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The top 16 best clipless pedals for bikepacking

With this article I’m going to share some insights in what I feel are sensible choices when choosing the best clipless pedals for bikepacking.

As is often the case, one’s perception of a certain cycling discipline differs from somebody else’s. So where some people prefer smooth tarmac to get from A to B, you’ll find others riding rocky trails.

However, no matter how you slice, or rather what your preferred bikepacking conditions are, some pedals are simply better than others. Different brands have slightly different approaches to clipless pedals, but things like bearing quality, platform build quality, durability, longevity, and of course price are always important factors when choosing a product for your needs.

When looking at bikepacking I’ve made the assumption that things like durability and comfort are more important than weight and maybe even looks. That’s why this list features clipless pedals with platforms used for trail riding as well. They provide support and comfort, are meant to be able to take a beating, and will ensure an above average lifespan.

I’ve also included single-sided clipless pedals, which are pedals which also feature a flat pedal side. Although not as likely as a standard clipless pedal, there are bikepacking scenarios imaginable where one might want to take advantage of riding with a standard pair of shoes.

Those are my considerations when creating this overview of the best clipless pedals for bikepacking. Let’s take a look at what made it on my list.

Shimano Deore XT PD-M8100

Shimano Deore XT PD-M8100
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XTR and Deore XT are always very closely related to each other in terms of functionality, but of all Shimano’s products I feel their pedals are the closest.

The Shimano Deore XT PD-M8100 differs only slightly from its XTR counterpart. And the difference is a few grams, 32 to be exact, and 6 mm of stack height. It does mean the XTR is better, but ever so slightly.

I don’t need to repeat everything I’ve already mentioned with the XTR PD-M9100 because in terms of ride quality these are exactly the same. And nobody’s going to convince me that they can possibly discern the weight and stack height difference while riding.

Expert Experience

102 | Sean Fishpool – 44712

The sealed internals are extremely unlikely to let you down. Even without maintenance they often keep spinning smoothly for years, and like most Shimano pedals, the PD-8100 is very maintenance-friendly.

Nobody ever regretted buying XT SPD pedals, and the PD-M8100 will give you years of clean, smooth pedaling. If a few grams of weight, slicker looks, and a little stack height aren’t important, the cheaper PD-M520 will do you almost as well, but we’ll leave your head to battle with your heart over that one.

Pros and Cons

Shimano Deore XT PD-M8120

Shimano Deore XT PD-M8120
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The Shimano Deore XT PD-M8120 sets a benchmark in terms of value-for-money. Not as expensive as the XTR, but basically offering all the tried-and-true functionality you’ll ever be going to need from a clipless pedal for trail riding.

Shimano pedals are known for their bearing quality and longevity, with low service intervals and excellent riding quality offering many miles without worry. A dual cup-and-cone style setup is specific to the Shimano brand, and as far as longevity is concerned I don’t know any difference.

The XT pedals are slightly heavier than the XTR at 438 vs 398 grams, and also have a slightly larger stack height of 16.2 mm vs 15.4 mm. Those two figures alone aren’t enough in my opinion to make up for the difference in price. Especially considering the fact that the platform and SPD mechanism itself is almost similar.

This means that both pedals offer the extremely user-friendly SPD cleat mechanism. When attached they offer a snug feel with minimal float of 4 degrees, and reasonable release tension at 13 degrees. This is good for those people who want a super consistent pedal feeling and maximum energy transfer.

The mechanism is a dual system with a single spring, which means you engage toe-first and then clip in. Although it takes a bit of practice once you get used to it, both engaging and releasing your foot from the pedals is what makes Shimano pedals so popular, since it’s the best you could ask for.

Shimano pedals are boring. They are a single color, don’t look flashy, and don’t really stand out. But as far as functionality, there are very few pedals that come close or rival the build-quality, longevity, and user-friendliness of the Shimano Deore XT PD-M8120, except maybe the XTR version. And in the end, build quality is the most important factor of any product, including one that gets as much abuse as a clipless pedal for trail riding.

