8 Best Pedals For Commuter Bike 2021


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After you are done with choosing the brand, frame, and tires, one of the essential things you will need are the best pedals for a commuter bike. This is an important aspect because pedals form 40% of your contact with the bike and nearly 100% power is transferred through them.

Whether you use your steel-framed bike to ride around the town, a carbon-fiber frame for road racing, indoor cycle smart trainer, or the most advanced e-bike commuters, the pedal choice is important in each case. It has the power to impact your ride and performance.

When looking for pedals, you will come across two varieties – platform and clipless. The one you choose will depend on the type of bike you use, the average distance covered daily, and your personal fitness. Cyclists with dedicated lightweight bikes will need separate pedals than someone who uses e-bikes.

Most standard commuting bikes come with platform pedals that provide a grippy surface to attach your feet securely to the pedal. The experienced road and mountain bikers prefer the clipless pedals that require special shoes that can directly attach your foot to the pedals.

With so many different options of bike pedals available online, it’s hard to make one choice so we have done the homework for you. We will learn more about the difference between platform and clipless later in the article. For now, let’s take a look at the detailed reviews of the top-rated pedals handpicked by us.

Product NameMaterialWeight
#1. SHIMANO M520Aluminium1.2 poundsShop Now
#2. Shimano Unisex PD-A530Alloy1 poundsShop Now
#3. SHIMANO SPD-SL PD R-540aluminum and chrome
0.7 poundsShop Now
#4. ROCKBROS MTB PedalsNylon Fiber + Cr-Mo0.96 poundsShop Now
#5. Imrider Lightweight Polyamide Bike Pedalshigh quality polyamide0.981 poundsShop Now
#6 MEETLOCKS Bike PedalCNC machined aluminum alloy0.8 poundsShop Now
 #7. Wellgo MG-1 MagnesiumMagnesium bodies, CroMoly spindles and complete with MG-1 sealed bearings1.2 poundsShop Now
#8. Diamondback Trace Dual SportAlloy body with chromolly axles0.97 poundsShop Now

#1. SHIMANO M520 Clipless Pedals

The Shimano M520 is a versatile, durable, and affordable open-design clipless pedal that can be used with a wide range of bikes including commuter bikes, cross-country bikes, and enduro bikes. They cleat fixes into the mechanism with a satisfying click, making them easy to get into.

With no cage to hang up, getting out of the pedal is relatively easy. The tension is also easily adjustable with the help of a 3mm Allen wrench. Beginners can have a soft tension for effortless entry and exit, while the experienced cyclists may adjust the tension as per his or her liking.

The open binding design of M520 makes it good at shedding mud. As there is no platform or cage on this simple pedal, riders have twice as much area to stand on. On the performance front, a pair of new and well-lubricated M520 delivers as good as the high-end models like XT and XTR.

Product features and specifications

  • Measures 6.2 x 4.6 x 1.9 inches
  • Weighs 1.2 pounds
  • MTB Sport Pedals w/ Cleats
  • Made of Aluminium
  • Adjustable tension
  • Float: 4 degrees
  • Dual Sided pedal siding

User/ Customer reviews

Most users feel that these pedals are great looking and effortless to clip in and out when needed, especially for the beginners. People have also said that adjustment for tension is easy but you must remember to adjust both the sides or else you may fall. A few users have also said that the pedals are extremely tough and hardwearing.

Conclusion

These pedals are not great to look at but they score high in terms of durability and performance. Both the beginners and experienced cyclists can adjust the tension. We love the fact that these pedals work great with commuter bikes and also with indoor fitness trainers. Overall, they are a good investment.

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#2. Shimano Unisex PD-A530 SPD Road Dual Platform Pedal

The Unisex PD-A530 SPD platform pedal by Shimano performs both on and off the bike, making pedal much more efficient. The clipless mechanism on one side and a large alloy platform (93x78mm) on the other make them suitable for commuting and touring bikes.

With a wide range of pedal and shoe styles, the recess cleats are known to make walking easier. The innovating design removes toe-clips and integrates outsole and pedal into a single unified transfer system. This not only improves speed but also improves rider’s control over the bike.

With the improved SPD system, you can pedal your bike with better efficiency, more stability, and comfort. The superior open binding design enables the debris and mud to be flushed out of pedal as the rider takes control. It also comes with durable Chromoly spindles and low-maintenance cartridge axles.

