A Guide to Pedals for Fixed Gear Riding Wabi Cycles

If you're into fixed gear cycling, especially going brakeless, picking the right pedals is crucial. They're key for controlling your speed and stopping your bike. This guide covers everything about pedals for fixed gear bikes, including toe clips, strap pedals, and clipless options, along with their pros and cons. We'll also share our top picks for each type.

Most recommendations here are tailored for fixed gear rather than single speed riding because of the unique role pedals play in braking. But don't worry, single speed riders, you'll find useful info here too, especially about foot retention for extra power and control.

Our Quick Picks

  • Toe Clip Pedals: Riders who want premium, classic look and feel with good control, foot retention and durability. Our pick: MKS GR-9/10 pedals, MKS Deep Twin Clips, Exustar Laminated Leather Double Straps.
  • Composite Pedals with Straps:  Riders that want lots of shoe compatibility, good control and value with a modern/casual look. We recommend Fyxation Gates with Wide Straps.
  • Clipless Pedals: Riders willing to spend for top control, efficiency and a minimalist look with cycling-specific shoes. Try Crank Bros. EggBeaters.

Toe Clip Pedals

Toe clip pedals, also known as toe cages, are a traditional choice that have stood the test of time in the cycling world.  They feature a cage-like structure that surrounds the toes, often combined with straps for added foot retention. They can be attached to metal cage-type  pedals or metal platform pedals  and come in single strap or double strap options.

MKS GR9 double strap fixed gear pedal      wabi road pedal with single slip and strap

MKS GR-9 with MKS Twin Deep Clips and Exustar Laminated leather straps; Wabi Road pedals with Wabi Single Strap Clip and Wabi Leather straps.


  • Classic look: Pair well with steel framed bikes given their classic racing look.
  • Control: Can provide efficiency and control - especially with the right clip/combo.
  • Versatility: Can be worn with certain street shoes (however, does not work well for a variety of shoes)
  • Cost-Effective: Generally less expensive than equivalent performance clipless pedal systems.


  • Comfort: Can be less comfortable, especially on longer rides.
  • Convenience: Getting in and out can be trickier than with other pedal types.


  • Pedal Types for Clips: Toe clips can be paired with many dual-sided cage-style platform pedals or single-sided clip-specific pedals. Dual-sided cage-style platform pedals (like the MKS Sylvan tour below) are a good choice for some riders as they can be converted into standard pedals for single speed riding. However, the integrated grip on the pedal can make it hard to get your foot in and out of the clip. Single-sided clip-specific pedals, with just a small amount of grip (like the MKS GR-9),  are better for clips as they allow easy entry. However, they can’t be used without clips.
  • Single vs. Double Strap Clips: Single straps are simpler and quicker to use, suitable for fixed gear with brakes or single speeds. Double straps offer better foot retention, stability and durability, ideal for more aggressive fixed gear riding - especially brakleless.
  • Leather vs. Laminated Leather Straps: Leather straps are durable and stretch over time for a custom fit; Work well  for fixed gear with brakes or single speeds. . Laminated leather straps are stronger, less prone to stretch and last longer so they are preferred for more aggressive fixed gear riding - especially brakeless.

    Platform Pedals with Straps

    These pedals are a hybrid of traditional platform pedals and foot retention systems. They typically feature a flat composite pedal base with adjustable straps that secure over the foot.

    Fyxation Gates Pedals with Wide Straps-Wabi Cycles

    Fyxation Gates pedals with Fyxation Gates wide straps.


    • Ease of Use: Simple to get in and out, making them great for urban commuting.
    • Adjustability: Straps can be easily adjusted for comfort and tightness. They can also used be used for a wider range of shoes - from Crocs to winter boots.
    • Affordability: Often more affordable than clipless systems.


    • Foot Retention: May not offer as secure a fit as clipless or toe clip pedals. Larger platforms can help offset (though increase potential for pedal strike)
    • Efficiency: Not as efficient in power transfer compared to clipless pedals.
    • Durability: Composite pedals can wear out faster than metal options.
    • Pedal strike: Given the larger platform of composite pedals, pedal strike can occur with cornering.