Expert Experience

87 | Simon Kohler – 45001

The Shimano DEORE XT PD-M8120 pedals have established themselves as the standard among clipless pedals for a reason. The spring preload offers a large adjustment range, and the mechanism feels defined, though the float feels somewhat on/off. However, their self-cleaning is poor and the small cages don’t provide much grip or support. Their durability, on the other hand, is among the best and, together with the availability of spare parts, that makes the XTs a superb low-maintenance option.

Pros and Cons

Shimano Deore XT PD-T8000

Shimano Deore XT PD-T8000 clipless side
Shimano Deore XT PD-T8000 flat pedal side

The Shimano Deore XT PD-T8000 are the Japanese brand’s premium single-sided clipless option. They are one of a number of hybrid pedals from Shimano and are arguably the best they have to offer for a couple of reasons.

For starters, if you’re specifically choosing a single-sided clipless pedal, you can’t go wrong with the SPD mechanism of the XT pedals. There is no XTR hybrid pedal, since XTR’s focus lies in a very small weight reduction and stack height, characteristics which don’t make sense for a hybrid pedal.

What does make sense for touring and bikepacking is bearing life, and Shimano delivers with their signature cup-and-cone style setup. which is similar to the one used for mountain biking.

The PD-T8000 is markedly more expensive than the Shimano PD-EH500. But it does provide a much larger platform measuring 80 mm in length with a width of 90 mm. Especially if you have larger feet the added width will provide more comfort.

The flat side also offers 8 height-adjustable pins. Although in general this is not as much as a true MTB flat pedal, it does provide an ample amount of grip on harsher rides. The pins are front-loading, which can be an issue when damaged or broken, and reside in a machined aluminum body which is open enough for the SPD mechanism to not easily clog with mud.

In line with its touring characteristics, the pedals also feature replaceable reflectors for increased visibility in low-light conditions.

Expert Experience

109 | Emma Silversides – 44378

I’ve been won over by the performance of these pedals. While there are cheaper options, the solid yet easy-to-maintain build, sensible design and excellent versatility should result in some serious mileage – they’re an investment that promises to pay off.

Pros and Cons

Shimano PD-ME700

Shimano PD-ME700
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The Shimano PD-ME700 is a clipless mountain bike pedal with a pin-less small platform for trail, and enduro riding.

The platform is made from extruded aluminum and functions as both protection for the clipping mechanism and as support for easier engagement and dynamic downhill sections.

Shimano pedals in general are no lightweights and this one is no exception, sitting at 540 grams per pair.

Shimano pedals are really trustworthy pieces of equipment and their focus has never been on making nimble pedals. Although it has just one single sealed cartridge bearing, the lifespan of these pedals are years when properly serviced now and again. Which can be done easily with a Shimano pedal axle tool.

The adjustability of the pedal is decent, but you want to look for the Time MX versions if you want them to be as tight as possible. Otherwise the SPD system is confidence inspiring and offers a consistent and noticeable click when engaging the pedal.

The platform does provide that extra bit of support, but they don’t have any pins for added grip. This means that there isn’t a really distinctive difference with a non-platform SPD pedal.

Yet overall the platform is superbly capable, does what it sets out to do with flying colors, is easy to adjust and easy to service and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

Expert Experience

40 | Katherine Moore – 44782

I felt some improvement on using the platform for security on the pedals over rougher singletrack on a mountain bike compared to platform-less SPD pedals, but I would prefer a more marked difference, especially given the weight increase of adding the cage.

Shimano’s ME700 pedals are best for riders who are looking for a little more support than standard SPD pedals, or perhaps are new to clipless systems. However, they could be further improved with even greater platform-to-shoe contact.

Pros and Cons

Shimano PD-EH500

Shimano PD-EH500 clipless side
Shimano PD-EH500 flat pedal side

The Shimano PD-EH500 is another single-sided pedal from the Japanese brand. Although it’s much cheaper than the Deore XT PD-T8000 it’s also very different from that pedal in a number of ways.

The most important difference is the pedal platform. Although it does offer the same amount of pins, 8 front-loading ones on the flat side, it’s much less wide at 71mm versus the XT’s 90. That isn’t that much of an issue for people with small feet, but if you move upwards of a size 10 (for men) there’s noticeably less platform to support you.

