There are a variety of pedal types out in bike land these days. The three top types of pedals are the following :
These are the pedals you have been using since the big wheel. The are flat, sometimes with small grip pegs sticking out. These do not require any special shoes, are the easiest to use and are also the least effecient of the pedals listed.
Toe Clips and Straps
Take the above platform pedal, and and a cage with strap. These can be tightened down on your shoe to give you some ability to pull up on the pedals, as well as keeping your foot in a relative position.
You have probably heard horror stories of clipless, or clip-in, pedals. Chances are if you have tried them, you have toppled over one or two times. Requiring special shoes, special pedals and a high confidence rate. I recommend to try learning how to clip in with a friend, or your favorite local bike shop. Being locked into a trainer also helps as you don’t have to worry about falling over.
Clipless pedals (also clip-in or step-in) require a special cycling shoe with a cleat fitted to the sole, which locks into a mechanism in the pedal, holding the shoe firmly to the pedal. Most of today’s clipless pedals lock to the cleats when stepped together firmly, and unlock with when the foot is twisted outward. Clipless refers to the lack of an external toe clip (cage), but not to be confused with platform pedals without toe clips. – Souce: Wikipedia
Do I Need Clipless Pedals?
Good question, visit our follow up article on the advantages and disadvantages of clipless pedals.
Follow me on Twitter : @BikeShopGirlcom