Skip to main content

all about pedals

With bicycle pedals, there are many options for many different applications and differing preferences.  Keep in mind that it truly is a matter of choice.  Heck some riders use mountain Shimano SPD pedals on their road bikes!  Of course, they will need to ride in a shoe designed to accept the cleat for that pedal, which is not technically a road shoe, but that's also part of the preference.  This is a brief overview, so always remember WRC stocks all the major styles of pedals and shoes and we can help you make an informed feets-on decision.

Make no mistake -- the world of bicycle pedals is vast and varied.  So much so in fact that our friends at Speedplay Pedals maintain a digital museum of bicycle pedals!

platform pedals

This is the pedal with which you are most likely familiar. It's the pedal that was on your first bike when you learned to ride, and it's the pedal that is most useful for leisurely riding.  It's also the pedal preferred by those  riders who do not want to be attached to the bike.  There are plain flat polymer platform pedals perfect for grocery runs, and there are aggressive heavily studded aluminum platform pedals used by downhill mountain bike riders.  There are also shoes designed specifically for these pedals.

Shop Now

clipless pedals -- mountain

The clipless mountain bike pedal allows the rider to be attached to the pedal via a cleat on the shoe that engages a mechanism on the pedal.  The benefits to this are the ability to pull up on one pedal while pushing down with the other, which increases climbing efficiency.  Additionally, many clipless proponents feel they have more overall control being attached to the bike at the feet as well as the hands.

There are several options for the engagement and they all rely on springs or latches of some sort.  There is also the aspect of float, which is the amount of movement the pedal interface allows before disengaging from the pedal.  Naturally, specific shoes with specific cleat interfaces are required.

clipless pedals -- road

The clipless road bike pedal allows the rider to be attached to the pedal via a cleat on the shoe that engages a mechanism on the pedal.  The benefits to this are the ability to pull up on one pedal while pushing down with the other, which increases pedaling efficiency across the board.  

The traditional road pedal relies on a delta of engagement with a triangular cleat.  These pedals are the most efficient but can be daunting to riders just starting clipless or riders who require more float.  Naturally, specific shoes with specific cleat interfaces are required.  

Enjoy the videos below to learn about the various options available and how clipless pedals came about.

Shop Now