Plastic vs. metal pedals


I have recently given up clipless after realizing that I can manage the same speed while having more fun on flats. So, I was looking for some new flats at my local bike shop when I noticed that specialized is now selling p.bikes with plastic pedals. Supposedly they are popular with bmxers because they do not leave nasty shin scars. I just find it hard to believe they grip very well. Any thoughts?


Eastern Crown pedals.

Hey Joshua,

Compared with metal pedals with pins, plastic pedals tend to be:

• Lighter.

• Less expensive to make. You can get a really cheap pedal, or you can get a pedal with great bearings at a lower price than a premium metal pedal.

• Easier on your shins. This is the claim, but it’s arguable. A plastic pedal strike will hurt just as much as a metal one; maybe it won’t bleed as much?

• Better for grinding. Plastic tends to slide rather than grab (one reason most bash guards are plastic rather than metal). Kids these days are all about the grinding.

• Shorter lived. Grinding wears them down.

• Less sticky. From what I read, only the better plastic pedals stick to shoes as well as metal pedals. (Funny: Some riders say premium pedals and shoes are TOO sticky.) Check out this article about increasing shoe traction while maintaining grind-ability. Hint: Add metal pins.

• Available in more colors. If it was 1988, we’d be seeing day-glow pink pedals (and I’d be rocking ’em with my matching helmet cover).

Go forth and rip it!


Know more. Have more fun!

Join the leelikesbikes mailing list:

4 replies

Comments are closed.