Pembree is an eco-friendly brand that doesn't skimp on performance or build quality. Those two points ring ever true with the brand’s D2A pedals, which are one of the best MTB flat pedal options on the market thanks to the stunning aesthetics paired with an almost immovable grip. However, the lack of a real concave comes at a cost.
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Pembree D2A flat pedals - Technical details
To use Pembree’s words, the D2A has been designed as the ‘ultimate racer's flat pedal.’ But while they are meant to perform under the feet of the world’s quickest racers, they have been built to some seriously strict environmental standards, making them completely carbon neutral.
This has been achieved through a variety of methods. The first and most immediate of which is that all of the components are completely and widely recyclable. 'Recycling aluminium reduces energy consumption by 95% when compared to producing new metal,' says the brand. On top of that, Pembree’s factory relies on renewable energy and all swarf (excess metal from CNC machining) is recycled. Finally, the packaging is made using recycled materials, without the use of any plastics.
Onto the pedals themselves, their bodies are five-axis CNC-milled from aluminium and they rotate around a CNC-turned, stainless-steel spindle that’s home to two sealed cartridge bearings and an IGUS plain bearing.
The 10 stainless steel pins are designed by Pembree and are rather different to what we’ve seen on many pedals. Here, they’re stepped and pretty fat which should hopefully mean they can put up with many pedal strikes. Though, if a pin were to bend or face any other kind of damage, it can be removed from the outer face using a small socket or pliers.
As for measurements, the D2A comes in at 100x110x15mm with the width measured at the centre of the pedal. At its thickest point (at the centre) it’s 19mm thick which thins down to 17mm. While those thickness measurements suggest there’s a convex, that fatter measurement is at the outermost points of the pedal before tapering towards the centre back to 17mm.
The pedals are user-serviceable, and the service kit costs £25, which covers each pedal.
Pembree D2A flat pedals - Performance
Underfoot, that strange varying thickness can’t be felt and, generally, it’s an excellently feelsome pedal. But, before we get any further, the build quality is seriously impressive - matching, if not surpassing, that of Hope’s recent F22 pedal.
Pembree’s thorough attention to detail is very noticeable, as the pedals have clearly been meticulously machined, achieving a finish that’ll get even the snobbiest kit snobs salivating. The spindle is beautifully cut, too.
The D2A’s performance is nearly as flawless as the pedals look with that large platform resulting in a very secure hold that many will appreciate. Though, If I were to nitpick, I would like it to be wider. I ride with my feet a little more outboard of a pedal’s platform and with this one especially, I can feel the taper towards the edges. Then, because the pedal is a little narrower than I’d like, it takes a bit more care to achieve my ideal foot position after hasty foot-out action.
A slightly wider Q-factor wouldn’t go amiss but if you ride with your feet in a better position, you’ll get on with the D2A swimmingly. And in terms of length, this pedal is spot on.
With that niggle aside, it’s really tough to complain about the performance that the D2A offers. The grip is impressive and, when paired with my go-to Giro Latch or Leatt 7.0 HydraDri Flat shoes, the pedal offers a near-locked-in feel. It is clear that the D2A prefers a softer sole compound, with the harder rubber used on the Leatt clearly suffering a bit grip-wise over large, fast repeating hits. Over these sections with this particular shoe, I noticed that my foot could bounce off, which is less than ideal. This is due to the pedal’s flatter profile, as the pins aren’t forced into a shoe’s rubber as ferociously.
Everywhere but seriously rough sections, the grip results in that locked-in feel. But the pedal is so grippy that it can be tough to reposition a foot when necessary - but this particular foible is to be expected of an exceptionally grippy pedal. Niggles aside, the D2A is a cracking pedal that offers superb grip in most situations. Its stunning build quality just furthers the pedal’s rather excellent value.
As for durability, I've found no issue during my time with the pedal. It still spins free and after a good handful of pedal strikes, all is in working order. There may be an odd scratch here or there, but there's no premature wear in the anodising.
Pembree D2A flat pedals - Value and Verdict
The £130 price tag may seem like quite the investment at first but what the D2A offers, especially compared to similar pedals, is seriously awesome. Touching back on that Hope F22, they will set you back £145 and have a smaller platform which has an impact on the ride feel, in contrast with the D2A. Though if you have smaller feet, you’ll appreciate the F22’s platform size.
For £120, there’s the Race Face Aeffect R pedal and, while not as beautifully made as the D2A, the platform is better shaped and feels much more natural underfoot. They are lighter and are slightly more concave, too, but use top-loading pins accessed via an Allen key, which could spell a bit of a nightmare should you snap one.
Then there are pedals such as the Wolf Tooth Waveform which really brings the heat to the build quality department. Though they face a similar Q factor issue, with a deep concave which results in a more reliable grip over the rough stuff.
If you’ve got £150 to spend on a pedal and value grip, eco-friendly credentials and build quality, the Pembree D2A is the pedal to go for. The build quality is similar to pedals way pricier and the grip is immovable in all but the choppiest of scenarios. Though, if you ride with your feet naturally wider apart, you may be left wanting a wider pedal.