Most brand-new road bikes come with a standard set of pedals. For many enthusiasts, these are the first things they replace on their bikes, either for aesthetics or to improve performance. With the number of choices on the market, this can be a bit daunting for the uninitiated.
That’s where this article comes in — providing you with a list of the best flat pedals for road available today. Along with the included buyer’s guide, you’ll have all the info you need to choose the perfect flat pedals for your bike.
5 Best Flat Pedals for Road Bikes
Flat pedals are meant to provide better transfer of power from your legs to the gears, and give good foot positioning and traction. Below, we’ve provided a list of some of the best flat pedals for a wide range of users.
Alston Road Bicycle MTB Aluminum Strong Pedal
The Alston Road Bicycle MTB Aluminum Strong Pedal provides both aesthetic quality and a top-of-the line performance. The design gives the pedals excellent grip, no matter what type of shoes you’re wearing. Their solid construction is guaranteed by the Alston brand that has been producing high-quality bike pedals for half a century.
The open construction of these pedals is great for those who want to take their bikes off road, making them easy to clean and less susceptible to mud buildup. This also gives better foot grip during rides through muddy terrain.
The mouth thread of these pedals was made to fit a lot of bike models, and will definitely provide great accents to any bike build. If you want your bike to stand out, the Alston Road Bicycle MTB Aluminum Strong Pedal is definitely a great choice.
Although installation is relatively simple, those unfamiliar with the use of Allen wrenches may struggle. They’re also a bit heavier than a lot of other platform pedal models, so those accustomed to riding long trips may notice a difference.
- Great aesthetic quality
- Very durable
- Good grip even in muddy terrain
- Great value for price
A bit heavier than standard pedals
Boruizhen Road Bike Platform Pedals
Made of high-strength aluminum alloy, the Boruizhen Road Bike Platform Pedals are designed for both durability and performance. It’s nonslip, skid-proof construction offers great foot grip even during extreme conditions. It’s sealed design prevents both water and dust from entering the spindle, protecting it from corrosion and damage.
It’s lightweight structure provides comfort for long riding trips, while still allowing great traction and control. It’s high strength nylon fiber surface ensures that you won’t lose your footing, no matter what kind of biking shoes you’re wearing.
The Boruizhen Road Bike Platform Pedals come in a standard 9/16” screw thread offering ease of installation. It’s universal design allows it to fit a variety of bike types, including mountain bikes, road bikes, folding bikes, and more.
One of the few downsides to these high performance pedals is that they’re not as aesthetically pleasing as other pedals of its type. If you’re looking for performance over looks though, these pedals are hard to beat.
- Easy Installation
- Can fit a lot of bike models
- Great Price
Not as stylish as other pedals.
BV Bike Pedal Set, Bicycle Pedals, 9/16-Inch Boron Steel Spindle
Constructed from high-quality resin, the BV Bike Pedal Set provides a sturdy, very durable bike pedal for a very affordable price. It’s wide platform design provides comfort for long bike rides, while the anti-skid nodes provide great foot traction in all types of weather and terrain.
The reflector panels that are included in the design increases safety during night riding. It’s lightweight construction ensures that those fond of long journeys can keep on pedaling without added exertion.
Although the rigid design provides these pedals with very high durability, this can be a bit off-putting for those used to more flexible plastic pedal types. Also, those looking for a more stylish aesthetic probably won’t be satisfied with the single color and model available.
Those looking for an inexpensive but high-quality pedals, however, will easily find them in the BV Bike Pedal Set.
- Very Affordable
- Sturdy resin construction
- Fits a lot of bike models
- Kind of rigid
- Not very stylish
BONMIXC Bike Pedals 9/16
The BONMIXC Bike Pedals are some of the best in their class. A constant fixture in any bike pedal top 10 list, these provide both stylish design with very durable construction. Made from high-strength aluminum alloy, these pedals are sure to endure the rigors of prolonged riding.
Its sealed bearings keep out mud and dirt to protect the pedals form corrosion, ensuring long-term use. The wide platform given by these pedals allows for a more comfortable foot grip, making both short commutes and long trips very enjoyable. They’re also designed to accommodate any kind of shoes, whether biking or not.
They’re lightweight, easy to install, and come in several color options that further enhance their stylish design. If you’re looking to upgrade your stock pedals, choosing the BONMIXC is a great idea as it’s one of the best flat pedals for road bikes around.
- Durable construction
- Very stylish
- Easy Installation
- Can be a bit pricey
ROCKBROS Bike Pedals Platform Mountain Bicycle Road Cycling
The ROCKBROS Bike Pedals are a very attractive set, designed to impress. Available in several color options, installing them on your bike will surely make it stand out.
The aluminum alloy body gives these pedals high durability, and molybdenum steel bearings provide them with both hock resistance and corrosion protection.
