Best Road Bike Pedals – 2019 Complete Review

If you’re an avid bike rider, then it’s absolutely necessary for you to have the best quality pedals to complement your bike and give you a more joyful experience while riding.

However, buying road bike pedals can be a delirious chore since there are so many options available in the market. Do not worry, though, because this article will help you decide which one to get, depending on your needs.

So read on for more information.

Comparison Chart of the Best Road Bike Pedals

Product

Rating

Price

SHIMANO PD-M324

SHIMANO Clipless Pedals SPD Pedal E-PDM324

Best Overall

Look Ko Classic 2

Road Bike Clipless

Runner-up

SHIMANO Ultegra PD-R8000

Best for the Money

SHIMANO PD-A600

SHIMANO PD-A600 Premium SPD Pedal One Color

Best Flat Pedals for Road Bike

SHIMANO PD-A530

Shimano PD-A530 SPD Dual Platform Bike Pedal

Best Platform Pedals for Road Bike

SHIMANO PD-M324

SHIMANO Clipless Pedals SPD Pedal E-PDM324

Best Clipless Pedals for Road Bike

SHIMANO SPD-SL PD R-540

SHIMANO SPD-SL PD R-540; Black

Best Road Bike Pedals for Beginners

SHIMANO SPD Pedal Clipless Pedals

Shimano SPD PD-M520 Clipless Pedals (White)

Best SPD Pedals for Road Bike

Are Specific Pedals Important While Cycling?

Yes, specific pedals for cycling can drastically change your biking experience. When you think of purchasing a bike, you need to consider the type of biking you will be doing, right? Similarly, when you ponder the type of bike pedals, you also want to consider the nature of your biking.

You could be doing road biking or mountain biking. You might also want to consider what is more important to you: power and speed, or ease of steering around comfortably. Specific pedals are designed to give you the experience you desire, as they are designed to give you the performance that you want. 

What to Look for When Buying Road Bike Pedals

If you have decided to invest in good-quality road bike pedals, it’s a smart move to make. Ignoring the type of road bike pedals you use while biking can cause serious health issues and pain if they are not suited for your riding or body. Let’s look over the facts you need to consider before making a purchase:

Aerodynamics

This is something you should consider if comfort and ease are what you’re looking for. The pedals should be reliable and secure and should be able to give you power and speed without being heavy and straining your feet or back. This is especially true if you are a beginner cyclist.

Cleats

If you’re searching for durability in your bike pedals, you want to look at the float the cleat provides. Cleats can change your biking experience and they should be chosen according to your desires and how well they suit your activities. 

Consistency

You also need to consider whether the bike pedal you buy provides you with consistent performance. If you constantly change the brand of your pedals, it can become difficult to get used to and may cause injuries, as well. Getting the best pedaling performance depends on how comfortable you get with your current set of bike pedals.

Quick Take - Best Road Bike Pedals

Skip the review - here's a snapshot of the best road bike pedals:​​

  1. SHIMANO PD-M324
  2. Look Ko Classic 2
  3. SHIMANO Ultegra PD-R8000

Review of the Best Road Bike Pedals

Now that you know how to choose good road bike pedals suited for your biking needs, let’s dive into the best ones available and their reviews.

Best Overall:
 SHIMANO PD-M324

SHIMANO Clipless Pedals SPD Pedal E-PDM324

pros

  • Super comfortable to use and ride on
  • Robust and durable design of the pedals
  • Less risk of your shoes slipping from the pedal
  • Versatile and able to adapt for different functionalities
  • Large platform for riding, even if you do not have cycling shoes on

cons

  • They weigh a lot for a pedal
  • Off-weighted and always slip to the downside
  • Pedals do not spin easily and require a little getting used to

What Recent Buyers Report

Users find these pedals robust and supremely built. They are easy to install, too and are quite versatile. They are an effective pair for SPD cleats and are a fabulous choice if you want to transition to clipless. They are also flexible and can be used for many different riding purposes.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This product is a perfect all-rounder pair of pedals that enhance any road biker’s cycling performance. The brand name is also prestigious and can be used on a variety of different bikes. The adjuster equipped with these pedals is also quick and competent. Moreover, the aluminum body provides a strong and durable build.

