Best Pedals for Gravel Bikes in 2020 [Top 12 Picks]


Last Updated on July 10, 2020 by David P. Lopez

Do you like to go on off-road and gravel riding? Gravel riding is a lot similar to mountain biking, where the road may be muddy and full of dirt. The type of pedals you use for your bike plays a significant role in making your experience a good one. In this case, you need pedals that are easy to clean and are suited for gravel riding.

There are many such pedals out there, and I want to help you find the best pedals for gravel bikes. After a lot of research, I have come up with a list of pedals that may be just what you need. I have also included a buying guide, so be sure to check that out!

Recommended: Best Pedals for Gravel Bikes

The different types of pedals out there for gravel bikes can seem very overwhelming, especially for anyone new to gravel riding. With this article, I intend to make the process easier for you. Below, you have a list of 12 products that I believe are the best!

1. SHIMANO XT PD-M8100 Pedals–Best For Both Gravel & MTB Bike(My Choice)

Best pedals for gravel bikesBest Pedals for Gravel Bikes in 2020 [Top 12 Picks] 1
The first product on this list is the SHIMANO XT PD-M8100 that is just the best when it comes to pedals for gravel bikes. Its body is made from anodized aluminum, which adds to the sturdiness. If you are looking for something durable that will withstand pretty much anything, you should definitely consider this product.

Functionality and Features

This pedal does everything it is supposed to. It offers excellent user stability, thanks to the lower platform height and its generous size. The manufacturers made no compromise with the quality and overall performance of this thing; it is not only lightweight but also includes high-quality bearings and spindles.

For your convenience, it is also super easy to clean, making it perfect for everyday use.

This thing features retention claws, which makes usage and release of the pedals very smooth. They are also highly adjustable, enhancing your biking experience.

It also has an open binding design that makes sure all the mud and debris has been cleared out as soon as you step on it. There is the newly introduced XT apparatus set that boosts the power and makes the pedals much more responsive to braking.

Why You Should Get It

These pedals are not the most affordable. If you are on a tight budget, you may find it a problem. However, for the performance and features it offers, the price is totally worth it.

Pros:
  • Offers great stability
  • Very easy to clean
  • Lightweight
  • Long-lasting
  • Wide platform
Cons:
  • Pedals are slightly tricky to adjust

2. Crankbrothers Candy Clip-In MTB Bike Pedal-Ensure The Flawless Gravel Riding

Best Pedals for Gravel Bikes in 2020 [Top 12 Picks] 2Best Pedals for Gravel Bikes in 2020 [Top 12 Picks] 3
Crankbrothers Candy Clip-In is one of the most reliable bike pedals out there,it offers you a great riding experience, especially for gravel or mountain bikes. The product has an aluminum body with a stainless steel spring.

The overall design is quite simple, with only four pieces to clip in total. However, it also means that there is no way to adjust or release the spring tension.

Functionality and Features

First of all, this product is very lightweight, lighter than some of its more expensive competitors. This pedal is ideal for day to day riding and even racing. In terms of performance, there can hardly be any complaints. It is also quite easy to perform spin workouts.

The thing that stands out most about this unit is its sealing system to resist corrosion, which only adds to its durability. It also features a stainless ‘wing’ mechanism, and its bearing system is one of the things that draws you in. While the outer bearing is of cartridge bearing, the inner one is of agues all-glide.

The mud-shedding ability on this is better than most, and that is something that can be very helpful for those into gravel and mountain riding.Along with all that, there is the customizable floating technology it uses that makes it so great. With this, you can release angle from 15o to 20o.

Why You Should Get It

Compared to the quality of the product, the price is actually reasonable enough. You may find some cheaper options, but with a little extra money, you get all the great features this thing offers.

