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June 4, 2019
Last modified: May 30, 2019

Get the lowdown on molded and replaceable metal pins

We’ve discussed in past articles the benefits of flat pedals—they’re simple, offer great support, and make it easy to adjust your footing on the fly. Here at iSSi, we believe the versatility offered by flat pedals makes them ideal for both all-day rides and single-track adventures.

What we haven’t done yet, however, is tell the whole story about the types of pins available on our flat pedals and what you should be doing with them. Why do some pedals have lightweight nylon composite bodies and molded pins, while others have metal bodies and replaceable metal pins? This blog will explore the differences among flat pedal pin options and implications for different riding styles.

MOLDED PINS

Perfect for commuters, casual cruisers, and comfort-first riders, pedals with molded pins make it easy to adjust your foot placement whenever you’d like. Molded pins offer a softer, less grippy contact point for your shoes, meaning you won’t wear out your footwear as fast, shred your shins, or tear holes in your fancy riding pants.

Pedals with molded pins can still be used on mountain bikes, of course; they can handle light off-road situations just fine. If you don’t think you’ll be getting full-on gnarly and you don’t want to carve up your calves too much, molded pins are a solid option. Our iSSi Thump pedal boasts a lightweight nylon composite body with molded pins, and it comes at a friendly price point.

Thump - molded pins
Thump - molded pins

THIN-PROFILE REPLACEABLE METAL PINS

Designed for gnarlier rides than you might take when using pedals with molded pins, thin-profile replaceable metal pins offer grippy performance for technical wizardry on singletrack. Their thinner diameter makes them sharp and pointy, providing dependable traction when you’re wearing soft-soled shoes. Those sharp points can do a little damage to your pants and skin, though, so take care when using them! Their narrow profile also makes these pins a little more susceptible to damage from rock strikes—particularly bending—but because it’s easy to replace the pins, you can still expect a good, long life from your pedals.

iSSi Thump RP features a nylon composite body like the iSSi Thump described above, but instead of molded pins, Thump RP uses an M3 bolt-and-nut combo. Out of the box, Thump RP comes with 3.5mm tall pins; remove the included 2mm spacers for taller 5.5mm pins. This pedal is a great option for off-road pursuits when you need lots of traction—at an accessible price.

Thump Replaceable Pins - 2 pin heights
Thump Replaceable Pins - 2 pin heights

BIGGER, MEATIER METAL PINS

Alright, so what if you want to ride even nastier terrain? What if you need your feet to stick to your pedals like pink sticks to a flamingo? We’ve got ya covered. For maximum traction on the trail and other off-road situations, a thicker M4 threaded pin does the job. The most common pin in this thread size is the grub screw—one that’s the same diameter from head to tail. That extra thickness helps them hold up even better against rock strikes than their narrower cousins, so you can literally do your level-worst on the trail.

Replaceable metal pins also make it super-easy to personalize your pedal for comfort, fit, and grip intensity, depending on the type of riding you might get into. Our iSSi Stomp XL pedal—a big, tough, metal-bodied flat pedal with a large platform for riders blessed with giant feet—features a flip-flop pin that offers two different pin heights. Install the pins bolt-side up for a shorter height (4.5mm) and traction will be provided by the pin head’s concave shape. Flip them thread-side up for taller pins (5.5mm) and maximum traction. Or, what the heck, mix and match your pin heights for a custom feel. At the end of the day, the thicker replaceable metal pins on our Stomp XL pedal definitely make it our most durable and versatile pedal option.

Stomp - M4 pins
Stomp - M4 pins

PUT A PIN IN IT

We’re not here to tell you what to do; there are all different kinds of pins for all different kinds of rides. Simply visit your local iSSi dealer to pick the one that does the thing you need and happy trails!