Best Clipless Pedals for Road Bike: Top 6 picks for Beginners & Experts

Clipless Pedals for Road Bike

Having evolved from old pedal and toe-clip, clipless pedals are the best in their class of chic. The feel and comfort you get from these pedals are superb. In fact, you will forget how it felt your foot sliding now and then while pedaling on other types of bike pedals. Do you want to open a new world of ultimate cycling experience? This article brings to your attention the best clipless pedals for road bikes you can buy in 2020.

6 Best Clipless Pedals for Road Bike

Today, it is impossible to find the best clipless pedal from the plenty of options around us. Fortunately, we have a list of the best clipless pedals you can choose your match.

  1. Venzo Dual Function – Spd Dual Platform Pedals for Road Bike
  2. SHIMANO PD-EH500 – Best Clipless Spd Dual Platform Road Bike Pedals
  3. Shimano PD-A530 SPD – Best Clipless Dual Platform Pedals for Road Bike
  4. LOOK Keo Classic 3 – Road Clipless Pedals Boost Your Pedaling Stability
  5. Shimano 105 PD – Perfect Clipless SPD-SL Pedals for A Road Bike
  6. SHIMANO PD R-540 – Good Introductory SPD-SL Clipless Pedals for Road Cycling

1. Venzo Dual Function – Spd Dual Platform Pedals for Road Bike

The Venzo Clipless Pedals features a dual functionality to choose with convenience. You can ride with clipless shoes, which give more efficient energy transfer to pedal. Or, ride without clipless shoes like casual shoes. In other words, this pedal has SPD compatible cleats and platforms on either side. This enables it to work well in both cycling conditions.

Another good thing is, it features a die-cast aluminum body, which makes it durable. Thus, it guarantees a life-long pedaling experience without fear of breaking. Plus, it comes with a lightweight to enhance an efficient pedaling performance. Moreover, sealed bearings and the axle system ensures that you always have a smooth ride.

Other than that, this pedal system has a large platform for excellent riding stability. It is fully compatible with all the Shimano MTB SPD pedal systems (cleats). Interestingly, you can adjust the cleats with a screw to get a perfect clip in and out feel.

Pros

  • Multipurpose pedals
  • Designed to last long
  • Extra-large platform for stability
  • Customizable pedals for the perfect clip

Cons

  • Not ideal for shoes with sunken cleats

2. SHIMANO PD-EH500 – Best Clipless Spd Dual Platform Road Bike Pedals

Typically, the SHIMANO PD-EH500 pedals come with unique light action binding systems. As a result, they make them ideal for rides with frequent clip in and out. This creates a novice rider to feel more confident and safe during pedaling. Besides that, they give a perfect fit with MT and CT shoes for a more enjoyable ride.

Moreover, it comes as a dual-sided bike pedal with an ideal platform on one side. And, an SPD step-in design on the other. Therefore, you can use SPD cycling shoes or regular street shoes with ultimate ease. You will find it with the Shimano SM-SH56 multi-release cleats for an excellent fit. The adjustable entry and release tension settings give a more customized pedaling experience.

You will like how multi-functional the SHIMANO PD-EH500 is. This is to say, it comes as the best choice for use on both road and mountain touring. Additionally, the flat-sided platform has removable traction pins. This gives the rider a perfect grip and control. Most importantly, it is light yet durable. Thanks to the aluminum pedal construction and chrome-moly steel axle.

Pros

  • Very light yet high quality
  • Easy to clip in and out
  • Multi-functional
  • Designed to last

Cons

  • Somewhat pricey

3. Shimano PD-A530 SPD – Best Clipless Dual Platform Pedals for Road Bike

Shimano PD-A530 Pedal comes to make your pedaling experience more efficient than ever! It is available in a wide range of shoe and pedal styles to cater to all rider’s needs without a fuss. Besides, it has a dual function, thanks to the SPD system. This is to say, it performs whether you are on or off the bike with convenience. Plus, the recessed cleat included ensures that you walk comfortably when off bike.

The best part is, this fantastic pedal platform features a uniquely innovative design. In other words, the manufacturer got rid of the toe-clips in its design. Instead, the pedal and outsole got combined into a single unit. This ensures you get all the support and stability needed for active pedaling.

Moreover, the SPD system improves the rider’s control over plenty of bold styles of riding. What’s interesting is, it exists as a full pedal platform. Thus, it enhances better stability and comfort during riding.

