TeamCBC Cycling Tip – Choosing the Right Pedals

So you just spent thousands of dollars on a new bike and it didn’t even come with pedals, why is that? The answer is that there are many different types of pedals and, to keep the price down, the bike companies leave it up to you.

What to buy depends on you. Do you ride on the road, gravel, or mountain trails? Do want to clip in easier, go fast as possible or measure your power? All the above? Here’s a brief description of the different types of pedals along with the pros and cons. Feel free to post your opinion.

  • Flat – Simple, no clips.
    Pro: Just hop on and off, easy to walk when off the bike
    Con: Can only produce power when pushing down
  • MTB – Clipless, made for mountain biking, but can be used on the road
    Pro: Can clip in on either side, extra clearance for mud, easy to walk since cleat is recessed
    Con: A little heavier than road bike pedals, cannot adjust tension
  • Shimano – Clipless, made for road
    Pro: Lighter than MTB, durable, adjustable tension
    Con: Can only clip in on one side, difficult to walk when off bike, need to change cleat to change float
  • LOOK – Clipless, made for road, similar to SPD but not interchangeable
    Pro: Lighter than MTB, durable, adjustable tension
    Con: Can only clip in on one side, difficult to walk when off bike, need to change cleat to change float
  • Speedplay (lollipop) – Clipless, made for road, similar to SPD and LOOK, but not interchangeable
    Pro: Lightest of all pedals, can clip in on either side, adjustable float
    Con: Difficult to walk when off the bike, cannot adjust tension, higher maintenance, pricey
  • Power – Clipless, made for road, similar to SPD and LOOK, but not interchangeable
    Pro: Will measure your power when connected to bike computer
    Con: Slightly heavier than SPD, LOOK or SpeedPlay, difficult to walk when off the bike

Like everything in cycling, it’s all about personal preference. I have MTB, Shimano and LOOK pedals with a different shoes for each. I can tell you that MTB seem slower, but it is probably the shoes, which is another subject will cover in the future.

Quote of the week: Keep the rubber side down.

Here is a video demonstrating the differences in pedals.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTviU17GmQs

Rick Bunnell
President, TeamCBC

President

President