Best Road Bike Pedals Reviews And Buying Guide | Bikes Rider

When choosing a bike pedal, there are many factors you need to consider. First of all, decide the type of riding you’ll be doing? Do you want to go with the ease and flexibility of platform pedals or is the efficiency of clip less pedals your dream? Are you willing to spend a little extra or do you want to remain within budget while looking for the best road bike pedals?

The choice is yours. All we can do is to nudge you in the direction where you can get the best road bike pedals. Remember, all the aforementioned pedals won’t be best for you.

Having said that, the list is so diverse – and it contains pedals of so many different varieties, that it is nearly impossible for anyone looking a bike pedal to not decide what their favorite pedal is after reading the list.

best road bike pedals Reviews

Our pick

The reason why we chose this as the best road bike pedals is simple. A beautiful amalgam of feature and price, it deserves to be your choice.

Shimano A530 SPD Pedals

Coming with a large (93*78mm), firm, alloy platform on one side and a Shimano SPD clipless mechanism on the other, these pedals are the best choice for commuting, touring or any other type of riding provided remaining clipped in isn’t your choice.

Not only the platform is slightly concave – to allow your foot to stick to it in damp conditions, but the platform is also ridged for the same purpose. Also, if you are a newcomer who wants to wind his pedal gradually, the easily-adjustable cleat retention will allow you to do just that.

Taking a look at bearings, and despite the fact that the pedals are chunky, both of them have a pretty good weight and are fully serviceable.

Hence, if you are a new rider who wants to go clipless, these pedals merit your attention.

​​What We Like:

  • Perfect choice for touring and commuting
  • Ideal for new riders who want to go clipless
  • ​Cleat retention can be adjusted easily
  • Both the bearings are lightweight and fully serviceable

​​What We Didn’t Like:

  • Some users have complained about insufficient grip on the platform side

FINAL VERDICT

Although it is the most expensive pedal so far in this review, the above mentioned features go a long way in justifying its price tag.


Runners-Up

But for its depth, these pedals will have earned the title of the best road bike pedals. However, as luck has it, they are 2nd in our list.

#1. Shimano Unisex PD-M520 MTB SPD Pedal

Although a mere glance at its price tag will depress you – for it is astronomical, don’t just go away without looking at its features first. There’s a reason why they set its price so high in the first place.

These pedals have an alloy body which is supported by a steel mechanisms and an axle. Basically, they are designed to fight with the rigors of off road, and when you look how easily it sheds off mud and knocks, you’ve no choice but to agree with its manufacturer on this point.

On the road and you can install them on ANY bike – I had it on my mountain bike, a tourer, and urban, and they were dependable in all cases.

As for their service, you’ll have to do it on a yearly basis and it will require you – or an average rider for that matter, only half an hour to do the full pair.

Also, while they aren’t the most beautiful pedals you’ll ever get in the market, they aren’t the worst looking either. You can get them in black, white and silver to match your bike.

​​What We Like:

  • Dependable on any bike
  • Cope brilliantly with the testing terrains of off-road
  • ​Solid on the road
  • Entry and exit is very easy

​​What We Didn’t Like:

  • Bit deep if you want to corner at race speeds

FINAL VERDICT

If you are looking for no-nonsense, clipless, cross-country pedals – which are as good on the road as they are off it, these pedals are worthy of your money.


also great

#2. Shimano PD-R540 SPD-SL Road Pedals

Take out any list of the road bike pedals and it is inevitable that the name of Shimano will come forth. It is the quality of their pedals which earn them a place in every pedal listing.

First of all, these pedals have a large binding target that will make sure that when you clip them with your bike, the whole process is fast and easy.

To add to its durability, the pedal is made up of an amalgam of aluminum and chrome. While aluminum will give it resistance against rust, chrome imparts it with a beautiful appearance.

Also, while the above mentioned pedal was heavy, this one – standing at just 330g per pair, is the lightest you will get in the market. As for the axle, not only it is durable, but its sealed cartridge will make sure that it requires low maintenance over time.

