Best Bike Pedals: Sturdy Support to Keep You Moving

When on the hunt for a new set of bike pedals, you may find yourself a bit overwhelmed by the number of choices you have to pick from. Terms such as platform, clipless, float, and multiple release may work its way into the reviews you are pursuing, confounding your decisions even further.

We've broken down these terms in our article below to help you better narrow down your choices, and understand what it is you may be considering. The best bike pedals are the ones that work with your bike, the type of shoe you use when riding, and what is comfortable and preferred by you personally.

Best Bicycle Pedals Comparisons

Brand

Details

Our Rating

Imrider Bike Pedals

  • Weight: 0.88 lbs
  • Purpose: All
  • Type: Platform

RaceFace Chester Mountain Bike Pedal

  • Weight: 0.75 lbs
  • Purpose: Mountain Bike
  • Type: Platform

SHIMANO PD-A530 SPD Dual Platform Bike Pedal

  • Weight: 0.84 lbs
  • Purpose: All
  • Type: Dual Clipless/Platform

CRANKBROTHERS Mallet Enduro Pedals

  • Weight: 0.92 lbs
  • Purpose: All, Trail, Mountain
  • Type: Clipless/Platform

Look KEO 2 Max Pedal

  • Weight: 0.57 lbs
  • Purpose: Road
  • Type: Clipless

Importance of Bike Pedals

It’s important to understand what a bike pedal can do for you in terms of performance. First off, you have to be comfortable with your choice of bike pedal. If you feel that it is too wide, too narrow, or create less friction than you prefer, then your ride is going to be compromised.

If you are a competitive rider, this could be disastrous to your times, and even dangerous depending on the type of riding you are involved with.

Bike pedals are easy to change out, and finding the set that works with your own needs is well worth the little bit of time it takes to learn about your choices. Some are made specifically for efficiency and can help with every push, and pull you make to speed you through a course. Others are designed for stable foot placement to avoid slipping on the trail. No matter which you choose, you want to make sure you are comfortable with it for a safe ride.

Types of Bike Pedals

There is a surprisingly large amount of bike pedal terminology to pay attention to when choosing a set of new pedals. For the most part, these are similar in nature from one bike to the next, meaning- it doesn’t matter if you are shopping for a mountain bike or a road bike.

Another consideration you want to pay attention to is bike compatibility. Specialized bikes do require specialized care and add-ons. Always double check your bike can handle whatever pedal you choose.

Platform Pedals

Platform pedals are what most people think of when they picture a bike pedal. They are flat and provide a surface upon which to rest your foot to power your downwards stroke.

Pedal Toe Cages/Straps

Toe cages, or toe clips, work with an adjustable strap that attaches to the front of a platform pedal to allow you to both pull up on the stroke, as well as push down for more efficient energy use.

Clipless Pedals

Clipless pedals are actually the name of the type of pedal that allows you to clip your foot ontop the pedal itself. You can do this by mounting a small cleat to your shoe, or by wearing a specially designed show that works with them. This provides a high level of control.

Clipless/Platform Dual System

This hybrid pedal allows you to ride either with or without, a clipless system. These pedals are designed to work comfortably with clipless shoe systems as well as without.

Pedal Float

The term pedal float refers to how much angular rotation you get when your foot is ‘clipped’ into the pedal in a clipless system.

Some of these are fixed, whereas others allow for customization.

Lateral-Release Cleats

Lateral release cleats refer to how you remove your foot from a clipless system. You must move your foot laterally (or side to side) to remove your foot from the clip.

Multiple-Release

These cleats provide different angles than a lateral release and are more forgiving overall. Depending on the type you buy, you may be able to move more outward or inward- or even up to release.

Pedal Maintenance

Pedals are made to move, and because of the nature of biking, can often become dirty, grimy, and greasy. Regular bike maintenance is needed to keep your pedals moving as you expect, and to keep your ability to get in and out of a clipless system effortless. A cleaning brush and some good lubricant can help keep your pedals working and moving as they should.

How to Choose the Best Bike Pedals for Your Needs

Bike pedal choices truly are a personal choice, and not only should match your biking preference but your comfort style as well. Take into consideration the time you spend riding, what your biking goals are, and how efficient you are trying to be - whether you ride the road or trail.

Clipless systems are made to have as much power on the upstroke as down to keep you moving and in control, but they do take some getting used to. Platforms are made for quick on and off and provide maximum push.

Top 5 Bicycle Pedals Reviews

The following choices are based consumer reviews and highlight some favored products bike both bike enthusiasts, as well as those who simply ride for fun. These highlight some of the styles, shapes, and uses of various pedal designs to help you narrow down your choices.

