Best Flat Pedals: Put Some Power In Your Bike Ride
Seamlessly switch between tarmac and rocky trails with a set of the best flat pedals
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If you like to keep fit, you can get on your bike and explore the outdoors. But to get the most out of your bike, it must be in tip-top condition and include a proper pair of pedals for the type of riding you do. If you love mountain biking, flat bike pedals can enhance the experience. This guide reviews three of the best flat pedals on the market.
A great pair of flat bike pedals designed to work on all types of bikes. It doubles as a clip-on and flat pedal making it more versatile.
- Pedal is smooth, yet grippy, and holds onto your foot.
- Pedals are stylish and look great
- They have a wide surface
- Pedals are expensive
- They may also not be the most comfortable after long rides
This pedal was specifically designed for the avid cyclist who likes to tackle easy to medium-hard trails. Its slim profile and wide platform give you a great stepping range for smooth rides.
- Sports a concave design to give you a secure foothold, even on rough ground
- Because your foot stays where it’s supposed to, you’ll find it easy to turn and tackle technical areas
- Ten adjustable pins on each side enhance the grip
- Pins are short for extreme riders who apply more grip on landings
- Concave shape could use a redesign to add more curvature to it
- Compared to other top flat pedals, it doesn’t offer a superior grip
Made from aluminum alloy, these pedals are lightweight and provide good performance. They have contrasting colors, which work well with mountain bikes. They are also durable.
- Pedals are equipped with anti-skid studs to keep your shoes from slipping
- Easy to install, even for a new user
- Come pre-greased to withstand wear and tear
- Extra screws are provided just in case you need to replace them
- Because of the way they are constructed, they might easily get damaged, especially if you cycle off-road regularly
- Their inner bearings might become noisy after a few impacts
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Benefits of Flat Pedals
- Enhanced grip. Almost all flat pedals on the market are designed with some pins threaded on the surface. The pins help you to maintain the best grip by keeping your foot firmly fixed on the pedal.
- Build your confidence on the trail. Flat pedals are comfortable and stable. Therefore, they give you more confidence when training, and you can try out new riding styles, try high-risk maneuvers, or venture into different terrains.
- Correctly perform lifting maneuvers. Lifting maneuvers like bunny hops, rear wheel lifts, and dirt jumps are best performed with flat pedals, since using them is the best way to learn the trick. Doing it while clipped to a pedal is almost cheating, and you require more energy to get your bike off the ground.
- Ride more relaxed. It’s easy to take your foot off or place it on a flat pedal. That helps you tackle technical trails with ease, since you can put your foot down to control the bike or avoid severe crashes. Also, knowing that your foot is not clipped in puts you in your comfort zone, and you can ride more relaxed.
- Correct your riding technique. Flat pedals are the best for correcting or improving your riding posture. For instance, if you notice that your feet bounce around the pedals, you can take steps to correct your riding posture by shifting your weight to your arms and legs rather than relying on the bike’s suspension to balance you.
- Gain feedback about the condition of your bike. Flat pedals allow you to feel what’s off about your bike, so that you can adjust it accordingly. By placing your feet on the pedals at the 12 o’clock position, you can tell if the bike is well balanced in terms of alignment of the wheels, the position of the handlebars, and the height of the seat post.
Shimano is a Japanese manufacturer of cycling, fishing, and rowing equipment. The company was started in 1921, and its products have a legion of followers in the United States, Europe, and Asia. It’s famous for manufacturing some of the best drivetrain, brake, wheel, and pedal components for mountain, road, and hybrid bikes. Some of its best pedals are the SHIMANO SPD Dual Platform Bike Pedal and the SHIMANO Multi-Use Flat Mountain Bike Pedals.
Headquartered in Laguna Beach, Calif., Crankbrothers make some of the best mountain bike parts and accessories. It’s a subsidiary company of Selle Royal and was founded in 1991. Some of its products include pedals, wheels, pumps, and cycling gear. Some of its best-rated platform pedals are the Crankbrothers Stamp Flat BMX/MTB Bike Pedal and the Crankbrothers Doubleshot Hybrid Bike Pedal.
