Gravel cycling is almost just like mountain biking because there are points whereby you will have to get off the bike and walk or hike. Gravel roads are also covered in dirt, and at times you may come across muddy places that you have to cycle in. That is why you must select a pedal that you can easily clean as well as a pedal that is compatible with muddy gravel cycling and dirt.
Hey there! I am a hotel manager and a cycling enthusiast. I got interested in cycling just as soon as I began my first job as a hotel manager. I especially enjoy gravel riding. It provides me with so much solitude allowing me to escape from the disruptions in the city and giving me a chance to just relax. I will admit that the first few times I started biking, I did not necessarily enjoy the experience. I remember complaining about the harsh terrain and the action of simply pedaling just became a challenge.
That was when I decided to customize my bike to make cycling on gravel a lot more fun. I started by buying and switching my bike pedals until I settled on the best pedals that will not only provide me with a lot of support but also comfort. In this review, I list down the most ideal pedals for gravel riding. These pedals are guaranteed to make the activity a lot of fun, keeping you extremely energized.
The Best Flat Pedals for Gravel Bike – Comparison Table
The XT PD-M8100 Pedals from Shimano
The Candy Clip in Bike Pedal from Crankbrothers
The PD-M8020 Pedals from Shimano
The Candy 3 Clip-In Bike Pedal from Crankbrothers
The ATAC XC8 Pedals from Time
The VP-Vice Pedals from VP Components
The PD-EH500 Pedals from Shimano
The Best Flat Pedals for Gravel Bike – How do they differ?
- The Shimano XT PD-M8100 is a SPD Pedal Designed for Maximum Pedaling Efficiency: Ideal for XC / CX racing and Gravel riding
- Stable Pedaling Platform: Large pedal platform and lower platform height promote pedaling stability and efficient power transfer
- Excellent Mud Shedding Ability: Offset binding design sheds mud and debris for reliable engagement and release in all conditions
- Smooth Engagement and Release: Retention claws and adjustable tension settings for smooth and confident clipping in and out
- Robust Performance: Chrome-molly spindle with 8mm hex wrench mount is strong and durable
The PD-M8100 model from Shimano is very long-lasting and quite stiff. It is designed with a chrome-moly spindle that has a wrench mount of 8mm. The height of the lower platform provides users with additional stability when pedaling, and the claws have robust retention providing you with great release and smooth engagement.
With this pedal, you are provided with a new way of transferring power actively. You can easily adjust these pedals to ensure that you are provided with a very smooth ride. The pedals also have a binding design that is open. This ensures that debris and mud is easily flushed out as soon as the rider steps in.
The brand new XT gear makes the pedals ideal for activities such as mountain biking. This also makes the pedals very powerful. The pedals escalate power transmits that have been well organized making them quickly respond to braking.
There is also the comprehensive platform, that ensures that the release apprehension setting is appropriate and highly organized. It is a great choice for mountain bike riding and also gravel bike riding.
- These pedals can easily maintain a clean look.
- It is so easy to clip these pedals in and out
- The pedals can be adjusted
- The spindle and the bearings of these pedals are of very high quality
- The pedals are light in weight
- You should practice caution when attaching these pedals
- The clips are only able to clip in half.
- VERSATILE- The Candy is Crankbrother’s most versatile pedal and excels at cyclocross, xc, trail, all mountain
- 4 SIDED ENTRY- Shed mud with ease and maintain an excellent connection with the 4 sided entry
- CUSTOMIZABLE- Both the float and the release angle are customizable, allowing you to fit the Candy 1 to your preferred specifications
- STEEL CONSTRUCTION- The spindle is forged SCM 435 chromoly steel, the spring is stainless steel and the wing is stamped steel
- PREMIUM BEARINGS- Equipped with Igus LL-Glide inner bearings and Enduro cartridge outer bearings
This pedal provides users with amazing opportunities for an exhilarating biking experience. The pedals are high torque that ensures that your pedaling will be smooth. The pedals are manufactured with a corrosion resistance sealing system that makes the pedals very unique. The pedals have an amazing fitting system and a very heavy-duty design.
The pedals are designed with 435 Chromoly steel as well as a plastic composite. The wings of the pedal are made of steel as well as a stainless-steel spring of 300 series. There is the bearing system that makes the pedal look so attractive. The exterior side of the bearing is made of cartridge bearing while the interior side is made of glide biting.
This entry system of this pedal is four-sided. It is light in weight and it also comes with many different series that you can try. The pedal is quite ideal for activities such as cycling, spindling, and even racing. The floating technology is customized with a two-sided platform and this makes the pedals rank highly. The pedals are also designed with a 15 degree and 20-degree release angle that relieves the tension setting adjustment.
