To each his pedals

À chacun ses pédales

Everyone has learned to ride a bike by dropping his feet on the pedal platforms, and then one day, the question of the exchange or not for clipless pedals arises. This is a decision very personal.

The flat pedals or platforms, therefore, represent a reassuring choice, but also economical. They are available from twenty dollars and the offer is so vast that the price might reach a $ 350. The quality of the material (plastic, nylon, aluminum, steel, etc), bearings, grip, construction, as well as the comfort, the design, the color, the weight, the thickness, the width, the warranties as to the shocks, and to rebuild… The choice is impressive.

Pedals platforms DEITY, available in a wide variety of colors.

For some cyclists, it comes to buy a single pedal, but for others it’s an art, ” explains Philippe Desgagnés, co-owner of Mathieu’s Performance.

The advantages of flat pedals reside in their prices, in the sense of security they give due to the freedom of movement that they permit (the shoes are not set), as well as in the wide choice of shoes compatible with (sneakers to bike shoes that maximize performance).

For more grip, it is possible to add to the pedals toeclips for ten dollars, or choose a model with footrests built in.

Cale-feet in double support with protection to kick.

“The clipless pedals allow you to clip your bike shoes on your pedals using cleats. […] You’ll need cycling shoes and special shims to use clipless pedals, ” says the web site of Mountain Equipment co-Op.

These pedals are commonly referred to as pedal “clip” and their price starts at $ 60 approximately and can climb up to $ 2,500, combining a high-end model with a power sensor. This indicates that there is a value in wattage, expressing the force applied to the pedals, combined with the speed of rotation of the legs. “With these training data, we can’t cheat,” says Mr. Desgagnés.

A bit of practice

There are two systems of clipless pedals, one for mountain bikes or hybrid named SPD (for Shimano Pedalling Dynamics), and then the other for the road bike called SPD – SL, or Look pedals. Although each company has its own peculiarities, in general, the cleat system for mountain bike is metal and fits in the sole of the shoe, therefore, it is possible to walk with no worries. Intended for the road bike is plastic, has the shape of a ” v “, and is not integrated to the sole, it is thus necessary to cover a protect-a wedge when it is desired to walk or simply include a pair of sneakers in his backpack.

Pedals SHIMANO PD-M520 clip-on mountain bike, with a shaft in chromoly and an open fitting for easy release.

It is still possible to adjust the voltage that will determine if the pedal will be easier to “clipper” or not, which can help the learning of the beginners who sometimes have difficulty to disengage their feet and fear of falling on the side.

“On most models, it’s just a simple movement of the heel to disengage the foot. But it takes a little practice to make it right. Do you exercise on a stationary bike or find a grassy area where you do not risk you do too poorly in the event of a fall. All the world is a drop or two the first few times. It is, therefore, preferable that this happens on a lot of games desert rather than at an intersection full of traffic “, suggest the experts at Mountain Equipment co-Op, on the website of the company.

“The good news is that these falls often occur when the speed is slower, so they are harder on the pride than on the body and the product,” says Mr. Desgagnés.


The clipless pedal has several advantages, particularly in regards to stability, precise positioning of the cyclist who is always sitting in the same place on his bike, as well as the safety.

In addition to a large and wide support surface in stainless steel, the Keo 2 MAX is one of the lightest pedals in its category.

Since the feet won’t slip on the pedals in mountain bike, it is possible to cross-sections of rocks at higher speeds without fear of losing the foot, ” says Mr. Desgagnés. The performance is also enhanced, because “even if we’re not supposed to pull back the pedal, it is all a little anyway,” he said.

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