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The Best Budget Road Bike Pedals

Updated on April 28, 2013
CyclingFitness profile image

Liam Hallam is a sports science graduate. A keen cyclist, runner, and obstacle racer who ran his first ultra-marathon in 2016.

Smile- your road bike pedals were great value
Smile- your road bike pedals were great value | Source

Getting A Great Value Set Of Road Bike Pedals On A Sensible Budget

When you walk into a bike shop or have a look on the internet it's easy to feel intimidated by just how much cycling equipment costs. It's also shocking to some newcomers that many road bikes aren't actually sold with pedals and therefore you need to make an educated choice on the right pedals for you.

With a little bit of shrewd shopping and knowledge there's no need to feel daunted as you can purchase great value cycling equipment. This guide focuses on some of the best road bike pedals for riders on a budget.

Many manufacturers offer a wide range of road bike pedals and getting the right ones for you can be a challenge

Whether you're looking for a cheap and easily serviceable pedal system for your winter/ commuter bike or looking for your first set of clipless road bike pedals there's a choice for you below.

Shimano R540 road bike pedals offer a solid platform for beginners and experienced riders
Shimano R540 road bike pedals offer a solid platform for beginners and experienced riders | Source

Great Bearings And A Solid Platform For Beginners- Shimano R540 SPD-SL

Shimano R540 SPD-SL Road Bike Pedals Review

Shimano's technology drip feeds down their range over the years so their base road range technology will always take aspects from their higher up Ultegra and Dura ace product ranges. Therefore the R540 pedal is effectively a pedal that borrows elements from those lines to ensure it's quality and performance at a lower price point.

For beginners using clipless road bike pedals for the first time or for established riders who are looking for a solid, wide platform clipless road bike pedal Shimano's base model R540 could be a great pedal for you.

Shimano's pedal systems feature wide cleats which subsequently call for a wide pedal platform to give beginners the feeling of security and more advanced riders a greater feeling of control when compared to narrower cleat designs, The large binding mechanism of the pedal and cleat adds to the ease of 'clipping-in' for the rider.

The R540's come with excellent sealed cartridge bearings which will offer long lasting smoothness and Shimano road pedals also feature a two year manufacturers warranty which is a nice bonus and reassuring of the quality on offer despite a reasonable price.

Shimano R540- Great Value Road Pedals

Shimano PD-R540 SPD-SL Road Pedals
Shimano PD-R540 SPD-SL Road Pedals

Shimano products offer reliability and durability and the R540's feature great quality bearings for long lasting performance


Lighter And Closer To The Pedal Axle For Control- Look Keo Easy

French manufacturer Look are one of the companies that originally helped develop the clipless road bike pedal and they stuck with a similar design for many years using their iconic ARC cleats. The Look Keo range is a logical progression from their original designs by making the pedal platform smaller and allowing the foot to like closer to the axle for more control.

Your pedals help you interface with the bike for power transfer
Your pedals help you interface with the bike for power transfer | Source

Look Keo Easy Review

Look's Keo pedals are a very popular choice with road cyclists. The cleats are some of the most readily available on the market and many manufacturers make their pedals to coordinate with the Look cleat design.

The Keo Easy is designed to be easy to clip into and out again. Grip is fine although it feels that the pedals do want to let go of the cleat once the cleats start to wear a little. Bearing quality on all Look pedals is fantastic and they're easily serviced if required. As the most popular road bike pedal system on the market at present any review must include them as a consideration.

The lack of tension adjustment may put off everyone who isn't a beginner as for riders looking for a firmer hold on the cleat they will be better served with an upgrade to the much better quality Look Keo Classic pedal or consider the Keo cleat compatible Exustar pedals featured below which offer similar performance to the Keo's and match the cleat system but cost significantly less and offer tension adjustment.

Exustar E-PR100PP- Keo Compatible Pedals With Adjustable Tension

For less than the price of a set of Look's Keo Easy pedals you can pick up a pair of Exustar E-PR100PPs which will make an excellent pair of pedals for your winter road bike or a second bike for the more experienced rider who currently uses Look's higher end pedals and doesn't want to have a different set of shoes for riding/

They’re compatible with the Look Keo cleat system, and weigh in at paltry 248g per pair. The main selling point is that their tension is adjustable, thus allowing you to tune their feel and how tightly your cleats are gripped. The thermoplastic composite body spins on good quality cartridge bearings around CNC'd Chromoly axle.

Wellgo Road Pedals (ARC Type)

Wellgo road pedals offer value and adjustable tension making them a great budget pedal.
Wellgo road pedals offer value and adjustable tension making them a great budget pedal. | Source

Wellgo Adjustable Tension Road Bike Pedals For A Secure Cleat Hold

Wellgo are a relatively unheard of company in cycling circles but they make some very good products which offer alternative versions of more mainstream equipment. They also often make products which carry other manufacturers names so there's no need to be put off.

Wellgo Road Bike Pedal Review From CyclingFitness

Having used these pedals previously on a winter training road bike I have no qualms in using them again. Clip in is reassuring and the hold on the cleats is snug, yet fine for use for beginners and more experienced riders.

The best thing in a way about these pedals is that they are compatible with the old Look ARC type cleats which are often being sold off for low prices on sites like eBay and Wellgo make their own versions of the cleat for a sensible price.

I'd happily use them on my winter bike for training again.

What's Your Best Budget Road Bike Pedal?

We're always looking for your feedback- What's your favourite pedal system? And what pedals do you choose near the budget end of the market?

Thanks for reading

Liam Hallam


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    • CyclingFitness profile image

      Liam Hallam 4 years ago from Nottingham UK

      Thanks byshea. I looked at the information on the net when you search for best road bike pedals and it seems to concentrate on the higher end of the marketplace. Not everyone wants to buy the most expensive equipment (even if we would like to) and therefore it's good to showcase products that 'get the job done', whether it's for beginners or those riders who are on a tight budget but still want high levels of performance. Thanks for your feedback. Liam

    • byshea profile image

      Shea 4 years ago

      This is a great hub for people just getting into road bikes. I wish I would have had info like this when I had to purchase my first set of clipless pedals. The amount of choices can be overwhelming!

    • CyclingFitness profile image

      Liam Hallam 4 years ago from Nottingham UK

      Thanks Tony- I know just how bad an overly worn cleat can be. I had to ride 10 miles last wear with a broken cleat which was due to personal neglect (and penny pinching)

      23.50 GBp is certainly low for a set of pedals but shows you can get a degree of quality at a low price.

    • capon profile image

      Tony Capon 4 years ago from Upminster, Essex, United Kingdom

      Hello Liam, I bought a pair of Exustar pedals a few weeks ago for my fixed. I must say that I paid a budget price (about £23.50) but the performance has easily eclipsed the price.

      One caution I would share about clipless pedals concerns their use with fixed wheel bikes. If the cleat is allowed to wear too much to the extent that they unclip when the rider is powering out-of-the-saddle, the rider can expect to suffer bent handle bars and a couple of cracked ribs. Ouch! Tony