You spent hours (maybe even weeks or months) researching and choosing your child’s bike. You read reviews and talked to other parents, and compared specs and weights. At the end of the day you got your child a great bike….but what about their pedals?
We’ve found that even GREAT kids bikes (like our son’s Trailcraft Blue Sky 20) often come with crappy pedals.
There are only a couple of contact points your child’s body has with their bike (hands, feet, bum), so it makes sense that each of these should be optimized. We’ve seen plenty of crashes (and near crashes) happen due to pedals that don’t provide adequate traction.
Have you ever seen your child’s foot slip off the pedal? They probably need a different pair.
Here is a list of our top picks for kids bike pedals. You’ll notice these aren’t all kid-specific pedals, ’cause there just aren’t that many good ones on the market. But whatever your budget, and whatever style of riding your child is doing, you should be able to find a good option here.
How We Came Up With Our List
We surveyed our readers, read reviews, and researched dozens of pedals to narrow it down to 5 sets of pedals to test and review. From there we installed the pedals on several of my 6-year-olds bikes and sent him off to test them on the local trails, dirt jumps, the lift-served bike park, and around town.
I also put the pedals on MY bike. While my feet were a bit big for a few of them, I was able to get a feel for the level of traction that they provided.
How We Scored the Pedals
We scored the pedals on five factors: price, weight, durability, size, and traction. Each factor was weighted equally, as 20% of the total score. We’ve included the score for each factor below, so you could always recalculate using your own weighting. If you don’t care about price, for example, the Chromag Radar would score even higher.
IMPORTANT NOTE: You will notice that the two highest-rated pedals happen to have metal pins. Just because these pedals have the highest overall scores does not necessarily mean they are the best choice for your child! Read more below on the choice between picking a pedal with metal or plastic pins.
Best MTB Pedal: Chromag Radar Youth
If your family is serious about mountain biking, this is the pair of pedals you want. They are lightweight, have the smallest profile of all the pedals on this list, replaceable bearings, and adjustable-height pins.
For younger mountain bikers (ages 5-12), we love that the pedals are smaller than most. We noticed this meant fewer pedal strikes and fewer shin strikes as well.
Each pedal has 8 metal pins per side (16 total) with the option to add up to 24 total. We found that the 16 pins were plenty for trail riding, but we love that we can add additional for downhill riding and more aggressive riding as he gets older. It’s also rad that the pins are adjustable, so for younger or less aggressive riders you can leave them in their lowest setting, and raise them for older or more aggressive riders.
And yes, we expect these pedals will be around for a while. Despite being thrown on the ground, leaned on rocks, and the victim of multiple pedal strikes, the Chromags have held up extremely well. Unlike plastic pedals, the pins are replaceable, as are the bearings, so though they are a bit spendy, these things are an investment in future enjoyment.
We were initially worried about putting these on my son’s bike due to the metal pins, but so far so good. In fact, he’s even mentioned that he feels like pedals have saved him a couple times in near-crashes. Indeed, we’ve noticed far fewer (maybe none?) instances of his feet slipping off the pedals.
Finally, we should note that the Chromag Radar’s come in a bunch of different bright, beautiful colors, so if you’re looking for a little custom bling for your grom’s bike, these will do the job.
|Price: 3/5||Size: 5/5|
|Weight: 5/5||Traction: 5/5|
|Durability: 5/5||Overall Score: 92|
|Weight: 300 g||MSRP: $95|
|Dimensions: 70mm x 93mm x 13mm||Pins: 24 (Metal)|
Best for Older Riders: Crank Stamp 2 SMALL
For the tween crew, we really like the Cranks Stamp 2 in a size SMALL. They have many of the benefits of the Chromag Radars in a slightly larger (wider) platform size. Younger riders will also do well with these pedals but will experience more pedal strikes, and potentially more shin strikes as well.
It’s worth noting that while the Stamp 2 is wider than the Chromag, it isn’t that much thicker or heavier, and we still thought it was a solid pedal for kids.
The Crank Stamp 2 SMALL has 20 pins per pedal, and adjustable height. That said, we found the pins were difficult to adjust compared to other pedals with metal pins, and there isn’t the option to add and remove pins like the Chromag Stamp 2. Although the pedals were a bit wide for small feet, the pin configuration works well for little riders thanks to the internal V-shape with pins.
Like the Chromags, we liked the long-term durability of these pedals. They held up well in testing, though did get a bit scuffed from pedal strikes — which is to be expected with an alloy pedal.
