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PNW Components Loam Pedal flat pedals review

PNW’s first flat pedal is more miss than hit

Our rating 
2.5 out of 5 star rating 2.5
GBP £74.00 RRP | USD $99.00
PNW Components Loam Pedal mountain bike flat pedals

Our review

A convex profile and large central axle housing significantly reduce grip, something its sharp pins can’t make up for
Pros: Sharp pins; robust during test period; slim profile reduces ground strikes; lifetime warranty
Cons: Convex platform isn’t grippy; bearing bulge gets in the way; foot movement on rough terrain
Skip to view product specifications

PNW’s Loam Pedal is the brand’s first flat pedal, boasting a forged and CNC 6061 aluminium body spinning on sealed cartridge roller bearings.

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They feature 10 fixed-height pins designed to give a flat profile, where the outer pins are longer than the central ones, creating a flat surface rather than relying on the platform’s shape.

PNW offers a lifetime warranty with the Loam pedal.

PNW Components Loam Pedal details and specifications

The Loam pedals measure 104(W)x113mm(L) at their longest points, but the edges taper in to 90mm. The edges are gently rounded rather than chamfered, but at 9mm, they’re thin at their narrowest point.

The central axle housing is the pedal’s thickest section, measuring 16mm deep along its length. This gives the pedal body a convex shape, however the length of the pins flattens out its overall profile.

It has 10 pins around the perimeter, with an 11th single pin on one of the central ribs.

PNW Components Loam Pedal mountain bike flat pedals
The 11 pins are screwed into the platform, with an Allen key fitment accessed by a hole on the backside.
Ian Linton / Our Media

The pins are screwed into the platform from their respective sides, but the Allen key fitment to do this is accessed via a small hole on the backside of the platform.

This design, PNW claims, means your shoes will stick to the pedals in rough terrain, but repositioning them is still possible.

There’s a large inboard bearing with a corresponding bulge to the side of the pedal’s contact area. My pair of test pedals weighed 448g.

PNW Components Loam Pedal performance

I was expecting the Loam’s large platform to provide plenty of grip and stability on the trails. Unfortunately, the convex shape and bulbous central axle housing limits the platform’s effectiveness, reducing pressure on the pins and hindering traction.

I could feel the axle housing through my feet, especially when I had slipped forwards on the pedals with my feet positioned closer to the centre.

My feet would regularly twist and move about on the platforms, frequently contacting the inboard bearing bulge and pedal crank.

PNW Components Loam Pedal mountain bike flat pedals
The Loam Pedal’s convex shape and bulbous central axle housing limit effectiveness.
Ian Linton / Our Media

Once here, grip was further reduced because less of my foot was in contact with the grippy pins.

Despite the pins levelling off the pedal’s overall profile, effectively flattening it out, their location means they can’t elevate the central portion of your shoe to stop it resting on the housing, resulting in reduced grip.

However, the rear-loading pins are easy to remove, and the slim profile proved to brush off ground and rock hits well.

How we tested

We’ve tested 13 flat pedals for mountain bikes in some of the harshest conditions on a host of terrain types – from bumpy on-the-gas sections through to flat-out rough and worn downhill tracks – to see how much grip they offer and help you find the perfect companion.

You can also find our top-rated reviews in BikeRadar’s guide to the best mountain bike pedals.

Also on test:

PNW Components Loam Pedal bottom line

It’s a shame the PNW Loam’s body shape is convex rather than concave. Had the pedals’ leading, trailing and outer edges all been thicker than the axle bulge, I’m sure they would have performed exceptionally.

The long, sharp pins do mitigate some of the issues created by the deep axle housing, but not enough to redeem them on the trail with increased traction.

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Their lifetime warranty might appeal to some, however.

Product Specifications

Product

Price GBP £74.00USD $99.00
Weight 448g (104(W)x113(L)x16(D)mm) – as tested
Brand Pnw component

Features

Features Body material: CNC 6061 aluminium
Pins: 22 Replaceable pins per pedal