Product features and specifications

  • Measures 7 x 6 x 2 inches
  • Weighs 1 pounds
  • Shimano pedaling dynamics
  • Superior mud-shedding design
  • Unified power transfer system

User/ Customer reviews

Most users love their pair of pedals because it enhances the overall appearance of the bike and gives them the flexibility to put on a pair of sneakers and go riding. Cyclists love the fact that they don’t need a bike mechanic to attach the pedals and anyone can do with a few handy tools. People love the lightweight of the pedals which make them a great alternative for clipless pedals that come with standard bikes.

Conclusion

If you want your new pedals to add up to your bike aesthetics along with good performance then the Shimano Unisex PD-A530 SPD. With this small addition, you can add a lot of power to your otherwise ordinary commuter bike. We feel that at this price, you get more than you could ask for.

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#3. SHIMANO SPD-SL PD R-540

Made from chrome and aluminum, the PD-R540 SPD-SL road bike pedals from the house of Shimano comes with a large binding target for easy and fast clipping. The wide pedal platform design improves foot and pedal stability ensures uniform load distribution and a more efficient transfer of power.

The low-profile with open design enables easy access and quick cleat adjustments. When you need to do some serious riding, you may tighten up the adjustable cleat tension to ensure a solid and efficient ride. On calmer training days, you may loosen up the tension for an easier ride.

Due to the sealed-bearing cartridge axle unit that keeps dirt and grime away, the maintenance work for the bike is virtually non-existent. We love the fact that the manufacturer stands behind the product with a limited 2-year manufacturer’s warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.

Product features and specifications

  • Measures 6.6 x 6.3 x 1.9 inches
  • Weighs 1 pound
  • Made of aluminum and chrome
  • SPD-SL cleat type
  • Cleat-dependent float
  • Adjustable cleat tension
  • Low maintenance sealed cartridge axle unit

User/ Customer reviews

Cyclists are impressed with the range of tension on these pedals that make it easier to lock in and get out quickly. A few users have mentioned that the SPD mountain cleats are the most walkable types, but they don’t provide ample float or security. Some customers have said that the pedals are heavy and you may need some time to get used to this.

Conclusion

There are really good introductory SPD-SL pedals for commuter bike, plus they also score extra points for their appearance. Despite being on the bulkier side, the cleats let you securely clip in and the tension is adjustable for different conditions. Overall, we feel this is a great pair of pedals that will last for a long time.

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#4. ROCKBROS MTB Pedals Mountain Bike Pedals

These MTB pedals by ROCKBROS are made of rugged nylon fiber materials that are shock-proof, corrosion and abrasion-resistant. There are anti-skid nails on each side that provide more security to the pedals and also help in holding your feet in place without slipping, even in a muddy trail.

The ergonomic design pedals are ultralight with 0.8lb weight and a 4.1″ wide platform with high-speed DU bearings for long and comfortable ride. The sealed bearing pedals help to protect the spindles from water and dust to let you enjoy cycling in rainy weather too.

The hex-head threaded traction pins can be easily replaced when needed. With 20 hex-head threaded traction pins on each side, the pedal provides better control and improved grip to keep your feet in place. At the same time, it also makes it easier to get out in an event of crash.

Product features and specifications

  • Weighs 0.8 pounds
  • Made of Nylon Fiber + Cr-Mo
  • Cr-Mo Spindle + DU Bearing
  • 10 anti-skid nails
  • 4.1″ wide platform
  • Ultralight Ergonomic design pedals

User/ Customer reviews

Users have said that these pedals look cool and they bite into your shoes directly, making it practically impossible for you to slip off. Cyclists feel that these pedals provide much better support than any ordinary metal pedal. Some users have also said that they experienced a huge difference in their ability to pedal with extra power and better performance.

Conclusion

If looks matter to you and performance is your priority then the ROCKBROS MTB Pedals are a great combination of both. Although they are designed for mountain bikes, they do equally well for commuter bikes too. At this price, you get an amazingly well-designed pedal with a great grip.

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#5. Imrider Lightweight Polyamide Bike Pedals

These lightweight polyamide bike pedals by Imrider are constructed from nylon composite, due to which the overall weight is extremely light. The use of waterproof materials also ensures that pedals last really long and do not get damaged in adverse weather conditions. Bearings are sealed to keep out damage.

