Fyxation Mesa MP Subzero Pedal Review: Four Season Flats
Fyxation’s Mesa MP Subzero Pedals are big, grippy, and designed around a durable nylon body with a chromoly steel spindle. Although they’re purpose-built with winter riding in mind, these pedals are certainly worth checking out if you’ve been considering giving flat pedal bikepacking a shot, no matter the season…
Flats or clipless for bikepacking? It’s a question that pops up for all of us at some point, and unfortunately there is no clear answer. We’ve already touched on a few of the benefits of riding flat pedals in our Flat Pedals for Bike Touring and Bikepacking roundup, which is worth a look if you haven’t already seen it. If I were to guess, I’d say there are more people out there bikepacking with flats than clipless, and every one of them would be willing to share their reasons for doing so. For me, I’ve never really given flats much thought, and transitioned from clipless road riding to mountain biking quickly. Although I completely understand how flats could be beneficial for bikepacking, I’ve stayed pretty loyal with Shimano’s clipless pedals. That is, until this past fall, when I had the opportunity to ride a pair of Fyxation flats during my time with the Fatback Corvus, as well as into the summer on my local trails. Most recently, I’ve put them on my girlfriend Emily’s bike, to add even more comfort and stability to an already incredibly confidence-inspiring setup.
Riding with flats makes a lot of sense for winter riding and fatbiking. Being able to abandon the bike without hesitation or fear of toppling over in the snow, especially when riding with a fully loaded bike, was all it took to convince me to make the switch. On longer rides in colder temperatures, flats allow for more foot movement, which can help keep toes warm and pedals spinning. Although the majority of cold weather riding was wrapping up by the time I got my hands on Fyxation’s Mesa MP Subzero Pedals, the large platform pedals were still greatly appreciated when riding the sloppy conditions during this year’s spring melt in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia.
Looking at the construction and materials of the Mesa MP Subzero pedals, it’s apparent that these make sense for winter and cold weather riding, making them especially suitable for fatbiking in frigid environments. The design is based around Fyxation’s popular Mesa MP platform pedals that use the same durable impact grade nylon body, sealed bearings, and full stainless steel pins. The Subzero model offers several exclusive colours with anodized stainless steel pins and spindles for some added flare. Even after smacking rocks, roots, and other low-lying obstacles, the pedals continue to spin smoothly and grip well, which may just tick all the boxes if you’re not already converted to platform pedal bikepacking.
After a few months of solid use between us, Emily and I took a peek at the innards of the pedals to see how things were faring. First off, the Mesa MP pedals are incredibly simple to service at home with basic tools and no expert mechanical knowledge. The chromoly steel end cap, sealed with an o-ring, is removed with a 6mm hex key, which exposes a nut that threads directly onto the spindle. Once removed, the spindle can be pulled out and inspected. And, if needed, the sealed bearing could be replaced. After finding clean grease and smooth bearings, I reapplied a bit more grease for good measure and put the innards back into their home, and the pedals have continued to work flawlessly ever since.
Coming from a strict clipless-only background, the grippiness of the pedals was one of my main concerns when riding technical and steep terrain. Fyxation uses eight replaceable stainless steel pins on each side, also electroplated to resist rust like the other steel bits on them. Although the eight pins may not compete with other platform pedals we’ve seen, I rarely had any issues with my feet slipping unexpectedly, even when using non-cycling-specific shoes. In the last bit of winter that I caught, the Mesa MP Subzeros paired great with my 45NRTH Wolvhammer boots. The nylon body helps keep your feet warmer than metal pedals would, and the footprint is large enough for a wide range of riders and foot sizes.
Emily, who has been primarily commuting by bike up until this past spring, has been using the same pair of Fyxation pedals on her Jamis Dragonfly. Paired with Salomon light hiking shoes – a great option for someone who wants a shoe that grips, hikes, and runs well – she hasn’t complained of any issues at all. If anything, she found the Mesa MP pedals a bit too grippy when coming from a cheap plastic commuter pedal, which I’m sure as we explore more technical terrain together – she will learn to love. For someone with a smaller shoe size, the Mesa MP Subzero pedals are large enough to provide ample traction, but aren’t overkill for Emily who wears a women’s size 6 US shoe. I wear a size 11.5 US shoe, and also found the pedals large and grippy enough for what I needed. Those with a larger than average shoe size may prefer a slightly bigger platform.
- Rust-resistant stainless steel finish makes them a fantastic option for winter and all-weather riders.
- Durable nylon body is light, strong, and will last a long time.
- Easy to service at home with just a few basic tools means long lasting and smooth spinning bearings all day, every day.
- Reasonable price will appeal to seasoned riders and beginners alike.
- Single bearing and bushing.
- Mid-sized platform isn’t perfectly suited to all foot sizes.
- Weight: 351g/pair
- Width: 105mm
- Height: 14mm
- Pin Spec: M3x0.5 x 7.5mm
- Price: $69.95
- MANUFACTURER’S DETAILS: Fyxation
The pair of Fyxation Mesa MP pedals I’ve been using (with some help from Emily) have seen the trailing end of winter in British Columbia, as well as a sloppy and wet spring that followed shortly thereafter. Since then, they’ve been along for a healthy dose of rail trails and singletrack in Oregon, Colorado, and Arizona. The easiest way to describe them is a no-frills platform pedal, especially for strictly clipless riders like myself or newer riders looking for as much stability as possible. Those taking on winter riding and fat biking should give Fyxation’s pedals a good look, as this is partly what they are designed for. But, fear not, the Mesa MP Subzero’s don’t stop working when spring arrives and the snow has melted!
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