As a regular road cyclist, the chances are that you have tried several pedals. But have you considered the best flat pedals for road bike?
Flat pedals (platform pedals) are an old fashion pedal type made of rubber, plastic, or metal. Unlike clip-in (clip-less) pedals, flat pedals do not have clipping, and so they are easily accessible.
We’re going to look at five of the best platform pedals for road bicycles. We’ll also look at a few buying considerations and frequently asked questions about the pedals.
But first, let’s understand why you should consider these road bike pedals.
In a hurry? Then check out the hottest platform pedals for road bikes below.
5 Best Flat Pedals for Road Bike
- Crankbrothers Stamp Flat Pedal: Best Overall
- Shimano Unisex PD-A530: Best Unisex Flat Pedals
- Imrider Polyamide Bike Pedals: Most Lightweight
- BV Bike Pedal Set Pedals: Best for Night Cycling
- Shimano PD-EH500 SPD : Best Multi-Use Option
Why You Should Use Flat Pedals for Road Bike
Given that there is no clipping, it’s stress-free to get on and off flat pedals. That’s unlike clip-in pedals where your cleats are clipped. The mechanism, therefore, makes flat pedals a fantastic pick for newbie riders.
Also, the fact that you can get your feet on and off the pedal quickly means it’s easy to avoid a crash. So, in case you lose control of the bike, you can quickly regain it by putting your legs firmly on the ground.
You should also note that a flat pedal gives you the flexibility of riding with any shoe and still have a comfortable ride. That might be an issue if you switched to a clip-in pedal.
Other advantages of road bike flat pedals are:
- Improved foot positioning – Flat pedals allow you to flex and rest your feet comfortably, which means absolute relief from foot pain and other issues. So, in the long run, your foot positioning becomes much better.
- Confident cycling – The fact that you can get in and out of the pedals quickly means you can conquer hills without fear.
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How to Choose the Best Flat Pedals for Road Bike – The Buying Guide
Consider these factors when shopping for flat pedals:
- Material Strength
Though flat pedals come in rubber materials, the popular options are plastic and metal. Plastic is an affordable choice, owing to its cheap production.
However, plastic can be fragile, especially when riding on tough terrains. So, instead of taking such a risk if you are riding on a rocky road, consider metal.
That brings us to aluminum and steel materials. Aluminum is a top consideration due to its lightweight. More to it, it absorbs shock effectively, which means you can ride safely over long distances.
Furthermore, aluminum is rust-resistant, thus more robust and durable. Steel is also another rust-resistant and stronger material choice.
Unlike aluminum, steel is weighty, and that explains why most flat road bike pedals only feature a part of it. The material is mostly present on the bearings.
- Platform Area
Generally, the larger the platform area, the likelier your feet will fit. And when your feet fit, you’ll have a comfortable ride.
It also means that you can cycle with sneakers, sandals, and even boots if you wish so. Thus, you no longer have to carry a pair of cycling shoes.
Also, a broader platform reduces the chances of your foot slipping off when cycling.
- Pedal Size
It’s not just the platform area that you should look at but also the overall pedal size. It would be best if you found flat pedals for road bikes that match the requirements of your road bike.
The surest way is to read the product specifications and identify the pedals dimensions.
You shouldn’t just go with your instinct as it can be misleading. So, if you are changing your pedals, consider the size of the previous ones.
- Pedal Thickness and Weight
In terms of strengths, thicker pedals are less likely to bend after use. You should, however, be selective to ensure you don’t go for pedals that are too thick as they may compromise your stability.
Also, consider the pedals’ overall weight. Thus, avoid heavy pedals as they’ll mean overworking your feet. Furthermore, such pedals will slow you down, and you wouldn’t want that if you’re going to cycle fast.
- Platform Grip
Broader platform pedals offer you a better foothold. So, they allow you to ride without the foot skidding. However, there is more about grip than just a larger platform.
Also, consider the pin extensions as they help to reduce slippage. The features not only ensure your feet don’t slide off, but they also prevent foot injuries.
- Pedal Stance
The distance from the right pedal to the left pedal, what we call a pedal stance, is of utmost importance. It directly affects your riding comfort, and so you have to consider it carefully.
The stance should not be excessive or too low. For road bike platform pedals, the distance should be around 150mm.
- Pedal Price
Flat pedals come in different budgets, and so it’s just a matter of what suits you the most. While it’s tempting to go for a cheaper model, a majority are not of the best quality.
Also, it doesn’t directly mean that the most expensive flat pedals are the best. So, what you need to do is to put quality before the price.
Find a quality flat pedal that you can afford. It should be spacious, lightweight, reasonably thick, and grippy.
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5 Best Flat Pedals for Road Bike
Here are the best platform pedals on the market today:
The Crankbrothers Stamp Flat Pedal comes in a minimal profile to go well with most road bikes. It’s about 13mm thick and enjoys a sizeable concave platform for effortless pedaling.
The pedal has nine adjustable traction pins on each side that provide you with sufficient pedaling grip. Its massive stamp surface suit shoes size 10-15 (U.S size).
The platform pedal enjoys a robust seal and bearing system that ensures it holds up and performs optimally. Plus, it has a chromoly steel spindle that promises longevity.
This flat pedal measures 345g per pair and comes with a 5-year warranty. Additionally, it’s available in about ten color choices.
- Minimum profile
- Adjustable traction pins
- Large concave platform
- 5-year warranty
- Premium seal and bearing system
- Chromoly steel spindle
The Shimano Unisex PD-A530 SPD Road Dual Platform Pedal employs the Shimano pedaling dynamics (SPD) technology. The SPD is a unified power system that promotes riding efficiency and stability.
