John is an experienced cycling enthusiast and a great asset when it comes to writing skills. He's a Bachelor of Arts and a talented journalist. John is in charge of our blog and writes posts on a variety of cycling-related topics.
Jessica is our expert consultant on all things connected to biking - gear, technique, you name it. Being a pro cyclist in the past, she knows exactly how things work in and around your bike. She's been with us from the start and has contributed countless pieces of useful information to our website.
Last updated: April 29, 2022
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If you’ve recently taken up cycling, you might be itching to get into upgrading your new ride—for no other reason than it looks like fun. However, while there are a few components that could benefit from upgrades, the reality is that regular flat pedals should always remain your pedal option. Instead of changing your flat pedals to the clip-in versions, upgrade to a better-quality flat pedal.
Fortunately, we’ve done the legwork for you. We’ve searched a variety of options across the bicycle pedal market, and we’ve narrowed it down to ten favorites. No matter what road bike you have or what budget you’re working with, you’re most certainly guaranteed to find a flat pedal option best suited to your bike. We’ve included a handy buying guide that highlights the features to consider as you start the shortlisting process. Essential features include material, weight, and durability. Taking these features into consideration will ensure that you find the perfect flat pedals for your road bike right from the start.
More features: lightweight, sealed bearing, super grippy, wide platform
If you’re looking for a lightweight pedal with a wide platform, then the ROCKBROS Bike Flat Pedal is well worth considering. Made from aluminum and weighing a meager 302g makes, this peddle both lightweight and durable. Additionally, a sealed bearing protects the spindles from water, dust, and debris, allowing you to enjoy your ride, regardless of the terrain.
The ROCKBROS Bike Flat Pedal is one of our favorites, and here’s why. We love the wide platform, and at 99.45mm, even the biggest foot is sure to get adequate support. The good news is this pedal can be used while wearing just about any shoe sized under US 12. Stainless steel anti-skid studs on the outer frame prevent your feet (or shoes) from slipping off.
Aside from this pedal’s awesome grip, another feature that is quite impressive and different from some of the others in this category is the ultra-smooth bearings. Since the spindle is made of chrome-molybdenum steel material, it’s considerably stronger than ordinary steel.
What do we love it for?
We love the carbon bushing outside of the spindle as this provides anti-corrosion and keeps flat pedals spinning smoothly.
The gasket design on the spindle easily prevents any debris from entering the pedals, ensuring there’s no noise.
Five fun colors to choose from means you’ll easily find the best fit for your bike.
What were we disappointed with?
Some riders find the grip not as strong as promised.
The Crankbrothers Stamp Flat Bike Pedal offers riders an optimal surface area with a 13mm thin profile. Since this pedal is available in both small and large sizes, it’s easy to find the right fit. Simply opt for small if you’re using a 5 – 10 US size shoe. A large pedal is recommended for shoe sizes 10 to 15.
The feature that made us add this nifty little pedal to our list is the adjustable grip. Once you get the hang of this feature, you’ll realize the grip is actually quite superior! Unlike the majority of the pedals in this category, the Stamp features nine hex pattern traction pins per side. These serve to give you better traction and control.
What are its best features?
The adjustable grip ensures that the pedals don’t lose traction through mud, water, or even through rough terrain.
The pedals are very durable. While some rough riding can create scratches, the pedals remain strong.
This pedal’s size-specific design makes riding very comfortable.
What could be improved?
Many riders seem to agree that there should be more concave on the surface.
More features: lightweight, easy to install, 12 replaceable hex-head threaded traction pins per side
If you’re looking for a sturdy flat pedal for recreational riding or daily commuting, then the Puroma Bicycle Platform Flat Pedal could be just what you’re looking for. Wide platform pedals offer an extensive surface area for great pedaling efficiency.
This nylon fiber pedal made it to our best value pick because of its added safety feature. With 12 replaceable hex-head threaded traction pins on each side, you’ll get more grip and control. These pedals are great all-rounders, and their universality means it’s compatible with road bikes, BMX, MTB bikes, and even kids’ bikes. Since it’s lightweight, it’s ideal for daily commuting.
Why are we impressed?
It's easy to install, and its 9/16t" size means it fits all standard mountain and road bikes.
A fully-sealed bearing keeps dirt and debris from the spindles, which increases durability.
What negatives must you be aware of?
The pedal tends to be slippery when wet, even when only exposed to slightly damp shoes.
More features: DU bearings, non-slip design, metallic luster
The ZONKIE Road Bike Pedals are ideal for road and mountain bikes. The aluminum construction and 9/16” thread size make them standard enough to fit most bikes in these two categories.
We added them to the list because their ergonomic design provides a more comfortable riding experience. A non-slip surface design keeps your foot firmly on the pedal. Unlike some of its competitors, the ZONKIE has surface oxidation technology that ensures a smooth surface. Additionally, the width of the pedal is increased by 0.9” to give you a more comfortable ride.