Crank Stamp Scoring
|Price: 3/5||Size: 4/5|
|Weight: 4/5||Traction: 5/5|
|Durability: 5/5||Overall Score: 84|
Crank Stamp Specs
|Weight: 345 g||MSRP: $80|
|Dimensions: 100mm x 100mm x 15mm||Pins: 20 (Metal)|
Best Recreational Pedal: Wellgo B267
We discovered these awesome little pedals because they are what Prevelo offers on their Zulu Three. They are perfect for recreational riding thanks to the reflectors on both sides (and are the only pedals on this list to include reflectors), as well as mellow mountain biking. In fact, I thought these kids bike pedals were so great I wasn’t in any rush to upgrade my son to more expensive mountain bike pedals.
The pedals are plastic so you don’t have to worry about any shin injuries, but they still do a good job of providing traction. There are 15 decently-sized plastic pins on each side and with a pair of Five Tens, they keep little feet solidly planted on the pedals.
They are also lightweight and have a thinner profile than most of the pedals on this list. Oh, and they’re cheap so if your some reason you don’t like them, you’re not out a bunch of cash.
After several months of heavy-duty use some of the pins have broken off and the sides are scuffed. They certainly aren’t as durable as the Chromag Radars for instance, but they’ve held up well give the level of abuse our son has given them.
Your biggest issue will be finding them, though we had luck on eBay.
|Price: 5/5||Size: 4/5|
|Weight: 5/5||Traction: 3/5|
|Durability: 3/5||Overall Score: 80|
|Weight: 288g||MSRP: $13|
|Dimensions: 106.3mm x 93.9mm x 27.6 mm||Pins: 30 (Plastic)|
Best BMX Pedal: Fyxation Gates
These pedals were recommended to us by Scott Fitzgerald, dad-in-the-know, Buddy Pegs founder, and former bike shop owner. They are also super popular with BMX families, and for good reason.
Although they may look like a cheap plastic pedal at first glance, the Fyxation pedals are actually made of high-impact nylon. I intentionally tried to abuse these pretty good, but didn’t manage to do much damage. Unlike aluminum pedals, no matter how many pedal strikes they took, there wasn’t any paint to scratch so they stayed looking pretty.
Similarly, the nylon pins are durable and we haven’t had any issues with the pins breaking off or wearing down (though I’m sure they eventually will). The bearings are also serviceable, so you should be able to get some serious life out of these not-that-expensive pedals.
The only thing we’re really not crazy about is how large these pedals are. While they come in a “slim” version, they are still pretty wide for small feet. Additionally, the placement of the pins isn’t ideal. There aren’t any pins in the center of the pedal, so kids smaller feet are left with a good area sans pins.
Still, with a good pair of FiveTens or other grippy shoes, they do a pretty good job of keeping little feet planted firmly on the pedals.
Fyxation Gates Scoring
|Price: 4/5||Size: 4/5|
|Weight: 3/5||Traction: 4/5|
|Durability: 4/5||Overall Score: 76|
Fyxation Gates Specs
|Weight: 418 g||MSRP: $20|
|Dimensions: 109mm x 100 mm x 26 mm||Pins: 20 (Nylon)|
Best Budget Pedal: Odyssey BMX Twisted
Several people in the Rascal Rides community suggested these pedals to us. And why not try them out? They are cheap!
If you want a pair of pedals that are cheaper than tonight’s dinner, but that don’t “look” cheap, the Odyssey Twisted might be your best option. They come in an array of bright, fun colors and add manage to add a touch of custom bling to your kiddo’s ride.
They are a bit big, and heavy, but my six-year-old didn’t seem to mind–they just looked cool!
The pins are fairly grippy, and worked well for riding around town and goofing off on the ramp in front of our house. That said, I did notice my son’s foot slip a time or two (while wearing sneakers), so they probably aren’t the shoe I’d choose for the Whistler bike park, but for just about anything else, they’re great.
They continued to look good, even after getting some scuffs, though a few of the pins were getting worn down. For a year or two of riding, these should do the job.
Odyssey Twisted Scoring
|Price: 5/5||Size: 3/5|
|Weight: 3/5||Traction: 3/5|
|Durability: 3/5||Overall Score: 68|
Odyssey Twisted Specs
|Weight: 411 g||MSRP: $14|
|Dimensions:||Pins: 32 (plastic)|
Other Kids Bike Pedals
While we didn’t include these in our test, here are some other solid options that you might want to consider.
- Wellgo KC008 – Like the Wellgo B267 we listed above, your biggest issue with these will be finding them. If you can, they are a super solid little aluminum pedal.
