The 10 Best Cycling Pedals of 2021

Customize your bike for the perfect ride

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Bikes are highly customizable. Everything from the saddle to the handlebars to the pedals can be personalized for you.

When it comes to bike pedals specifically, it's important to pick a pair that's optimized to meet your needs. For instance, road cyclists may want pedals that they can clip into and that help maximize the power and efficiency of every stride. Meanwhile, experienced mountain bikers may prefer a pair of platform pedals, which provide the flexibility to mount and dismount as needed. Luckily, no matter how and when you ride, there’s a pair of pedals out there that caters to you.

Here are the best cycling pedals on the market, based on both style and function.

Our Top Picks
Promising pro-level performance, these lightweight pedals ensure that your strides won’t feel slow or heavy.
Best Budget Pedals for Road Cycling:
Venzo Road Bike Clipless Pedals at Amazon
This affordable buy features a long-lasting pair of pedals, as well as a pair of compatible cleats.
Best Hybrid Pedals for Road Cycling:
Shimano XT PD-T8000 SPD Pedals at Amazon
Made with road cycling in mind, this hybrid design is ideal for touring, commuting, or adventuring.
Best Pedals for Mountain Biking:
Crankbrothers Stamp 3 V2 Pedals at Backcountry.com
Traverse through textured terrain with pedals designed to withstand the wear and tear brought on by mountain biking.
Best Budget Pedals for Mountain Biking:
Fooker MTB Mountain Bike Pedals at Amazon
Each pedal boasts a large open tread, which sheds debris and gives you plenty of room to rest your feet.
Best Clipless Pedals for Mountain Biking:
Shimano PD-M530 Mountain Pedals at Amazon
Compatible with mountain terrain, these pedals offer a more open design than other clipless options.
Best Hybrid Pedals for Mountain Biking:
Crankbrothers Doubleshot Hybrid Bike Pedals at Amazon
Switch easily between clipless and platform pedals with this pick featuring textured plates that offer plenty of traction.
Best Pedals for Indoor Cycling:
BV SPD Pedals with Toe Clips at Amazon
Two-sided and slip-resistant, these durable pedals are designed to last through countless cycling sessions.
Best Budget Pedals for Indoor Cycling:
Ybeki Exercise Bike Pedals at Amazon
A budget-friendly option for equipping your indoor bike with long-lasting, secure, and adjustable pedals.
Best Pedals for Commuters:
iSSi Flip II Pedals at Amazon
Made to withstand bumpy morning commutes, this pedal's versatility means you never have to change your routine based on your bike.

Best Pedals for Road Cycling: Shimano Ultegra R8000 SPD-SL Road Pedals

Shimano’s Ultegra R8000 SPD-SL Road Pedals are classic, clipless pedals that promise pro-level performance. The pedals are lightweight—a mere 248 grams—so your strides won’t feel slow or heavy. But light doesn't mean flimsy. These pedals have a carbon composite body and a stainless steel body plate, so you can trust in their strength.

Though road pedals come in a variety of sizes, this pair is specifically designed to be extra-wide. The additional surface area makes it easier to balance your feet on the pedals, and it ensures your weight is evenly distributed over each one.

Good to Know

Road cyclists typically prefer clipless pedals, which, contrary to their name, are pedals you do clip into with the cleats of your shoe. When your feet are clipped into your pedals, you don’t have to do as much work to maintain your position—the stiff sole of cycling shoes supports your feet so you're not wobbly with each pedal stroke. That stability makes each stride more powerful, thanks to the proper use of all your muscles.

Best Budget Pedals for Road Cycling: Venzo Road Bike Clipless Pedals

It can be difficult to find clipless pedals at a reasonable price point, especially if you’re shopping with quality in mind. Luckily, Venzo’s Clipless Road Bike Pedals are both affordable and well-made. The pedals are crafted from reinforced thermoplastic, resulting in a lightweight feel and impressive durability.

Each set of pedals ships with a pair of pedals and a pair of compatible KEO cleats. (These pedals are not compatible with SPD or Look Delta cleats.) Just slip into your cleats, clip into your pedals, and, if you want to customize your fit, simply adjust the screws on the sides of your pedals until you can clip in and out as easily as you want.

Best Hybrid Pedals for Road Cycling: Shimano XT PD-T8000 SPD Pedals

Shimano XT PD-T8000 SPD Pedals

If you prefer the flexibility of hybrid pedals, Shimano’s XT PD-T8000 SPD Pedals are an excellent pick. Designed with road cycling in mind, both sides of the pedals—the clipless side and the platform side—are sturdy and efficient. 

The pedals are crafted from aluminum, which leaves them feeling strong but not terribly heavy. On the platform side, the concave design makes them cleat-friendly, and you maintain the ability to customize your tension settings. Take advantage of the versatility of these pedals as you tackle a range of activities like touring, commuting, and adventuring.

Best Pedals for Mountain Biking: Crankbrothers Stamp 3 V2 Pedals

Crankbrothers Stamp 3 V2 Pedals

Crankbrothers’ Stamp 3 V2 pedals are performance platform pedals designed with mountain biking in mind. They are crafted entirely from aluminum, which makes them strong enough to withstand wear and tear.

The wide pedal design offers plenty of room for shoe-to-pedal contact, and the traction pins lining the outside of the pedals keep your feet in place as you ride. What's more, the large openings in the pedals make it easy to shed mud, leaves, and other debris you might pick up on your ride. If you wear a size 5 to 10 in shoes, order a small—otherwise, order a large.

