The quality of your road bike pedals determines to a large extent how comfortable you will be while riding it. But with all the different types and variations of pedals existing in the market, it can be difficult to understand which would suit your needs best.
If you’re planning on doing some heavy-duty, adventurous bicycling, then you’re better off with clipless pedals. Flat pedals, however, are ideal for those who only use their road bikes for everyday purposes such as commuting. If that sounds like you, you’re in the right place.
Five of the best flat pedals for road bike have been reviewed for you below, along with a comprehensive buying guide and FAQ. Let’s get started.
Best Flat Pedals for Road Bikes Reviews
Keeping a number of important factors in mind, we’ve rounded up the 5 following flat bike pedals. We hope you find what you need; otherwise, feel free to scroll on down to our buying guide!
1. SHIMANO PD-EH500 Cleat Set Included
- Offers dual action with a flat side and a clipless side
- Well-suited to all types of applications
- Traction pins allow for greater stability and grip
- Very lightweight, with each pedal weighing only 13.5 ounces
- Package includes Shimano multi-release cleats
Our first pick is the highly-rated and highly sought-after PD-EH500 from Shimano, a brand that has successfully established its reputation in recent years. Let’s find out why they’re so popular.
First off, this pedal is dual-sided: one side has a traditional flat platform, while the other side has an SPD (Shimano Pedaling Dynamics) clipless design. You know what that means: with these pedals, you can derive the benefits of both flat and clipless pedals!
That’s what makes these pedals so versatile and suitable for a number of different applications. Whether you’re going mountain-biking or looking for a dependable pedal to aid you in your daily commute, this one allows it all.
Something we really love about the flat side of this pedal is the innovative pin design. They, of course, allow you to enjoy a secure foothold, but they are also removable should you choose to go pin-less.
Plus, the effortless clipping action means you can frequently switch out your pedals with ease. And despite their lightweight body, these really are some of the sturdiest aluminum pedals you’ll find. So we understand if you’re iffy about the price, but we think the price reflects the pedals’ greatness.
2. Wellgo MG-1 Magnesium Sealed Platform Pedal
- Lightweight and manageable despite a strong body
- Quite grippy thanks to well-placed traction pins
- Durably constructed from magnesium alloy
- Available in 4 different color options including red and clear
For our next pick, we bring you one of the most dependable and well-built flat pedals from a respected manufacturer: Wellgo. Priced reasonably yet providing all the necessary benefits, it’s easy to see why these flat pedals are so popular.
Built from hardy and long-wearing magnesium alloy, these pedals also come with CroMoly spindles and are furnished with MG-1 sealed bearings for greater longevity. You can depend upon these for everyday commuting or even light mountain excursions.
The surface of these pedals is furnished with tightly gripping traction pins, which allow you to keep your feet fully grounded as you’re biking. You can depend on the pins’ gripping power even in wet weather.
Furthermore, the fully-flat design of the pedals further enables a surer, more comfortable foothold. However, some users with bigger feet have complained about the size of the pedal; if you have size 11 feet and above, you might want to consider a larger pedal.
On the whole, though, this is undoubtedly one of the best flat pedals you can get for the money, and they promise to stick with you for a very long time.
3. Shimano Unisex PD-A530 SPD Road Dual Platform Pedal
- The streamlined design allows for efficient hybrid performance
- Innovatively designed for easy frequent clipping and unclipping
- Open binding design enables efficient debris elimination
- Purchase includes Shimano cleats for clipless application
We’re back with another Shimano pedal, and this one is bound to grab your attention. However, if you’re on a budget, we’d recommend skipping this one as it’s one of the most expensive pedals on the market. There’s a good reason for that, though—and we’ve covered that below.
Furnished with the well-known SPD (Shimano Pedaling Dynamics) technology, this pedal is also a hybrid type like the last ones we looked at. Compared to the PD-EH500, the PD-A530 is also much more lightweight, more in the fashion of clipless pedals than flat ones.
But that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to enjoy the benefits of a flat pedal from this thing. With a clean, streamlined design, this pedal allows for a full transfer of power from your legs to the bike.
Having said all that, it’s worth noting that these are very high-performing bike pedals that are more suitably categorized as clipless rather than flat. So unless you’re going to be doing some heavy biking, you might want to consider a more affordable, general-purpose pedal.
4. Imrider Lightweight Polyamide Bike Pedals
- High-quality durable yet lightweight polyamide construction
- Generous platform shape for efficient pedaling and comfort
- Antiskid surface with gripping nails for secure traction
- Available in attractive red, blue, orange and black colors
- Very easy to install thanks to innovative design
If reading the above reviews have you worrying about the state of your wallet, then worry no more. For those of you on a budget, we present the Imrider bike pedals, which are not only reasonably priced but sport a highly durable build. If you’re looking for a good starter pedal or dependable everyday use pedal, we definitely recommend you keep reading.
