Mountain Biking - Can someone please explain the pedals
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05-10-02, 10:03 PM
OK, first of all, YES I AM ignorant. Can you explain to me the difference between all the types of pedals I've been seeing you all talk about (clipless, platform, da da da da da). Also, beside the differences can you also tell me what they are best used for and advantages and/or disadvantages. Like, I'm sure some are best for jumping, some are best for road riding, etc, right?
05-10-02, 10:24 PM
Platforms are just the regular flat pedals that you are used to seeing. The advantage is being able to get off easy and quickly.:)
Clipless pedals actually attach to your shoe. You attach cleat to a special shoe and it connects to the pedal. The advantage is that you get more energy transferred to the pedal. It is also easier to spin correctly as you can pull as well as push down. It is easier to jump too because you are connected to the bike. The disadvantage is that it takes some amount of effort to disconnect from it. On SPD's that release pressure is adjustable. On some others such as Time's it isn't. There are other types of clipless also such as Frogs.
Hope this helps!
Try this page and you can see pics of SPD's. You can see the cleats in the shoe pics.
05-11-02, 02:59 AM
Oh Ok thanks for your help Dirtie, but what about those little guys that came on my bike attached to the pedals that I took off the day I bought it. They scared me! They looked like a cage for my feet. Scary boy!
05-11-02, 05:38 AM
There are also toe clips, which are probably what you had on your bike when you got it, although they are not usually a built-in option.
These are for holding a shoe to the pedal. You can use them either with "street" shoes or with biking shoes that do not have SPD attachments (or the like) on the bottom. They keep your feet in, hopefully, the correct position, and, if adjusted properly, allow you to pull up some when spinning. They are cheaper than SPD's, and, theoretically, allow for easier removal of the foot and shoe, and can be used with a variety of shoes. I have these on my "runaround" bike.
The advantages of any kind of "biking" shoe is a stiffer sole allowing better distribution of the weight of your "push" along a broader base, diminishing hot spots in the bottom of your feet.
There is also a a type of "twist-in" (I can't remember their names right now) type of shoe mount that tightens more as you move your heel in towards the bike frame. These are little used, and some do not recommend them.
These are the ones I know about.
05-11-02, 11:21 AM
Hey thanks, until your post I didn't see the point of special shoes but now I get it and it makes alot of sense. Oh and yeah I guess those toe things were on my bike. Thanks.
05-13-02, 07:40 AM
good responses, but i thought i add a little:
* basic or flat pedal (also some times called platforms, but see below)
* pedals with toe-clips or cages or straps - allow you to use any shoe and still benefit from the pulling on the upstroke
* pedals w/ power straps - similar to toes-slips but it's a single strap that runs diagonally across the shoe - supposed to be even easier and i've seen some trials guys use these although i think most trials guys don't use them
* platforms - sometimes normal pedals also called platforms, but i think of platforms as the extra-large pedals used in BMX or trials that give more surface for landing after a jump or whatever
* clipless pedals --- confusing name because you clip in to clipless pedals. i think the name comes from the fact that before clip-less pedals there were only toe-clips, so these pedals were new in that they didn't require toes-clips or 'clips' for short... anway, there are a bunch of types, but the most common are SPD which are almost all interchangeable from like Shimano or Ritchey, Time, Speedplay and others. clip-less pedals require a special shoe onto which a cleat is attached. then the shoe and cleat are clipped or snapped into the pedal and attached for better pedealling power and efficiency.
from using the power of the upstroke alone, clipless pedals increase power/efficiency by something like 10%. Then by choosing a stiff soled shoe over a normal flexy-sole like a running shoe you gain another 10% or so...
so if your goal is speed like in road cycling or mountain bike cross-country, then a clip-less pedal with stiff cycling shoe is the way to go. if you're into BMX, trials, or downhill you may make other choices. If you're commuting where you want to use regular shoes or just short on cash, you might choose traditional toe-clips
clip-less pedals do take a little practice, but after you learned they are very easy (it's like learning to ride a bike - before you learn it's hard, but later it's easy) i can clip in and out w/o thinking virtually anywhere on any trail and am a much better technical rider b/c of my pedal attachment to the bike
if you're looking at clipless pedals for MTB, i recommend either Frogs or Time although they cost more. both are better than Shimano/Ritchey SPDs when dirty or muddy and both have more float (the amount of freedom of ankle rotation which can be important to reduce knee pressure). the Frogs are not adjustable but you don't need to adjust them b/c they work so well.
05-14-02, 10:31 AM
Yeah,....what he said!
Great response D-Fox!
Can't think of anything to add except maybe Time A.T.A.C. pedals are my choice of pedals and their cleats will NOT work with SPD's.
Also, pedals come in 1/2" and 9/16" axles. 1/2" are for 1-piece cranks (mostly cheap cruisers or cheap BMX bikes) 9/16" are standard for all 3-piece cranks.
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