Best Clipless Pedals For Road Bikes – 2020 Round-up

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There are plenty of clipless pedals available in the market for road bikes. These trick pedals help in making you more efficient and simultaneously provide you with a better foot-to-pedal connection.

If you are new to cycling, then getting new pedals and shoes (both are required for clipless) might be too much for you to handle. Good fit and comfort are two factors essential to consider when buying the accessory for bikes.

This means that the fitting of your bike's pedal must not be treated any differently, and choosing one best product can be a very overwhelming process. However, in this article, we have reviewed the top clipless pedals on the market. There is also a buyer's guide to help you select the best product. Read on below to find out more about these products.

Our Top Picks for Clipless Pedals For Road Bikes

  • Light but durable
  • Even weight distribution
  • Reduces strain
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  • Dual-sided design
  • Easy maintenance
  • Walkable design
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  • Best for the Money
  • Improved contact
  • Light-weight yet durable
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Comparison of the Best Clipless Pedals For Road Bikes

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Light-weight but durable construction
  • Wide platform delivers even weight distribution
  • Designed to reduce weight and flex
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  • Dual-sided pedal designed for easy use
  • Built-in grease port simplifies lubricating the bearing
  • Walkable-cleats improves traction and protection
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  • Best for the Money
  • Wider cleats provide better contact
  • Built from lightweight carbon
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  • Best Clip-less Pedals For Beginners Road Bike
  • Durable light-weight resin construction
  • Designed to improve load distribution and wear
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What Makes Clipless Pedals Great For Road Bikes?

You may ask yourself, "why do I need to use clipless pedals?" This is a very valid question. To simply explain it, these pedals target your body's particular muscles to ensure better movement and health.

Some advantages of using clipless pedals include the following:

Keeps Your Feet Fixed

They help keep your feet in one place, ensuring that you do not put undue strain on your legs.

Clipless pedals ensure optimizing the connection between pedal and your foot so that you can use your energy and force more efficiently.

Good For Acceleration

Since they keep your feet intact, these pedals are great for high accelerating, climbing, and long rides. They are also really helpful in hopping over rocks and obstacles in your way.

Easy and Comfortable to Use

Compared to other kinds of pedals such as toe-clip ones, these are a lot easier to use. They have an incredibly comfortable design that accommodates your shoes. This level of comfort is necessary for road biking.

What Should I Look For When Buying Clipless Road Bike Pedals?

To help you buy the best clipless road-bike pedal, we have discussed some important aspects that need consideration. You need to focus on these factors so that you can invest your money in the right product. These features include the following:

Cleats

Road cleats tend to vary in design. This depends on the pedal; however, the majority of the cleats can fasten to your shoe’s soles with only three bolts. Three-point fastening is common in Time, Shimano, and Mavic products. However, Speedplay makes models with 4-bolt cleats.

To make use of this, you will need an adapter or four-bolt shoes, since US companies reversed these pedals' entire mechanism. They now work by letting the clip mount onto your shoes, and the pedals themselves act as a cleat. For this reason, the Speedplay pedals set includes an adaptor.

Stack Height

This height is measured from the middle of the pedal axle to the shoe's sole. The lower the stack height, the better it will be because it allows your foot to be closer to the axle and ensures more efficiency.

You may need to adjust your saddle height if you change your pedals since every model has a slightly different stack height.

Release Tension

Most pedals have the option to adjust the release tension. It is the force needed to disengage your feet from the pedals. If you are a newbie, you must start with lower tension to get an easier release.

This also makes it easier to clip in the pedal, and as you become more confident and comfortable with riding with these pedals, you can slowly increase the tension for a better and more secure experience.

Quick Take - Best Clipless Pedals For Road Bikes

Skip the review - here's a snapshot of the best clipless pedals for road bikes:

  1. Shimano Ultegra PD-R8000
  2. SpeedPlay Zero
  3. Shimano 105 PD – R7000 SPD

Review of the Best Clipless Pedals For Road Bikes

To help you, we have compiled a list of the best clipless pedals for road bikes. We have also written down the pros and cons of each product and why they stand out. Make use of the reviews to find out which product is more suited to your needs.

Shimano Ultegra R8000 SPD-SL Carbon Road Pedals

pros

  • Incredibly easy to handle
  • Reasonably-priced, good for beginners
  • Lightweight compared to other products
  • Clipping in and out is reported to be easy
  • Body plate made with stainless steel for extra durability

cons

  • Release tension is not the best

What Recent Buyers Report

According to recent buyers, these pedals are of great quality. They come at an extremely affordable price point, and the carbon construction has made them a lot durable and lighter. These pedals are reported to have a user-friendly design, as there is no need to use a pedal wrench on them.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Shimano Ultegra pedal provides extremely high-level performance to riders of all levels. These units are made from a carbon composite, which is great for people who want a lightweight bike that they can carry easily.

