Time for a new pair of pedals for your BMX bike? Great. Today we’ll take a tour around the world of pedals. Let’s dive into it.
As I like to do it, I’ll go first with a short answer, and then with a long answer. So here’s the short one:
Best BMX Pedals:
|Odyssey Twisted PC Pro||Plastic||411g / 14.5oz|
|Odyssey Triple-Trap||Metal||598g / 21.09oz|
|BSD Safari||Plastic||380g / 13.4oz|
|25NINE Bushido||Hybrid||350g / 12.34oz|
|Odyssey Grandstand PC||Plastic||349g / 12.31oz|
So that’s the quick answer. However, there’s an answer even quicker. If you were just passing me in the street and said “hey, Martin, what are the best BMX pedals I should get? I’m running to the store right now!” I’d yell back to you “get the Odyssey Twisted PC Pro!”
Now for the longer answer, we’ll take a deeper look at each one of the models outlined above and then at some concepts that are good to keep in mind when choosing and buying pedals.
 Odyssey Twisted PC Pro
It’s one of the most popular pedals on the market since a long time ago. Its design is pretty much the basic most common design for today’s BMX pedals. It’s thin, concave for your feet, and it’s pretty wide overall. It has chromoly spindle.
They’re pretty durable for plastic and have an extra wide comfortable platform. Plus, they’re super cheap and come in many colors.
I’ve been running them for the past 5 years or so. Yes, I’ve had to replace them many times, but I love how they feel on my feet as much as their price. I totally recommend them.
You can find the Odyssey Twisted PC Pro on Amazon here.
 Odyssey Triple-Trap
If you’ve already decided to go for metal pedals, then the Triple-Traps are the ones I recommend the most. Odyssey re-released them a couple of years ago and with great success. Its triple traction design is just perfect. It’s based on the original design with the aluminum body and replaceable cages. It has a lightweight alloy body and loose ball bearings. It’s probably the greatest metal pedals for a budget.
You can see the Odyssey Triple-Trap on Amazon here.
 BSD Safari
The Safari pedal has lots of pins everywhere. It has some extra in the corners which is great since oftentimes those pins tend to wear off quickly. With these addition pins you’ll keep your grip even after severe abuse. These pins have an original hexagonal shape which provides extra grip. They’re made of fiberglass and have a Chromoly spindle.
You can find the BSD Safari in Amazon here.
 25NINE Bushido
These are just perfect if you love light pedals and the grippy metal feeling. They have a thermoplastic body and 10 replaceable metal pins per side, which provides great grip and durability. They also have chromoly axles and sealed bearings.
You can find the 25Nine Bushido in Amazon here.
 Odyssey Grandstand PC
Its greatest feature is its size. It’s one of the largest pedals in the BMX market. It has a wide platform with a comfortable concave design, it feels great. It’s like the V1 but with a little twist, the internals have been upgraded to reduce axial movement (wobble). It has chromoly spindles. It’s also super slim.
You can find the Odyssey Grandstand PC on Amazon here.
[ BMX Pedals Buying Guide ]
How To Choose BMX Pedals
Pedals are pretty simple components, and all of them are composed pretty much the same way. They have a body that serves as the platform for your foot, within that body are the bearings upon which it spins, and these bearings are attached to a spindle which in turn is threaded into the crank. Pedals are an easy and cheap way to add a personal touch and some colorful style to a BMX. A new set of pedals is also a great way to freshen up an old ride.
There is a wide variety of BMX pedals, different designs, shapes, materials, colors. Choosing the pedals is a personal decision based on your preferences, style, and taste.
If this is your first time buying pedals, keep in mind that it’s not necessary to define yourself as a metal or plastic pedal person. You can try both. And I think you should. Most likely you’ll find later that one material suits better for you than the other and you’ll go with the right option for you. Try different materials, sizes, shapes. You might prefer thinner over thicker as you might like how you feel your foot closer to the spindle. Just try out the different variations.
Types Of BMX Pedals
There are 2 (or 3) main types of BMX pedals:
- Plastic. These are the pedals that have a plastic body. Plastic pedals are the most common in the market by far.
- Metal. These are the ones that have a metal body. When we say ‘metal’ we’re actually talking about aluminum, magnesium, titanium, steel, and alloys. Lots of BMX riders choose metal pedals, however, since their plastic counterparts are more affordable, they’re not the most ridden.
- ‘Hybrid’. We could call it the 3rd type of pedals. We’re basically talking about a plastic pedal with metal pins inserted. These are in between in popularity. These metal (most likely chromoly) pins come in different lengths.
Plastic Pedals vs. Metal Pedals
When comparing plastic pedals vs metal pedals, there isn’t one better than the other. It’s all a matter of style and preference. While plastic pedals tend to wear down faster and be more disposable, metal pedals oftentimes feel too grippy for some riders.
The size of the spindle is standard on all bikes, not only on BMX bikes. Except for children’s bikes, which use 1/2″ spindles, every single pedal in the world has a 9/16″ threaded spindle. This allows them to be easily swapped and replaced. Of course, pedals come with bodies in different shapes and sizes and while there are some differences they are not substantial.
Naturally, plastic pedals are lighter than the metal ones. Depending on the models we’d compare, the difference will vary, but plastic pedals will always be lighter. Weight will probably be one important factor when making your decision, so this one might be the one tilting the scale.
