10 Best Pedals for Triathlon Bikes (Updated 2023)

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When you are looking for pedals for a triathlon, clipless pedals directly strike into our minds. These types of pedals are modern, they are sport dependent, and most of all, they provide a way more power for pedaling than the regular pedals. What actually happens with these types of pedals is that a cleat attaches to your shoe-sole for keeping your foot securely on the pedal.

Of course, it is not possible if you are wearing regular shoes. You will need some cleat compatible shoes in order to use such pedals. Although there are some ups and downs with some models, most manufacturers follow the same mechanism and materials for building these pedals. This can make it difficult for choosing the right set of pedals that one is looking for.

Buying Guide: What to look for in cleats

Depending on the pedals, cleats can be found in various designs. In general, most cleats come with either three or four mounting holes. So, popular types of cleats usually adjust with 3 or 4-bolt design cleat compatible shoes. But between these two designs of cleats, most people tend to fasten the 3-bolt design cleats under their shoe-soles.

Aside from that, there are three particular facts that you need to keep an eye out while purchasing any kind of cleat. They are – cleat’s float, release tension, and stack height. Now, we are briefly going to discuss these facts below.


Float is the measurement of your foot’s movement while it is being attached to the pedal and it is usually measured in degree. In other words, the definition of the float can be said like – how much can you move your foot left or right while it is clipped into the pedal.

Float determines the natural and free movement of your feet. It is there to reduce knee-stress and to keep your feet in a very comfortable position while pedaling. If your cleats are not placed perfectly, you may have to deal with a lot of stress for pedaling. The wrong position of the cleats can also make it hard to clip-in and clip-out. Please be noted that the more float your cleats have, the more difficult it will become to release your feet from the pedals as you will need to twist your feet more.

Some cleats are fixed (Speedplay Zero Cleat) where you will have limited movements of your feet to release them from the pedals. These types of cleats need to be positioned very carefully in the right place otherwise, you will face serious knee pain. However, most cleats generally offer a range of floats that is between 3° – 9°. You don’t have to worry if you are uncertain about the amount of float you need for comfortable pedaling. The clipless pedals that you have or you buy in the future will not lock you up with just one setting. You will always have the option to experiment with other cleats with different adjustments and settings.

Release Tension

Release tension means the amount of force you require in order to disengage your foot from the pedal. If you are new with clipless pedals or a beginner, it is better to start with such pedals that have a low tension as they let you release your feet easily. If it is easier to release your feet from the pedals, then it will also become easier to clip into the pedals.

After riding with these types of cleats, you can increase the tension when you think you are confident enough to ride with clipless pedals. Increasing the tension will give you an adamantine connection between your foot and the pedal. Many clipless pedals offer a spring system (SPD clipless system) for more adjustable release tension.

Some have trouble figuring the right settings for the perfect release tension. Well, it depends on you and the type of cycling you do. A quick suggestion is that – continue to increase the release tension by twisting in 1/8 part until you are able to unintentionally release your legs from the cleats. And if you feel like you’re having trouble at certain points, roll back the tension a little bit. This will probably give you an optimal setting for release tension. We have found this video very useful as it demonstrates tension mechanisms for various types of cleats –

Stack Height

This is the height from the center of the axle to your shoe-sole when you are clipped in. Every clipless pedal has a different stack height and you may have to adjust this height when you switch to a different pair of pedals. However, lower stack height is better as it can keep your feet close-bodied with the axles if you are looking for the best option for efficient pedaling. Don’t forget to set up a suitable stack height as this height also relates to the Q-factor and your bike’s axles. If this height is not properly adjusted, you may have to stress your legs more for pedaling that can lead to some serious painful and exhausting situations.

Stack Height for a TIME Xpresso Pedal

Stack Height for a TIME Xpresso Pedal

Different cleats from different brands

Different brand’s cleats have different bolt options and one particular type of cleat may not suit all types of pedals. Some cleats have a 2-bolt pattern, some have a 3-bolt pattern while some have a 4-bolt pattern. Although 2-bolt pattern cleats can be easily clipped-in, your feet may detach from the pedals frequently when you are using them. Again, it can be much harder to engage your feet into the pedals with 4-bolt cleats. But 4-bolt pattern cleats provide much better power transfer for efficient pedaling as they keep your feet always closely attached to the pedals. Therefore, it recommended going for the 3-bolt pattern cleats as they are moderate to clip-in and clip-out and they can provide better engagement and disengagement of your feet to the pedals especially when you are a beginner.

The table below will give you a hint about the different brand’s cleats and how these cleats work –

Different Cleats

Our Top Pick

After exclusive research for relentless hours, we have come up with a list of the top pedals that we believe to be perfect for triathlon type cycling. Our list is entirely based on user intents and our pedals are the righteous choice for different aspects. We like to designate the Shimano Ultegra PD R8000 as our “Overall Best Choice” among all the pedals because we really think it fulfills the requirements to be the perfect triathlon pedal.

