Why Should I Use Clip Pedals? Explained for Beginners

clip pedals

If you are a beginning cyclist you've probably noticed clipless pedals being used by many other cyclists. Perhaps you are even thinking about purchasing them. Unless you are biking purley for recreational purpose, you should definitely go for them right now. Clipless pedals in combination with cycling shoes are very important for a rider to be able to use the best part of the energy in a pedal stroke. It will take your biking experience from recreational to sport biking immeadiately and you will be evenbe able to burn more calories.

The fact is that normal pedals allow you to apply energy only while pushing down. However, your pedals and cranks force your feet to move in a circular way. It meens that without clipless pedals you're not applying energy to the drivetrain about 1/3 of time of every pedal stroke. If you multiply this by 60-120 revoloutions per minute...it means that there are up to huge losses adding up.

Why is only pushing down bad for you?

  • You are not able to keep up your speed
  • Your tempo is not so stable
  • You are using less muscles
  • You burn less calories
  • Your legs get tired much faster

How to Ride With Clip Pedals?

Along with a proper breathing technique, a proper circular pedal stroke can help you get much more of your training. Once you bike with clipless pedals you are not only limited to pushing down but can apply power through 360 degrees of rotation.

Can and Do...aren't all that easy.

The next thing you should focus on is to apply your force circularly, for longer and longer periods of time. When you apply powerto the pedals, try to find the blind spots in your stroke. You will see that you are going faster and much more fluidly.

And don't be afraid, using clip pedals is not dangerous. Taking your leg from off the pedal is very intuitive. For example I am much more uncertain when not having them because I feel that my feet can slip away.

I hope that I helped some of you with this post. If you want to receive the next ones on your email simply subscribe.

Photo by jtcdesign

Peter Kortvel's picture

Peter Kortvel

I believe that if everybody rode a bike to work our life would be much better. As a bike lover, I started with Bikestein.com to bring people knowledge and inspiration for their everyday bike challenges. From winning the world championships to going more often on bike to work; all of us are trying to push our limits... As a youngster I used to train hard (I even become a champion of Slovakia), luckily, I wasn't crazy enough to choose the hardest profession in the world :) These days, you can find me commuting to work on a bike every morning or riding my road bike in Bratislava or Austria (and I am really missing some nice climbs here...).