These pedals are also extra-wide, and they give you a lot of room for clipping comfortably. Another important feature of this product is the cleat, which is upgraded and designed to meet professional bikers' needs. The pedals and cleat work together to create a more efficient power transfer. Furthermore, the extra-wide platform also ensures that the pressure is distributed evenly.

The unit is made from durable steel body plates; it is meant to last for years. This also reduces wear and tear. The smooth, adjustable float gives your feet enhanced comfort.

Furthermore, these pedals feel stable when they are clipped in, allowing beginner-level users to enjoy it the most. Since they come with adjustable entry and release tension, you can customize the pedals to what suits you best.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this product is recommended for all kinds of users and buyers due to ease of use and affordable price tag. If you need lightweight pedals that are easy to clip on, this might be a great option.

Runner-up:
SpeedPlay Zero

SpeedPlay Zero_Stainless Pedals Walkable (Orange)

pros

  • Clips in really strongly and sturdily
  • Easy to install as reported by buyers
  • Prevents slippage with anti-slip construction
  • Ensures no extra pain due to ergonomic design
  • Premium-quality construction recommended for rigorous use

cons

  • Clipping it may require some strength and is not very easy

What Recent Buyers Report

Since it has an excellent build quality and lasts for a long time, buyers are really satisfied with their purchase. It does require a little maintenance, and you will have to grease it often, but apart from that, this is an excellent product. Some reports show that the product lasted some buyers for over five years, even after rigorous use!

Why it Stands Out to Us

This model of clipless pedals by Speedplay is shaped like a lollipop and is manufactured with Chromoly. It also has one 15-degree float, and since it is dual-sided, it stands out in the market. You won't waste your time looking or fumbling around for the pedal since they relocate all by themselves, offering you a lot of conveniences.

Furthermore, this unit features a micro-adjustable float. The floating range is from zero to fifteen degrees, which allows you to adjust them down to a micrometer for whatever range you need.

You can adjust the three-foot axis adjustment independently without having it affect the other two. Also, you can adjust the pedal mechanism to side-to-side, rotational, or fore-aft positions. The versatile options of adjustability make this one of the best products.

Also, this product has the lowest stack height. This helps in improving power transfer. Even though the pedal is slightly smaller than what you expect, the platform is quite stable to accommodate your feet securely.

Bottom Line

Cyclists love these pedals because they are the lightest, smallest, and easiest to clip on. It provides them with customizability they need for ensuring comfort for their knees and feet.

Best for the Money:
Shimano 105 PD – R7000 SPD

Shimano 105 PD – R7000 SPD – SL Pedal

pros

  • Perfect for female riders
  • Comes with adjustable pins
  • Suits very well with MT and CT shoes
  • Backed by a generous warranty and customer support
  • Has an aluminum body that makes it more lightweight

cons

  • Requires proper maintenance

What Recent Buyers Report

The reports backing up this product tell us that It is made from exceptionally high-quality materials, and is also lightweight, which makes it user-friendly. The price point is one reason buyers loved this product. It provides you exactly what it promises to deliver, and since it gets installed easily, first-time users were really satisfied with it.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Weighing about 265 grams only, this Shimano product is one of the lightest yet sturdiest units you can get your hands on. It features a stainless steel body that reduces flex and supports your feet more. There will also be lesser wear and tear due to the extremely top-notch quality construction.

The extra-wide platform on this pedal allows you to have better pedal strokes and good power transfer. It also ensures that the pedal remains secure and distributes weight evenly. All of this is backed up by Shimano's DSL technologies, making this product worth the money.

The unit is specially designed to work with Shimano's cleats and footwear. This ensures that you get the best power transfer from your feet to your drivetrain. Even though it may seem frustrating to buy a new set of cleats and shoes, the performance improvement is worth it all.

With adjustable entry and releases tension, this product is perfect for any rider, especially a beginner.

Bottom Line

The easy-to-install and easy-to-use product is a highly recommended product for all types of buyers. It has a phenomenal range of features, such as adjustable release tension and extra-wide platforms for extra comfort to the rider.

