I am trying to find good quality but not exorbitantly expensive platform pedals for a road bike. I tried Shimano SPD, but ended up concluding that for me it was more of a deathtrap. I did end up falling with the SPD; fortunately the only injury was to my pride.

Any suggestions as to a good quality, lightweight, road platform pedals. I would prefer to keep it under US$ 100.

  • 9
    Not an answer to your question, but I'd give the SPD's another go. Perhaps having someone adjust the tension to your comfort level might help. The only reason I say this is that I've found that most people find switching to clipless pedals an amazing experience. Commented May 19, 2013 at 23:30
  • 1
    From what I have heard, I have no personal experience to back this up except my own experience with SPDs, but other pedals are as didficult to use if not worse. What was it that made the SPDs a death trap? Have you got them adjusted to the minimum tension? Try that and see if it helps. Commented May 20, 2013 at 0:13
  • 1
    I personally like speedplays because of the float adjustment, but if you find them a deathtrap, you most likely need less tension and more practice.
    – JohnP
    Commented May 21, 2013 at 0:25
  • 10
    And I'll say it again: If you don't want to use clipless pedals, don't feel pressured into doing so. There is nothing wrong with using flats. Commented May 21, 2013 at 13:09
  • 4
    @user1049697 I can't upvote that comment enough.
    – jimchristie
    Commented May 21, 2013 at 21:17

5 Answers 5


Flat pedals are great for lots of reasons, but I won't get into the virtues or pitfalls of platforms versus toe clips versus clipless systems (though I am a big fan of plain old platform pedals.) I will try to give information pertaining to the different styles and a few examples rather than an exhaustive list of specific brands and prices. There are lots and lots of different models which are mostly variations on two themes: rat trap quill pedals and one-piece platform pedals. None are perfect, but many are cheaper and easier to use/maintain than clipless pedals.

MKS Sylvan VO Road

Classic rat trap pedals have been around for a long time - one or two metal sides secured to a central body and quill (there were lots of poor quality pedals spec'd on bikes back in the day, but modern ones are generally of decent quality.) Variations use the same style of construction to much the same effect. Some people balk at using pedals without sealed bearings, but bearing maintenance on pedals is probably the easiest to tackle and shouldn't be an issue for most people. The VO Road pedals above use sealed bearings, while the MKS Sylvans use loose bearings. I would say they are both of reasonably high quality. They accept toe clips and reflectors and other forms of toe retention and are super easy to use (platforms on both sides so you can't miss.) A few brands make pedals that fold up so as to not catch on anything (MKS FD-7s...important if you have to carry your bike indoors frequently.)

Two drawbacks: these pedals are generally not as grippy as some others, noticeably in the rain/snow. Second is that the construction can be felt through thin shoes. In Chuck Taylors with thin socks I found the dip in the MKS Sylvans to be a bit uncomfortable. Generally folks don't mind it, though.

Track Pedals

Track pedals are narrower and only have a platform on one side as they're intended to be used solely with toe clips and straps. These are great if you love toe clips, but there is no back side to the pedal so they're somewhat limited in flexibility. On the plus side, they're lightweight and narrow so that you can clear obstacles (cars, curbs, doorways, people's ankles...)

VO Touring

There are also many machined and forged one-piece pedals based on the above designs (plastic versions I've seen are not worth consideration.) Velo Orange Touring pedals are surprisingly light weight and use sealed bearings (their narrower Urban pedal would be comparable in width to a track pedal but still has two useable sides.)

BMX Pedals Cruiser

BMX style platform pedals are super popular and work for lots of people. The cheaper ones are probably the most affordable/functional pedals out there. These pedals range from fat and chunky plastic to graceful CNC aluminum (and there are lots of garish colors out there for those into color-coordination.) Some of these pedals have provisions for reflectors and most allow for strap-type foot retention (but not toe clips.) The more expensive pedals will have sealed bearings, but you generally get what you pay for. The big benefit of this style of pedal is that they have a nice flat platform with lots of grip. Metal platforms frequently have pins set into the tops to add grip which, if you've ever ridden these pedals in shorts, leads to frequent bloody shins (so avoid expensive pants or delicate leg skin.)