Why is it special?
The pedals are easy to install, and for first-time pedal changers, the instructions are pretty straightforward.
What are the flaws?
The pedals don’t rotate easily. This can present a problem if you want your pedals to be loose enough to spin freely and not offer resistance in the drive chain.
More features: ultra-sealed bearings, easy to install
The Alston Road Pedals are a firm favorite because they’re wide but still thin enough to be adequately durable. Additionally, the DU sealed bearing makes riding comfortable and effortless.
This nifty flat pedal made it to our list because it’s so easy to install. We appreciate products that don’t make users (no matter how inexperienced) struggle! A user-friendly design makes installation super easy and convenient. On this pedal, you’ll find seven anti-slip grip nails on both sides to ensure your foot has maximum grip.
What are its best features?
We like the anti-skid pins that ensure a strong and safe shoe grip, even in wet conditions.
It’s very easy to install, even for beginners.
What could be improved?
The color on these pedals tends to fade faster than on other models.
More features: lightweight, wide platform, easy to install, non-slip design
If you’re looking for a way to add a pop of color to your riding experience, then the bright and ultra-modern HAIMIM Road Bike Pedals are what you’re looking for. These aluminum alloy wide platform pedals are lightweight and easy to install. The colorful pedals are quite popular with female riders who want to spruce up their bikes. Additionally, you’d want to read our article about women’s road bikes under 500.
It’s easy to see why these funky, multicolored pedals made it to our list of favorites. Aside from being made from durable aluminum, they feature a wider base, creating a more comfortable ride experience.
While some of the flat pedals on this list feature 9 or 12 anti-skid pins, the HAIMIM boasts an impressive 16 replaceable pins. Situated around the pedal surface, the anti-skid pins provide superior grip and support. They also maximize pedal efficiency.
What do we love it for?
We love the funky colors of these pedals. It’s a great way to add a bright and fun touch to your bike.
The 16 anti-skid, replaceable pins are a huge bonus for providing you with a superior grip.
What were we disappointed with?
Despite being a “standard” size, some consumers have found them to be slightly smaller than other models.
More features: comes with removable anti-skid nails, durable, easy to install, wider platform, waterproof
The CXWXC Road Bike Pedal is a universal, aluminum alloy pedal with a 9/16″ screw thread. Since the bearings are sealed, it makes the pedal waterproof. There’s no risk of damaging the axle from dirt, water, and debris.
We tried to add a variety of durable pedals to our list, and this model doesn’t disappoint. Despite being made from aluminum alloy, the CNC pedal body and the hardened, tempered CR-Mo axle offer durability in any terrain.
Other features that make it easy for this pedal to compete with other models in this category include its eight anti-skid pins per side, as well as a slightly concave surface. This surface type provides better maneuverability.
What are our favorite features?
These pedals are remarkably durable and strong, and their bearings are equally smooth and noise-free.
Their grip is definitely worth raving about. There’s no slipping, and your feet stay firmly in place even as you're riding through some rough terrain.
The reflector on the side of the pedal is great for riders spending time riding in the street.
What could be better?
Some consumers have reported receiving pedals in the wrong color.
More features: sealed bearing, great grips, wide platform, lightweight, easy to install
The ROCKBROS Mountain Bike Flat Pedals are made of aluminum and feature a universal thread size of 9/16″, making them ideal for just about any type of bike. Since bearings are sealed with carbon fiber, they’re not only stable and durable but allow for smooth, quiet operation.
As with the other ROCKBROS model on our list, this model features a wide platform. Since it weighs only 334g per pair, it’s easy and comfortable to use. A wider pedal surface supports feet more evenly and creates a better riding experience.
In addition to being made of durable aluminum, the pedal is also coated with anti-oxidation technology. This, in turn, prevents oxidation and corrosion as well as is a lot more durable and sturdier than most other pedals.
Why did it make our list?
Three colors provide riders with the option to find the perfect fit for their bikes.
Affordable prices make them the ideal low-cost upgrade.
They’re very easy to install. Simply check for the L (left) and R (right) markings and use a simple Allen wrench to attach.
What is not ideal about it?
The surface isn’t as concave as other models in this category.
More features: non-slip design, durable, wide, lightweight, lifetime warranty
The K PEDC Flat Pedal is constructed with durable aluminum alloy and features a 9/16″ universal thread size. With a lightweight of 0.71 lbs., it’s ideal for many different bike types such as road, mountain, and BMS bikes.
A feature that impressed us enough to add this pedal to our list is the three sealed bearings which make it amazing for long-distance riding. The sealed system protects the spindles from water and dust, ensuring durability.
