Best Flat Pedals For Road Bikes (Buyer's Guide) | PedalChef

Key Takeaways

  • The SHIMANO PD-M324 SPD Dual Platform Pedal is the best overall flat pedal for a road bike.
  • Look for worn-out bearings, a worn-out platform, and noises when deciding if it's time to replace your current pedals.
  • Road bikes use flat pedals because they have a wider surface area for pedaling to improve comfort and pedaling efficiency while reducing fatigue.

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So you're ready to embark on an exhilarating bike ride, but your pedals are worn or loose. What can you do, and how do you find the best flat pedals?

The best flat pedals for road bikes include:

  1. SHIMANO PD-M324 SPD Dual Platform Pedal
  2. Bucklos Road Bike PD-R8000 SPD SL Pedals
  3. GEWAGE Flat Road Bike Pedals
  4. Boruizhen Platform Road & MTB Pedals
  5. Thinvik Road Bike Cleats for Shimano SPD-SL
  6. SHIMANO PD-RS500 SPD-SL Pedal

After thorough research and testing, we have curated a list of the top flat pedals for road bikes that are durable, comfortable, and grip. Whether you're a casual cyclist or an avid road warrior, our recommendations will help you find the perfect flat pedals to enhance your riding experience.



6 Best Flat Pedals For Road Bikes (Buyer's Guide)

Flat pedals are essential for road bikes, allowing riders to efficiently transfer their energy and maintain control during their cycling journeys. They also allow for greater foot position range and rotation.

While some may prefer clipless pedals or toe cages, flat pedals offer ease of use and accessibility for various riding styles. Choosing the right flat pedal for your road bike can enhance your overall biking experience.

Flat pedals offer a no-fuss approach to pedaling, making them suitable for casual cyclists and experienced road riders. Here is our list of top-ranked road bike flat pedals worth using today.

1. SHIMANO PD-M324 SPD Dual Platform Pedal

SHIMANO PD-M324 SPD Dual Platform Pedal
SHIMANO PD-M324 SPD Dual Platform Pedal

The SHIMANO PD-M324 SPD Dual Platform Pedal is a fantastic option for riders who want the best of both worlds. These versatile pedals cater to casual and long-distance riders, offering comfort and efficiency.

We appreciated how one side featured an SPD-specific clip, allowing for secure engagement with cycling shoes, while the other provided a standard platform for use with any casual footwear.

The one downside of these bike pedals is the weight. They're a bit heavier than some alternatives. However, considering the dual-function design, the trade-off was well worth it.

Key Features

  • Adjustable tension settings
  • Platform pedal on one side for easier use
  • SFP pedal on the other side for more efficient pedaling
  • Robust axle mechanisms to reduce repairs and maintenance

Why We Love This Flat Pedal

During our extended rides with appropriate cycling shoes, we found that the SPD clip held securely and was forgiving enough for new users. This made it a welcoming introduction to riding with cleats without compromising performance.

On short, casual trips, the platform side felt sturdy and reliable, offering excellent grip with regular shoes. I also loved the durability and convenience of the clip/clipless pedal combination design.


  • Dual-sided with SPD clips and platform
  • Durable aluminum construction
  • Great for commuting and casual rides
  • Includes pair of 2-bolt cleats


  • Heavier than some alternatives

2. Bucklos Road Bike PD-R8000 SPD SL Clipless Pedals

Bucklos Road Bike PD-R8000 SPD SL Clipless Pedals
Bucklos Road Bike PD-R8000 SPD SL Clipless Pedals

These Bucklos PD-R8000 SPD SL pedals are an excellent choice for road bikers seeking performance, durability, and ease of use. I was impressed by their compatibility with all Shimano SPD-SL systems.

The pedals feature smooth, self-lubricating sealed bearings that provide a quiet, maintenance-free ride. This makes it easy for us to switch between bikes without any hassle. While these pedals excel in performance and durability, they may not suit all riders.

The adjustable entry and release tension settings make these extremely versatile. It’s also easy to install these road bike pedals because of the clipless design.

Key Features

  • Self-lubricating three sealed bearings
  • Standard 9/16" axles
  • Stainless steel body plate
  • Waterproof and dustproof gasket

Why We Love This Flat Pedal

We particularly appreciated the waterproof and dustproof gasket design. They are made of lightweight nylon material, weighing only 272 grams per pair.

