These are our results for the best mountain bike clip in pedals. When you need to ride hard, fast, and with maximum efficiency then you want to use the best clip ins you can. You don’t want to worry about slipping off your pedals, so we have done the work for you. Take a look below.
1. SHIMANO PD-M530 Mountain Clip-In Pedals [Best Overall]
No list of clip in pedals would be complete without mentioning Shimano Pedaling Dynamics. SPD was created specifically to meet the needs of mountain bike cyclists, and they introduced the first widely accepted mtb clip in (also called “clipless) pedals more than a quarter of a century ago. Today, it still sets the benchmark for the entire pedal industry.
This particular model is a fine example of why it remains the standard to which every other brand is compared to. One guy who finally made the switch to clip in pedals found out that he had nothing to worry about.
It was easy enough to install, and it only needed an Allen key to make the necessary adjustments. As a newbie, he had to practice a bit clipping in and out of the pedals. But it didn’t take long before he was clipping in and out without even thinking about it.
Once he got used to it and he knew how to get out of the pedals in a hurry when he had to, he finally realized just what kind of enhanced power these pedals offered. Hills that he once dreaded to climb on his bike somehow became easier to climb with these pedals. That really made a difference for him.
Another experienced cyclist also regards the PD-M350 as the most practical mtb pedals if you’re not really into racing. He says these are mainly for newbies, which is why he got them for his wife. He expects them to last for 10 years or even more, with its high quality. They have already lasted 4 years and thousands of miles for his wife, and it still works.
Another feature you may like is its terrific mud-shredding design. It has an “open binding” setup that lets you flush out the gunk when you clip in to these pedals. As long as you set it to the lowest setting if you’re a newbie, you should find it easy enough to get used to getting in and out.
2. Shimano PD-M520L Mtb Sport Pedals with Cleats
What the name means is that you get the clip in pedals along with the cleats to go in your shoes. That way, you get the best pedal and cleat system you can use especially if you’re a beginner to this type of clip in pedals. You do need to practice with it, with lots of other users recommending that you find a safe place where you can fall without hurting yourself.
One newbie cyclist bought them with a lot of apprehension, after years of going with platform pedals. He expected to fall during the practice period, but he attributes it to luck that he hasn’t. In fact, he went through the practice run without a scratch and now he thinks it’s super-easy. He just set it on the lowest tension setting, and he thinks it looks great on his bike too.
Another cyclist was so enthusiastic about these pedals that he absolutely tells everyone to just buy them immediately if they have mountain bikes. He found out that the confidence of clipping in to the pedals means that he can pedal a lot more efficiently. He’s the type to stop biking once he’s tired, and now he says he has doubled the distance he can get before fatigue sets in.
SPD really designed this set of pedals for beginners, because they put in a deliberately easy step-in cleat retention system. It’s very lightweight as well, and it’s also light on your wallet. Its effectiveness is in giving you the absolute knowledge that your feet won’t ever slip accidentally, which means you can drive as hard as you can on the pedals.
Once you do get used to it, you can then experiment with the settings as well. After a while, you should be able to increase the clip release force to really get you going. Don’t forget to adjust the pedals on both sides.
3. The Best MZYRH Aluminum Mountain Bike Pedals
These are waterproof bike pedals you can use without worrying about the rain or the muddy terrain. With the rugged aluminum alloy surface and the tough chromoly spindle, MZYRH are highly resistant to corrosion, shock, and wear.
A reviewer says he has used them extensively on extremely rough terrain with his mtb, with lots of creek beds, steep climbs, stumps, and rocks along the way. He was very worried about how the pedals would handle these obstacles, given the low price of these pedals. Yet they never broke, even when he has bashed them in several times.
He’s the kind of cyclist who loves to do jumps, hard climbs, and hairpin turns, and these pedals don’t even show a dent after all the crazy stuff he’s pulled. In fact, even the paint remains unblemished! He thinks there’s really no difference between the performance he gets from this set, compared to what he gets with the more expensive brands.
Another guy also attests to the strength of this set of pedals, given that he weighs more than 300 pounds himself. He is now impressed with its minimalist design, as it has not even flexed all this time. They also feel rock solid under his feet, as his shoe remains firmly planted on the pedals.
You can attribute the firm grip to the 10 anti-skid pins you find jutting out of each face of the pedals. This anti-slip cleat design offers a very strong grasp, and it certainly helps that you have a large platform to work with. The pedals measure 4.1 by 3.58 inches, and it’s an inch thick. It’s still lightweight, as each pedal only weighs in at 0.45 pounds.
Just make sure you install them correctly, with the ‘L”-marked pedal on the left and the “R”-marked pedal on the right. They even come with reflectors for street riding, though you have to install them yourself.
