Review: Burgtec MkIII Penthouse Flats
August 24th, 2011
Every brand has a stand out defining product in it’s range and for Burgtec, it’s their pedals. Burgtec is built upon the foundations of quality over everything else and delivering products that not only surpass the needs of the market at large, but are also desired and quite often sourced over personal sponsors products by those at the very top of the sport. Penthouse Flats have been used over the years by some of the sports most defining athletes: Chris Kovarik, Nathan Rennie, Brendan Fairclough and Sam Blenkinsop to name just a few and in 2011, Kiwi phenom Brook Macdonald has once again put the Burgtec “Flat Pedal Thunder” stamp on several World Cup podiums, solidifying that if you want or need pedals that are capable of more than the job at hand, Burgtec is still the defining brand, producing market leading, no compromise flat pedals…
Words and Photos: Olly Forster
These aren’t my first Burgtec pedals; as a long time lover of the sticky rubber sole and the large platform pedal, the Penthouse Flats have always been an item I’ve kept as a solid addition to my bike builds over the years and with the delivery of the 2011 MKIII’s, introducing a lower weight, thinner platform and overall improved design, I was pretty excited to get them on the bike and trackside.
The new pin design is unique to the Penthouse Flats and are designed to break away when coming into contact with trail interactions, which is good as these things are designed to smash all they encounter and not the other way around. The new thinner platform decreases any issue with today’s bikes and the increasingly low bottom brackets, but where some manufacturers have gone silly in producing pedals so thin they’ve had to settle for new fangled and often overly complicated, unreliable ways of housing the bearings, Burgtec realise just how important reliability and the ongoing ability to maintain their product functionality is, season after season.
Check the size of that platform! These are monsters and for good reason too. Flat pedal riding is all about freedom and connection with the track and having a big platform increases where your feet will land if your dabbing or using your Five Tens in the manner in which they were designed. Talking of Five Tens; the Impact’s design works with these so well, it’s ridiculous! The feeling and grip levels are unsurpassed and really inspire confidence when hitting the worst and best mother nature and the elements are throwing at you.
There are 3 major changes to the design of the MKIII’s over Previous Penthouse Flats:
>Lower Profile – The thinner pedal allows better ground clearance.
>Lighter Weight – A pair of mk3 pedals are 250 grams lighter than a pair of mk2 pedals. A major concern of racers nowadays is weight, but the major priority that remain is overall reliability and although lighter pedals are available from other manufacturers, Burgtec’s will quite often last a minimum of 3 seasons of solid race abuse and come with a 3 year warranty on the body and axle.
>Unique Pin Design – The new pin design allows damaged pins to be taken out with ease and where most pedals take the pin through the pedal, which can ultimately lead to the pin braking off and damaging the body, the new pin comes up through the pedal which allows you to remove the pin no matter how damaged the head is. Also; the the pin head has been designed with a breaking point that no matter how hard you hit an obstacle it will break before ripping the pin out – good stuff!
>Available in 8 Colours – Burgtec Black, Gun Metal Grey, Snow Camo, Race Red, Deep Blue, Stay Strong Camo and Raw Silver
>Huge surface area & pin design ensure grip when and where you need it most
>22mm thin pedal profile
>Easy to remove pins
>Pin has 4mm diameter and is diamond knurled for added traction
>1.5mm Dish allows your feet to sit into the pedal, increasing grip
>Fully CNCed pedal body machine from aircraft grade 204 2TG Aluminium billet
>Unique pedal body design allows all pins to be removed
>Weight 550g with steel axles.
>Titanium axles available as standard of aftermarket for upgrade
Price £155GBP Steel axles
Price £195GBP Ti axles
>Super strong axles for maximum power transfer from rider to bike
>Dual sealed bearing arrangement for smoother running
>3-Stage process on axle: plasma coating, nickel-plating, titanium nitriding
>Axles made from the finest EN24 T steel
>Fully serviceable every part is replaceable
>Maintenance made easy. Simple design allows for easy pedal repairs
So your looking for some new platform pedals and you come across the Penthouse Flats – what’s the first thing that springs to mind? Well, I’d say the cost and at £155 for the steel option, these are in no stretch of the imagination the cheapest on the market; so why would you go the extra distance and go Burgtec? For me, and indeed many flat pedal riders, we know all too well that our pedals are our most important contact point when things get hairy – providing you’re not running worn out tyres that is! Secondly, it’s that these ooze pedigree and above all else look indestructible. Knowing how many pedals some of us go through, getting the right ones from the off can be the ticket to save money down the line, and if you take your riding seriously, who wants to be caught with your pants down on a race week-end for a few extra quid/ bucks you could’ve spent in the first place.
These are also some of the sickest looking pedals available, are British through and through, and with the ability to strip, service and if required, source all the parts when needed to keep these running year after year – the price becomes far more reasonable when you weigh up the pro’s verse the cons.
Having had the pleasure to get to know the guys at Burgtec and indeed their athletes, this is a brand that operates like a big family and one that lives and breathes the world of off-road biking and understand the importance of products that when pitched against the demands of this rapidly developing sport, come out on top.
In a world where DH frames are costing around £3000, tyres often exceed £50 each and £400 helmets sell like hot cakes; is it really crazy to spend £155 on some pedals? Ultimately, this is a question only you can answer yourself. But if you don’t want to settle for second best and realise that in the end, these will outlast and eat for breakfast what other manufacturers are offering, and quite oftenly at similar prices, then the Penthouse Flats all of a sudden become an option that is worth taking a good hard look at and if you have any reservations, find someone with them (shouldn’t be hard) and have a feel. No compromise on quality, no compromise on grip and the original “Flat Pedal Thunder”. Recommended!
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