Just like the other bikes on our list, these pedals feature anti-skid pins but go a step further by offering a new style of reverse installation. That means you’ll get strong grips and effectively prevents your shoes from sliding off, which in turn gives you safer cycling.
What makes it special?
This pedal has a lot of grips, making it smooth and comfortable to ride with.
Three sealed bearings make these pedals ideal for long-distance driving.
Easy to install using an 8mm Allen wrench.
What cons did we find?
Some consumers have reported not getting the exact colors they ordered.
More features: non-slip, lightweight, easy to install, universal fit, solid material
One of the features that make the Favoto Bike Pedal a firm favorite is that it’s made from high-strength aluminum alloy, which makes it durable and sturdy. Furthermore, these pedals are lightweight and feature a 9/16″ universal thread size.
We added this flat pedal to our list of favorites because it’s suitable for a wide variety of bikes, which include road and mountain bikes. Pedals that are versatile make great options for people with different bikes.
As with the other types on this list, these pedals feature raised pins. Generally, the pins prevent your foot from slipping off, which is great for any cyclist who rides through rough terrain.
What are its best features?
Installation is quick and easy. All you need is a hex key or pedal wrench and some bike grease.
High-strength aluminum alloy material makes the pedals lightweight and durable.
What could be improved?
Some riders find the pins don’t provide enough grip.
Things to Consider
Any expert rider will tell you that while bike pedals seem to look similar and perform a similar function, it’s not a one size fits all situation. You’ll also see this for yourself as you start creating a shortlist of potentials.
Our buying guide will illustrate why you need flat pedals as well as provide a breakdown of the features that distinguish one pedal from another. Additionally, we’ll answer questions about flat pedal installation and general maintenance. Using our buying guide to aid you in your search for the perfect flat pedals will save you hours of frustration.
Why Do You Need Flat Pedals for Road Bikes?
With flat pedals, you’re using an affordable pedal with most of your existing shoes.
Upgrading your pedals to a quality flat pedal model has several benefits. This is especially the case when you’re new to biking or are riding in less intense competitive racing. If this is the case, you’ll find our article, best beginner road bikes, quite interesting!
In the meantime, you should consider some of the more common reasons why you’ll benefit from flat pedals, including the following:
Variety of shoes
One of the top reasons to invest in flat pedals is it allows you to ride in just about any type of footwear. For people using their road bikes to cycle to work, it means they don’t have to carry an extra pair of shoes to cycle with.
Flat pedals even allow you to cycle home from the gym using your gym shoes because the pedals have a larger surface area. There’s no need to carry special cycling shoes or cleats in your bag.
Reduces risk of injury
For new or casual riders, one of the scariest aspects is the thought of getting your feet stuck on the pedal in the event of a fall. A simple fall can be made so much worse when a foot is stuck in a tumbling bike. Flat pedals allow the rider to place their feet on the ground in an emergency.
Few people realize that certain types of pedals require specialized footwear. So, in addition to the cost of the pedals, you’ll also be required to buy a dedicated pair of shoes. Additionally, you’ll need a set of cleats to attach the shoe to the pedal.
Provides better movement
Flat pedals allow you the freedom to move your feet around, which some other types of pedals don’t. It improves circulation as different muscles are used when you move your feet around.
Various features differentiate the many flat pedals currently on the market. This will leave you wondering if some features are better than others? Which types are best suited to your specific bike? In terms of size, material, and durability, how do you know what you’ll need? We urge you to keep reading to get a better understanding of what features you should be considering before you start shopping!
Some aluminum alloy options are lightweight and great for wear resistance.
Part of ensuring your flat pedal will be durable and comfortable centers around the material it’s made of. The most common material choices are listed below.
Bike pedals made of aluminum are often considered the best material because they have a better grip than some of the other options. They’re very durable. Most of the flat pedals on our review list are made of aluminum. The most prominent are the ROCKBROS Bike Flat Pedals and the HAIMIM Road Bike Pedals. In addition to opting for the best material, you should also read up on the best road bikes under 1500!
These types of pedals are often referred to as “plastic pedals.” Recent years have seen enormous leaps in composite compound technology resulting in a product that’s durable enough to use as bike pedals. Many composite pedals include a nylon compound creating a strong, durable pedal. The Crankbrothers Stamp Flat Bike Pedal on our list is made of composite and Chromoly steel.
Another strong material to consider is a nylon compound. Not only are they extremely solid, but they’re often a fraction of the cost. On our review list, the Puroma Bicycle Platform Flat Pedal is made of this type of nylon fiber.
As we’ve mentioned before, pedal purchasing isn’t a one size fits all scenario. Pedal size, commonly referred to as pedal threads, is one of the factors that amateur cyclists often neglect to check. This can result in them making additional purchases to find the right one. It’s crucial to check the product specs to make sure you have the right dimensions on your potential pedals. Manufacturers make it easy for you to find the right size. Simply check the cranks on the bike. Flat pedals are commonly a 9/16” x 20 threads per inch. To give you an idea, the Puroma Bicycle Platform Flat Pedal and the Favoto Bike Pedal on our list both feature size 9/16”. If you suspect that your bike needs a different size, it’s best to take your bicycle to the dealer to confirm.
