Clipless Pedals: Which is the best? SPD vs SPD-SL (Review)

clipless pedal
clipless pedal

Before buying clipless pedals, you need to know how these pedals compare and which one would be the best for you. This article will review all these three types of pedals, so you can decide which one suits your needs best.

Flat pedals are pedals with an even surface, and it comes with no attachment to fasten your shoe into it.



Clipless pedals such as SPD and SPD-SL are popular gear that cyclists use to make it easier to pedal and control their bikes while riding. These pedals attach a cleat onto your shoe’s sole that locks onto the pedal with an adjustable strap when pedaling; this makes it easier for you to reach the ground. Likewise, with your feet when stopping (also known as “pedal breaking”), thereby enabling safer and more efficient stops in high-speed cycling situations.

See also: Best Cycling Apps To Get In 2023

These are the three types of pedals to choose from SPD, SPD-SL and Flat. Each type of pedal has its unique benefits; however, they also have their advantages and disadvantages. 

Clipless Pedals – Why You Should Choose Them?

If you are planning to opt for clipless pedals, you should go for it because these features. Don’t forget to check these out before buying one!

  •  Solid Performance – Clipless Pedals are a good choice for bike riders who want solid performance in a clipless pedal system that won’t break the bank. They are lightweight, sold in pairs (for one rider), and boast a wide variety of compatible cycling shoes
  •  Better Peddling Through Rough Terrain – It is simpler to pedal over potholes, rocks, and knocks when your feet are appended to the bicycle. They will not slip or ricochet off when the path gets unpleasant. At the point when you are hooked in, you don’t have to drop your heels in the steep or unpleasant territory to keep up a foothold between your even shoes and pedals.
  •  More Control – At the point when you connect yourself to the bicycle, you can utilize your feet and legs to help move. This permits you to explore abstruse paths all the more correctly. Envision having the option to effectively bounce or lift a tire over a deterrent in the path. You can likewise utilize your weight to ride the bicycle without tumbling off.     "<yoastmark
  • More Power – Since your feet are consistently in the ideal position and the way you can pedal through a greater amount of the pedal stroke by pulling up, going clipless permits you to apply more force to the pedals. Which enables quicker climbing and speed increase.
  • Easy To Maintain A High Cadence – At the point when you ride at a high tempo, your feet occasionally need to take off the pedals or shift around. At the point when this occurs, you will lose your cadence and decelerate. Clipless pedals clip your feet precisely and give a proper bike fit. You can zero in on your rhythm as opposed to keeping your feet set up.

Clipless Pedals – Cons You Should Consider

While buying a clipless pedal you should consider these drawbacks and act accordingly.

  • Considerable Risk Of Injury – On the off chance that you don’t, as expected, modify your bicycle fit and clipless spikes, you can cause some genuine harm to your knees and hips. Knee torment is presumably the most well-known sign that your clipless pedals aren’t tuned as expected. However, it would be preferable if you did not overthink this.
  • Takes Time To Get Used To – From the outset, it feels extremely abnormal and surprisingly terrifying to hook yourself to the bicycle. Give it some time before admitting defeat. Allow your body to build some muscle memory and figure out the recent fad of riding.
  • Expensive – Riding clipless expands the intricacy of your arrangement. It is something you need to stress over keeping up and bringing spare parts for.
  • Less Comfortable – During a taxing day of exploring, it’s satisfying to move your feet around for more solace. Most clipless arrangements offer some float; however, that may not be sufficient. To place your foot in an alternate situation with clipless, you need to halt and change the spikes. You still may not get the position that you need.

Flat Pedal- Positive Side

On the other hand flat pedal have strength of its own.

  •  It is a Cheaper Option – You don’t have to purchase particular shoes, spikes, or pedals. You can buy a modest pair of level pedals for only a couple of dollars at any bicycle shop. And can ride in the shoes that you as of now have. 
  •  You Can Use Any Shoe – You can ride in any shoes, boots, or shoes that you have. This is helpful if you need to ride down to the supermarket. On the off chance that you ride in the colder time of year, you can wear boots to keep your feet warm. You don’t need to put on a specific pair of shoes unlike with clipless pedals, to ride your bicycle. You can even ride shoeless if you need to, yet it is not suggested for your well-being. 
    flat pedal
    flat pedal
  • Less Risk of Injury – Since you can move around your feet on the pedal, you can’t incidentally cause knee or joint harm from inappropriate modification like you can with clipless. If you place your foot in an unnatural position, you instinctually move it to keep away from soreness and strain.
  • Learning Core Skills – In case you are new to cycling, start with flat pedals. There are various cycle control techniques that are best mastered on level pedals since they are more reliable, and you have a lower possibility of harming yourself while learning.

Flat Pedal – Negative Side

  •  Less Control/Accuracy – It is harder to lift a wheel or bounce over an obstruction with flat pedals. If you bounce or lift your legs, your cycle moves along you. Doing these moves with flat pedals is achievable. It simply takes more ability. You can’t explore trails as fast and precisely with flat pedals as you can with clipless pedals.
  • Pedal Slip – This can sometimes happen while riding in unpleasant or slippery conditions. Your foot can slip off. The outcome is a missed stroke that decelerates you down.
  • Cannot Maintain a High Cadence – This is why hardly any street cyclists utilize flat pedals nowadays. In case you’re accelerating a high rhythm with flat pedals, and you steady your legs down or commit an error, your pedals can continue to go quicker than your legs. This will slow down your entire accelerating cadence and halt you down, which you can fix with clipless pedals.


Hope this article helped you find the pedal that suits your need. I suggest you try and modify pedals and ride on to your needs. Having proper accessories like helmets, glasses and comfy shorts may  help you have an amazing experience with biking!