Road Pedals & Cleats
The bike pedal
The bike pedals are a part of the crankset and are mounted on the cranks. The cyclist places their feet there to exert a pressure which will actuate the pedal and transmit the energy to the derailleur to turn the wheels and advance the bike.
There are several types of bicycle pedals: flat pedals or automatic pedals, like the Look pedals on which the feet are directly attached.
Originally, road bikes were equipped with flat pedals with a strap to keep the foot fixed to the pedal. Today, on road and mountain bikes, we use automatic bike pedals on which the bike shoes are clipped. Bike shoes are indeed equipped with a wedge that fits on the pedal; to clip it, you just need to press the tip of the foot on the pedal, and to unclip, simply make an outward rotating movement with the foot.
With this system the foot is held on the pedal and makes it possible to optimise the pedaling by pushing and pulling on the pedals, thus obtaining a much better yield.
How to choose bike pedals?
The choice of bicycle pedals will depend on your practice:
- For the road bike, opt for automatic pedals: there are pedals with the wedge built into the shoe (Shimano SPD technology) and that allow you to walk comfortably. There are also two-sided pedals (one automatic and one flat) for beginners. Finally there is the classic road bike pedal, like the pedal Look.
- For the MTB, automatic pedals are also used but they will be less performing than the road bike pedals, they must allow to evacuate the mud easily and to get back on the pedals quickly after a walk. Some pedals are equipped with a cage around around the foot for a larger support surface, others have a double face, sometimes even four faces, to clip as quickly as possible. They are compact (light, efficient) or wide (for beginners or technical routes).
- For the city: flat pedals will be used.
The choice will also depend on your level:
If you are a beginner or occasional practitioner, you'll choose flat pedals or hybrid models with a flat face and an automatic face.
If you are a confirmed cyclist, you'll opt for automatic pedals, based on the weight, the impact resistance, the width of the support surface and the angular freedom according to your practice (little angular freedom makes it possible to maintain the pedaling force but can generate tension in the knees).
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