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The 2013 Mallet is a downhill race pedal that blends the generous platform and shape of the original Mallet with the strength and durability of more recent versions. That first-generation Mallet had won favor with downhillers for its wide, comfortable platform and relatively low weight, but it was prone to breaking. To remedy the situation, Crank Brothers developed a heartier pedal. It proved more reliable, and was a hit with all-mountain and trail riders. But downhillers longed for the wide platform of the first generation.
Now, Crank Brothers believes it was found the perfect blend. This new pedal, called the Mallet DH/Race, has a shape similar to the original, but borrows the robust structure of later models. Design on the pedal began a full year ago, and prototypes were tested last season on the World Cup downhill circuit. That work culminated when Greg Minnaar won the World Championships racing on a pair of the new Mallets.
The new model isn’t a carbon copy of the original, however. It has an open body that should offer better mud evacuation. There are also two more traction pins, bringing the total to 8 per side. Crank Brothers also increased the Q factor by 5mm, so the pedal body sits slightly further away from the crank arm than the second-generation Mallet. The shift creates more clearance for wider-toe DH shoes, which can rub against the crank arm if the spacing is too tight.
The Mallet DH/Race also borrows many internals from the robust second-gen model, including the updated bearings, seals, reverse-wound spring, and a forged chromoly spindle that is 50 percent stronger than the original. Incredibly, the pedals shave a few grams from the previous iterations, weighing 479 grams a set.
The $140 pedals are in shops now, and we just received our first test sample so check back in a few weeks for a long-term review.