Every product is carefully selected by our editors. If you buy from a link, we may earn a commission.

The Best Pedals For Your Mountain and Road Bikes

Whether you're riding trails or cruising the streets, a quality pair of pedals is essential. Here are our favorites.

collage of three bike pedals
REI, Amazon

They say it's the small things in life that matter the most, and while most of us hear that phrase and think about time spent with family, small gestures of love and affection and the avalanche of seemingly ordinary moments that make up a life well lived...I think, maybe, the phrase is actually about bikes. (Anyone who's ridden on two wheels will know what I mean.) After all, it's the small components that have a noticeable effect on how your ride will go. Is your stem the right height? Do your bibs have pockets? Do you have braze-ons to accommodate your water bottle cages? I

'm aware there are probably some hard core cyclists out there reading this right now, screaming internally, "WHAT ABOUT THE FRAME, YOU NUT??" And yes, while I admit that obviously one of the largest and most important aspects of a pleasant bike ride is the size and fit of your frame, it doesn't fit my 'small things' analogy, and so I won't be addressing that here.

Anyway, small things: One of the most overlooked, and arguably important, small things on any bike are the pedals. Are you still working with the stock pair that came with your ride? If you've upgraded, did you make the right pick? Picking the right pedal can have a massive effect on your comfort and power during rides, so it's worth it to familiarize yourself with types, materials and use cases before picking up your next pair.

Which pedal type is best for you?

Although you may spend your entire cycling career searching for the perfect pedal, you don't have to wonder about which style is best for you: this is dictated largely by which type of riding you'll choose to do. Indoor cyclists, road cyclists and mountain bikers all have distinct needs that will be addressed by unique pedal designs.

Road Bikers: Pick a set of pedals that will make the most of your power: in many cases, that will mean clipless. (Contrary to logic, clipless refers to the style of pedal in which riders clip into it. They were named decades ago to differentiate them from toe pedals with cages, called "toe clips", that were popular at the time.)

Mountain Bikers: Grip, flexibility, durability and a wide platform will all be your best friends when looking for the perfect pedal.

Exercise Bikers: Choose long-lasting, dependable pedals that are compatible with your exercise bike — simple as that.

What materials should I look for in a bike pedal?

When it comes to flat pedals, most are made either of plastic (composite) or metal (alloy). Most flat and clipless pedals are made with aluminum alloy, although more and more pedals are being offered in composite, which can be lighter while maintaining similar durability.

The Best Pedals For Your Road Bike

Shimano Ultegra

Best Overall Road Bike Pedals

Shimano Ultegra PD-R8000 SPD-SL Pedals


  • Clips are easy to get in and out of

  • Out of stock frequently
  • Materials: Chromoly steel, carbon composite
  • Best Use: Road
  • Pedal Design: Clipless
  • Weight: 248 grams

    The Ultegras are some of the most popular pedals on the market for a reason: they feature premium materials at a reasonable price point, and their classic design offers pro-level performance for almost any kind of rider. The platform is wide and easy to clip in and out of, and the mixture of a carbon composite body and a stainless steel body plate mean that you'll get durability without sacrificing weight.

    Shimano Dura-Ace PD-R9100

    Best Upgrade Road Bike Pedals

    Shimano DURA-ACE PD-R9100 Pedals

    $227.80 (19% off)

    • Low weight makes them great for ounce counters

    • High retail price and low availability compared to other popular pedals
    • Materials: Composite
    • Best Use: Road
    • Pedal Design: Clipless
    • Weight: 272 grams (combined with cleat)

      If you're willing to shell out some big bucks, it's well worth investing in these minimal, high-performance pedals from one of the most popular brands in cycling. Combined with cleats, these are some of the lightest pedals you'll find on any list, and with component updates like an extra needle bearing for stability and support, the balance on these has effectively been perfected.

      Venzo Road Bike Clipless Pedals

      Best Budget Road Bike Pedals

      Venzo Clipless Road Bike Pedals

      Venzo amazon.com

      • Basic design is great for beginners

      • More experienced riders will want something more advanced

      • Materials: Fiberglass-reinforced thermoplastic
      • Best Use: Road
      • Pedal Design: Clipless
      • Weight: 255 grams

        When it comes to clipless pedals, it's important to maintain a focus on quality; you don't want to sacrifice the integrity of the pedal to save a few bucks. Venzo's clipless option is more affordable than the other pedals on this list, but still features quality materials like reinforced thermoplastic, which is both lighter than metal and durable, to boot. These ship with a pair of pedals and cleats, and are not compatible with other cleats.

