Pedals play an important role because they are where the power from your pedal stroke is transferred into the bike. Certainly the frame, crank and wheels all contribute, but it starts with the pedals. As I mentioned in my post about shoes, there are two types of attachments for cleats to the shoes but a number of different variations of cleat shapes. When selecting pedals you need to consider the type of riding you want to do but also
issues related to fit. Do you have any injuries that will affect the foot, cleat, pedal interface? These could be knee injuries that would require you to have a certain amount of float from your cleat. Maybe you have feet that will require you to have a unique placement of the cleat so that your feet are comfortable. Will you need shims to address alignment issues with your foot? Does your body require pedal spindles that are a little longer or of varying length to improve your pedal stroke? If you don’t know the answer to these questions a professional fitter will be able to assist you in determining your needs. Do you need pedals with easier release settings for you to exit the pedals?
Like many other things there is a lot that you can talk about in what makes the pedals different. They include the way the release systems work, are they adjustable? How close your foot is to the pedal spindle. From a component construction standpoint of the pedals the pricing generally is driven by features such as what the spindle is made out of, the quality and type of the bearings and the material of the pedal body.
Riding with clipless pedals and shoes is a game changer and really essential to being able to achieve a strong fit. This is the foundation of your fit and by utilizing a clipless pedal system you start with a strong foundation to build the rest of your fit from. Many riders are initially intimidated by clipless pedals but for most when they get used to them they can’t imagine riding without them.
Note – This is part of a series we will be sharing that Ernest wrote about cycling accessories and components. While they aren’t intended to be full on “Buyers Guides” We do hope they will help you with things to consider when thinking about them or to view them a little differently. Then in future post we will dive deeper into each one of these.