4. Funn Mamba Mountain Bike Clipless Pedal Set [Best Hybrid]
Funn Mamba uses an SPD compatible, single sided clip-in mechanism and your purchase comes with Shimano SPD-compatible cleats to get you started. You can use them unclipped like a regular flat pedal on one side, while the other side lets you clip in so you can go on full-strength attack mode when biking.
It’s made with top-grade 6061 aluminum alloy, with magnesium and silicon to make it highly resistant to cracking, stress, and corrosion. It gives you the strength you need for mtb riding, especially if you tend to bang your pedals around.
One guy attests to its versatility, as he has used both sides of the pedals extensively. Sometimes he just likes to use his regular flat shoes, and sometimes he uses his bike shoes to clip in. He prefers his feet free when he’s riding through rocky trails, but he likes to clip in when he’s on pavement and gravel.
Another guy uses these pedals for various bike activities as well. He opts for clipping in when he’s going down aggressively on downhill trails, flow trails, and jump lines. But he prefers the flat side when doing wheelies, for technical mtb trail terrain, wet conditions, and for casual riding. He considers these pedals as the best of both worlds (meaning flat and clip in pedals).
They offer a generous size for the platform, measuring 4.01 inches long (that’s not including the spindle) and 4 inches wide. Yet it’s lightweight, since it’s only about half an inch thick. On one side of the pedals, you have 10 anti-skid pins to make sure your sneakers don’t slide off the pedals when you’re pedaling hard or standing on the pedal platform.
As a bonus, they even come with a special “grease renew” system. It allows you to top up the grease while your hands remain pristine clean.
Funn Mamba is also available in a standard black color, but you can opt for more vibrant colors like blue, green, and red. Pick the color to match your bike, just as you pick the right side of the pedal to use for the kind of biking you’re planning on doing.
5. Crankbrothers Candy Clip-In MTB Bike Pedal
This Candy pedal has been around for 20 years now, and in fact there are several different Candy models you can choose from. Here, we are focusing on the entry-level Candy 1, which Crankbrothers offer for newbies at a very reasonable price. Your purchase comes with cleats to fit the profile of the Candy pedal, so you’ll need to change out the cleats on your shoes if they’re not up to Crankbrothers specs.
One cyclist says that he has been using these Candy pedals for almost 2 decades now, and he has never considered anything else. He thinks they’re the best, so there was no reason to switch to any alternative. He regards this particular version as a flawless product, with the main difference being that it’s a bit more lightweight than the more expensive versions of the Candy pedal.
His experience here is that these pedals are the easiest to clip in to, and he can unclip without thinking anytime he wants to. Also, he doesn’t unclip accidentally at all.
Another cyclist likes the lightweight aspect of the Candy 1. They are actually the lightest among the Candy lineup except for the Candy 11 (which costs about 9 times that of the Candy 1). He knows the platform is durable too, since he has bashed his pedals a lot over the years. He doesn’t worry, though it’s partly because it’s so affordable.
These pedals use a 1-piece composite body, which results in a total weight of merely 0.65 pounds for the whole set. The body of the pedal is ribbed, resulting in better contact. Even the float and release angle can be customized, from 15 to 20 degrees.
With the premium bearings, it’s easy to see why so many are impressed with this supposedly “entry-level” clip-in pedals. The only entry-level aspect to it is its price, as its performance is topnotch.
6. Crankbrothers Eggbeater Clip-In Mountain Bike Pedals
The Eggbeater comes with a special 4-sided entry design with a mud-shedding feature and minimal weight. You also get an adjustable 15-degree or 20-degree release angle to suit your preferences. It uses tough stamped steel and premium brass cleats with shims included.
It’s so tough that there’s practically no maximum rider weight restriction. In today’s world where people’s weights are increasing worldwide, that’s always a good thing. Of course, you also get the cleats for these pedals when you buy them.
One fan of these Eggbeater pedals has 5 of them installed on his mountain bikes and road bikes. That’s how impressed he is with them. He absolutely appreciates the low weight, and he finds them utterly reliable. Even after many years of use, his pedals still spin freely. He hasn’t even done a lot of maintenance on any of these pedals at all.
Another guy switched to these pedals, after finally getting tired of using massive Keo cleats. According to this experienced cyclist, those cleats weren’t really easy to clip in with, since the bottom of those cleats seemed to act like a bar of soap. He didn’t like how they felt on smooth surfaces, and it sets his feet at an uncomfortable angle.
Now he doesn’t have those problems anymore. Clicking in and out for him is super-simple. The spring tension eliminates the play around his feet. These pedals can be adjusted to match a wide range of soles, and the brass cleats let him walk normally instead of the “duck walk” required for his old cleats.
Many other cyclists confirm that the mud-shedding feature works exceptionally well, and some say it’s better at clearing muddy clay than any other pedal they’ve tried. The support is terrific, and when you’re riding it’s common to just forget about these pedals. They’re just there, working as expected.