SHIMANO Ultegra PD R8000

Pro performance | Overall Best Choice

The SHIMANO Ultegra PD R8000 is an ultimate set of pedals where there is nothing to dislike. These pedals feature extra-wide platforms for sufficient power transfer for each stroke. So, you are getting a clipless pedal with a wide surface that also makes pedaling easy and comfortable. The cleats that come with these pedals are 3-bolt designed SPD-SL cleats. These cleats will keep your feet firmly in place. These pedals have an outstanding build quality and they are made of carbon composite materials. They have a low profile design and they are extremely lightweight. They offer the option to replace the built-in sealed bearings with wide bearings for more stability. They come with a longer axle unit. If it doesn’t fit your bike, you can switch it with a 4 mm long spindle axle.

  • Type: Multi-Purpose (SPD/Flat)
  • Platform Dimension: 8.7” x 4.7” x 2.4”
  • Weight: 0.55 lbs (Pair)
  • Spindle Diameter: 9/16”
  • Body Material: Carbon Composite
  • Included Cleat: SM-SH11
  • Optional Cleat: SM-SH10, SM-SH12
  • Axle Material: Chromoly Steel
  • Bearing Type: 3 Sealed Cartridge

In the following table, we’ve listed the best pedals in the market for triathlon bikes:

PedalsWhy we recommend this
SHIMANO Ultegra PD R8000Pro performance | Overall Best Triathlon Bike Pedal
Shimano 105 PD R7000 SPDWide & Light carbon body. Perfect for triathlon riding.
SHIMANO Ultegra PD-6800 SPD SLExtra-wide platform
SHIMANO PD R-540The large binding target for rapid engagement
SHIMANO Dura-Ace PD-9000 SPD-SLExtra-wide platform with Carbon composite body
Speedplay ZeroDual Sided Entry with Zero Locking Mechanism
LOOK KEO 2 MaxAdjustable spring tension release for better engagement of feet
Time Xpresso 4Allow natural movements
SHIMANO PD-M540 SPDSmooth performance and long life
SHIMANO PD-A5300Attractive look with Multipurpose Use

How our selected pedals for triathlon bikes compare

Based on various user intents, we have classified different pedals in different categories. Our list includes the following pedals.

Like always, we have prepared a comparison table of all the pedals that have been selected on our list especially for those who are limited with their time. But we highly recommend you to go through the whole post for getting an in-depth detail for each product.

Spindle DiameterPlatform Dimension (inch)Weight (Pair)Body MaterialAxle MaterialRoad ClearanceBearing Type
SHIMANO Ultegra PD R8000Shimano Cycling Pdr8000 Road Bike Pedal, Black, 9 16 quot UKMulti-Purpose (SPD/Flat)9/16”8.7” x 4.7” x 2.4”0.55 lbsCarbon CompositeChromoly Steel33°3 Sealed Cartridge
Shimano 105 PD R7000Shimano PD-R7000 Pedals - BlackMulti-Purpose (SPD/Flat)9/16”6.7” x 5.9” x 2”0..58 lbsCarbon CompositeChromoly Steel31°Sealed Cartridge
SHIMANO Ultegra PD-6800Shimano 6800 Ultegra Clipless PedalsMulti-Purpose (SPD/Flat)9/16”8.5” x 4.5” x 2.5”0.62 lbsCarbon & AluminumChromoly Steel32°Sealed Cartridge
SHIMANO PD R-540Shimano SPD-SL PD R-540; BlackMulti-Purpose (SPD/Flat)9/16”6.6” x 6.3” x 1.9”0.727 lbsAluminumChromoly Steel34°Sealed Cartridge
SHIMANO Dura-Ace PD-9000Shimano Dura-Ace PD-9000 Carbon Road Pedal (Black/Grey)Multi-Purpose (SPD/Flat)9/16”7.9” x 3.2” x 1.6”0.55 lbsCarbonChromoly Steel35°2 (Ball) + 1 (Roller)
Speedplay ZeroSpeedplay Zero Pedals/Walkable Cleats, Chro-MolyDouble-Sided Clipless9/16”6.2” x 6.3” x 2”0.48 lbsChrome-Moly/Stainless/TitaniumChrome-Moly/Stainless/TitaniumSealed Cartridge
LOOK KEO 2 MaxLook Cycle Keo 2 Max Road Pedals Black, One Size OPEN BOXSingle-Sided Clipless9/16”0.33” x 2.36”0.57 lbsCompositeChromoly +2 (Ball) + 1 (Roller)
Time Xpresso 4SHIMANO Time Xpresso 4 Pedals - BlackSingle-Sided Clipless9/16” – 20”7.5” x 5.2” x 2.5”0.507 lbsGlass-Filled & Stainless SteelHollow Steel15°Steel
SHIMANO PD-M540Shimano PD-M540 SPD Pedals; BlackMulti-Purpose (SPD/Flat)9/16”6.3” x 4.9” x 2.2”0.776 lbsAluminumChromolySealed Cartridge
SHIMANO PD-A530Shimano Click-in Pedal PD-A530 (Color: Black) Clipless PedalsMulti-Purpose (SPD/Flat)9/16”0.55” x 0.55” x 0.35”0.844 lbsAluminumSteel (Cr-Mo)Sealed Cartridge

