Bike Pedals - Which should I choose?
Knowing which bike pedals to choose when undertaking a challenge can be difficult. I wanted to talk about the choices available to you in order for you to choose what is right for you and your challenge.
There are three types of bike pedals:
1) SPD - Walkable clipless system
2) Road clipless system
3) Flat – with or without toe clips & straps
There are many benefits to the clipless bike pedals:
*The foot stays in the right place
*Pull up as well as push down – twice the power and it gives a nice smooth revolution
*Bike shoes are more rigid so no energy is lost as with trainers which are designed to bend.
*Lighter and more streamlined (less wind resistance)
*Less restrictive than cages/straps that can affect the circulation
*Bunny hop over pot holes, debris etc (with experience)
For long distance cycling, road clipless are best. The shoes are designed for maximum efficiency, aerodynamics and minimum weight. The downside is that they are very hard to walk in because they have no flexibility and the cleat is prominent on the sole (you can buy cleat covers which protect the cleat and improve grip).
For commuting & mountain biking, SPD systems are best but for distance cycling they are better than flat pedals if you do not want road clipless. Mountain bike shoes have a slight flex in the sole and the cleat is recessed which helps with walking. Some pedals have the facility to click in on either side which saves trying to flip the pedal the right way. You can also buy a pedal with the clip on one side and flat on the other which can be great around the cities or if you ever need to use your bike without bike shoes.
It is important to make sure your cleat is positioned to give the optimum pedalling position and many clipless pedals can be fine-tuned for ease of entry and exit. Some riders set their pedals firm because they don't want their feet popping out especially during hill efforts but a looser setting can be helpful if you're just starting out with clipless pedals.
If you have any questions on bike kit contact me on Lorraine@challengecentral.co.uk