HT Components X1 Pedal - Review

Oct 16, 2014
by Mike Kazimer  
HT X1 pedal review

HT Components X1 Pedal

If you're going to design a clipless pedal for downhill racing, you might as well involve one of the fastest racers on the World Cup circuit, and that's just what HT Components did when they brought Aaron Gwin aboard to help with the development of the X1. Gwin even won the first round of the World Cup season aboard a prototype version of the pedal, which is now in full production. The X1 uses a CNC-machined aluminum body, complete with five replaceable pins on each side, to provide a solid platform around the clip-in mechanism. The cleat is HT's own design, and there are two versions available that offer different release angles. The X2 cleats included with the pedal release at 8-10 degrees and have a claimed 4.5 degrees of float. Three cartridge bearings and one DU bushing are in place to allow the pedal body to rotate around a chromoly spindle. Dimensions: 83.5 x 92.5 x 16.7mm. The X1 is $169 USD with ten different color options.and weighs in at 475 grams per pair (actual). If weight is more of a concern than price, a ti-spindled version is available for $269 that checks in at a claimed 416 grams. www.ht-components.com


HT X1 pedal review

The X1 feels extremely secure thanks to the wide aluminum platform and plenty of available spring tension.


On the Trail

The X1s have a massive amount of available spring tension, which is adjusted via a hex screw on each side of the pedal. With Shimano's clipless pedals I typically have the tension nearly maxed out, but it was possible to achieve a similar feel on the X1 with them set to the halfway mark on the tension indicator. While getting everything installed, I did end up removing the two rear traction pins on each side of the pedal because they were digging into the soles of the Giro Terraduro shoes I was using, which made it more difficult to get them to release. This would be less likely to occur with skate style shoes that have a more uniform, flatter sole, but it's worth checking for any interference before heading out on a ride.

Clipping into the pedals requires the same toe-first method that anyone who's used SPD-style pedals before will be familiar with, although the front portion of the mechanism can be a little trickier to find. After a few rides it became more intuitive, but the ease of entry isn't quite on par with Shimano's offerings. Once you're in, the pedals feel incredibly solid underfoot thanks to the aluminum platform and the strong spring retention. In fact, the X1s felt more secure underfoot than any clipless pedal I've used in recent memory, and there were no inadvertent releases, even when plowing through sections of extremely rough trail. The amount of float is minimal, and it felt like there was well less than the 4.5 degrees that HT claim the pedal has - I would have guessed there was a degree or two at most. This is also likely one of the reasons the pedals felt so secure, but it does take some getting used to when switching from pedals that allow for a wider range of low-friction movement.

When it comes time to exit the pedals, if you unclip with confidence, the release is smooth and predictable, but the cleats have a tendency to hang up slightly when unclipping slowly, the type of scenario that occurs if you partially twist your foot when entering a tricky technical section, and then go to unclip fully when it becomes necessary to dab. In this type of situation, the front of the cleat would occasionally get caught under the toe bail and require an additional wiggle to get it free. I was always able to get out successfully, but there's still room for improvement when it comes to the X1's cleat design. As far as performance in muddy conditions goes, the super sloppy dark days of winter haven't arrived yet here in the Pacific Northwest, but on the handful of wet rides I took the pedals on they shed mud and grime well, and never clogged up enough to prevent clipping in. Even after those muddy rides, and many other dry dusty ones throughout the summer, the X1s are still spinning smoothly, with only a few scratches on the aluminum body to show for all the miles of rugged terrain they've been dragged through.


