Bicycle Pedal Types

There are four different bicycle pedal types for you to choose from:  platform pedals, advanced platform pedals, toe clip pedals and cleats / clipless pedals.

  1. Platform Pedals – the most common type of pedals used, designed for any type of footwear or none at all, commonly found on kid’s bikes, adult cruisers and comfort bikes, rubber or hard plastic.  They are simple to use, don’t require any special footwear and it doesn’t hold you to the bike.  On the other hand, you can’t get the same power from this type of pedal that you could from the type that clips you to the pedal and your feet slip off easily.
  2. Advanced Platform Pedals – more advanced pedal used on mountain bikes, BMX bikes or on bikes used daily for road or touring purposes.  The edge has “teeth” to give you better gripping power and helps keep your foot on the pedal.  This type of pedal is also simple to use, does not require special footwear, doesn’t hold you to the bike and offers better contact for your feet.  This pedal also doesn’t allow you to get power on both the downstroke and upstroke like the clip pedals and if your feet slip off the pedal those teeth will bite into your skin.
  3. Toe Clip Pedals – ideal for commuters who have frequent stops in traffic.  Big advantages over platform pedals because they allow you to drive the pedal in full rotation – pull up and push down.  They are simple to use, no special footwear is required, they are easy to learn how to use and you get better power when pedaling.  There is minor loss of power as they can’t capture all the energy used when moving through the pedal cycle.
  4. Cleats / Clipless Pedals – attach the riders feet to the pedals through the use of special shoes, provides the most efficient transfer of power through your legs applying to both upstroke and downstroke.  You do need special shoes to use these pedals, learning how to click in and out can be challenging so when you first start out you’ll probably fall at intersections and certain shoe / pedal combinations can be more difficult to use than others.

I’m using the Advanced Platform Pedals because I find them to be the most comfortable for my type of riding.  Before buying the shoes and pedals for the clip type pedals you should try them out first to see if you like them.

Ride, live, have fun!!

Cindy 🙂

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