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The top 5 lightweight road bike clipless pedals

In this article I’m going to provide you with an overview of the best lightweight road bike clipless pedals.

Creating an article such as this one is pretty straightforward. There are just a handful of brands making clipless road bike pedals I deem worthy for review, and picking their lightest options is something anyone can do. The lightest clipless road bike pedals are also the most expensive ones.

That’s because the go-to way of decreasing weight in a pedal is to put a titanium axle in it, which is incredibly expensive. When you take into account that the difference between the heaviest pedal and lightest pedal is about 150 grams but the price difference is a factor 6, you immediately understand you pay a hefty premium to shed a few grams.

So I’ve chosen to also include significantly cheaper options that might only add 10 to 20 grams, but can still be considered lightweight enough to warrant a place on this list.

Obviously expensive pedals are more than just lightweight ways to connect your foot to your bike. And with that out of the way, let’s head over to my list of the best lightweight road bike clipless pedals.

Time XPRO 10

Time XPRO 10
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Time makes some of the very best clipless road bike pedals worth your money, and the Time XPRO 10 is a more than excellent choice for any ambitious cyclist.

Apart from having some of the best looks as far as pedals are concerned, the large platform using the proprietary ICLIC system ensures an easy way of getting the pedal in the correct place for entering.

Because of the large platform the pedals offer a near perfect power transition from rider to the bike. And dual cleats are available. Besides the standard cleat offering 10° of float, there’s also the fixed 0° option. The large amount of float is less stressful on the knees and offers a lot of freedom, which doesn’t detract from the overall stability on the platform.

Time pedals are pretty lightweight in general and 226 grams is indeed very light for a clipless road bike pedal. And that lightweight package holds a carbon body onto a chromoly axle with a cartridge bearing and bushing letting it spin freely.

The elongated body of the pedal offers an excellent platform to transfer the rider’s power. And dual cleats are available. Besides the standard cleat offering 10° of float, there’s also the fixed 0° option. The large amount of float is less stressful on the knees and offers a lot of freedom, which doesn’t detract from the overall stability on the platform.

Expert Experience

114 | Jason Mitchell – 43378

More on the engagement side, ICLIC is a legitimate game-changer with its mousetrap-like lock-in. When it’s open, it’s in an active, ready-to-engage state. All it takes is a light step and it actively locks you right in, which is the opposite of most pedals. Lighter riders will rejoice in the easy step-in. Additionally, it’s easy to find the sweet spot and clip in, but sometimes the pedal finds itself upside-down. When that happens, things get tricky, but most of the time I can clip in blind.

Pros and Cons

Time XPRO 12

Time XPRO 12
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The Time XPRO 12 is a good example of how fast things can get out of control price-wise with pedal products.

The XPRO 12 is basically the same as the XPRO 10 in every aspect, except for the axle, which is titanium instead of your standard chromoly. These pedals are however, far more expensive for a gain which can only be said to be marginal. Yes, they are extremely lightweight at 188 grams, but in the end that’s less than 40 grams lighter than the chromoly version.

You get the same body, the same great ICLIC system, same bearing setup, and same overall quality and functionality. I can relate that for a dream-build you might want to opt for these pedals, or if you’re a fanatic hillclimber. Otherwise stick with the XPRO 10.

Expert Experience

116 | Rob Arnold – 44627

A highlight of the XPRO 12 is the ease of use; it is one of the easiest systems for engagement as the pedals welcome the cleat in a way that is not only intuitive but also particularly simple to clip in. Also, the larger platform gives a sense of surety that surprises me.

The most immediate difference from Shimano is the nature of the float; with the Time system, the pivot is more in the middle of the pedal rather than swivelling from the front of the cleat (as per the Shimano arrangement). This feeling is obvious to begin with but the sensation settles quickly; it took around 30 minutes to adjust to and then it all seemed very natural.

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

Shimano Ultegra R8000

Shimano Ultegra R8000
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If you want flawless performance in a road bike pedal, the Shimano Ultegra R8000 might very well be the best pedals there are.

