We typically don’t think about bike pedals, right? Unless you have clipless pedals, your pedals are typically not on “top-of-mind.” However, they do significantly affect your writing experience. So, what are the best fixed-gear bike pedals for you?
In this post, I’ll give you my top three picks for the best bike pedals. I’ll also show you how to choose the right one for your needs so you can ride safely.
Below are just three of the best bike pedals you can buy in 2022. Scroll further down to see my full roundup, or click here.
What is a bike pedal?
A flat pedal, sometimes called a platform pedal, is the component that helps you cycle. They are typically attached to the bike’s crank arm or the front wheel and help you move the bike forward or backward. Pedals come in different shapes, sizes, and materials and offer different power, strength, and durability levels.
State Bicycle Co. Black Label 6061
State Bicycle Co. Black Label 6061
What are the different types of bike pedals?
There are many types of bike pedals, and the type you choose will largely depend on your riding style. Here are a few of the most common:
Platform (flat) pedals
These “flat pedals” are most likely the ones you used on your bike. They give a firm, larger surface to support your feet on both sides and may be used with any shoe.
This roundup will focus on platform pedals because they are the most common type of pedal for fixed gear and single-speed bikes. However, plenty of cyclists use clipless setups, especially for track racing.
These pedals attach to your bike’s shoes through a clip that fits over the cleat of your shoe. This pedal style is ideal for cyclists who prefer full power transfer.
When your feet are clipped into your pedals, you don’t have to work as hard to keep your position—the rigid sole of cycling shoes supports your feet and keeps you from wobbling with each pedal stroke. Because of the good use of all your muscles, that stability makes each stroke more powerful.
In contrast to flat pedals, where performance isn’t always the most important factor for riders, clipless pedals are frequently constructed with efficiency and speed in mind.
Hybrid pedals are dual-sided, with a clipless design on one side and a platform design on the other
What are the benefits of platform pedals? (Advantages)
When descending, flat pedals offer several advantages: better power transfer through your cranks, a wider range of foot position and rotation, ease of adjusting heels down, and quick and easy removal of your feet from the pedals. So, flat pedals improve body position, range of motion, and angulation.
The three best platform bike pedals of 2022
Below are the best bicycle platform pedals that you can buy right now.
HT Components PA03A Black Pedals
In this age of high-tech bike parts, it’s surprising that something as basic as a plastic pedal can be so effective. The eight replaceable pins on each side and the sturdy construction of the nylon composite platform make for a pleasurable cycling experience. These pedals outperformed more expensive models by a wide margin. These pedals are also compatible with straps and toe cages.
Atlas Pedal Race Face
The Race Face Atlas is designed as a gravity pedal but works well as a trail pedal. The Atlas excels in grip, platform, mobility, and maintenance parameters. The Atlas was rebuilt by Race Face, who raised the platform size, made the pedal body slimmer, and made the pedal pins longer and adjustable. The revised pins grip the pedal well while still allowing for movement; the Atlas is one of the few pedals that achieves this delicate balance.
The open platform is supportive and sturdy on the bike. The chamfered edges perform admirably in difficult terrain and get hung up less frequently than other pedals. The pedal rotates smoothly and predictably on the crank, and the bearing no longer interferes with crank booties. Remove the cover with a socket or Knipex pliers to access the axle and bearing.
Aluminum OneUp Components
The OneUp Components Aluminum is a good flat pedal that is less expensive than its high-end competitors. OneUp Components is a consumer-direct firm with a proven track record of providing high-quality, functional items at competitive prices. The aluminum pedals are no exception, combining excellent on-trail performance with highly competitive pricing.
The grip is great on both the climbs and descents, thanks to the broad platform and ten well-placed traction pegs per side. The ultra-thin design reduces the likelihood of pedal strikes and increases their versatility. We believe these are an excellent choice for most riders and riding types.
What to consider when buying a bike pedal (things to look for)
Choosing a pedal with the right features for you can be daunting, so here are the most important things you should consider when choosing a bike pedal.
1. Consider the pedal style
Pedals are classified into three types: clipless, platform, and hybrid. Though the name suggests otherwise, clipless pedals are pedals that you clip into with your shoe cleats. Platform pedals, commonly known as flat pedals, are pedals that do not require shoe cleats to be clipped on. On the other hand, hybrid pedals are dual-sided, with a clipless design on one side and a platform design on the other.
2. Consider your cycling style
Road cycling pedals are made differently from mountain biking pedals because a road cyclist has distinct needs from a mountain biker. For example, road cyclists choose clipless pedals for increased power and economy, while mountain bikers prefer platform pedals for easy mounting and dismounting. In addition, mountain bikers want pedals that shed mud and other particles as they ride.
