Most of what we love about the burly Mallet DH but in a slimmed-down package
The new Mallet E from Crank Brothers features most of what we love about the burly Mallet DH but in a slimmed-down package.
With the mechanism sitting 5mm closer to the crank and an 8mm narrower cage, the pedal suits an enduro-style shoe best, such as the Mavic Crossmax or Giro Terraduro. Chamfered edges increase cornering clearance, and adjustable height pins front and rear, combined with a concave platform, offer good support.
Crank Brothers’ familiar stirrup retention mechanism holds the cleats, with an option to run either 15 or 20 degrees of float by switching the cleats between left and right shoes.
A key new feature of the Mallet E are switchable plastic plates, positioned either side of the retention mechanism. Dubbed ‘Traction Pad Technology,’ two thicknesses are supplied and it’s easy to change between them in order to fine-tune the height of your shoe’s sole atop the pedal platform.
There’s also a new bearing system, which combines a quality Igus glide bearing and an Enduro-branded cartridge bearing, protected by a double seal. The upgrade seems to work, as both pedals are still running smoothly after four months of winter riding.
I’ve been a committed Shimano-phile for many years, so it took me a while to get used to the lack of an audible click as you clip in and out. The extra float also felt a little alien at first, but soon became second nature, and I immediately appreciated the additional support of the cage.
I’ve tweaked the pins slightly — they can be backed out of the pedal body a couple of millimetres to increase grip, and I’ve also swapped to the thinner Traction Pads to lower the shoe in relation to the platform.
The cleat sits pretty tight to the sole, so I had to use the supplied cleat pad as a spacer, but once set up I found it really easy to clip in, and the broad cage provided enough of a platform for my feet on the rare occasions that I failed to engage first time.
When I started testing the Mallet E, I was looking forward to swapping back to my trusty Shimano XT SPDs, but that time has passed and I’m now sold on the Crank Brothers.
So, while the DH Race model still offers the ultimate combination of flat pedal feel and clipless security, the Mallet E is a great choice for anyone who rides with a stiffer-soled shoe and wants improved pedal clearance on rocky trails.