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The Bontrager Comp Road Pedals are hardwearing, offer plenty of adjustment and work with Look's durable Keo cleats. They're a good choice if you want a decent set of road pedals on a budget.
One thing that riders are wary of when trying out clipless pedals for the first time is being able to disengage quickly without falling over; that isn't an issue here. A small screw on the bottom controls the level of tension needed to clip in and clip out, and on its lightest setting you can get your cleat out with just a minimal amount of pressure.
If you're a powerful rider or a sprinter then you are covered too: wind the screw all the way in and you'll be suitably locked in with no accidental unclips at a crucial moment. I found a setup somewhere near the middle worked fine for me – enough tension to keep me in contact while being able to clip out quickly in traffic.
The cleats in the box are unbranded versions of Look's Keo and offer 6 degrees of float (the amount of angle you can twist your foot without disengaging the cleat from the pedal) which should be knee-friendly enough for the majority of riders.
The wear rates are good too, going from experience with similar cleats that came with other test pedals. And when they do wear out you can get similar offerings for just over a fiver online. They are a bit slippery to walk in compared to Shimano's SPD-SL, but that is about their only failing.
In use the pedals and cleats work well together, giving a solid, secure feeling when fully engaged. It's not the same click as you get from SPD-SL, but you certainly know exactly when you are connected.
The sealed cartridge bearings ran smoothly straight out of the box and continued to do so in what started out as quite a wet test period. It's early days yet but if they show up any signs of grumbling, I'll be back to let you know.
Bontrager has specced a chromoly spindle and an aluminium body, and the pedals don't do too badly in the weight department at 257g excluding cleats and bolts.
Stiffness is impressive, too, when you are really giving it the beans.
My only complaint is that the paint doesn't stand up to much abuse. The main body picked up plenty of scuffs and scratches quickly, and the painted finish of the central paint wears quickly from the clicking in/out motion, leaving the Comps looking scruffy.
It's not a major issue as it can't be seen when you are riding, but a polished plate might have been a better option – like that found on the more expensive Elite version.
At £54.99 the Comps aren't a bad price when it's not unheard of to find pedals nudging £300, but there are some cheaper options – like the dependable Look Keo Classic 3s which come with a composite body and are a little heavier but cost just £39.99.
Shimano's entry-level RS550s are the same price as the Bontragers, and for a fiver more, the similarly feeling iSSi Road pedals that I tested nearly six years ago are pretty much the same weight, even though they get a carbon composite body rather than an aluminium one.
Overall, apart from the paint issues I'm pretty impressed with the Bontrager Comp pedals. They are stiff, reliable and relatively cheap plus you get plenty of tension adjustment.
Simple but effective road pedals that offer plenty of tension adjustment and stiffness
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Bontrager Comp Road Pedals
Size tested: One size
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Bontrager says, "Take your riding to the next level with Bontrager Comp road pedals. A fully adjustable release tension lets you dial in the right feel for your ride, and adds the confidence and efficiency of a secure connection to your bike. Durable materials and sealed cartridge bearings ensure lasting performance for a pedal that is compatible with Look Cycle's KÉO® brand cleats. Cleats and hardware included."
It's a decent set of pedals that will work for powerful riders or those making the transition to clipless.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Road pedals that are compatible with Look Cycle's KÉO® brand cleats
Durable Chromoly spindle for long-lasting durability
Sealed cartridge bearings provide a smooth, reliable feel
Adjustable release tension
Includes red cleats with 6 degrees of float and mounting hardware
Great durability from the components, just not from the paint.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Simple to click in and out, plus plenty of stiffness.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
A large range of tension adjustment.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Look scruffy quickly.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Look's Keo Classic 3 pedals are a bit cheaper, but the Bontragers are in a similar ballpark to those from iSSi and Shimano, to name a couple.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
A solid all-round pedal from Bontrager that ticks all the basic boxes for not bad money. They won't stay looking new for long, though.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
As part of the tech team here at F-At Digital, senior product reviewer Stu spends the majority of his time writing in-depth reviews for road.cc, off-road.cc and ebiketips using the knowledge gained from testing over 1,500 pieces of kit (plus 100's of bikes) since starting out as a freelancer back in 2009. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 170,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him, he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. With a background in design and engineering, he has an obsession with how things are developed and manufactured, has a borderline fetish for handbuilt metal frames and finds a rim braked road bike very aesthetically pleasing!