- The pedals can be easily clipped in and put
- Bikers are provided with a nice spin
- The pedals perform perfectly
- This pedal is much lighter than several pedals that are highly-priced
- There are instances whereby the pedal will creak
- There is no way that you can modify the spring tension
- XT SPD's are designed to take the rigours of off-road competition whilst also being perfect for cross country trail riding
- Lightweight and high performance using a forged alloy body, chrome-moly axle and a revised cleat interface for increased stability
- Sealed cartridge axle system for reliability and simplified low maintenance
The PD-M8020 model from Shimano is very comfortable and stable making them an ideal choice for activities such as rough riding. The spindle of the pedal is 8mm and it is long-lasting. As you cycle, the height, as well as the lower platform, work well in maintaining the stability of the bike.
The pedals provide you with the simplest way to cleat in and cleat out. You are also provided with a new method of active power transfer. The pedals can be easily adjusted and they come with two SPD cleats that enhance the smooth manner of riding your bike.
The pedals also have a mud-shedding design that provides the rider with a great pedaling experience. The cleats function perfectly if you clip them in from one side or even both sides. The paddle is designed with a platform that is extended making the release tension functions effective and appropriate.
Cyclists are guaranteed that they will enjoy a thrilling riding experience when riding up the hill or going downhill. It will also be thrilling as they maneuver through rough paths, bumps, and trails.
- The pedals function perfectly
- Clipping in the pedals does not take a long time
- After many rides, the action of pulling out your foot becomes intuitive
- The extended platform makes the pedals very comfortable
- The pedals are very ideal when cycling for a short distance even with your sneakers
- It is the best choice for raised railroad tracks and mountain cycling
- Cyclists need to practice caution when attaching this type of pedal.
- Aluminum body machined for optimal weight
- Cast stainless wings and sleeve with steel spindle add strength and stability without a weight penalty
- Low-profile design and platform deliver a more powerful and efficient pedal stroke
- 6 of knee-saving float with a choice of a 15 or 20 release angle gives you a customized fit for all terrain
- 10mm needle bearing inner and cartridge bearing outer
These pedals from Crank brothers make for a great pedaling experience for riders. The pedals are designed in such a way that they will ensure that they are not adjusted before you pedal. The pedals have a four-sided entry system and this feature makes the pedals preferable and exclusive. The bike pedals are also very light in weight.
The pedals are perfect for mountain bike riding activities. The flat is customizable making it a more authentic option. The pedals are also designed with premium bearings that make the pedal look very trendy. The pedals are also designed with a 15 degree and 20-degree release angle technology. There is also the interior needle bearing as well as the exterior ball bearing.
The body of this pedal is covered in aluminum metal and there is a SCM435 Chromo Steel axle. Each pedal only weighs 304gm, making it a very lightweight commodity. Another great feature is that the pedal comes with a cleat for your shoe. This makes the pedal a very splendid option to choose from.
- The pedal is not designed with socket-like many other pedals in the market.
- The riding experience is pain-free
- There is no need to adjust these pedals and there is no hard breakaway
- The platform is great perfect for entry and exit
- Users do not have to worry about features such as pedal tension
- Any mud, muck or spot can come out very quickly and easily
- It is not ideal enough for activities such as trail riding
- The pedals are not available in many different colors.
- Chrome steel axle and carbon body
- Stainless steel moulded dual-arches for long-life durability
- At AC system (auto tension adjustment concept) provides easy engagement - Foot retention is independent from spring tension
- Self-cleaning frontal retention system sheds dirt every Time you clip in
- Angular float (+/-5) and lateral float (6 mm)
These pedals are known for their great quality and amazing features. The pedals are designed with durable body parts that protect the accessories from any kind of damage. In addition, there is the power diverting traction that is one of a kind allowing you to cycle in full-speed.
If you are riding in a muddy area, to avoid chances of a big splash, the pedal is designed with a mud-shedding option that is very supreme. The smaller accessories are also very easy to install. The quality of these pedals is one of a kind. Users can set up the pedals without experiencing any kind of trouble.
- The pedals are very light in weight
- A great option for riding on gravel
- It is clipless
- Some users have mentioned that the pedals come with cosmetic imperfections that are minor
- Durable and light weight: CNC machined aluminum bodies: 406 grams per pair
- Superior grip low profile platform: 12 Replaceable Steel Pins per side
- Ideal flat pedal for Riders who value durability, serviceability, and products engineered to last with 3.7 x 4 x 0.5 in platform
- Perfect for riders who want grip and who are tired of destroying pedals and the cost of frequent replacement
- Full length Forged and Heat Treated Cr-Mo Axle; LSL and Sealed Cartridge Bearings
This VP-Vice model is perfect because of the light parts that are also very strong and long-lasting. These parts make your riding experience a lot easier. The length and the width of this pedal are one of a kind and the pedals also have a light and thin design.
