Best Pedals for Fixed Gear Bikes - Guide and Review
Have you been spending a lot of time searching for the best pedals for fixed gear bikes? Whether you’re new to cycling or experienced, it’s hard to emphasize the importance as they serve to connect you and your bike.
Yes, your bike comes with a pair built in, but often times they are just barely adequate. If you’ve been riding for a while, the need for more sophisticated pedals arises.
I used to have difficulty deciding what to buy too, so I created this review guide to help you out. There are a lot of bike pedals obviously, but I have trimmed the list down to five after an exhaustive comparative review, and I also have some general info about bike pedals here too. Pedals have the same function on all bikes, but if you’re looking for optimum performance, you don’t want to go with second best.
How to Choose the Best Pedals for Fixed Gear Bikes
Even though your bike is equipped with pedals, it’s in your best interest to learn as much as you can about the pedals when the time comes you need to buy replacements.
Sure you can use the one that comes from the manufacturer, but as any experienced rider will tell you, the pedals that come with bikes are usually the bare minimum when it comes to quality. If you want maximum performance, it’s better to upgrade and use high quality pedals.
Types of Pedals
There are three main types of pedals used by bikes. Keep in mind these are general descriptions and the ones on your pedal may be different and have other features.
Plain pedals: these depend on your coordination to keep your feet on the pedal. This type is often used by beginners and casual riders.
Toe clip pedals: also known as quill pedals, these use adjustable straps and stirrup-like clips to hold your feet in position. These may be utilized with cleated shoes or regular shoes.
Clipless pedals: these pedals function by mounting a metal or plastic cleat on the side of your shoe’s sole. This snaps into clips set on the pedal’s surface. Clipless pedals are popular because they provide you with a good deal of control, and you’re not going to bounce off even when riding rough terrain.
The float refers to the angular rotation permitted for your foot on the pedal. Some set your foot at a set angle while other systems allow for a certain level of float. As you gain experience you’ll figure the proper float.
Multi-Release Cleats: the majority of pedals that are affixed on bikes have a lateral release. The multiple release cleat is similar to these except the release is easier and the angles are higher, allowing more movement for your heels. To put it another way these cleats are more forgiving. Not all riders use this, so it is really about personal preference.
Bike Pedal Sizes
The majority of pedals come with 9/16" x 20 TPI threads, while one-piece crank pedals measure 1/2" x 20 TPI. Pedals with French threading have a D and G labels (droite and gauche, French for right and left). If you’ve been riding bikes for a while you will have a good idea of what size fits you right. Usually though these are one size fits all so it won’t be a problem.
- One piece cranks: 1/2" x 20 TPI. / 1/2" (0.50") x 20 TPI
- Regular 3-piece cranks: 14.28 x 1.27 mm TPI. / 9/16" (0.56") x 20 TPI
- Old French: 14 mm x 1.25 mm TPI. / 0.55" 20.32 TPI
Common Clipless Shoe Pedal Properties
Here are the ones you’re likely to come across. Due to competition among manufacturers other clipless shoe pedal designs have been coming out, so check those as well.
- The cleat style for road bikes sports a 3-hole design, often called the SPD-SL system. They are large and spread the force applied on a pedal. A 2-hole design is used for mountain bikes where your foot slides the cleat to gain the appropriate angle.
- The outside sole for road bikes is smooth, the shoe outsole is stiff and protrudes from the sole. Mountain biking pedals have a lugged shoe outsole, stiff shoe sole and the cleat is recessed.
The pedals used on mountain bikes and road bikes differ, so look carefully before buying. Maintenance is just as important so make sure you’re getting the highest quality pedals possible.
The instruction manual for your pedal should come with guidelines for maintenance so follow it, but if there are signs of wear and tear you should replace it.
Recommended Product Reviews
Now that we are familiar with these pedals, it’s time we got down to the reviews. I have taken care to include only the best and the most versatile, so if you’re on the lookout for a dependable pair of pedals check out the following.
[table id=3 /]
1. Wellgo Track Fixie Bike Pedal
The Wellgo pedals offer good value for your money as they’re built to last without compromising comfort.
As many customers have noted, the cage is well built and the bearings are properly sealed and smooth.
The pedals are easy to install on a bike and they don’t make a sound. Even when you’re riding for an extended period, there is no squeaking.
- Solid Ball Bearing
- Aluminum cage in silver or black
- Aluminum polished body
- 9/16” axle
2. Fixed Gear Fixie Pedals Foot Strap
This fixed gear pedal is easy on your feet, and it doesn’t feel as constrictive as other pedals.
One of the problems with most pedals is they struggle to find the right Balance slippery and grip, but this one has got the combination right.
They’re not just comfortable but also built for extended use even in demanding conditions. The pedal’s construction is one of the most robust in its class.
Compared to other pedals it is capable of withstanding a greater level of stress than regular aluminum pedals. The straps have a stiff feel, and it is easy to slip on.
- Double Velcro footstraps
- Cr-Mo spindle
- Durable polycarbonate body
- Available in different colors
3. Fyxation Gates Pedal Strap Kit
Fyxation is known for their outstanding pedal kits and this is no exception. Essentially it offers the best of the Gates platform pedals while providing rugged and dependable functionality.
When it comes to pedals there are basically two things you need, comfort and security, and that is what you get here.
Installing and setting up the kit is straightforward, and since they’re made by the same manufacturer you’re assured the parts will work together.
The pedals are easy to adjust, and more importantly the changes you make stick. Special attention has been given to the stress points as they don’t show signs of wear and tear.
- Adjustable Velcro pedal strap
- Great for commuting and city cycling
- Easy to set up pedal/strap combination kit
- Pedal/strap combination kit
4. Retrospec Bicycles Track Fixie Bike Pedals
The Retrospect Pedals are built with versatility in mind, so whether it is single speed, fixed gear, urban or commuter the pedals will keep going.
The pedals are not just fully functional however, as they are also stylish.
The pedals are light but durable, and the chrome toe cag and steel spindle combine for a nice classic look. The leather strap is of the highest quality and works very well on a commuter bike.
- 9/16" axel thread
- White leather strap with chrome color
- Can be used in different riding situations
- Stylish design
5. Retrospec Bicycles BMX-Style Platform Pedal
The Retrospec pedal is notable for its light but durable built, and the molded pins and injected polycarbonate body provides optimum performance.
With the way the pedal is designed, it is one size fits all.
The pedal also doesn’t compromise when it comes to performance whether you’re commuting or on the road. It uses the new Velcro Adjustable Foot Retention System (FRS) for extra durability and reliability.
The metal buckles found on older versions have been removed in lieu of fortified straps, stitching and Velcro. The Fixed-Gear Freestyle Strap (FGFS) supplies the pedal with extra support. It also comes with reflective lining so your bike is visible even at night.
- Can be used for fixed gear and commuting
- Durable straps
- Sports BMX style pedals with good sized platforms
- Comfortable even when used for long periods
The best pedals for fixed gear is not about getting the most expensive ones for your bike, but rather the ones that fit right. As I mentioned at the top of this review guide, your choice hinges not on the sales pitch but rather the type of riding you’re going to do.
Knowing what is available and their features are going to be the keys to making sure the pedals fit. Going through each product is the best way to find them, and with our reviews of the top bike pedals, deciding what to buy is easier now.