Pedal to the Metal

One of the things I have noticed recently, while biking with Mark and Caitlin, is that we all three have different styles of pedals.


I have the first type, Platform. This is the most basic pedal, which comes standard on bikes.




The rider’s foot just sits on top of the pedal, and is not connected in any way. It only allows you to push down on the pedals with your feet, using only your quads in a downward, repetitive motion.




The second type of pedal type is toe clips. This is the style that Mark’s bike has. Having a cage-like holder for your foot allows you to make a more complete circular motion with your legs when you pedal, because your foot is strapped in, and you can pull up. This allows you to use both your quads and hamstrings, working them a bit more evenly.




For cyclists that ride often and on longer rides, the clipless pedals are, in my opinion, a wise investment. This is the type of pedal that Caitlin just started using.




Sorry the picture is so blurry, but here is what the clipless pedal looks like. It has a little metal piece that your shoe clips into.




This type of pedal requires special shoes, which can get expensive. It is also most difficult to disconnect from, which makes it not as safe if you are riding on the road, or in traffic.




The last two methods obviously are more efficient for a rider than the first. It allows you to get a full circular leg motion, giving you a better workout and not allowing just your quads to get sore.


Ashley let me know yesterday on Twitter that Orange Cycle in Downtown Orlando was having a sale on everything in the store. I literally jumped up right then and headed out the door. I have been wanting to upgrade for a while, but don’t want to spend a fortune.


I picked this toeclips set up for less than 10 dollars!




It is the best investments I have made on my bike. In fact, I was SO excited, that I decided to make a video on how easy it is to install toe clips on existing platforms.



If you haven’t done this yet, I recommend it!

Making the video took longer than actually installing the toeclips. By the time I got done, I was starving and wanted a quick, easy meal.


Sweet potato and baked beans. Possibly my new favorite combination.




With a side of mini trees.


Mark made brownies, and I happily ate one two. 😀 I have a major sweet tooth, and I am not shy about it!! It’s bad. 




Thanks to Mark and Caitlin for participating.


Do you have a road bike? What type of pedals do you use? Do you want to upgrade? Have you noticed a difference since you upgraded?


❤ MegaNerd

41 Responses

  1. Interesting post Megan 🙂 I just recently upgraded to the clipless petals and even though they were scary, they were worth it for me because I’ve been biking a lot more. I used to have the top clips that you have though and I thought those were really useful. Especially as a runner you don’t want to have to worry about working your muscles too unevenly since that can lead to a lot of injuries. Have fun with your new toy 🙂

  2. I have clipless pedals on my bike, but I’m still afraid to clip in and out on the road. I love the pedals, but I’m used to used them for spin…when I won’t fall into traffic! For now, I stick to bike paths until I get a little less freaked out!

  3. I don’t have a road bike, I’m working on getting a cruiser lol- great post, though!

  4. I am a huge supporter of toe clips and clipless pedals. Though they may seem scarier and not as safe in the beginning, once I got used to them, I felt infinitely more safe in them then on platforms.

    Nowadays, I get so scared when I ride on platform pedals, because of the risk of my foot slipping off the pedal and either a) hitting my front wheel, or b) getting my ankle and/or calf chewed up by the crank and pedal.

    Best of luck with your toe clips!! Wise investment for sure!!

  5. I just have the regular platform style on my bike, but I should think about getting the toe clips. It’s just kind of scary to use them where I live in DC because there is so much traffic. I’m jealous of your low-traffic central FL areas to ride in!

  6. I use the special shoes with the clips underneath but you’re right that it takes getting used to! When I first got them, I would practice getting out of them quickly on the grass in case I fell over! 🙂

  7. I have a mountain bike with clipless pedals – it was SUPER (sarcasm) fun to learn to work them – I actually FELL over while at a stop sign, because it takes a little bit to remember to unclip instead of just taking your foot over.

    Yeah, not only embarassing, but I managed to elbow myself and dislocate my OWN RIB. Ha, I am so talented.

  8. When I start cycling I’m taking you with me to shop because I have a feeling I’ll be totally lost. I should probably work on finding a bike first.

    Oh and you eat those two brownies!! I can never just have one.

  9. Yay videos! Sorry, I like videos 🙂 I have my mom’s rusty old road bike from the 80s… she needs some serious work, but I think the frame is in good condition. Hopefully I can start upgrading her little by little. You and Caitlin definitely have me wanting to start biking!

  10. Getting used to clipless pedals takes some time and I fell over several times on intersections b/c I didn’t clip out soon enough or clipped out on the left but lean to the right. Most of the time, you are not very speedy at that moment, so other than a couple of scratches, it didn’t leave any marks.

    When it comes to safety, actually the clipless pedals are safer than the toeclips. If you have a spill or a crash (knock on wood) the clipless pedals come off fairly easy because they unlock when you rotate sideways. With the toeclips, it’s possible that you get stuck in them (since you want to wear it snug) and probably even get entangled in your bike.

    For commuting in busy streets, the platform are probably best anyways.

    Have a great day.

  11. I use Shimano SPD clipless pedals because you can actually walk around in your cycilng shoes (well, better than the other clipless kinds). I love it!

