Bike Pedals 101: A Beginner’s Guide

Pedals are an integral part of your bike. Often neglected, these components may have a significant impact on your comfort, performance, and safety. It might be a head-scratcher for some when looking at those different styles, sizes, and functions when shopping. However, an informed choice that will suit your riding style will allow you to get the most out of your bike rides. Here’s a complete guide that help will shine a light on the various bike pedals available. 


Flat pedals

These would be the most common and easiest choice for pedals that are oftentimes used for road or hybrid bikes. Usually made of plastic or metal, this type of pedal has a platform on which your foot rests. Ideal for cyclists that want to get on and off the bike easily, or simply those who don’t need the extra grip that other pedals may offer. 

Platform pedals

Similar to flat bike pedals, the platform pedals feature a larger platform on which the rider’s foot will rest. They often have cleats and offer more support and stability. They are perfect for downhill mountain biking or simply if you’re an experienced cyclist in general. These platform pedals are also available in a clipless version.

Clipless pedals

Clip-in pedals are undeniably the most popular kind amongst experimented riders. They feature wedges that are attached to a cleat on the rider’s shoe, which allows the rider to increase pedaling efficiency by transferring power from the leg to the bike with more ease. There are a great variety of clipless pedals available: 

  • Clipless pedals for road bikes: Pedals for road bikes are generally lighter and often feature a 3-hole cleat shaped like a triangle. With their large contact area, this will allow the rider to distribute the pressure and maximize the power shift. Perfect for long distances. If you need help, Look and Shimano (SPD-SL) are THE best options when it comes to 3-hole cleats. 
  • Mountain bike pedals (MTB): Having a smaller bearing surface and oftentimes featuring a 2-hole cleat especially made to reduce mud accumulation, these make it easier to walk with shoes. Shimano (SPD and Crankbrother are among the main manufacturers of these types of pedals).   

Hybrid pedals

To finish, there are also hybrid pedals that are available. The latter is perfect for urban settings. Polyvalent and practical, they feature a platform on one side and a clipless mechanism on the other, which allows the rider to use the pedal with regular or cyclist shoes. 

Regardless of the type of pedals you end up choosing, ensure it fits your needs. Each type offers its wide range of benefits, it is then important to understand the differences in order to make an informed decision. Do not hesitate to consult our team of experts who will gladly help you in your search in-store or even online by filling out this form

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