Pros:
  • Very lightweight
  • Fits easily on almost any type of bikes
  • Clips in and out easily
  • Features customizable float and release angle options
Cons:
  • Cannot adjust the spring tension

3. SHIMANO PD-M8020 PedalsBest SPD Gravel Bike Pedals

Best Pedals for Gravel Bikes in 2020 [Top 12 Picks] 4Best Pedals for Gravel Bikes in 2020 [Top 12 Picks] 5
If you are someone who regularly takes their gravel bike out for a ride on rough terrain, you definitely want something more comfortable. That is exactly what the SHIMANO PD-M8020 Pedals is all about. This lightweight product uses a forged alloy body with a chrome-moly axle.

 Functionality and Features

This thing does not really bring anything all that new to the table in terms of features. For better stability, the pedal has been given a revised cleat interface. When pedaling, the lower platform and height helps provide a good balance.

The extended platform also offers great comfort; it makes the release tension settings much more effective.

Its bearing system is as adjustable and serviceable as the older models. Just opening it up once a year to apply some grease will keep it spinning smoothly long enough.

The mud-shedding design makes pedaling just a lot more convenient for all riders. Its sealed cartridge axle system adds to its greatness, making it more reliable and easier to maintain.

 Why You Should Get It

Overall, this product is a top-notch quality pedal. It gives you a shot at flawless pedaling with excellent stability to ride on the mountains as well as sidewalks.

One thing to note would be that attaching the pedals can be a bit challenging, so make sure to be careful. Still, it is a great product for the price, and you won’t regret getting it!

Pros:
  • Highly durable
  • Provides good balance
  • Sturdy and stable
  • Flawless performance
Cons:
  • Need to take extra care attaching the pedals

4. Time ATAC XC8 MTB Pedals—-Lightest Clipless Gravel Bike Pedal

Best Pedals for Gravel Bikes in 2020 [Top 12 Picks] 6Best Pedals for Gravel Bikes in 2020 [Top 12 Picks] 7
The Time ATAC XC8 MTB Pedalsis a high-quality product that is good for anyone who is into extreme riding, looking for something more budget-friendly. They are also lighter than most pedals while still being inexpensive. It has a strong metal body that effectively protects the accessories from any damaging impact.

Functionality and Features

The small accessories it features are very easy to set up. You can ride at full speed thanks to the excellent power diverting traction. Despite the oversized steel axle,it has a pretty small yet intuitive design, which makes setting it all up quick and simple.

It also features an open design system that allows for easy engagement and sheds all dirt and debris every time you step in, so you can easily avoid big mud splashes while riding on the field.

If you are not a fan of accidental unclipping, you will surely appreciate the 13/17 cleat it comes with. It has a narrow platform, and it clips in well and stays there.

Why You Should Get It

The product is light yet strong and stiff. These carbon pedals can take on rocks and still function perfectly. So, if you are someone who occasionally rides on rough, muddy fields, this thing is perfectly suited for you.

Pros:
  • High-quality product
  • Easy to set up
  • Strong metallic body
  • Perfect amount of float
  • Light but strong and stiff
Cons:
  • Needs spinning before first use to remove resistance

5. Crankbrothers Candy Clip-In MTB Bike Pedal–Best Pedals for Gravel Bike

Best Pedals for Gravel Bikes in 2020 [Top 12 Picks] 8Best Pedals for Gravel Bikes in 2020 [Top 12 Picks] 9
This one here is another excellentCrankbrothers product that is a great buy! The pedal has an aluminum metal body with the axle made of SCM435 Chromo Steeland steel cast wings. It has an overall lightweight design giving the riders a flawless pedalingexperience.

Functionality and Features

This thing has a four-sided entry and exit system, which makes it more preferable than many of its competitors. It has a customizable float that only makes pedaling much more convenient for the user.

Each pedal is about 304 grams, so it is super lightweight. It is designed in such a way that you do not need to make any adjustments before use.

This product features a technology of 15 and 20 degrees release angle with premium bearing to make it more attractive. There is an inner needle bearing and outer cartridge bearing. Not just that, it also comes with premium brass cleats.