10 best pedals you can buy today for triathlon bikes

# Shimano Pedals (Clipless SPD-SL)

1. SHIMANO Ultegra PD R8000

Pro performance | Overall Best Choice

SHIMANO Ultegra PD R8000
  • Type: Multi-Purpose (SPD/Flat)
  • Platform Dimension: 8.7” x 4.7” x 2.4”
  • Weight: 0.55 lbs (Pair)
  • Spindle Diameter: 9/16”
  • Body Material: Carbon Composite
  • Included Cleat: SM-SH11
  • Optional Cleat: SM-SH10, SM-SH12
  • Axle Material: Chromoly Steel
  • Bearing Type: 3 Sealed Cartridge

Features & Considerations
  • Extra-wide Platform: The wide platforms of these pedals are the mentionable features as you can stroke these pedals with efficient power transfer.
  • Compatibility: A ultimate set of pedals for road, triathlon, and time trial type cycling.
  • Wide Bearing: They come with 3 sealed cartridge bearings and you can replace them with wide bearings for more stability and to distribute the load equally.
  • SPD-SL Cleat: Supports 3-bolt designed shoes with SPD-SL 3-hole designed cleats.
  • Adjustable Tension System: These pedals come with an adjustable spring tension system so, you can dial in the feel of entering and exiting the pedal
  • Replaceable Wear Plate: The pedal features a replaceable stainless steel wear plate which prevents any kind of abrasion directly to the carbon body from the cleat.
  • Longer Axle: There are 4 mm longer axles available for these pedals.
  • Build Quality: These pedals use a carbon boy construction which is very rigid for efficient power transfer and also for keeping the weight down.
  • Low Profile Design: These pedals promote an overall low profile design to increase cornering clearance.
  • Lightweight: Extremely lightweight for their carbon-composite body that enables effortless pedaling.
  • Available Reflector: Compatible reflector (SM-PD63) is available that needs to be bought separately.
  • Installation: Easy installation and like most Shimano pedals, this pedal also requires an 8 mm wrench. These pedals are backed by a 2-year manufacturer warranty.

Some Weaknesses
  • May have to tighten the cleats repeatedly, but it can happen if you do aggressive cycling.
  • These pedals are more superior for long road cycling compared to short road cycling.

The Ultegra PD R8000 is a pedal that has all the great features that you can expect from a high-quality Shimano pedal. The aesthetic has also been updated to match the new 6811-speed group. These pedals are for professional cyclists or ultimate cycling enthusiasts. Each pedal is extremely light yet strong for long-lasting service. Also, the bearings are sealed and lubricated for a smooth feeling while pedaling. Check out this video for a quick overview and installation of these pedals –

The height from the axle center to the cleat contact area is around 10 mm. The build quality of these pedals offers a notable road clearance which is 33° and 6° float SPD-SL cleats allow you to freely move your feet on the pedals. SM-SH11 cleats are included with these pedals and you can install either SM-SH10 or SM-SH12 cleats as alternatives. This set of pedals is the true successor of the flagship model which is the Shimano Dura-Ace PD-9100.

SHIMANO Ultegra PD R8000

SHIMANO Ultegra PD R8000

2. Shimano 105 PD R7000 SPD

Wide & Light carbon body

Shimano 105 PD R7000
  • Type: Multi-Purpose (SPD/Flat)
  • Platform Dimension: 6.7” x 5.9” x 2”
  • Weight: 0.58 lbs (Pair)
  • Spindle Diameter: 9/16”
  • Body Material: Carbon Composite
  • Included Cleat: SM-SH11
  • Optional Cleat: SM-SH10, SM-SH12
  • Axle Material: Chromoly Steel
  • Bearing Type: Sealed Cartridge

Features & Considerations
  • Better Pedal Contact: These pedals offer wider cleats and excellent binding mechanisms for better pedal contact than traditional SPD pedals.
  • SPD-SL Cleat: You can wear 3-bolt SPD compatible shoes for the 3-hole designed SPD-SL cleats.
  • Wide Bearing: For effective transmission of power, these pedals have extra-wide bearings.
  • Equal Weight Load: For a uniform distribution of pedal load, wider spacing is ensured between each bearing.
  • Adjustable Tension System: Offer an adjustable tension system for comfortable entry and release.
  • Build Quality: The body is made from the combination of durable stainless steel and carbon composites, which makes these pedals resistant to wear and torsion.
  • Durability: The strong and sturdy body of this pedal decreases pedal-body wear and flex.
  • Available Reflector: For enhanced visibility, an optional reflector (SM-PD65) is available for these pedals.
  • Installation: An 8 mm wrench will make the installation process quite easy.
  • Lightweight: The carbon-composite body makes each pedal very light so that you don’t have to sacrifice a lot of strength while pedaling.
  • Shimano will offer a 3-year warranty for this product.

Some Weaknesses
  • These pedals may not suit well with tall people for their correspondingly large foot distances.
  • After using for a significant period of time, the pedals may come off their axles.

