Can You Put Mountain Bike Pedals On A Road Bike?

Mountain biking and road cycling are two very different experiences. Mountain bikers ride in demanding terrain, while road cyclists prefer to stick to the pavement.

Each type of cyclist has their own specialized equipment that is designed for their specific needs; however, some people like to mix it up and use one piece of equipment for both riding styles.

Can you put mountain bike pedals on a road bike? Read on to find out!

Can You Put Mountain Bike Pedals On A Road Bike?

The mountain bike pedals and road bike pedals consist of the same pedal thread of 9/16″ x 20 TPI. But, they are completely different in design and performance.

The pedals of the mountain bikes are designed to cater to various requirements for racing or cross-country trail rides whereas the road bike pedals are designed for flat roads with the speedy operation.

Can You Put Mountain Bike Pedals On A Road Bike?

If you are using the clipless mountain bike pedals on a road bike, they will perform very poorly.

The biggest problem is that you would have to attach your shoes to the clipless mechanism of the pedals, which leads to less power transfer to the crankset.

The major reason for this is due to the geometry of your foot in a clipless mountain bike pedal, which is much different from the geometry of your foot when you clip in for a road bike.

You can attach two-sided pedals to a road bike instead of just one-sided.

However, that will only work if the pedals have receptacles for standard shoes.

In case there are no such receptacles, then the only option will be to get a pedal that fits snugly with your cycling shoe.

What is the difference between MTB and road clipless pedals?

Mountain bike clipless pedals

The mountain bike pedals are specifically designed for mountain bikes.

They have cleats with downward-angled teeth to keep the feet of the cyclist stuck to the pedals during uphill cycling.

The mountain bike pedals also come with a dual-sided engagement mechanism that is easy to operate and they can be used with any shoe as they don’t require any clips or straps.

These pedals are perfect for cross-country cycling but they are of no use for road cyclists who need to clip in on specific shoes.

Road bike clipless pedals

The road bike pedals require specific shoes that have stiff soles, which will help everyone to push down on the pedal without worrying about the friction generated with each stroke.

The road bike pedals have a dual-sided engagement mechanism, which means the rider can clip in without worrying about the orientation of their feet.

But, these pedals require special cycling shoes with stiff soles and grooves on the bottom to fit perfectly into the pedal’s cleat.

The design of the mountain bike pedals is also different than the road bike pedals in terms of weight, strength, and durability.

Is it possible to put mountain bike pedals on a road bike?

It is possible, however, it is not recommended.

The road bike pedals are designed for performance racing bicycles while the mountain bike pedals are designed to be used on all types of bikes, including cross-country trails and downhill tracks.

What are the benefits of using mountain bike pedals on a road bike

1) You can cycle long distances

2) The pedals are much lighter compared to the road bike clipless pedals

What are the cons of using mountain bike pedals on a road bike?

1) You cannot engage only one foot.  

This causes loss in power transfer and it is not comfortable for everyone.  You will have to use both your feet to cycle.

2) They are not durable in the long run.

Using the mountain bike pedals on a road bike will cause extra friction with each stroke that will reduce the life of both the pedal and shoes.

How can I tell if my current pedal is compatible with my new pedal type?

In order to determine compatibility, you will have to check the type of cleat on your shoes. This cleat should be compatible with the pedal you are buying.

You can also check if there is a standard shoe receptacle on the new pedal to make sure that you are able to attach your shoes without any problems.

The other thing would be to check the threading on both the pedals.  Most clipless mountain bike pedals are M12xP0.7 while most road bike pedal is either M5x0.8 or 9/16″.

Which type of shoe should I wear when riding with these types of pedals?

It will depend on the type of pedal you are using.

Road bike pedals use stiff shoes (most likely with cleats) while mountain bike pedals use sneakers or casual shoes.

My final thoughts

If you are still thinking about using mountain bike pedals, then I would advise against it.

They will cause extra friction and power loss that most road cyclists cannot afford to have.

It is not comfortable for everyone as one foot has to be disengaged from the pedal with every stroke of the pedal.  Also, having two kinds of pedals is not a good idea either.

Some people might say that it is okay to use the mountain bike pedals on a road bike but I would still advise against using them.  You will be able to cycle with them for some time and then they will wear out more quickly than usual due to the extra friction of cycling.