The lack of support is much more apparent on the side where the SPD mechanism resides. Since the pedal body is curved, there is no support at all, giving it the same feel you’d have with a minimal XC pedal body. The only upside of this design is that the pedal, with its dark gray aluminum body, is very pretty to look at compared to the much bulkier XT single-sided pedal.

Another big difference with that pedal is the bearing quality. Instead of a dual cup-and-cone style setup, you have a single cartridge bearing and bushing on the chromoly steel axle. That’s fine for normal use, and you can replace them should you wear them out, but don’t expect the same longevity as its more premium counterpart.

Mud-shedding, should you find yourself needing it, is decent enough, and the mechanism provides the familiar SPD feel even if road conditions take a turn for the worst. Adjustability happens with a single allen key and is easy to do with solid clicks to audibly confirm you of its position change.

This is not a better pedal than Shimano’s XT version, but its price, and the fact you can run the SPD mechanism in a hybrid setup does make it a worthy contender.

Expert Experience

110 | Rupert Englander – 44974

If you are in the market for this kind of solution then weight is not really going to be a huge contributing factory to choice, but I was slightly surprised to learn they came in at 383g (where a standard SPD set of pedals will weight in around 342g) for the pair as they certainly feel a lot lighter.

Pros and Cons

Shimano Saint PD-M821

Shimano Saint PD-M821
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The Shimano Saint PD-M821 is everything you want and need from an enduro-oriented pedal. Rock solid performance, far more platform stability than either the XT or XTR, and miles of pedaling without any worries.

The enduro-specific pedals from Shimano are all business, with a Japanese focus on longevity and durability. The cup-and-cone style bearings unique to Shimano offer one of the very best bearing setup you could ask for in a clipless pedal, which should be one of your most important concerns.

The focus on durability is ever-present in the robust platform, pushing the weight way over a pound to 546 grams. That’s a small price to pay for the 4-pinned stability the machined platform provides, as well as the renowned ease of entry with the trustworthy SPD mechanism.

Shimano never makes really flashy products, but they put in some effort with the gold preload screw. The pedal looks as sturdy as it performs in the wild. When compared to its more trail-oriented brothers, the large size platform is a welcome addition to rough trail riding, but even with a slimmer profile than its predecessor, the stack still sits at a respectable 16.9 mm. Luckily the pedals can take a beating.

Not the prettiest, but the pedals do everything they’re supposed to with verve, so there’s no denying its place on this list.

Expert Experience

106 | Nic Hall – 44215

After passing these Shimano Saint SPD pedals around to the crew, we all have been looking for a reason to keep them on our bike. The pedal performs in all conditions and sheds off rock strikes with ease. We all love the larger platform and how much power and control it gives the rider while manipulating and placing the bike where you want it on the trail. We are happy to pay the weight penalty for the trade off. If you are looking for the last clipless mountain bike pedal you’ll need to buy and want to have the most powerful and stable platform to instill your will on the bike beneath you, these pedals are a must. Two thumbs up.

Pros and Cons

Hope Union Clip Pedal - RC

Hope Union Clip Pedal - RC
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Hope Union Clip Pedal - RC
Hope Union Clip Pedal - RC
Hope Union Clip Pedal - RC
Hope Union Clip Pedal - RC

Hope’s approach to bicycle parts manufacturing is straightforward and refreshing. The UK brand designs what it feels is the best approach to a certain part, and brings it to life with stellar craftsmanship.

You can clearly see that approach reflected in the Hope Union Clip Pedal – RC pedal. It’s a very expensive pedal indeed, but if it’s the quality you want you absolutely get what you pay for.

For starters, it offers a standard titanium spindle with the best bearing setup of all mountain bike brands. Not only are there 3 cartridge bearings and a IGUS bushing enabling a tremendous amount of load, but the pedal is assembled in such a way that its tight rotation isn’t diminished after prolonged use and shows zero play.