The Shimano 105 PD-R7000 pedals were engineered in such a way that they could cope up with the 105 11-speed groups. These pedals will promise you to provide a balanced ride with their large shoe-contact areas and binding mechanisms yet they maintain a low profile design. While you are cycling with the pedals, you can input pressure not just only in the contact area in the center. These pedals have wide surface areas that distribute the load to every corner, not just in the center.

There are 3 different options for these pedals. The SM-SH11 are the cleats that come with the package itself. You can also go for the SM-SH10 and SM-SH12 cleats if you feel like trying out a different set of cleats. No matter which cleats you choose, they all offer 3° float in all directions. Also, utilize clear cornering as these pedals have 31° of road clearance. These pedals are paired with wide sealed cartridge axles, which need low maintenance.

Shimano 105 PD R7000

Shimano 105 PD R7000

3. SHIMANO Ultegra PD-6800 SPD SL

Extra-wide platform

SHIMANO Ultegra PD-6800
  • Type: Multi-Purpose (SPD/Flat)
  • Platform Dimension: 8.5” x 4.5” x 2.5”
  • Weight: 0.62 lbs (Pair)
  • Spindle Diameter: 9/16”
  • Body Material: Carbon + Aluminum
  • Included Cleat: SM-SH11
  • Optional Cleat: SM-SH10, SM-SH12
  • Axle Material: Chromoly Steel
  • Bearing Type: Sealed Cartridge

Features & Considerations
  • Extra Wide Platform: Their wide surfaces allow you to pedal in an efficient way for more power transfer.
  • Wide Bearing: These pedals feature sealed cartridge bearings that are replaceable with wide bearings if you want more load distribution and stability while pedaling.
  • Steel Plate: Durable stainless steel plates sit on top of the pedals for reducing flex and pedal body wear.
  • Axle Unit: These pedals offer high-end axle units that can be maintained with a minimum arrangement.
  • Power Transfer: The extra-wide surfaces of these pedals will be responsible for more power transfer in order to have maximum efficiency.
  • Adjustable Tension System: You can dial the adjustable spring tension system to adjust the flexibility of entering and exiting the pedal.
  • SPD-SL Cleats: As usual, these pedals support SPD-SL cleats that are made of Aluminum to provide decent performance while you are wearing SPD compatible shoes.
  • Longer Axle: If you want, you can get a 4 mm longer axle for these pedals.
  • Build Quality: The carbon composite body makes them very strong and rigid at the same time, makes them very light.
  • Lightweight: For an ultra-durable construction of carbon composite, these pedals are extremely light.
  • Low Profile Design: Get a smooth clearance while cornering for their low profile design.
  • Available Reflector: A pair of reflectors (SM-PD63) is available for these pedals for enhancing visibility.
  • A 3-year product warranty will be offered when you purchase these pedals.

Some Weaknesses
  • The cleats make walking a little bit difficult as they tend to keep your feet angled to the front.
  • Some faced difficulties for releasing their feet from the cleats.
  • Sadly, their build quality has failed to satisfy some people.

The Ultegra PD-6800 is at the pinnacle of lightweight pedals for their high-end carbon body and the added steel plates increase the durability to the next level. These plates protect the pedals from any flex and bodywear. So, these pedals will look good as new after using them for decades. This guy in the video gives a crystal clear overview of this product. So take a look-

These SPD-SL designed pedals were successful enough to prove their versatility and durability in various Pro Tour racing. A low profile pedal where the distance from the axle to the shoe-sole remains 14.5 mm. These sleek pedals offer smoothness while cornering with their 32° road clearance and you can move your feet freely as the SPD-SL cleats offer a 3° float. Like most Shimano pedals, they engage with your feet with the SM-S11 cleats.

SHIMANO Ultegra PD-6800

SHIMANO Ultegra PD-6800


Large binding target for rapid engagement

  • Type: Multi-Purpose (SPD/Flat)
  • Platform Dimension: 6.6” x 6.3” x 1.9”
  • Weight: 0.727 lbs (Pair)
  • Spindle Diameter: 9/16”
  • Body Material: Aluminum
  • Included Cleat: SM-SH11
  • Optional Cleat: SM-SH10, SM-SH12
  • Axle Material: Chromoly Steel
  • Bearing Type: Sealed Cartridge

Features & Considerations
  • 2-Way Platform: One side of the pedal is Shimano SPD type where you will need some compatible shoes to adjust the cleats and the other side works like a typical flat pedal.
  • Wide Platform: Wide pedal surface area to adjust your feet with superior stability.
  • Wide Bearing: For a uniform load apportions and stable performance, you can arrange wide bearings.
  • Axle Unit: Comes with a low maintenance durable axle unit for loading sealed cartridge bearings.
  • SPD-SL Cleat: 3-hold design SPD-SL cleats will come with these pedals that work with 3-bolt SPD-SL shoes for better engagement.
  • Adjustable Tension System: Adjustable entry and exit of your feet from the pedals with this tension system and now makes it easier with indicators.
  • Better Foot-Contact: Large and clear binding mechanism makes better contact with your feet than traditional pedals.
  • Quick Engagement: The large binding sections also enable quick engagement of your foot with the pedal.
  • Power Transfer: The wide platform surface and binding areas make power transit more efficient.
  • Build Quality: Made of high-quality Aluminum and Chromoly steel was used to make the spindle axle.
  • Colors: If you want to buy these pedals, you can choose from Silver, Black or White color that matches the best with your bike’s paint.
  • Available Reflector: An optional reflector part SM-PD58 is available if you want to intensify the visibility.
  • A limited warranty for 3 years will be provided with these pedals.

