Thursday, 24 April 2014

Best Road Pedals Under £50

Most people know the importance of saving weight when it comes to choosing a bike, or any piece of cycling kit for that matter, but another important thing to look at is the smoothness of bearings. You would not like to ride with your brakes touching your rims, so why would you want to ride with bearings that were not smooth and added resistance, sapping precious watts from your power output.

Pedals, along with hubs and your bottom bracket, are a great place to improve the potential speed you can get from your bike. Ideally you would probably buy ultra smooth ceramic bearings, but if you are on a tighter budget you need to make smart choices.

Below are a selection of pedals that you can pick up for under £50, and because of its low weight and the relative quality of its bearings, I have chosen the Look Keo Classic as the best buy in this price bracket. I have excluded Speedplay pedals from the selection purely because they cost considerably more. 

Exustar E-PR16 Pedals 
Exustar E-PR16 Pedals 
These entry level pedals use Look type cleats and can be picked up pretty cheaply, probably cheaper than any other road clipless pedal. The pedals I tried did not have smooth bearings, and felt rather stiff. That being said, I’m sure they would loosen up with use, and they are very cheap. You can get them for as low as £13 online.

  • Rigid die-cast aluminum body. 
  • Large platform design for power efficiency. 
  • Cr-Mo axle Fiberglass reinforced thermoplastic binding with adjustment screw. 
  • Fully adjustable binding tension with tension gauge. 
  • Weight 328g  

Shimano R540 SPD-SL Pedals
Shimano R540 SPD-SL Pedals
You can get these pedals for under £25 and they do the job fine, but will probably only last a year or two before they start to get worn and tired. If you want to save a bit of money on pedals there is nothing wrong with these, except their life expectancy.

  • Wide pedal platform for improved foot/pedal stability 
  • Low maintenance sealed cartridge axle unit 
  • Weight - 330 grams per pair 

Shimano R550 SPD-SL Pedals 
Shimano R550 SPD-SL
On the next step up the Shimano pedal food chain are the R550 pedals, which will cost a few extra Pounds, but come in at the same weight of 330g as the R450 pedals.

  • Weight: 330g 
  • Low maintenance sealed cartridge unit 
  • Wide pedal platform for improved foot / pedal stability 

Look KEO Classic Pedal 
Look KEO Classic Pedal 
This is my pick for the best value pedal, especially if you can find it on offer for under £50. Made from injected Polyamid, the pedal is light and stiff. With a Chromoly axle and the Polyamid (plastic) pedal body, this pedal comes in at 140g, making it less than half the weight of Shimano 105 5700 pedals.

  • Weight: 140g 
  • Injected body saves weight compared to its alloy alternative 
  • Adjustable spring tension mechanism for a smoother release 

Shimano 105 5700 SPD-SL Carbon Road Pedals 
Shimano 105 5700 SPD-SL
Carbon Road Pedals
Shimano 105, as I have said in other posts, is a great value groupset. The pedals are no exception and the performance and reliability of these pedals is, well, reliable. If for some reason you prefer Shimano cleats over Look, I would go for the 105 pedals.

  • Stainless steel pedal body plate for increased durability 
  • Low maintenance sealed cartridge axle unit 
  • Weight: 285 grams per pair

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