It's time to hop back on board the Crankbrothers band wagon because these Mallet E pedals have knocked it out of the park.
Words and Photos: Robert Conroy
Mallet DH pedals have long stood in the Crankbrothers line up - known for their impressive aesthetic, but less so for the feel of their clip ins which often felt lacking in engagement. Realiability as a whole affected Crankbrothers products and for the large part that was reason enough to steer clear. Times change, new staff arrive and the entire range of Crankbrothers products has seen a re-boot. I have to admit to being a stubborn SPD user and it takes a fair bit to sway me, but after I used these I was happy to be persuaded.
Crankbrothers Mallet E pedals are, if you haven’t guessed, the enduro designated pedals of the Mallet range. With a thinner profile than the Mallet DH, they are made of two single pieces of aluminium connected by resin and a chromoly spindle. They have a concave platform with replaceable/interchangeable traction pads. More on that in just a bit. As well as six adjustable pins per side, they tip the scales at just 425 grams for the pair.
The Mallet E pedals are two stunning pieces of machine worked bicycle componentry. It almost felt wrong to be putting such a finely finished product into the wild. The metallic blue simply gleans. Clipping in the pedals allow for a 15 or 20 degree release angle, but I felt no need to switch away from the stock 15. The first clip in was much easier than I recalled as well, in motion and in ease of entry. When adjusting my foot, there is certainly more float available with my all-mountain shoes, and the grip level is something I haven’t felt elsewhere. The six pins, the concave shape and the traction pads all helped toward maximum grip.
On the trail, the feeling doesn’t change. Clipping in and out quickly becomes second nature and the more subtle cleat engagement means it’s a lot easier to get up to speed. Dropping a foot on a section of trail can often mean riding a section on your toes, either having to slow up and stop or miraculously re-clip on your way down. This is where the Crankbrothers interface shines. The loose clip in point can easily be wriggled into and the concave body and pin structure, coupled with an all mountain shoe, offers ample support. It means you can get your mind back on track to attack the trail at hand. In short, they give the feel of a flat pedal with all the benefits of being clip-ins.
It’s not all sunshine, occasionally there is rain. The Mallet E pedals ride well when there is plenty of water to cycle through but as soon as conditions grow muddy things get a little more difficult. Suffice to say, much like its predecessors, they do not deal well with mud. That’s not to say you will be unable to ride in the mud but it is more difficult to clip-in in those conditions.
It is now almost a year on and the Mallet Es have travelled with me around Australia, down the west coast of America and into a wet Scottish winter. Suffering almost daily abuse, these gouged and marked pedals have lasted through many a trying condition and look scant worse off than three weeks old. Given Crankbrothers’ previous reputation for reliability issues, I’m impressed. Not only that, they’ve taken over as my daily pedal and I can’t say I’m looking to go back.
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Grip levels
- Does not do well in muddy conditions.