PEDALS BUYING GUIDE
Which Are The Best Cycling Pedals?
With so many different types of cycling pedals to choose from, selecting the best type for your riding style and needs can be difficult. Here we give you the low down on the most popular styles of bike pedals to help you decide...
There are two main types of cycling pedals; flat and clipless. Both have their pros and cons but the overall deciding factor will come down to comfort and personal preference. Here’s our quick guide on each of the styles and the good and bad bits of each to help you pick the best style for you...
WHAT ARE FLAT / PLATFORM PEDALS?
Flat or platform pedals are your standard pedal type that can be used on any bike and with any shoe. Made from nylon, aluminium or magnesium, flat pedals are versatile and easy to use whether you are riding around town or hurtling downhill.
Good for: Town Riding | Urban Riding | Mountain Biking | Social Rides
- Easy to use
- Can be used with any type of shoe
- More movement
- Less pedal efficiency
- Loss of foot positioning possible
MTB FLAT PEDALS
WHAT ARE CLIPLESS PEDALS?
The name Clipless Pedals is a bit of a red herring as these pedals actually do involve your shoe being clipped into the pedal! The name derives from a previous form of pedal system using toe clips and straps. With clipless pedals you will need a special cycling shoe with a cleat bolted onto the sole which then clips into the pedal itself. This is released by simply twisting your foot out of the pedal. It takes a bit of practice to get used to clipless pedals but it’s not as scary as it sounds and once you have the hang of it, you’ll feel more connected to the bike giving you more control and better pedal efficiency. This type of pedal is used across a number of cycling styles including road, racing, commuting and mountain biking.
Good for: Road cycling | Commuting | Mountain Biking | Urban Riding
- Better pedalling efficiency
- Keeps foot positioning consistent
- Better bike control
- More power with less effort
- Can be difficult to jump off the bike in a crash (MTB)
- More expensive
- Need specific cycling shoes with cleats
- Clipless shoes are difficult to walk in
BENEFITS OF THE CLIPLESS PEDAL SYSTEM IN DETAIL
1) BETTER PEDAL EFFICIENCY
Pro cyclists typically achieve only 65% of their total stroke power during the downstroke meaning there’s at least 35% more power waiting to be had if you can learn to pull up on the pedal as well.
2) LESS MUSCLE FATIGUE
Using the full circle to pedal you can push down with your quads and pull up with your hamstrings allowing you to spread the work between the muscles, slowing lactic acid build up and preventing fatigue on longer and faster rides. Over time, you can learn to use different pedalling techniques to further increase this advantage.
3) MORE POWER
By having a stiff soled shoe, little energy is lost in transferring power to the pedal stroke. Furthermore, a stiff and well moulded heel cup stops the foot from moving around, again improving pedal power efficiency.
4) CONSISTANT FOOT POSITIONING
Having your foot held firmly in place on the pedal prevents it from moving around. It might take you a while to find your optimal foot position, but once you have it set up, you can be confident that your foot will be in the right place on every stroke.
ROAD CLIPLESS PEDALS