Upgrade Crosstown Poly Pedals review – inexpensive, super grippy and great for urban use

A highly functional and inexpensive pedal with a non-slip surface that works particularly well with traditional flat-soled office shoes

Upgrade Crosstown Poly Pedals
(Image credit: Paul Grele)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

A great value pair of pedals that won't break the bank. In utilising a grippy non-slip surface, they hold flat-soled leather shoes securely in place without a risk of damage – something that may not be true for certain models with pins. So long as this surface remains durable over time then they are particularly recommended for commuting and utility use.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Price

  • +

    Non-slip finish

  • +

    Reflectors

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Nothing at this price

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The Upgrade Crosstown Poly Pedals are a great value option for those who are looking for extra grip while cycling casually around the urban environment. 

In our guide to the best flat pedals, you'll find a lot of models have pins that are included for rougher gravel use, and these aren't so friendly to your favourite non-cycling specific shoes that commuters or utility cyclists use. 

And so if you are all about city riding you'll be pleased to know that this is where the the Upgrade Crosstown Poly Pedals really excel, with the grippy non-slip surface proving to be effective in both the dry and wet, while also not causing any damage to your day to day sneakers or top-end leather shoes for the office. 

Upgrade Crosstown Poly Pedals: construction

The Upgrade Crosstown Poly Pedals are made from polypropylene with a steel axle and feature a grippy non-slip coating to keep your foot secure. They weigh 327 grams per pair and measure 95x84x24mm. They incorporate reflectors on both sides of each pedal and are aimed at commuter and utility bikes.

The pedals feature dual bushings and sealed bearings which should keep the weather out and keep the pedals running without maintenance for a long time. The pedals are marked clearly 'L' and 'R' as well as the left pedal having the traditional parallel knurling lines next to the threaded section (where you screw the pedal into the crank), so no excuses for not know which side is which! 

In addition, the pedals can be fitted using either a 15mm pedal spanner or a 6mm Allen/Hex Key. Just remember to apply a dab of grease to the threads when fitting as it will help when removing them in the future.

Upgrade Crosstown Poly Pedals

(Image credit: Paul Grele)

Upgrade Crosstown Poly Pedals: the ride

First impression of these pedals is that the Upgrade Crosstown Poly pedals seem decently made considering their cost. The axles were quite tight in rotation and I was able to turn them into the crank threads using only the pedal body (ie without a spanner)! 

I tightened them with a spanner at the end obviously, as you don't want a pedal to unwind and fall out. Once fitted the pedals turned smoothly without any stickiness, despite that tightness. 

I fitted the pedals to my utility bike and rode several journeys using a variety of shoes to see how the grippy non-slip treatment fared, both in terms of wear and grip. It worked really well with all the shoes from the leather soled office brogue to an Adidas style trainer. 

The pedals have a concave shape to the contact patch so, as you apply more pressure from the ball of the foot, the more grip you get. I certainly felt secure with my foot placement on the pedal, and didn't feel that they were going to slip off. They also worked well in the wet and with wet soles. 

The non-slip seems durable and, although it looks like 60 grit sandpaper, it doesn't come off onto your fingertips when you touch it, by which I mean that it seems well bonded in place.

As you ride the pedals feel very smooth in rotation. I think that it will be interesting to see how long they stay running nicely before any play in the bearings occur. However they have an end cap so maintenance (regreasing and adjusting any play) should be possible.

Upgrade Crosstown Poly Pedals

End cap

(Image credit: Paul Grele)

Upgrade Crosstown Poly Pedals: value and conclusion

I think that at $21.34 / £20.00 RRP these are really good value commuter or utility bike pedals. Look's Geo City Grip pedals are considerably more expensive at $75.00 / £58/00.

I particularly liked the grippy surface which allowed traditional soled shoes to be used without fear of a foot slipping off. Also the sealed bearings should keep them working for a decent amount of time. 

Normally I tend to avoid plastic/polypropylene pedals as I don't generally find them to be well made or last very long, however these have been rather good to use. To answer any durability questions regarding the bearing life as well as the non-slip surface I'm going to leave them on my utility bike and will see how they fare over a longer time period. I hope that they will have a long life. I enjoyed riding with them.

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