For cyclists who love braving mountain trails, marathons, or the bustling environment of a busy city, clipless bike pedals can provide an increased sense of finesse and control over their bicycles.
To truly unlock your potential as a cyclist, investing in a quality pair of clipless bike pedals is a must. However, knowing where to start looking for pedals that will fit your needs can be difficult.
Thankfully, we have put together this awesome consumer guide to help you limit your choices to the absolute best clipless pedals available on the market right now.
Check it out to find out which clipless bike pedals will increase your cyclist abilities the most:
Things To Consider
Every rider will want to have their pedals give them a different amount of resistance; depending on what type of terrain they are riding that day. With this in mind, the versatility of pedals tension settings becomes very important.
Beginner cyclists will simply need the ability to make changes between a few stock settings, as they will not have the ability to truly discern between minute settings. However, advanced cyclists, especially marathon riders, will highly benefit from a variety of minute tension settings.
More than any other feature, tension setting capabilities help high-end clipless pedals stand apart from their lower-end counterparts.
What do Tension Settings Affect
- Clipping In/Out
- Peddling Tension
The unfortunate side of clipless pedals (practically the only one), is that you almost always need very specific cleat types in order to use them.
To ensure you do not purchase clipless pedals that you cannot use, be sure to analyze the specifications to pinpoint which cleats you need.
Most clipless pedal brands will offer specific cleats to buy alongside their products, and you can often save money by buying these products in a combo package.
Each clipless pedal type has varying degrees of debris resistance. Additionally, some models have designs that make it easier to clean and maintain the pedals without roughing them up, or potentially disturbing the security of important mechanisms.
More expensive models will be almost seamless in both their ability to deflect most environmental factors and in their maintenance needs. Lower-end clipless pedals, however, will need to be cleaned after almost every use.
Either way, frequent maintenance is extremely important to the durability of your clipless pedals.
- How Frequently Does a Pedal Need to be Cleaned?
- Can Beginner Cyclists Easily Clean the Pedals?
Top 10 Bestsellers
Best Clipless Mountain Bike Pedals
Shimano PD-M530 MTB SPD Pedals
- Shimano pedaling dynamics - spd performs whether you're on or off the bike; makes pedaling more efficient with a wide variety of shoe and pedal styles; and the recess cleat makes walking more comfortable
- Innovative - by eliminating toe-clips and integrating the pedal and outsole into a single; unified power transfer system; shimano changed the industry
- Incredible performance - spd not only boosting power to the pedal; but also the rider's control over increasingly adventurous styles of riding
Perfect for both highly experienced cyclists and beginner enthusiasts alike, the Shimano PD-M530 MTB SPD Pedals will keep you securely connected to your bicycle for a long time.
Highly durable, these pedals will stay functional whether you are riding marathons, or a simple 5-mile trek to work every day. These pedals rock dual-sided entry, which allows you to quickly enter and exit the pedals with ease.
Additionally, the sealed cartridge-bearing spindle is simple to keep in shape, providing an easy way to keep up with optimal performance through minimal and occasional maintenance.
Perhaps one of the most attractive features of the Shimano PD-M530 MTB SPD Pedals model is how easily it sheds away debris like mud, twigs, and leaves. If you love riding on earthy terrain, you will not have to worry about these pedals getting overly dirty and cluttered.
Once again, this aspect of the model shows how easy it is to keep up with proper maintenance.
One thing to keep in mind, however, is that Shimano PD-M530 MTB SPD Pedals are only compatible with two-bolt SPD cleats. Be sure to invest in a quality pair if you decide to go with this excellent pedals model.
- Dual-Sided Entry
- Easy Maintenance
- Adjustable Cleat Retention
- Only Compatible with Two-Bolt SPD Cleats
- Only 1-Year Manufacturer Warranty
Shimano Unisex PD-M520 MTB SPD Pedals
No matter what gender-type cleats you have, the Shimano Unisex PD-M520 MTB SPD Pedals have you covered.
One of the best-reviewed pedal models of the year, this amazing product from Shimano is near weather-resistant, highly durable, and similar to its other brand counterparts, easy to maintain.
With many reviewers saying they find the Shimano Unisex PD-M520 MTB SPD Pedals a near-perfect model, you can be sure you are making a smart investment.
Perfect for learning how to ride clipless for the first time, these pedals will help you adjust to a riding style that will unlock your full potential as a bike rider, whether you are a highly experienced cyclist or a beginner enthusiast.
The Shimano Unisex PD-M520 MTB SPD Pedals feature adjustable tension levels, which allow you to keep your ride adjusted to your personal preferences. Additionally, this amazing feature will allow you to tighten tension to compensate for the types of cleats you choose to wear.
Perhaps the only serious downfall of the Shimano Unisex PD-M520 MTB SPD Pedals model is that reviewers have noticed its ability to shred debris is not quite as strong as other pedal models available from the brand.
Aside from this small downfall, it is hard to find a better pedal model on the market today.
