Can You Put BMX Pedals on a Mountain Bike?

So you’ve recently started mountain biking and are looking to upgrade your equipment. One question that might cross your mind is whether it’s possible to put BMX pedals on a mountain bike. In this blog post, we’ll explore the compatibility between these two types of pedals and discuss whether or not it’s a suitable option for your mountain biking adventures.

The Difference Between BMX Pedals and Mountain Bike Pedals

Before we dive into the main question, let’s take a moment to understand the key differences between BMX pedals and mountain bike pedals. Both pedal types serve the same purpose of providing grip and control while riding, but they have specific features tailored for their respective disciplines.

BMX pedals typically have larger platforms with metal pins that offer excellent traction, allowing riders to maintain stability during jumps, tricks, and sharp turns. On the other hand, mountain bike pedals come in various designs such as clipless or flat options. The primary focus is on efficient power transfer through pedaling while offering grip when encountering different terrains.

Pedal Compatibility

Now that we know how each type differs from one another, let’s address the burning question: Can you put BMX pedals on a mountain bike? The short answer is yes; it is possible! However, there are potential considerations you should keep in mind before making any changes.

Thread Size Comparison

The first aspect to consider when swapping out your existing MTB pedals with BMX ones is thread size compatibility. Most modern bikes today use 9/16-inch threaded pedal axles—an industry standard across most bicycle categories—including both BMX and some MTBs. Therefore, if both sets of pedals share this common thread size requirement (9/16″), installation won’t present any issues.

Platform Size and Performance

While thread size compatibility is crucial, it’s important to evaluate the implications of using BMX pedals on a mountain bike. As mentioned earlier, BMX pedals have larger platforms compared to standard mountain bike pedals. This difference in surface area might affect your pedaling efficiency and potentially increase the risk of pedal strikes while riding on rough trails or navigating around obstacles.

However, if you prioritize a wider platform for enhanced stability during aggressive riding or desire the aesthetic appeal of BMX-style pedals, this trade-off may be acceptable.

Beyond Pedals: Other Considerations

Swapping pedals is just one element to consider when looking at upgrading your mountain biking experience. Here are a few additional factors that might influence your decision:

Rider Skill Level

Your skill level as a rider plays an essential role in determining which type of pedal will best suit your needs. If you’re relatively new to mountain biking and still developing confidence with technical maneuvers, sticking with properly designed MTB pedals would be beneficial for safety reasons.

Experienced riders who are comfortable adapting their technique according to different pedal setups may find experimenting with alternative options like BMX pedals more appealing.

Terrain Preference

The terrain you typically ride on also affects the suitability of specific pedal types. If you primarily ride rocky downhill trails or engage in extreme enduro-style riding where foot placement becomes critical for control and balance, specialized mountain bike flat or clipless pedals might offer better performance benefits over traditional BMX platforms.

On the other hand, if dirt jumps or skatepark sessions make up most of your riding routine along with some mellow trail cruising, using BMX-style platform pedals could provide adequate grip under those conditions.


In summary, while it is technically possible to put BMX pedals on a mountain bike, it’s essential to consider the potential drawbacks and whether they align with your riding style, skill level, and terrain preferences. The decision ultimately comes down to personal preference and a willingness to adapt your technique.

If you’re unsure about making pedal changes or simply want expert advice tailored to your specific needs, consulting with a local bike shop or experienced riders can provide valuable insights. Remember that choosing the right pedals enhances both comfort and performance during every ride!