I’ve been riding both road and mountain bikes for many years now, and I have used both road and mountain bike pedals. Yes, road bike pedals do have their advantages, but mountain bike pedals will be just fine for most people.
The first half of the article has our top picks and a mini-review on mountain bike pedals that are great for road biking. The second half has a buyer’s guide for buying mountain bike pedals for a road bike.
Best Mountain Bike Pedals For Road Biking
Here we have the best mountain bike pedals for road biking.
Shimano PD-ES600 SPD Pedals
- SPD compatible
- Designed for road biking
- Only one sided clip
Shimano’s PD-ES600 is a unique pedal as it is a specifically designed mountain bike pedal for a road bike. It can only be used for road biking and is not suitable for off-road use.
It is Shimano’s lightest mountain bike SPD compatible pedal weighing in at 279 g for the pair.
The pedal’s design essentially mimics the standard road bike pedal, except the cleat is an SPD compatible mountain bike cleat.
Yes, that means that you can only clip in on one side of the pedal. This could be considered inconvenient, but it is done purely to save weight.
It features a wider platform to help stabilize your feet and maximize power transfer. The wider platform will make riding long distances much more comfortable as there is a larger contact area for your feet.
You get exactly what you would expect with this pedal as it comes with that top quality Shimano build, so it will just keep on turning ride after ride.
Who’s It For?
The Shimano PD-ES600 will suit the rider who wants to use their MTB shoes and cleats on their road bike to save buying two sets of pedals and shoes.
Also, an excellent option for commuters providing you don’t have to stop and unclip too often as there is only one side to clip back into. It may become frustrating to keep having to find the pedal’s right side to clip back into.
It is not a good option for someone wanting to use the pedal on the trails and the road as it is built for road riding only.
Shimano XTR (PD-M9100) SPD Pedals
The ultimate Shimano cross-country mountain bike race pedal. Best suited for those that like to ride the undulating cross-country trails or even for the gavel bike.
- Very durable
- SPD compatible
- On the heavier side
Shimano’s XTR is another SPD compatible pedal that is aimed at the high-end cross-country mountain biker.
The pedal’s good thing is that it can be used for both road and mountain biking, giving you the flexibility to change the pedal to different bikes.
Also, the XTR is bombproof and will just keep on spinning; they’re incredibly durable pedals. They weigh in at 298 g, which is only slightly heavier than the PD-ES600. However, that does come at a slightly higher price point.
The platform is not as wide as the PD-ES600 but not by much, so most people won’t notice it, but it’s worth considering if you do a lot of long rides.
Featuring double-sided entry and super-smooth bearings for a comfortable ride. A great all-round pedal that does everything you need it to do.
For more on Shimanos XT range, check out our deep dive here.
Who’s It For?
The Shimano XTR would be best suited to someone who wants to use the pedal for both road and mountain biking. It is also a great option for those who are looking for the convenience of double-sided clip pedals without sacrificing weight too much.
One of the best choices for commuters as the cleat tension can be adjusted and a double-sided clip system for stopping and starting.
Crankbrothers Eggbeater 11 Pedals
- Very light
- Small platform
The Crankbrothers Eggbeater 11 is the lightest pedal to feature on this list, and when you look at it, you can see why. There isn’t much to it, which means it weighs in at just 179 g, that’s incredibly light for a set of any pedals.
The super-light pedal is achieved as almost all the pedal is made from ultra-light titanium components. As you can imagine, this doesn’t come cheap, and it is also the most expensive pedal on the list.
The pedal is not SPD compatible, as you have to use Crankbrothers cleats. Worth noting just in case any pedals or cleats that you already own may not be compatible.
Also, the super minimalist design does come at the price of some comfort. The platform on the pedal is very small, which means a small contact area for your foot. It may become uncomfortable if you are out on longer rides.
Who’s It For?
The Crankbrothers Eggbeater 11 pedals are for someone who is super into shedding weight off their bike and have a reasonable budget to go with it. They are a great option if you already own a set of Crankbrothers pedals and cleats.
What To Look For When Purchasing MTB Pedals For a Ride Bike
So what is important to consider when purchasing mountain bike pedals for road biking. Providing you purchase the right kind of pedal, there are many benefits to using mountain bike pedals on a road bike.
First and one of the most important things to consider is the weight of the pedals. Road bikes are much lighter and designed for speed, and therefore finding really light pedals is a good thing to look for.
Unfortunately, as always, your budget will limit how light you can go as typically the lighter the pedal the more expensive it will be.
Another thing to look out for is how bulky the pedal is. There isn’t any point having a big platform on the pedal as rock strikes shouldn’t happen, and if they do your pedal is probably the least of your worries.
It also adds extra weight that you don’t need and won’t fit in with the road bike’s sleek design.
Also while we’re on the topic of bulk the stack height of the pedal is also important. The stack height of a pedal is the thickness of the axle and determines how high ypur feet will actually sit.
The stack height can affect your pedaling stroke as the difference in height makes the most difference at 12 and 6 during your pedal stroke but no difference at 9 and 3. Therefore, a lower stack height will mean a smoother more circular pedal stroke.
Compatible With The Rest Of Your Gear
Suppose you already have shoes and pedals on another bike that you own. In that case, it is very important to purchase pedals that are compatible with them. It will allow you to use the same shoes and cleats on all of your bikes.
For example, if you use Shimano pedals on another bike, buying SPD pedals for your road bike is a must and will save you a ton of money as you don’t have to go out and buy more shoes go with your new pedals.
Advantages To Using Mountain Bike Pedals On a Road Bike
So what are the advantages of using mountain bike pedals on a road bike? Well, for starters, they are much easier to use than road bike pedals.
They are double-sided except for the Shimano PD-ES600, making them much easier to clip-in and out of.
Mountain bike pedals are also easier to unclip from in emergency situations, which you won’t appreciate enough until you need to!
Mountain bike cleats and pedals are also better for beginners looking to transition to road bike cleats or are just happy enough to continue to use mountain bike cleats.
Finally, one of the best ones is that you only need one pair of shoes and cleats across your bikes. It means that you don’t have to go out and purchase road bike specific shoes which aren’t cheap. It’s a great win, and if your budget allows you to spend a lot more to get a great pair of mountain bike shoes.
Disadvantages To Using Mountain Bike Pedals On a Road Bike
Although it is a great option for most people, there are a number of disadvantages. The good news is that for most people, they are pretty negligible and not worth worrying about.
First is the smaller cleat platform that mountain bike pedals have. The smaller platform results in less contact area for your feet on the pedals, which may become uncomfortable on long rides. One way to stop this is by having a mountain bike shoe with a reasonably stiff sole and you won’t even notice it.
The second is that mountain bike pedals are typically heavier and bulky, thankfully in the list above there are some super light pedals so that it doesn’t actually need to be that way. Lighter pedals do come at a greater cost though, so it is worth thinking about when considering pedals.
In my opinion, using mountain bike pedals for road biking is an excellent idea for the majority of the population. Especially considering the road bike specific pedal, the Shimano PD-ES600, a great choice for those just wanting to use the pedal for road biking.
If you want to use it for mountain biking also, then the Shimano XTR is the pick for you, super light and durable.
If you’re a weight fanatic, then you can’t look past the Crankbrothers Eggbeater 11. However, it does require the Crankbrothers cleat system which may not suit you if you use Shimano pedals on your other bikes.
For more on the difference between road and mountain bike pedals, check out our article here.
Or if you are looking for XC MTB pedals, check here.
Check out the lightest MTB pedals on the market here.