Best Clipless Pedals For Beginner's Road Bike:
Shimano PD-R550 SPD-SL

SHIMANO PD-R550 SPD-SL Road Pedals; Black

pros

  • Reported being long-lasting
  • Easy-to-use float adjustments
  • Come with a very robust bearing
  • Wide cleat to ensure good comfort
  • Recommended for people with knee joint pains

cons

  • Have a heavyweight

What Recent Buyers Report

Robust bearings have allowed many users to enjoy this product's incredible quality. People have particularly liked the float adjustability of this unit, as it allows them to personalize their riding experience overall. Some reports also suggest that people with joint pains used this unit and experienced no additional pain.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Shimano R550 is a feature-packed clipless pedal designed to be more aerodynamic. This unit weighs very less and features a special design that helps the rider go faster with minimal air resistance. This product is like the more expensive alternatives in the market, but at a better price and equally good features.

It has a plastic cleat surface with aluminum construction, a standard width body, and retention spring adjustment. The R550 is available in grey and black color, giving it a good, eye-catching exterior. The metal cleat plate is also replaceable.

The unit comes with a diverse range of cleat adjustment. Once the clip is in, you get a good and secure hold, and its extra-wide body provides you with lateral stability.

Bottom Line

Summing it up, this is a durable clipless pedal for road bikes and is incredibly lightweight. Riders tend to love this unit since it provides them with lateral foot space. It also comes with easy installation, making it worth investing in.

Editor's Pick:
LOOK Keo 2 Max Pedal

LOOK Keo 2 Max Pedal, White

pros

  • Advance level comfort for users
  • Good price to performance ratio
  • Made from premium-quality materials
  • A wider platform offers greater stability
  • Highly recommended for professional cyclists

cons

  • High maintenance, not the easiest to use

What Recent Buyers Report

Ease of installation is one of the many reasons why buyers love this product. They also positively comment on the price value of this unit, along with its design and construction. Buyers loved the aerodynamic design that ensures a smoother and faster ride for the driver.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The LOOK Keo pedal weighs only about 100 grams. This makes them one of the smallest and lightest pedals available. The ceramic bearings complement these along with the company's power-to-weight ratio.

The ceramic construction allows buyers to ride faster and even last longer in the long run. The excellent construction also has high-quality ball bearings where each ball is measured precisely and then adjusted according to the size. The bearings are harder and rounder than the traditional ones and are more resistant to debris and dust.

You can rely on this pedal for consistent performance, and because ceramic is not susceptible to rust and corrosion, it will be a low-maintenance unit as well.

Bottom Line

To conclude, this is an exceptionally lightweight product and is very reasonably priced. It is smooth to ride with these pedals and is not hard to install. We recommend this for beginners, particularly because they are easy to use.

Pros and Cons of Clipless Pedals

Like every product on the market, clipless pedals come with their advantages and disadvantages. These pros and cons decide whether they are worth investing in or not. Read on to find out more.

Pros

The advantages of clipless pedals are as follow:

Better For Steep Slopes

In terms of efficiency, clipless pedals are fantastic, considering the power and comfort they offer to the rider. 

If the gradient of the road is unsteady and sharp, you need to lower your power and change gears, while also needing rest for your legs. In such cases, the clipless system allows one or two firm upstrokes to prevent the bike from deceleration. This can be very helpful and ensures that your momentum remains uninterrupted.

Foot and Body Position

These pedals make sure that your feet are intact in their place even when there is an unsteady surface. As a result, your seat can be adjusted according to your need without worrying about your feet slipping out.

Short Burst of Energy

For short bursts of power to get your bike through sandy road washouts, clipless pedals allow you to maintain a high power rate. This makes it a lot easier to ride the bike and doesn't tire you at all.

Cons

They also come with their disadvantages. One of the most prominent ones is:

Buy Separate Shoes

You will need to carry separate, extra shoes for riding with clipless pedals. This means that you will have to buy them, which is an extra cost, and will also need to carry it in a bag that adds extra load.

Conclusion

With the information present above, you can easily shop for the best clipless pedals present in the market. However, make sure you use the buyer's guide to choose the most suitable products for yourself. Considering features such as ease of installation and comfort level are important determinants.

People Also Ask

With so much information, you are bound to get confused pretty easily. This section will deal with any confusion and queries left behind.

Are Clipless Pedals Really More Efficient?

Yes, they ensure that you get good foot stability without straining your knee and causing pain if you are cycling rigorously.

Can I Use Clipless Pedals With Regular Shoes?

No, these pedals need specific shoes to attach with. There can be three cleat shoes or four clear shoes, depending on which pedal you buy. However, most of the pedal packages come with included shoes.

What is the Difference Between Clipless and SPD Pedals?

SPD stands for Shimano Pedaling Dynamics, which is a Shimano-patented pedal technology. They are used for only mountain bike clipless pedals, whereas SPD-SL is for Shimano's road bike clipless pedals.

Can I Use Mountain Bike Clipless Pedals on a Road Bike?

No, both are different in terms of their design and functionality, which matches with the particular type of bike being used.