The flat paddle assist works well in allowing the bike to move in many different directions. The steel pins are quite small allowing you to modify the size with an easy set-up process. The platform of the pedal is amazing as it is strong, durable, and very steady. The VP-Vice pedals are of great value and are worthy allowing riders to cycling more freely.
- The quality of the build is quite strong and solid
- The mounting system is very low-profile
- Cyclists are provided with excellent grip even when cycling in their everyday shoes
- The pedals are heavy
- The PD-EH500 is Versatile Pedal for Urban Riding and Cycle Touring: Convenience and efficiency in one pedal
- Use With Everyday Shoes or Clip-in Cycling Shoes: Platform pedal on one side and SPD pedal on the other
- Adjustable Tension Settings: Customize the entry and release tension settings to make it easier or harder to clip in and out of the SPD pedal
- Enhanced Grip: The platform side offers grip for control in all conditions
- Durable and User-friendly: Low maintenance sealed cartridge axle unit
The EH500 pedal from Shimano is a great choice for beginners. These pedals are designed with amazing platforms that are very convenient allowing you to hasten your speed as you cycle. The bike also comes with a one of a kind inbuilt SPD. There is also the SPD clear set that has release pins allowing you to comfortably move your seat from one side to another.
The pedals also come with an easy operator to allow you to easily adjust your pedals with the clip in and out options. Also, the PD-EH500 pedals are very durable making them useful to set up very small accessories. The pedals are designed with aluminum that helps them function well in any weather condition avoiding any kind of damages.
- The aluminum coating makes the pedals a great choice for riding on gravel
- Very light in weight
- Clipping in and out is very easy
- The platform is not very wide
- The black coating of the pedal chips off only a few days after using the pedals,
Factors to Consider When Purchasing the Best Flat Pedals for Gravel Bike
Every cyclist knows, that when it comes to biking you may have to deal with several accidents and mishaps. That is why it is advisable to cycle around with your protective gear. However, there are still many chances that you could destroy your pedal when you hit a rock and your pedals get smashed.
That is why it is advisable to purchase a pedal that is the best choice for your bike and it also comes with a great durability option. It is vital that you invest in a product that is guaranteed to last you for a large number of years.
When selecting a bike pedal, you should go for one that is very light in weight. A pedal that has increased pedal weight will require you to carry additional weight while pedaling.
That is why you must invest in pedals that are easy to handle. Pedals that are designed with a magnesium body and titanium axles can be handled very easily. This kind of pedals are also not as pricey as other pedals that are light in weight.
The Dispersal of Mud
When selecting a pedal, make sure that you have chosen one that comes with a mud dispersal feature. This feature comes in quite handy especially when you are maneuvering in an area that has a ton of surfaces covered in gravel.
Some of these areas are very muddy and the mud can get into the components of your bike causing a lot of trouble for you. With this feature, you can be assured that this will not happen.
The Size of the Pedal
There are two size pedals that cyclists often choose from. A larger size allows you to easily place your feet on the pedal under your feet. A large size pedal will provide you with additional support, however, the additional weight may prove to be a problem for you.
Pedals that come in a smaller size are more ideal providing you with mechanical protection and nice contact areas. The smaller pedals also work well with the clipless mechanism. Several cyclists who put on stiff shoes, as well as riders who are a lot more careful as they ride, prefer pedals of a very small size.
The Functionality of the Pedals
Many people believe that a pedal with more features will perform better, however, this is very far from the truth. The functionality of the pedal depends on the platform and the proper feel of the pedal. The pedal needs to have a nice design that makes it comfortable and also ensures that it performs well even under very harsh conditions.
If you are currently suffering from any physical condition, or perhaps there is a large strain in your feet, you will need to be extra careful when selecting a pedal.
A great number of features is ideal; however, you must ensure that you pay attention to the priority list. This will determine how well a pedal function and how comfortable your feet will feel.
By this point, I am sure that you have a few ideas of exactly what you are looking for. All the pedals listed above are of very high quality and you can be assured that you will not be disappointed. It is important to remember that good maintenance is a necessary practice for everyone who takes part in gravel biking. This will improve the performance and it will ensure the durability of the pedals.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is purchasing a gravel bike worth it?
Gravel bikes are one of the best commuter bikes, just like the sport touring bikes. If you want to embark on long-distance rides, then the gravel bike is the best choice for you. Gravel bikes are specially designed to manage dirt trails and even complicated terrain.
Can I ride my gravel bike on trails?
You can ride your gravel bike on single track trails. They are not as fast as mountain bikes; however, they can successfully cover a lot of terrains.
Can I use my regular road bike for gravel riding?
Gravel bikes are becoming a lot more common and one of the best things about gravel riding is that you do not necessarily need a gravel bike to take part in this exhilarating experience. You can use your road bike, and even mountain bikes, cyclo-cross and hybrids are used for gravel riding.