Essential for road riding, racing and sportive participation, here we look at some of the clipless pedal systems available for cyclists

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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 Keo 2 Max Blade pedals

Look Keo 2 Max Blade 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.

>>>Read our review of the Look Keo 2 Max Blade pedals here

>>>Buy here for £47.49 at Chain Reaction Cycles

TIME Xpresso 6 Pedals

TIME Xpresso 6 best clipless pedals

TIME Xpresso 6 Road 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.

>>>Read our review of the TIME Xpresso 6 pedals here

>>>Buy now at for £74.95 at Merlin Cycles

Shimano 105 SPD pedals

Shimano 105 SPD best clipless Pedals

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.

>>>Read our review of the Shimano 105 SPD Pedal

>>>Buy now for £62.85 at Evans Cycles

Speedplay Zero Cromoly

Speedplay Zero best road pedal

Speedplay Zero pedal

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.

>>>Read our review of the Speedplay Zero Cromoly

>>>Buy now for £98.99 at Evans Cycles

Look Keo Classic 2 pedals

Look Keo Classic 2 best road pedals

Look Keo Classic 2 Road 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.

>>>Buy now for £39.99 at Evans Cycles

TIME RXS Carbon Road Pedals

TIME RXS Carbon Best 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.

>>>Buy now for £79.99 at Evans Cycles

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.

>>> The best cheap bikes: ridden and rated

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.

  • John Jackson

    I really don’t understand this review throwing in one small platform mtb pedal. I’m a roadie but got fed up of falling on my arse, destroying indoor floors and walking like a duck when wearing ‘road’ clipless pedals plus how quickly the cleats wear out. So I changed to Crank Brothers Quattro (the top of the range pedal was used by a Continental Pro Team), big platform and lots of float, two hole cleats and carbon soled mtb shoes. All the previous problems eliminated and NO fall in performance – my 10 and 25 TT times were unchaged. Yes, I know they are no longer available, sadly, but the Shimano Clipless Spd A600 Pedals are nearly as good and weight: 286g (per pair).

    Why people still ride ‘road pedal/cleats’ amazes me – why?

  • James Roberts

    I use speedplay zeros on all bikes, summer (Ti), winter (cromalloy) and track, well on the track bike.

    So easy to use, no fumbling at lights or junctions. High ground clearance so better cornering and light weight.

    Only down side, a must is to use cleat covers as wear is a pain in the A**e to sort!