RockBros is a Czech-based manufacturer and designer of cycling accessories for all ages and riding conditions. Some of its products include bike phone mounts, saddlebags, handlebar bags, sports sunglasses, bike racks, and pedals. Try out the ROCK BROS Mountain Bike Pedals, which is one of its best mountain bike flat pedals.
Race Face is a Vancouver-based manufacturing company with over 20 years of experience in making high-quality cycling components and apparel. The company designs seat posts, crank arms, handlebars, grips, bike saddles, pedals, and cycling gear. Check out the RaceFace Chester Composite Bike Pedals, which are large platform pedals from the company.
Flat Pedals Pricing
- Under $50: Most pedals within this price point are plastic pedals that tend to crack with frequent use. They are typically lightweight and have large platform profiles that can accommodate any foot size. We recommend them for beginners or road cyclists who don’t exert too much pressure when pedaling.
- $50 and up: Budget this much for a metal flat pedal that can help you perform expert stunts and improve off-road performance. Most of the pedals are made of high-end aluminum, which is designed to last a long time and can take a beating.
Most flat pedals are either made of plastic, steel, aluminum, titanium, or metal alloys. Plastic is cheap and suitable for entry-level riders, but steel is heavier, more durable, and therefore better suited for mountain biking. However, steel experiences more wind resistance and may slow you down. Aluminum and titanium are the lightest and most durable options. Metal alloys may have steel-designed bearings and spindle and an aluminum alloy making up the pedal frames.
The pedal platform is the area that’s in contact with your foot. The larger it is, the better the riding experience, since it’s more comfortable and offers adequate foot support. It gives you more confidence to tackle rugged sections of the trail.
A thinner pedal is more efficient, since it puts your foot closer to the axle for efficient pedal strokes. It’s also less likely to roll over and hurt you compared to a thick pedal. However, pedals need a degree of thickness to allow for comfort and integration of additional features that increase grip and the stability of the structure.
The pins on flat pedals are designed to dig into the bottom of your shoe. They should be long, chunky, and well spread out throughout the pedal to limit foot movement when descending or ascending a steep hill.
- Adjustment Freedom. The pedal should allow you to move your foot easily without compromising on grip. Too much traction on a pedal can be a problem if you want to quickly reposition your foot when pedaling. That’s why some flat pedals have conical metal protrusions that allow free foot movement and offer sufficient traction when you rest your foot on the pedal.
- Mud-Shedding Qualities. For road or dry summer riding, this feature is irrelevant, but for wet season off-road cycling, it’s a must-have quality. If your pedals clog with mud, even the chunkiest pins won’t prevent the pedals from slipping.
Best Flat Pedals Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- Always check your pedals to make sure they are well-greased and that there is no debris accumulating in any critical areas. This will help prolong their lifespan.
- Before cycling, make sure your bike pedals are well-secured. Loose pedals tend to damage threads, causing you to spend money on replacements and repairs. Loose pedals also increase the likelihood of accidents.
- If you are cycling on a rough section and you need to stay on course and in control, flat pedals can be very beneficial. Maintain contact and drop your heel to get more grip.
Q: Are flat pedals safe for beginners?
Flat pedals are designed to help cyclists learn how to maintain contact with pedals. They are recommended for beginners looking to venture into professional cycling or technical trail riding.
Q: Do shoes determine the type of pedals I can use?
Shoes play an important role in the type of pedals you use. Regular cycling shoes can work with most flat pedals. These pedals provide great flexibility—whether you’re a regular cycle-to-work person or a perennial challenge-the-terrain cyclist.
Q: Will flat pedals fit my bike?
Most flat pedals can fit the standard threads on most bikes. However, you can verify if the pedals are a good fit for your bike by seeking out the manufacturer’s information.
The SHIMANO SPD Dual Platform Bike Pedal is a favorite among many biking enthusiasts, and it easily clinches our top spot.
For cyclists who seek value for their money, we recommend the ROCK BROS Mountain Bike Pedals.