Imrider Bike Pedals

  • Weight: 0.88 lbs
  • Purpose: All
  • Type: Platform

Imrider bike pedals are made for all bike types and riding styles. They are designed with a lightweight aluminum with a durable spindle for a strong connection. This platform pedal has an antiskid nail surface that provides a strong grasp to your shoe to help keep your foot from slipping. The bearing action is smooth for an easy feel when riding both the road and trail, plus the variety of colors can be paired with your bike for a fun addition to your bike look.

Pros

  • Smooth bearing action
  • Nail surface helps keep feet in place
  • Durable and long lasting

Cons

  • Might not be the best for drops or jumps
  • Might be a little narrow for some people

Who Should Purchase This Product:

Made for platform enthusiast, these pedals grip your shoes and keep your feet where they need to be. If a lightweight, durable design is a much- these are worth checking out.

RaceFace Chester Mountain Bike Pedal

  • Weight: 0.75 lbs
  • Purpose: Mountain Bike
  • Type: Platform

RaceFace makes a sturdy product, and their Chester Mountain Bike Pedal is no exception. These nylon composite pedals are incredibly durable and encompass a Chromoly steel axle for maximum use. With 8 pins on each side, these are adjustable, and replaceable, to ensure you get the best aggressive grip possible no matter what terrain you are tackling. The breaking and brushing system is also accessible for service for a long lasting product.

Pros

  • Easy maintenance- just grease
  • Low weight and very durable
  • Excellent traction

Cons

  • Some pins may not adjust properly and need replacing
  • Might not be quite wide enough

Who Should Purchase This Product:

Customize your bike with the great range of colors these pedals come in and know your foot is going to be stable in just about any situation. These are made for aggressive riding and are considered an industry standard.

SHIMANO PD-A530 SPD Dual Platform Bike Pedal

  • Weight: 0.84 lbs
  • Purpose: All
  • Type: Dual Clipless/Platform

Shimano is an industry go to due to their wide variety of bike product options. These clipless/platform dual pedals are no exception and provide an easy platform riding experience, as well as a more aggressive SPD cleat to clip into for more serious adventures. This is considered the lightest pedal the company makes and is a Chromoly spindle with a durable steel body for durable use. With an adjustable float, entry and release, their product covers all the bases for your riding needs.

Pros

  • Great versatility
  • Good bearing movement
  • Does not flip to the heavier clip side like other models

Cons

  • Platform side a little slick
  • Paint can chip

Who Should Purchase This Product:

If a good all around, light-weight pedal choice is on your list, this is an excellent consideration. The design is made to handle long, competitive rides, but also work for a casual trip to the store.

CRANKBROTHERS Mallet Enduro Pedals

  • Weight: 0.92 lbs
  • Purpose: All, Trail, Mountain
  • Type: Clipless/Platform

Crankbrothers products are another popular brand in the bicycling industry. The spindle of the Mallet Enduro is of Chromoly steel for excellent durability and stability, with a lightweight aluminum body and stainless steel wings for long-lasting performance. This clipless system has a 15/20 degree release angle, but also can be used as a platform choice that provides an adjustable hold with 6 pins per side for grip.

Pros

  • Easy to clip out
  • Very versatile and durable
  • Comfortable platform size, good grip

Cons

  • SPD cleats do not work with it
  • No adjustability

Who Should Purchase This Product:

Made for aggressive riding, these pedals are a popular choice that allows a dual ride system for both clipless and durable platform grip. Available in a wide variety of colors, these are well worth your consideration.

Look KEO 2 Max Pedal

  • Weight: 0.57 lbs
  • Purpose: Road
  • Type: Clipless

The Look KEO 2 Max Pedal has a steel wear plate, and yet is extremely lightweight and durable. The stainless steel cleat contact area and oversized axels make this a comfortable ride. The axel is also sealed for increased longevity. They also are considered a superior grip, and are easy to get into and out of and have a forgiving release.

Pros

  • Very easy to get in and out of
  • Durable and long lasting
  • Turns smoothly

Cons

  • Winged extensions could shear off if improperly used

Who Should Purchase This Product:

If easy to use, lightweight clipless pedals are a must, these are a choice made to last that turn efficiently and are simple to maintain.

Conclusion

A good bike pedal can make a pretty significant difference to your biking experience, and allow you the power to push into a competitive state. Whether you prefer a clipless design or a platform, there are plenty of options to take advantage of to fit your personal needs. Remember to pay close attention to fit and comfort, as well as overall make to ensure you get the pedal you need for efficiency and performance. If you have any questions or comments, or even personal experience with any of our top picks, please share with us below!

Leave a Comment