Who Will Use This Most

These pedals are a great option if you are a beginner looking for good-quality biking pedals. They are also a good choice if you are heading for a long journey and need some security on your pedals. Lastly, they are excellent for everyday commutes to work or school, as well.

Bottom Line

If you want to bolster your riding game and get a versatile cycling experience, this pair of road bike pedals are the way to go. Since they are flexible, they ensure versatility of use.

Runner-up:
 Look Ko Classic 2

Road Bike Clipless

pros

  • Super-lightweight and does not cause strain
  • Has adjustable spring tension ranging from 8-12
  • Huge surface area and wiggle room for foot comfort
  • Has a brand new bi-injected build for color and support
  • Easy to understand functionality 
  • Manufactured with KEO standards for compatibility with any shoes and reduces the size of cleat

cons

  • Pricier compared to other models
  • Not interchangeable with Delta cleats
  • If cleats become dirty, they make squeaking noises

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers of this model report that the pedals were super-easy to use and provided great power transfer. They are also simple to install,really lightweight, and comfortable. Moreover, they are durable and long-wearing, and clipping is a breeze.

Why it Stands Out to Us

These road bicycle pedals come with many advanced technologies embedded in the cycle that really make your biking experience so much more comfortable, powerful, speedy, and efficient. They are well-engineered and have a great surface to move your foot in, with supreme power transfer, as well.

Who Will Use This Most 

These pedals are designed for any rider who wants enhanced performance and comfort, and because they are so easy to use, they are designed for beginners who want to learn how to ride bicycles. They are, however, also fit for experienced riders looking for lightweight and good-quality pedals.

Bottom Line

If you want a high-quality, durable, and easily adjustable pair of pedals, do not hesitate to get these, as they have great performance and you will not experience regret once you purchase them. They give good power transfer and are a breeze to install.

Best for the Money:
 SHIMANO Ultegra PD-R8000

pros

  • Engineered with high-quality components
  • Has really easy cleat installation and setup
  • Durable and long-wearing pedals for the price
  • Minimal decrease in weight and stack height
  • Large platform for foot support and power transfer

cons

  • Requires more knee float
  • Highest retention settings can be like vice-grips
  • If you want to make float adjustments, it will cost more

What Recent Buyers Report

These pedals are super easy to clip into and provide high-end quality at a low price. The wide platform ensures more comfort and stability. They’re super-lightweight and hold onto your feet firmly. All in all, these are promising pedals with quick spinning and adjustable tension.

Why it Stands Out to Us

These are amazing pedals because of their wide carbon platform that brings in more power transfer and reduces friction. They are long-wearing, efficient, and eliminate hot spots for the feet. They have a slick but robust design that endorses a smooth float and minimizes flex.

Who Will Use This Most

These are designed for cyclists who are very weight-conscious and want expert-level performance from their pedals. They are also for those users who use a cycle as a means of transport to work or school. Also, they are well-suited for cyclists with a limited budget.

Bottom Line

This is an innovative product with hassle-free spinning features and is extremely lightweight and capable, making them one of the best sets of road bike pedals available in the market. The cleats included are also super-easy to install and provide stellar performance.

Best Flat Pedals for Road Bike:
 SHIMANO PD-A600

SHIMANO PD-A600 Premium SPD Pedal One Color

pros

  • Innovative design that eradicates toe clips
  • Recess cleat equipped to make walking easier
  • Stellar performance with SPD for higher power transfer
  • Mud-shedding feature where mud is swept out when rider steps
  • More control with the SPD feature that gives stability and efficiency

cons

  • Shiny exterior can get scuffed easily
  • They require two-bolt mountain shoes
  • No stainless-steel plates for shoe tread

What Recent Buyers Report

These are great, lightweight pedals made of exceptional quality materials. They are also quite sturdy and provide a solid, stable base for pedaling. Moreover, the pedals eliminate hotspots on the feet and ensures a smooth, powerful ride.

