You should choose your clipless road pedals based on how used you are to them – beginners will need a slightly different model or adjustment to cyclists who already ride with clipless pedals.
There are two main families of clipless pedals: road pedals and mountain bike pedals.
1/ Road Bike Pedals
Road pedals are designed with a large pedalling surface for transferring as much energy as possible from the cyclist’s legs.
IF YOU’RE TRYING CLIPLESS PEDALS FOR THE FIRST TIME
Choose a model where you can adjust the tension. This type of pedal is easier to clip into and get out of. If the spring is stretched to the max, it will be easier to unclip from: all you need to do is a flick of your heel to the side to free your shoe from the pedal. You can then tighten them up as you get used to them.
IF YOU ALREADY USE CLIPLESS PEDALS
Choose a model with a large surface area. It’ll be able to hold your foot on the pedal more securely when you’re pedalling hard – we know the last thing you want to think about is your foot slipping when you’re racing towards that finishing line!
2/ Mountain Bike Pedals
The idea behind clipless pedals is to limit energy loss. The foot doesn’t just push – it also pulls the pedal back up again, which increases performance. With this push-and-pull system, your pedalling power increases.
IF YOU ARE A NOVICE MOUNTAIN BIKER
Don’t tighten the spring too much – you want your foot to be as free as possible. A very tight spring will be harder to unclip from. Then, as you improve, simply tighten it up.
IF YOU ARE A REGULAR MOUNTAIN BIKER
Clipless pedals with a platform will improve the support you get, even if your shoes come unclipped. For intense mountain bike use, opt for lighter clipless pedals with cartridge bearings (which last longer) and stronger tension adjustment.