Best Cyclocross Pedals: Top Picks for Superior Performance

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The best cyclocross pedals are the Shimano pedals, known for their toughness and reliability. They are considered the original and arguably the best pedals on the market due to their indestructible nature.

Another popular option among seasoned CX racers is the Crank Brothers Candy pedal range, which features a larger platform. For those who prefer flat pedals, Speedplay and LOOK offer options specifically designed for cyclocross. Additionally, Shimano XTR pedals are highly recommended for rocky terrain.

It’s important to choose pedals that are suitable for your riding style and terrain, whether you prefer clipless or flat pedals.

Choosing The Right Cyclocross Pedals

Choosing the Right Cyclocross Pedals
Factors to consider when choosing cyclocross pedals:
  • Dual-sided pedals
  • Dual-sided platform
  • Flat pedals
When it comes to choosing the best cyclocross pedals, there are a few important factors to consider. One of the most significant factors is whether to opt for dual-sided pedals. Dual-sided pedals offer the convenience of being able to clip in from either side, making it easier to engage your cleats quickly in challenging situations. Additionally, dual-sided platform pedals provide a larger surface area for better stability and power transfer. This can be beneficial when navigating through muddy sections or when dismounting and remounting quickly during a race. On the other hand, some riders prefer flat pedals, especially beginners, as they offer more freedom of movement and don’t require specific cycling shoes. Ultimately, the best choice will depend on your riding style, experience, and personal preference.

Top Picks For Cyclocross Pedals

Top Picks for Cyclocross Pedals
Ritchey WCS XC: The Original and Indestructible

The Ritchey WCS XC pedals are known for being the original and indestructible choice for cyclocross riders. These pedals have stood the test of time and continue to be a reliable option for those tackling muddy and challenging terrains. With their dual-sided platform, these pedals offer quick and easy engagement, ensuring a secure connection between your shoe and the pedal. Additionally, they provide excellent mud-shedding capabilities, preventing any mud buildup that could affect your performance. The Ritchey WCS XC pedals are a popular choice among both beginners and seasoned racers, thanks to their durability and performance. If you’re looking for a reliable and trustworthy option for your cyclocross adventures, the Ritchey WCS XC pedals are definitely worth considering.

Shimano XTR: Superior Performance for Rocky Terrain

For riders who tackle rocky terrains, the Shimano XTR pedals are the go-to choice. These pedals offer superior performance with a slightly lower stack height, which provides better clearance to prevent pedal strikes on rough and uneven surfaces. The Shimano XTR pedals are also known for their durability and reliability, making them a favorite among both cyclocross and mountain bike riders. Many riders appreciate the versatility of these pedals, as they can be used on both MTB and CX bikes, allowing for seamless transitions between different disciplines. If you’re looking for pedals that can handle the demands of rocky terrain, the Shimano XTR pedals should be at the top of your list.

Crank Brothers Candy: A Favorite Among Seasoned Racers

The Crank Brothers Candy pedals are a favorite among seasoned cyclocross racers. These pedals feature a larger platform compared to other options, providing a stable and secure connection between your shoe and the pedal. The larger platform also offers better power transfer, allowing you to generate more efficient pedaling strokes. The Crank Brothers Candy pedals are designed to shed mud effectively, ensuring that you won’t have to worry about mud buildup affecting your performance. With their reliable performance and durability, these pedals have gained a reputation for being a top choice among competitive riders. If you’re a seasoned racer looking for pedals that can handle the demands of cyclocross, the Crank Brothers Candy pedals are an excellent option.

Tips For Cyclocross Pedal Selection

Mud Shedding Abilities: Why it Matters

When it comes to cyclocross pedals, one crucial factor to consider is their mud shedding abilities. Cyclocross races are known for their muddy and wet conditions, and having pedals that can quickly shed mud is essential to maintain optimal performance and prevent mud buildup.
Xpedo: A Lighter and More Affordable Alternative
Xpedo pedals offer a lighter and more affordable alternative to some of the high-end options on the market. These pedals are known for their excellent mud shedding capabilities, thanks to their larger front claw. They are also compatible with Shimano SPD cleats, making them a versatile choice for cyclocross riders.
Shimano SPD Cleats: Compatibility and Performance
Shimano SPD cleats are popular among cyclocross riders for their compatibility and reliable performance. When paired with pedals that have effective mud shedding abilities, such as Xpedo pedals, they provide a secure and efficient power transfer, even in muddy conditions.
Overall, when selecting cyclocross pedals, it’s important to prioritize their mud shedding abilities to ensure optimal performance in challenging conditions. Consider options like Xpedo pedals, which offer a lighter and more affordable alternative, while still providing excellent mud shedding capabilities. Pair them with Shimano SPD cleats for compatibility and reliable performance.
Best Cyclocross Pedals: Top Picks for Superior Performance


Cyclocross Pedals Vs. Road Pedals

Best Cyclocross Pedals
Heading: Cyclocross Pedals vs. Road Pedals

Cyclocross pedals and road pedals have differences that cater to the specific needs of each cycling discipline. When it comes to cyclocross pedals, one key difference is the borrowing of clipless pedals from mountain biking instead of using road pedals and shoes. This allows cyclocross riders to enjoy the benefits of clipless pedals designed for off-road use, providing greater control and efficiency on uneven terrain. Flat pedals and trainers are also popular options for beginners in cyclocross, offering ease of use and stability.

