Top tips for Cyclists 5


Pedal power! Nearly every cyclist has a funny story about when they first switched to clip-less pedals and forgot to clip out at traffic lights but regardless of this clip-less pedals are generally safer than toe clips or platform pedals. For those unsure clip-less pedals are those that replaced the once common toe clips that you had to manually tighten. Clip-less pedals require specific shoes that you actually clip onto the pedal and release by twisting the foot and they have a multitude of benefits.

The downsides of the alternatives are that with platform pedals your feet can easily slide off them, especially in wet weather, which is especially dangerous if you’re not sitting in the saddle at the time. Toe clips require you to manually tighten or loosen meaning you have to reach down to them, an inconvenient and hazardous affair!

Above and beyond that the clip-less pedal system ensures that the balls of your feet connected to the centre of each pedal which is the ultimate foot position for the most efficient cycling. In this position, your hamstrings can work properly to lift the back half of the pedal stroke before your quadriceps take over to push through the front half whereas on platform pedals, your power comes solely from pushing through the front half of the stroke and if using toe clips you'd have to tighten them so much your feet wouldn't be able to move at all.

The difference here is that you can use both sides of your legs efficiently resulting in a faster ride that can be maintained for longer. It also makes hill climbs easier, accelerations faster and supports your feet better.  With so many good reasons, what are you waiting for?

1 June 2013