Pedal

Bicycle pedals
Components 101: Learn the basics about different types of pedals before we go all technical

Components 101: Pedals

 

Pedal type

Advantages

Disadvantages

Basic platform pedals are the most common type of pedals, designed for any type of footwear.

  • Extremely simple to use
  • No specialised footwear needed
  • No power transferred to the pedal on the upstroke (you can't pull up on them when pedaling)
  • Easy for feet to slip off pedals

More advanced platform pedals feature a serrated edge for increased grip into the soles of your shoes, helping keep your foot on the pedal.

  • Simple to use
  • No specialised footwear needed
  • Pedal design offers better gripping surface
  • No power transferred to the pedal on the upstroke
  • Pedal teeth can cause nasty injuries to your shins if your foot slips off the pedal.

Toe clips, attached to a platform pedal, allow the rider to drive the pedal during the full rotation (pulling up on the pedal as well as pushing down).

  • Relatively easy to learn how to use
  • No specialised footwear needed
  • Riders can utilise leg power to pull up on the pedal as well as push down when pedaling.

 

  • Still some minor loss of power - toe clips cannot harness all of the energy the leg provides when moving through the pedal cycle.

Clipless bike pedals allow the rider's feet to be attached to the pedals through the use of special cleats and shoes. These allow the most efficient transfer of power from the rider's legs to the pedals.

  • Maximum transfer of power to the pedals - no loss of energy as feet remain attached during all 360 degrees of the pedal rotation. This means power is applied both during the upstroke, pulling the pedals up, as well as on the downstroke, pushing the pedals down.  
  • A complete feeling of attachment to the bike
  • Specialised shoes required*
  • Takes time to perfect the skill of clicking in and out of the pedal when you come to a complete stop

* Check that your shoes and pedals are compatible as there are several different shoe/pedal systems on the market.

 

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