Why it Stands Out to Us

These pedals have excellent quality and finish and have a sleek design with sturdiness and durability meshed together. The support platform is large and gives a high degree of free-float. The pedals also provide security and firm hold, while ensuring a range of tension adjustment.

Who Will Use This Most

There’s a lot you can do with these pedals, from running errands to racing, they are designed to be the best flat pedals in the market. They work perfectly if you have a road bike SPD shoes. They are a great option for sporty cyclists and touring riders.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a beautiful, smooth ride with great performance and a sleek design, then consider the Shimano PD-600 flat road bike pedals. They work perfectly and ensure high durability and toughness at a really unbeatable price.

Best Platform Pedals for Road Bike:
 SHIMANO PD-A530

Shimano PD-A530 SPD Dual Platform Bike Pedal

pros

  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • Super-easy to install and set up
  • Inexpensive for the features and functionality
  • Durable spindles require low maintenance
  • Better stability and efficiency for improved performance

cons

  • Platform is not wide
  • Can be challenging to clip into SPD side
  • No studs embedded on the platform to ensure traction

What Recent Buyers Report

These pedals are sleek and have great finishing, giving that “roadie” look that cyclists want. They are flexible and lightweight. They do not have a tendency to rotate to the wrong side and are easy to install. They are also very versatile and affordable.

Why it Stands Out to Us

These are the best hybrid pedals that do not add a lot of weight and are flexible and versatile. They are good for early cycle learning and are easy to clip into. They are dual-purpose pedals and are small, so they do not interfere when you take turns, and can be utilized with regular shoes.

Who Will Use This Most 

This type of pedal is useful for learners, as well as professionals. They are a perfect choice for commuting to your nearby place of work, etc. but also great for tourism and recreational riding. Overall, they are a great option for those who don’t like to be clipped in all the time.

Bottom Line

These dual-platform bike pedals are sleek, lightweight, and sturdy, and you can ride around anywhere with these while wearing your regular shoes. If you like using your bike to commute to nearby places or traveling in the city, these are a great choice for you.

Best Clipless Pedals for Road Bike:
SHIMANO PD-M324

SHIMANO Clipless Pedals SPD Pedal E-PDM324

pros

  • Effective for SPD cleats
  • Robustly built for durability
  • Clip is sturdy and performs great in wet or dry conditions
  • Easily installable on your bike because of the streamlined design
  • Simple clip in and clip out and provide a great range of adjustability in clip tension

cons

  • Spinning requires practice
  • Pedals are heavy
  • Cage needs to be taller to alleviate shoe slipping

What Recent Buyers Report

The aluminum body is sleek and robust, which makes for great durability. These also come with cleats you can install and adjust according to your liking, which is a plus-point. They have great quality and work seamlessly, and the size is large enough for comfort.

Why it Stands Out to Us

These pedals are designed intricately and have a beautiful finish. They operate smoothly and are also easy to strip off, which is a great addition to these wonderful pedals. They also have a good range of tension adjustment and provide a comfortable float to most knees.

Who Will Use This Most

These dependable pedals are designed for commuting riders who want to transition between flats and cleats easily. You can travel long miles and tour the city with these, and they won’t disappoint. If you want to ride on the streets for finishing up your errands, then these are for you.

Bottom Line

These pedals are exceptionally well-designed and engineered to give stellar performance and versatility. They are dependable, capable, and are of great use if you want to travel around on your bike wearing your normal shoes. They are also reliable and durable.

