Review: Speedplay Brass Knuckles Flat Pedals

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In Issue #113 of Singletrack Magazine, we tested 17 different pedals as part of our Flat Pedal Group Test.

These were the shiniest pedals in the grouptest, both literally and metaphorically, as they were polished to a mirror finish and loaded down with almost all of the features you’d expect from a high end flat pedal.

speedplay flat pedal group test issue 113 brass knuckles
Exotic Brass Knuckle flat pedals from Speedplay.

They run fully on bearings with no bushings. The crank end contains two cartridge ball bearings, while the outer end of each axle carries a needle roller bearing. A grease port lets you keep them lubed without having to dismantle the pedals every time they need attention.

The pins have a proprietary star shape that looks like an inverted torx head, and in the box were five spare ones plus a special tool for removing and installing them. Like most flat pedals, Brass Knuckles use an M4 pin thread, so you could also put longer ones in if you wanted to (as I’ll talk about shortly).

speedplay flat pedal group test issue 113 brass knuckles
The pedaly bodies are CNC’d from aluminum, then polished for durability.

The finish on these is absolutely immaculate: the sculpted and polished shape is pleasant to handle. They feel like a quality product, and they’re certainly a nice bit of bike jewelry. They’re also quite thin with a claimed 13.5mm body thickness, though the bits that contain the 12mm axle are more like 17mm. Because of that, there’s very little concavity to be found. The top of the pins and the top of the axle bulge have a height difference of just 1.5mm.

speedplay flat pedal group test issue 113 brass knuckles
Speedplay claims a 13.5mm thickness, but the Brass Knuckles are more like 17mm around the axle.

This makes them very flat, and extremely easy to move your feet around on, even in bone dry weather and dedicated flat pedal shoes. It’s not like your feet slide straight off them or anything, but enough to be a bit disconcerting. Be prepared for your feet to suddenly exit frontwards in the event of a bad pedal strike or inertia crash though.

I found the grip of the standard pins incredibly lacking, probably due to how short they are, so replaced them with a variety of grub screws and socket caps. While the whole body has through holes, not all of them have clearance at the back for a socket cap head. With longer pins in, they suddenly became a useful pair of pedals that didn’t make me hold back on descents.

speedplay flat pedal group test issue 113 brass knuckles
The stock pins aren’t particularly long, and lack sufficient bite.

Though the bodies are CNCed aluminium and the plate thickness may not look that beefy on first inspection, toughness was very good: One big rock strike that would normally take pins out and maybe dent a lesser pedal body did nothing more than make scratches.

The one other thing that stuck out was that, while the bodies are very nice looking, they are absolute mud traps. Even on a fairly dry day up on the moors, the outer corners quickly packed out with dirt. I decided to leave it and see if it would stay there, and the dried plugs of mud were still rattling around in there a month later. I can’t imagine them doing much to shed winter filth quickly.

speedplay flat pedal group test issue 113 brass knuckles
These are very tough and well-made pedals, but they are total mud traps for wet weather riding.


Speedplay Brass Knuckles are very strong, high quality pedals, but they feel like they were designed and tested somewhere nice and dusty. Lovely bike jewellery as they are, the low amount of grip lets them down for choppy descents and wet weather, and the body design is unfortunately great at holding on to mud.

Review Info

Brand: Speedplay
Product: Brass Knuckles
From: iRide,
Price: £159.99
Tested: by David Hayward for 2 months

David started mountain biking in the 90’s, by which he means “Ineptly jumping a Saracen Kili Racer off anything available in a nearby industrial estate”. After growing up and living in some extremely flat places, David moved to Yorkshire specifically for the mountain biking. This felt like a horrible mistake at first, because the hills are so steep, but you get used to them pretty quickly. Previously, David trifled with road and BMX, but mountain bikes always won. He’s most at peace battering down a rough trail, quietly fixing everything that does to a bike, or trying to figure out if that one click of compression damping has made things marginally better or worse. The inept jumping continues to this day.

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