A Useful Review – The RaceFace Chester Pedal

In a continuing effort to get more of you fuddy-duddy mountain bikers off clipless pedals and onto flats, I bring you the RaceFace Chester flat pedal. It’s nylon. It has a large platform and 8 traction pins, so not only is it affordable, in fact they’re currently on sale for $39.99 a pair, down from $59.99, it’s also a great starter pedal that gives you solid traction and a wide variety of possible foot positions.

Briefly, why would you even consider switching to flats? One, because the easier bail out lets you take on more challenging technical obstacles with less fear of catastrophic injury. This might include drops or jumps, but could be skinnies or rock rolls too. Two, because it’ll tune up your bike handling skills. Three, because in many ways flat shoes and pedals are more comfortable than what you’ve been riding all these years.

The Chester’s got sealed cro-moly axles, and the bearings are serviceable, so you can clean and regrease and ride these pedals for multiple seasons. Despite being nylon, I have bashed mine about a million times without breaking them.

Also, they come in 9 different colors. Purple? Green? Magenta? Yup. I’ve been riding them for two years now, and in the back of my mind I’ve considered upgrading to a metal pedal, but every time I look at what’s out there, I hesitate, because the Chester does the job so very well. If I had one knock on them, I’d say the platform is possibly too large, but again, as a starter pedal for folks just getting used to flats, I’d say it’s more of a pro than a con.

To be able to get a pair for $40 just lowers the barrier to entry for those of you who have been thinking about making the switch to flats. Why not give it a try?

Of course, you know who else makes a good flat pedal…that’s right. Shimano does.

Join the conversation
  1. dr sweets says

    Chesters are kind of hard to mess with as an intro to flat pedals especially at that lower cost. If readers want to save even more you can find an amusingly named knockoff version of them on the website named after the S American river. Once anyone gets into it, there are options that add nuance as well as more grip and durability. To that, my only gripe with Chesters is their lack of concavity. Once you ride a flat pedal with some concavity the “locked in” feel becomes very noticeable versus the flat or convex pedals out there. DMR V11’s are close to the same cost, but due to their concavity are noticeably more grippy.

  2. bart says

    Thanks Robot. This is what I was looking for. I’ve been following your advice on getting setup on an entry level mountain bike and so far I’m having a blast. The last time I bought a mountain bike was around 2002. Things have changed a lot!

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