Besides being shock-proof, the nylon fiber surface pedals are also corrosion and abrasion-resistant. They also get full marks for safety as the hard spindles produce strong grips to avoid any sudden disconnection while riding.

 The 16 hex-head threaded traction pins on each side providing adequate grip and enhanced control. It also helps in getting out quickly in the event of a crash. The rubber gasket is made from DU material, to keep pedals at a minimum to reduce wear and tear; hence it is made to last for long.

Product features and specifications

  • Measures 125mm X 108mm X 18mm
  • Weighs 0.64 ounces
  • DU Material Washer
  • Hard spindles
  • Antiskid nail surface
  • Made of high-quality polyamide
  • Standard 9/16” for Universal Use
  • Anti-slip locking spikes

User/ Customer reviews

Users have said that they gave these pedals a try because they are so inexpensive and were pleasantly surprised by its lightweight, great built, bulletproof design and great grip. Customers have also said that even after a few hits, the pedals have not taken any damage, which is a good sign. A few users have said that the pedals look good but they are not durable enough.

Conclusion

If you want your daily commuter bike to look special and perform better without having to spend too much after it then check out the Imrider bike pedals. They may not last as long as the expensive ones, but we can say that if you grab a pair and give them a try, you will not be disappointed.

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#6. MEETLOCKS Bike Pedal

If you want the looks to kill then the MEETLOCKS bike pedal is worth checking out. Made from CNC machined aluminum alloy, these light yet strong pedals are much better than the aluminum alloy injection ones. With each pedal weighing about 196g, they strike the perfect balance of weight and performance

We love the concave 4″x3.7″ platform shape that’s perfectly suited for big size feet. It ensures both comfort and enhanced pedaling efficiency for improved performance. It also provides a good skid resistance design to give you a long and stable ride.

There are 12 replaceable pins on both sides that grip your shoes to transfer more force to the pedals and save you energy in the long run. They also provide good anti-slip performance. The ultra sealed bearings further provide a smooth capacity to ensure easy rolling pedals.

Product features and specifications

  • Measures 7.2 x 41.3 x 7.1 inches
  • Weighs 14.6 ounces
  • 3 sealed bearing
  • Concave 4″x3.7″ platform shape
  • 12pcs anti-slip pins
  • CNC machined aluminum alloy
  • Durable 9/16″ spindle

User/ Customer reviews

Many users have said that these are much wider than their old narrower pedals thus they provide better stability on different types of roads. Cyclists also feel that the pedals look great and enhance the appearance of the bike. A few users have said that the pedals can also take some beating without getting damaged.

Conclusion

The MEETLOCKS Bike Pedals are cool looking and good for commuter bike. However, they are not sturdy or flexible enough for heavy off-road use in mountain bikes. As long as you use the bike to commute daily and not take them to rough and hilly terrain, these pedals offer good value for money.

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 #7. Wellgo MG-1 Magnesium Sealed Platform Pedal

These pedals from the Wellgo stable are made from die-cast magnesium for enhanced durability. They offer wider foot space than the standard pedals to let you ride comfortably and transfer optimum pressure to the bike to move forward.

There are 9 traction pins on both sides of the platform pedal to ensure that your feet stay fixed on the pedal surface to give you more control while riding. The CrMo spindle smoothly spins on the DU bushings and sealed bearings for a comfortable ride.

The pedals come in four attractive colors so you can choose the one that goes well with your commuter bike. Installation is easy and any cyclist with a good knowledge of bikes can do it. The manufacturer stands behind the product with a year warranty.

Product features and specifications

  • Measures 5.1 x 4.3 x 31.5 inches
  • Weighs 15.8 ounces
  • Magnesium/Painted Color
  • Size: 114.6106.230.8mm
  • MG-1 sealed bearings
  • 1 Year Warranty

User/ Customer reviews

Those who used standard pedals before have said that they can feel the improvement in grip and ride after using the Wellgo MG-1 pedals for the first time. Users have said that installation work takes them about 10 minutes with the help of Park pdw-3 pedal wrench. A few customers have also said that the pedals come with plastic reflectors so they didn’t have to install reflectors separately to ride at night.

Conclusion

 These are well constructed pedals sporting an improved design over the standard nylon Wellgo pedals, hence they provide a better grip and control. While we mostly recommend these for commuter bikes, they also fare well in mountain biking and wet conditions. At this price, we feel that you get more than what you pay for.