7. Crankbrothers Mallet Mtb Bike Clip In Pedals
The Mallet comes with a pair of pedals plus a set of the standard release cleats from Crankbrothers. It’s designed mainly for enduro and mountain bike riding, but you may find them suitable for many other types of biking. Again, you have the 4-sided entry design here which gives you terrific mud-shedding capability. With the wide platform, you get the support you need when you’re on rough ground.
One cyclist confirms that these work for him, and will also work for others who want both clip in and flats in a single set of pedals. He’s actually usually a flat pedal fan, but he was encouraged to try these clip-in pedals since it also offers a flat option. He found it easy enough to get used to clipping in and out in just a short time.
He prefers clipping in when he’s climbing the hills, as he says the sure grip offers a huge difference. After trying the flats on these climbs, he realized that he misses the efficiency he gets on the clip in side. He even learned to quickly switch to the flat side of the pedal when the terrain gets a bit rougher.
Another reviewer is a dedicated fan, since he’s now on his 4th set of Crankbrothers Mallet pedals. He confirms that they’re really long-lasting, and he certainly appreciates the extra pedal surface. He also likes the ability to use the flat side of the pedals when he’s wearing regular sneakers.
He gets about 5,000 miles from each pair, and that’s with lots of aggressive riding in wet and muddy conditions. That’s certainly great for the price. Sometimes he doesn’t even bother buying a new pair and just gets the rebuild kit instead.
The Mallet is really built to last, since it uses cast stainless steel for the wing, which is durable, stiff, and resistant to corrosion. For the engagement springs, you get 300-series stainless steel as well. For the body, you have 2-piece aluminum that’s lightweight and also stiff.
Your purchase comes with cleats and shins, and the cartridge bearings here are easy enough to service.
8. Venzo Mountain Bike Sealed Clipless Pedals
If you’re switching from the SPD pedals, you can use these pedals with the current Shimano cleats you already have. Venzo also comes with its own cleats, which you can also use on your bikes outfitted with the SPD pedals. Either way, you can use these versatile clip in pedals whether or not you’re using bike clipless shoes. They are lightweight as well, with a total weight of just 0.79 pounds.
One cyclist didn’t find it all that lightweight though, but he’s still extremely pleased with it. He finds these clip in pedals easy to get into, so there’s really no risk for him. He finds the build to be quite solid, and he even likes the look of the pedals.
Another cyclist who tried them out is actually an SPD fan. He has a lower budget now, and he likes the more affordable price for this Venzo set. He said that after a while, it felt and performed just like his old SPD pedals, so that saved him a few bucks. It did need a bit of breaking in, plus he put in some loc-tite on the tension screws.
If you’re new to this, don’t forget that the tension is adjustable, ranging from 80 to 140 kilogram-force per centimeter. You can do this with the screw on the side of the pedal. Adjusting the tension lets you pick the best setting that feels “right” for you.
The cleat cage is made with a single piece of high-quality steel, with sealed bearings and a dual-sided chromoly binding with the aluminum body. They are really tough, as so many guys have confirmed.
9. Venzo Dual Function Platform Clipless Pedals
You can use the Venzo Dual with or without your clipless shoes. That means you can get greater power transfer efficiency with your clipless shoes, but you can use the platform side with regular shoes for more casual rides. Either way, you have a large platform to work with, as the pedal measures 3.9 by 3.3 inches. Your purchase also comes with SC-C01F cleats.
One guy found it easy enough to install, with well-built threads and the grease already on the threads. His Shimano mtb shoes had no trouble clipping in and out, since this is an SPD-compatible configuration. He says that when he considers every aspect, it’s just as good as the Shimano pedals he has tried before, except that these Venzo pedals cost only half as much.
Another newbie tried them as well, and he found the clip in side quite easy to learn. He practiced clipping and unclipping for only a single morning to get used to clipping in even in the dark. As for the other side of the pedals, he has no complaints. That’s the side he uses when he’s on casual rides with sneakers while riding along the streets with his family.
They only weigh a scant 350 grams, or about 0.7 pounds for the whole set. The Venzo Dual offers an easy and comfy ride, especially with the stability afforded by the large platform. The cleats tension can also be adjusted, to enable riders to clip in perfectly.
The grip feels absolutely great, while the low profile offers terrific ground clearance.
They use a thermoplastic body, which explains the low weight. But it’s still tough and durable, and it looks nice as well. The bearings work smoothly and reliably, too.
Try them if you’re new to clip in pedals, since it still has the flat side you’re used to. You can still use your casual shoes on the flat side for leisurely rides.
But when you’re serious about your biking and you require optimal power transfer, efficiency, and reliable grip, you have to try the clip in side.
That way, you can pedal as hard as you can without worrying about slipping off the pedals. How could you, when you’re clipped in? These pedals offer Shimano performance at half the Shimano price.