This lightweight construction enhances power transfer and pedaling efficiency. The adjustable entry and release tension settings also allow us to customize the pedals according to our preferences, making clipping in and out a breeze.


  • Compatible with all Shimano SPD-SL systems
  • Smooth, self-lubricating sealed bearings
  • Easy installation
  • Lightweight design for efficient power transfer


  • It may not be ideal for beginners

3. GEWAGE Flat Road Bike Pedals

GEWAGE Flat Road Bike Pedals
GEWAGE Flat Road Bike Pedals

We highly recommend these GEWAGE pedals for road and mountain bike riders seeking excellent grip and lasting performance. The pedal body has a wide and lightweight aluminum alloy platform that provides solid footing while riding.

We found the 100 x 104mm platform size with a 14mm profile to be very comfortable, and the sloped leading edges helped avoid pedal strikes. The 16 replaceable pins per pedal (8 per side) offer excellent grip and keep our feet in place during technical climbs or descents.

However, the gold color may not be everyone's preference, and the pins may require occasional tightening to maintain optimal grip. But luckily, you have five different color options and 16 replaceable pins.

That said, they perform very well for road and mountain biking, although riders into extreme downhill biking may want to seek out more specialized options.

Key Features

  • 3 Sealed bearings
  • 14mm profile and sloped leading edges
  • 16 anti-skid pins
  • 9/16" Screw Thread

Why We Love This Flat Pedal

Installation of these pedals was super simple, as they're marked L and R for easy identification. The flat bike pedals attach securely with just an 8mm Allen wrench.

We noticed the three sealed bearings do a great job protecting the spindles from water and dust, ensuring smooth operation and reducing maintenance. They are super sturdy and long-lasting, thanks to their CNC integration aluminum alloy construction and chrome-molybdenum steel spindle material.


  • Wide and lightweight platform
  • Excellent grip with 16 replaceable pins per pedal
  • Smooth and durable sealed bearings
  • Waterproof design
  • More durable pedal han plastic pedals


  • Pins may need occasional tightening

4. Boruizhen Aluminium Platform Road & MTB Pedals

Boruizhen Aluminium Platform Road & MTB Pedals
Boruizhen Aluminium Platform Road & MTB Pedals

In our experience, these light and sturdy platform pedals offer great value for riders looking for reliable flat pedals for road bikes. We recently tried out the Boruizhen Aluminium CNC Bike Platform Pedals on our road bikes and found them to be a great addition.

These pedals are not only lightweight at just 450g per pair, but they're also made from high-strength aluminum alloy material, making them wear-resistant and perfect for long rides.

However, we did notice that the bearings needed some adjustment and greasing to spin more freely. But because they are so lightweight, it’s one of the easiest flat pedal models to adjust or reinstall.

Key Features

  • Standard 9/16 inch screw thread
  • In-Mold Sealed Bearing
  • Large platform shape
  • Double-sided 16 skid-proof nails

Why We Love This Flat Pedal

The large platform shape ensures comfort and pedaling efficiency over long distances, and the double-sided 16 anti-skid nails on the surface provide excellent grip. With these pedals, we never felt any slipping or loss of control during our rides.

This is also an extremely versatile option. Whether you need a road bike pedal or hybrid pedals, this high-strength aluminum alloy design will do the job. And they are more reliable than a basic flat pedal.


  • Lightweight at only 450g/pair
  • High-strength aluminum alloy material
  • Large platform with double-sided 16 anti-skid nails for grip
  • Maintains road comfort and efficient pedaling


  • No replaceable pins included

5. Thinvik Road Bike Cleats for Shimano SPD-SL

Thinvik Road Bike Cleats for Shimano SPD-SL
Thinvik Road Bike Cleats for Shimano SPD-SL

The Thinvik Road Bike Cleats are a solid option for those seeking affordable and compatible cleats for their Shimano SPD-SL pedal system.

We found that the Thinvik Road Bike Cleats offer a good fit and compatibility with the Shimano SPD-SL system. The larger surface area and extended axle are great features that contribute to a more stable and efficient ride.

With the included Allen wrench, the adjustable tension allows us to customize the entry and release according to our preferences. However, some drawbacks we experienced include a stiff clip mechanism and soft Allen screws.

During our rides, the stiff clip made it difficult to pull your foot out quickly, causing some stability issues. Despite these issues, the Thinvik Road Bike Cleats are still a viable option for those looking for affordability and Shimano SPD-SL compatibility.

