7 Best Clipless Pedals for Beginners in 2023 (Reviews and Guide)

Picking out the most ideal clipless pedal is very important. Your bike saddle, the bar as well as the pedal of your bike serve major roles as you cycle. Selecting the most ideal pedal will greatly improve your performance.

Over the years I have taken part in many competitions and trained several professionals. If you are a beginner looking to maximize the efficiency of your pedaling capacity, then switching to clipless pedals is a great start. Not only does it improve your cadence, but it also enhances your power.

In this article, I list down the most ideal clipless pedals for beginners. I also highlight their main features and the advantages of giving you a chance to select what will work for you.

The Best Clipless Pedals for Beginners: Comparison Table

Main Features
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The M520 Shimano SPD Pedal from SHI Pedals
It is very ideal especially if you will be on your bike when commuting, cyclocross, gravel and other cycling adventures.

It performs perfectly even when cycling in very mucky areas

The Protégé Cale pedal pedale from Newton
It is one of the most ideal all-rounder road bike pedals

The spring tension can be modified easily

The Xpro 10 Pedals from Time
It is a great option for road biking

It is light in weight

The Keo 2 Max Pedal from Look
The pedaling stability is amazing

The pedal is designed with a composite body

The Axle Set Zero Stainless Steel from SpeedPlay
The most ideal pedals for those who want the most modification.

It can be modified fully

The Clip-In Mountain Bike Pedals from Crank Brothers
It is light in weight

It is very high-quality

The PD-M324 SPD Dual Platform Pedal
It is a great option for beginners

It is easily adjustable

Best Clipless Pedals for Beginners – how do they differ?

The M520 Shimano SPD Pedal from SHI Pedals

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If you are interested in mountain biking and you own a pair of mountain bike shoes, you will enjoy the double-sided entry idea. This feature comes in handy when you are cycling through traffic. If you are constantly cycling through troublesome conditions and you prefer the functionality of generic SPD pedals, these are a great option.

The pedals can be left idle for several years at a time and the pedals will still function perfectly. Much better than any road-specific model, unlike other pedals that begin to get grimy after sitting idle for a certain period of time.

These pedals are serviceable, however, there are a number of individuals who handle them as disposable products because they are durable and very reliable even if you never take time to service them. Replacing these pedals is also very easy and affordable.


  • The pedals are affordable
  • The act of adjusting these pedals is straight forward
  • They are reliable
  • It is easy to maintain the pedals


  • If you are into owning really attractive pedals, you may not like how this model looks.

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The Protégé Cale pedal from Newton

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For many years, the Newton industry has continued to offer great deals when it comes to the features vs the price options. This specific model is designed with features that have been borrowed from Shimano’s pricey Ultegra and Dura-Ace level bike pedals.

These pedals are not so light in weight, however, pedaling with them is just easy. They have a great build and are user friendly. Just like most of the Shimano products, this model is available at a heavy discount.


  • It is strong
  • It performs perfectly and it is available at an affordable price


  • It is not light in weight

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The Xpro 10 Pedals from Time

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This Xpro 10 pedal from the Time industry is designed with a steel axle that is very hollow. The pedals are also designed with a flexion blade made of carbon. This is different from pedals that make use of a steel spring. The blade ensures that the clip mechanism remains open until the entry of the cleat is closed.

The pedals do not have any additional weight at the rear end, and that means that the XPros do not always hang tail-down, however, picking up is still quite easy and the brand-new cleats can be enforced with additional certainty.


  • It has an amazing design
  • It performs perfectly


  • It does not hang ready at all times

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The Keo 2 Max Pedal from Look

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The Keo 2 Max Pedal is a new model from the Look industry and this new generation is an improved version of the models produced before.

The pedal is light in weight and it is designed with a composite body. The center of the pedal is serrated and this comes in really handy because the entry method is simplified.

