Top 11 Types Of Clipless Pedals

You will be ready for many hours of enjoyable biking when you get a set of top-quality clipless pedals and a pair of cycling shoes. Using clips instead of regular pedals provides greater comfort and boosts performance, but it’s something that needs to be mastered over time.

To learn more about the range of different systems and why clipless pedals have their name, have a look at the bottom of the page for plenty of information. Let’s now focus on providing you with our top picks of the best clipless pedals.

Shimano PD-ME700 SPD pedals black - Climb On Bikes

Count the bolts

There are two types of clipless pedals. Pedals modelled after Look’s 1984 design are still popular among road racers. The cleat protrudes from the bottom of the shoe and is secured by three screws. This permits an uncomplicated, extremely inflexible sole, but is clumsy when walking.

In 1990, Shimano released its SPD (Shimano Pedalling Dynamics) system. A metal cleat that is smaller in size is attached to the shoe with two screws and is situated in a hollow in the bottom.

A recess in the cleat makes wearing SPD shoes more comfortable and aids in finding the slot in the mechanism, making the process of connecting to the pedal quicker and easier. Originally created for use on mountain biking trails, this type of bike has recently grown in popularity with people who use them to commute or go on recreational rides.

Look’s three-bolt standard dominates road pedals and shoes

Many businesses nowadays produce pedals that are compatible with both three-bolt and two-bolt footwear.

Three-bolt clipless pedals usually have only one side and one exception which we will address later. To put on cycling shoes, you need to fasten the cleat on the front of the pedal. This particular task is tricky at first, however, it can eventually become a habit with a bit of practice.

Two-bolt pedals are usually double-sided. It’s very simple to get started; you just need a little bit of practice before you can easily press the pedal and get going.

Shoes containing two-bolt cleats feature a hollow space to enable people to walk in them.

What system is best for you is affected by the distinction. If you find yourself frequently clipping and unclipping your feet from your pedals during a commute, then two-bolt systems offer a more convenient clip-in action, preventing you from having any difficulty when it comes to putting your feet in the pedals before starting off.

If prioritizing performance above all else is important, then a three-bolt system is the desired choice.

The broader cleat helps to distribute the pedalling pressure over a bigger area of the foot, making it more comfortable and efficient, whereas shoes with three-bolt designs are lighter due to the lack of extra rubber around the cleat to make them walkable.

Shimano XC61 shoes that measure a size 40 boasting two rivets supposedly have an overall mass of 632 grams. Shimano R170 road shoes cost £150 each and weigh 500g per pair in size 40.

1. Shimano Ultegra Pedals

All Shimano pedals use the same spring retention system that requires a 2.5mm allen key to adjust. It can take a little time to get just right, so worth taking the right size key with you on the first few rides.

Taking a Shimano crankset apart and greasing the axle is really easy. It is also worth noting that there is a 4mm longer axle available as an option with Ultegra and Dura-Ace if a wider Q factor is needed.

The Shimano 105 option is less costly than the RRP around £90, however, if you look around, you can locate some amazing bargains.

2. Look at Keo Blade Road Pedals

Look Keo 2 Max Carbon Pedals with Keo Grip Cleat

There are a variety of Look pedal systems and these stand out as being the ideal clipless pedals for anyone searching for a high-performance setting.

Examine the claim that the ceramic bearing edition of something decreases friction by 18% and helps increase energy transmission.

Instead of the metal spring that can be found in pedals like the Shimano Ultegra, Look uses a carbon leaf spring for cleat retention, making the pedals lighter and providing a click when clipping in.

This implies that you can’t make speedy alterations the way you would with a spring system, however, you can purchase a leaf spring in different intensities.

It can be quite difficult to decide which tension works best for you, so it might be a good idea to get help from your local bike store or bike fitter. Once you’ve got it set up, however, you won’t need to adjust it any further.

