The HT X2 has a large platform and there’s a nice defined click to let you know that you’re in.
The X2 is another downhill pedal, and this one was developed with the help of two-time World Cup champion, Aaron Gwin. The aluminium platform is 5mm longer than the Mallet DH, but it’s thinner at either end and has fewer pins.
There’s a big gap between the front of the shoe and the platform, so there’s less support overall. You could adjust the height of the pins, but you’d then need to Loctite them in place. A simpler, and cheaper, solution would be for HT to just offer a longer pin.
HT uses a kind of hybrid mechanism to grip the cleat — the front mimics Crank Brothers’s, the rear is similar to Shimano’s. Being half and half does mean the X2 is a bit more open, so doesn’t clog with mud, and also has adjustable release tension — although the adjusters are not indexed, so it’s tricky to balance the tension across the pedals.
The cleat is steel and as such is much harder wearing than its brass equivalent. It’s pretty big, too, and we found debris often compacted between the cleat and edge of the cleat pocket on our test shoes. Two different thickness plastic shims and length bolts are supplied to space the cleats away from the sole.
Clipping into the X2 has a definite two-stage feel. You have to slide the tip of the cleat in first and then press down at the back — it’s positive, but the cleat can get hooked up between the cage and the back of the mechanism. On the newer T1 pedal, HT has actually angled the mechanism at this point to help the cleat slide up, over and into the binding.
The HT X2 has a large platform and there’s a nice defined click to let you know that you’re in. However, Crank Bros’s Mallet DH feels more supportive under foot, and with its four-way binding, is slightly easier to clip into.