Cruisers and utility bikes will sometimes have plastic or composite pedals with rubberized tops that don't tear your shins into ribbons. I have a set of VP 001 Thin Gripsters and they're great for commuting and hauling around town. They do have sharp little nubbins, but I can deal with it as they're really shine in the rain and snow. They're noticeably thinner than other platforms (hence the name) but they're wide and long so I never misstep.

The big drawback to these pedals is that they're heavy and wide (plus the bloody shins, but I covered that.) The weight is a compromise in any case, but the width can sometimes be a real problem i.e. a low bottom bracket with long cranks will dig your pedal into the pavement while cornering. Similarly, riding a bike with lots of toe overlap on the front wheel will lead to endless suffering in tight places. These can be avoided with careful maneuvering but will surprise the unawares.

  • +1 - As a fellow cliplessphobic, I love BMX-style platform pedals and put them on all my bikes. Commented Jan 17, 2014 at 14:04
  • @RISwampYankee I actually use both clipless and platform pedals. Maybe 3/4 of my rides are on platform pedals, but I definitely do more miles in clipless. However, I really don't like flip flop pedals: they're half as good as regular platforms and heavy and clumsy as clipless pedals.
    – WTHarper
    Commented Jan 18, 2014 at 18:05

Years ago I used SPD pedals and I really liked the increased performance, especially with the "scraping the mud off your soles" movement on the upstroke. However, as I got older and the padding on the bottom of my feet got thinner, my soles began to feel like they were on fire and I could barely walk after getting off my bike. Today, I found MY perfect soluction which is the flat platform pedal like the one above made by MKS (I got mine from Rivendell many years ago) with the addition of Powergrip Straps (see link below). I can wear my thick soled leather sneakers and pedal all day in comfort. The Powergrip Straps are as tight or loose as I want simply by moving the angle of my foot. Or I can just turn the pedal upside down and not use them at all. Please note there are two sizes of metal attachment which comes with the PowerGrip Strap. I have to use the longer one to accomodate my wide foot. http://www.mountainracingproducts.com/power-grips/

  • Also, Hold fast (and other companies) make wide straps that fit on BMX platform pedals, which provide a similar type of support with a wider strap.
    – Benzo
    Commented May 22, 2013 at 12:50

You may well know this already, but if you're cycling in street shoes, the style of shoe you wear makes a difference to the kind of pedal you'll put up with. This matters most with thin-soled shoes (e.g. dress shoes, any gender) and very soft-soled/bendy shoes. If you wear clogs, or sneakers/trainers, or thick-soled Keens, or real cycling shoes? Honestly, you have more choices.

I tend to wear soft-soled shoes (because Whiny Princess Feet, trust me, you don't want to know). I had VO City Pedals on my bike, which have the same squarish crenellations as the VO Touring pedals pictured above, and those just bit into my soles until I could stand it no more, especially with their relatively small size making them hit my arches rather than the tougher ball of my foot...

... whereupon I bought MKS Lambda pedals that I love to bits and pieces; the larger contact area suits me great, and the roundish bas-relief grippy bits don't cause me pain.

Moral of the story: test pedals with the shoes you'll ride in -- ALL the shoes you'll ride in, preferably. It may mean you compromise a bit, but that's livable.


BBB makes several very light plastic pedals which work well .I think one is called Trek and there are several very similar in appearance in 2013.The standard weight is about 250g per pair but this can be reduced to about 220g per pair by taking out the fairly large reflectors and drilling out some of the surplus plastic with a 4mm drill. They work well and are very cheap too.


If you had a problem getting out of your SPD pedals, the pedal release tension was probably misset. If you are looking for clipless pedals, the SPD type is popular and the shoes are pretty easy to walk in. The Xpedo Mountain Force Magnesium/CroMo Clipless Pedals MF-4B are:

  1. Double sided
  2. Light (274 grams for the pair)
  3. Inexpensive ($83 on Amazon)enter image description here

There is a rider weight limit with them- around 185 lbs.

  • If you asked for help fixing your bike and someone replied, "Just take your car instead", you'd be annoyed that they didn't answer your question. Commented Jan 17, 2014 at 8:52
  • Here's the actual question asked: "Any suggestions as to a good quality, lightweight, road platform pedals. I would prefer to keep it under US$ 100."
    – Gary E
    Commented Jan 17, 2014 at 16:24

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