Why You Should Get This

There are many small issues you can come across with different pedals. That is not the case with this one, as it is pretty much hassle-free. You do not need to worry about pedal tension, no need for adjustments, and it even sheds mud quick and easy.

Also, you get a cleat for the shoes with this, and basically, it just offers a great riding experience.

Pros:
  • Does not require adjustments
  • Convenient to use
  • Four-sided entry and exit
  • Features a customizable float
Cons:
  • Not ideal for trail riding

6. VP Components VP-Vice PedalsBest Flat Pedals For Gravel Riding

Best Pedals for Gravel Bikes in 2020 [Top 12 Picks] 10Best Pedals for Gravel Bikes in 2020 [Top 12 Picks] 11
The vice pedal is one of the most affordable ones on the market, yet it does not compromise on quality. It is known for its light and long-lasting body, each pedal weighing about 406 grams that allows you to pedal with complete ease. With an aluminum body, the product is quite thin with its unusual length and width.

Functionality and Features

This thing featuresan extremely thin and flat paddle assist that allows your bike to move in any direction you would like. You can very easily adjust the size with small steel pins it comes with.

The low-profile platform offers excellent grip, and on each side, there is a total of 14 replaceable steel pins. This also makes it great for those starting out with biking.

It has a sealed bearing system and is very easily serviceable. However, the pins can wear out pretty quickly, which is a bit tedious, but you can easily replace them. Anyone with big feet may find it a bit small.

Why You Should Get This

For a reasonable price, the pedals offer you high durability and overall great performance. If you are looking for a quality pedal that is easy to set up and use and one that gives you an excellent gravel biking experience with its strong grip, you cannot go wrong with this one

Pros:
  • Thin and lightweight
  • Very reasonably priced
  • Features long-lasting bearings
  • Sturdy construction
  • Offers strong grip
Cons:
  • Pins tend to wear fast
  • Maybe a bit small for some

7. Ht Components Composite Pedal

Best Pedals for Gravel Bikes in 2020 [Top 12 Picks] 12Best Pedals for Gravel Bikes in 2020 [Top 12 Picks] 13
Are you someone who has issues with the grip on pedaling while biking? It is a common problem many bikers face, especially with gravel bikes. There is one simple solution for this, and it is the PA03A bike pedal.

Thanks to the flat pedals, you get an excellent grip and easy turns to change direction with increased power transformation.

Functionality and Features

What makes it ideal for mountain and gravel bikes is the shape and design. You can move super-fast and race with ease due to the layout of the product. It also leaves superb traction, so you get better control over your bike. You get a premium feel with this all thanks to the sealed bearing system.

There is enough space for contact, and the pins are also spaced well, giving you a good ride. However, that also means that on rough roads, you may find it challenging to find the right foot placement. It is the spacing of the pins that give you such good grip and traction.

Why You Should Get It

One of the best things about the pedals is how fast you are able to withdraw your shoes from the pins and re-engage them. That makes it perfect for those who like to perform tricks and such while biking. So, if you are looking for pedals and are not sure which one to buy, this can be a good choice.

Pros:
  • Very strong grip
  • Allows fast pedaling
  • Ideal for mountain and gravel bikes
  • Has excellent traction
Cons:
  • Foot placement is challenging on rough terrain

8. SHIMANO SPD Bike PedalsA Beginner-friendly Bike Pedal

Best Pedals for Gravel Bikes in 2020 [Top 12 Picks] 14Best Pedals for Gravel Bikes in 2020 [Top 12 Picks] 15Best Pedals for Gravel Bikes in 2020 [Top 12 Picks] 14
The next product on this list is the SHIMANO PD-EH500, which is known for its versatility. It is perfect for novice bike riders and comfortable for all. Light and durable, it has an aluminum body and steel axle. So, it can withstand even the harshest weather conditions and still work just fine.