The pedals rotate easily without giving you any issues on Chromoly axles that are oversize. The pedals are also designed with a mixture of needle cartridge bearings and loose balls. The spring tension of the pedals is modified and it is manufactured with the 4.5-degree float cleats from the Look’s industry.

This ensures that the pedals perform perfectly without experiencing any kind of hotspots. This also makes them very easy to use and they are also light in weight.


  • The pedals are very strong and last for a long time
  • The pedals are very easy to use


  • When the cleats are dirty, they produce a squeaking sound

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The Axle Set Zero Stainless Steel from SpeedPlay

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The Axle Set Zero model reverses the basic order. Therefore, the clip mechanism is gripped to your shoe and the pedals function as the cleat.

There are a number of cyclists who really enjoy using Speedplays because they have a lot of modifications than many other pedals. This allows you to benefit from a float that is between 10 to 15 degrees. You can also benefit from fore, aft, and lateral adaptation.

If you have any concerns about the aero, this model is actually one of the most slippery, especially when functioning through the air. The pedals operate on needle bearings which when used for an extended period of time, require some maintenance. When you are spotting three-hole shoes, these pedals are designed with a stack height of 11.5mm.


  • The pedals are very light in weight
  • The entry process is very simple
  • The pedals perform perfectly


  • Users are required to constantly ensure that the needle bearings of the pedals are well maintained.

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The Clip-In Mountain Bike Pedals from Crankbrothers

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For very many years, the Crankbrothers industry has continuously released a ton of high-quality clipless pedals. This specific clip in bike pedals is also referred to as Crankbrother’s Eggbeater. This model is very light in weight and it is actually one of the lightest pedals in today’s market.

This model is one of the best products released from the crank brother’s industry. Users have raved about the pedal’s excellent quality, durability, and reliability. The pedals are manufactured with forged scum Chromoly steel properties. Each pair of the pedals only weighs 280 grams. The action of clipping in and clipping out of the pedals is so simple as users get to make use of the release angle of 15 to 20 degrees.

These clip-in mountain bike pedals are manufactured with a very simple design. The pedals function best by getting rid of a lot of mud and dirt while giving you the chance to make use of a simple engagement feature and release features that are one of a kind.


  • The process of clipping out of these pedals is very easy
  • Greasing these pedals and taking part in other maintenance activities is very easy
  • Rebuilding the pedals is not a difficult task


  • The pedals are not designed with any kind of platform that can easily carry your body weight

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The PD-M324 SPD Dual Platform Pedal

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The PD-M324 model is quite ideal for beginners. Users are provided with different options that allow them to choose between using the basic pedals and using clipless pedals. The exterior body of these pedals is also manufactured from aluminum material. The barrel finish of these pedals is also very light in weight and quite strong. This makes it modifying the pedals so simple. The pedals weigh only 568 grams making them very light. A great advantage is that the pedals come with cleats.

If you would like to clip in during your biking sessions, you can use your basic running shoes or even your sandals. The pedals work well even as you bike around the city for leisure or as an exercise routine. The pedals are designed with spikes that come in handy as they maintain a firm grip on your shoe. This eliminates any chance of slippage. The pedals also maximize your cadence as users can easily clip in allowing them to enjoy an extended ride.


  • When the pedals are new, cyclists only need to ride it for only 10-15 minutes and the pedal drops giving you the chance to benefit from the right action of the pedals.
  • Cyclists do not have to always be clipped in
  • The pedals are also very versatile which is especially great for trans-con bike tours
  • You get the chance to choose between making use of the cleats or not.


  • You will have to invest in the right Shimano tools to correctly re-assemble your bike pedals.

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What to Consider When Purchasing the Best Clipless Pedals for Beginners

The Cleats of The Pedals  

All pedals come with road cleats of different designs, shapes, and sizes. It all depends on your pedal. Most of the cleats attach to the soles of your shoe with only three bolts. This is a standard factor that has been adopted by many industries in the market.