​​What We Like:

  • Comes with a two-year warranty
  • Lightweight
  • ​Axle requires low maintenance
  • Float depends on the cleat – giving your foot full control over the pedal

​​What We Didn’t Like:

  • Expensive

FINAL VERDICT

There are moments in one’s life when price becomes secondary because the product lying ahead is so brilliant. This is one such product.


#4. Alston 1 pair Bike Road Bicycle MTB Mountain Aluminum Pedals

Are you looking for a bike pedal which, in addition to being smooth, also provides an anti-skid surface? If your answer is in the affirmative, this road bike clipless pedal from Alston merits your attention.

Starting from its material of construction, it is made up of Aluminum which – apart from making its upper surface comfortable and skid proof, provides the pedal with a big platform shape. Hence, if you are looking to go on a long ride, this feature of the pedal will come handy.

Move ahead and the efficiency of this pedal is also noteworthy. Any power you will apply on the pedal will be converted into force, before being sent to the tires. Hence, there is a minimum loss of power between the pedals and the tires.

Lastly, you might have seen pedals whose axle give way after a short period of time. Thankfully, since this pedal uses the impeccable CNC production, you’ll have no such problems with this one.

​​What We Like:

  • Anti-skid surface
  • Big platform shape of the pedal
  • ​Smooth ride
  • Axle is durable

​​What We Didn’t Like:

  • A little heavier

FINAL VERDICT

If you think you can handle the heaviness of these pedals, there is no reason why you shouldn’t go for them.


#5. SIDE SHOW Road Bike Pedal Rigid Super Light Bicycles Pedals Flat Aluminum

While all of us adore paddles which are thin, this one is too thin that it raises doubts in my mind. For, at 0.7*0.3’’ thickness each, this pedal might not carry weight over a prescribed limit.

Although the shortcoming cannot be compensated, Side show have done their level best to make for it. Hence comes the upper side of the pedal which is not only Non-slip but is also integrated with a dual side concave shape.

For those of you who don’t know it, the concave shape allows the pedal to give you pedaling efficiency and long ride comfort.

The bearing of the pedal is another area which gets a thumbs up from us. Integrated with a 9/16’’ casting boron steel, the bearing is not only stable but is very easy to install on first time installation.

​​What We Like:

  • Pedal is universal – can be used for any bike
  • Integrated with a non-slip platform
  • ​Good pedaling efficiency

​​What We Didn’t Like:

  • Pedal is too thin to provide long lasting usage

FINAL VERDICT

As is the case with many products out there, this pedal is not without its shortcomings. However, if you feel that its shortcoming isn’t that huge.


#6. Shimano SPD-SL Light Action Road Bicycle Pedals - PD-R540-LA

Shimano, with another pedal of good quality – although not as good as its previous entry into this list, has made an entry into this list. Let’s see what we make of this pedal.

Looking at its pedal platform, one wonders whether it is designed for amateur or world class road racers. Not only is it seamless, but the cleat interface is so good and the power transfer so efficiency that many road-racers use this pedal in racing competitions.

Moving ahead of the traditional SPD systems, this pedal not only has a wider cleat but its binding mechanism with shoe/pedal provides much better contact than its traditional counterparts.

Also, if you are looking for a platform which provides easy access for cleat adjustments, this pedal – thanks to its low profile platform, will do just that.

​​What We Like:

  • Range of tension is good
  • Easy to use
  • ​Provides good value for money

​​What We Didn’t Like:

  • Bearings might be slightly stiff

FINAL VERDICT

Apart from the slight stiffness in the bearings – which doesn’t hold true for all the cases, this pedal has no significant shortcomings.


#7. Shimano PD-R550 SPD-SL Road Pedals

If you are looking for a basic price pedal which comes loaded with top-end features, your search ends here. The Shimano PD-R550 has everything to keep both your pocket, as well as your feet, happy.

Although it is not at the level of the abovementioned Shimano masterpieces, this resin bodied road bike pedal comes packed with features. For, apart from offering a composite construction and a wider platform – which you could expect at this price, it offers a metal cleat which is replaceable.

In terms of clipping, it supplies a three-bolt, three-degree float which – thanks to its simplicity – makes this pedal as one of the easiest to use. Turning our attention to the spring tension and it is not only adjustable but also provides you with a huge range.

