An Intro To Using Clipless Pedals

The usage of clipless pedals is pretty widespread now, but we know that there are still plenty of riders who are yet to use them, whether it’s due to the fact that they seem a bit intimidating, or simply not knowing much about them.

Although clipless pedals can seem strange at first to a rider who’s always been used to flat pedals, once you become acclimated to them, you’ll quickly realize all the advantages they provide.

So, for the unfamiliar and inexperienced, here is a quick introduction to what clipless pedals are, how they help, and how to get started using them.

CLIPLESS PEDALS AND THEIR BENEFITS

The name of these pedals is a little deceiving, and probably even a misnomer. While they are called “clipless” pedals, they actually work by clipping a specially designed shoe into the pedal itself, essentially attaching your foot to the pedal, making your body one with the bike.

There are two main benefits to this.

EFFICIENCY

When using a standard pedal where your foot can move around freely, your pedal only receives power from your legs when it’s being pushed downwards during the rotation cycle. This means that you’re only exerting usable power 50% of the time.

When you are clipped into a pedal, you can pull up on the pedal the other 50% of the time, allowing you to put more power into each pedal cycle, greatly increasing your pedal efficiency.

Clipless pedals in use.

CONSISTENCY

If you are pedaling using standard pedals, your foot can slide around and fall on different parts of the pedal when riding. The results in inconsistent pedaling positions that can not only decrease your speed and pace, but lead to aches and pains in the body as well.

Properly fitted clipless pedals and shoes lock your feet into an ideal part of the pedal, allowing you to keep things consistent, and your lower body in the same position each time you ride.

GETTING STARTED WITH NEW CLIPLESS PEDALS

  • To get clipped in, start with one foot already locked into the pedal, and positioned at the top of the pedal stroke
  • Push down with the clipped-in foot, and then sit down on the bike’s saddle
  • When the other pedal comes to meet your loose foot, rest your bike cleat attached to over the top of the pedal, and press down to engage
  • To release yourself from clipless pedals, twist your ankle outwards from the bike

TWO IMPORTANT CLIPLESS PEDAL TIPS

PRACTICE

The best thing you can do to learn is simply practice. Clipless pedals eventually become a muscle memory and habit, so it’s really just about training your mind to do it without thinking. The more repetition, the quicker you’ll get it down.

ALWAYS UNCLIP AT A STOP

It’s best to always unclip when you are approaching a stop. This gets you in the habit, and also helps avoid an embarrassing slow-motion crash. Always be mindful of when stops are coming up. If you need to, you can always pedal unattached for a few seconds when starting after a stop sign, red light, etc. 

Clipless pedals on a bike.

CONCLUSION

Clipless pedals provide a much more improved biking experience in every way one you’ve gotten used to them. We recommend you make the upgrade if you haven’t already, and start practicing until they’ve become second nature. Eventually, you’ll wonder what you did before using these.

This post was last updated on September 21st, 2018 at 02:37 pm

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