I was researching the benefits of biking, the fat to muscles in the legs, etc. and came across an article which tallked about bike shoes and how the shoe that hooks on to the pedal actually helps in the exercise process because you are using the shoe/body to lift the pedal. Unfortunatel I lost the article before I finished reading it.
My question is the shoe, I am nervous that I will be stuck being new to the riding as a whole. Does anyone have any input, recommendations, or just information about this?
There are other advantages as well as lifting pedals, while clipped in the pedal your feet wont slip on fhe pedals,especially if your shoes are wet. You won't get stuck on them, you just twist your foot and you're out. If you fall, you will unclip automatically, rare times you will remain clipped. About recommendations, just test different pedals. There comes ones that you can clip to them on both sides of the pedal ( most mountain bikes) and others that you clip it on one side of the pedal ( most road bikes). In fact, they are easy to use and in my opinion this is far one of the better upgrades a bike could have.
EDIT: The cleat is the piece that clips onto the pedal, and it is attached to the shoe; just like each car needs its unique key, each pedal comes with a different type of cleat. Be sure that your shoe is compatible with the cleat, since it comes from 2 types commonly: 2 bolt cleats and 3 bolt cleats. The 2 bolt cleats are mostly found on mountain bikes pedals, just as the 3 bolt cleats are on road bikes.
The pedals are called "clipless", something a fair amount of people find odd, since the action of attaching to them is often called "clipping in". But they're called clipless to make a difference between them and the old "clip-and-strap" pedals.
There are a few things to consider.
The 3-bolt "road" cleat usually requires a shoe that's a little tricky to walk in. They have the advantage of spreading the pressure of your weight on the pedal over a larger area, making "hot spots" on the bottom of your feet rarer.
The 2-bolt "mountain" cleat attaches to shoes that are easier to walk in, some even are made like hiking shoes. They are smaller, thus the "hot spot", a small area of the foot carrying a lot of pressure at times. I've personally had very little problem with that over the last 6+ years. Since I'm more familiar with the mountain cleat, I'll elaborate on them.
There are just a few main styles: the Shimano SPD, The Crank Brothers Eggbeater/Candy, and the Time ATAC. I have the latter, changed from the SPD 3-1/2 years ago. The Times have been flawless for me, I've never fallen over while clipped in, and they've never accidentally released, as others can. The SPD has adjustable spring tension, to hold more securely or to release more easily. The Eggbeater style is similar to the ATAC, but lighter and simpler. Some have said less durable, as well.
I have found that the "clipped-in" feeling enhances my riding experience; my feet are an additional point of feedback for the bike's performance -- I feel more of the riding experience, PART of the bike instead of merely ON it.