HT T1 Pedals - Review

Jan 16, 2017
by Mike Kazimer  
HT T1 pedal review

First seen underneath the feet of enduro specialist Jerome Clementz, HT's T1 pedals are geared towards riders looking for a clipless pedal that offers up a wider platform than what's found on more XC-oriented options.

A 92 x 68mm aluminum platform provides a slightly larger landing pad to aim for when trying to find them again after unclipping, and the two replaceable pins on each side are intended to add even more grip. The pedals have a chromoly spindle and use HT's EVO+ bearing system, which relies on a bushing, a needle bearing, and a small thrust bearing mechanism to keep them spinning smoothly. The T1's weigh in at 366 grams for the pair, and they're available in 11 different brightly anodized colors. MSRP: $135 USD.

HT T1 Pedal Details

• Intended use: trail / all-mountain
• Aluminum body, chromoly spindle
• Two replaceable pins on each side
• Internals: Evo+ bearing system
• Eleven color options
• Weight: 366 grams
• MSRP: $135 USD

HT X1 pedal review
HT T1 pedal review


The spring-loaded clip-in mechanism is HT's own design, with a wire bail at the front rather than the metal plate commonly seen with SPD-compatible designs. On that note, the T1's aren't SPD-compatible, which means you'll need to use HT's own cleats in order to properly clip in and out.

The supplied X1 cleats provide 4 degrees of float, and there's another cleat design available, the X1F, that allows for 8-degrees of float. Tension is adjusted via a 3mm hex bolt on each side, with possible settings ranging from 'snug' to 'my shoes are now permanently affixed to my bike.' Seriously—there's a ton of available spring tension, and the middle setting is close to what would be the max on a set of Shimano pedals.

On the trail, the T1's were easy to clip into, with a reassuring 'click' that makes it easy to know that you're securely attached. I already mentioned the large amount of available spring tension, but it's also worth noting that past a certain point the ease of entry began to decrease. In other words, if you crank the tension up all the way it's going to be harder to get in and out of the pedals.

HT T1 pedal review
The T1 pedals require HT's own cleats. Two versions are available, with either 4 or 8 degrees of float.
HT T1 pedal review
The T1's alloy platform measures 17mm thick, tapering down to 13mm at either end.

If you've ever used a version of Shimano's clipless pedals then you're familiar with what 4-degrees of float usually feels like—there's almost no resistance up to a certain point, after which the cleat cleanly disengages and release the shoe from the pedal. HT's T1 pedal feel a little different. Even for those first 4-degrees there's still a little bit of resistance, and the release feels 'springier' than it does with Shimano's pedals—it's like the difference between opening the latch on a gate (Shimano) and lifting up the catch bar on a mouse trap (HT).

Now, riding with mouse traps attached to your feet may not sound that appealing, but I actually ended up preferring the HT's release feel over Shimano. It's a little less on/off, which means there's a greater range of foot motion for those moments when you need to almost—but not quite—unclip. Conversely, it does mean that you may end up attached to the bike for a millisecond longer when you'd rather not be—for that reason I'd say the T1's may not be the best option for newcomers to the clipless pedal world.

I didn't have any unexpected or inadvertent releases while using the T1's, and clipping in and out was trouble free in all but the muddiest of conditions. In deep mud, they can clog a little bit, but a few solid kicks were usually all it took to be able to get back in.

HT T1 pedal review
There are two front pins on each side, but they don't do much when paired with stiffer soled shoes.
HT T1 pedal review
In addition to a needle bearing and bushing the pedals use a small thrust bearing system (shown above).

Issues / Durability

It's not necessarily an issue, but I did discover that the two pins on each side of the pedal are pretty much for show—because the clip-in mechanism doesn't rotate, unless you have super-soft shoes the sole isn't going to flex enough to contact them. I used Shimano's ME7 and Giro's Terraduro Mid during testing, and neither shoe came close to touching the pins.

After nearly a full year of regular use, a time that includes plenty of trips through deep mud puddles, the pedals are still spinning fairly smoothly, with only a slight bit of play. When I pulled them apart to check on the internals I did find that there was a section on both chromoly spindles that showed signs of corrosion. That's a sign that the pedals aren't as weatherproof as they could be (and also that pulling them apart and greasing them more frequently isn't a bad idea if you ride in wet conditions). Disassembly isn't too hard, but it does require a thin-walled 8mm socket, something not every home mechanic will have, at least not before spending some quality time with a bench grinder.