As all Look cleats, they can become damaged quickly unless you take the time to remember to put on cleat covers while you walk, which usually come with the pedals or cleats.

3. Time XPRO 15 Pedals

It’s undeniable that the Time Xpro 15 pedals come with a shocking retail price, especially when compared to the more affordable Xpresso set that the Time Xpresso 6 pedals belong to. Although they’re slightly out of date, we still appreciated them greatly.

It was difficult to find an individual characteristic that made these clipless pedals stand out when we tested them, but it was a combination of a few different qualities that made them some of the top offerings in the market.

To begin, an exceptionally secure carbon leaf spring system is provided. These pedals are some of the lightest clipless models you can find, weighing in at only 87g each, and yet they still offer a wider platform than traditional Time pedals.

For people looking for the highest quality, the carbon exterior, hollow titanium spindle, and ceramic bearings are a welcome sight, although the 2.5mm of the lateral side-to-side float might not be ideal for protecting your knees since it doesn’t allow for changes in cleat release tension, meaning an extra leaf spring has to be fitted.

Time pedals provide a different option to major brands, such as Look and Shimano, and can stand up in comparison to the highest Shimano Dura-Ace and Look Keo Blade Carbon Ceramic models.

To be unique and remarkable, you need to be prepared to pay a price, as these clipless pedals are one of the priciest items available on the market.

4. Shimano 105 SPD Pedals


Shimano’s 105 pedals share many similarities to their Ultegra and Dura-Ace models, however, the pedal body on the 105 is constructed of carbon-reinforced material instead of pure carbon fibre.

This certainly can make the pedals a bit heavier, about 50g per side, but when factoring in the money saved for each gram (especially if you can get them on sale), then the weight does not seem to be a major issue.

Based on our experience, these clipless pedals are ideal for those who need quality and long-lasting performance without spending too much, particularly after purchasing a brand-new pair of cycling shoes.

You can adjust the spring tension on Shimano Dura-Ace and Look Pedal ranges using an Allen key. It may require a few attempts to get the tension set for you, so it’s a good idea to carry one with you for the first few times you use them.

The other two pairs of the top clipless pedals also have limited “float” as determined by the cleats. This is not a negative feature however it is important to take into consideration and it is recommended to consult with a professional bike fitter to make sure the shoes you get are the best choice for you.

Shimano pedals typically have wider cleats than other pedals available, meaning they may be quite visible sticking out of the sides of your cycling shoes. They are quite resilient, but not meant for long treks on foot.

5. Wahoo Speedplay Zero Pedals


Wahoo has made improvements to the Speedplay Zero pedals, all while maintaining the advantages that the original had.

Despite the same features regarding float adjustability, two-sided entry, lightweight, and alteration in axle lengths, the weather protection has been significantly improved and the stainless steel bevelled edge guarantees a longer-lasting pedal body.

We conducted a test on the product and were astonished by the results that it produced. We thought it was one of the finest clipless pedals that were currently on the market; the float was adjustable with much ease and the pedals gave off an almost frictionless sensation.

The Wahoo Speedplay Zero pedals are one of the most miniature pedal systems available, so they may appear worrying to harder cyclists that are apprehensive that their dainty size affects the amount of force delivered.

The examination revealed that the cleat model was more than sufficient for providing adequate power and reliable connection.

Wahoo claims that when you take their low stack height into consideration, you can produce more energy than other systems due to your feet being closer to the pedal spindle.

Putting in the bigger-than-normal cleat requires a more involved process than the Shimano and Look pedals, which basically work once you plug them in. To ensure everything goes well, it’s advisable to get help from a professional bike fitter.

Once you have configured the settings correctly, you will certainly benefit from the outcome.

6. Look at Keo Classic 3 Pedals

Look Keo Classic 3 Pedals

Another choice available from the Look pedal home is excellent for beginning clipless pedals and is suitable for winter cycling when it’s not worth bringing out the costlier sets.