    • Aesthetics: The larger platform and wide strap may not match the style of every bike. Considered more of a modern look.
    • Ensure Good Fit: Given these pedals are so versatile, make sure the strap is sized and secured properly each time you ride.
    • Strap Compatibility: Make sure the pedals are compatible with the straps. Not all platform pedals can take straps.

      Clipless Pedals

      Clipless pedals represent the most advanced pedal technology, offering superior foot retention and efficiency. These pedals feature a mechanism that allows special cycling shoes to 'clip' into the pedal, creating a secure connection.

      Crank Brother Eggbeater fixed gear pedal.    wellgo spd single speed pedals

      Crank Bros. Eggbeater pedals; Wellgo SPD pedals


      • Optimal Power Transfer: Provide the best power transfer and efficiency.
      • Enhanced Control: Offer superior control, crucial for the fixed gear riding experience.
      • Foot Retention: Excellent foot retention, reducing the risk of slipping off the pedal.


      • Require special cycling shoes to accommodate the clips; Can make it difficult for urban or casual riding where the rider needs to walk.
      • Cost: Typically the most expensive pedal system, requiring compatible shoes.
      • Learning Curve: There is a learning curve for safely engaging and disengaging the pedals.


      • Type of clipless system: There are many types of systems: SPD, SPD-SL, Look Keo, Crank Brothers, Time ATAC and more. Each requires a specific type of pedal, cleat and shoe. Unless riding track, most riders prefer a 2 bolt system that are common for MTB shoes (SPD, Crank Brothers) as they allow you to wear MTB.urban shoes that are walkable. 
      • Level of retention: If riding brakeless, riders may want systems that ensure a strong retention, such as Time ATAC or Crank Brothers. Some systems, like SPD, can pop out easily. If riding with brakes, the retention is less important and allows for more personal preference.
      • Experience Level: Best suited for experienced riders comfortable with the mechanics of fixed gear bikes.

        Other Considerations

        Bearing types

        Pedals will come in either sealed bearings or loose ball-type bearings. Sealed bearings are easier to maintain and hold up better in wet and muddy conditions. Loose ball-type bearings have more adjustability and are serviceable, but require more maintenance. However, high-quality loose ball bearings, like those from MKS, will require less maintenance than value-oriented options.

        Riding Single Speed vs. Fixed Gear

        The recommendations above are specific to fixed gear riding, but are still relevant to single speed riding. The biggest difference is that single speed riding doesn’t require foot retention, like toe clips and straps. If you are riding single speed only and don’t need foot retention, we usually recommend one of the following:

        • Dual-Sided Cage-Type pedal: Platform pedal made with a metal cage edge. Classic look that matches well with steel-framed bike. Grip is built into the pedal edge. It can be ridden on either side for ease of use. Our favorite: MKS Sylvan Touring.
        • Composite Platform pedal: Platform pedal made from plastic or similar. Modern look that is lightweight and has grip imprinted into plastic or has removable pins. It can be ridden on either side for ease of use. Our pick: VP Urban.


          Our recommendations


          Pedal Combo Options


          Toe Clip

          (Our FG pick)

          Best combination of quality and value for fixed gear riding.

          Toe Clip

          (SS Option)

          Best bang–for-the-buck single strap option.

          Platform Strap Pedals


          Everyone’s Go-To option for casual riding and versatility.


          • Crank Brother Eggbeaters

          Simple 2-sided SPD pedals for most riders. SPD allows walkable shoes.

          Clipless (FG with brakes or SS)

          Basic 2 sided pedal that works well.


          In conclusion, choosing the right pedals for your fixed gear bike involves considering your riding style, comfort preferences, and the level of control you desire. Whether it’s the classic feel of toe clips, the simplicity of straps, or the efficiency of clipless pedals, each type offers unique benefits. Remember, the ideal pedals not only enhance your performance but also maximize your enjoyment of fixed gear cycling.