Compared to Shimano XT

Given the popularity and proven track record of Shimano's XT pedals, it's worth comparing them directly to the HT T1. The two pedals are aimed at the same style of rider, and even the shape is fairly similar, although the T1's platform is a tad smaller than the XT's.

As far as weight goes, the T1 pedals have the edge, coming in at 366 grams, 36 grams lighter than the M8020 pedals. The T1 pedals also offer up more spring tension, a plus for riders who regularly find themselves blowing out of their SPD pedals even at max tension. Plus, for the fashion focused riders out there, HT has ten more color options than Shimano.
Shimano M8020 vs HT T1
The HT T1 vs. Shimano's M8020 pedal.

All that being said, when it comes to durability and ease of release, Shimano comes out on top, able to withstand multiple seasons of use without losing any of their smoothness or developing play, and retaining a consistent feel with every clip in or out. There's also the price factor to consider - MSRP for the M8020 pedals is $120, versus the T1's $135 asking price.

Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesNot satisfied with the amount of tension that your SPD pedals provide? Enamored with the idea of anodized blue, green, or even pink pedals? If you're looking for something a little different that still works well on the trail, HT's T1 pedals are worth a try. - Mike Kazimer

Visit the feature gallery for high resolution and additional images

Author Info:
mikekazimer avatar

Member since Feb 1, 2009
1,693 articles

  • 195 2
 Mr. Kazimer, we all love your new years revolution of comparing similar products. Really helpful for the buyer to know direct traits, goods and bads of each.
  • 11 1
 completely agree....keep it up
  • 10 1
 Everyone loves a revolution
  • 2 2
 @Wouldhaveletmego: fine. *resolution
  • 5 1
 Viva Review Revolution!
  • 1 0
 im using these now for the past 5 months love em stoke level is high on the T1's
  • 45 3
 Tight gits like me just use m530s which are thr budget shimano version and cost £18 the ladt time I bought some and they are still going strong on both bikes years later.
  • 3 1
 Here here
  • 4 1
 Same here. The Shimano m530, which I got for 35 euros, is the real deal! Two years of riding and I am surprised but their reliability. In the sense, I cannot believe it.
  • 18 3
 I have mine since 2013 and they are not giving up on me. They are as reliable as Rick Astley.
  • 19 3
 @bikePB: you should check these out
  • 5 0
 @Bustacrimes: SONUVABITCH!!!
  • 4 1
 @Bustacrimes: well done.
  • 5 0
 All my bikes used to have M530's but I've switched to Mallet's and I'm converted, riding anything gnarly with the M530's was interesting to say the least when there were any foot out moments. My wallet isn't happy though.
  • 4 1
 Wow, didn't realize these were so cheap! Okay, next time I need a new set of Crankbrothers cleats (about every 2 months!), I getting a pair of these instead.
  • 2 0
 cheap is not always bad Wink
  • 2 0
 A pair of affordable (30€) Shimano M530 since 2012 and no problem, just perfect
  • 3 0

Busta, sad thing is I couldn't tell if this was the legit late 80's vid or some satire shtick that Matt Dennison's friends made for the hell of it. That pasty red-headed Rick dude could pass as Canadian, eh. Made me smile.