Functionality and Features

This one is a dual-sided bike that uses a traditional platform on one of the sides, and the other has a simple step-in design. You can use it for gravel biking, mountain biking, and even for just day to day commuting. The flat-sided platform allows the removal of traction pins, which gives you better grip and control even on wet surfaces.

It features a light action binding system that makes it easy to clip in and out frequently. The entry and release tension are also fully adjustable. This thing has durable parts that make installing small accessories quick and simple. It has been specially optimized for urban riding.

Why You Should Get This

The pedal has the best match with CT and MT shoes. It is great for any kind of biking and can pedal through all sorts of weather conditions. The grip and control are excellent; you will not have to worry about biking over wet surfaces.

Pros:
  • Easy to clip in and out often
  • Versatile
  • Very light release
  • Great grip even on wet surfaces
  • Adjustable entry and release tension
Cons:
  • A bit too narrow for some people

9. Crankbrothers Stamp Flat BMX/MTB Bike Pedal–Best Budget Flat Pedal

Best Pedals for Gravel Bikes in 2020 [Top 12 Picks] 17Best Pedals for Gravel Bikes in 2020 [Top 12 Picks] 18
You may have noticed by now that some of the products listed are not really ideal for people with big feet. If you fall into that category, I have good news for you. The Stamp Flat BMX/MTB T6aluminum body pedalis the answer to your problem as it is perfect for anyone looking for a bigger sized pedal.

Functionality and Features

The pedals are wide, starting from the axle to the end and come with ten adjustable pins. With a unique curve platform, it protects the foot clips. No matter the weather condition, you can twist the path using the amazing grip option. Thanks to the Enduro cartridge system, you will see that the pedals spin very nicely.

This one also follows a sealed bearing system, so you do not have to worry about water or dirt damaging the premium bearings. It is also not very thick, so you will be comfortable using them. On each side, it features a nine hex pattern traction pin.

Why You Should Get This

Being one of the best pedals for gravel bikes, it has a lot to offer. The plenty of room for engaging and the superb performance is enough to let you know how good of a product this is.

Pros:
  • Broad and spacious platform
  • Solid construction
  • Excellent grip
  • Water or dust cannot touch the bearings
Cons:
  • Wide platform so pins should be longer

10. Crankbrothers Eggbeater Clip-In Mountain Bike Pedals–Best for Muddy Gravel Riding

Best Pedals for Gravel Bikes in 2020 [Top 12 Picks] 19Best Pedals for Gravel Bikes in 2020 [Top 12 Picks] 20
The Eggbeater Clip-In bike pedal by Crankbrothers is a great choice for those who are more experienced in biking to ride faster. You can pedal on rough and rocky terrain without facing any problems thanks to the stainless steel it is made of.

Functionality and Features

The pedal stays fit just fine with the help of the bearings that are massive in size. It also features an excellent traction padding technology, which provides increased power through the pedal.

Also, the lack of platform may cause an issue for some, and so it is best suited for use with shoes that have firm soles. This small body also makes it not a very good choice for beginner riders.

The lightweight aspect of the product allows riders to grip better and turn directions more easily and effectively. Also, the amount of float is enough to give you an easier time biking. Engagement is also simple; you can swiftly get in and out without any issues. It even features a release angle of 15 and 20 degrees.

Why You Should Get This

This is a lightweight product that experts will absolutely love. You can bike intensely without having to worry all that much about safety as it has a very sturdy construction, and it is highly durable. Overall it is a top-notch pedal that will serve you for a long time.

Pros:
  • Very lightweight
  • Quick to get in and out of
  • Doesnot encounter issues with mud
  • Strong built
Cons:
  • Lack of platform may make it challenging

11. FOOKER MTB Pedals Mountain Bike PedalsCheapest Flat Pedal

Best Pedals for Gravel Bikes in 2020 [Top 12 Picks] 21Best Pedals for Gravel Bikes in 2020 [Top 12 Picks] 22
The manufacturers of the MTB pedals designed the product for maximum comfort for the riders.Its surface is of Nylon fiber, and it is not only waterproof and dustproof, but it also keeps you from slipping. The FOOKER pedals are kept in position with the help of the chrome steel axle bearing.