The wide platform style along with the stainless steel pins on the pedal surface allows for great foot traction and grip, if it does tend to cling to your soles. That said, it provides bikers with efficient transfer of power from the legs to the gears.
It’s easy to install, and comes in a general standard size making it adaptable to many bike types. It’s a bit on the expensive side though, but if you’re looking for the best flat pedals for road bikes, these provide great value for your money.
- Very stylish
- Durable design
- Lightweight construction
- Easy installation
- Can cling to soles
- A bit expensive
Buyer’s Guide: What to Look for in Pedals for a Road Bike?
Choosing the best flat pedals for your road bike, isn’t hard, especially if you know what to look for. With the number of models and types available though, this can be a bit confusing. In this buyer’s guide, we present some of the specs that you should take note of when choosing a flat pedal.
Pedals are made from a variety of materials. Some of the more popular are aluminum alloys, reinforced plastics, or combinations of both. It’s important to take note of the durability of your bike pedals, as they’re the point of transfer of energy from your bike to your body. For that reason, they are sure to experience a bit of stress, especially if you’re riding in rough terrain.
Many manufacturers design their pedals to withstand a great deal of that stress, and ensure that their bearings are protected from dirt and dust. If you’re thinking of taking your road bike off the beaten track, you should make sure that mud won’t get into the nooks and crannies of your pedals.
Pedals made of nylon, or polycarbonate, or carbon reinforced plastics can withstand a lot of punishment, if they’re not as impressive looking as metal pedals. Aluminum alloys, though not as strong as the plastic ones, are sure to appeal aesthetically.
Choosing between looks and durability can be decided on how often you ride your bike, and the terrain you ride your bike on. Going over smooth roads over a long period of time will still deal less stress compared to short trips over rugged terrain. In the former, aesthetics can have a larger influence on your decision. In the latter, always go for durability. The best flat pedals for your road bike will depend on how you choose to ride.
Weight only really matters to those who choose to ride for longer periods, or over rougher terrain. A few grams of difference will be noticed only by those who experience the increased exertion of very long treks.
When riding through hilly areas, however, a heavier set of pedals may cause a bit more stress, but unless you’re riding competitively, these won’t amount to much. If you’re a bike racer who wants to shave seconds off your time though, the weight of your pedals is an important consideration.
Deciding on pedals based on weight will depend on how much performance you want to squeeze out of your bike.
Pedals sizes are measured as 9/16”, 1/2” and junior pedals. Junior pedals are used for children’s bikes. These are important to take note of, as installing an adult sized pedal on a small bike has a tendency to cause accidents. The large pedals will often scrape the ground during cornering, causing the rider to fall.
On the other hand, the 9/16” and 1/2” pedals refer to the thread size. These are the screw indentations that connect the pedal to the crank. 1/2” pedals are used for one piece cranks. These are the only times that you’ll use the 1/2″ variety of pedals. All other crank types will use 9/16” as standard.
Be sure to make sure that you aren’t using the wrong type of pedal for your bike’s crank, otherwise this will damage both.
The platform shape of your pedal matters solely for the comfort provided to your riding experience. The shape of the pedal can affect the center of gravity, the pedal weight, and the placement of the pins that give better foot grip.
Wider pedals give you a lot more traction, and provides a more efficient transfer of energy from your legs to the gears. Pin placements on wide pedals also increase the hold of the pedal to the soles of your shoes. Because flat pedals don’t require you to wear cycling shoes, these can be an important thing to note.
In contrast, smaller pedals give you a bit more control, allowing for better foot placement, and the ability to adjust the rate of your pedaling.
Pedal stance is an often ignored factor when choosing the best flat pedals for road bikes, but it’s a very important factor to consider. The pedal stance width is the measure between one pedal to another. This can matter, as a too wide, or too narrow pedal stance can cause joint pains in the long run, as the rider’s knees are forced into unnatural positions.
The transfer of energy from your legs to the gears are also greatly lowered if you don’t have the proper pedal stance. The knees were designed not to track inward or outward, which is what happens when a pedal stance is too wide or too narrow. Adjusting the spindle length, or the measure between the pedal and crank can address this problem.
Most bike dealers can adjust these with the minimal of effort. It’s inadvisable to address the problem yourself as this may only make it worse. If you know the proper measurements, and are familiar with the workings of your bike though, you always have that option.
Efficient Way to Move Forward
Bike pedals may only be a small part of the bike itself, but they can play a big role in the way you ride. Flat pedals were meant to provide an efficient way to propel you forward without having to rely on specialized footwear. The improved traction, greater control, and high durability of flat pedals make them a great choice for road bikes.
Now that we’ve given you the specs to look for, choosing the best flat pedals for your road bike should prove less confusing. Making informed decisions will surely give you the best value for your money.