To clip or not to clip? That is the question…
It’s a long debate with both sides having their advantages, and of course, everyone has their own opinion. The latter is probably the only thing that matters though; you should ride whatever setup feels the most comfortable.
At the helm of the various clipless pedals on the market is the Crankbrothers Mallet E, designed with heavy pedalers and all-mountain riders in mind. The full platform mixed with their egg beater clipless system provides the best of both worlds: a sturdy, nearly full-size pedal and a secure clip system. The whole mallet line is known for being a pedal that offers more contact and stability.
The new Mallet E has several upgrades from its previous version that make for an all-around better riding experience. The most notable is a new bearing system, which was the shortfall of the previous Mallet E. Now the pedals are equipped with two different types of bearings. On the outside of the spindle is a cartridge bearing that is designed specifically to handle the low-speed, high-torque requirements of a pedal. On the inside, next to the crank, is Crankbrothers’ Igus LL-glide bearing, sealed off from outside conditions by a double seal. The seal keeps out any unwanted dust or grime, ensuring a much longer life for the new bearings. After three months of testing the Mallet E, they were smooth as day one, where previous Crankbrothers pedals would have already needed several cleanings.
The Mallet E also has interchangeable track pads, which are designed to provide the best fit with any brand of clipless shoe. The idea is that you want your shoes to have contact with the platform, but if the spacing is too tight, the cleat engagement will not be working at its best. The correct amount of contact also utilizes the shoe tread to its full potential. The track pads are small plastic shims that slide in on either side of the cleat. With the variations being one and two millimeters in height, they are micro adjustments that help your shoes and pedals work together. The platform of the Mallet E is concave, so the points of contact are at the front, middle and back of the pedal. Up front there are four adjustable pins and two more in the back. These give the added grip of any normal pair of flats. The front outside corner of the pedal has a bevel that is designed to minimize hang-ups on pedal strikes.
At the heart of the pedal is the Crankbrothers’ egg beater clipless system. The egg beaters have a four-sided entry system for ease of clipping in. This also makes for a mechanically simpler system that has less space for mud to get stuck in. As Crankbrothers says, it provides “superior mud shedding.” The brass cleats can also be oriented to give either a 15- or 20-degree release angle, depending on your preference.
Weighing in at 419 grams, the Mallet E isn’t the lightest pedal on the market, but it isn’t designed to be. It’s a pedal that gives a lot of security, thanks to the contact points and the clipless system. If you’re someone who counts grams and is looking for the lightest set up on planet earth, these maybe aren’t your style. However, if you’re looking to maximize the efficiency of your pedaling with a clipless system, and also enjoy a sturdy pedal under your foot, the Mallet E provides exactly that.
Find out more at www.crankbrothers.com