If you’re a fan of CrankBrothers’ pedals (or not), the new Mallet Es have some great trail-orientated features, making them worth taking a look at.
While they look like miniaturised Mallet DHs, they actually have a similar width cage. What does differ is the Q-factor, which is identical to that of the standard Mallets. This means the Es sit 5mm closer to the crank arms than the DHs.
On the trail, this means careful cleat spacing is required on clumpier, skate-style shoes to ensure adequate crank clearance. That’s our only small issue with these pedals though, and CrankBros says you may soon be able to upgrade to the same length axle used on the DHs.
In every other respect the Es tick all the right boxes. The pedal platform has six adjustable pins per side, which come in handy if you’re struggling to clip in, and enough girth to offer decent support for flexier shoes.
One significant new feature is the ‘Traction Pads’. These small clip-on plastic inserts sit on either side of the spring mechanism and let you tailor the contact between the pedal and shoe. Though they’re tight to get off after use (a tyre lever is recommended), switching between the included different thicknesses does have a subtle effect on feel when clipped in and clipping out.
Where the Es really shine – just like most CrankBros pedals – is in the mud. The big openings in the platform clear crud well and we had no issues clipping in or out even when our shoes were caked. After months of hard use by three testers, all three sets are all still spinning smoothly with no play. It's something we couldn't say for older CrankBrothers' pedals, but it seems the new bearing, bushing and seal systems are working as intended.
The Mallet E's are part of CrankBrothers' entirely revised pedal lineup launched for 2016. Read the range details here.