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25 Apr ’10 Comments (1) Blog, Cycling Tips, Ride, Women's Cycling

Different Types of Pedals

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There are a variety of pedal types out in bike land these days.  The three top types of pedals are the following :

Platform Pedals

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.

Clipless Pedals

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.

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One Response to Different Types of Pedals

  1. wvcycling says:

    Love clipless pedals. I was very apprehensive on putting them on my mountain bike for a while; just something about being on the trails and strapped to the bike…. I got over it after a few months.

    If you are cycling for performance or sport, you would have to be crazy not to go clipless. Straps with outdated quill-pedal clips are rare for sportive type things. ( http://www.yellowjersey.org/tocleat.html )

    Whenever jaunting around town, I have no problem wearing whatever shoes and just pedaling with my LOOK or SPD type pedals without using proper shoes/cleat connections. I guess that is what being a cyclist is about, or maybe I need another bike as my dedicated non-clipless city bike… You know, since I already have a clipless city bike and all :P

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