since then I've been on Point One Podiums and DMR Vaults. Much happier!!!
  • + 1
 I also have a year plus of muddy Squamish riding on mine. Repacked once, but didn't need to. I thought they'd be lubeless and dirty but they were pretty good after 40 or so rides. I've got a ton more riding on them and they're still perfect. Found that having a box of pins to replace is a good idea though.
  • + 1
 @NMK187: yeah man those bushings are absolute s***, literally two months and they are shot. Also the article does not mention the $180 tool that is required to replace said s****y bushings.... yeah, these pedals blow.
  • + 0
 This is ridiculous! I laugh when I see someone banging on $100+ platforms pedals! You want to save weight for performance, do it on your wheels...go tubeless or carbon!
  • + 4
 Tubeless doesn't really save a lot of weight. Its positive sides are elsewhere! Smile
For better performance it's even simplier - train more! Big Grin
  • + 10
 You wanna shake off some extra weight, eat less pies.
  • + 35
 Complains on price of the pedals, suggests carbon Blank Stare
  • - 15
flag JejQ (May 7, 2013 at 23:55) (Below Threshold)
 You want to save weight on your bike? Dont have any bike at all!
  • + 2
 ^^^ oh I get it. Its a joke isn't it? Yes very amusing.
  • - 1
 At the moment I have a pair of Mavic Crossmax SX and 2.2" Continental Rubber Queen UST, any ideas what should I replace it with? I'm mainly interested in the carbon wheelset that won't cost me €1000+
  • + 2
 I always say, the best place to save weight is your seat. I mean the thing between your legs and back, not your saddle.
  • + 1
 1# of metal ≠ 1# of flesh..... tired of that suggestion.
  • + 1
 Someone tell me the difference please?
www.dabombbike.com/bare_bones.html
  • + 2
 as if they used a 50cal shell as a shaft
  • + 0
 If you want to get good pedals, get deity skyscrapers. 135$,light, super thin, amazing grip and strong.
Nuff said
  • + 1
 there must be like 10,000 different platform pedals out there!
  • + 0
 Loooool look exactly like da bomb bare bones pedals those are just copy pedals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • + 1
 Anybody know info on their prototype spd pedals?????!!!!!!
  • + 2
 Love my ae-01's
  • + 1
 [enter stupid comment number 3 here]
  • + 0
 very cheap 285$ - lol
  • + 1
 like my pedal
  • + 0
 $285 USD WTF? in 2016 only millionaires will practise this sport
  • + 1
 ...or we'll just buy something cheaper.
  • - 1
 352g - 220g = 132g = .29 ounces, not half a pound. Just sayin'.
  • + 8
 The half pound of weight savings isn't referring specifically to the AE03, but to the other pedals on the market that weigh in at 400+ grams.
  • + 6
 .29 lbs = 4.6 oz just sayin
  • + 1
 its half of a half pound Wink
  • + 1
 can you be more specific which other pedals are you referring to in the market?
  • + 3
 @drivereight - Here the weights of a few random pairs of pedals; Specialized Bennies: 430g, Deity Decoy: 425g, E*13 LG1: 482g.
  • - 1
 Looks like a copy of the Canfield Crampon Ultimate to me!
  • - 2
 Uh, yeah I forgot...I've fallen and had a concussion!
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