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Can You Use Mountain Bike Pedals On a Road Bike And Vice Versa?(Differences Explained)

Yes, mountain bike and road bike pedals are easily swappable and interchangeable with each other without any issue due to same sized threading of both of these bikes. road bike pedals are usually much more difficult in mounting clipping and unmounting than road bike shoes, and also it is not possible to place your foot on the ground or on road trails when you want to stop your bike, but mountain bike pedals are much more comfortable and you can easily lift up your feet from pedals, even you can walk and run with mountain bike pedals, it is the reason that mostly a larger number of road bike riders are installing mountain bike pedals i9n their bikes due to more advantages than road pedals.

Crankset Compatibility:

It does not matter that both MTB and road bike cranksets are of different types, because different brands and kinds of cranksets have the same sized threading, so all cranksets of road and MTB are also compatible with each other.


Road bike pedals are more comfortable than mountain bike pedals, the reason is that when you are pushing road pedals these will give you a better feel, and also ankles and knees of the rider would spin freely and you will feel like your lower body is continuously moving without applying any force and pull, but mountain bike pedals need a large force in moving your bike and produce rotating torque within the drive train of your mountain bike.

Flex In Shoes:

Road bike shoes have lesser flex and mountain bike shoes have greater flex, which means that road bike shoes would not cause movement when you are pedaling and riding on your bike, but mountain bike shoes have greater flex which means these shoes would move a lot when you are pushing on bike pedals, due to their greater flex you will notice that MTB shoes are moving side by side much more than that of road bike shoes.

Dirt Repellent:

Mountain bike shoes and pedals play a major role in removing dirt and dust because of the mobility which is present in these shoes, due to which these MTB pedals and shoes play a major role as a dirt repellent but road bike shoes do not have this advantage because these are non-mobile and their movement is restricted, road bike pedals were made and manufactured for road trails while MTB shoes and pedals were made for rough and aggressive terrains.

Mountain Or Road Pedals For Beginners?

When a beginner starts riding and upgrades their pedals to clipless pedals then it is not fully trained it stops on the trails many times, road bike pedals are not easier and require much time in unmounting shoes from these pedals but MTB pedals are much easier, and comfortable for a beginner, the rider can easily place its feet on the trails without any issue, and when you are trained after knowing all the secrets of clipless pedals then you can replace and shift from road bike pedals to MTB pedals.

Price Difference:

Mountain bike pedals are cheaper and lesser in their price as compared to road bike pedals, most riders are buying MTB pedals even for their road bikes, but those road bike riders who are racers and these are riding on their bikes for longer mileage distances, these riders are avoiding MTB pedals due to their mobility and side by side movement of the shoes.

Pedal Cleats Of Road And Mountain Bike Pedals:

Usually, cleats of both road and mountain bike pedals are similar to each other, which is the reason that you can easily swap and interchange road and mountain bike pedals between your bikes, replacing pedals between two categories of bikes are totally dependent on the cleat system of pedals and shoes, of course, there are many brands and types of pedals and shoes which are not compatible with the crankset of other bikes, you have to look for the cleats compatibility between your road and MTB bike.

Advantages Of Road Pedals And Their Cleats:

There is a large difference between the contact area of the road pedals and cleats of road and mountain bikes, road bike pedals are wider than MTB pedals, and wider pedals are much better if you want to increase your pedal striking on the trails, MTB pedals do not have enough space on their pedals, and mostly those riders which have wider and thicker feet palms, their feet would always slip and skid from MTB pedal due to limited contact region with the pedals, wider pedals( road bike pedals)also have another advantage you can easily push your pedals in standing position from the saddle, if you are traveling on longer distances, then it is confirmed you will tire after a long time of sitting, in these circumstances road bike pedals are more beneficial than MTB pedals.

Road Or MTB Pedals For Uphills?

Choosing or selecting bike pedals would also depend on the trails where you are riding on a regular basis, if you have to climb uphill mountains two or three times within a week, then choose road bike pedals, because MTB pedals do not have a large surface contact area and MTB shoes have greater flex as compared to road bike shoes.


Road bike pedals are comfortable for both higher and lower-weight riders, and also the weight of road bike pedals is not enough and the rider does not feels like he is pushing much heavier pedals, these are the advantages and comforts of road bike pedals as compared to MTB pedals.

Power Transferring:

As road bike pedals do not move when their shoes are perfectly fixed within the cleats of pedals, but MTB shoes and pedals would move rapidly whenever you want to move your feet, one thing becomes clear road pedals are firm which these pedals would create much better power by spinning of pedals, and MTB pedals do not forward much power and force towards the rear side of the drivetrain, so if you want to increase your bike speed at much greater sp[eed, road bike pedals are the best option, but if you want a simple ride and you want to commute, then MTB pedals are also used for both walking and riding purpose.