What Are The Best Pedals For Cyclocross

The demands of cyclocross need to be addressed when you're choosing the right pedals.
The demands of cyclocross need to be addressed when you're choosing the right pedals. | Source

A guide to choosing the right pedals for cyclocross racing

The unique demands of cyclocross racing brings with it demands for a number of components which are ideal for cx racing. One of the most important components which needs to be considered for racing is your pedals.

Whether you're new to the sport of cyclocross and looking to set up your first bike for racing, or a regular lover of cx racing looking for the ideal pedals for your bike this guide should help you in choosing what's right for you.

The demands a cyclocross race puts on your pedals

The unique demands of a cyclocross race means that the best cyclocross pedals need to

  • Provide a solid connection with your bike for power and control (rules out platform pedals)
  • Be able to deal with the demands of regular dismounts/ re-mounting the bike. (This rules out a single sided road cycling clipless pedal)
  • Be able to shed mud well due to the demands of the course.

Due to these demands many riders use a mountain bike targeted clipless pedal system for cyclocross racing as they offer a solid connection between the rider and bike, double sided entry (depending on model) and when the right pedal is chosen, the ability to work in muddy conditions which could quite easily clog up some pedal systems.

A cyclocross bike pedal needs to be able to cope with the mud

The pedals on your cyclocross bike needs to be able to cope with the mud.  Pictured: Bruce Dalton of Kinesis Morvelo Project
The pedals on your cyclocross bike needs to be able to cope with the mud. Pictured: Bruce Dalton of Kinesis Morvelo Project | Source

Shimano Pedals for Cyclocross Newcomers and Beginners

Shimano Unisex PD-M520 MTB SPD Pedal
Shimano Unisex PD-M520 MTB SPD Pedal

The PD-M520 pedal from Shimano might be a budget SPD pedal but it offers the performance of much more expensive options

 

Great cyclocross pedals for beginners

If you're new to the sport of cyclocross- getting the right equipment can be a headache, Especially if you're working to a tight budget as not everyone that takes up cyclocross will find it to be the right cycling activity for them. You have to try new things to find out if you enjoy them.

Shimano's SPD- PD-M520 is a great mountain bike pedal that is very popular with beginners to cyclocross racing. Shimano SPD pedals offer a reassuring clip into place between the pedal and a hard wearing metal cleat, while their design allows mud to pass through the body to provide an excellent pedal for newcomers to cyclocross.

The PD-M520 is renowned for long lasting, good quality bearings despite a relatively low price tag which leads to a low maintenance pedal. They also offer potential progression further upwards along Shimano's line of excellent mountain bike pedals. Many top CX Pro riders use Shimano's awesome XTR pedals.

Grab a bargain set of Shimano SPD- PD-M520 pedals at Amazon.co.uk

How to Train for Cyclocross with GCN

The ultimate cyclocross pedal for shedding mud

The ultimate mudshedding cyclocross pedals

When winter takes it's toll on the racing conditions you need a cyclocross pedal which is going to be able to handle all the mud you can throw, kick up and spray all over it. Enter the Crank Brothers Egg Beater,

These minimalist mountain bike pedals offer fantastic performance for cyclocross as their rider interface differs from many of the double sided pedals on the marketplace by offering four sided entry.These are a race performance orientated cyclocross pedal.

The only downside in the past of Crank Brothers pedals has been their longevity. Many riders have previously been un-impressed by the long term bearing performance. However the latest versions of the Egg Beaters have addressed this with improved bearings and seals.

Bruce Dalton of Kinesis Morvelo Project making the most of his Crank Brothers Candy Pedals

Bruce Dalton of Kinesis Morvelo Project making good use of his Crank Brothers Candy Pedals for cyclocross
Bruce Dalton of Kinesis Morvelo Project making good use of his Crank Brothers Candy Pedals for cyclocross

Heavy duty pedals for cyclocross performance

A favourite with seasoned cx racers is the Crank Brothers Candy pedal range. They feature a larger platform than the Crank Brothers Egg Beater Pedals featured above which many riders like for the feeling of security, especially when re-mounting in a cyclocross race in case you don't quite get the pedal entry right!

The outer platform on the Candy pedals also provides a degree of bash protection as the internal mechanism can be susceptible to damage on rocks and in crashes. Despite the protective out platform the Candy pedals offer a light weight in relation to other pedals at a similar price point.

What pedals do Sven Nys use? (And a lot of the pro cx peloton)

When it comes to choosing the best equipment for your cyclocross bike and want to ride what the top European CX Pro riders are using it's wise to ask yourself- "What pedals does Sven Nys use?"

Sven Nys has been using Shimano's top mountain bike pedals- the XTR line although as one of the sports top riders Sven is able to get his hands on prototype equipment with special adjustments. Whilst shimano haven't yet bought out a cyclocross version of their renowned SPD pedal system many Pro's still opt for the XTR race pedal which offers great value and reliable performance in the mud.

Check out Sven's bike from the 2014 CrossVegas win aboard his Trek Boone 9

Ride like Sven Nys with Shimano XTR pedals

What's your favourite pedal for cyclocross?

We're always looking to hear from you so please let us know in the comments below

Many Thanks

Liam Hallam (CyclingFitness)

© 2012 Liam Hallam

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