We’re big fans of MKS pedals. They’re well-made, reasonably priced, and they’re offered in a wide variety of traditional and modern designs. Three of our favorite models are described below.
Lambda (aka “Grip King”)
The MKS Lambda (also known as the Rivendell “Grip King”) has a long but narrow platform. The extra length front-to-rear (118mm) provides excellent support for use with soft-soled street shoes, and the narrow width provides tons of cornering clearance. The Grip King lives up to its name when dry, but I’ve found it to be somewhat slippery when wet. While I appreciate the generous cornering clearance provided by the relatively narrow body, I personally prefer a pedal with a slightly wider platform.
- Cage Dimensions (width x length): 78mm x 118mm
- Width from Crank Arm to Outer Edge: 98mm
- Weight: 420 g
- Price: $54
The Sylvan Touring has been my favorite pedal for many years. I usually have 4-5 pair around to throw on whatever bike needs a set of pedals. It’s what many call a “Rat Trap” design that looks a lot like the old Campagnolo touring pedal. The Sylvan Touring is wider than the Grip King, but shorter front-to-rear. I like the fact that I can feel the pedal through my shoes (I often ride with Keen walking sandals), though some people find this causes foot pain. The wider platform reduces cornering clearance but feels more secure than the narrower Grip King under my foot. The Sylvan Touring is a steal at under $30 a pair.
- Cage Dimensions (width x length): 93mm x 63mm
- Width from Crank Arm to Outer Edge: 115mm
- Weight: 360 g
- Price: $27
The Touring Lite is MKS’ deluxe version of the Sylvan Touring. It’s lighter while providing slightly more grip and support. I’ve been told that the Touring Lite uses upgraded bearings from the Sylvan and it does seem to run smoother. Because the pedal spindle is narrower than the Sylvan’s and there’s no outside cage, I sometimes have trouble feeling the outer edge of this pedal. I still like it enough to use it on my daily commuter.
- Cage Dimensions (width x length): 93mm x 70mm
- Width from Crank Arm to Outer Edge: 105mm
- Weight: 320 g
- Price: $56
All of the above pedals use standard 9/16” chromoly spindles and aluminum bodies.