        The Best Pedals For Your Mountain Bike

        Race Face Atlas Pedal

        Best Overall Mountain Bike Pedal

        Race Face Atlas Bike Pedal

        $109.99 (39% off)

        • Great grip and action

        • Expensive compared to similar builds
        • Materials: Aluminum
        • Best Use: Mountain
        • Pedal Design: Flat
        • Weight: 383 grams

          Do you want grip? Do you want all-around performance in a variety of terrain? Do you want an approachable price point paired with quality? If the answers is 'yes' to any or all of these questions, then you want these pedals. The Atlas pedals feature a large platform, great grip with improved bearings, nice rotation and are made with aluminum, so they'll hold up under pressure and duress. Buyer beware: these don't thread on like conventional pedals, and do not come with installation instructions, so do your research before attempting to put them on.

          Deity TMAC Flat Pedals

          Best Upgrade Mountain Bike Pedals

          Deity TMAC Pedals


          • Wide and concave platform offers plenty of grip
          • Lots of colorway options

          • At almost $200, these are not affordable like other options
          • Materials: 6061 T6 aluminum
          • Best Use: Mountain Biking
          • Pedal Design: Flat
          • Weight: 409 grams

            Designed with input from legendary freerider Tyler McCaul, these large-platform pedals provide a sturdy and grippy base that you'll be able to rely on during the toughest of rides. The super concave profile of the 6061 T6 aluminium body is symmetrical and stable, and provides plenty of traction through tougher trails. The number of top-loading pins and their placement enhance grip, and they can be replaced easily and without much hassle.

            OneUp Components Composite Pedal

            Best Budget Mountain Bike Pedal

            OneUp Components Composite Pedals

            $39.50 (27% off)

            • Easy to install

            • Not as rugged as aluminum options
            • Materials: Composite
            • Best Use: Mountain
            • Pedal Design: Flat
            • Weight: 359 grams

              Thanks to these pedals, at less than fifty bucks, you can get a solid set of flats from a reputable brand like OneUp. The price is pretty unbeatable, the composite material will last you for a while and there are service kits readily available if you need a tune up. These pedals have a unique convex shape which can be a deterrent for some, but once you get used to it, you shouldn't have any issues.

              Crankbrothers Candy 7 Clipless Pedal

              Best Clipless Mountain Bike Pedals

              Crankbrothers Candy Clip-In Bike Pedals

              $152.16 (15% off)

              • Require virtually no maintenance

              • Those used to a wider platform will have a learning curve
              • Materials: 6061-T6 aluminum
              • Best Use: Mountain Biking
              • Pedal Design: Clipless
              • Weight: 320 grams

                If you know mountain biking, you know Crankbrothers. The Candy Series is one of the top rated pedal series on the market, and the Candy 7 is a fantastic clipless choice for riders that like to send it. The 6061-T6 aluminum body with anodized finish is dependable and durable (not to mention good-looking) and the Igus bearings, double seal system, chromoly steel spindle and stainless steel spring round out these capable and hard-working pedals. These are super easy to click into from either side, and have just enough of a platform to keep your feet from slipping all over, without being too bulky. If you're like for a mid-to-high tier option, these are a great pick.

                Shimano SPD Pedal Clipless Pedal

                Best Affordable Clipless MTB Pedal

                Shimano SPD Clipless Pedal

                $44.07 (20% off)

                • Super easy to clip in and out of

                • A little small if you're used to a larger platform

                • Materials: Chromoly
                • Best Use: Mountain Biking
                • Pedal Design: Clipless
                • Weight: 380 grams

                  These are our top pick for budget-friendly clipless mountain bike pedals for a few reasons: they're affordable, easy to use and super durable. Sure, they're on the small side, but they're still big enough to be comfortable, and the double-sided design makes it a snap to get into them.

                  clipless pedals
                  Steve Mazzucchi

                  Advertisement - Continue Reading Below