These pedals haven’t changed for years and offer one of the best bearing setups on a chromoly spindle for clipless pedals, ensuring long-lasting life and very little maintenance.

Shimano isn’t really known for making super-lightweight products, and these pedals sit at 248 grams. Shimano’s only design splurge is the carbon composite body, making the pedal very stiff while keeping an excessive weight at bay. 3 stainless steel plates further increase the platform’s durability.

Shimano offers less float than many other brands at 6 degrees, which is the maximum of 3 different cleat options. The other options offer 2 and 0 float. But the dual spring setup has always been very user-friendly. Since the weight sits at the back of the pedal a forward motion of the foot always places the platform in the correct position.

A single allen key is needed to increase the release tension of the pedal, which you can crank up to pro-level bear trap tightness. And the platform has just the perfect size offering stability and great power transfer in this high quality pedal.

Only if you want more float should you buy another pedal (probably a Time), because the quality and longevity of these Ultegra pedals has yet to be beaten.

Expert Experience

14 | David Arthur – 44328

A bonus with Shimano pedals is that the weight of the release mechanism means the pedals are always pivoted nose up, which makes locating the cleat into the pedal much easier. This softens the learning curve when it comes to getting used to clipless pedals for the first time.

The Ultegras are cheaper than Dura-Ace and lighter than 105, but if the price is too steep, the 105 R7000 pedals also tested offer much the same level of performance.

Pros and Cons

Shimano Dura-ace PD-R9100

Shimano Dura-ace PD-R9100
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The difference between Dura-Ace and Ultegra has always been extremely minimal, with usually a little weight gain.

The same can be said for the Shimano Dura-ace PD-R9100 and its Ultegra counterpart. There’s a 20 grams weight difference in an otherwise pretty similar setup.

Of course the technology is exactly the same, with the same release mechanism, overall body design, and body composition made from a carbon composite.

Shimano’s expert level bearing quality reaches its pinnacle with two cup-and-cone bearings and a needle bearing, which makes the Dura-Ace clipless pedals having the overall best quality bearing setup of any pedal out there.

Aftermarket titanium spindles are available should you want to shave off those last couple of grams and obtain a sub-200 grams version of these otherwise expensive, but excellent pedals.

Expert Experience

45 | Mat Brett – 42907

Dura-Ace pedals aren’t quite as light as top-level models from key rivals. That might bother weight weenies a little, but I’ve found the Dura-Ace 9100 pedals to be solid and reliable and there’s every indication that, like their predecessors, they’ll prove to be durable too. Add in a warranty of three years (you get this on Dura-Ace and XTR products) rather than the standard two, and they’re a very good choice.

Pros and Cons

Specifications lightweight road bike clipless pedals

Name
Price
Weight
Height
Body
Spindle
Bearings and bushings
Pins
float
release
Time XPRO 10
185 USD
226
13.5 mm
carbon
Cr-Mo
1 cartridge bearing, 1 bushing
none
0° – 10°
16°
Time XPRO 12
317 USD
188
13.5 mm
carbon
titanium
1 cartridge bearing, 1 bushing
none
0° – 10°
16°
Time XPresso 7
132 USD
198
13.5 mm
carbon
Cr-Mo
1 cartridge bearing, 1 bushing
none
0° – 10°
15°
Shimano Ultegra R8000
160 USD
248
15.8 mm
carbon composite
Cr-Mo
2 cup and cone bearings, 1 bushing
none
0° – 6°
Shimano Dura-ace PD-R9100
228 USD
228
15.6 mm
carbon composite
Cr-Mo
2 cup and cone bearings, 1 bushing
none
0° – 6°

Sources

114, Time XPro 10 Carbon Pedals Review, Feed the Habit, 43378
117, Time Expresso 7 Pedals, Cross Bike Review, 43634
14, Shimano Ultegra R8000 pedals review, Bikeradar, 44328
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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