Hence, while you can start from the bottom, you can easily take advantage of the protracted tension range as your confidence increases.

​​What We Like:

  • Offers a composite construction
  • Replaceable cleat
  • ​Very easy-to-use cleat
  • Huge range of the adjustable spring tension

​​What We Didn’t Like:

  • The composite construction makes it extremely lightweight – rendering it susceptible in terms of a crash.

FINAL VERDICT

So long as you don’t crash these pedals, they will have the ability to serve your feet with aplomb.


#8. Shimano 105-5800 Road Pedal

Secure, wide, and easy to use, the Shimano 105 5800 is a very good pedal that comes at a decent price when you take a look at its features.

One feature of this pedal which enamored me the most was how easy its spring tension is to change. All you have is to push the adjuster at the back of the pedal in an anticlockwise direction with a 4mm Allen key to loosen it.

Looking at these cleats and it offers a set of SH11 which offers six-degree float. As for the weight, while it is listed at 285g, most users I know have the pedals at 276g. Thus, if you are always allured by the idea of getting something nice which is not mentioned by the marketing claim, these pedals deserve your attention.

Looking at its maintenance and it is very simple to maintain. All you have to do is to take the paddle axle out and after re-greasing it, just put it back again.

​​What We Like:

  • Very easy to maintain
  • Changing spring tension is also easy
  • ​Lightweight

​​What We Didn’t Like:

  • Weight comes less than marked

FINAL VERDICT

Ultimately, the type of pedal you buy will depend on the brand which will suit you best. But, at a decent price, these are very good pedals.


#9. Shimano PD-A600 SPD Road Bike Pedals with SH-51 Cleats

Provided that your shoes take two bolt cleats, you won’t get pedals which are as light and smooth as the PD A600s. Their true purpose is touring and commuting pedal, as long as you remain on the road, and that’s how Shimano bill them.

Since they are an Ultegra level pedal, people expect these to be as smooth and well-made and they aren’t wrong. Not only are they smooth but the sealing is brilliant, too.

Also, since they are single sided, expect them to get a little sketchy occasionally as you turn the pedal. Also, they take a good beating from their beats, which plays its part to desecrate their good looks.

One area where they lack is that they don’t offer much in terms of float. Having said that, if you want to adjust the release angle, you can do that by adjusting the Allen bolt at their rear.

​​What We Like:

  • Smooth
  • Well made
  • ​Release angle can be easily adjusted

​​What We Didn’t Like:

  • Don’t offer much in terms of float

FINAL VERDICT

Although their single-sided entry might turn some users away, these pedals still have a lot of quality, smoothness and light weight to lure others.


#10. Shimano Ultegra PD-6800 SPD-SL Pedals

For those of you who are looking for a low-maintenance, high-value pedal for everyday racing and riding, there aren’t many pedals out there that can offer the same effectiveness as this one.

Looking at its positive points and the wide platform has to be mentioned. Although it has become a part and parcel of all Shimano designs, it hasn’t disappointed in this pedal as well. Moreover, the tension is adjustable, allowing you to adjust it as your experience grows on the bike.

The three cleat/float options allow you to grip the pedal with aplomb and it is also little to no maintenance.

As for the lows, it would take a month or so for you to properly break in this pedal. Only after that its rear side will drop down for easy and comfortable entry.

​​What We Like:

  • Adjustable tension
  • Virtually require no maintenance
  • ​Three cleat/float options provide easy entry/exit

​​What We Didn’t Like:

  • Will take a month to break this one in

FINAL VERDICT

If you want a dependable Shimano pedal – that will last without making a noise and don’t want to pay for the Dura-Aces out there, this one merits your attention.


Types of Bike Pedals

Platform Pedals

If you are looking for pedals which are supportive and flat, platform pedals are the go-to area for you. They are the pedals which are the most used in the market. By providing your foot with the extra contact area, they provide it with the extra support to make it comfortable.

Clipless MTB Pedals

Those pedals which use two-bolt cleat system are known as Clipless MTB pedals. By allowing your shoes to connect them, these pedals impart your feet with greater control and power. Having said that, you cannot use these pedals by wearing ordinary shoes. For, they require you to wear shoes which support accommodate two-bolt cleats.

