Bike Pedals Buyers Guide

The pedals on your bike help you get all the energy from your legs down onto the road, so its important that you feel comfortable using them.

Pedals are generally split into two types: standard flat pedals or clipless pedals.

Flat bike pedals

Flat pedals are generally favoured by casual riders. Some cyclists feel more comfortable with them as you can take your feet off whenever you like. For mountain bikes there are specific off-road pedals with pins to help you grip the pedal. A tip for any cyclists using flats is to use the ball of your foot to power yourself along. This is the most efficient way to get the most out of your legs.

When using flat pedals, casual shoes can be used. However, if you're thinking of buying clipless pedals, you'll need cycling shoes. These shoes have a stiffer sole for better power transfer and holes to attach a cleat.

When you buy a set of pedals, you may be provided with a set of cleats suitable for use with your pedal. Make sure your shoes are compatible with these cleats. There are two different types of shoes, one is the three-point road clip fixing and the other is a two-point mountain bike style fixing.

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Clip-in bike pedals

Many riders like being clipped in. It allows you to pedal smoothly and increases your efficiency.

If you’ve never cycled with your feet clipped into the pedals, you’ll likely need to practice before attempting to cycle. Try and clipping in and out a few times while leaning against something, or cycle solely on some grass so your fall is cushioned if you don’t manage to get them out in time! After a few tries, clipping in and out will start to feel more natural so persevere and it’ll become second nature. Remember to practice with both feet too – you never know when you’ll need to stick a foot out.

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With pedals, it’s best to try and see which ones feel the most comfortable. If you're upgrading, you may find it useful to come into Halfords and see which pedals are a good choice for you and your bike. We provide a pedal fitting service too, and you can always ask a colleague if you need more advice.

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