Best Road Bike Pedals for Beginners:
 SHIMANO SPD-SL PD R-540

SHIMANO SPD-SL PD R-540; Black

pros

  • Easy to clip into and out
  • Release tension is simple to change
  • Large pedal platform for pedal stability
  • Open design platform ensures easy cleat adjustments
  • Surface gives ample float and surface area to allocate the pressure

cons

  • They are too heavy
  • Foot can slip during mounting
  • SPD-SL shoes have wide brackets which make them challenging to walk in

What Recent Buyers Report

Users found that these pedals are easy to enter into and exit, as well allow a perfect range of tension. They provide great security for your feet while riding and are well-built. They are also good for walking and the release tension is easily adjustable.

Why it Stands Out to Us

These pedals provide great performance and are of high quality. They require little to no maintenance because of the protected cartridge axle unit that hides dirt and debris. The adjustable cleat tension can ensure a seamless or more relaxed ride for calmer days.

Who Will Use This Most

These are good learner’s pedals, but can also be tightened for professional riders. These are perfect for commuters who change their shoes between home and work and can also be a perfect choice for expert bike riding, such as marathons and races.

Bottom Line

If you are a novice at road biking, these are a really good option for you. They are super-durable and can work in the harshest conditions. They are also great to clip in and out of and give you a sufficient degree of float, so you don’t feel like your legs have a lot of pressure on them.

Best SPD Pedals for Road Bike:
SHIMANO SPD Pedal Clipless Pedals

Shimano SPD PD-M520 Clipless Pedals (White)

pros

  • Improved stability and performance
  • Easy and quick adjustable release tension
  • Durable and sturdy pedal with a sleek finish
  • Can work well with commuter cycling shoes
  • Clips located on both sides for ease of entry

cons

  • Pedal may start clicking
  • Platform not wide enough
  • Can lead to foot discomfort because of small surface area

What Recent Buyers Report

This is a solid product that performs well in challenging weather conditions and the cleats slip easily and quickly into the pedals. They are quite inexpensive, provide superb value for money, and are quite reliable and durable.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The design and engineering of these pedals are phenomenal, with a lightweight aluminum alloy and sleek finishing. They also provide smooth transitioning of the front and back and maintains speed as ground-level changes. These are rigid and sturdy, making them durable pedals with a great look.

Who Will Use This Most

This product is perfect for travelers looking for a reasonable pedal with specifications, according to the commuter’s preferences. The SPD clip-on pedals are also compatible with gravel and dirt riding. They perform in all kinds of weather.

Bottom Line

These pedals have a minimalistic and sleek design that is dependable and capable of high-quality performance at an unbeatable price. If you want the best SPD pedals for a road bike, it doesn’t get better than these.

Types of Road Bike Pedals

If you’re a novice at riding road bikes, then you may not know the different varieties of bike pedal designs. There are several types designed for the needs of all kinds of commuters. Let’s take a look at these types below:

Platform Pedals

These types of pedals are what usually come with your bike when you buy it. They ensure a stable, flat surface to support your feet and can be used with regular shoes. They are also great for beginners and are quite inexpensive.

Toe Clips/Cage Pedals

These are a good option for long mile commuters and recreational riders. They, too, do not require a specific kind of footwear and offer more security compared to platform pedals.

Hybrid Pedals

These are designed for tourist purposes, commuters who want to travel long distances, and also clipless pedal beginners. They are flexible, depending on whether you’re a novice or an expert.

Clipless Pedals

These pedals are great for experienced or professional bike riders and triathletes, offering efficient pedal strokes and higher power transfer.

Road-Clipless Systems

These are fashioned for serious roadies who have time trial bikes. They are super-stiff and give good power transfer.

Off-Road Clipless Systems

These are almost the same as road clipless systems, with the only difference in the design of the cleat, which is good for off-road biking. They make it easy to walk off the bike and keep the grime and mud from blocking the cleat.

Conclusion

This article was aimed to give you insight on bike pedals, so you can easily distinguish between the different types and their features. Deciding which kind of pedal would be best for you can be difficult, and hopefully, this was a useful read for you. Ride safe!