Pared down in size for greater ground clearance
The new Crank Brothers Mallet E features most of what we love about the burly Crank Brothers Mallet DH but in a slimmed-down package.
At a glance, the Mallet E shares the characteristic Mallet profile, but on closer inspection you can see it has been pared down to provide a lighter pedal with better clearances for tight trails.
The Mallet E’s aluminium platform has six adjustable pins per side and also uses Traction Pad Technology. This consists of two replaceable plastic plates that sit either side of the clip mechanism and help to provide a solid interface with the shoe. Two different thicknesses are supplied and switching between is simply a case of sliding one out and swapping over.
Setting up the Mallets took a little more tweaking thanks to the lower profile of the brass cleat. The Specialized 2FO test shoes wouldn’t engage with the mechanism without using the provided spacer and reducing the height of the pins. Talking about the pins, not all of the forward pins can be properly wound in to the pedal body thanks to the shallower body. Once set up though the Mallet E provided one of the easiest engagements and unlike Crank Brothers pedals of the past is accompanied by a nice clear snap.
Thanks to the four bar, rotating mechanism you can pretty much engage in any direction, even straight down. Plus, the open design makes the Mallet the best performing pedal in mud, the action of engagement seems to squeeze any mud away from the cleat. But it’s the shaping of the Mallet E that hinders performance, the cut away edges, combined with the added play of the mechanism leaves the foot feeling less supported even than the much smaller XT Trail.