- Sinz Mini Platform – These pedals are SMALL and great for kids ages 3-7. We’re not crazy about their weight though.
- MOTO Reflex* – Great for both the bike-to-school commute and freestyle BMX, these German made pedals have grippy friction tape rather than pins. Very cool.
- Spank Spoonz* – They come in a narrow 90mm version that we love. They’re a bit spendy, but worth the coin.
- Xpedo Traverse 9* – This is a nice small pedal with larger, smoother metal pins than most.
Comparison Chart: Kids Bike Pedals
|Pedal||Best For||Weight per Pair||Dimensions||Pins per Pedal||Material||Multiple Colors?||Axle||Pedal Thread|
|Chromag Radar Youth*||MTB||300 g||70mm x 93mm x 13mm||24||CNC alloy||Yes||CroMo Steel||9/16"|
|Crank Brother Stamp 2 SMALL*||MTB||345 g||100mm x 100mm x 16mm||20||6061-T6 aluminum||Yes||CroMo Steel||9/16"|
|Odyssey BMX Twisted PC*||BMX||411 g||95mm x 90mm x 28 mm||32||Plastic composite||Yes||CroMo Steel||9/16" or 1/2"|
|Fyxation Gates*||BMX||418 g||109mm x 100 mm x 26 mm||20||Nylon||Yes||CroMo Steel||9/16"|
|Wellgo K20410||Recreational||288 g||106.3mm x 93.9mm x 27.6 mm||30||Plastic composite||No||CroMo Steel||9/16"|
What to Consider Before Buying
Make sure you know what size thread you need before buying. Most bikes will accept a 9/16″ thread, but cheaper bikes with a one-piece crank have a 1/2″ thread. If your child’s bike has 1/2″ thread, you will find fewer options, though one of our favorite pedals, the Odyssey Twisted, offers a 1/2″ version.
Metal Pedals vs Plastic Pedals
One of the great debates over kids pedals is whether or not youngsters should be riding on pedals with metal pins.
If your child is a casual rider, is doing BMX stunts, or under the age of 5, they should definitely stay on pedals with plastic pins. Plastic pins are FAR safer and provide adequate traction for most riding. For the vast majority of the riding population, plastic (or nylon) pedals are where it’s at.
That said, there are a few reasons why you might choose a pedal with metal pins. For one, these pedals tend to be far more durable. You can replace pins and most are higher-end pedals that are easily serviceable.
Secondly, they offer superior traction for more aggressive riding. If your family does a lot of downhill or trail riding, any additional risk may be outweighed by the benefits. If you do choose to go the metal route, start with the pins in their lowest setting and make sure your child has some sort of shin protection. Even high socks can help a lot with pedal strikes.
Size of Pedals
For kids, we definitely prefer “kid-sized” pedals. Smaller pedals weigh less, cause fewer pedal strikes, cause fewer shin strikes, and better position the grippy part of the pedal on the child’s foot. Of all the pedals on this list the Chromag Radar and the Wellgo’s have done the best job of creating a child-sized pedal.
Long-Term Durability vs Price
One thing to consider when buying a pair of pedals is how durable they are vs how much they cost. Some of the cheaper plastic pedals work great….for a while….but once the pins start to wear down or the bearings seize up, you’ll have to toss them and replace. Which might be okay with you.
On the other hand, if you want a pair of pedals that will last until for a good long while, spend a bit more to get pedals that are both serviceable and durable. In the long run, you’ll spend less, and feel less guilty about sending stuff to the landfill.
How much does weight matter? Well, we’re talking about grams here, not pounds, so it doesn’t matter a TON. But if you’ve already done everything you can to make sure your child has a lightweight bike, then you shouldn’t stop when it comes to the pedals.
Kids are so tiny and weigh so little, that each little bit of weight is a much bigger percentage of their overall body weight than it is for an adult. Therefore, I care a lot more about how much my son’s pedals weight than I do my own.
A Word On Shoes
While it’s important to choose a good pedal, it might be even MORE important to choose a good pair of shoes.
Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of options out there for kids bike shoes. Fortunately, one of the best adult mountain bike shoes, the FiveTen Freerider is available in a youth size. This is the shoe we recommend to every family that plans on doing a lot of riding. Even if they aren’t a “mountain bike” family. The FiveTen Freerider works great for families doing long recreational or touring rides, as well as BMX.
Other shoes that work well for riding are grippy skate-style shoes such as Vans.
The key is that the shoe has plenty of grip on the bottom to adhere to the pins on the pedal, as well as a decent amount of stiffness.