The Different Types of Bike Pedals

trek bike pedals

People new to biking may not be aware that there are different types of bike pedals available. Each type of pedal affects performance in various ways. However, each one has its own use and purpose. One type of bike pedal may be useful for mountain biking, while another type of pedal may be appropriate for street bikers.

Platform Bike Pedals

Platform bike pedals are the most common type of bike pedals. These are found on the majority of retail bicycles. They provide a flat surface for one to rest their feet on and pedal. What’s most convenient about these pedals is that they can be used with practically any shoe, unlike a few other pedals. New versions of platform bike pedals are made out of lightweight, moisture-resistant materials that offer excellent grip. The biggest advantage of these pedals is they don’t connect you to your bike so you can easily move your feet from the pedals in case of a crash.

Pedal Toe Clips and Straps

Toe clips, also known as toe cages, are little frames that attach to regular bicycle pedals. These mainly surround the toe area of a pedal, giving one the ability to pull their pedals up with their foot. Straps, on the other hand, are thick nylon laces that go around one’s foot on a pedal. Both of these will effectively prevent slips and possibly accidents. Most of all, they are affordable, lightweight and very easy to install on a bike. These pedals also can be used with most shoes, but the rider will need to get used to placing their feet into the toe straps while riding.

Clip-less Bike Pedals

Contrary to its name, clip-less bike pedals use an attachment that grabs on and locks to the sole of the rider’s shoe, much like a ski. Of course, they have to be wearing the right type of shoe for this to work. This pedaling system gives a biker superior control and mobility. This is especially useful for those who do tricks on their bike. At first, getting in and out of clip-less pedals may be somewhat of a challenge, but it will become second nature with practice.

Mountain Bike Pedals

The next common type of bike pedals are mountain bike pedals. These pedals do not have any attachments on them whatsoever, unlike some of the pedals mention above. These pedals come with two little holes that a bike puts a special shoe into, locking it into place. Although their design is very simple, they allow one to have more control by creating a locking mechanism. Another advantage with these pedals is that they detach from one’s shoe very easily, which is key when mountain biking.

Road Bike Pedals

Road bike pedals are very similar to mountain bike pedals since they both use hole-locking mechanisms. Instead of having only two holes, road bike pedals have three. The cleats are larger, made out of plastic and protrude further from the sole. The big advantage with these is that they spread the force over a larger area, increasing the overall strength of the pedal. For casual use, the two-hole locking mechanism should be sufficient.

Clip-less/Platform Bike Pedals

Obviously, this is a hybrid between clip-less and platform bike pedals. In general, this type of pedal is perfect for those who are trying to get used to clip-less bike pedals. With these pedals, one can choose to either ride their bike with a normal, platform pedal or use the locking mechanism. It’s important to note that their locking mechanism isn’t the same as road or mountain bike pedals.

No matter how you plan to ride or what type of bike pedals you prefer we have a great selection to choose from at our location and online. We can help you figure out the best pedal type for how you ride and your comfort level. We’ll even share tips and tricks for using the different types of pedals from our years of experience.

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