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#8. Diamondback Trace Dual Sport Clipless Pedals

If you prefer the clipless design, we recommend the Diamondback Trace Dual Sport pedals that feature one side as SPD pedal and another side as a standard flat pedal. The dual-sided body is made from an alloy and it also includes sealed cartridge bearings and a Chromo axle.

With 4 degrees of float and adjustable tension, the pedal helps you find the most comfortable foot position for a better ride. They come with cleats and can also be used with SH-51 cleats. Design-wise, these clipless pedals look well built and something that can last for long.

Installation is easy if you have some knowledge about how this works and have a few tools handy. The pedals can be attached with the help of a hex wrench. You simply need to dab some white lithium on threads to install. Performance-wise, they are great and easy to clip on and unclip when needed.

Product features and specifications

  • Measures 8 x 5 x 1 inches
  • Weighs 0.97 pounds/pair
  • Dual-sided – platform on one and SPD on other
  • Alloy body with Chromoly axles
  • 4 degrees of float
  • Adjustable tension
  • Black/ Silver combination
  • Cleats included – compatible with Shimano SH-51 cleats

User/ Customer reviews

Most users have said that these pedals work great with commuter bikes and road cycles, but they are not meant for mountain biking or any heavy off-road use. Cyclists find these pedals easy to use as they cal clip in and get out conveniently when needed. A few users have also warned that these pedals are slightly on the heavier side, but this is what makes them better in performance.

Conclusion

If you are tired of clip design and platforms and seek a change then these dual clipless pedals by Diamondback are a good fit. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced cyclist, you will enjoy commuting with these pedals attached. However, bear in mind that they are only meant for light use. All in all, this is a good investment.

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Buying Guide: Best Pedals For Commuter Bike

When you are in the market to get a new pair of pedals because the old one has worn out or you wish to upgrade your new bicycles by replacing the pedals it came with, there are a few things to consider. The choice of pedals is important because your speed, performance, and flexibility depend on it to a large extent. So, here are a few things that you need to consider

Riding style

Are you looking for road cycling pedals that come with a three-hole cleat for enhanced power transfer to improve your game? Or, are you a recreational biker who likes to tour the countryside on the weekends? In that case, you will need flat pedals that are easy to clip on and get off. What’s your riding style?

The type of pedal most suitable for you will depend on whether you are a mountain biker, road cyclist, or urban commuter. While there are a few pedals you can use for daily commuting and some light trails too, most commuting pedals are not suitable for mountain biking or off-road racing.

Types of shoes

cycling-shoes

When deciding on a type of pedal that’s suitable for your bike, you may also need look into the type of footwear you generally use. As a pro cyclist, you probably know that shoes vary depending on the type of route you are embarking on.

If you prefer wearing shoes in which you can walk comfortably then you will need flat pedals. The shoes that go with clipless pedals are usually stiff and not comfortable for walking long distances. Mountain biking cleats often provide both clipping-in benefits and walking comfort

See Also: 18 Benefits Of Wearing Cycling Shoes

Platform Vs Clipless Pedals

Now, we come to the most important point of consideration that will define your overall riding experience. Please bear in mind that the pedal requirements may differ depending on the type of road or route you ride on. Before going ahead, let’s look into each one closely.

The flat or platform pedals are the types that you have on your first bike. They have a wide surface area to properly accommodate and support your feet and almost any type of shoe. However, they are not designed to work with the clipless shoes.

Clipless pedals is a confusing name because in this case the cyclist actually clips-in to the pedal’s cleats in a similar way as a ski binding. They work by mounting a metal or small plastic cleat on the shoe sole that snaps in to hold your feet in place. These pedals may come in a 2-hole or 3-hole design.

The 2-hole clipless pedal design is commonly used in mountain biking, while the 3-hole design is popular for the road. When a road rider seeks speed, better control, and efficiency, he may choose clipless pedal over the flat or platform design.

Which Is Better – Platform Or Clipless Pedals

The road cyclists who are likely to pedal for longer distances will commute by bike in an urban area. When riding on a city street, you are likely to encounter frequent stops and starts due to traffic signals, junctions, and pedestrians crossing the road.

When you are riding on a platform pedal, it becomes easier to stop and put your foot down, than clipless pedals where you have to twist your heel to release from the cleat. You will need to wait until you hear a click sound before you can put your foot down.