Shimano, the manufacturer, has integrated the outsole and the pedal into a unified potent power transfer system to give you better pedaling control.
It’s a dual-platform pedal that accommodates a wide range of shoes. The design also accommodates a wide variety of pedaling styles, thus great for performing tricks.
The pedal surface is wide enough to improve your foothold when riding. It has a mud-shedding design that flushes out mud when riding.
- Shimano pedaling dynamics
- Better control
- Mud shedding
- Large dual-platform
If you are looking for the best BMX flat pedal, the Imrider Lightweight Polyamide Bike Pedals are perfect. They come in a lightweight design to make it easy for you to pedal.
The lightweight profile also makes them ideal for kids’ bikes, mountain bikes, MTB bicycles, and cruiser cycles.
The lightweight platform pedals for road bike are 18 mm thick and are made of polyamide. The polyamide gives them corrosion-resistance and abrasion-resistance properties.
Their big platform features antiskid nail features, which prevents your feet from slipping off when you cycle. What’s more, there are hard spindles that boast the pedals’ overall grip.
- Antiskid nail surface
- Large platform
- High-quality polyamide construction
- Hard spindles
- Lightweight design
- Waterproof bearings
The BV Bike Pedal Set Bicycle Pedals come in a rigid one-piece resin body to fit comfortably on most road bikes, commuter bikes, and e-bikes.
They have a rigid and lightweight design, which means they are both reliable and easy to pedal. The platform bike pedals feature 9/16 inch solid boron steel spindles that promise long-term services.
They enjoy a ball bearing system that optimizes your cycling effort. So, you are likely to enjoy using these pedals than most.
The body features reflectors that enable other road users to see you, especially at night. Additionally, the pedal comes with a one-year manufacturer warranty.
- One-piece resin with reflectors
- Ball-bearing systems
- 9/16 inch boron steel spindle
- 1-year warranty
- Corrosion-resistance surface
- Anti-skid nodes
This is another impressive dual platform pedal by Shimano that promises an exciting pedaling experience. The Shimano PD-EH500 SPD Bike Pedal features a traditional pedal platform on one flank and an SPD platform on the other.
This pedal is a multi-use type. You can use it on road bikes, commuter bikes, mountain bikes, and other bike types.
Their platform features detachable traction pins, which promise adequate grip even in humid conditions. They employ a light-action binding system, which makes their clipping in and out effortless.
The pedals weigh 383g and come in an aluminum body, thus lightweight.
The Axel, however, is steel. The pedal comes with a two-year warranty.
- Dual-sided platform
- Detachable traction pins
- Light-action binding
- Aluminum construction
- 2-year warranty
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1. Can I Buy Flat Pedals For My Road Bike?
Yes, you can buy flat pedals for your road bike. There are a few factors, however, that you have to consider first to get the purchase right.
Firstly, you have to check the pedals to ensure they are quite accommodating. They should allow you to ride with just any shoes.
Secondly, the pedals should match the size of your bike. That means you should check their dimensions to ensure they are what you want.
Lastly, consider flat pedals that you can fit comfortably. If not, then contact a bike expert after buying.
2. What Flat Pedals Are The Best?
Well, the best flat pedals should be lightweight, durable, and should have a large platform. They should also possess antiskid and anti-corrosion properties.
That describes the following platform pedals for road bike:
- Crankbrothers Stamp Flat Pedal
- Shimano Unisex PD-A530 SPD Road Dual Platform Pedal
- Imrider Lightweight Polyamide Bike Pedals
- BV Bike Pedal Set Bicycle Pedals
- Shimano PD-EH500 SPD Bike Pedal
3. Why Is My Bike Clicking As I Pedal?
Pedals generally produce a clicking sound when loose. You can fix such a problem by simply tightening them using a regular wrench.
It’s essential, however, that you ascertain that it’s the pedals that are squeaking and not any other part. Most bikers confuse the pedals’ squeak sound with that of the wheel and frame.
If it’s the wheels that are squeaking, consider lubricating them. Lubrication can also fix a clicking frame. But still, the frame brackets could be loose, and so you should check to tighten them.
4. Should I Ride Flat or Clip-Less?
It depends on what you consider essential. Clip-less pedals hold your feet to prevent them from slipping off as you cycle. That means you can ride much faster and even conquer hills with less physical effort.
Unfortunately, such pedals do not provide you with ample time to react when you lose control of the bike. So, it’s easy to crash, more so when you are a beginner rider.
The best flat pedals for commuting, contrary, allow you to put your feet on the ground quickly. As a result, it’s easy to regain control and prevent a crash.
You may, however, need to put more effort when cycling, and cycling can also be slow.
5. Why Are Flat Pedals A Better Choice?
Flat pedals are generally the better choice for beginner riders. They are easily accessible and make it easy to try and master new tricks.
These pedals also make it stress-free for you to regain control once you lose it, thus safe.
By allowing you to flex your feet, these pedals improve your foot positioning. As a result, it becomes easy to get relief from foot pain and strain.
Also, they allow you to cycle as you are. You don’t have to wear your riding shoes as you can do it with just any footwear.
Now you know what it means to use the best flat pedals for road bike. So, if you are a newbie rider or you want to be safe on the roads, switch to flat pedals today!
And if you are buying a new bike, you can choose one with flat pedals right from the start.
Alex Mwangi is the creator of Outdoor Right and an outdoor enthusiast. During his free time he enjoys riding his road bike or traveling the world looking for his next adventure.