The wonderfully machined aluminum body with stainless steel clips and cleats are built to last and are dual spring-loaded, ensuring easy entry from multiple angles, with a tad more float than the Shimano XTR pedals. And there are multiple anodized options to choose from.

2 sets of stainless steel cleats offer minimal configuration between 4 and 5 degrees of float, and a release angle of either 12 or 13 degrees. I wonder if you can actually feel the difference, which would mean you get a free set of cleats to be used as spares or for different shoes.

There are a number of lighter options available, yet at 323 grams this is still a light enough pedal. And taking into consideration it’s the heaviest clipless mountain bike pedal with titanium axles, it says something about the build quality as well.

I’m sure you could fault these pedals from a certain perspective, especially if you’re used to other brands offering significantly more float. But if you do, you move into the area of rider preference instead of trying to attain a certain amount of subjectivity necessary when reviewing products.

The Eggbeater 11 may steal the crown in the weight department, and the Shimano XTR pedals set the standard, but from a manufacturing perspective these are the best pedals you can find.

Expert Experience

96 | Lucas Winzenburg – 45183

My year of riding the Hope Union RC pedals on several bikes through varied conditions and across a broad range of terrain has me singing their praises. The Union RCs are exceptionally well-built, reliable, and almost transparent in their ease of use. They’ve endured a year of riding through rain and heavy mud and have shrugged off the elements, continuing to run smoothly without needing service.

From a design and feature perspective, I wouldn’t hesitate to choose the Hopes over Shimano XTRs. That said, Hope’s decision to use a proprietary cleat makes them trickier to integrate across my SPD-heavy ecosystem. What’s more, the lack of readily available replacement cleats makes me unsure if I’d choose them for an extended bikepacking trip without a couple of spare sets of cleats, but that’s a relatively small price to pay for the class-leading performance they deliver on every ride.

Pros and Cons

Hope Union Clip Pedal - TC

Hope Union Clip Pedal - TC black
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Hope Union Clip Pedal - TC red
Hope Union Clip Pedal - TC blue
Hope Union Clip Pedal - TC purple
Hope Union Clip Pedal - TC orange

Ever since I bought my first pair of Hope pedals I’ve been a fan of the UK brand. And as far as trail riding is concerned the Hope Union Clip Pedal – TC is up there with the very best in terms of build quality, durability, and all round performance.

For starters, Hope does one of the most important things right when it comes to pedals, which is the quality of the bearings. Where other brands might offer a single cartridge bearing, or maybe two, Hope puts three cartridge bearings alongside a single IGUS bushing onto a hollow chromoly steel axle.

The internals are sealed tighter than what you might be used to in a pedal. And this tightness stays even after many miles, which means the bearings stay very well protected against the outside elements no matter what conditions you’re riding in. Even after many miles and the occasional pedal strike, I’ve had absolutely zero play, which is not something I can say for a number of other premium pedal manufacturers.

The quality of the bearings is pretty similar to the best Shimano has to offer as is the ride quality of the clipless system. Inside a CNC-machined platform sits a dual spring-loaded stainless steel cleat system, offering just a little more float at either 4 or 5 degrees than what Shimano offers.

Two separate sets of cleats offer either 12 or 13 degrees of release angle, which sits so close together that you just as well might use one set as a spare. Both the cleats and the bolts are proprietary and made from stainless steel as well.

Besides the mechanism itself, which is fully adjustable, there are 4 optional pins per side for those of you who want more grip. With lots of anodized colors available besides your standard black, you can find a suitable match for your rig.

Expert Experience

52 | Mike Kazimer – 44763

Hope decided to do things their way rather than simply knocking out an SPD-clone, and I’d say those efforts paid off. The Union TC pedals function extremely well, with an entry that requires minimal effort, and a smooth, predictable release. Yes, the proprietary cleat will be a point of contention for some, but the pedals do come with a second set that can be used as spares – the difference in feel between the two options is fairly minimal. They’re also available in six different colors, and have adjustable pins that aren’t just for show.

Pros and Cons

Chromag Pilot

Chromag Pilot black
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Chromag Pilot purple
Chromag Pilot red
Chromag Pilot yellow
Chromag Pilot blue

Gorgeous looks is one thing that catches the eye when looking at the brilliant Chromag Pilot clipless pedals, but there’s much more to like.

