Crankbrothers' Mallet DH pedals have been in existence since 2008, although they've gone through several revisions over the course of the last nine years. The wide platform and mud-shedding design have made them a popular option on the World Cup DH circuit, but they don't necessarily need to be mounted up to a downhill bike – they work just as well for general trail riding.
Available in red or black, a set of Mallet DH pedals weighs 479 grams, and will leave your wallet $169 USD lighter.
Crankbrothers Mallet DH Details
• Aluminum body, chromoly spindle
• Platform dimensions: 101 x 77mm
• 57mm q-factor
• Weight: 479 grams
• MSRP: $169 USD
• 5-year warranty
The Mallet DH's aluminum body has been changed slightly compared to the previous version
, and it now has a chamfered leading edge to provide a little more clearance from rocks or other obstacles. In addition, deeper grooves have been machined into the platform to provide extra traction for those moments when you're trying to find the pedals again after unclipping.
The traction pad feature first seen on the Mallet E has also been carried over to the Mallet DH, which consists of a removable, rectangular piece of polyurethane that sits on each side of the clip-in mechanism. There are different pad heights available, allowing riders to customize their pedals to work perfectly with their shoe of choice.
The pedal spins on a forged chromoly axle that provides a 57mm q-factor, with an igus LL-glide bushing located on the inboard portion of the axle, and an Enduro cartridge bearing on the outboard portion. Crankbrothers also worked to improve the pedal's wet weather capabilities, and there's now a two-stage rubber seal that's designed to keep water from working its way to the internals. Performance
Riders who are familiar with Crankbrothers' clip-in mechanism won't be surprised by how the Mallet DH functions. If you're making the switch from an SPD-style pedal, the feel of clipping in is slightly different – it's more 'mushy', for lack of a better term, compared to the crisp 'click' that accompanies stepping into an SPD pedal. There are 6-degrees of float compared to the 4-degrees found on Shimano pedals, and the release angle can be set at 15- or 20-degrees depending on the orientation of the cleats.
What do those numbers mean out on the trail? For me, the additional float makes it easier to forget that I'm clipped in, which is a good thing. With the Mallets I was able to twist my feet a little further while cornering or navigating a tricky section of trail, and it felt less like I was locked rigidly into one position. If anything, the Mallets feel like a nice set of flat pedals underfoot, with the added bonus that they keep your feet securely attached to the pedals in really rough sections of trail. The wide platform provides a nice perch for those half-clipped in moments, and while the jury's still out on whether or not those grooves in the body make a noticeable difference, I never had any trouble keeping my feet on the pedals, even in slimy, wet conditions.
For most of the test period I used a pair of Shimano AM9 shoes, which paired perfectly with the Mallet DH. I didn't need to remove any of the pedal's pins, or fuss around with the replaceable traction pads. It's worth noting that the Mallets work best with shoes that have a flatter, skate shoe style sole – that way there's as much contact as possible between the pedal platform and the shoe.Durability
After eight months of use and abuse, the aluminum body has lost some of its luster (getting dragged over granite will do that), but all of the traction pins are still in place, although rock strikes have ground a couple of them down. Both pedals are spinning smoothly, and when I pulled them apart there wasn't any corrosion to be seen, with a judicious amount of factory grease still in place. Considering everything they've been through, these pedals have fared extremely well, and after a quick cleaning and greasing they're ready to go for another season of rock smashing. Pinkbike's Take