I have always been quite happy with my old style toe clip pedals. Yes it’s true that they may not be the latest thing, but then I have heard so many tales of people falling over because they can’t unclip their feet from clipless pedals (a bit of an anomaly there as you clip into clipless pedals) that I have always decided against them. Well up until now that is. I have to admit I have been wondering if they could improve my performance as it is claimed they can do but someone started a discussion about pedals on a forum I go to now and again. And then there came this post:
“Using toe straps is an invitation for people who work in bike shops to patronise and humiliate you.”
“Unless you have a beard and a urine stain on your baggy shorts when they will understand.”
So that was it, off to the bike shop today to buy a pair of clipless pedals. I am doing a sponsored ride tomorrow so will write about how many times I fall off because I can’t get my feet out!
So, what are clipless pedals? * clears throat while everyone logs off *
Clipless pedal systems are an improvement over the toe clip and strap in many ways, comfort, safety and speed to name a few. Comfort was improved as there is no need for a strap holding the foot in place, therefore bloodflow is not affected and constant strap adjustment is no longer required. Safety is improved as the need to reach up and down to adjust straps when starting and stopping is no longer required, you simply twist the foot to disengage the pedal when approaching your stopping point whilst still holding the bars with both hands. Setting off is the reverse, just push down on the pedal and you are clipped in, all the time keeping both hands on the bars and your eyes on the road. Speed is also improved as you clip in and forget, no straps to tighten or adjust. Built into most clipless pedal systems is a technology called float, float is the amount of degrees your foot can move from side to side when clipped into the pedal, this float is essential as it allows the knee to move naturally during the pedalling motion. Most pedals will have different cleats available or adjustable float to adapt the amount of movement.