For starters the pedals are really comfortable with a large 110 length aluminum platform spinning on a steel axle using 3 cartridge bearings and an IGUS bushing. That’s the same setup as the Hope, meaning you can apply tons of load on them without them wearing out.

The platform also offers 4 optional pins per side and together with the large platform and adjustable cleat system it means you can set them up securely for the gnarliest of trails. Although the platform is large enough that it provides enough stability without the use of the pins. The only downside of running such a large platform might be the weight, which sits at 520 grams.

Depending how you look at it, the Chromag Pilot offers an SPD-compatible cleat system, which is great for those of you who are already running SPD clipless pedals and are familiar and comfortable with how it works. It means that the dual-spring system engages toe first after which you snap your foot into place with a solid click. The action however is not as smooth as what you’re used to with Shimano, both clipping in and getting out of the pedals.

If you want a set of great-looking, long-lasting pedals with a familiar SPD system, that’s grippy, offers lots of colors and supports those with large feet, you might want to consider the Chromag Pilot clipless pedals.

Expert Experience

52 | Mike Kazimer – 44880

Creating a new clipless pedal that can take on the likes of Shimano is a tough proposition. In this case, Chromag has some work to do before Shimano’s spot on the throne is threatened, although it is good to see another option on the market. The Pilot’s actuation wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked, but they do provide a very stable platform underfoot, and shrugged off plenty of hard hits.

Pros and Cons

HT GT1

HT GT1
HT GT1

The HT GT1 is an affordable trail and enduro pedal with a large cast aluminum body spinning on a chromoly axle with a sealed bearing and bushing. That’s a lot of value for a trail pedal.

Its dual spring loaded mechanism and different cleat configuration lets you adjust how to use the pedal, with up to 8 degrees of float for those with knee troubles, or simply because you like that amount of wiggle room.

The pedals have 2 replaceable pins on either side of the platform and large smooth areas next to the mechanism. It ensures an easy engagement.

Access to the innards of the pedal is easily achieved by loosening a hex nut.

If you’re looking for an affordable trail and enduro pedal with a decent amount of build quality, make sure this one is on your list.

Pros and Cons

Time MX 6

Time MX 6
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The Time MX 6 is the French brand top-of-the-line clipless trail pedal. The unique glass-filled composition makes it the lightest in its category, sitting at 380 grams.

The pedals use the ATAX mechanism, which is a dual leaf spring system for easy engagement providing 5 degrees of both lateral and angular float. The standard 13 degrees of release tension can be cranked up all the way to 17 degrees, a number you’re probably never used to but it’s nice to know you can.

The French composite butterfly design is definitely different from your more standard aluminum platform versions, but the overall quality of the pedal, its ATAC mechanism, and the floaty feel without ever getting unclipped has attracted a lot of fans, myself included. I would like to be less stiff than I am, but I’m not, so these pedals are the most forgiving in getting you into the position you want to ride in.

The ATAC mechanism only closes when engaged, which means they offer a larger contact area for the cleats, and this in turn results in an easier engagement. Furthermore, the pedals have just the right platform size to aid in finding them in the correct position, yet not too big when you need to rotate them to get them into that correct position. Unlike a number of other pedals the entire rear of the platform supports your shoe, instead of just hanging there doing nothing.

There is no audible or tactile click, as with the Shimano pedals, so you’ll need to get used to them to feel secure enough to pedal without wiggling your foot around first to see if you’re actually engaged with the pedal.

The chromoly axle has two sealed bearings and a single bushing, and together with the high-quality engineering of the internals, it means the longevity and durability of these pedals are above average.

I always love products that stand out in a certain way and these pedals do. Beside the low weight, which is a good thing, the stack height sits at the upper end of the spectrum at 19 mm. I don’t really care for those extra 2 to 4 mm, depending on the pedal you’re comparing with, but it’s only fair to mention it for those that do.

