Up until the release of the mk4’s, the legendary Penthouse pedals were big, bulky and heavy due to their pure downhill focus. With this incarnation things changed and the pedals, while retaining their 102mm x 105mm platform, have a 16mm profile with all-mountain pedal weight. These titanium axle pedals came in at 370g with the steel axle version reported to be slightly heavier at 440g.
The dish on the pedals is 1mm (less than some other pedals on the market) and, with Burgtec having reduced the length of the bottom loading, stainless steel pins a little while ago; the level of grip on offer may be a question in some peoples minds.
To answer that question, the grip on offer from these pedals is awesome. The solid pedal construction (I’ll mention more about that below) coupled with the location of the 8 pins around the edges of the body means you’re solidly connected with the bike regardless of terrain. The one potential issue some may have with this is it can restrict your ability to shift around on the pedals when, for example, you’ve taken a dab on a loose corner and need to set yourself for hurtling into a rocky/rooty section.
The Penthouse pedals are renowned for their rock solid reliability which has been tested over time. The solid aluminium body on these current pedals stands up to big hits, as do the double bush single bearing internals. The added bonus you get with these more robust internals (compared to previous incarnations) is longer time between services.
One factor worth a mention here is that the axles on these pedals are quite short resulting in them sitting close to the crank-arm. Personally I like this, but if your feet are bigger than mine (I’m a UK size 7.5, US 8.5, Euro 41.5) you may find your feet rubbing on the crank arms.
As mentioned above, servicing intervals have been increased by the double bush, single bearing internals. When it does get time to service them though, you can refresh the bushings, bearings and seals in around half an hour using common tools.
Overall these pedals have provided months of rock solid performance with unwavering reliability. They sit at the higher end of the pedal price range but, ultimately, your feet are two of the four points of contact you have with your bike and, in my opinion, paying a bit extra for the performance and reliability these pedals offer is a bit of a no brainer.
If you’re going to take the time to practice, practice like the elite.