The Grippiest BMX Pedals of 2020
Author: Tim Date Posted:28 January 2020
Pedal Buyers Guide
½ inch VS 9/16 Inch
Pedals for BMX bikes generally come in two different spindle sizes for different types of cranks. 9/16’s of an inch is a thicker spindle for three-piece cranks. These are the majority of pedals that BMX riders ride. ½ inch pedal spindles are made for 1 piece cranks, these pedals are for the more old and mid school builds since once piece cranks are used for freestyle BMX anymore. When choosing your pedals, the spindle size will be the first choice you make. If it is a new age BMX, you will be wanting 9/16 of an inch.
Plastic vs Alloy
When it comes to buying pedals for your BMX bike you might be thinking where do I start? With brands including Odyssey, Cult, or Eclat the first question when buying pedals to answer is which is better? Plastic or Alloy? Both Alloy and Plastic versions of BMX pedals offer different characteristics and performance.
Due to the material, plastic pedals are naturally cheaper, however, the grip that’s offered with plastic pedals is unable to last in comparison to that of an alloy pedal. However, due to the price point of plastic pedals being on average ⅓ od the cost this makes replacing plastic pedals more attractive. Similar to a plastic peg, plastic pedals offer a superior grinding surface to that of an alloy pedal. Plastic pedals offer a good grip at a more than reasonable price point, while they don’t last as long as alloy pedals plastic pedals offer a high-level pedal for a low cost.
Alloy pedals offer far better grip for the rider since the material to grip the feet is more durable and can withstand more damage. BMX pedals put up with a lot of stress, alloy pedals are more rigid due to the machine processes and materials that go into them. From a pricing point of view, alloy pedals are substantially more expensive than plastic compound pedals. In the end, it really depends on what you’re wanting to use your bike for. Alloy pedals are less suitable for grinds given they are more brittle, where plastic pedals offer less grip but slide better when grinding.
Sealed VS Loose Ball Bearings
The next consideration to make when choosing a set of pedals for your bike is will they be sealed or loose ball bearing. Since the early 2000’s BMX riders have had a choice of pedals being sealed or loose ball. This refers to the type of bearing, that the pedal uses to spin freely. Sealed ball bearings offer a more solid design since the bearings are enclosed in a metal case. Loose ball bearing systems are cheaper but offer a less superior pedal design. The flaw with loose ball bearing systems in BMX pedals is that they require more constant maintenance to handle the abuse of BMX riding. Sealed ball bearings have a longer life however they are more expensive and because of this loose ball bearing has become the industry standard for the majority of leading BMX brands opting for a loose ball bearing system. With pedals being so replaceable nowadays, (Plastic pedals) it makes sense for companies to use loose ball bearing if they are going to have a 2-3 month life span. However, if you’re looking for a more long term pedal, sealed bearing systems work smooth and last longer, however, the price does replicate the quality of these pedals with some sealed pedal systems costing a much as $170.
The pins on your BMX pedals are the main reason you should be buying your pedals. The way your foot feels on the pedal is important to enjoying your ride so take consideration into the style and layout of the pins your choosing. Plastic pedals offer a variety of pin layouts, most pedals will have a similar layout with some brands trying newer more progressive styles. Some plastic pedals also offer a metal pin. This system is advantageous since you get the grip of metal pins with the lightweight, smooth grinding body of a plastic pedal. The other option for pins is metal pins on metal pedals. These can come either replaceable or fixed to the pedal. Replaceable pins offer a longer life for your pedal and replaceable grip without having to replace the entire pedal body.
Pedals come in all shapes and sizes. For the park/ramp riders extremely thin, lightweight alloy pedals are more popular. Offering a wide platform for maximum foot space when landing those flip whips over the box. For the street riders, the platform should be slightly thicker to handle the hits from the streets, those rough brick ledges and all the luc-e’s you’ll be doing. A thicker platform is subsequently heavier however it offers a more durable longer-lasting pedal platform.
Pedals range between $25 dollars for the cheaper plastic pedal to $170 for the thinner, sealed alloy pedals. Regardless of your choice of the pedal, it’s important that you choose a pedal that suits your style of riding and not just to follow the trend of the coolest pedal of the week.