Some Weaknesses
  • If you want to take out these pedals for mountain biking, your feet may slip off the pedals frequently.
  • Some suggest that these pedals are not great for long term usage and they have a poor lifespan.
  • For poor workmanship, you may get squeaks from friction.

The Shimano PD-R540 pedals are the entry-level road pedals and part of the successful and long-running Shimano Tiagra 4700 series. The pedals from this series are all proven to be of high-quality through intensive race-courses. That also goes the same for this pedal. Except for the lighter, exotic material; these pedals work exactly in the same way as the company’s pricier models and it is proven to be true by Shimano’s ethos.

You can make excellent cornering with these pedals as they offer a road clearance of 34° and they come with 3-hole designed SPD-SL cleats that offer a 5° float for better foot adjustment. So, these pedals are great options where you will be able to get the same dynamics as the pro-level Shimano pedals.



5. SHIMANO Dura-Ace PD-9000 SPD-SL

Extra-wide platform with Carbon composite body

SHIMANO Dura-Ace PD-9000
  • Type: Multi-Purpose (SPD/Flat)
  • Platform Dimension: 7.9” x 3.2” x 1.6”
  • Weight: 0.55 lbs (Pair)
  • Spindle Diameter: 9/16”
  • Body Material: Carbon
  • Included Cleat: SM-SH12
  • Optional Cleat: SM-SH11, SM-SH10
  • Axle Material: Chromoly Steel
  • Bearing Type: 2 (Ball) + 1 (Roller)

Features & Considerations
  • Extra Wide Platform: These pedals are extra wide, which is better for easy and quick foot adjustment and for distributing the load pressure equally to every corner.
  • 3-Bearing Axle: Spinning the crank axles will be smoother than ever for the 3-earing axle system where 2 ball bearings and a roller bearing is attached.
  • Power Transfer: The wide surfaces of these pedals deliver better stability that increases the power transfer.
  • Steel Plate: To improve the longevity of these pedals, there are stainless steel protector plates covering the surfaces and these plates are replaceable.
  • SPD-SL Cleat: These pedals include 3-hole designed SPD-SL cleats with blue side-edges and they are front-center-pivoting.
  • Adjustable Tension System: The adjustable tension system allows you to customize the required amount of force for releasing your feet from the pedals.
  • Longer Axle: If the included axle doesn’t work for you, then you can go for the 4 mm longer axle.
  • Available Reflector: An optional SM-PD63 reflector is available for better visibility.
  • Build Quality: Outstanding build quality where the body is made of injection-molded carbon composites and Chromoly steel was used to build the axle.
  • Colors: You can buy these pedals either in Black or Grey color.
  • Package: The package includes a pair of pedals, a pair of cleats and all mounting hardware.
  • Shimano will humbly offer a 3-year limited warranty with these pedals.

Some Weaknesses
  • These pedals have open cage bearings that might make the servicing of these pedals a nightmare.
  • In today’s industry, Shimano should have used sealed bearings instead of cage bearings for such high-quality pedals.

The Shimano Dura-Ace PD-9000 pedals are undoubtedly some of the top-of-the-line performance pedals available in the market today. When you are looking for nothing but absolute performance, these are just the right pedals that you can pick with blindfolded eyes. Thanks to its high build quality and wide surface, you will get enough power for pedaling as you have wished for. The platform surface is so wide that you don’t have to look down and locate the pedal. This ensures better engagement between the pedal and your foot.

These are SPD-SL LS road pedals where LS stands for “Long Spindle”. As a result, they come with the spindle axles that are longer than 4 mm axles. This for those who want a wider Q-factor. However, you can certainly switch to a standard 4 mm spindle axle as they are available for these pedals. These pedals offer 35° of road clearance for better traction and the cleats offer 1° float.