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesThere's certainly a spot in the clipless pedal market for HT's latest entry. The more options the better, especially if the additional competition encourages other pedal manufacturers to step up their game and create a wider range of clipless pedals with a usable platform around the retention mechanism. The X1's aren't perfect, but a little more float and a slightly smoother release is all they need to bump their performance up to the next level. For riders who are constantly blowing out of pedals that don't have enough spring tension on tap, and who place a higher priority on staying clipped in rather than ease of entry and exit, the X1 could be just the ticket. - Mike Kazimer


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118 Comments

  • + 27
 Most WC riders are running Mallet DH for a good reason, get em at Dunbar for much less. Paired with VXi shoes happy shredding.
  • + 16
 I ran Mallets all season and so far I have had zero issues with them. I love these pedals and do not see why so many people love to hate on them.
  • + 22
 broken leg and broken arm later... i'm done with them. 2 separate incidents. got super nose heavy on a jump and when i landed, i was leaned back enough that i didn't go OTB but when the rear of my bike slammed into the ground, my cleat broke and then my leg did. another time blew both feet off scrubbing a jump with 2 week old cleats and broke both bones in my arm. after the crash, my less than a month old pedals had tons of play in the egg beater that wasn't there when i started the day. now these could have been freak incidents but after those and bending multiple axles and platforms and never having broke a pedal before mallets in my life, i think i'm done with them
  • - 22
flag abzillah (Oct 17, 2014 at 0:28) (Below Threshold)
 @Cmontjumper: You're not supposed to be using clips for DJ riding! Most people wear clips and spandex together, not jeans and spandex, I mean clips.
  • + 12
 abzillah, he never specifically said he was DJ riding. Jumps are fairly common on a DH course, which is most likely where he crashed.

Different note: maybe it's just the skier in me, but I like the idea of my clipless pedal having an easily adjustable spring tension that I can simply tweak without having to swap out springs. Never liked my old Mallets in that regard, so I would be keen to try these for sure.
  • + 4
 @ka-brap Adjustable spring tension is a must for me. Since a bad ankle break many years ago my right ankle has less "horizontal swivel movement" than the left. So I have different spring tensions on each pedal.
  • + 15
 Broke the spring on my mallets a while back, with minor rock contact, following that tried a string on disposable Crank Brothers pedals. (Those were terrible.) Got a pair of cheap Shimano M540's (now worn but still trouble-free) and now XT trails. For clip-in pedals I am a Shimano devotee now. No trouble, high function.
  • + 10
 I like my dx's durable as fuck and cheap
  • + 2
 @abzillah, nope both of the times were in DH races. I also tried the DXs, loved their clip itself but not the platform. didnt provide a whole ton of grip if you had to ride unclipped for a portion of trail
  • + 7
 The most common issue people reported with the Mallets is the decrease in spring tension and subsequent unintended unclipping. No problem for a pro who gets a new pair of pedals every second race, but a big downside for the average rider who wants to run them for at least two seasons.
  • - 4
flag skierdud89 (Oct 17, 2014 at 8:04) (Below Threshold)
 Crank Brothers for me as well. The amount and the smoothness of the float you get can not be compared. 4.5 degrees of float from these HT pedals I don't see these pedals getting a very large following.
  • + 2
 Ghost clipping has resulted in more than a few catastrophic failures for me. Probably partially due to the fact that I like to steer with my feet some. I run Shimanos now, nice and tight. I like em and have no reason to switch.
  • + 36
 I stopped using pedals years ago and haven't looked back. I just don't see the point. I no longer have issues with bearings or float.
  • + 6
 Used Mallets, Eggbeaters and Candy's. Now im using Shimano XT Trail with Sh-56 cleats. Never going back.
  • + 2
 @ryan83 I bet your big toes are super strong and near prehensile now from being the only contact with the crank. Smart. For the coming Planet of the Apes apocalypse, I mean.
  • + 1
 I've been running my mallets for nearly 2 season and have liked them, but have been running into issues with unclipping in recent rides. I'll be giving these pedals a shot.
  • + 1
 Had crank brothers for a couple of seasons and the spring would sometimes get stuck in an open position and crashed 2 times because of it. The problem is the spring would move a little side to side and would get stuck on the body of the pedal and I would need a screw driver to move the spring back to the right spot so it could work again. Switched to Time pedals and never had a problem since.
  • - 9
flag jimmychoo401 (Oct 18, 2014 at 10:29) (Below Threshold)
 Your blatantly a shite rider.. End off
  • + 5
 @jimmychoo401. Can we all please be like you? You seem to be the greatest rider ever!
  • - 2
 no no I wont to be like you! pleeeease... tut, wash your bike and take care of it that would help with things sticking
  • - 3
 Ride flats !
  • + 1
 Obviously you are a well educated person who can read and comprehend what they just read. As my previous comment says the reason is not because my bike is dirty it is because there is a flaw in the design and the main spring slides over and jams in an open position into the body of the pedal. I glad you have had success with crank brothers products.
  • + 2
 the mallets wear out but you can send them back for a reconditioning or an upgrade throught the service dept for as low as 25 bucks or something like that....I send my pedals to them every winter for what they call a refresher....new springs, pins,axels,bearings, etc for like 25 buck..go to there website and go to warrenty...its a good and cheap service
  • + 7
 TIME ATAC pedals are the best clipless pedals........period. Lots of float, perfect tention pressure and the spindle/bearings just never wear out. Don't knnow how they do it but they do!!
  • + 3
 Release angle is way too high for me. Kept getting stuck in them.
  • + 4
 They do have 2 different release angles depending on which cleat you choose as your left and your right.
  • + 2
 @pingntodd