Functionality and Features

These pedals are bigger than most of the other pedals, which gives you more room for a better grip and overall greater cycling experience.

You can set them up very easily, and if you want more security, you can fit them to the soles of your shoes. Since your safety is the number one priority, these pedals also feature an anti-skid nail. This boosts the friction power between your shoes and the pedal, reducing the chance of you slipping.

The sealed bearing mechanism protects the spindles from water and dust. So, you can freely cycle through rain and mud without having to worry about damaging the components. Here, the hex pattern traction pins can be easily replaced, and those 16 pins are positioned on each side, and they offer good gripping and control.

Why You Should Get This

This product is one of the best as it offers maximum comfort without compromising functionality. The anti-slip mechanism also makes it super safe, and that is something very helpful.

Pros:
  • Larger than most pedals
  • Made of Nylon composite
  • Waterproof and dustproof
  • Very comfortable to use
  • Features anti-slip mechanism for more safety
Cons:
  • Does not include extra pins

12. SHIMANO SPD Pedal Clipless Pedals

Best Pedals for Gravel Bikes in 2020 [Top 12 Picks] 23Best Pedals for Gravel Bikes in 2020 [Top 12 Picks] 24
The SHIMANO SPD Pedal Clipless Pedals is the last product on this list, but it is definitely not the least. This is another product that can go through all sorts of weather conditions and still go on. If you are trying out clipless pedals for the first time, choosing this is a good place to start.

Functionality and Features

It is compatible with a wider range of shoes and biking styles and makes pedaling much more efficient. Speed transfers power to the pedal and gives the rider much more control. It also gives you more stability and makes cycling a lot more comfortable.

Like many other SHIMANO products, this one also features an open binding design that makes sure all the dirt and debris is flushed out when you step in.

You climb steep mountains and descent just as easily. Whenever you are moving from one terrain to another, you can maintain the speed with the smooth shifting of the front and rear.

Why You Should Get This

Clipless pedals are not easy to use without experience. However, these pedals are a great choice for both novice and expert riders. Also, for the price, it offers a lot of amazing features.

Pros:
  • Very easy and smooth operation
  • Features a mud-shedding design
  • Allows easy climbing of steep mountains
  • Helpful for anyone starting with clipless pedals
Cons:
  • Slightly heavy

Road vs. Mountain Gravel Pedals

Before deciding whether to get a road gravel pedal or a mountain one, you need to decide where you will ride more. Do you cycle through the roads more often? Or do you spend a lot of time climbing up mountains?

Regardless of which one it is, both serve a similar purpose and perform very well, depending on the product itself. Road pedals tend to be more powerful, while mountain pedals are much easier to clip in and out. You can even get both and switch it up often. Although it may be a bit more tedious, you can cycle more freely.

Are Clipless Pedals Worth It?

This depends on what sort of cycling you do. For those that cycle for a daily commute or just as a hobby, these clipless pedals may not be worth the hassle and the expense. Not only are they not useful in these cases, but they also risk getting the rider injured.It is especially not recommended for new bikers.

However, for those who do competitive cycling, these things are quite popular. In competitive situations, they not only provide more speed and power but also keeps the rider from missing a stroke. So, it really just depends on what type of cycling you do and what you can handle.

Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Pedals for Gravel Bikes

So that is all about these 12 products, but are you still unclear about which one to buy? That is alright because we have put together this buying guide to help you with just that. The mentioned products are great, but there are some things you need to consider before you make your choice and buy one.

Types of Gravel Bike Pedals

First up, there are different types. There are two most important types of gravel bike pedals; one is clipless and the other flat.So, how do you decide which one to get? Well, it is actually pretty simple.

You need to ask yourself what type of cycling you do more often. Do you tend to use your gravel bike for transportation? If that is the case, you should go with a flat pedal. However, if you are into racing and off-road cycling, then you will likely benefit more from choosing a flat pedal.