SHIMANO Dura-Ace PD-9000

SHIMANO Dura-Ace PD-9000

# Speedplay pedal for triathlon

6. Speedplay Zero

Dual Sided Entry with Zero Locking Mechanism

Speedplay Zero
  • Type: Double-Sided Clipless
  • Platform Dimension: 6.2” x 6.3” x 2”
  • Weight: 0.48 lbs (Pair)
  • Spindle Diameter: 9/16”
  • Body Material: Chrome-Moly/Stainless/Titanium
  • Included Cleat: Zero Cleat
  • Optional Cleat: Compatible Aftermarket Cleat
  • Axle Material: Chrome-Moly/Stainless/Titanium
  • Bearing Type: Sealed Cartridge

Features & Considerations
  • Unique Design: These pedals are some of the unique designed lollypop looking pedals.
  • Dual Sided Entry: This is a valuable feature of these pedals. Dual-sided entry means you can quickly engage your foot on the pedal no matter which side is attached below your shoe-sole.
  • Adjustable Foot Position: This another exciting feature of these pedals. These pedals offer a three-way adjustment where you can adjust the cleat’s side-to-side, front and rear positions individually.
  • Phenomenal Lightweight: No matter what type of material you choose for these pedals, all of them are lightweight and weigh close to one other.
  • Zero Locking Mechanism: Unlike the spring tension system, these pedals offer zero locking mechanisms where entering and exiting becomes much easier.
  • Zero Cleat: These pedals come with “Zero” cleats and these cleats support both 3-bolt or 4-bolt designed shoes.
  • Cleat Cover: They include high grip rubberized cleats that will make getting off the pedals less dangerous.
  • Power for Cornering: These sleek profile pedals will help you to power through corners while you are competing with your rival.
  • Built-in Grease Port: You don’t have to take apart these pedals for servicing them, there are built-in grease ports to lubricate the bearings easily.
  • Build Quality: You have the option to go for a Chrome-Moly, Stainless, or Titanium spindle axle for these pedals.
  • A 2-year warranty will be provided for these pedals against any defect in material and workmanship.

Some Weaknesses
  • Some users might find these pedals to be a little fiddly to adjust them.
  • The installation instructions are not so helpful.
  • The spring may be tight and the cap screws may be small that can make the clip-in process difficult.
  • Not a good set of pedals for relatively small riders.

For every aspiring and entry-level cyclist, the Speedplay Zero pedals offer a professional level of comfort for pedaling while maintaining optimum strength and durability. These pedals can be adjusted according to your own preferences. One major advantage of these pedals is the 0-15 of float. While cycling, you will feel no strain on your knees as the float of these pedals can be fine-tuned. These pedals are phenomenal lightweight. The economical version of these pedals can be selected in three different spindle materials and all of their weights are very close –

  1. Chrome-Moly pedal pair- 216 gm / each – 108 gm
  2. Stainless steel pedal pair – 206 gm / each – 103 gm
  3. Titanium pedal pair – 168 gm / each – 82 gm

“These pedals come with Zero Aero walkable cleats, which are not compatible with Speedplay Ultra Light Action and X-series cleats, but compatible with Speedplay Zero pedals.”

Process for Combining Cleats with Pedals:

  • After aligning the inside of the pedals, apply pressure to the outside.
  • Then apply pressure on the side to ensure their adjustments.
  • It is not appropriate to apply pressure from top to bottom of the cleats.
  • Make sure the stack height is 11.5 mm for 3-hole mounting and 8.5 mm for 4-hole mounting.

Speedplay Zero

Speedplay Zero

# Look pedal for triathlon

7. LOOK KEO 2 Max

Adjustable spring tension release for better engagement of feet

  • Type: Single-Sided Clipless
  • Platform Dimension: 0.33” x 2.36”
  • Weight: 0.57 lbs (Pair)
  • Spindle Diameter: 9/16”
  • Body Material: Composite
  • Included Cleat: Keo Grip
  • Optional Cleat: Same
  • Axle Material: Chromoly +
  • Bearing Type: 2 (Ball) + 1 (Roller)

Features & Considerations
  • Optimized Contact Area: Experience improved performance and stability through each pedal stroke as the symbolical surface area of these pedals increase the contact points.
  • Adjustable Tension Release: Adjustable spring tension release for better engagement of feet while entering and exiting the pedals. You can adjust the tension of the spring from 8Nm up to 12Nm.
  • Bearing: The spindle axle consists of 2 ball bearings and a needle roller bearing.
  • Float Range: Look offers 3 float options where you can choose from 0° up to 9° float angle.
  • Keo Grip Cleats: These pedals come with a pair of gray Keo Grip cleats, which have a floating angle of 4.5°.
  • Build Quality: Excellent build quality where the body of the pedal is made of composites and the platform is made of stainless steel.
  • Lightweight: Unbelievably lightweight pedals, you will barely feel anything under your feet while pedaling.
  • Color: These pedals are available in Balck and White color affirming their style.
  • Against any defects and nonconformities, you will get a 2-year warranty from the date of purchase and you can extend your warranty from 2 to 3 years by registering your product at their website.

Some Weaknesses
  • The cleats may feel cheap and they may start creaking.
  • The axle cups of these pedals are made of plastic that may strip out after a few rounds of cycling.
  • The bearings tend to wobble and wear out quickly, they are not long-lasting.

The Keo 2 Max from LOOK is an excellent example of their expertise. These pedals offer a symbolic design for their recognition to anyone when they look at them. With a wide 500 mm² contact area, these pedals can supply efficient power for stress-free pedaling. These pedals were developed in such a way that the total weight of the combination of a pedal and cleat remains incredibly light. Preserving a strong line of LOOK history, these pedals hold strong states for the art of technology.

