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Best Pedals For Folding Bicycles

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The folded size of a folding bike is adversely affected by the bits that stick out, meaning the handlebar and the pedals.

Handlebars fold down on folding bikes, but pedals don’t always fold.

Even when they do fold, the quality of pedals on a new bike is often mediocre at best.

In this article, we review the best folding bike pedals and pedals for folding bicycles. Our top pick is the MKS FD-7 Folding Pedals for its build quality and serviceability.

We’ll also give you hints and tips so you can track down ideal pedals yourself.

Top Picks:

Top 11 Best Folding Pedals Reviewed

Below, we’ll show you a wide range of foldable pedals for folding bikes. Even the cheapest of them may be an improvement over what you get on a new bike.

1. MKS FD-7 Folding 9/16-inch Bike Pedals (best overall)

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  • Material: Alloy
  • Weight: 487g (pair)

They’re not the lightest by far, but for sheer quality we have to choose the MKS FD-7 Folding Pedals. Japanese company MKS is one of the most reputable pedal manufacturers in the world.

These double-sided pedals are suitable for folding bikes from all leading brands. That includes Brompton, Tern, and Dahon. They have integral reflectors for nighttime visibility. Serrated (jagged) edges hold your feet in place firmly enough for city riding.

The FD7 pedal features a cup-and-cone bearing system. This makes it serviceable rather than disposable.

Features

  • Construction – excellent metal build quality.
  • Teeth – semi-aggressive tooth pattern for a city riding level of traction.
  • Reflectors – integrated reflectors.
  • Bearings – cup-and-cone assembly makes the pedal serviceable.

2. Kabon Universal 9/16-inch Folding Bike Pedals (runner-up)

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  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 408g (pair)

Unlike the MKS pedals above, Kabon Universal 9/16-inch Folding Bike Pedals use sealed bearings. This is good in that it prevents dust and dirt getting in and causing damage. They potentially last a long time, but you often cannot service them.

We like these pedals because they’re well made, lightweight, durable, and have good traction for everyday pedaling. This is helped by a concave design and angled teeth.

The Kabon pedals have a wide platform by folding pedal standards, which makes them good for comfort and power transfer.

As with most standard flat pedals, the Kabon pedals include reflective strips to help you get seen in the dark. Because pedals aren’t the most intuitive things to install, they are also marked left (L) and right (R).

Features

  • Build – decent build quality, though not quite as tank-like as the MKS pedals.
  • Low maintenance – sealed bearings make the pedals durable and low-maintenance. Theoretically, they also give the pedals a finite lifespan.
  • Traction – angled teeth and a concave design give firm control for normal riding.
  • Left/Right – left and right pedals are identified.
  • Reflectors – extra visibility after dark.

3.  Lixada Quick-Release 9/16-inch Pedals (best removable)

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  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 302g (pair)

An alternative to the folding pedal when you need to make your bike compact is a removable pedal. The Lixada Quick-Release 9/16-inch Pedals can quickly and easily be removed from any bike.

These pedals act as a theft deterrent in some cases, as many thieves ride away on their plunder. A downside is the possibility of losing or misplacing the pedals yourself, but you can always carry a spare set should the worst happen.

The spindles of these pedals are strong, thanks to a Chromoly steel construction. Serrated edges give you traction. This, of course, helps to make them light because they aren’t solid platform pedals.

Sealed bearings in these pedals prevent dust, water, and grime from entering and affecting performance.

As usual, you get reflector strips on the sides of the pedals for low-light visibility.

Features

  • Lightweight – owing partly to their design, these are extremely light pedals.
  • Sturdy – confidence-inspiring build quality.
  • Quick-release – remove the pedals instead of folding them, which also acts as a theft deterrent.
  • Teeth – serrated edges provide traction.
  • Reflect – built-in reflector strips to stay seen in the dark.

4. Schwinn 9/16-inch Folding Platform Pedals (best budget)

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  • Material: Nylon
  • Weight: 362.8g (pair)

Although there are many models of folding pedals at a similar price, not all of them have the build quality of Schwinn Folding Platform Pedals. A key part of their appeal lies in the quality of the loose (cup-and-cone) bearings.

These pedals are ideal for various types of folding bikes, including Schwinn’s popular Loop model. They’re lighter than some of the pedals above because they’re not metal. The nylon construction is durable, however.