- Highly Adjustable Tension Settings
- Perfect for Beginners and Advanced Users Alike
- Debris-Resistance Could be Stronger
- More Expensive than Other Models
Wellgo WPD-823 MTB CR-MO Clipless Pedals
- Body: Aluminum
- Spindle: Cr-Mo
- Bearing: Ball Bearing
Not every user will want to make an immediate investment that high-end pedal brands like Shimano require.
If you want to gain access to a perfect beginner clipless pedal that lives up to the hype, the Wellgo WPD-823 MTB CR-MO Clipless Pedals has you covered
Listed at extremely affordable prices that are often less than $$, you get many of the great features you need to get you started riding clipless. The aluminum body is tough, and while it doesn’t keep debris out as easily as some of the Shimano models on this list, maintenance is fairly simple.
As long as you make the effort to keep your Wellgo WPD-823 MTB CR-MO Clipless Pedals properly maintained, they should last you for a few good years. Given the incredibly affordable price tag, this is an amazing feature.
Unfortunately, Wellgo WPD-823 MTB CR-MO Clipless Pedals are yet another model that is pretty limited when it comes to the types of cleats they are compatible with.
Be sure to own a pair of 98A style cleats, or you will be unable to click into these clipless pedals.
- Highly Affordable
- Easy to Maintain
- Perfect for Beginner Cyclists
- Limited Cleat Compatibility
- Less Debris-Resistant
Venzo MTB Mountain Bike Sealed Clipless Pedals
- FULLY COMPATIBLE: Compatible with all Shimano SPD MTB bike pedals system. Means you can use Shimano SPD cleats on these pedals or use these cleats on Shimano MTB bike pedals.
- QUALITY: The pedal's cleat cage is made of a one complete piece high quality steel. The cleats precisely machined with only 0.01mm deviation compatible with SM-SH51 single direction release. This ensures very smooth click in and release. Please DO practice before riding. Watch our detailed video in the listing.
- SEALED BEARINGS: LSL bushing & sealed, Binding: Dual-sided Cr-Mo. Very smooth riding.
Providing a good middle-of-the-road price tag, the Venzo MTB Mountain Bike Sealed Clipless Pedals can help you achieve new levels of cycling skills.
Another extremely durable model, these pedals will serve you well both during marathons, and simple treks around town.
Made from stylish chrome alloy material, the Venzo MTB Mountain Bike Sealed Clipless Pedals will catch the idea of your fellow cycling enthusiast.
Being a trusted cycling brand for many years, Venzo helps you feel secure in your purchase with a 1-year manufacturer warranty. While this could be better, it is certainly reasonable given the general price tag of less than $$.
The release tension adjustability for Venzo MTB Mountain Bike Sealed Clipless Pedals holds its own against higher-end brands. You can easily achieve the desired force and resistance in your pedals, making your ride as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.
Given the number of miles you are likely to put onto these clipless pedals, this feature is very welcomed. Similar to most clipless models, you will need to have specialized cleats to use Venzo MTB Mountain Bike Sealed Clipless Pedals.
Be sure that your order comes with these specialized cleats, or you will have to wait to use these awesome pedals.
- Highly Adjustable Tension Settings
- Stylish Chrome Alloy Design
- Less Debris-Resistant
Shimano PD-T8000 Dual-Platform Urban
- The Shimano XT PD-T8000 is a Versatile Pedal for Urban Riding and Cycle Touring: Flexibility and performance in one pedal
- Use With Everyday Shoes or Clip-in Cycling Shoes: Platform pedal on one side and SPD pedal on the other
- Adjustable Tension Settings: Customize the entry and release tension settings to suit your style of riding
The most expensive choice on our list, and also the most valuable, these awesome Shimano clipless models provide the efficiency of an SPD pedal, alongside the convenient design of a platform pedal.
This model’s hybrid design helps set it apart from the competition, both practically and stylistically.
Perhaps the most durable clipless pedals on the market currently, commuters and marathon riders alike will be enjoying their product for years after they purchase them.
Highly debris-resistant, and easy to maintain, you will never have to worry about whether or not the manufacturer warranty has you covered.
As long as you ride safely, these pedals should last you a long, long time. Style-wise, the beautifully forged alloy body contains both chrome and comply axle components.
Additionally, Shimano has slapped on an aesthetically placed reflector to keep you riding safely, no matter what time of the day you are out and about.
Amazingly adjustable tension settings, which rise up above all of the competition, cement the superiority of this fantastic model.
No matter how you like your entry and release tension settings to be, these pedals should have you covered.
- Unrivaled Tension Settings
- Beautiful Design
- Easily Maintained
- The Most Expensive Choice on this List
- Better Suited for Advanced Users
Simply put, the Shimano Clipless Pedals SPD Pedal PD-T8000 models easily take the spot of the most recommended clipless pedals on this list.
With tension settings that blow the competition out of the water, a beautiful design, and super-durable construction, these pedals will have you riding in style and comfort for many years. The only real downfall of the model is the price tag and the complicated settings.
For beginner users, Wellgo WPD-823 MTB CR-MO Clipless Pedals might be a better entry-level choice.
However, if you want to take the plunge and make a smart long-term investment, the clear choice remains the Shimano model.