  • 1 0
 @Prax: Wink

Sick Santa dude
  • 1 0
 @WasatchEnduro: made you smile! Job done. High fives all round.
  • 1 0
 @fullbug: thank you ????
  • 1 0
 @skelldify: I tried time atac very cheap and similar behaviour of mallet. But the cleats don't wear so rapidly
  • 1 0
 @Nitrox416: Time atac's are where it's at. I had a pair last a decade before the metal was getting so worn it just made sense to replace them. Insane that $60 pedals will last that long. I'd consider giving these a try but for vanity purposes only. Hmmmm........ preeeeeettttttyyyy coloooooooooors.
  • 25 8
 @mikekazimer: Uhm, street price on these HTs is $5 *more* than the MSRP you cite ($140 at Art's, Jenson, etc).
I'm all for little guys trying to keep the big S-boys honest, but HT's pricing is laughable. XT Trails go for $60 street, and I can have XTR for $90. Competition is over before HT even hits the starting gate...
  • 9 3
 @therealtylerdurden: Oboy, $135 - that changes everything! Now the price gap to XTR is 50%, not 55%. Oh wait, that price differential goes the wrong way...
  • 4 2
 @therealtylerdurden: You didn't win that argument, y'know - did it change Veloscente's fundamental point that the HTs are too spendy compared to the Shimanos?
  • 16 6
 After every review I see guys like you, complaining about prices. I wonder why you guys do not understand that a few of us like to have a nice looking/good engineered/fancy product. Sometimes you should remember what the time effort is to develop and produce a product, especially if it is a company with just a few employees (may does not match to this product). If this pedals are too much for your wallet, just buy some cheap plastic ones. Im sure you will find one...
  • 4 0
 Exactly I paid $50.00 for my most recent set of XTRs. They are easily found for around $80-90 dollars. XTs are in the $60-80 dollar range and as little as $40.
  • 3 1
 @Lorio: bingolino! I used to use cheap m530s, but they caused a hot spot in one of my shoes leading to painful corns. I now use flats (RF Atlas, not cheap!), but would consider clipless if they had the same platform size as the Look KEO2s that I have on my road bike. I don't buy pedals so often that the higher price is a big issue.
  • 1 3
 @Lorio: agreed . It's like advertising how cheap you are. And the whole S range is aimed at XC. The bigger platform and choice of colours costs. Maybe you're too cheap to pay that....and that's fine. But I wouldn't advertise it. Look at the companies spending millions on marketing (that's not R&D) and they deserve more questioning about value for money.....where does the marketing budget come from? Your purchase......
  • 2 0
 As someone who ran Shimano pedals for 10 years and thought it couldn't get better. I bought these HT pedals thinking they would disappoint but wanted to give them a go anyhow. I can easily say this price is well worth it. I find my Shimano pedals to be complete junk now. I honestly think they are very underrated in this review and are well worth what their msrp is. Also since this review HT has improved their seals making them allot more resilient to weather.
  • 2 0
 @truffy: Try look into Look S-track with the Trail or LS cage. ?
  • 1 2
 @Veloscente: "Uhm, street price on these HTs is $5 *more* than the MSRP you cite ($140 at Art's, Jenson, etc)."

And I found you a pair for the MSRP.
  • 2 3
 @KeithReeder: literally don't care bud.
  • 5 1
 But XT's got no bling factor beotch.

  • 3 1
 Gents - if you can't get a bit of a discount - say10-20% off - at your LBS, then you either aren't very good at developing relationships of trust, or need a different shop.

I have these pedals and found them much more difficult to exit than my Shimanos and had several rookie falls with them. I gave up on them for a while, but they look so damn cool, they're back on my bike. OK, actually, I rolled off the tension and I'm now using them with a 5-10 Kestrel Lace. Good combo. Ditch the traction pins though. All they will do is cut your calf.
  • 14 1
 After a season of racing on these I'm sold, and I was super skeptical since they seemed to be the hot new thing that the pros magically started all using one day. I was always coming out of my xtr trail pedals, but no issues with the HT. I also like that you can feel the release coming up, which I find helpful to keep me from having my feet just on the edge of release. Consistent release and entry after a full season, though I did up the tension as it seemed to decrease over time.
  • 5 1
 Exact same experience here
  • 13 23
flag SlodownU (Jan 17, 2017 at 5:14) (Below Threshold)
 Learn to ride flat pedals, fix your technique, and you'll find that your not blowing out of your clip-less anymore.
  • 8 0
 @SlodownU: I tried riding with flats after years of clipless, and it was a revelation, so many bad habits from relying on being clipped in. I am a much better rider now on clipless, because I occasionally ride flats.
  • 1 0
 This is what's drawing me to these pedals. I wear out a pair of XTRs every season. Even with fresh cleats and the pedals at max tension I still blow out of them pretty regularly. The catch is that the HT1s are twice the price of XTs. Arguably it's still cheaper to buy a new set of XTs every 6 months. I guess I'd have to try the HT1s to see if I prefer their performance.
  • 15 1
 Seems like any racer on HT probably a SRAM sponsored rider that avoid using SPD because it's Shimano's.
  • 6 0
 This guy knows what's up.....
  • 10 0
 It's the universal use of SPD that means limited market for these. I have three pairs of SPD shoes I can use with any of the four bikes with SPD pedals (including a spin bike), plus I can swap bikes with buddies out on the trail. That's a dealbreaker for me, regardless of any slightly better trait in the pedals reviewed.
  • 7 1
 As the odd man out who still rides Crank Bros pedals in my group, I agree. Never again will I buy a non-SPD compatible pedal. I have an old pair of shoes with SPD cleats for the gym, and can't trade bikes on the trail. Once I kill the last of my Crabk Bros parts stash I'll muster up the strength to whip out the credit card and buy a small canoe full of shimano pedals to upgrade my whole fleet.
  • 6 0

