What You Need to Know About Choosing Pedals

What You Need to Know About Choosing Pedals

As the pedal transfers power from your leg to your bike, it is an especially important point of contact. Often, bikes come straight from the sales floor without pedals or with pedals that need to be upgraded.

"The right pedal set will increase pedaling efficiency, ride feel, and provide footwear versatility," a retail specialist at Hovsco said.

Choosing pedals starts with deciding whether you'd like to ride clipless (meaning your shoes must have cleats that clip into the pedals) or in flats (meaning your pedals do not require you to wear special bike shoes that clip into them).

Pedals with flats (platforms)

If you do not want to wear cleats on your bike shoes, which are not as comfortable, you can opt for a flat pedal (platform). You might want to stick to flats if you're just cruising around town and riding for general fitness. There are many lightweight flats that will work with your favorite pair of tennies for well under $100.

Flats are also popular in mountain biking. Mountain bike flats feature pins that grip the soles of mountain bike specific shoes, thus providing tight contact between your feet and the pedals.

Clipless pedals

If you take road cycling seriously, clipless pedals are practically essential. Clipless bikes give you more control (bunny hopping is a piece of cake). Clipless pedals also allow you to both push and pull up on the pedals, enhancing power transfer and pedaling efficiency. The most common types of clipless pedals are three-hole and SPD. It ultimately comes down to personal preference. Also, if your road bike doubles as a city cruiser, consider a dual-sided pedal with one side made for flats and one side compatible with cleats.

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