Pros

  • Enhance pedaling efficiency
  • Dual functional pedal
  • Excellent control and stability
  • Incredible pedaling performance

Cons

  • Platform side is a bit slick

4. LOOK Keo Classic 3 – Road Clipless Pedals Boost Your Pedaling Stability

LOOK Keo Classic 3 Road Pedals have large and full contact platform. Hence, it ensures that you get excellent pedaling stability upon stepping in it. You will find it very simple to use, making it a new user friendly. Hence, it is possible to change the cleat entry and release tension to low for an effortless clip release.

Its pedal spindle has a large steel axle with tiny ball bearings with 12mm inside and 18mm outside. And, the needle bearing gives improved wear resistance and provides better control. The spencer included helps to hold the needle bearing cartridge in place. Therefore, it offers ultimate safety to the rider while riding. Similarly, a unique fitting type of the spindle to the pedal body assures reliable performance.

The best part is, LOOK spindles and axles get approved after a rigorous rotational test. This ensures that you get the best pedaling performance with utmost safety.

Pros

  • Great grip and stability
  • Easy to install and use
  • Very reliable
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Plastic cleat doesn’t last long

5. Shimano 105 PD – Perfect Clipless SPD-SL Pedals for A Road Bike

Bike parts from SHIMANO will never stop amusing you! With the Shimano 105 SPD – SL Pedal, there is so much to enjoy. Firstly, it has a great and lightweight carbon body design to give a vast shoe contact area. Therefore, it helps to maximize power transfer and support for effective pedaling performance. Plus, the reduced pedal weight allows you to get a more flexible control making your entire ride fun.

Furthermore, the wide cleat and binding mechanism guarantee better shoe-to-pedal contact. This makes it the best choice as compared to the traditional SPD systems. Other than that, the Shimano 105 SPD – SL Pedal adopts a carbon composite body. So, you get assured of significant lasting cycling performance.

It has a well-modified stainless steel body plate. And, its reduced weight offers excellent support and stability during pedaling. Interestingly, the self-aligning type included makes its set-up process pretty easy. Additionally, it has a pedal shaft screw size 9/16-inch making it fit a wide range of bikes.

Pros

  • Super easy to install
  • Excellent control
  • Good quality and durable
  • Perfect transfer power and stability

Cons

  • Poor quality plastic cleat

6. SHIMANO PD R-540 – Good Introductory SPD-SL Clipless Pedals for Road Cycling

The Shimano PD-R540 Pedals boasts a large SPD binding cleat that makes it easier for you to clip in fast. This makes it the best choice for riders new to clipless pedals. Plus, it boasts a broad pedal platform so you can pedal with much confidence and stability. Other than that, this extra-ordinary pedal platform comes with an adjustable cleat tension. You can crank your foot down on the adjustable cleat on demanding pedaling sessions. This allows for a more stable yet efficient ride.

Or, you may loosen a bit during relaxed training sessions with simplicity. Moreover, the sealed bearing cartridge exists to protect it from dirt and grime. As a result, it cuts you the cost and effort for regular maintenance. The best part is its aluminum and chrome steel structure assures durability.

Additionally, Shimano PD-R540 has a low profile pedal platform with an open design. Hence, it allows for easy clip-in and release of the foot. At the same time, it gives a stable fit for a higher transfer to the pedals for an excellent ride.

Pros

  • Increased stability
  • Less maintenance on sealed bearings
  • Easy to clip into and release
  • Excellent power transfer

Cons

  • SPD cleats wear out easily

What are the best clipless pedals for beginners?

Finding an apt set of clipless pedals for newbies is pretty crucial. They give a vital interface between the rider and bicycle. Thus, it creates an essential point for excellent power delivery to the cranks. Typically, a unique set for novice clipless pedals need to be simple to clip entry and release. At the same time, they should be able to offer an enjoyable ride and last for many years.

Moreover, the pedal platform should be large enough. This will offer you excellent support and stability for a comfortable ride. More importantly, consider one with high-quality bearings and axle unit for efficient performance. As per our list, the SHIMANO SPD-SL PD R-540 Pedals are the best choice.

