Pedals & Cleats
Perhaps the one thing that people are a little unsure of to begin with, once you have used clip-in (or clipless pedals as some call them),
you will wonder why you didn’t sooner!
Should you use clipless pedals?
Using clipless pedals increases the control you have on your bicycle, be it road or mountain, and so your confidence will increase knowing that your feet will be firmly planted onto the pedals. Used by the pro’s, a good set of pedals and cleats can make a big difference to your ride.
How do Clipless Pedals and Cleats Work?
Clipless pedals comprise of two important parts – one is the pedal, the other is the cleat. The cleat is attached to the bottom of your shoe and when offered up to the pedal and pressure applied, a spring mechanism ‘clicks’ you into place. This will then hold you into place until you clip yourself out, usually with a twisting motion from your heel.
They do take a bit of practice getting used to them, and most people have a few wobbles when they forget to unclip when coming to a stop, but if you persevere, you’ll be pleased for making the jump.
Which shoes and pedals are compatible?
Road and Track Pedals
Predominantly used by road and track cyclists and makes use of a large cleat that is fixed to the bottom of the shoe by three bolts. The pedals are only one sided, but are weighted to the rear to make it easier to clip in. They are not designed to be walked in.
Mountain and Cyclocross
More popular with off road riders such as mountain bike and cyclocross riders. The cleats on this style of pedal are much smaller, and fixed to the shoe by using two cleat bolts. In most cases, the cleat is recessed into the shoe making it much easier to walk in them, perfect for technical terrain where this might be required.
The type of shoe you are using needs to be matched to the type of pedal. Some style of shoes are compatible with both the road and mountain bike style of cleat, whereas more performance orientated shoes are only compatible with one or the other.
Andy is the Product Specialist and Content Writer at Ribble. He takes part in all disciplines of cycling, but can mostly be found either on his road bike or on the mountain bike trails.