The Speedplay industry is one of the unique industries that does not design their pedals with this feature. The pedals are designed with a four-bolt pattern. To make use of these kinds of pedals, you require an adaptor that comes with your seed play pedal or you would have to cycle with four-bolt shoes.

The Float  

The float is a term used to refer to the amount of space your foot can move before it is released from the bike pedal. Float is often measured in degrees.

The float is necessary as it comes in handy at allowing your feet to position itself in the most comfortable and natural position while cycling. This reduces the pressure that is exerted on your knee especially if your cleats have not been positioned in a proper manner.

Some cleats are fixed or zero-flat. This means your foot is released easily with only slight movements. You should keep in mind that the greater float that you have, the more you have to move your foot so that you can release it.

If you are not sure about how much float you will need for your pedals, then there is no need to worry. The choice of your pedal will not fix you into just one position. You can perform different analyses by experimenting with different cleats and modifying the functions of your pedals.

The Release Tension

Most of the pedals in the market give users the chance to modify the release tension of the pedals. For beginners, it is advisable that to achieve an easier release, they should start off with very low tension.

This will make the process of clipping into the pedal a lot simpler. As you continue to cycle and you achieve a lot more confidence when cycling with clipless pedals, you can add to the tension for a safer connection between you and your bicycle.

The Height of the Stack  

The height of the stack can be measured from the center part of the bike pedal axle to the sole of your shoe. Very low stack height is ideal because you can position your foot at a closer angle to the axle. This will provide you with better efficiency.

If you change your pedals, you may also have to modify the height of your saddle. This is because each and every model is designed with a different stack height.

The Platform Size of Your Pedal  

If your pedals are designed with a flat form that is very wide, then these specific pedals are ideal for cycling downhill. They are also the best for beginners. If you clip out of the pedal and you ran into a technical feature, you are provided with a lot of space where you can position your foot to rest comfortably.

The clipless pedals that are much smaller are a great choice for activities such as cross-country racing. These kinds of clipless pedals are the best for professionals who are used to cycling on these. The very small SPD is an ideal choice for very advanced cyclists and works well in biking activities such as cross-country competitions.


One of the best things about clipless pedals is the efficiency. Even as a beginner, you will get the chance to cycle more effectively and you get to use your hamstring more than you would when cycling on flat pedals. You don’t even have to think about it when you are doing this. You can easily perform this action subconsciously with the clipless pedals. I hope this review serves as a great guide helping you select exactly what would work for you.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)  

  1. Is purchasing clipless pedals worth it?

A number of users often have the question, is it necessary to invest in clipless pedals? The simple answer is no. Clipless pedals come in handy for cyclists who enjoy taking part in more active biking adventures or even professional bikers who compete in cycling marathons, where they should not miss even one single stroke. However, the clipless pedals are not so necessary for basic bikers who cycle only for fun or for leisure purposes.

  1. What is the difference between a clipless pedal and an SPD pedal?

SPD is also known as spud or Shimano SPD. SPD is an abbreviation of the term Shimano Pedaling Dynamics and it refers to any of the clipless pedals from Shimano. The term spud and SPD are basically used to refer to the clipless pedals from Shimano. SPD-SL is a term used to refer to the road-bike clipless pedal from Shimano.

  1. Do I need to invest in special shoes to use clipless pedals?

Clipless pedals are a mechanical system manufactured from cleats and special pedals. These are devices that are attached to the pedals that attach to the soles of your clipless biking shoes. This means that you will have to invest in a unique pair of shoes to use these pedals. This will allow you to upgrade to a clipless pedal system.

  1. Do clipless pedals make you cycle any faster?

If you conduct any research on the efficiency of clipless pedals, you will find out that these pedals are 20-30% more efficient than the basic kind of pedals. There are users who mention that even the act of driving their car with their clipless shoes, increases the speed at which they are moving. With clipless pedals, you are guaranteed that your efficiency, as well as your speed, will really improve.