3. Consider the material
Steel, aluminum, nylon, and plastic are all common materials used to make pedals. And when it comes to material, you’ll want to consider durability; pedals made of durable materials, such as steel, will likely last longer than those made of less durable materials, such as plastic.
However, they may be heavier, and heavy pedals might make your rides feel slower and more difficult. Durable pedals that don’t drag you down can typically be found at higher price tiers. If you aren’t ready to splurge, consider balancing durability and weight as you evaluate alternative materials.
4. Consider the weight
Lighter pedals are simpler to push than heavy pedals, resulting in a more efficient and less taxing ride. “Think about your pedal stroke as you ride your bike forward: “You’re raising the weight of one pedal as it comes around the bottom of the circle, up and over,” Sachs explains. “Each time that movement requires energy, a lighter pedal means you save a little energy with each pedal stroke, which adds up over a long day on the bike.”
5. Consider your budget
lightweight bike pedals will always be more expensive than heavier ones. This is obvious because if your petals are lighter, your entire bike weighs less, and you’ll be faster because of it. So consider your budget. There are some very expensive petals out there that are very lightweight, and there are some that are a little heavier but maybe more within your budget.
If you want even more tips, watch the “Flat Pedals-Our Top Picks-Aluminum & Composite: MTB Pedals Buyer’s Guide” from the Worldwide Cyclery YouTube Channel.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Do you still have questions? Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about bike pedals.
What stack height should my pedals have?
The distance between the pedal axle and your foot’s bottom is called stack height. Ideally, you want your foot as close to the axle as possible since the smaller the distance, the easier it is to stay on top of the axle, and it also lowers energy lost due to twisting. It also positions you for a lower overall position, which helps with aerodynamics.
Are pricey bike pedals worth it?
The most significant advantage of a more expensive pedal is certainly weight. Materials and construction procedures get more advanced as the price rises. The payoff is weight loss overall.
What pedals do expert cyclists use?
The vast majority of pro cyclists use Shimano and Look pedals because those two companies support the majority of WorldTour teams. Furthermore, some teams prefer to have all of their riders share the same pedals so that a domestique may hand over a team leader’s bike in the event of a mechanical problem.
Is a plastic pedal a good choice?
Plastic bike pedals are affordable and lightweight. This makes them an excellent choice for folks who want to get into cycling or mountain biking but don’t want to spend much money on equipment. In addition, the lighter weight is advantageous while climbing hills, although they are best suited for flat terrain.
Are larger pedals preferable?
In general, shoe size and condition are important considerations while looking for a new flat pedal. The larger and softer the shoe sole, the larger your pedal platform should be. When your shoes bend around the pedal (called plantar flexion), you lose energy and may experience weariness or cramping.
How I chose these bike pedals (ranking criteria and methodology)
I studied hundreds of reviews from real buyers and testers to determine which pedal performed best and was dependable. I selected bike pedals at various price ranges to ensure that everyone can find a pedal that suits their needs. I judged these bike pedals by the following criteria:
Average price (10%)
While this article covers bike pedals with varying price ranges, a pedal should be affordable. Thus, I highlight affordability and price as prime benefits.
Every set of pedals has a unique set of features. Some are better than others. I considered their unique features when evaluating these bike pedals.
I selected these based on how durable and functional they are. I used real customer reviews and my experience to evaluate their advertised functionality and durability.
Because let’s face it—we all want good-looking bike pedals.
I considered positive and negative reviews evaluating these bike pedals.
Here we have it! The three best bike pedals can help you ride faster, longer, and more comfortably. So the next time you plan to buy a new pedal, keep these in mind to get the best one. Also, make sure that whatever pedal you get has a solid rubberized grip so that your shoes don’t slip off from time to time. After all, riding a bicycle is not just about speed but also about safety and comfort.
This article covered my top five picks for the best bike pedals and how to choose one that’s best for you. Here are some key takeaways:
- The best platform bike pedals are:
- HT Components PA03A Black Pedals
- Atlas Pedal Race-Face
- Aluminum OneUp Components
- A pedal is a foot-powered input device that helps you cycle faster.
- Pedals are classified into two types: clipless and platform.
- Steel, aluminum, nylon, and plastic are all common materials used to make pedals.
- Bicycle pedals have bearings that help the pedal rotate.
So, what pedal type do you prefer? Did I cover everything you wanted to know? And what do you think of my list of the best bike pedals? Let us know in the comments section below (I read and reply to every comment). If you found this article helpful, check out my full blog for more tips and tricks on a fixed gear. Thanks for reading, and stay fixed!