Nine surface pegs around the edges of each pedal provide most of the traction in gripping your shoes. You preferably need to wear shoes without shiny soles, like sneakers or Five Ten MTB shoes.

Again, you get the usual reflective strip on the sides of the pedals for extra low-light visibility.

Features

  • Lightweight – nylon construction makes these pedals an ounce or two lighter than some models (50-60g).
  • Durable – the nylon construction is hard-wearing, and the bearings are good.
  • Traction – nine traction pins per pedal to grip your shoes.
  • Reflectors – safety feature for low-light visibility.

5. Olywan Folding Non-Slip 9/16-inch Bike Pedals

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  • Material: Nylon
  • Weight: 354g (pair)

If you seek durable, affordable pedals, consider the Olywan Folding Non-Slip Bike Pedals. These pedals have “DU bearings”, which are a sleeve type of bearing requiring no lubrication. You can use them on any type of folding road or MTB bike.

These nylon pedals have a hollow design to help keep their weight down. The nylon material is durable and resistant to damage such as scuffs and scrapes.

Each of the Olywan pedals has 10 traction nodes to grip your shoes and hold your feet firmly in position. Reflective strips down the sides help keep you seen in poor light.

The folding mechanism on the pedals is easily released by pulling back on the interior “handle”. This is a simple, durable pedal with a common 9/16-inch thread.

Features

  • Bearings – DU sleeve bearings are potentially lighter and quieter than regular ball bearings.
  • Nylon – durable nylon body.
  • Traction – 10 traction nodes per pedal keep your feet secure.
  • Folding – folding mechanism is released by an interior handle.

6. VGEBY1 Folding 9/16-inch Bicycle Pedals

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  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 440g (pair)

For a sturdy pair of pedals with metal construction and strong traction for your feet, consider the VGEBY Folding Bicycle Pedals. These cheap pedals feature serrated edges and nodes to secure your feet.

The 90° folding mechanism of the VGEBY Pedals is released by pulling the internal chrome slider away from the bike.

Features

  • Sturdy – strong aluminum construction with cut-out center for lightness.
  • Traction – serrated edges and nodes at the end to firmly grip your shoes.
  • Reflectors – reflective strips for night-time or early morning visibility.
  • Mechanism – folding mechanism triggered from the center of the pedal.

7. Brompton Folding Left-Hand Pedal

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  • Material: Metal
  • Weight: 284g (one)

As you’d expect, build quality in the Brompton Folding Left-Hand Pedal is high. This pedal is compatible with all Brompton bikes. The right-hand, non-folding pedal is sold separately.

The reason you can only buy one folding pedal for the Brompton is, of course, because the fold envelopes the non-folding side. Thus, it doesn’t need to fold.

This pedal has teeth around its perimeter to keep your foot secure. It’s made with sealed bearings for longevity and low maintenance. It has reflector panels, like most of our reviewed products.

Features

  • Sturdy – solid build quality in keeping with the bikes it’s intended for.
  • Sealed – sealed bearings for durability and low maintenance.
  • Reflectors – side reflector strips.
  • Teeth – traction comes from the pedal’s perimeter teeth.

8. Zizzo Quick-Release 9/16-inch Bike Pedals With Under-Saddle Storage

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  • Material: Metal
  • Weight: 453g (pair)

As one of the foremost manufacturers of folding bikes, it’s interesting to see what Zizzo comes up with for pedals. The Zizzo Quick-Release Bike Pedals are sturdy enough and offer a wide platform (93mm x 75mm) for confident, efficient pedaling.

The pedals come with a convenient bracket for under-saddle storage, so you can keep them with the bike until you’re ready to ride. Although a lack of pedals is an anti-theft deterrent, it could also be disastrous for you unless you usually keep them with the bike.

Each pedal is marked “L” or “R”, so you immediately know which is which when installing. The pedals have six traction pins apiece to hold your feet in place. This is a nice offering from Zizzo, albeit quite an expensive one relative to their cheaper bikes.

Features

  • Construction – solidly built with metal construction.
  • Quick-release – take the pedals completely off to minimize the folded bike size.
  • Bracket – an under-saddle bracket lets you store the pedals with the bike.
  • Wide – big space for your feet, enhancing comfort and power transfer.
  • Traction – traction pins and knurled pattern help secure feet.