Shouldn't have a long wait
  • 1 0
 @maxyedor: I'll buy you a half dozen m530s as a wedding gift. They are cheap as chips and work flawlessly!
  • 8 0
 @only1mikey: I'll probably get yelled at for that, already got some side-eye for putting a GG Trail Pistol on the registry, I guess wedding presents are supposed to be for bot of us or something? I don't know, chicks are weird.
  • 14 3
 Do you like your Shimano SPD pedals but find them too easy to clip into after putting a foot out? If so, these pedals might be for you. Impossible to clip into.
  • 23 2
 But my XT pedals must not be as good because I paid $60 for them and had to grease them once in the last 3 years...
  • 9 0
 @unrooted: not to mention slx could be had for about $30 with a small weight penalty. Still going strong after 2 seasons dh use
  • 1 0
 @ibishreddin: SLX you say ? what partnumber is that ? M7000 ?
  • 9 1
 It must sucks for other pedal manufacturers when you have to deal with shimano putting out spds hat cost $25 last 5 years and work pretty much flawlessly. Unless I put are making platform spds pedals there is buggered all room for competition in the general consumer spd market
  • 1 0
 New AM/Downhill pedals from DMR coming soon. Platform looks much bigger than these or the Shimanos.

I doubt they'll be weight conscious but if they're anything like their other pedals they're definitely worth a look.
  • 2 0
 @Bustacrimes: looks promising
  • 9 0
 "quality time with a bench grinder" reminds me of removing the bevel from a 26mm socket for fox 32 top caps...grind...dip...grind...dip...grind...dip...grind...
  • 6 1
 I bought my XT Trail for 65 bucks shipped. I was also looking into the T1 at the time. I could not find a deal anywhere near as good as the XT. So I bought the XT. Best deal I could find on the T1 was still double the price of the XT.
  • 5 0
 I won a set of these in a competition, so far I've been very impressed with them despite using nothing but shimano for years. Would never have bought them at the price they retail though. If they were the same price as XTs I'd consider them for more than just my trail bike. Pain in the arse that I can't just jump onto another shimano equipped bike though
  • 6 0
 Seems like it's at the xtr trail price point uh also just a colored pedal that can't be seen while riding at a cost of less realibity and surface area. Hmm
  • 1 0
 @Skadakar: I first read "cosmic reasons". Upvoted for that.
  • 4 0
 Never been a Shimano pedal fan as I personally find that when you introduce mud to them (the clay type like we have in my area) they do not work well. But for those complaining about prices here is a little insight. XT pedals have a MSRP of $120 and a wholesale price of $54. Giving that the design has had very little design change in years, retailers will discount them when they have been sitting on the shelf for so long, plus they are widely available which increases competition. You are not going to see a discount on the HT's much beyond MSRP as they are fairly new and are not widely available. I know as mountain bikers some of us just care about price vs functionality vs durability but for some of us out there we go against the status quo and give a manufacture like HT a try. For those that do not like the price don't try them. Don't have a problem with the price and want something different, then it seems the users of these pedals have been satisfied with their choice and consider their money well spent.
  • 4 0
 I absolutely loved Shimano pedals. I have used them for 20yrs. However my last 2 pair of XT Trail pedals were disengaging early when using lots of body english in switchbacks or jumping. My foot would just unclip and go sailing.. I had the tension set so high because of this they were hard to clip in. I spoke to several other riders/racers and they had similar issues.

I switched to HT after too many of these unclipping incidents. I was skeptical about their durability to rock strikes and maintenance(Crank Bros..Ha) The HT exceeded my expectations and the float feeling was described as above. I can also use less tension without fear of premature disengaging. I am sold on HT.
  • 1 0
 Are you using the 8 degree float option? I am interested in the extra float
  • 2 0
 @Telebikes: No just the standard stock cleats. Still has lots of float.
  • 3 1
 I tried to get a pair of these in Tucson and couldn't find them anywhere. I thought someone would carry them given they sponsor Gwinn and Tucson has a lot of shops, but I called all over town and most of the shops didn't even know what they were. I think one shop did have HT platforms, every other shop was like "haven't heard about those". And they wonder why people buy online...
  • 2 0
 HT T1 are great but they just don't last a long time. M shimano are over 4 years old and problem free. My HT T1's are about a year and already starting to show signs of alot of wear....bearing play, screw coming loose and are showing signs as not being as durable. I had a friend snap his cage in half because of rock strike with his T1's....... But I will say I like the HT T1's more than my Shimanos because of the feel of engagement and dis-engagement.
  • 2 0
 Wow. Reading this a year later. I blow out of my XTs all the time at max tension with brand new cleats. I guess almost none of the comments so far noticed the caveat "Not satisfied with the amount of tension that your SPD pedals provide?". Shimanos are amazing pedals that break the trifecta of durable, light and cheap. But they can be low on tension for some. And now that I'm one of those people I'm hunting for a better option.
  • 5 3
 "when it comes to durability and ease of release, Shimano comes out on top" Is there anything else that matters?