Key Features

  • High-quality bearings
  • Adjustable tension settings
  • Larger pedal surface
  • Extended Q-factor and XL axle

Why We Love This Flat Pedal

One of the key features of these cleats is their built-in rubber pads. This thoughtful addition makes walking off the bike considerably more comfortable and helps prevent slipping on slick surfaces, a common issue with many other road cleats.

These cleats are made from a high-quality and durable plastic material that withstands regular use. Installation is straightforward and can be adjusted to fit the angle and position that feel most comfortable to the rider.


  • Compatibility with Shimano SPD SL Cleat
  • Larger surface area for stable riding
  • Adjustable tension for customized entry and release
  • Multiple pedals, cleats, and allen wrenches included with purchase


  • Stiff clip mechanism

6. SHIMANO PD-RS500 SPD-SL Road Bike Pedal

SHIMANO PD-RS500 SPD-SL Road Bike Pedal
SHIMANO PD-RS500 SPD-SL Road Bike Pedal

The SHIMANO PD-RS500 is an excellent choice for road cyclists seeking reliable and easy-to-use flat pedals. We were impressed with the single-sided SPD-SL design.

This allows for quick and confident entry/exit while keeping our feet securely in place during intense cycling. The chromoly steel axle also ensures durability and longevity for long-term use and better riding comfort.

While the lightweight design enhances our riding experience, we did notice that using these pedals required some practice, especially when it comes to clipping in and out quickly at intersections.

The lack of reflectors means nighttime visibility is limited, so it's essential to consider adding external reflectors or lights if you plan on cycling in low-light conditions.

Key Features

  • Easy engagement and release mechanism
  • Efficient pedaling due to the wide platform
  • Lighter spring tension
  • SPD-SL / 3-bolt Compatible

Why We Love This Flat Pedal

As part of Shimano's SPD-SL line, these pedals offer the benefits of a clipless system, including increased pedaling efficiency and control compared to flat pedals. They're designed for road cycling and are especially suited for long rides, races, and vigorous training sessions.

The PD-RS500 pedals feature a lighter spring tension optimized for beginner riders, which makes clipping in and out easier. This feature is great for those transitioning to a clipless system for the first time.


  • Smooth entry/exit with secure hold
  • Durable chromoly steel axle
  • Lightweight and modern design


  • Lacks reflectors for nighttime visibility

Why Do Road Bikes Have Flat Pedals?

As cyclists, we know that flat pedals can have some significant advantages for many riders. One of the primary reasons road bikes have flat pedals is their simplicity and versatility.

We can easily hop on and off a bike, making it more convenient for commuting, running errands, or making quick stops. Flat pedals require no specific type of cycling shoes, allowing us to wear our comfortable sneakers or even our office shoes on our ride.

This can be particularly helpful for new cyclists who might not want to invest in specialized cycling shoes right away. Another benefit of flat pedals is the improved bike control they offer, especially during technical rides or when navigating through busy city streets.

Since our feet are not attached to the pedals, we can quickly reposition them for better balance, and easily put our feet down if needed to avoid a fall. Flat pedals can also help us build our core and leg muscles, as we use these muscles to maintain our position on the bike.

How Often Should You Change Pedals On Road Bikes?

There isn't a specific time frame for replacing pedals on road bikes since it generally depends on factors such as the type of pedals, the conditions we ride in, and our personal riding style.

That being said, we can determine when it's time to change our pedals by monitoring their performance and condition. Here are a few signs to look out for:

  • Worn-out bearings: Over time, the bearings in our pedals can wear out, causing rough rotation, wobbling, or difficulty in spinning. If cleaning and regreasing don't help, it's time to get new pedals.
  • Damaged or worn-out platform: For flat pedals, if the platform's grip pins are severely worn or the pedal's surface is excessively smooth, it can affect our foot stability and overall bike control. In such cases, it's better to replace the pedals.
  • Unusual noises or creaking: Persistent creaking or noises during pedaling can indicate issues with the pedals, and if the problem persists after cleaning and lubrication, replacement might be necessary.

To keep our pedals in good working condition, we should regularly engage in simple maintenance practices such as cleaning, checking for loose parts, and applying lubrication when needed. This will not only help prolong the life of our pedals but also ensure a smoother, more comfortable ride.