How Time does it? Quite simple bro. They design and manufacture everything in France -except the bearings I suppose. The guys behind Time are the guys who designed the first Look clip-less in the 80s. My dad still have a set -works like day one after more than 100.000km. I opened the pedals 2 or 3 years ago to grease them but it was useless -the grease was clean and in good conditions after 25 years. Oh and just saying -no play in the mechanism at all and clip in and out like day one.

As a teenager growing up in France I tried to not use Time pedals. Since it was too mainstream there in the 90s. Everything changed when moved from SPDs to Crank. Since then I knew SPDs were not my cup of tea and the lack of reliability of CB is no urban legend. Ever since I'm glad to support Time and their products. No marketing BS, just some good reliable products. Nothing can handle goat or primitive trail like a Time pedal. And their cleats last way way longer than Crank or Shimano.
  • + 2
 i own the mx4 and use them for downhill. at first i didnt trust the plastic case, but after smashing them against every rock there is without breaking anything i have to agree with you. they are flawless... if you like the float.
  • + 7
 I'm using Time Z for years and they're unstoppable. Everytime I see "new" model of pedals it's seems that it's not so new at all. I haven't seen a genuine breakthrough in years. Basically it's all the same to me Smile
  • - 1
 The breakthrough that your not seeing is the weight savings. I used to have a set of time Z's and they felt like a pile of bricks next to my mallets
  • + 2
 I'm running the Z's as well and holy hell they are heavy. I do like how they feel though so I'm getting a pair of the MTX8's. Much lighter than most platform clip pedals.
  • + 2
 MX8*
  • + 3
 Yes they are heavy but I can live with that because they are really long lasting. If my Time Z dies, which I don't think will be very soon, I'm thinking about MX4. Only complain about Time is that they're not what you called cheap :/
  • + 2
 Ran the same set of times BMX racing for years no issues. If I ever clip in on mtb it'll be on those
  • + 2
 Weight isn't everything. I just switched from Mallets to MX8's. The clipping mechanism is was better.
  • + 5
 I am very interested in these, but it'll take a lot to pull me away from Shimano's. Shimano's are far from the best in terms of function alone, but they just outlast everything else by a factor of 11, so if you ride a lot, there really isn't much choice. Even the cleats are invincible. Durability means a lot to me
  • + 8
 Anyone else think it'd be cool if Pinkbike used stars and ratings in their reviews?
  • + 3
 The problem with unique cleats is what happens if the pedals don't take off and they discontinue production. I have wellgo's with that issue and wellgo is one of the bigger pedal makers, so when it becomes hard to find spares for one of THEIR pedals...
  • + 4
 perhaps buy a few at the start....
  • + 2
 Has anyone tried these?

www.chainreactioncycles.com/ca/en/funn-mamba-two-side-clip-mtb-pedals/rp-prod122714

