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Road Bike Pedals – Pedals Especially to Boost Your Tarmac Rides

Cycling is made even more enjoyable when humans and machines merge. Special road bike pedals help this happens by keeping you securely attached to your road bike and allowing you to pedal extremely efficiently. You’ll enjoy not only a better riding experience, but also improved performance. The pedals might even give you an extra edge when it comes to speed. On this page, we’ve put together everything you need to know about road bike pedals. Read more

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Road Pedals with Clip-In Function – A Technological Revolution

Win the Tour de France and start a technological revolution – that’s exactly what Bernard Hinault managed to do in 1985. The Frenchman, one of the few cyclists in history to win the biggest cycling race in the world five times, was in fact the first cyclist to successfully use so-called clipless pedals sucessful in competition. These had only been officially launched by the manufacturer Look the year before – and were therefore still brand new bike parts at the 1985 Tour de France. Hinault’s victory triggered a revolution: the new road bike pedals spread through the peloton at lighting speed – and later also through the world of amateur and leisure cycling. Today, clipless pedals are the most common type of pedals on road bikes – whether on touring road bikes or high-performance machines.

Road Bike Clipless Pedals: What Are Clipless Pedals and How Do They Work?

The principle behind clipless pedals is simple: similar to a ski binding, the foot is firmly connected to the bike, ensuring the foot is positioned perfectly on the pedal. Instead as on a usual bike pedal that also means that you can both push forward and pull back on the pedals to produce the so-called ‘round stroke’, which ensures a higher degree of efficiency and thus better power transmission. That’s why clipless pedals are equipped with a specific clip-in mechanism that enables the foot to be secured to the pedal. Note: While mountain bike pedals have this clip-in mechanism on both sides of the pedal, road bike pedals only have it on one side. The weight distribution within the pedals nevertheless ensures that the pedals mostly stay upright, so you can clip directly into them. You clip into the clipless pedals using cleats, which are attached to the bottom of your cycling shoe.

What Are the Different Kinds of Road Bike Clipless Pedals?

Like almost every bike parts product group, there are also various types of road bike pedal models. Road bike pedals with a clip-in function are distinguished on the one hand by their intended use and on the other hand by their design or manufacturer. For example, there are road bike pedals for serious athletes, which are both extremely functional and extremely lightweight. They often have carbon components and can weigh less than 100 grams. However, this means that they are usually also very expensive. There are also pedals for leisure and touring road cyclists, which are somewhat cheaper but also somewhat heavier. Gravel bikers, similarly to road bike riders, like to use road bike pedals, which can be combined with off-road cycling shoes.

The design of clipless pedals for road bikes usually depends on the manufacturer. This is because many manufacturers have their own technology, which means the clip-in mechanism differs. For example, there are differences in the size of the contact surface of the cleats on the pedal. The freedom of movement on the pedal and the adjustment options may also be different. That’s why at BIKE24 we tell you about the various properties of each pedal model in the every product description. We stock road bike pedals from well-known manufacturers such as Garmin, Look, Shimano, Time, Wahoo Fitness and XLC as well as from many other brands. A comparison of the brands Look and Wahoo Fitness shows just how different manufacturers’ approaches can be: in the Kéo system from Look, triangular cleats with a large contact surface are screwed onto the shoe. You clip in with a loud clicking sound using a spring mechanism. You can roughly adjust the freedom of movement through the selection of the cleats. In contrast, Wahoo Fitness Speedplay relocates the actual clip-in mechanism to the shoe itself. The result is a very small, round pedal body that you can clip into from both sides. The ‘cleat’ on the shoe is much heavier. The system also allows you to adjust the freedom of movement without having to change the cleats.

Loved by Sport Cyclists: Pedals with Power Measurement

The best road bike pedals featuring a power measurement function, also known as power meter pedals, play a special role in the world of road bike pedals. They have sensors that measure pedaling power, which is why they are used by serious athletes to monitor their training. Like standard road bike pedals, power meter pedals are also available in various designs, allowing you to choose between different systems. Power pedals are usually somewhat heavier than traditional road bike pedals due to the built-in technology. However, many athletes accept this extra weight in order to be able to monitor their training more accurately. Well-known manufacturers of road bike pedals with power measurement in the BIKE24 range include Favero Electronics, Garmin and Wahoo Fitness.

Road Bike Pedals: Are There Alternatives?

Yes, there are! Even though clipless pedals are used widely by road bike riders, you can of course also use other types of pedals on fast road bikes. Although gravel bikers usually also use clipless pedals, they often use mountain bike or special spd road pedals in rough terrain. In contrast, fans of a retro aesthetic like to use toe clip pedals on their road bike, i.e. road bike pedals with no clip-in function. And even road bike commuters or other city cyclists often fit road bike flat pedals to their machines.

What Accessories Do I Need for Road Bike Pedals?

To be able to use your road bike clipless pedals, you need two essential accessories: cleats and the right road bike shoes for clipless pedals. Finding the right cleats for you depends on the respective pedal manufacturer. In the item descriptions on BIKE24, you will therefore find advice on which pedal systems work with which pedal cleats. However, in addition to the cleats, you still also need the right road bike shoes for use with clipless pedals. These have screw holes on the underside, so that you can easily screw on the cleats. You’ll find a large selection of cleats and road bike shoes at BIKE24. PS: Both the release angle and the release force can usually be adjusted on many current pedal models.

Please Note: Getting In and Out of Road Bike Pedals

Did you know that thanks to the clip-in mechanism, the process of getting in and out of road bike pedals is slightly different than it is with flat pedals, for example? On most systems, you clip your foot in and out using a twisting motion. This should be practiced at first – perhaps while stationary and holding onto a pole or post at the same time. This is because if you’re not used to the release process, it can lead to falls, especially when moving slowly or stopping. It doesn’t usually take long to get used to this, however, so you should be able to get along just fine with your new road bike pedals after just a few attempts at clipping in. The same is true for cycling with clipless pedals: because your muscles need to get used to the ‘round stroke’, you’ll only feel the full effect of the secure human-machine connection after a few trips.