Bike Pedals – Set Off on the Right Foot
Bicycle pedals come in an array of different designs. The most well-known types include clipless pedals and flat pedals, but combi pedals are also being bought more frequently these days. Your perfect pedal type is entirely down to what kind of cycling you do. Read on to find out more about the different types of pedals and what to look out for when making your purchase. Read more
Bike Pedals – The Following Topics Await You
- The Different Pedal Types Available
- Clipless Pedals – Perfect for Sporty and Ambitious Cyclists
- Combi Pedals – The Best of Both Worlds
- Flat Pedals – For Optimum Grip Off Road
- Cage Pedals – Sporting Credentials with a Retro Look
- Pedal Accessories – Everything from Cleats to Reflectors
There are three points of contact between a cyclist and their bike: the handlebars, the saddle and the pedals, and these last play a very particular role in the cycling process. Mounted on the crank, pedals transmit the power the cyclist generates to the bike, driving it forwards. Whilst they may be one of the most unassuming parts on your bike, this also makes them one of the most important. But not all pedals are the same: there is an entire array of pedal types for different usages and each has its pros and cons. In principle, you can separate them into four different categories: clipless, combi, flat and cage. Below you can find a summary of the different pedal characteristics.
The Different Pedal Types Available:
- Clipless pedals
- Combi pedals
- Flat pedals
- Cage pedals
Clipless Pedals – Perfect for Sporty and Ambitious Cyclists
Clipless pedals are most popular among professional cyclists thanks to their special design: as your foot is firmly clipped into the pedal, you can achieve a high level of efficiency. This means that you can channel all your energy from pedalling into propelling your bike forwards, both from pushing and pulling. Clipless pedals are the first choice for mountain, road and gravel bikers alike. But first you have to get used to riding with them and learn how to use them safely. Getting on and off your bike with clipless pedals is a little more difficult than with other pedal types, as your foot is clipped in, just like on skis, fixing your foot firmly to the pedal. This works by using cleats, which are screwed onto special cycling shoes. There are different kinds of clipless pedals for road cyclists and mountain bikers, and they’re constructed differently depending on the manufacturer. Keo by Look, for example, is a popular series of road bike pedals. The SPD series by Shimano is well known for road bike and mtb pedals.
Combi Pedals – The Best of Both Worlds
Combis are a mixture of platform and clipless pedals and have the advantage that you can pedal on them with normal shoes and cycling shoes alike. The principle behind them is a simple one: one side features a platform pedal design, whilst the other features a clip-in mechanism like on clipless pedals. Before setting off, you can decide which side of the pedal you want to use. The downside, however, is that they’re not quite as comfortable to ride on as platform pedals, as they’re normally a little smaller, and they’re usually rather more difficult to use than purely clipless pedals too. That being said, combis make ideal pedals for cyclists who are sporty, but also like to use their bike for day-to-day riding. We mainly recommend them for trekking and touring bikes.
Flat Pedals – For Optimum Grip Off Road
Flat pedals are a special type of pedal used for downhill, trail and enduro mountain biking. They’re similar to platform pedals in design, but are usually larger and provide better grip thanks to their particular structure. They often feature studs or pins and a grippy surface to stick your foot to the pedal when riding off road, giving you a good, firm grip on the pedal even on those tricky downhills. Riding with flats, however, is less efficient than using clipless pedals, as you can’t transfer any power to your bike when you pull your leg up. Getting on and off your bike is also a little more difficult as your foot isn’t firmly attached to the pedal. We recommend flat pedals for riders who love racing down off-road descents. BMX pedals also fall into the flat pedal category.
Cage Pedals – Sporting Credentials with a Retro Look
Cage pedals were once THE go-to pedals and nowadays are mainly to be found on retro-style bikes. They’re similar to platform pedals, but feature a cage construction on top, into which you insert your foot. This means that cage pedals offer very efficient, comfortable cycling. Getting on and off the bike, however, is a little trickier than with other pedals, as you first have to find the right position for your foot inside the cage. In addition, if you’re caught off-guard when riding and your foot slips off the pedal, for example, you could injure your ankle or leg. We recommend cage pedals for cyclists who are after a pedal for sporty riding, but with a vintage touch.
Pedal Accessories – Everything from Cleats to Reflectors
Platform, clipless, combi, flat and cage pedals – there are accessories for every pedal type. The main accessory for clipless pedals is cleats, which you need to attach your cycling shoe to the pedal, and even cycling shoes themselves fall into the accessories category. Cyclists using platform pedals, on the other hand, often shop for spare reflectors. We also recommend bike cleaning products to keep your pedals in good nick.
As you can see, pedals are an important part of your bike and come in a variety of designs to boot. Finding the right pedals for you and your bike depends entirely on what you need and what kind of cycling you do. What’s more, whether you’re after platform, clipless, combi, flat or cage pedals, BIKE24 stocks all the types, and in an array of different versions to boot, so rest assured you’ll find the right pedal for you.