Expert Experience

114 | Jason Mitchell – 44790

One of the hallmarks of the ATAC design are the parallel spring clamps that allow easy entry, smooth float and consistent exit. With the TIME MX 6, that’s also paired with a composite platform for added forgiveness when clipping in on technical terrain. Built for all-mountain and enduro riding, but you can certainly use them as your daily drivers on whatever trails you ride. Compared to the standard XC 6, you’ll gain 100 g. of total added weight and a composite platform.

Pros and Cons

Time DH 4

Time DH 4
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The Time DH 4 has got DH in its name. They don’t say it but I can only suspect it stands for downhill, which is an interesting choice at least.

They are similar to the Time MX 6, with the only difference that the DH 4 has an aluminum body instead of a glass-filled composite. Since The MX 2 made it on my list of the best clipless trail pedals, I have no reason to state that these are just as good for general trail riding.

So these are more than excellent pedals, with quick, easy engagement and disengagement, lots of float for a playful feel with the ATAC mechanism and a generous release angle between 13 and 17 degrees. The aluminum version is probably a bit more durable than the composite one as well.

The aluminum body does add a bit of weight, with the pedal sitting at 476 grams versus 380. But we shouldn’t be too squeamish about adding 100 grams for a bike meant for enduro or even downhill riding.

These pedals don’t have a really big platform and its pinless, which means that grip while disengaged is less than for instance the huge 7-pinned Chromag Pilot BA; a pedal which excels in this area.

Is this a true downhill pedal? Maybe. Is this an overall excellent pedal for a reasonable enough price? For sure.

Expert Experience

115 | Wil Barrett – 43207

The DH4 may not be the thinnest, grippiest or most colourful pedal on test, but there’s no doubting they’re well priced and absolutely bombproof. The unique ATAC mechanism isn’t for everyone, and personally I’d like to see a bigger body and some pins implemented to improve stability. If you’re after smooth engagement and consistent performance in a pedal that’s likely to outlast multiple bike upgrades though, the DH4s are brilliant.

Pros and Cons

Time Speciale 8

Time Speciale 8 black
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Time Speciale 8 orange
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It’s really interesting to see each brand’s approach to the various mountain bike disciplines, and by interesting I mean not as I would expect.

Where the Time DH 4 has downhill in it, the Time Speciale 8 is dubbed as the enduro specialist, while having a noticeable larger platform.

The front of the platform holds 2 front-loading pins meant for some additional grip while riding not clipped in. But these do very little if nothing else than be in the way of properly re-engaging the pedal when set too high.

It’s equally funny to read people’s reviews on the feel of these pedals. You either like the angular and lateral float, or you don’t. I would argue that with all products, it’s largely dependent on what you’re used to. They may take some time to adjust to your personal preference, because a small adjustment takes the release tension quickly from loose to pincer-like. The float is a trademark of the entire Time lineup and is what you would buy them for, since every other aspect is as good as can get as well.

I’ve read that the pedals squeak when riding. It has to do with the tight seal, which is actually a good thing since it means the internals are well protected. Cleaning the pedal and putting some sewing machine oil on them should fix the issue. And with 2 sealed bearings and a single bushing they should offer you with a long worry-free lifespan.

A fact is that the ATAC system provides excellent cleat engagement and easy disengagement with a soft click. And the mechanism keeps working because the clips are easy enough to find, and mud can simply be pushed out at either side of the spring bars, which feels similar to what Crankbrothers offer.

Expert Experience

98 | Joshua Hutchens – 43626

The Speciale 8 pedals fall right about the median price for pedals in this review. I feel they are relatively reasonably priced, although they will probably represent the best value to the consumer who likes a floaty pedal feel or will benefit from the float by alleviating pressure on the joints.

Pros and Cons

Time XPresso 7

Time XPresso 7
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One of the few pedals dipping below 200 grams and the only carbon version of the XPresso lineup, the Time XPresso 7 is probably the best pedal for people looking for a somewhat affordable high-quality clipless road bike pedal.

With a fantastic looking design the XPresso 7 offers the ICLIC system ensuring easy entry. A low stack height, solid platform for power transfer and 16 degrees release angle make this a high quality pedal. The carbon spring-leaf design which is pre-opened makes the ICLIC system one of the most user-friendly, even for a pedal which is single-sided and pretty large.