I love shimano's for the ease of entry and release, but I don't like the feel of them. I'm trying some mallets, and love the feel of the pedal body under my foot, but don't like how they release. The movement to get out of the mallets seems more unnatural to me...
So I've been wondering about these Funn Mamba pedals. Seems like the answer, but I can't find any real reviews of them...
  • + 3
 Yeah man Fun Mamba looks very interesting, love the colors as well, I couldt find any reviews on them, I am super curious weather they perform, anyone tried them???
  • + 1
 did you try the Mambas? I've had one extreme ride on mine and was very pleased. I read not to judge the unclipping until they are worn in - and they did seem a little different to Shimano on exit - but fine. My Shimano DX shoes seemed to fit with space above the pins and my 5:10 Ravens fitted far closer to pedal - with firm contact on 3 pins of 4 anyway. Surprisingly the Ravens work the best.
They are a flat sole and felt very secure when unclipped. I tried to ensure that my foot was forward on the pedal when unclipped so that the pedal's cleat mechanism sits fully behind the shoe's cleat so its a 2-position thing - toesy for pedalling / instep over spindle when a descent has just got lairy and I've unclipped for a dab. I'll look at Shimano's announced AM49 shoe when they come out as their long cleat channel sole recess looks designed to aid that '2-position' placement. Any comment?
  • + 1
 @Mutly How are you liking the Mambas about half a year on? Theres a sale on them at CRC so if you'd recommend them, might try them. They look almost identical to the HT X1's. And look great in general. Cheers
  • + 1
 Toby, they have been fine. I find that the unclip technique works best with just a bit more a flick of the fore-foot than Shimano SPD's. The relatively flat sole of my 5:10 Raven shoes contacts the pins really well. However, I have cut away the cleat recess on the sole out backwards a bit so that, I can ride unclipped with my foot located more centrally over the spindle on really rough descents. The pedal's cleat crown/arms then sit behind the shoe's cleat. Best of both worlds. I have a pair of the new Shimano AM7 shoes which have a much longer sole recess and so don't need modifying in the same way. - but they do not locate on the Mamba's pins anything like as well as the Ravens. I hope this helps.
  • + 1
 Thanks for the reply @Mutly. Have you been using them for endure or dh? I've heard that if you twist your foot inwards, rather than outwards, even just 5mm, you'll become unclipped? Have you had this issue?

I think I'm going to try some Mallet DH pedals, but if you'd recommend them, might convince myself to get some Mambas.
  • + 1
 Toby, I have not had the problem you mention with the Mambas, definitely no. I always test-fit cleats on fresh shoes, clipping them by hand on to the pedals on bike - by hand - then checking clearance and action by hand looking closely at eye level......Now, with one test of fresh shoes, on SPD pedals, I found the same problem that you described because the cleat was too close to one side of the sole's cleat recess and so kind of levered off the cleat by binding/interfering in a manner never intended. I just moved the cleat more central in the recess.

I am used to riding with Shimano SPD pedals for most disciplines from commuting, Trail, Enduro. I sometimes used the DX pedals for DH but they are very heavy, don't have a very large platform and have no pins. I sometimes used flats for DH but I didn't land jumps so well with those. I use flats for trials-type skills work, dual slalom (here the racing is on low-grip virgin grass hillsides) and might use for DH in some very loose conditions.

A buddy that tried mallets for DH after SPD found the difference in technique and performance too great - especially for Enduro type riding - and couldn't get used to swapping between the two. He went back to using SPD's for all riding.

For wild DH, or just really extremely rough back-country descents, the big pinned platform of the Mambas make it safer, after a dab, when you just can only jab your foot back on in the general direction of the pedal - too rough/wild for subtlety or precision. That is a crucial danger situation, of course, so they've been very welcome. Just remember what I mentioned before that I found the Mamba pins work best with a relatively flat/wide soled shoe. The AM7 shoes are very light, have a brilliant long cleat recess and look good, but just don't contact the Mamba's pins well. I can't understand why Mambas aren't more popular for DH racers but don't see Funn sponsoring any racers or doing any significant marketing push. CrankBrothers give away masses of Mallets to racers and, give them credit, their adoption rate is high because they got to the wide-platform clipped market years before others. - even if their action will never be as crisp as SPD.