Depending on the model, you might find that they have more or less the same grip when they’re brand new. However, plastic pedals clearly tend to lose their grip much earlier than metal pedals, as the constant friction causes the plastic pins to erode fast. The grip of the metal pedals will last for years. However, metal pins can sometimes feel too sticky.
Depending on your riding style and frequence, plastic pedals may last from 2 to 6 or 8 months, whereas metal pedals can last for years. If you do a lot of pedal grindings and stalls, then your pedal lifespan will be considerably reduced. Plastic pins wear down pretty quick. Plastic pedals are basically meant to be disposable.
Metal pedals are obviously way more robust than the plastic ones and withstand much more abuse.
Pedals range from $10 to $150, approximately. Almost all pedals in the $10-$30 range have steel spindles, basic ball bearings, use either plastic or a basic metal body. These basic pedals satisfy the essential requirements of a BMX pedal. Pedals in the $30-$60 range go a little further and have other options such as sealed bearings, replaceable pins (for metal and ‘hybrid’ pedals), replaceable bodies (plastic pedals), and are made of lighter materials, such as magnesium or aluminum alloys. The top line pedals ranging from $60-$150 offer all of the options mentioned above, plus they also use the highest quality materials and manufacturing techniques to provide a high-performance product.
Summarizing it on a table:
BMX Pedals For Big Feet
Not my case, but I imagine it can be a particular situation. Nothing to worry about, though. If it’s our case, you’ll find a great option. From this list, my recommendation based on their wider platform would be the Odyssey Grandstand.
There are a lot of larger mountain biking pedals available that you can try. They’ll probably be more expensive, though. So you might want to try the Grandstands first before switching to MTB pedals.
How To Install The Pedals
Already got a new pair? Great, let’s go ahead and install them. What tools will we need? Just a 6mm Allen (hex key) or a regular 15 or 17mm wrench.
[Curious fact: Most likely you’ll have a right and a left pedal. If you take a look at the spindle, where you put the wrench, you’ll see that one spindle has grooves or ridges and the other one is smooth. Turns out that the left pedal has grooves whereas the right pedal is smooth.]
 So, first thing first, let’s take off the old pedals:
One important thing to know is that the pedals loosen and tighten in the same direction on both sides. So, if you have your bike upright, insert the wrench on the spindle, and in order to loosen the pedals, rotate the wrench towards the back of your bike. Add some WD-40 if it’s rough. Let’s do that on both pedals in order to take them off.
 Now that we have our cranks clear, let’s go ahead and install the new pedals.
Let’s insert the first pedal on the crank arm and put the wrench on. Some grease on the thread might help. Now in order to tighten the pedals, we’ll rotate the wrench towards the front of the bike. (It’s the exact opposite if you have your bike upside-down standing on your handlebars and seat.) This works like that for obvious reasons: whenever you’re pedaling, if you hit the spindle you want to be tightening the pedals and not loosening them.
Let’s repeat the action with the other pedal and we’re done. Make sure to put that extra pressure when you reach the end of the thread in order to tighten them firmly.
By the way, do you have the proper tools? Just in case, I love the Crankbrothers multi-tool available on Amazon here.
Tips For Using Your Pedals
- Wear shin guards. Whether you choose plastic or metal, you’re going to get hurt anyway (that’s the nature of BMX, right?), and in my opinion, both materials hitting at the same speed hurt the same. Shinners are part of the game. However, a lot of suffering can be saved by wearing shin guards. I use the G-Form Pro Elite (on Amazon here) and have no complaints. (I’m 5’10” and use the medium.)
- If you feel like you lack grip, take a look a the soles of your shoes. Maybe it’s your shoes what you should replace, not your pedals. Or maybe both.
- Paint your pedals. Use paint or something to mark your pedals in order to clearly distinguish both sides, so when you grind or stall you always land on the same side and scrape the pins off of that side, keeping the other one in better shape and prolonging the lifespan of the pedals.
- If you’ll try hybrid pedals, make sure to compare the length of the new metal pins with the length of your current pins. You might love or hate longer pins but just to make sure you know what you’re buying.
- In case you do a lot of pedal grindings and you run removable pins, you can use pins only on one side of the pedals, keeping the pinless side for grinding and the other one for grip. This way you will slide better while keeping the grip on your feet.
- Tighten your pedals. If you run metal pedals, regularly tightening the screws on them will solve a couple of issues such as the constant squeaking.
- Did I already say ‘wear shin guards’?
- Wear shin guards! 😉
All in all, it’s up to you. In order to choose the appropriate pedal for you, you have to put all these items we’ve just reviewed on the scale and make a decision based on your riding style and budget.
However, don’t overthink it. You’re not buying a complete bike or a frame, it’s only the pedals. Worst case scenario, you won’t be 100% satisfied with them and will try to buy a new pair in a couple of months.
- Best BMX Pegs (Plastic/Metal) + Buyer’s Guide
- Best BMX Helmets (Youth/Adults – Full-Face/Open-Face)
- Best BMX Shoes (Kids/Adults) + Buyer’s Guide
Photo credits: Featured image: by Christine H. / Flickr / Creative Commons License