These pedals are all over the media, but i've never seen anyone riding them.
  • 5 0
 I wish that all my bike parts were so reliable than shimano pedals....
  • 3 1
 The main issue is price. Why would anyone bother spending double the price of the xt's? I swear mountain bike enthusiasts must be the worst financially savvy people in the world
  • 1 0
 I really liked my HT's the issue was that I blew 4 pairs up in a summer. By blew up I mean the pedal body would still me stuck to my shoe and the spindle would still be stuck to my crank. But the two were very much so not together. If I got more then 1-2 months of use before they died I'd be happy. I had one pair on my trail bike and one on my dh bike so it's not like one was getting excessive miles. But they both died repeatitively
  • 1 0
 Totally agree with everything about this article good and bad and I own both sets of pedals. I must say I actually prefer the slightly easier release on my shimano pedals when climbing something slippery and steep as that half second can be the difference of me falling still clipped in. That being said I think getting into the HTML with muddy cleats is a bit easier and I have yet to come unclipped in the air like I have on my last pair of xtr trails. Also the the spindle treaty on the ht aren't as precise when screwingninto the crank arm. They look dope in purple.
  • 1 0
 I had same troubles with these pedals; not waterproof enough to prevent mud to come inside the rotating system, and this, only after 1 day of intense use (in a special muddy day, ok, but even...).

I realize that the mud was the reason of this problem (bad rotation), only a few weeks after (the time for the shop to understand my demand and send me the 8mm very special tool), when I finally could open and clean the pedal axe.

Definitely not the level of quality we could expect for this kind of product...
  • 1 0
 Shimano does not give a shit about bike shops? They must be pure evil. Kind of like Specialized, and Giant. I guess when you have earned the Big Boy status by selling alot of what you design and make, its just not good enough to sponsor events, sponsor riders and teams, and help move the industry foward with R&D. I am sure there is some facet to Shimano's price index with bike shops. I would guess it has to do with online or export prices somehow. But I highly doubt Shimano does not care about bike shops.That sounds silly. Everyone cares about bike shops. Where else can you get charged $40 to change a tubeless tire and have a free cup of coffee ? Than again...What do I really know. I just wish I rode better than I really do.
  • 1 0
 What's up with the one sided pedal though? That would never work for me. When you have to come unclipped for some reason and you can't just clip back in without thinking if the pedal is right side up.

Pins are probably for when you're not clipped in and just standing on them?
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer I see on the website they now have an X1E multi release cleat. Is this new? I can’t seem to find them in any North American online shops or locally. I think a multi release clear will make these much more beginner friendly.
  • 1 0
 Solid review. About the pins. Not usefull with a stiffer soled shoe. But aren't all cleat compatible shoes stiffer? Can you get away with flat bottom shoes in a pinch with these pedals?
  • 2 0
 DX for the win - your shoe actually makes contact with the nylon, unbreakable cage, pins or not.
  • 5 3
 And it's got 'ti' in the name why???? Ti one on? Ti to go?
  • 1 3
 So you don't know "why ti"? Really?
  • 6 0 mean T1?
  • 2 1
 Yeah they're nearly identical to Shimano XT, probably not really as good and more expensive, but I like the colours
  • 1 0
 You're assuming I have a mouse problem now.
  • 1 0
 I've ridden ht for a while now. Solid stuff all round Love their AE03s
  • 1 0
 These look great. But it's hard for me to walk away from Shimano XT's.
  • 1 0
 Comparing them to shimano counts as a pedal shootout.
  • 1 0
 I got Shimano M530 peachy no probs !
  • 1 0
 Can we have more component reviews. Atleast one a day. Thanks.
  • 1 0
 Not good in mud? That's what mallets are for.
  • 1 0
 I love mine!
  • 5 8
 Looks like an XT Trail.
  • 13 0
 You really have to session them to tell the difference.
Below threshold threads are hidden

Copyright © 2000 - 2023. All rights reserved.
dv42 0.042921
Mobile Version of Website