Additionally, gravel and cyclocross pedals are available in a variety of options, including dual-sided pedals with platforms on both sides for easy engagement, mud-shedding pedals for optimal performance in muddy conditions, and lightweight pedals for competitive racing. Some popular pedal brands for cyclocross include Shimano, Crank Brothers, and Xpedo.

Subheading: The Differences Between Cyclocross and Road Pedals

When comparing cyclocross pedals and road pedals, it’s important to note that cyclocross pedals are designed to handle off-road conditions, including mud and rough terrain. Road pedals, on the other hand, are optimized for smooth pavement and efficient power transfer.

Cyclocross pedals often have larger platforms and are built to shed mud easily. They may also have a slightly lower stack height to provide clearance when riding on rocky terrain. They are typically more durable and have better performance in challenging conditions.

Road pedals, on the other hand, prioritize lightweight design and optimized power transfer. They are often used with road-specific cycling shoes, which are stiffer and more streamlined for maximum efficiency during road cycling.

In conclusion, the choice between cyclocross pedals and road pedals depends on the specific needs and preferences of the rider. Consider factors such as terrain, weather conditions, and intended use to make an informed decision.

Clipping In For Cyclocross Races

Best Cyclocross Pedals

Clipping In for Cyclocross Races

The Importance of Proper Dismounting Techniques

Staying Clipped In for Pedaling Intensity

Six Secrets for Successful Cyclocross from Adam Myerson

When it comes to choosing the best cyclocross pedals, there are several options to consider. Some popular choices include:

  • Shimano pedals: known for their durability and reliability, Shimano pedals are a favorite among cyclocross riders.
  • Crank Brothers Candy pedals: favored by experienced CX racers, these pedals feature a larger platform for better stability.
  • Xpedo pedals: lighter and more affordable than Shimano XTR, Xpedo pedals are designed for muddy conditions with a larger front claw.

Whether you prefer clipless pedals or flat pedals, it’s important to choose a pedal that suits your riding style and the conditions you’ll be racing in. Additionally, staying clipped in during intense pedaling moments can provide a competitive advantage, but it’s crucial to practice proper dismounting techniques to ensure a smooth transition. Adam Myerson, a seasoned cyclocross racer, offers six valuable secrets for successful cyclocross racing, including tips on pedal choice and technique.

Best Pedals For Gravel Bikes

Choosing The Best Pedals For Gravel Riding

When it comes to finding the best pedals for gravel riding, there are a few options to consider. One popular choice is clipless pedals, which provide versatility and efficient power transfer. Brands like Shimano offer reliable and durable clipless pedals, such as the XTR series. These pedals have a slightly lower stack height, making them suitable for rocky terrains. For riders who prefer platform pedals, MTB platform pedals are a great choice. They provide a secure grip and are ideal for off-road adventures. Additionally, flat pedals are an option for those who are just starting out in gravel riding. It’s important to find pedals that suit your riding style and preferences, whether you choose clipless or platform pedals.

In conclusion, the best pedals for gravel bikes depend on individual preferences and riding style. Some popular options include clipless pedals like Shimano XTR and Crank Brothers Candy, as well as MTB platform pedals. Consider factors such as stack height, grip, and versatility when choosing the best pedals for your gravel bike. Happy riding!

Frequently Asked Questions For Best Cyclocross Pedals

What Pedals Do Cyclocross Riders Use?

Cyclocross riders typically use dual-sided pedals, dual-sided platform pedals, or flat pedals. Popular options include Shimano pedals, Ritchey WCS XC, and Crank Brothers Candy pedals. Some riders also borrow clipless pedals and shoes from the mountain biking world.

What Are The Best Pedals For Cyclocross?

The best pedals for cyclocross are dual-sided platforms like Shimano XTR. They have a lower stack height for rocky terrain. Another popular choice is Crank Brothers Candy, which has a larger platform. Make sure to stay clipped in during intense pedaling and use flat pedals and trainers for beginners.

Do You Clip In For Cyclocross?

Yes, it is common to clip in for cyclocross. Using clipless pedals allows riders to maintain a secure connection to the bike and transfer power efficiently. However, there may be situations where riders need to unclip quickly, so it’s important to practice dismounting and unclipping smoothly.

What Kind Of Pedals Are Best For A Gravel Bike?

The best pedals for a gravel bike include clipless pedals, MTB/touring clipless pedals, road bike clipless pedals, and MTB platform pedals. These options provide stability and control while riding on different terrains.


In the world of cyclocross, finding the best pedals is crucial for optimal performance. Shimano pedals are a top choice due to their durability and reliability. Additionally, the Crank Brothers Candy pedal range offers a larger platform, making them a favorite among seasoned CX racers.

When it comes to gravel riding, clipless pedals or MTB platform pedals are recommended for the best experience. No matter your preference, choosing the right pedals will enhance your cyclocross or gravel biking adventures.

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