Burgtec Penthouse MK5 Flat Pedal Review


Words by Robert Johnston  / Photos by Adam McGuire

Burgtec first entered the flat pedal market way back in 2003 with their monstrous Penthouse pedal, offering durability that was previously unheard of thanks to their burly body and UK-proof sealing. In the last 20 years the demands of mountain bikers have changed, and Burgtec has slowly evolved their top-tier flat pedal into the version they have today: the Penthouse MK5. We’d been eager to get a set of Burgtec’s newest flats since we first laid eyes on them, so were stoked when they gave the Eurowolf a set to thrash for a few months as we approached the UK summer. The flat pedal market is full of killer options these days, so how does the Macclesfield-based companies’ offering stack up? Let us give you the low down.


The MK4 Penthouse flat pedal was treasured by many, and so for their fifth iteration Burgtec approached it from an evolution over revolution perspective. They kept the general formula and look similar but made tweaks here and there to further improve the performance of their ideal pedal platform, shaving weight and increasing grip in the process.

Burgtec Penthouse MK5 Flat Pedal Review

The Burgtec Penthouse MK5 is machined from a block of 7075 aluminum alloy, to produce a 100x102mm platform that measures in at 15mm thick at the leading edge and 16mm over the axle. The platform tapers down in front of and in the middle of the axle to just 13mm, producing an effective 2mm concave dish. The platform is offset forwards by 5mm to give the required pin space and place the support under the area of the foot where it’s most required. Eight pins are spread around the edge, with a 95x80mm footprint, to offer the desired bite into the sole of the shoe. These stainless steel pins have been slimmed down slightly over the MK4, now sitting at 3.5mm wide and 4.5mm high, and thread through from the back to facilitate easier removal when damaged. Crucially these pins are still the grub screw style, and the way that Burgtec has designed the platform means there is extra material below the pin to handle the biggest impacts.

The Penthouse MK5 uses two IGUS W300 bushes that are made from their most wear-resistant material to give a long life – one on either end of the axle – with a cartridge bearing on the far end of the axle and an inboard rubber oil seal to keep water and debris out. To produce an axle that’s thin enough to allow for their desired platform while retaining space for these durable bushings and bearings, Burgtec opted to machine out of EN24T steel which is nearly double the strength of your typical 4130, ensuring the Penthouse MK5 is ready to take the abuse of the world’s best riders going big. Weighing in at 382g (actual), with a choice of nine colors including some seriously bright anodized finishes to match your ride, the £120 Burgtec Penthouse MK5 hopes to be the ultimate flat pedal for aggressive riders.

Burgtec Penthouse MK5 Flat Pedal Review


The look of a flat pedal gives you the first signs to tell whether or not it’s going to give you the grip and support that you crave when pinning it downhill and suggest the likely outcome when you overshoot that landing to flat or clip that rock on the inside of a corner. In the case of the Penthouse MK5, Burgtec has slimmed the pedal’s overall profile down to the point that it no longer looks as if it’s going to weigh a ton yet retained enough aggression and menace to satisfy those looking for a pedal that means business.

The looks will never tell as much as the riding though, and that’s where things get interesting. In the hand, the Penthouse MK5’s are surprisingly light, with that smooth resistance on the axle that tells you that tolerances are tight and surfaces are slick. First impressions as the foot goes on are positive, with the slightly convex profile and thin – but not too thin – pins grabbing the shoe in a way that suggests grip will not be lacking. That said, the size of the platform under the foot feels smaller than it appears thanks to that 5mm offset on each side and falls short of many of the leading flats on size alone. For my US11.5/EU45 feet, the platform is on the lower limit of acceptable size-wise, so for many they’ll be more than adequate, but some riders may appreciate a larger real estate for increased support when charging hard. This offset can also increase the tendency for the foot to roll off the platform if you’re not evenly balanced over the axle, necessitating some careful foot placement in situations when the pedals are lightly loaded such as on technical climbs. The wider Q-factor compared with the previous generation pedal has improved the clearance between the shoe and crank slightly, though they’re still narrower than some and did show signs of a little crank rub when paired with the well-padded inside of the Etnies Culvert Mid shoes.

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On the trail, that concave overall profile really lets the foot sit into the pedal, so long as the sole of the shoe is adequately flexible. Stiffer shoes can float on top of the pins a little and fail to make contact with the recessed center zone of the axle, limiting the grip that’s generated by the natural “lock in” of the shoe. The 3.5mm wide pins will bite into a soft rubber just fine thanks to the threading of their reasonable 4.5mm height, but not quite to the extent of the more fragile (and skin-eating) ultra-thin pins that some spec. Through the months of abuse, including plenty of contact with trail obstacles, there’s not been a single broken or loose pin, which represents the highest order of pin durability I’ve yet to experience. I’d suggest that Burgtec’s design would allow for the best chance of pain-free removal if damage was to occur that I’ve seen, too, so I’ll have to extend applause to the engineer for this one.

The square leading edges of the Penthouse MK5 can encourage a little more hang-up than many pedals with chamfered faces all round, but it’s a sacrifice that allows the weight to stay impressively low given their assumed bombproof construction. Similarly impressive is their ability to shed mud thanks to the wide cavity in between the leading edges and axle, clearly a result of their home testing ground which spends much of the year covered in a thick layer of slop. Burgtec’s sealing and bushing/bearing system appeared to be highly durable on paper, and this ran true out on the trail with the same smooth running as day one, not a hint of wobble in any direction, and impressively clean internals when pulled apart. Burgtec has maintained the legacy of the original Penthouse flat pedal, and riders should expect the same bombproof performance for a long lifetime of abuse out on the hill. At £120 these are not a budget pedal option, but certainly an investment that should repay itself after surviving seasons of abuse that other pedals cannot.

The Wolf’s Last Word

The Penthouse MK5 isn’t the grippiest pedal out there but provides dependable performance that’ll give most riders the sweet-spot of grip they desire while withstanding a huge amount of abuse – both from rowdy riding and woeful weather. For riders who don’t demand the biggest and most stuck-fast pedal out there, the fifth generation of Burgtec’s Penthouse is pretty damn hard to beat for build quality and rider confidence.

Price: £120 (approx $160)
Weight: 382g (actual)
Website: Burgtec.co.uk

We Dig

Reasonable weight
Good traction compromise
Weather sealing
Pin design

We Don’t

Not the grippiest
Platform could be larger


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