Clipless pedals are by far the most common pedal choice for most mountain bikers. The main reason is that they offer greatly improved efficiency as your foot is directly connected to the pedal, allowing you to both pull up and push down with your foot.
Probably the biggest advantage of a more expensive pedal is the weight. As the price increases, materials and construction techniques become more advanced. The reward is a reduction in overall weight.
A road pedal upgrade gives you more confidence to “take command” and ride harder, especially on descents and also when maneuvering through crowds. If you don’t trust your old pedals, maybe it’s time for an upgrade. Road cycling is all about efficiency: getting the most (power) for your money (effort).
Flat pedals offer several advantages when descending; better power transfer through your cranks, greater range of foot placement and rotation, easier heel-down adjustment, quick and easy removal of your feet from the pedals. Good posture, range of motion and angulation are maximized with flat pedals.
Once you get the basics down, it’s good practice to at least try clipping in to get the most out of a mountain bike and see if it’s for you. The reality is that it’s simply more efficient to propel a bike forward when your feet are attached to the pedals.
SPD has become more or less synonymous with mountain bike pedals (and more recently gravel pedals), while SPD-SL is mainly used for road cycling – that’s where the reduced weight comes in. But there are good reasons why you should choose to use SPD pedals on a drop bar bike.
But an outdoor sprint test showed that clipped-in cycling shoes increased maximum force in a sprint by an average of 16.6% versus the sneaker/flat pedal combo, while toe clips and straps increased 9.7 percent added So if you ride harder, you’ll probably benefit from cycling shoes and clipless pedals.
The only real property of the pedals that is affected is their moment of inertia. This means that heavier pedals store more energy in their rotation than lighter ones. The thing is, though, that energy stays constant at a steady cadence and you don’t have to worry about that.
Aluminium pedals almost always grip better than composite pedals simply because composite is much more slippery than aluminum, especially in the rain or when your shoes are wet. However, many high-end pedals have replaceable bolts/pins/screws that you can insert into your pedal.
With more expensive you pay for better materials, better manufacturing and tighter tolerances.
The vast majority of riders in the pro peloton use either Shimano or Look pedals because these two brands sponsor most WorldTour teams. Also, some teams like to have all their riders on the same pedals so that a domestique can give their bike to a team leader in the event of a mechanical emergency.
Shimano PD-M520 pedals are used by many road cyclists, although they are primarily made for mountain biking. They are easy to click in and out, which attracts many beginners, and they also have the advantage of being easier to walk in the compatible MTB cycling shoes.
The main reason for a bigger pedal is to increase confidence when riding aggressively. For the same reason, you’ll see metal pins in the pedal to help you grip the sole of your shoe. Imagine you are going over a jump and your feet slightly lose contact with the pedal.
When riding a bike, experience matters. For the ultimate experience, for an experienced rider, the metal pedals are the best. These are premium pedals and they offer good value for money. They are light, less bulky, have better grip, better traction and are very durable.
Plastic bicycle pedals are lightweight and inexpensive. This makes them a great option for people who want to start cycling or mountain biking and don’t want to spend a lot of money on their gear. The lighter weight can be a particular advantage when climbing hills, but overall they are best suited for flat terrain.
There is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t! Mountain bike and road bike pedals are compatible, but ideal for different things. They are designed for adults with the same pedal thread, namely 9/16″ x 20 TPI. They’re also easy to swap between bikes as they bolt on in the same place.