Long Term Review
Crankbrothers Mallet DH Pedals
Riding the Mallet DH
It has been years since I clipped a cleat into a Crankbrothers pedal. It's a much more positive feeling than I remember. Entry is obvious and audible. Float is comfortable and generous. Release is light and instant.
I am swapping the pedals around between several bikes and shoes. Mainly I'm using a pair of Lake MX shoes that I'm testing, a pair of Five Ten Impacts and I've also installed a pair of cleats in the deep cleat trenches of a pair of Mavic Deemax Pro shoes for a more challenging look at compatibility with the wide cage of the newest Mallet DH.
Hammering uphill out of the saddle the additional support of the full bodied Mallet DH is immediately noticeable in the Impacts. It's less noticeable with the much stiffer Lake MX 332 shoes but placebo or otherwise at the end of a long day on my single speed I always notice my feet feel fresher.
Descending, the more natural float compared to other pedals allows for more fluid body English. Despite the very light release action I have not experienced a single accidental release. Local conditions have been abnormally dry and a frightening combination of moon dust and loose-over-hard soil has made the riding more rowdy than usual. Foot out flat out it's confidence inspiring to be able to slam my feet back on the Mallets and have an impressive amount of grip the odd time my cleat misses its target.
It is a ridiculously easy five-minute-max job to re-grease the Mallet DH pedals. This service is performed with a 6mm and 8mm hex key and an 8mm socket and it can be done without removing the pedal axles from the cranks.
In addition to the initial teardown I did as part of my first impression I am pulling the pedals apart one more time to check for wear and re-grease them. As with my Crankbrothers Highline dropper post experience (still working as new) I intend to keep riding the Mallets until a problem occurs.
The $25 (USD) standard refresh kits include a tool to remove and install the bearings and bushings and it's a quick and easy job albeit one that has not been necessary for these pedals to date.
I am starting to see a very slight amount of cosmetic wear on the polished part of the tool steel pedal axle where it contacts the IGUS bushing in the pedal body. This is only a monitoring concern at this point but I appreciate being able to buy an axle kit, including all the parts of the refresh kits for $50 (USD) if I need it.
As clip-in pedals expand in size and complexity from the basic layout of an SPD XC model compatibility becomes more and more of a question. In addition to a large body the new Mallet DH pedals have rubberized traction pads and eight adjustable traction pins per side.
One factor that eases compatibility is that the Mallet pedals come stock with the wider of the two axle options that Crankbrothers produces. With a 57mm q-factor pedal/crank interference is not an issue.
The eight traction pins can be bottomed right into the pedal bodies and this combined with shimming cleats should allow compatibility between any shoe and pedal.
Excellent performance, simple service, rebuild kits and tech manuals readily available, concave pedal shape and traction pins for un-clipped grip and a five year warranty; the Mallet DH is a polished product in the same vein as the Highline dropper posts.
Like any flat pedal the wide body tries to eat rocks regularly and is already starting to look like crap. That's not a structural concern but spending $170 (USD) on a pair of pedals it would be nice to have them stay looking fresh. The simple solution would be to offer the Mallet DH in the same silver finish as the new Stamp 3 pedals.
It's easy to cynically dismiss the second coming of Crankbrothers until riding the product. Between my experiences with the Highline dropper post and these Mallet DH pedals I'd be willing to give any of their new releases an honest shot.
Anyone considering the same can get more information on the $170 (USD) Mallet DH pedals here.