Different Types of Bike Pedals

Different Types of Bike Pedals

May 19, 2022

You can still ride a bike without pedals, but that would make the ride slow and less fun — it’s the most important contact point between you and the type of bike you ride. However, not many people worry or think too much about bike pedals options or whether it makes any difference at all. But the truth is, understanding different bike pedals and what they offer is important.

According to research, there is a considerable variation in power output across pedal types throughout different periods, including short sprints of just a few seconds and prolonged durations of two minutes or more. It also affects the effort you may need to turn the pedal and your comfort level during pedaling. In short, choosing the right bike pedal will transform your cycling experience. 

There are three common types of bike pedals. 

Flat (Platform)

Most serious cyclists tend to overlook flat pedals, also known as platforms. This dismissive notion is a shame because flat pedals are the most flexible type. You can add clips or cages if you have flat pedals to make them ride like clipless pedals, and many people do this before adopting clipless.

Platform pedals, standard on BMX, urban, leisure, and mountain bikes, allow you to walk on and ride. When you want to put your foot off and on the pedal, these are the simplest to operate and do not require any unique technique or shoe.

Clipless Pedals

Clipless pedals are those that you don’t have to clip onto. Clipless pedals are the preferred option for pro bikers.

Clipless pedals allow cyclists to attach their feet mechanically to the pedal, which is advantageous because it enables increased efficiency. In addition, power transfer to the pedals becomes more accessible and without the risk of your feet slipping off.

Because of the attached nature of the system, there is usually a learning curve because it is possible to topple over while still tied to the bike.

Mountain bike pedals, road pedals, and touring pedals are the three most common clipless pedals.

1. Road Pedals

Road bike pedals are oversized and require a large cleat. In addition, due to the size of the pedal, it should have a flat sole to function, and walking in road shoes and cleats is a bit of a task. However, specialized cleat coverings and accessories are available for riders who intend to do a little more walking during their ride.

2. Mountain pedals

Mountain bike cleats and pedals are smaller because mountain bike shoes have a walking sole. This feature could be helpful because competitive mountain riding requires dismounting and shouldering your bike to get over and around significant obstacles.

3. Touring pedals

Touring pedals typically employ a mountain bike cleat, but they also come with a platform that allows you to ride without being clipped on, giving you the option. Gravel, cyclocross, and urban riders all employ these pedals and systems.

Clip pedals

Toe clip pedals use a cage and strap to secure the foot to the pedal. Toe clip pedals, now considered an outdated and less popular alternative to clipless pedals, allow the foot to be attached to the bicycle without special cycling shoes.

Toe clip pedals offer less safety than clipless versions because the shoe can be trapped during an emergency. As a result, toe clip pedals are less safe for mountain biking, with clip pedals most commonly found on commuter or indoor fitness bikes that are less prone to accidents.

As you now know, you cannot simply attach any pedals to whatever bike. Each pedal type has a purpose, advantage, and some shortcomings. The most important thing is to source from the best. Big Momma’s Bicycles is your one-stop shop for all your cycling needs. For more information about our cycling inventory, including maintenance and repairs, call us today at (239) 263-0728 or fill out our contact form to message us online.


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