They’re also known for their high level of float. Whether that’s something you like is of course a very personal thing, but in general the large amount of float appeals to many riders who prefer a bit more flexibility in the saddle and a lessened risk of knee injuries.

The bearing setup is the same as the XPRO series, with a single cartridge bearing and bushing, in this case, sitting on a hollow steel axle.

Expert Experience

117 | Scott Mares – 43634

Its been a long time (no pun intended) since I have used a road pedal other than Speedplay or a look style pedal. Those are the only 2 clipless systems that I have ever used in fact. I was really surprised at how easy the Time system was. Getting in and out was a breeze and the pedals are very competitive in their weight class (99g each). For the money they are going to be really hard to beat at $110.00 US. To me, for their performance, weight and price they are a bargain when you compare them to other pedals systems that are on the market.

Pros and Cons

Look X-Track En-Rage

Look X-Track En-Rage
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Similar in look-and-feel to the Shimano PD-ME700 the Look X-Track En-Rage is the French’ brand entry-level trail pedal.

They come with cleats and are compatible with shoes using SPD cleats. Although Shimano pedals are known for their longevity, you could argue that the 2 sealed cartridge bearings and 1 Glide bearing setup of these pedals are capable of a bigger load.

If you want to service the pedal you’ll need a proprietary tool to remove the dust cap, but they are pretty cheap and come in packages alongside spare dust caps.

I like the design of Look pedals and these ones have unassuming and clean looks. The body without pins offers a bit of support and makes it somewhat easier to get into the pedal.

The pedal offers tons of adjustability, both in the setup of the mechanism as with optional cleats offering an easier release. So depending on how securely you want to attach yourself to the pedals, you have the entire range from easy out to downhill secure.

The cast aluminum body is strong, but does make a set of pedals tip the scales at 420 grams. This weight is ok for its category and to be expected from an affordable pedal such as this one.

In terms of mud clearance the pedal performs adequately enough, though the compact mechanism in combination with its aluminum body will get into trouble in really muddy conditions.

The fit is secure and snug as we’re used to from SPD systems.

Expert Experience

89 | Robert Johnston – 44810

Comparing the Look pedals to the options they’ll surely be compared with – Shimano’s XT and XTR trail pedals – the feel of the Look pedals when clipping in and out is slightly nicer in my eyes, and of course the maximum tension can go a few notches higher, but that’s about where the benefits end for me.

The platform shape of the X-Track EN-Rage gives considerably less support when it’s needed the most; there’s slightly less real estate to give support when trying to get clipped in, and the mechanism sits lower to the ground and is therefore more susceptible to damage. In terms of value, or at least the sticker price, Look undercuts these comparable Shimano offerings by a notable amount, but for an enduro pedal I’d be saving up the extra pennies.

Pros and Cons

Look X-Track En-Rage Plus

Look X-Track En-Rage Plus
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The Look X-Track En-Rage Plus has a bigger platform and 2 pins per side, making them more suitable for maximum grip for trail, enduro and downhill riding.

The platform moves from the 63 mm width of the standard En-Rage to 67 mm for the Plus version, adding 30 grams to the overall weight for a total of 450 grams per pair. The non-Plus version wasn’t already lightweight, and these are even heavier.

Two pins at the front makes them less likely to slip when you want to quickly disengage and engage in tricky situations. It’s remarkable what these two pins can do to help you in this respect.

Expert Experience

98 | Joshua Hutchens – 43626

Enduro riders experiencing durability issues with extruded aluminum pedals may be attracted to the forged bodies here. Riders that can’t seem to get their SPD pedals tight enough will rejoice at the death grip these pedals offer while still being compatible with SPD cleats. If you’re having clearance issues on your low bottom bracket trail rig, you might want to search out something a bit lower profile.