Road Clip-in

Unlike other pedals which utilize only one-half of the entire rotation of a pedal stroke, road clip-in pedals utilize both halves. Consequently, all the power transferred by your feet to the pedal is fully utilized.

To apply power in the downstroke, all you need to do is to pull through the rear end of the pedal – and apply power, in the same stroke. Similar to Clipless MTB Pedals, these pedals also require you to wear specific shoes.

Touring Pedals

If you are looking for the flexibility of a platform pedal – but don’t want to forego the added power delivery of a clip-in pedal, touring pedals merit your attention. Also, these pedals do not put any restriction on the type of shoes you have to wear. You can operate them either with or without a cycling shoe with equal results.


Bike Pedal Features

Float

Some pedals give you the freedom to pivot them slightly as you pedal. This pivot is known as float. Apart from being measured in degrees, float also determines the number by which your foot can move before the pedal releases it.

Some pedals are zero-float – means that feet remain ‘locked-in’ to the pedal at all times. Others are in the six-degree range. Ask bike riders, and most of them say that they prefer some degree of float because the wiggle room keeps their knees healthy.

However, if you are unsure about the degree of float you are looking for, there is no need to worry. For, the best road bike pedals mentioned below won’t lock you into one specific setting. Rather, you’ll be allowed to experiment with the settings before reaching your preferred one.

Cleat

Cleats are that area of the pedal that fastens it to the sole of your shoe. Take a look at cycling shoes and almost all of them have cleats which do the same function. Unlike floats, there is not a wide range of cleats available in the market.

Hence, if you were wondering which cleat would suit your pedals, go for a three-point fastening system by Look. It is a pattern which is most common for road bike pedals.

Also, don’t become too sad when the cleats of your pedals wear out over time. No matter which bike you choose – road or mountain, its cleats will give way over time. Cleats are easily replaceable and cost very less.

Reflectors

Either your pedal will have a front or rear reflector, it will have a space provided where you can bolt on the reflectors. Always go for pedal reflectors because they increase your safety if you ride frequently at night.

For, if your bike has no rear reflectors, a car or motorcycle driver coming from behind will not be able to see you at night. This could result in deadly repercussions. Hence, if your pedal has a reflector – we recommend rear reflectors, you’ll be visible from distance, increasing your safety.


How to Choose Road bike pedals?

Cleats

You already know what a cleat is from the above mentioned description. Now is the time you have to make your choice. Luckily, almost all the best road bikes come with three-point fastening system when it comes to cleats, so it has become a pretty much standard for road bike pedals.

Having said that, there are certain manufacturers – Speed play is one, which uses four-bolt pattern. Hence, if your pedal has come from Speed play, you’ll need four-bolt shoes.

Float

As stated above, the float is measured in degrees to suggest the amount of freedom your pedal will give to your foot. Some cleats give zero-float, which means that they will let go of your foot with the slightest of movements. Others, however, go for a 3-9* float. You need to keep one thing in mind: the greater the float you have, the more you’ll have to twist your foot to release it from the pedal.

Release tension

The amount of force your foot has to apply to disengage it from the pedal is known as release tension. If you are a novice in road cycling, go for zero/low tension because it will provide easy release. As you garner more experience on your bike, you can increase the release tension to get a more safe connection between you and your bike.

Stack height

The distance from the sole of your shoe to the middle of the pedal axle is known as stack height. Remember one thing: the lower the stack height, the best it is, for it will result in better efficiency by placing your foot in the proximity of the axle.


Conclusion

As you might have noted, choosing the best road bike pedals isn’t an easy job. You have to keep so many factors in consideration that choosing a road bike clip-less pedal which suits you becomes a hellish task. However, we hope that we have made this task easy for you by our research. Hence, whether you choose your road bike pedal from our list or from the market, the buying guide will come handy.

About the Author Daryl Monson

I am Daryl Monson. This is my personal blog, I’ll mostly talk about Cycling. I have an in-depth experience in writing about Cycling. I would also provide some information about bike and bike accessories. In short, you’ll find a lot of valuable information regarding bike and other bike related stuff.

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