Clipless pedal types for road bikes

The clip-in pedals are a select type of bike pedals you can find around. They are of two camps; those with two-bolt cleats and those with three-bolt cleats. In simple terms, a cleat is a piece of plastic or metal attached to the sole of cycling shoes. As a result, it slots into the pedal’s SPD system to keep your feet in place.

  • Three-bolt Clipless Pedals

As the name suggests, this pedal system has an SPD pedal mechanism with three cleats. They give a secure connection between the pedal and shoe for better stability. Typically, such pedals focus on power over practicality. n For instance, you can walk around when off your bike. So, they are the best for use on road bikes.

  • Two-bolt Clipless Pedals

This type of clipless pedal has two cleats embedded in the shoe sole to fit on the pedal’s SPD mechanism. Generally, they are easier to clip in and out of the bike. Plus, they allow the rider to walk more normally when off the bike. That’s why it is common among mountain bikes. Because most MTB riders tend to get on and off the bike more frequently.

Which things you should consider when buying clipless pedals

The demand for clipless pedals continues to rise due to their ultimate functionality. In fact, the benefits they have over flat pedals are vast. As a result, they are in plenty with different styles and quality. Sadly, choosing the best unit has become a headache for many buyers. However, this buying guide explains things you should consider to make better choices.

Cleats

Road cleats are available in a wide range of designs meant to fit on a specific pedal type. Often, you will find them in either two or three-bolt braces. The latter gives excellent stability and support to the feet than the two-bolt cleats. That’s why many manufacturers such as Shimano, Mavic, and Time use such an arrangement. But, SpeedPlay Company uses a four-bolt mechanism. So, it is crucial to buy clipless pedals that are compatible with the cleats available.

Float

Usually, the float measurements are in degrees. It tells how much your foot can move before it gets unclipped from the pedal. Besides, it allows your feet to move with comfort and innately as you cycle. However, the higher the float you have, the more you will feel locked in a fixed position. And you will need more energy to unclip. Choosing one with adjustable cleats or suits, you’re riding demands.

Release tension

This involves the amount of force required to clip out from the pedals. If you are a novice, it is a good idea, to begin with, a low tension as it allows for easy clip in and out. For the advanced riders, you can upgrade the tension to feel secure while on the bike.

Stack height

Clipless pedals come with different stack height. You can measure the stack height starting from the middle part of the pedal to the shoe sole. Consider one with a shallow stack height since your foot will be close to the axle. This enhances excellent pedaling efficiency.

FAQ

Can I use SPD pedals on a road bike?

The answer is yes. They work without a glitch. However, you should be sure that it is compatible with your road bike.

Are clipless pedals dangerous?

The biggest lie in pedaling is that clipless pedals tend to be less dangerous than flat pedals. And, they don’t increase the risk of injuries. The truth is, clipless pedals can be more dangerous to both the new and pro riders. Because they clip your foot sturdily in place. Sometimes, it can be hard to unclip in case of an emergency crush. However, their benefits tend to outweigh the problems.

Do I really need clipless pedals?

If you like mountain or road biking, we recommend you get a set of clipless pedals. Plus, they are the best choice for recreational riding, racing, and commuting. They provide a secure fit and foot to pedal connection for efficient pedaling. Other than that, they allow for an instant foot clip in and out with ease.

Can you ride on clipless pedals with normal shoes?

Yes, you can use the usual pair of shoes to ride on clipless pedals. The sad thing is, you will feel very uncomfortable. This is especially when the shoe soles are thin or flexible. And, there is the risk of frequent sliding off often in wet seasons.

Are clipless pedals more efficient?

Notably, clipless riders tend to have low metabolic efficiency when pulling up. This makes them use a lot of oxygen and energy. With flat pedals, riders use less oxygen and energy to pedal. But, they are the best convenient fixed attachment than straps or cages.

Will clipless pedals improve speed?

Yes. Increasing the rider’s speed is among the many pros clipless pedals have. It is easier to generate more power when pulling down on them and pulling up. Besides that, they don’t slide even when the weather is wet. Hence, allowing you to have a more efficient riding power. This generally helps to improve the pedaling speed.

Final Word

Clipless pedals come as one of the crucial innovations in the pedaling industry. They work by giving you a fixed foot position to prevent sliding as compared to flat pedal systems. Besides, they enhance pedaling efficiency, control, and stability. Above all, choose a unit that will match the available cleat for better performance. With all the above list of 6 best clipless pedals for road bike, you can find one that fits your desires with ease.

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