I hope this helps.
  • + 1
 Thanks for the great reply @Mutly, very informative! I was really keen on giving the Mamba's a go, although after reading for bad reviews than good, I think it's budged me off them. They look very similar to the HT, which I love. As they don't sponsor many riders, maybe they'd be keen on sponsoring some junior riders, so I might contact them and see what they say. My FiveTens don't have a long cleat recess, so think I may run into the problem others have had. So while I can get a pair of Mallets on sale, i think I'm going to jump on them. But if I'm in the position where I can't get used to the Mallets (coming from SPD DX's too), I'll definitely sell them and give the Mambas a shot.

Like I said, I'm going to try and get into contact with them. Because they haven't got any racers on the Mamba's, it might just be time to start handing a couple pairs out to promote them.

While I've heard some bad stories about the Mallets, apparently the latest version has been updated and are also easier to service, which I'm fine with doing.

But if I am put in the position of not liking the Mallet's, I think I'll try and get a hold of some Mambas.

Thanks for all of your information, its been great! I'll recommend Mambas to mates if any need suggestions on what to get. Smile
  • + 2
 Please tell us how they compare to mallet dh pedals. I'm interested in replacing my mallets with these. The lower weight a colour options are attractive. I'm not really in love with the mallets but my previous shimanos hurt one of my knees.
  • + 1
 This is an SPD style cleat. Less float than a Crank Bros, but with a similar sized platform. Looks like an old Shimano DX honestly.
  • + 2
 Only about of third of the float you'll get from Crank Brothers, however adjustable spring tension where Crank Brothers don't... I think they would probably hurt your knees too. IMO look in to Time pedals, they make some quality stuff and they're light too!
  • + 2
 My right foot is severely pidgeon-toed (nobody seems to notice i walk like a retard, fortunately) and i have my right SPD cleat adjusted crooked to match. It feels straight under my feet. Maybe try that? I like the definite release of the shimano pedals more than the time/CB angle thing.
  • + 6
 i wonder how this matches up with the shimano dx
  • + 1
 To me they look much better. They have Pins to provide better grip and better mud clearance. But I suppose the proof will be how well yhe cleats and mechanism holds up.
  • + 7
 I really don get this with Shimano. They could be marketing those DX pedals with "Same form day 1 since 90is!". Great pedals BTW but really need update. Some clipless Saints would be great i think
  • + 2
 I think the only thing missing with the DX is a better mud shedding design. I used to ride mallets but after crashing because of a bent spindle and the relatively expensive refurbishing parts and cleats, I ditched them and switched to DX and never felt happier. If these HT pedals had the reliability and ease of use of a Shimano DX plus the mud shedding capabilities of the mallets, I will get one ASAP!
  • + 2
 actually im interested in a shootout between these pedals, the CB's, and VP VX adventure pedals. they all seem to be of the platform spd variety. people seem to like the new VP's also. also i'm willing to bet shimano recognizes that they need to release a new spd pedal for DH like a saint spd like jure said above. the og DX series were designed more for BMX'ers to clip in quickly during gate racing and not really for rocky technical terrain where a larger outer cage would be advantageous.
  • + 1
 @mrkamot and @cuban-b have you checked out the Keywin DH (www.keywin.com/downhill.php)? These are essentially a Shimano mechanism in a big metal type cage. In my opinion they are a better pedal than the Shimano's but it would be good to compare to the HT's over the long term.
  • + 2
 Those are the Shimano pd-m535 from the 90s. The predecessor to the DX 646
  • + 1
 You're right they are virtually an exact copy of the Shimano PD-M646's!! I am not sure how Keywin got away with that? Still they are a option to consider as an alternative to the Shimanos.
  • + 2
 Key win didn't get away with anything. Shimano commonly used oem companies for pedals and disc brakes in those days.
  • + 3
 was wanting to give these a try but both reviews Ive read have made me change my mind.. I like allot of float and an easy release...dont sound like these are for me...
  • + 1
 Usually Im a big fan of CB platform pedals but my Mallets DH have me going crazy, ran Minnaars and new VXIs clipless, im alwyas unclipping, Ive rebuilt the pedals completely, foing through cleats at an alarming rate and these look the bomb, cant use Shimano pedals so these maybe the thing I need.
  • + 2
 You ever considered Time pedals? They feel like CB's but address a lot of their shortcomings.
  • + 2
 have you ever looked to see how your cleats are set up as far as how they sit when engaged? if they are to close to the spring they will wear quickly and also give a more float and cause you to become unclipped easier. I have cleats that I have used on my mallet DH for the last 2 years and still are fine.
  • + 2
 It sounds like you may have the pins too far up. If the pins are too tall the cleat won't clip in right.
  • + 2
 That, or you need a shim under your cleat.
  • + 2
 I rode mallets for the Last 6-7 years. Just switched to time atac pedals...omg I have been missing out. Time have it figured out.
  • + 2
 ht make awesome pedals, the only thing that messed a pair of mine up was a 40Kmh pedal clip on a rock that sent me flying and bent the axle 45'. no pedal would have stood up to that though.
  • + 4
 Sooo revolutionary, I'm so impressed...
  • - 5
flag carfreak2000 (Oct 16, 2014 at 23:25) (Below Threshold)
 Nobody said these were supposed to be revolutionary.
  • + 3
 Running mallet dh all season and they are absolutely amazing. No problems, sheer perfection in my eyes
  • + 2
 HT pedals you can buy from Hexabikes > www.pinkbike.com/u/hexabikes/buysell/userlist
  • + 1
 I've been using time atac pedals for about 2 years, they are a wee bit heavy, but bombproof, and reliable. Al be buying another set when they die
  • - 1
 Make them lower profile. I want clips to feel the same as using a thin flat pedal and sombrio shoes. Not like I am on old school thick flats with 5.10s on.
Now less reinventing the wheel and get inventing a clipped dh pedal that is not an xc pedal with a cage.