Pros and Cons

Specifications clipless pedals for bikepacking

Name
Price
Weight
Length
Width
Height
Body
Spindle
Bearings and bushings
Pins
float
release
Shimano Deore XT PD-M8100
130 USD
342
43 mm
16.5 mm
aluminium
Cr-Mo
2 cup and cone bearings, 1 bushing
none
13°
Shimano Deore XT PD-M8120
130 USD
438
16.2 mm
aluminium
Cr-Mo
2 cup and cone bearings, 1 bushing
none
Shimano Deore XT PD-T8000
130 USD
392
80 mm
90 mm
17 mm
aluminium
Cr-Mo
2 cup and cone bearings, 1 bushing
8, single-sided
Shimano PD-ME700
65 USD
540
16.7 mm
aluminium
Cr-Mo
1 sealed cartridge bearing, 1 bushing
none
13°
Shimano PD-EH500
79 USD
383
90 mm
71 mm
17.4 mm
aluminium
Cr-Mo
1 sealed cartridge bearing, 1 bushing
8, single-sided
Shimano Saint PD-M821
160 USD
546
16.9 mm
aluminium
Cr-Mo
2 cup and cone bearings, 1 bushing
8
13°
Hope Union Clip Pedal – RC
190 USD
323
aluminium
titanium
3 cartridge bearings, 1 IGUS bushing
none
4°or 5°
12° or 13°
Hope Union Clip Pedal – TC
190 USD
450
92 mm
70 mm
aluminium
Cr-Mo
3 cartridge bearings, 1 IGUS bushing
8
4°or 5°
12° or 13°
Chromag Pilot
156.95 euros
520
110 mm
87 mm
aluminium
Cr-Mo
3 cartridge bearings, 1 IGUS bushing
8
12°
HT GT1
79 USD
400
94 mm
73.2 mm
17 mm
aluminium
Cr-Mo
sealed bearings, bushings
4
4°or 8°
13°
Time MX 6
95 USD
380
19 mm
fiberglass / composite
Cr-Mo
2 cartridge bearings, 1 bushing
none
10° / 13° / 17°
Time DH 4
106 USD
476
19 mm
aluminium
Cr-Mo
2 cartridge bearings, 1 bushing
none
10° / 13° / 17°
Time Speciale 8
158 USD
392
81.3 mm
64.8 mm
19 mm
aluminium
Cr-Mo
2 cartridge bearings, 1 bushing
4
10° / 13° / 17°
Time XPresso 7
132 USD
198
13.5 mm
carbon
Cr-Mo
1 cartridge bearing, 1 bushing
none
0° – 10°
15°
Look X-Track En-Rage
89 USD
420
63 mm
16.8 mm
cast aluminium
Cr-Mo
2 sealed cartridge bearings, 1 Glide bearing
none
13°
Look X-Track En-Rage Plus
89 USD
450
67 mm
16.8 mm
aluminium
Cr-Mo
2 sealed cartridge bearings, 1 Glide bearing
4
13°

Sources

40, Shimano PD-ME700 pedals review, Bikeradar, 44782
106, Shimano Saint SPD Pedal Review, The Loam Wolf, 44215
96, Hope Union RC Pedal Review, Bikepacking, 45183
52, Review: Hope Union TC Pedals, Pinkbike, 44763
114, Review: TIME ATAC MX 6 Pedals, Feed the Habit, 44790
98, Time Speciale 8 Review, Outdoorgearlab, 43626
117, Time Expresso 7 Pedals, Cross Bike Review, 43634
89, Look X-Track En-Rage Clipless Pedal Review, The Loam Wolf, 44810
98, Look Cycle X-Track En-Rage Plus Review, Outdoorgearlab, 43626
bio vanseijen

Johan van Seijen

Founder Restoration.bike

Johan van Seijen is the founder of restoration.bike. His cycling career has seen him at the starting line of classics such as the Amstel Gold Race and Liege Bastogne Liege. Realizing his racing capacity would fall short of what was needed he obtained a MS from the University of Amsterdam in engineering. His love for cycling changed into riding in an amateur capacity with his local cycling club TFC Weesp as a roadie and supporting MTB Noordwest as a mountain biker. He repairs, restores, and builds bicycles and shares his knowledge on YouTube, Facebook and this website. 

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