Expert Tip

Many mountain bikers like to use platform pedals (pedals you don’t clip into) because they make it easier to mount and dismount your bike—an important detail when you’re traversing textured terrain. While clipless pedals might be great on a flat road, it can feel unnerving to be clipped into your bike when riding downhill alongside tons of trees and rocks.

Best Budget Pedals for Mountain Biking: Fooker MTB Mountain Bike Pedals

These Fooker pedals are a great option for people who want the durability of mountain bike pedals at a reasonable price point. They are made of high-strength nylon fibers, which hold up to branches, leaves, and most everything else you find in the great outdoors, thanks to their great abrasion- and corrosion-resistance.

Each pedal boasts a large open tread, which sheds dirt, small rocks, and leaves, and still gives you plenty of room to secure your feet. Anti-skid nails lining the outside of the pedals keep your feet in place as you ride, even in slick or muddy conditions. Bonus: The bright array of colors means you can match your pedals to your bike, or create a fun contrast with something totally different.

Best Clipless Pedals for Mountain Biking: Shimano PD-M530 Mountain Pedals

If you prefer to bring the energy efficiency of clipless pedals to your mountain bike rides, these Shimano pedals are a great option. The pedals were designed with mountain biking in mind, which is why they boast a more open design than other clipless options. The openings along the pedals flush out mud and other debris, keeping your cleats clean and your ride smooth. 

Like all Shimano pedals, these promise elite-level performance, and you will likely notice a difference when you swap to these from flat pedals. Standing up and pedaling should feel stable, durable, and reliable. These pedals are equipped to handle both downhills and uphills, so you can take them just about anywhere. 

Best Hybrid Pedals for Mountain Biking: Crankbrothers Doubleshot Hybrid Bike Pedals

Want to be able to switch between clipless and platform pedals on your bike rides? Try this pair from Crankbrothers. The hybrid pedals are built for mountain biking, so both sides are lined with openings that shed dirt, grass, mud, and anything else you might pick up during your off-road adventures.

Crafted from a blend of aluminum and stainless steel, these pedals are built to last and backed by a five-year warranty. The textured plate on the platform side has an array of molded pins to increase your traction on days you don't want to wear cycling shoes and cleats. And while most pedals come in one color, these come in a couple of options so you can add some flair to your bike.

Best Pedals for Indoor Cycling: BV 9/16'' SPD Pedals with Toe Clips

If you’re an avid indoor cycler, you also need a quality pair of pedals for your bike to support your home workouts. These dual-function BV pedals make an excellent addition to any indoor cycling routine. On one side, you can enjoy a classic clipless design, compatible with SPD cleats. And on the other, there's a platform design with a built-in toe clip. Both sides keep your feet firmly in place as you ride.

And if you need a set of cleats, don’t worry—your pedals will ship with a compatible pair. Just attach them to your favorite pair of cycling shoes and you're ready to race.

Best Budget Pedals for Indoor Cycling: Ybeki Exercise Bike Pedals

These Ybeki pedals are a budget-friendly way to equip your indoor bike with clipless pedals. Simply slide your feet onto the pedals, and if you want additional support, take advantage of the built-in straps and toe cages.

Though the pedals are quite inexpensive, they will still work hard for you. Crafted from a combination of aluminum alloy, nylon, and resin—all three of which should withstand lots of use—the pedals are built to last.

Best Pedals for Commuters: iSSi Flip II Pedals

iSSi Flip II Pedals

Planning to use your road bike to commute? These iSSi pedals give you the flexibility you need to do so comfortably. The hybrid pedals were designed to withstand gravel, pavement, and slick city streets, so you won’t have to worry if your morning commute gets a little bumpy.

Up your wattage on the clipless side, and opt for the platform side any time you don’t feel like wearing cleats. The versatility of these pedals means you never have to change your commuting routine based on your bike. Instead, you can decide what you want your day to look like, and your bike will accommodate your preferences.

Final Verdict

If you’re a road cyclist looking for a pair of clipless pedals, Shimano’s Ultegra R8000 SPD-SL Road Pedals are an excellent choice. They’re top-of-the-line, efficient, and sure to give your stride the extra power you crave. If you’re a mountain biker, Crankbrothers’ Stamp 3 V2 Pedals offer you the durable performance you need. And if you prefer a hybrid pedal, Crankbrothers’ Double Shot Pedals are versatile enough for tackling all kinds of terrain.

What to Look for in a Cycling Pedal

Pedal Style

Pedals tend to come in one of three styles: clipless, platform, and hybrid. Though the name might suggest otherwise, clipless pedals are pedals you clip into with the cleats of your shoes. Platform pedals, also known as flat pedals, are pedals you don’t clip into with shoe cleats. And hybrid pedals are dual-sided pedals that boast a clipless design on one side and a platform design on the other.

Cycling Style

Because a road cyclist has different needs than a mountain biker, road cycling pedals are designed differently than mountain biking pedals. Road cyclists tend to prefer clipless pedals that allow for power and efficiency, whereas mountain bikers tend to prefer platform pedals that allow for easy mounting and dismounting. Mountain bikers also need pedals designed to shed mud and other debris as they ride.

Material

Pedals can be crafted from a variety of materials. At higher price points, you find more durable materials like stainless steel. And at lower price points, you find more lightweight materials like plastic and nylon.

Why Trust Verywell Fit?

As a seasoned health and fitness writer, Lindsey Lanquist understands how vital quality product recommendations can be. She is careful to recommend products that are reliable, comfortable, and genuinely well-reviewed by those who’ve tried them.

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