Oh and hill has proven thato take away the enduro from dh and flats still rule. Smile
  • + 0
 I have ideas to solve this problem (if in fact it is a problem). A slightly different approach to the clipped pedal. I am a development engineer to trade. 20 years on an still loving it.
  • + 2
 It looks like the spindly front wire hook is going to get bent on the first rock strike.
  • + 2
 I don't see how it's any different from a Mallet or Time pedal in that regard. At least this one will not be on the leading edge when upside-down.
  • + 2
 These look awesome. Big platform like the mallets, good mud clearing, adjustable, PINs for extra grip
  • + 1
 if you are running clips why the pins , surely they would hamper foot rotation when clipping out look nice though
  • + 1
 use mallet for a season move them took sole serious crash release when needed
  • + 1
 use mallet for a season took some serious crash release when needeed
  • + 2
 thanks for clarifying
  • + 2
 awesome...another pedal that is $150+

lame...
  • + 2
 Far too much money.. i want a shimano clip system in a mallet case.
  • + 2
 I didn't know this was a thing! thanks @FunRunner12
  • + 1
 good price on the Funn pedals too. dunno why no one is talking about those. and they have a single sided spd option. kinda 90s but still functional!
  • + 2
 did anybody try the Mambas? I've had one extreme ride on mine and was very pleased. I read not to judge the unclipping until they are worn in - and they did seem a little different to Shimano on exit - but fine. My Shimano DX shoes seemed to fit with space above the pins and my 5:10 Ravens fitted far closer to pedal - with firm contact on 3 pins of 4 anyway. Surprisingly the Ravens work the best.
They are a flat sole and felt very secure when unclipped. I tried to ensure that my foot was forward on the pedal when unclipped so that the pedal's cleat mechanism sits fully behind the shoe's cleat so its a 2-position thing - toesy for pedalling / instep over spindle when a descent has just got lairy and I've unclipped for a dab. I'll look at Shimano's announced AM49 shoe when they come out as their long cleat channel sole recess looks designed to aid that '2-position' placement. Any comment?
  • + 2
 Flat pedals win medals.
  • + 2
 sam hill dont need 1
  • + 1
 These pedals are sick!
  • + 1
 They don't look to bad
  • + 1
 They look clash
  • + 1
 Aaron gwin ride these
  • - 1
 They cool but I prefer flats.
  • + 1
 That's good, but there are some riders who prefer Clipless
  • + 0
 I know just saying Smile
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