9. Promend Quick-Release 9/16-inch Bike Pedals

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  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 286g (pair)

Another quick-release pedal option is the Promend Quick-Release 9/16-inch Bike Pedals. These lightweight aluminum pedals have a self-lubricating sealed bearing for low maintenance and durability.

A benefit of removable pedals rather than folding ones is the ability to have a bigger, wider pedal. The Promend pedal has generous 91 mm (3.58”) x 115mm (4.52”) dimensions so you can pedal confidently and find a natural position for your feet.

For grip, the Promend pedals have 6 traction pins and a knurled center pattern. The pedals are clearly marked “L” for left or “R” for right so you can quickly install them without having to think about what goes where.

Features

  • Quick-release – remove the pedals completely for a compact folded bike.
  • Size – quick-release pedals allow more scope for a broader size.
  • Lightweight – lightweight pedals thanks to minimal use of material.
  • Anti-theft – bikes without pedals appeal to fewer thieves.

10. Wellgo F265 Folding 9/16-inch Pedal

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  • Material: Aluminum (Boron spindle)
  • Weight: 436g (pair)

Wellgo is one of the world’s top pedal manufacturers and offers the Wellgo F265 Folding 9/16-inch Pedal for space-conscious bikes. This is a high-performance pedal made with Wellgo 2DU bearings.

The 2DU Wellgo bearings comprise two polymer bearings (or bushings) per pedal rather than conventional ball bearings. These should deliver a smooth, quiet performance as well as being lightweight.

As well, these F265 folding pedals include traction pins and a knurled pattern to secure your feet. They have the customary reflectors on the sides. These pedals have a wide profile, so they’re good for more demanding off-road antics as well as everyday riding.

Features

  • DU bearings – patented double DU bearing design for durability.
  • Quality – high build quality from one of the world’s leading pedal makers.
  • Space – a wide pedal for confident riding and secure foot placement.
  • Grip – traction pins and surface pattern for good shoe grip.
  • Reflectors – help with low-light visibility.

11. ArtHealth Folding 9/16-inch Nylon Bike Pedals

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  • Material: Nylon
  • Weight: 390g (pair)

Nylon is a tough material that’s resistant to scuffing and damage, so that’s one attraction of the ArtHealth Folding Bike Pedals. The non-slip surface of the pedals with traction nodes around the edges keeps your feet securely in place.

Unlike the flat quick-release type of pedal, these pedals make use of their depth with reflective strips. This gives you a little more visibility in low light and they fulfill a legal need in some places.

These pedals are marked “L” and “R” at the top of the thread so you can quickly ascertain which pedal goes on which side. The spindle is made of Chromoly steel for strength and durability.

Features

  • Durable – made of durable and damage-resistant nylon.
  • Traction – no less than 13 traction nodes around the pedal edges.
  • Spindle – Chromoly steel pedal spindle for strength.
  • Reflectors – reflective strips for low-light rider safety.

What are Folding Pedals And Why Use Them?

The problem with any bicycle when you want to store it or put it in a car trunk is that some bike parts inconveniently stick out. In particular, the handlebar and pedals are awkward. These are the widest, most outlying parts of a bike.

On a folding bike, the handlebar invariably folds down as part of the bike’s foldable remit. The situation with pedals varies.

Some bikes, like Bromptons, only require one pedal to fold because the other pedal is enveloped by the bike and doesn’t affect the folded size. Other bikes fold less neatly and may even leave the pedals jutting out.

Anyone who has ever tried to lay a bike in the back of a car will know the pedals get in the way. You’ll usually try to find a means of resting the bike so that the weight isn’t borne by the pedal (typically on the non-drive side).

A foldable pedal solves these problems. You can make folding bikes more compact when folded, and you can lay regular bikes down more evenly in a car or elsewhere.

You also might want to squeeze a bike into a tight space somewhere, whether it’s an apartment, shed, or garage. Folding pedals help with this.

Are Folding Pedals Only For Folding Bikes?

Many people who buy folding pedals are going to be owners of folding bikes. Most people have no reason to make a regular bike slightly narrower, except in circumstances like those described above.

There’s nothing to stop you from putting folding pedals on any bike, including mountain bikes, road bikes, hybrid bikes, and cruisers. An obvious downside to this is that the choice of folding pedals is much more limited than that of regular pedals.