Type of Activity

You also need to think about the sort of cycling activity you will be doing. It is not only to see whether you should get a flat or clipless pedal but also to see what kind of features your pedal needs.

For mountain cycling, you need to think about the traction, grip, and whether it keeps you from slipping because you do not want to risk injuries.

Clipless Bike Pedals

So, what are the things you need to focus on if you choose a clipless bike pedal? Below are some things to consider.

  • Cleat

Depending on the pedal itself, the cleat can come with different types of design. You will find three belts that keep the soles of your shoes in place. If you are into road pedaling, this is pretty much considered to be the standard.

  • Float

A clipless pedal features a float system that allows you to let your feet fall comfortably. Cycling can cause stress and pressure on your knees; this thing helps get rid of that problem. In most of the cases, the float is measured between 3 to 9 degrees.

  • Stack Height

The stack height is the area starting from the axle of the pedal and ending at the shoe’s sole. You need to keep your feet closer when pedaling, which is why you should go for low stack height.

Flat Bike Pedals

In case you are thinking of going with flat pedals, the following are some of the things you should keep in mind.

  • Shape of Platform

For flat pedals, the platform shape matters. There are different shapes to choose from, but that depends on the type of bike you have. If you are required to have better ground clearance, choosing a thin platform would be better as it keeps your feet close to the axle and boosts efficiency.

And if you have larger feet, make sure you go with a bigger platform as that makes it more comfortable and assists in cornering.

  • Pins

Everything about the pins, from its size and shape to the layout, matters if you want better grip and traction.Grub screws that have a hollow center are perfect for getting the maximum grip. Bottom mounted designs are also helpful as they come with pins underneath and keep the pedals from breaking.

  • Pedal Stance

This is basically the width measurement. It is the space between the centers of each petal. They need to be at a certain comfortable distance from each other. The riding experience depends on this, so make sure you check the shape and size carefully.

Durability

Riding a bike means you are likely to encounter bumps or small accidents down the road. You need a strong and durable pedal that can withstand those impacts without getting severely damaged. Make sure you pick a product that will last you a long time.

Affordability

Pedals that come with a lot of features tend to be quite expensive. Just like that, very inexpensive pedals are likely to be weak and can break easily. However, that is not always the case as there some reasonably priced pedals out there, some of which have been mentioned on this list, which are of pretty good quality.

So, you need to set your priorities straight and see which ones you can or cannot afford without compromising on the quality of the product you are buying.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why choose flat pedals?

Flat pedals tend to be very easy to attach and are best for those who prefer downhill mountain biking. With a flat pedal, you get a lot of freedom. You can also wear almost any type of shoes with these without facing issues.

  1. Are clipless pedals dangerous?

Yes, clipless pedals can be quite risky. Although you can get injuries while riding with any type of pedals, the clipless ones tend to be riskier. It is especially dangerous for new bikers with little to no experience.

  1. Can you ride with clip-in pedals in normal shoes?

You can; however, it will not be very comfortable, especially ones with thin soles.Along with that, there is also a chance that your feet may slip off, which can result in an injury.

  1. Why does my bike make clicking sounds while pedaling?

Clicking noises while pedaling can stem from the chain trying to jump up and down a gear.

  1. How to take care of clipless pedals?

First of all, you need to check if it has been damaged. If it is not, scrub it using warm water to get rid of all the mud and debris. Leave it to dry and add a drop of lube to the clips to keep it running smoothly.

Final Words

So, there you have it! I hope you found this guide helpful and are much closer to buying a pedal for your gravel bike. Make sure you go through the products and the guide again before making a purchase. Now you can go choose between the best pedals for a gravel bike.

David P. Lopez

David is an expert on the bike and his hobby is biking. He has experience over 8 years. Based on his experiences he is sharing his thought about the bike and bike-related products. so a beginner can learn something from him.

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