Sometimes commuters may choose to go clipless and choose the double-sided clipless pedals as they are easier to unclip and get-in when needed with less force. Most of the pedals will also the rider to twist his foot in various directions to unclip quickly.

While it’s hard to say which is better, the flats or platforms are certainly the first choice for beginners. When you start riding regularly and commute in all weather conditions, you may want to upgrade your bike by installing clipless pedals and choose bike-specific shoes to keep your feet drier and more comfortable.

Pros of platform/flat pedals

  • They are convenient to use
  • They are quicker to slid your foot on and off
  • They are less prone to dirt and mud
  • They can alter the balance and foot placement

Cons of platform/flat pedals

  • There’s a risk of foot slipping off the platform
  • They are less efficient for pro-riders

Pros of clipless pedals

  • They provide improved efficiency
  • They offer a steady foot placement
  • They help you establish a stable connection to bike

Cons of clipless pedals

  • They are not suitable for beginner cyclists
  • Walking in road shoes/cleats is difficult

Other Bike Pedal Features

Besides the platform and clipless aspect, there are many other things that you need to look into when choosing the best pedals for commuter bike. Let’s take a look into the importance of pedal float and multiple-release cleats, terms that you will frequently come across when looking for pedals.

Pedal float

When you step on a clipless bike pedal, the cleat fixes firmly with the pedal mechanism to hold your feet firmly in place. Float typically refers to the amount of angular rotation that is allowed to the foot while it’s fixed on the pedal. Different cleats will come with varying degrees of float determining your comfort level. This is more of a personal preference as you gain more experience.

Multiple-release cleats

Most bike shoes that are designed to attach with the pedals release laterally. The multiple-release cleat is actually quite similar to these models except the fact that they have slightly increased angles. The biggest advantage of using multiple-release cleats is that they are much more forgiving than lateral-release cleats.

Tips For Taking Care Of Your Pedals

Over time, it is inevitable that the pedals will take some sort of wear and tear due to the grit, dirt, and grime accumulated. When you feel that the pedals are not engaging and disengaging as smoothly as they did earlier, maybe it’s time to service them. Here are a few tips to take good care of pedals.

  • Fix a day every week to inspect the pedals for proper functioning and make a note of any signs of damage. Always inspect after covering a long distance.
  • If you ride in the wet and muddy road, clean the pedal with warm water after you get back home to remove the dirt and debris.
  • After thoroughly washing the pedals, air dry them and apply lubricant to the clips on both sides for proper functioning.
  • If the above steps do not improve the pedal performance, you may need to consult with a local bike mechanic.

Related Questions

What are the hybrid clipless pedals

These types of clipless pedals are a cross between flat and clipless design. They have a platform-style on one side and clipless design on the reverse side. This provides cyclists the option to ride in a causal or cycling footwear without having to replace the pedals.

Do pedals self-tighten?

Yes, the right pedals are right-hand thread, while the left pedals are left-hand thread, so they tend to self-tighten as you ride along. This prevents you from falling due to pedals becoming loose.

What grease should I use for pedals

When servicing your bike, it is essential to lubricate the pedals and for this, you need a good quality lube such as the ProGold EPX Grease. It does a good job of lubricating both the clipless and platform bike pedals. You may also use it for threads and bolt heads

What types of shoes are best for your commute?

When choosing shoes for your commute, you must always keep safety first. If your daily route takes you through the busy streets, we suggest that you avoid open-toed shoes when commuting to work. Exposed feet can be the target for anything on the route, including debris, dirt, and cement. Sandals and flip-flops may get stuck and cause injuries.

Nothing compared to a flat shoe that comes with a sole designed for traction. Footwear with vulcanized rubber soles is the perfect grippers if safety is your priority. Shoes with laces are a good choice as they keep your feet in place but the laces should not be too long. You must avoid lightweight shoes as they can be a nightmare in bad weather.

See Also:
6 Best Tires For Commuter Bike
Rigid Vs Suspension Fork For Commuter (Here’s The Difference)
How Many Miles Should I Bike A Day

Ken

Cycling is my source of liberation. The love affair started more than a decade ago when I started cycling for fitness and soon it turned into a passion. The adrenalin rush you feel when you grab the handlebars, put on the helmet, and feel the speed in your nerves is unique in itself.

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