That’s thanks to their polyamide construction, which outshines plastic and other polymers by miles in terms of stability and durability. You will obviously not have to worry about rust; furthermore, abrasion, and corrosion resistance is also high in polyamide.
But what about the design of the pedal itself? Its flat surface is anti-skid, meaning it’s furnished with strong, grippy nails that promise to keep your shoes securely in place. And speaking of a secure foothold, we also love how generously sized these things are. Measuring 125mm x 108mm, these pedals are definitely wide enough to accommodate most feet sizes.
All in all, these are highly suitable for all road biking applications, and won’t require you to sell your kidney!
5. Alston Road Bicycle MTB Aluminum Strong Pedal
- Strong and durable yet lightweight aluminum construction
- Anti-skid grips on either side of the pedal ensure a better grip
- Lubricated sealed bearing with chrome-molybdenum steel spindle
- Offers super easy installation (8mm hexagon installation)
For our final pick, we have another budget-friendly pedal from Alston Road. With strong and sturdy aluminum construction, these pedals are superbly built and generously furnished with some great features. Here’s how they earned their high rating.
Despite their dependably simple and straightforward flat design, these pedals boast an innovative design that works with a three-bearing structure for ensured smoothness.
The dimensions of this pedal are 3.7″x3.93″x0.84″, making them amply sized for a number of different feet sizes. But if you’re worried about the grip, don’t be! The surface of the pedals has an anti-skid design, allowing sure and dependable traction. And thanks to top of the line sealed bearings, you can expect these pedals to serve you for longer.
Just because these pedals are affordable, though, doesn’t mean that manufacturers have skimped out on their fittings. All fittings and axles are made from high-quality CNC production, allowing for durability and longevity. So if you’re a frequent road biker, then look no further than this pedal!
Also Read: Best Gravel Bike Pedals Review | Top 5 Picks
Buying Guide for Bike Flat Pedals
The purpose of pedals is to transfer power from your legs; they hugely determine what your experience of riding the bike will be like. So before you make your purchase, remember to keep the following factors in mind.
First and foremost, you need to decide what you want your flat pedals to be made of. The most popular choices are steel, aluminum alloy, and plastic. Let's have a look at each in turn.
Steel is one of the strongest and most durable materials to make pedals out of. However, it's frequently heavy, so cyclists who prefer lighter pedals usually don't go for steel. Generally, however, the bearings of your bike should be made from steel.
Lightweight and manageable despite being very strong, aluminum is the most popular choice for pedal construction material. Aluminum pedals are less likely to rust and are better at shock absorption than steel or plastic.
If affordability is high on your list of priorities, we would definitely suggest going for plastic pedals. However, since plastic is relatively very fragile, it's not recommended for those who will be using their bike for heavy-duty purposes such as mountain biking.
A good alternative to plastic is polyamide, although it's rare to find pedals made from it.
Size / Thickness
By "size" we mean the surface area of the pedal. The bigger that is, the more secure a foothold hold you will be able to enjoy. So if you're given to wearing bigger shoes, then look for a pedal with a wide surface area.
However, if you're an experienced biker, then you won't really need to depend on a large surface area for a good foothold; in fact, they can be cumbersome to deal with. So choose accordingly.
The thickness of your pedals is also an important consideration. A thick pedal is less likely to break should your bike be compromised. However, if it's too thick, it can interfere with your stability.
The grip afforded to you by your flat pedals will be made possible by pins (also called teeth) on its surface. These bite into your shoes' soles and keep them in place while pedaling.
One drawback of having too many teeth on your pedals is that it can cause significant injury if your foot does slip off. Plus, there's also the worry that they will wear out over time, so look for pedals with replaceable teeth.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the difference between flat pedals and clipless pedals?
Clipless pedals allow you to clip cleated shoes onto them for a better grip. Flat pedals have completely flat surfaces (hence the name) and are compatible with all shoe types.
2. What are the advantages of using flat pedals?
Riding on flat pedals allows you to quickly remove your feet from them if need be. Clipless pedals, on the other hand, take practice to get used to.
3. How do I know if I should opt for clipless pedals instead?
If greater control over your bike is something you desire, get clipless pedals. They're ideal for recreational/performance cyclists and those who want to do bicycle tricks.
4. Why are my pedals making a clicking noise, and how can I fix it?
Chances are that your pedals are loosely fitted, so you'll have to tighten them ASAP (using a wrench) if you want to avoid accidents.
5. What is the purpose of pins on a pedal?
These sharp pins bite into the sole of your shoe, allowing you a stronger grip and more secure foothold. However, it’s best to avoid pedals with too many pins as they can actually interfere.
Choosing just one pair of the best flat pedals for road bike is difficult; however, the Wellgo MG-1 Magnesium Sealed Platform Pedal definitely stands out. If a hybrid pedal is what you seek, though, either one of our Shimano picks will do nicely.
And if you’re on a budget, go for the Alston Road Bicycle MTB Aluminum Pedal—it’s durably built and dependably priced.
Good luck, and happy biking!