Essential for road riding, racing and sportive participation, here we look at some of the clipless pedal systems available for cyclists
Not what you’re looking for? Check out:
When anyone first starts cycling, it’s advised that they buy – after the bike of course – a pair of cycling shoes and clipless pedals. The benefits of using these over flat pedals in terms of comfort and efficiency are huge.
There are several different clipless pedal systems – each with their pros and cons. It makes sense to spend some time deciding which types best suits your riding style before you set about shopping.
Once you’ve worked out what style is best for you – Look, Shimano, Speedplay or Time – the next step is to decide how much you want to spend and what sort of specification you want within that brand’s range.
Spend more, and you’ll enjoy a lighter pedal with a crisper mechanism, providing a more powerful connection to the pedal.
We’ve rounded up some of the best clipless pedal models – check out our favourites below…
Watch: How to fit and remove pedals
Our pick of the best clipless pedals
Look Keo 2 Max Blade Road Pedals
Look have used a thin sheet of carbon in place of the more common metal spring, cutting the weight, whilst the blades provide a positive engagement. As per all Look cleats, they are quick to wear down, requiring regular replacement unless you’re conscientious enough to use cleat covers.
TIME Xpresso 6 Pedals
A slightly more affordable version of the TIME Xpresso 15 pedals (which retail at a jaw dropping £400), the Xpresso 6’s are a little heavier (213g) but considerably more affordable.
Offering an alternative to the major players (Speedplay, Look, Shimano), they provide 2.5mm side-to-side float to suit your pedalling style, but don’t allow for alterations to float engagement (how hard or easy it is to clip in and out) as per other models.
Shimano 105 SPD pedals
They are the easiest pedal to get in and out of, but the three-hole bolt system cleat is noticeably larger. A quality pedal, offering value for money that’s ideal for anyone who wants reliability without breaking the bank.
Speedplay Zero Cromoly
Speedplay offer a premium option. For anyone with knee niggles, they’re preferable to other styles because they offer a huge amount of adjustability – the release angle and float can be altered independently. The pedal itself is much smaller, but this connects with a significantly larger cleat – creating a wide contact at the sole. The pedal is double sided, too – making clipping in super quick which will suit criterium races.
Speedplay pedals can be expensive, but the Zero Cromoly version sits at the lower end of the scale.
Look Keo Classic 2 pedals
A second option from Look, these are great starter pedals that provide plenty of flat adjustment, and a large contact patch provides power transfer. A suitably priced and easy option for beginners to take their first steps into the world of clipless pedals.
TIME RXS Carbon Road Pedals
These offer the same knee-friendly rotation that the Xpresso 6 pedals do but with a lighter body they become perfect for any competitive racers for whom every gram counts.
Choosing the best clipless pedals for you
The biggest decision here is what clipless pedal system is best for you – once you’ve got that sorted it’s really just about selecting the model that closely matches the amount you want to spend, and the specification – weight, closure system and longevity – that you need.
Buying cycling shoes and pedals does not need to be a big investment, with many brands offering low cost shoes to get you going.
If clipless pedals are new to you, then you need to anticipate spending a little bit of time getting used to them. We’ve got a guide to learning how to cycle clipped in here.