Although they are sometimes overlooked, the best flat bike pedals can be an excellent choice in a variety of situations.
Shorter rides in regular shoes are far easier and more comfortable with flat or platform pedals than with sneakers on clipless pedals. They pair well with the best commuter cycling shoes for urban use, which provide a more stable pedaling platform than a standard shoe or trainer. Flat pedals are a compelling draw for a casual town bike, commuter bike, or even a touring bike.
Best Flat Bike Pedals 2023
Flat bike pedals are a type of bicycle pedal with no clip or binding mechanism to keep the rider’s feet in place. They’re usually made of metal or plastic and have a flat surface with a rough texture to keep the rider’s feet from slipping off. Flat pedals are popular among casual riders and commuters because they are simple to use and do not require special cycling shoes. They are also commonly used in mountain biking because they allow the rider to quickly dismount the bike in an emergency or to navigate difficult terrain. Flat pedals are less efficient than clipless pedals because they do not transfer as much power, but they provide the rider with more flexibility and freedom of movement.
The simplicity and ease of use of flat pedals is one of their main advantages. They don’t require any special cycling shoes or cleats and can be worn with any footwear. As a result, they are an excellent choice for casual riders or those who do not wish to invest in specialized cycling equipment. Flat pedals are also more durable and less expensive than clipless pedals because they lack moving parts that can wear out or break. Furthermore, because the rider’s feet are not attached to the pedals, flat pedals may be easier to walk in. When carrying the bike or navigating off-road trails, this can be useful.
Read on to learn more about the best flat pedals for cycling to buy in 2023:
OneUp Components Composite
- Easy to Rebuild
- Excellent Value
- Well-Rounded Performance
The OneUp Components Composite is a solid product at an affordable price. OneUp delivered a high-quality composite (plastic) pedal loaded with features for less than a third of the price of some high-end aluminum models. At first glance, they resemble their aluminum counterpart, with a relatively large platform and ten bottom-loading traction pins.
The Composite were highly functional on the trail, even if they didn’t blow us away in any single performance metric. These pedals provide an excellent balance of solid grip and foot mobility while remaining lightweight. If you’re on a tight budget and looking for a killer pedal that gets the job done, the Composite could be the ticket.
Be not deceived. These are still budget-friendly pedals, so the grip and traction can’t compare to some of the top review candidates. Yes, they provide adequate levels of grip, but they cannot be compared to some of the top choices in our study. Having said that, we think they’re a fantastic choice for riders on a budget.
Race Face Atlas Pedal
- Excellent Grip
- Large, Supportive Platform
- Quality Construction and Components
- Simple to Service
Although the Race Face Atlas is intended to be a gravity pedal, it also works well as a trail pedal. In terms of criteria for grip, platform, mobility, and service, the Atlas performs admirably. Race Face updated the Atlas to include a larger platform, a thinner pedal body, and longer, adjustable pedal pins. The Atlas is one of the few pedals that effectively achieves this delicate balance thanks to its newly developed pins, which grip the pedal incredibly well while still allowing for mobility. The concave platform of the bike provides stability and support. The chamfered edges perform far better in difficult terrain and get caught less frequently than other pedals.
The pedal rotates predictably and smoothly on the crank, and the bearing is no longer in the way of the crank booties. The only difficult part of getting to the axle and bearing is removing the cap with a socket or pair of Knipex pliers.
The Atlas pedals are expensive, and all of this goodness comes at a price. However, if you intend to use your pedals for many years, we believe the price is justified. We believe that the Atlas’ superior performance, excellent grip, and ease of maintenance—regreasing the axle only takes a few minutes—justify its greater price.
Deity Components TMAC
- Serious Grip
- Large Concave Platform
- 28 Grub Screws Per Pedal
- Good Grip and Traction
The Deity TMAC is a tough pedal made for challenging riding and steep descents. Tyler McCaul, one of the best downhill and free riders in the world, has high standards, and the TMAC was created and tested to satisfy those standards. These pedals skillfully combine elegant design with careful engineering. For strength and durability, T6 Aluminum was extruded and machined into the symmetrical pedals. They have tons of grip, a big platform, and superb balance, thanks to the 14 pins on each side. Their 2.5mm concave depth improves foot comfort and grip when ascending and descending.
The pedals’ symmetrical design gives them a balanced feel and aids in distributing weight equally throughout the platform. These pedals are excellent for a variety of riding styles, and their adaptability is what makes them such amazing pedals.
Although we adored these pedals for their amazing grip, we acknowledge that some riders might find them to be overly grippy. A little foot movement is preferred, so those who prefer it should probably search elsewhere. Additionally, we discovered that these pedals are marginally more vulnerable to pedal strikes due to their larger symmetrical pedal body and thicker profile. Having said that, we believe the TMAC is a terrific option for riders looking for a heavy pedal with excellent levels of grip, longevity, and design.
OneUp Components Aluminum
- Good Value
- Excellent Grip
- Sleek and Thin Platform
- Good Grip and Traction
The OneUp Components Aluminum, in our opinion, is a fantastic pedal that ought to suit the majority of users and riding preferences. Due to their well-rounded performance and outstanding levels of grip, they prevailed over a crowded field of rivals. These metal pedals have a broad platform, ten strategically positioned bottom-loading traction pins, and a somewhat convex design. Your feet stay in place, and these pedals give you the confidence to rip down the gnar or slog up an extremely tricky climb. For normal trail riding, the low-profile design prevents the pedals from slamming into rocks and other impediments.
