Monday, August 3, 2009

Gear - pedals

So after a post last week I was asked; How can you pull your pedals without yur feet falling off? This prompted me to wonder how many understand the differences.

As a child the idea of attaching my foot to a pedal seemed like a crazy idea. What if I fell off? Though the thought was raised when we got our mountain bikes years ago, we never did follow through because we just were not comfortable enough yet.

So the first pedal type is the standard, put your foot on and go kind of pedals. These are the most common on entry level and department store bicycles. Not a thing wrong with these pedals, unless you are trying to improve effeciency. It is most important that you are on the bike.

There is a toe cage that kind of traps your toe onto the pedal. It is adjustable and affords you the ability to have some push and pull with your peddle strokes though not the same as the clipless pedal. One issue I had with this style was I was riding in sneakers with a tread and that made pulling out in a hurry a little difficult. Otherwise an affordable step to gaining more effeciency on the bike.

The clipless pedal comes in all sorts of styles. The tension that is applied to clipping in and out is adjustable, so the more comfortable you get the more tension you can apply. It is important to get use to clipping in and clipping out before going out on the road. It is easy to forget your foot is attached to the pedal. The you become face to face with the pavement. Trust me, I grabbed a lot of stop signs in the early days of the clipless pedal, even with practice.

The clipless pedal is helpful because you can push on the down and pull on the up. This way you are using your whole leg and not limiting yourself to the power of half your leg.

Happy peddling!

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