Rather than using stylized or obscure product names, Bontrager cut straight to the point by naming their commuter oriented pedals simply the Commuter Pedals. While the marketing tagline “be ready for anything” may inspire images of riding in exotic locations, the Commuter Pedals are simple yet effective dual sided pedals ideal for urban riders or commuters. With a wide and comfortable platform pedal on one side and an SPD compatible clipless option on the other, the Bontrager Commuter Pedals provide a lot of functionality at an affordable price point. Notable features of the pedals include a chromoly spindle, sealed cartridge bearings, and an adjustable release tension for the SPD side of the pedals.
The Bontrager Commuter pedals are simple yet effective dual sided pedals that allow riders the freedom to choose from riding with normal shoes or SPD pedals.
|Measured Weight (in g)||306|
|Likes||+ Well-priced compared to other pedals on market |
+ Includes Cleats and Hardware
+ Light weight aluminium construction
|Dislikes||– Only available in Black|
– Visible paint wear at contact points
– SPD is less suited for longer road cycling
|Where to Buy (US)||Trek Bikes|
Bontrager neatly packages the pedals in a cardboard box with the pedals clearly visible through a window. As with other Bontrager products, the graphics are crisp and informative.
Inside the box you’ll find:
- 2x Commuter pedals
- 2x cleats and hardware
- Instruction manual
FIT & FINISH
The Bontrager Commuter pedals have a great balance between affordability and design. The pedals weighed only 306g on our scales which is fairly light thanks to the aluminum construction. Unlike other pedals on the market which offer a variety of color options, the Commuter pedals are only offered in a semi-gloss black. While the finish looks well done, we found it quickly showed wear at the cleat contact points after only a few rides. Bontrager also utilizes a durable Chromoly spindle design with sealed cartridge bearings. We found the pedals to be smooth while still staying in position even at higher speeds. On the road, you can easily rotate the pedals to the proper side with a little nudge.
Starting with the platform side of the pedals, Bontrager has utilized a wide contact surface that makes it easy to ride with normal shoes. For improved grip, the Commuter Pedals feature raised portions on the aluminium surface for additional grip. Although these aren’t as effective as the removable pins you’ll find in more expensive mountain biking platform pedals, we found them to be more than sufficient for urban riding. The large size of the platform pedals makes it easy to ride to with a variety of non-cycling shoes as there is a larger contact surface between the shoes and pedal.
On the SPD side of the pedals, you’ll find a familiar spring-loaded SPD cleat design. To dial in the SPD cleats, Bontrager also includes an easy to use adjustable release tension. With a simple allen key interface, the tension can be tightened or loosened to match a rider’s preference (Note: they are shipped in fully loosened position). The included black metal SPD cleats and hardware feels well designed and are easy to install on an SPD compatible shoe. Although SPD cleats aren’t as effective as 3-bolt cleat designs like the SPD-SL or Look Keos, the smaller footprint of the SPD cleats allow the cleats to be recessed within a shoe. The big benefit of this is that you can wear normal looking and feeling shoes as the cleats do not contact the ground as you walk. This is a big reason why SPD cleats are so popular in mountain biking, commuting, as well as indoor or spin bikes.
ON THE ROAD
To take full advantage of the dual-sided pedals, we tested these pedals with a set of DZR S24O shoes which feature a recessed SPD design. The DZR shoes are a great match for the Bontrager Commuter as they have a stiffened sole and an urban design that makes them great for commuting with or without the SPD cleats. For shorter rides, the platform side of the Commuter Pedals were grippy and offered a large contact surface. On longer rides, we used the SPD cleats to utilize the direct connection between the shoes and pedals. As someone more used to Look Keo pedals, the SPD clipless style took a little getting used to but provided a similar engagement and release design. We still prefer 3-bolt road cycling shoes for more competitive riding as the SPD-SL and Look Keo cleats provide a larger footprint and more secure feeling. Nevertheless, the recessed design of the SPD allows you to use normal looking shoes ranging from SPD sandals to urban boots.
Overall, we found the Bontrager Commuter Pedals to be a simple yet effective dual-sided pedal that lives up to the ‘commuter’ namesake. By utilizing both platform and SPD cleats, the Commuter Pedals make it easy to ride with normal shoes or SPD cycling shoes on the fly. Although the black pedals aren’t as visually exciting as the anodized or color-shifting variations offered by other manufacturers, the affordable price and aluminium construction make them competitive. Aside from the wear-and-tear that quickly shows at contact points on the pedal, we found the Commuter Pedals offered good performance with normal or SPD shoes. The bearings felt smooth making it easy to quickly switch between the different sides of the pedals while riding. Whether you’re cruising around town or doing longer weekend rides, the Bontrager Commuter pedals are a great way to make your bike even more versatile.
Disclaimer: The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.