The rebuild process is relatively easy, and OneUp provides service manuals and replacement parts easily accessible from their website. Due to their affordable price (compared to other high-performing models) and exceptional performance, they also provide unmatched value.
Although there were many aspects of Aluminum that we adored, there were also some flaws. Testers concurred that the foot’s ability to move or reposition is considerably constrained due to the high amount of grip. Although we find the term “too sticky” to be a little absurd, if foot movement is important to you, you might want to explore it elsewhere. Some riders might also experience some difficulties due to the bearing bulge on the inboard side of the platform on the spindle. Beyond that, we believe that these stylish, light and gripping pedals are among the best of those we tried.
Race Face Chester
- Nice Mid-Size Platform
- Tough and Durable
- Great Mobility
The Race Face Chester is a reasonably priced flat pedal with a great price-to-performance ratio. Even though it was one of the more affordable devices we examined, it nevertheless received excellent ratings across all of our rating criteria. This compact model weighs only 358 grams and has a sturdy nylon composite foundation. The platform has a 14mm profile, a modest dimension of 101 x 110mm, and slanted leading edges that lessen pedal strikes. With the right foot location, the 16 replaceable pins on each pedal—eight on each side—provide a respectable amount of grip. Servicing the internals is simple, and replacing/removing pins is a breeze. They come in a wide variety of hues and have a classic design.
Although the Chester pedals are excellent, they are not faultless. They don’t have the best grip because there are only 8 pins on each side and none along the axle, and they can feel a touch slick when it’s raining. For people with larger feet, the moderately sized platform might not be the best option. Beyond that, we believe they are a fantastic choice for riders on a budget and those who prefer a little foot mobility.
- Smooth Rotation
- Quality Construction
- Large, Stable Platform
- Outstanding Platform
Our top choice for gravity riding received high marks on our performance metrics: the Chromag Dagga. These pedals hold to your shoes and give you confidence on rough terrain thanks to their 12 “super grip” interchangeable pins per side. The Dagga grabs the sole of the shoe to keep it put, in contrast to certain pedals that cause your feet to bounce as you land a drop. The huge 6061 aluminum platform is 111mm x 116mm in size, with a 15.75mm profile at the leading edge, and has chamfered corners. Despite the substantial platform, all of our testers, whose feet ranged in size from EU 39 to EU 45, were able to find a comfortable position on the pedal with the pins firmly in touch with their soles.
These pedals are smooth as butter and rotate beautifully—not too much or too little. The bearings eliminate any potential interference with the rider’s foot by sitting inside the pedal’s axle and not protruding on the inboard side. It only takes a few seconds to open up the pedal body and remove the axle, but it does require a socket and hex to have access to the axle for servicing.
The weight of the Dagga is one of its drawbacks. The Dagga is a DH pedal with the longest and greatest number of pins, which increases weight. It is intended to be Chromag’s largest pedal. The cost of the Dagga is another drawback. In addition to being the heaviest pedal in our evaluation, it is also one of the priciest. The pedal’s machining and finishing demonstrate how well it was built. It is strong and built to handle riding with a lot of impacts. The Dagga really shines in our metrics for grip and platform because of its unrivaled grip and support for gravity applications.
Look Trail Grip Flat Pedals
- Integrated Reflectors
Although they are called “trail” tires, our tester discovered that they are more appropriate for a utility or commuter bike than an off-roading bike. When riding tough trails, the lugs don’t provide the same traction as traditional pins, but they also won’t tear up your shoes’ soles.
They are fantastic for towpaths and gravel roads, making them more suitable for occasional off-piste wanderers than for serious off-roaders. The pedal’s urban attractiveness is increased by the integrated reflectors.
Since the Vibram inserts can be changed, you may customize your pedals and change the pad if it becomes noticeably worn. However, the Vibram is sturdy enough to endure typical road riding, so they should last a long time. Additionally, the pedal is completely usable.
In conclusion, the best flat pedals for cycling are an easy and convenient option for many riders. They don’t require any special cycling shoes or cleats and can be worn with any footwear. Because of their ease of use and versatility, flat pedals are popular among casual riders and commuters, as well as mountain bikers. While they do not provide as much power transfer as clipless pedals, they do provide the rider with more flexibility and freedom of movement. In general, flat pedals are a practical and affordable option for many types of cycling.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Advantages of Flat Bike Pedals?
Flat bike pedals are simple to use and do not require special cycling shoes or cleats. They are also more durable and less expensive than clipless pedals because there are no moving parts to wear out or break. Furthermore, because the rider’s feet are not attached to the pedals, flat pedals may be easier to walk in.
What Types of Cycling are Flat Pedals Suitable for?
Flat pedals are appropriate for a wide range of cycling activities, including recreational riding, commuting, and mountain biking. They are especially useful for mountain biking because they allow the rider to quickly dismount the bike in an emergency or when navigating difficult terrain.
Can Flat Pedals be Used with Cycling Shoes?
Yes, flat pedals can be used with cycling shoes, though they may not transfer as much power as clipless pedals. Some cycling shoes have a flat, smooth sole that may be better suited to flat pedals than shoes with a protruding cleat.
How Do I Choose the Right Size of Flat Pedal for My Bike?
When selecting a flat pedal for your bike, consider the pedal’s width and length as well as the size of your foot. A too-small pedal may be uncomfortable or unstable, while a too-large pedal may be difficult to maneuver. It’s best to experiment with different sizes and styles of pedals to see which ones feel the most secure and comfortable.