Are Clipless Pedals Right for You?


So, the first thing we need to clear-up is what clipless pedals are. New riders often incorrectly assume that the term “clipless” refers to a platform pedal. This is incorrect. Why, they ask, is the component called a “clipless pedal” when you clip-in to them. The reason requires you to look back in history. Bike pedals originally had toe-clips & straps, but in 1984 a ski-bindings company called Look decided to apply the same technology to bike shoes, allowing cyclists to use a cleat on the sole of their shoes to ‘clip-in’ to the mechanism in their pedals. The old toe clips & straps were largely outdated, so the term “clipless pedal” was born.


If you consider using clipless pedals the idea of attaching yourself to your bike may seem crazy. Some people worry about what will happen if they can’t get their feet out in time. Will it cause a crash? Compared with the old style toe clips, clipless pedals are likely safer. To release your shoe, you just firmly twist your foot (heel out). If you do crash, the pedals automatically release. The only risk you may have is when you are learning how to ride with clipless pedals. At some point, everyone endures a slow motion sideways fall. Often, this is a result of having forgotten that you are still clipped in. Don’t worry. EVERYONE has done this at some point!

There is huge debate regarding whether platform pedals or clipless pedals are more efficient for helping you spin your pedals. Stationary trainer tests seemed to indicate no difference in cranking power. “Real life” spinning strongly indicates that running clipless boosts efficiency. For mountain bikers, there are other benefits. When riding clipped in riders may feel the terrain better. By pushing weight down & “through the pedals,” riders can use small adjustments of their body weight to help steer & control the bike. (As we noted last week: if a rider has not mastered the skill of bunny hopping, clipping in allows them to cheat a little in getting their wheels off the ground.)

If you have trouble keeping your feet in place on your platform pedals, riding with clipless pedals can help. Clipless pedals have a noticeable advantage on rocky, chunky, rooty locations where your foot may bounce around or come off the pedal. They also help with those techy climbs where your bike may stall in a hole or on a rock. Using a clipless pedal on the upstroke--to pull the pedal--allows you to hop your rear wheel up & over obstacles...keeping your momentum going.


PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT:

Giro Clipless Shoes


The brand Giro began in 1985, starting with specialty designed helmets for triathlons. Thirty-five years later Giro has built a reputation for their cycling gear, along with other sports. In 2010 they launched their debut of cycling shoes that continue today to stand out for their fit, comfort and adaptability. Giro is our trusted brand when looking for clipless shoes with their various options available. Here are a few standout options that Mojo commonly has in stock:

  • Ranger - This no frills, cross country shoes gives you everything you'd need in a premium shoe with a stout injected sole for efficiency and durability, with amazing grip and traction. The upper combination of supple synthetic fiber and mesh panels increases the breathability, along with fast dry times and light weight.

  • Riela R II - This women's-specific shoe is designed for the cross-country riding. Featuring co-molded outsoles and mesh panels you'll have the traction you need and breathability. The stout injected nylon soles will assist in transferring power to your pedals.

  • Carbide R II - This cross-country shoe will give you the fit, grip, and breathability you need along with the stout injected soles for power transfer.

  • Berm - This shoes provides the perfect option for the rugged mountain bike shoes without compromising the comfort and versatility to anywhere the trail takes.

  • Stylus - For a slick look, but fair price, this shoes gives you a premium quality, single-layer upper that conforms to the foot, providing structure and ventilation. Three compression-molded hook-and-loop straps perfectly tighten the shoe to create a supportive fit. Complete all that with a 3/2 bolt pattern, you will have the power and versatility to get the most out of your ride.

  • Techne - Spin class or the outdoors, this shoes with give you the comfort and stiffness you need to push power to your pedals. They feature a universal 3/2 nylon outsole allowing you to mount either mountain bike or road cleats as you prefer.

If you are looking to start going clipless on your rides, now is the time to grab a pair of Giro shoes. Mention this blog post and from April 2-8 receive 10% off the purchase any Giro clipless shoe.


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