I have never seen anyone at a cyclocross race on DH style pedals. None, even the Cat 4's. Must be a Cali thing.
Introducing the Mallet DH/Race: New Downhill Race Pedal from Crankbrothers
Today, Crankbrothers announced their new design for their “Mallet” pedal: the Mallet DH/Race. While intended for downhill racers, we can’t help but wonder if the stronger spindles and better mud clearance will make these pedals popular on the cyclocross circuit as well.
The original Crankbrothers Mallet has long been the most raced pedal in the downhill World Cup circuit. It has landed athletes on many World Cup podiums, not to mention a few World Championship titles along the way. When Crankbrothers redesigned the mallet in 2011, it featured a slimmer body that became very popular among all-mountain riders. However, it left the DH racers missing the platform they had been racing on—and winning on—for years. With direct feedback from World Cup athletes, Crankbrothers has added a new pedal to the mallet family. It’s a premium, downhill race pedal, designed specifically for World Cup racers. Introducing the mallet DH/race.
Over the last year, the engineers at Crankbrothers have been working closely with many of the top DH athletes to develop a new pedal that had the same shape and feel of the original mallet, but with many improvements to functionality and durability. This collaboration resulted in a pedal that truly stands up to the abuse of World Cup racing. During a year of prototype testing by the most aggressive riders on the world’s toughest DH courses, not a single failure was reported, and some riders even raced the entire season on only a single pair of pedals.
The Mallet DH/race proved their strength and durability again and again during a year of testing. After a season of taking the pros to countless podiums—and even taking Greg Minnaar to a World Championship—the mallet DH/race pedals are now available to take you down your favorite DH courses as you chase some podiums of your own. As Steve Peat says, with the Mallet DH/race, “you’ll have the right tool for the job.”
Mallet DH/Race features
- new design, familiar shape: The Mallet DH/race has the same profile as the original Mallet, with many new design features and all of the improvements of the new pedal line.
- improved mud clearance: The redesigned body is more open, reducing weight and improving mud shedding.
- more traction pins: The Mallet DH/race has eight adjustable traction pins, while the original Mallet had only six.
- lighter weight: Increased machining and a redesigned internal shape reduces weight.
- wider q-factor: The q-factor is increased a total of 10mm (5mm per spindle) to allow for a wider stance and better crank clearance with flat riding shoes.
- stronger spindle and spring: The redesigned spindle tests to be 50% stronger than the previous design, and the reverse-wound, over sized springs are virtually unbreakable.
- better sealing: New construction eliminates leak paths and greatly improves sealing.
The Mallet DH/Race pedals are already being raced by some of the best DH racers in the world. Sponsored riders include Bryn Atkinson, Danny Hart, Tracey Hannah, Duncan Riffle, Emmeline Ragot, Fabien Cousinié, Greg Minnaar, Steve Peat, Andrew Neethling, Mick Hannah, Myriam Nicole, Steve Smith, Damien Spagnolo, Justin Leov, among many others. These athletes were closely involved in the Mallet DH/Race testing and development process, and after racing the pedals throughout the 2012 World Cup season, here’s what they have to say:
Steve Peat of Santa Cruz Syndicate: It has been awesome working with Crankbrothers on the new Mallet DH/Race. We feel we covered all the bases and got the perfect combo of function, feel, and performance. Whether you’re popping down the woods for a play or hearing the beeps in a World Cup start gate, you can be confident you have the right tool for the job.
Steve Smith of Davinci Global Racing: Working with Crankbrothers on the new Mallet DH/Race was pretty cool. I’ve ridden Crankbrothers pedals since the beginning of my race days, and to be able to give a company that I used to buy pedals from and ride because I loved them input on making a better pedal was pretty awesome. Using the Mallet DH/Race pedals gave me the edge that I wouldn’t get on any given day. It is really cool to be riding what to me is the best pedal out there.
Mick Hannah of Hutchinson United Ride: I love the new pedal! I really enjoyed being part of the development process. I believe we have a lot to offer the process as riders who really push our products to the limit. I love the comfort and control I feel with the new Mallet DH/Race. It has great mud and debris clearance, and a nice wide platform.
Justin Leov of Trek World Racing: It’s been great to work with Crankbrothers on the new Mallet DH/Race. I would consider this to be the market leader in function for DH and trail riding, and being able to improve on the design was exceptional. Having feedback from the racers using the pedals is key, and we did our best to put it through its paces. At the World Cup level, a season of racing is extremely hard on gear, and to go a full season on one set of pedals in all conditions really speaks for itself as far as durability goes. Mud clearance is better, the design supports your feet well, and axle strength is just right.
Andrew Neethling of Giant Factory Off-Road Team: I am very excited that the new Mallet DH/Race pedal will become production. Crankbrothers has put in the work and listened to the riders to make a great pedal. The wide platform provides added stability when riding. The new axle design makes it super durable as well, although it’s a super light DH pedal.
Tracey Hannah of Hutchinson United Ride: I found the Mallet DH/Race to be a great clip pedal, it was strong when hitting on rocks and roots. The spring rate is perfect, not too loose and not too strong, my foot was securely on the pedal and I could easily release for slippery turns. As all Crankbrothers products the Mallet DH/Race is well made, durable, and looks good.
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Great review but what does this have to do with Cyclocross? Get the lowdown on the new TRP Disc Calipers coming out for us Molly! Thanks! Keep up the good work!
I see in your bumper to this review that you imply there are issues with durability with all Crankbrother pedals - issues that I have never experienced as a long time user of egg beaters and candies. In fact with the sheer number of these I see being used, I would expect to see a higher number of failures. If you have numbers on failures, I'd like to see them - otherwise explain to me why CXM is alway giving Crankbrothers a poor review?
The unintended bonus of this is that in March they will have replacement spindles available for these that I can use on my Candy 3s to get an extra 5mm wider stance per pedal. Great for those of us that need a wider Q-factor and have been scratching our heads trying to find wider spindles for our crank bros pedals...
@repsteindds actually i wish we could say we got paid to post this but it's not the case. no press release or review has ever been pay-for-play, but it's tempting when we look at the bills. Not sure if you've seen at your local race, but these type of pedals are quite popular among beginners at local races, esp among the crowd that are coming into cx as their first form or racing.
@MarcDettman I've had 3 sets of Candies fail on me in exactly the same way: the pedal body separated from the spindle. The first time, I thought it was just a bad set. The second time, I sent them back, and they repaired them. Then that set failed again.
I've never had any other set of MTB/CX pedals fail on me before, period. I always retired them in favour of something else. Shimano, Time and now Look have all weathered multiple seasons of riding and racing (straight through Canadian winters no less) with no problems at all.
I don't know what the deal is with Crankbrother pedals, but I know I'm not the only one that has those troubles. I'm glad your pedals have worked out, but that variability and inconsistency will keep me away forever.