It’s important to consider the weight of the flat pedal. While you might think that a heavier pedal is more durable, it’s worth noting that it can be harder to pedal with. A lightweight option will make peddling easier and more comfortable. Typically, anything between 200g and 400g is the preferred weight range of flat pedals. On our review list, the ROCKBROS Bike Flat Pedals have a weight of 302g, while the Puroma Bicycle Platform Flat Pedal has a lighter weight of 177g.
It should go without saying that you’d want flat pedals that are easy to install. Flat pedals should be easy to replace by simply using a few simple tools.
It’s important to install the new pedals correctly to avoid struggling to remove them in the future. Flat pedals should be installed to fit quite firm to avoid coming loose and causing an accident. Always check the installation steps and stools required before you make your purchase.
To prevent having to buy a new pair of pedals after only a few rides, opt for a brand and option that’s durable. You might even tell yourself that you don’t need the high-end flat pedal model since you’re not using a racing bike. However, an inexpensive (or the cheapest) option could result in you having to make several purchases before you find the right one. Opt for pedals constructed from carbon, nylon, or aluminum. Since all the pedals on our list are made from aluminum or contain some form of nylon compound, you can be sure they’re all quality pedals.
Pins are the small nail-type things that keep your shoe on the pedal. Some of these types of pins are metal, while others are made of high-quality plastic in the form of molded ridges. There are even some that are made from high-friction materials. Many pedals even have pins that can be replaced and adjusted. Choosing the right pin type depends on the shoes you mostly ride with as well as the weather in your area. Riding in hot temperatures will cause your shoes to get sticky and will benefit from pins made of high friction materials. Heavier treaded shoes, like those worn in rain or snowy conditions, will require a higher pin to ensure maximum grip and minimize slipping. Our review features the Puroma Bicycle Platform Flat Pedal, which has 12 replaceable hex-head traction pins. The CXWXC Road Bike Pedals, on the other hand, only have eight anti-skid pins per side. The HAIMIM boasts 16 replaceable pins.
Pro tip: Don’t opt for flat pedals with the highest pin quantity. This can be painful in some instances. Choose the right pedal based on the shoes you’ll most commonly wear as well as the typical climate you’ll be riding in.
For the most part, installing flat pedals is quite easy. Tools you’ll need include a pedal wrench or hex key (sometimes called an Allen key). While there’ll be a few specific tweaks to different bikes, the general steps are similar. They include the following:
Use the pedal wrench or hex key to unscrew the existing pedals from the crank arms.
Always remember that the right-side pedals loosen clockwise.
Apply bike grease to the new flat pedals and screw in at even 90-degree angles. Always check for the L and R markings to ensure that each pedal goes on the correct size – yes, it makes a difference!
Screw the pedal in until it’s fully inserted and tight enough.
Give each pedal a few turns to make sure it’s fitted and sturdy.
It’s necessary to keep your flat pedals clean to avoid damage caused by dirt or debris build-up. Fortunately, it’s a quick and easy process. Follow these steps to keep your pedals in tip-top shape.
You’ll need: Water, mild, soapy detergent, a sponge or cloth, a soft tool such as an old toothbrush, and bike lubricant.
Use the soft tool to softly scrub away dirt, mud, and any other type of debris off the pedal.
Use a mixture of soap and mild detergent to clean off the stubborn dirt.
Allow pedals to air dry.
Lubricate any components (such as the spindle threads) that might need it.
If you’ve taken pedals off, ensure that they’re securely reinstalled.
For a sturdy, more stable ride, investing in flat pedals is a great idea. With that in mind, we hope our comprehensive review list will give you an idea of a few options to shortlist. As a reminder, let’s recap our top three choices. The ROCKBROS Bike Flat Pedal is our editor’s choice and received a rating of 9.9 because it’s lightweight, features a wide platform, and is suitable for road bikes, BMX bikes, and even mountain bikes. On the other hand, the impressive Crankbrothers Stamp Flat Bike Pedal, with a rating of 9.8, made it to our premium pick because of its adjustable grip and optimal surface area for added comfort. The Puroma Bicycle Platform Flat Pedal made it to our best value pick, and we rated it at 9.7 because it’s not only easy to install but also features 12 replaceable pins per side, giving it extra grip and control. In addition to an extensive look at the top ten flat pedal models, we’ve also added a detailed buyer’s guide that highlights the features to consider when you’re drawing up a shortlist. By considering the features in our buying guide, you’ll easily be able to find the best flat pedals for your road bike and perhaps enjoy riding even more!
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