Mystery of Clipless Pedals

Why are clipless pedals called clipless?

The irony of the clipless pedal! Why are clipless pedals called clipless? Before the clipless pedal came the toe clip pedal, clipless refers to the lack of an external toe clip, but not to be confused with platform pedals without toe clips. The toe clip pedal has a cage that is clipped onto the pedal that your foot slips into. The so-called clipless pedal evolved from the idea of ski-boots, which involves a steal cleat bolted to the sole of a shoe that clicks in and out from a mechanism of the pedal. 

A Variety of Clipless Pedals                                                                  


Below is an image of a toe clip. 

Are clipless pedals for you?

They aren't for everyone, but if you tend to put on lots of miles this may be something worth trying. We suggest clipless pedals for road & mountain biking, recreational riding, commuting, and/or racing. The most significant innovation for the bicycle, they make you more efficient by providing a better foot-to-pedal connection and safer by offering close to instant foot entry and release. The power gained from locking your foot to your pedal increases with your pedal stroke while accelrating and climbing.

What else do I need to know about clipless pedals?

To make the clipless pedals complete you need to have the right shoes. There are three different styles of biking shoes that fit with clipless pedals: road, mountain, and casual. These shoes are stiffer than regular shoes and have an opening in the sole for the cleat that bolts into the shoe. The cleat is what clicks into the pedal.

There are two types of clipless pedals & shoes; for on and off road. Most popular are walkable clipless systems, which the cleats are recessed into the shoe soles. This allows the cleat to not make contact with the ground when you walk, ideal for walking or even hiking. Still increcibly efficient for maximum pedal power. These are used for off-road riding, commuting, touring and even century riding! Pedals can be double-sided, meaniing you can click into either side so you don't have to look down to get your feet in. They also have pedals that have one-side for the cleat and the other being a flat pedal so if you decide not to ride clipless you can hop on your bike with regular shoes without changing anything!

Pedals that have a flat side and the other clipless.

Other type of clipless system is for road riding and designed for aerodynamics and minumum weight. Road shoes are lighter and stiffer than walkable models becasue the soles aren't lugged. These types of cleats protrude from the thin and light soles of a road shoe, making it difficult to walk. There are some road clipless pedals that are single-sided, but are heavier on one end so they naturally hang in the direction of the way that you would click your foot in making it relatively easy.


How we help you get more comfortable "clipping in & out" or "clicking in & out".

When you purchase your pedals & shoes from us we want to make sure that you are going to be comfortable. Bring your bike in and we will install the pedals and cleats in your shoe for you. To help you get the clipless system, we will put your bike in a trainer to make it stationary and have you clip in and out until you feel comfortable trying it in the outside elements.

We can also help you decide whether you want float. A float feature allows a few degrees of built-in lateral play allowing your feet to move slightly, finding the optimum pedaling position. Float ensures that you won't injure your knees by riding with your feet misalighned with your knees. It's also important to align the cleats so that they're positioned to hold the balls of your feet over the pedals and match your natural foot inclination. 

Travel back in time with the Bicycle Pedal Timeline!