Changing the blade from the higher-quality Look pedals to a coiled spring device makes it easier to tweak the release force, resembling Shimano’s pedals.

Having a large surface area of contact between your foot and pedal offers a secure foundation for pedalling and, from our experience, enough strength to allow even the most powerful riders to push power effectively.

The composite material slightly increases the weight of these clipless pedals, but they still perform at an incredibly high level due to the famous Look brand name and reputation. These are some of the best clipless pedals you can get.

An affordable and straightforward choice for people just starting to experiment with clipless pedals.

7. Shimano PD-M520

For about 30 quid, these double-sided mountain bike pedals are a brilliant entry into clipless pedals. The low price is not reflected in the build quality, which is excellent, or the performance, which is also excellent.

Entry and exit are positive and easy, tension adjustment is simple and you can use them for everything from commuting to cyclo-cross. The small cleat means that there’s a small contact patch but that’s a minor disadvantage unless speed and performance are paramount.

It used to cost approximately £30 to purchase this item, however, in the past twelve months Shimano goods have gone up in cost and the days of inexpensive SPDs appear to be finished. If you’re short of money, take a look at these SPD-compatible Boardman pedals costing £24 (check out the provided link). They are almost identical and even lighter!

8. Shimano Click’R PD-T400

Shimano Click'R pedals PD-T400

The PD-T400 Click’R pedals by Shimano feature a mechanism that is light in weight and therefore produces a hassle-free process to remove your shoes from the pedals. Clipless pedals are an excellent choice for cyclists that desire to experience them for the first time.

You are securely fixed in place when leaving, but you only need to apply minimal pressure up, down and sideways to be able to exit. The hinged pedal frame ensconced in the plastic cover makes it equally easy to get in. The Shimano Multi-release cleats they come with make it simple to use.

Shimano advertises the PD-T400 pedals, however, they are extremely difficult to track down. If the idea is appealing, then investigate the PD-421 model which combines a Click’R system with a flat surface on the reverse side.

9. Time Xpresso 2

Time Xpresso 2 Pedals
The relatively low price of Xpresso 2s makes them a sensible place to start if you’re a newcomer to road-specific click-in pedals. They’re light, easy to use and very easy to adjust to different foot positions and release preferences, though they’re not the most durable.
Time Xpresso pedals are popular because they’re easy to click into, offer just the right amount of float adjustment for many riders and they’re light. At about 220g per pair, the entry-level Xpresso 2s only weighs 25g more than the carbon Xpresso 8s at £124.99.

10. Shimano PD-M324

Shimano M324 SPD PedalsThis pedal is highly reliable for commuters who are seeking to alternate between cleats and regular shoes quickly and easily. The M324 is robustly made. If you travel a lot or if you tour extensively, these will not let you down.

The internal components of the pedal are contained within a finely crafted aluminium enclosure, which houses adjustable cup and cone bearings. A metal cage is permanently attached for riding while wearing flats, while the opposite side has an adjustable SPD binding with tension for when your cleats are on.

The pedals are in perfect condition and work perfectly right away, and the fact that they can be dismantled easily is an added advantage.

Shimano’s SPD system, which can be found on a number of their pedals, has a lot of customizability when it comes to tension and provides ample leeway to protect the rider’s knees. The cage is secure, provides excellent traction and is suitable for both wet and dry conditions.

11. Speedplay Zero Stainless Steel



A lot of people who are into Speedplays express great appreciation for its low weight, capacity for customizing and shallow stack. The recent redesign of the cleat included a rubber aero cover that makes the shoes much simpler to walk in comparison to the past style, or any other models.

Nevertheless, there is no doubt that maintenance for these pedals needs to be increased and even a little bit of dirt can cause them to fail.

If your knees are delicate or if you are looking for pedals that are easy to get on and off, but still compatible with sturdy road bike shoes, Speedplays should be a great pick, as they offer both double-sided designs and free float technology.


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