There are 3 types of cleats available for these pedals and each of these cleats has a different color. Not only that but each cleat also has a different float. For example, the float of the Black cleat is 0°, the float of the Gray cleat is 4.5° while the float of the Red cleat is 9°. All of these cleats are designed in such a way that they can fit compatible cycling shoes. These cleats also assure the engagement and disengagement with your feet is easy and comfortable.



# Time Pedal for triathlon

8. Time Xpresso 4

Allow natural movements

Time Xpresso 4
  • Type: Single-Sided Clipless
  • Platform Dimension: 7.5” x 5.2” x 2.5”
  • Weight: 0.507 lbs (Pair)
  • Spindle Diameter: 9/16” – 20”
  • Body Material: Glass-Filled + Stainless Steel
  • Included Cleat: ICLIC Cleats
  • Optional Cleat: Same as ICLIC
  • Axle Material: Hollow Steel
  • Bearing Type: Steel

Features & Considerations
  • Large Contact Area: An oversized contact area of 700 mm² that will ensure efficient power transfer for pedaling by distributing the load equally.
  • Lateral Freedom: These pedals allow natural movements of your legs with lateral freedom where you can experience 2.5 mm float with free foot cleats and 0 mm with fixed foot cleats.
  • Angular Freedom: Also move your legs freely with angular freedom from 0° with fixed foot cleats to 5° with free foot cleats.
  • Interchangeable Plates: The surface of the pedal remains protective for these interchangeable stainless steel plates.
  • Adjustable Tension System: In order to adjust the tension, these pedals are lightened up with 3 different settings of carbon blades.
  • Iclic System: These pedals are included with patented designed Iclic cleats that have an automatic pre-opening system and they make sure easy clipping in.
  • BioPerformance: TIME pedals will optimize the performance and reduce joint trauma risk with biomechanics that respects natural movements of your legs with a lateral and angular float.
  • Q-factor Adjustment: The Q-factor setting makes it possible to adjust a sensitive angle.
  • Pedal Stack Height: Low profile cleat design with 13.5 mm stack height.
  • Build Quality: These pedals feature a Steel axle and the body is made of composites with curved blades.
  • All “TIME” pedals are insured with a 2-year warranty.

Some Weaknesses
  • Compared to other top brands, the TIME cleats make walking a little bit harder due to their thickness.
  • After significant numbers of rides, the cleats tend to wear out.
  • It is true that the surface of these pedals is big, but it can be a bit too soft.

TIME claims that Xpresso 4 is a perfect pedal for training. However, these pedals are outstanding choices for not only training but also for time trials and triathlon. You can not separate performance and biomechanics for these pedals. When you set up these pedals on your bike, the distance between the crank arm and the spindle remains 63 mm. Although this video is not particularly for the Xpresso 4, this can show you the detailed features of the cleats –

“With many exclusive features, these pedals have three carbon blades with 3 different settings of tension, they are – security, ergonomics, and performance.”

These pedals have the body components that are mainly glass-filled and include stainless steel plates. And TIME has its own patented Iclic concept where the cleats open automatically when they are worn. This state-of-the-art technology enables fast and easy clipping in. The Xpresso 4 pedals come with Free foot Iclic cleats where the angular float is (+/-5°) and lateral float is (2.5 mm). These pedals have a release angle of 15° for better traction.

Time Xpresso 4

Time Xpresso 4

# For beginner triathlon (Clipless SPD pedals)


Smooth performance and long life

  • Type: Multi-Purpose (SPD/Flat)
  • Platform Dimension: 6.3” x 4.9” x 2.2”
  • Weight: 0.776 lbs (Pair)
  • Spindle Diameter: 9/16”
  • Body Material: Aluminum
  • Included Cleat: SM-SH51
  • Optional Cleat: SM-SH56
  • Axle Material: Chromoly
  • Bearing Type: Sealed Cartridge

Features & Considerations
  • Dual Sided: These are dual-sided strong and durable pedals for easy entry and release.
  • Classic SPD Cleats: They can ensure reliable performance for their classic SPD cleats.
  • Binding Claws: Feature an open binding mechanism where the binding claws are coated with fluorine.
  • Mud-Shedding Design: These pedals are better than any pedals in their class for mud and debris shedding.
  • Low Maintenance: The axles of these pedals carry sealed bearings and they have a reputation for their low maintenance.
  • Available Reflector: If you feel like you need to upgrade the visibility while you are cycling with these pedals, you can buy the SM-PD22 reflectors.
  • Build Quality: Made of light aluminum and feature durable Chromoly spindles.
  • Lightweight: The build quality made these pedals very lightweight for serious off-road cycling.
  • Easy Installation: Usual easy installation like most Shimano pedals and you need to have an 8 mm Allen wrench.
  • Color: They come in 2 color variants, they are – Black and Silver.
  • Generally, these pedals come with a 2-year warranty.