  12. I got into road biking on a Lemond Zurich a few years ago and started out with clipless pedals. They were hard to get used to at first so you should definitely practice in grass/parking lot away from cars if you ever switch to clipless. Once I got the hang of clipping in and out, it was so easy to do, even in an area where you have to stop a lot. It does make pedaling more efficient and you feel like you have more control, oddly enough.
    Toeclips are a great way to get used to the clipping action, so good luck! I’m sure you’ll get used to them quickly.

  13. I have used all three types, and I prefer the clip-ins . I am a pretty experienced rider, but I just fell at a stop light a few weeks ago because I didn’t/couldn’t get my foot out. They aren’t that scary if you plan ahead and get your foot out before you actually come to a stop though. You can probably get pedals and shoe for close to $100 total if you are thrifty. But in the mean time, toe clips are a definite upgrade.

  14. This post kinda completely loses me…I didn’t know there was more than one type til about a month ago! It’s fascinating reading what everyone else says though 🙂

  15. I’m thinking about getting a road bike but the idea of clips really scares me. I have visions of trying to stop or needing to get off the bike quickly and being totally stuck.

  16. I learned on clipless last spring/summer, but since the levee I was riding is now under construction, I’m using the river levee, which is incredibly narrow and DOWNsloping on either side of the paved portion (one side is grass, the other cement), and people aren’t always friendly-sooo, I took ’em off and now ride with regular pedals. There’s definitely a difference, but it doesn’t bother me. I would rather be safe than sorry. I just do not live in a bike-friendly town, bad roads, bad drives…so, it’s the levee and the regular pedals! My Dad told me people would laugh at me, though-LOL!!

  17. I just bought a used road bike and I have only ridden it a few times. I am too scared to even use the top straps on my pedals, but I think I am about finally ready to start using those. Baby steps….

  18. I don’t have a bike, but I do have shoes for spinning that I “clip-in” with, and it makes you use SO many more leg muscles, I love it!

  19. Whenever I have this baby I want to start biking again! It seems that I was a part of a misconception that for some reason biking was good during pregnancy but I guess it’s not. Or maybe it’s just not for me because my midwife says running is great but biking, not so much.

    Your meal looks so fresh and yummy!

  20. I don’t know if it’s just me but I can’t play the video.

    Thanks for the tips though! I’d really like to get into biking once I recover from my stress fracture and I was really lost as to what the differences were.

  21. I have a hybrid bike that I really want to get clipless pedals for. The guy at the bike store said it would make a huge difference!

  22. I just got my road bike and I have both toe clips and clipless pedals.. I don’t have the shoes for the clipless pedals, but I plan on getting them very soon! I’m sure my blog will be full of pictures of scraped knees and bloody elbows from falling off the bike with my feet still attached. Thankfully, I have a trainer to practice on!

    Great post! Enjoy the toe clips!!

  23. I’m totally buying a bike for me and my bf this summer!

  24. Hm, I didn’t know all this! I have normal pedals, but I could really use toe clips for my long rides!

  25. yum…i love brownies!!

  26. I have a hybrid bike, which I’ve been using a lot more since I’ve gotten a running injury, and I would love to upgrade my pedals, but unfortunately I don’t have the money for it right now.

    Hope you keep us updated on how your new pedals are working for you!

  27. I am upgrading to clipless pedals this summer for my road bike!

  28. I still have platforms, but I really want to get some clipless pedals! I have scars on both of my shins from getting hit with my platform pedals when a foot has slipped off. 😦

    I tried my brother’s clipless pedals, and although I was really scared at first, I was surprised how easy it was to adjust!

  29. I am a big fan of clipless pedlas. Once I changed to them 0- I don’t think I could ever go back. They are so efficient – and really helpful if your legs start to tire.

  30. Just got my sweet Giant women’s-specific road bike last spring, and I was dead-set against clipless pedals at first. I had a bad wreck on a mountain bike in college (while riding with toe clips/cages), and I was TERRIFIED of having my foot attached to my pedal in any way.

    Thank god my husband talked me into trying the clipless pedals… I agree with the above comment… once you go clipless, you never go back! They have improved my pedal power and efficiency ten-fold. Plus, they make hills downright bearable!

  31. I use clipless road pedals and I have for years now. I actually wrote a post not too long about about all the different cleat styles and how to choose which one is best for you! It makes a massive difference in efficiency and energy having cycling shoes and clipless pedals. Every ounce of energy is going into powering that bike when you have the right system going!

  32. I use clipless pedals. It took me forever to get used to them and fell off the bike almost every time I got on the bike. but with some perserverance and some patience, I am slowly getting better! clipless pedals though are definitely a wise investment. 🙂

  33. Thanks for the info on the pedals! I used to work at a spa/gym and we had bikes that we rented, but they never trained us on anything about them except how to adjust the seats… Well, one day I got screamed at for not knowing if our bikes had clipless pedals, and then I asked my boss, and she was all “huh? what’s that?”
    oi! But now I know and I feel smarter! =]

  34. first i love your dinner-yum!
    and yes i have a gorgeous road bike….just got her!
    i have clipless pedals-speed play to be exact. they are the best in my opinion 🙂

  35. I actually did a post on bike gear last night, Megan! Weird coincidence!

    Happy Wednesday!

  36. Wow, Megan – Thanks so much for this post! I am learning so much about biking and running and all the gear, so this really helps. I’ll keep this all in mind whenever I end up able to get a bike! 🙂

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