Folding pedals are only ever of the platform or flat variety, so this will put many riders of road bikes or drop handlebar bikes off of them. That’s especially true for fans of clipless pedals, which do not exist in folding form.

But still, you can theoretically put folding pedals on any bike. It only needs to accommodate standard 9/16-inch pedal threads.

Are Foldable Pedals Durable?

The durability of foldable pedals varies enormously, based on various factors. The most basic factor is the build quality. This could range from a durable metal construction to a flimsy plastic build that breaks after a few rides.

Bearing Types

Fundamentally important to the durability of folded pedals is the type and quality of their bearings. Below are three main types of bearing:

  • Loose bearings (aka cup-and-cone) – these pedals will have easily accessible ball bearings that you can service or replace. This, in turn, means the pedals can last indefinitely with care. Shimano produces this type of pedal (non-folding).
  • Sealed bearings – pedals with sealed bearings are meant to be disposable and aren’t usually easy to service. Although they have a finite lifespan, they need little maintenance as the bearings are sealed from contaminants.
  • DU/sleeve type bearing – this type of bearing may be made of polymer to reduce pedal weight. This is a low-maintenance, self-lubricating bearing with a potentially long lifespan, but the quality of DU bushings varies.

As with most things, you have to pay attention to detail. A reputable company is less likely to use poor bearings than one whose history is impossible to track.

Look closely at pedal peer reviews. Cheap pedals with poor bearings don’t take long to reveal themselves.

Do Folding Bike Pedals Have To Be Foldable?

An alternative solution to folding pedals for folding bikes is removable pedals. These types of pedals have a quick-release design, thus it’s not an onerous task to keep removing and replacing them.

A major downside to removable pedals is the possibility that you’ll forget you took them off and drive out somewhere with an unrideable bike.

On the plus side, an absence of pedals is an anti-theft deterrent. That’s because many thieves ride off on the bike they steal. They want that speed benefit in case they encounter the owner of the bike in the vicinity.

Our reviews reveal a quick-release pedal by folding bike maker Zizzo. In this case, the pedals are stored with the bike to prevent the kind of disaster mentioned above.

A decided benefit of a quick-release pedal is that it doesn’t need to be compact or conform to the folded shape of the bike. You can have a wide platform pedal. This may be more comfortable and make power transfer more efficient.

Video: Demonstration Of Quick-Release Pedals

Other Features To Look For in A Folding Bike Pedal

There are a few other features to look for in a folded bike pedal. We’ll go over some of them quickly:

  • Spindle types – pedal spindles are usually made of strong Chromoly steel or rust-resistant stainless steel. The latter type is rarer.
  • Traction – pedals should have some form of in-built traction to keep your feet in place. This usually means traction pins or a serrated pattern around the edges.
  • Shape – some pedals have a slightly concave shape or design that helps secure and center the foot.
  • Thread Size – virtually all pedals have a 9/16” 20 TPI thread size. The other size is 1/2” 20 TPI, which you’re unlikely to see in a folding bike.
  • Left & Right – to remove any doubt and to make installation simple, most folding pedals will be marked right and left with an “R” and “L”.
  • Reflectors – the majority of folding pedals have a reflector. This is a legal requirement in some places (which may be fulfilled with other reflectors). Sleeker quick-release platform pedals don’t have them.
  • Material – most metal pedals are made of aluminum. They are strong and lightweight. Nylon pedals are light and have some natural resistance to damage. Plastic or resin pedals can be flimsy and less durable in some cases, but they may also offer good value.

Wrapping Up

It’s now time to briefly revisit our reviews.

The MKS FD-7 Folding Pedals top our list for their build quality and serviceability of their cup-and-cone bearings. These pedals should last a lifetime with some occasional maintenance.

In second place, we like the Kabon Folding Bike Pedals for their build quality and design. These have sealed bearings, so the pedals are meant to be consumable, but they should provide a lot of trouble-free, low-maintenance use.

Our third-placed Lixada Quick-Release 9/16-inch Pedals offer a different solution to folding pedals. They are removable. We like these lightweight pedals for their high build quality and ease of use.

Whatever pedals you choose for a folding bike, we hope this article helps you to find the ideal product.

Read more: The best pedals for commuting

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Glenn H
Glenn H
When I’m not contributing articles to Bike Push, I can often be found cycling on the rural roads around me. If I can help you benefit from bicycling in some small way, I’ll consider it a win.

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