Some Weaknesses
  • For installation, these pedals require an Allen wrench instead of the traditional Shimano pedal-wrench; which can sometimes lead to serious work.
  • You may lose balance and fall off the bike if the release failed to function properly. In other words, they can be quite hard to disconnect.
  • The bearings may squeak when you use these pedals.

Shimano introduced the PD-M540 SPD pedals mainly for off-road and cross-country cycling. These pedals are ideal for off-road cycling as they were designed in an open pattern for shedding mud and debris. In this case, they are usually better than any other pedals in their class. They can either be used as an SPD pedal where you will get the benefits of classic SPD cleats or normal flat pedals for recreational riding with normal walking shoes.

These pedals feature an open binding mechanism where the Fluorine-coated binding claws strictly attach to your feet and at the same time, offer easy entry and release. Usually, they come with SM-SH51 cleats but they can also be used with SM-SH56 cleats. They have standard spindle axles that require less servicing.



10. SHIMANO PD-A5300

Attractive look with Multipurpose Use

  • Type: Multi-Purpose (SPD/Flat)
  • Platform Dimension: 0.55” x 0.55” x 0.35”
  • Weight: 0.844 lbs (Pair)
  • Spindle Diameter: 9/16”
  • Body Material: Aluminum
  • Included Cleat: SM-SH51
  • Optional Cleat: SM-SH56
  • Axle Material: Steel (Cr-Mo)
  • Bearing Type: Sealed Cartridge

Features & Considerations
  • 2-Way Platform: These are dual-platform pedals where one side acts like an SPD pedal and the other side acts like a normal platform pedal.
  • Multipurpose Use: For being dual-platform pedals, they can serve for regular or casual riding when you are using them with the normal side; again can be used for time trials, triathlon, bike racing, and other types of performance riding when you will be using them with their SPD sides.
  • SPD-SL Cleats: Like most Shimano bike pedals, these pedals also include standard SPD cleats that can be used with compatible SPD shoes.
  • Innovative Design: Eliminating the use of toe-clips, these pedals can integrate with your shoes quite well for their innovative designs.
  • Adjustable Tension System: Feature an adjustable spring tension system where you can individually adjust the entry and release option for your feet.
  • Mud-Shedding Design: Muds or debris won’t be attached to the shoe-sole or even on the surface of the pedal for the superior mud-shedding design.
  • Build Quality: These pedals are made of strong Aluminum and the spindle axle is made of durable Chromoly steel.
  • Colors: You can find these pedals in Black or Silver color. So, you get the option to choose the one that matches your bike.
  • Attractive Look: Attaching these pedals to your bike will give it a clean and attractive look.
  • Simple Installation: These pedals promote a simple installation process where you are going to need a 15 mm spanner for installing the pedals.
  • You will get a limited 1-year warranty from the date of purchase.

Some Weaknesses
  • For having no rubber or texture grip, the flat side of these pedals may feel a little bit slippery.
  • You may find it hard to release your foot from the cleat. As a result, it can be time-consuming.
  • The bearings may start to make clicking sounds after using the pedals for a certain period of time.
  • Some have found them a bit narrow while they were wearing regular running shoes.

The Shimano PD-A530 is a kind of pedal that can deliver performance for outrageous cycling and comfort for commuting. So, these pedals are the ideal ones for multipurpose usage. They can provide a gentle pedaling opportunity for casual cycling at the same time, they don’t compromise anything for performance cycling. They will look great on any type of bicycle for their attractive design and they come in 2 different colors, which are Black and Silver.

They offer a simple installation process and for the complete process, some tools are required. For installing the cleats, you will need a 4 mm wrench. For installing the pedals to your bike’s axle, a 15 mm spanner is required. And for adjusting the spring tension, a 3 mm Allen wrench is needed. Like most Shimano pedals, a pair of SM-SH51 cleats will come in the package and you can go for the SM-SH56 cleats as an alternative.




At the end of our discussion, we would like to suggest you buy a high-end pair of pedals as triathlon cycling requires absolute performance and efficient power transfer for effortless pedal stroke. There are a variety of these pedals in the market and you can also use economical pedals that are cheap quality. But we are sure that you don’t want something that is easily breakable.

You need to purchase such pedals that have better longevity and can serve you for a long time. You may find French-made pedals such as TIME or LOOK much attractive for their athletic and vigorous attitudes, but you just can not ignore the Japan-made Shimano pedals. In fact, they are more popular choices for triathlon cycling than the French-made pedals.

Anyways, if you purchase any of the pedals from our list depending on what intent suits you the most; you won’t be disappointed. We can confirm that any expert would tell you to buy a paddle that is on our list.

Thanks for reading this article, even if you have read it for a little. We hope after reading our article you have already decided to buy a pair of triathlon paddles.

Dion Lewis

My name is Dion Lewis.I’ve been cycling since my childhood. When I was in high school, I started racing in our local competitions.In my college life, I took a part-time job in a bicycle shop and I learned how to repair and maintain bicycles professionally.Though I love racing, mountain biking is another thing I do frequently. My friends, neighbors, and colleagues treat me as an avid rider and take my suggestions while they plan for a new bike or bike gear.

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