Bike pedals that clip into your shoes can help you pedal harder and faster; learn more about bike pedals in this free bicycling for beginners instructional video.
This is Jim Toledano for Expert Village and we’re going to talk about pedals. Every bike obviously has a set of pedals. You put your feet on them, you push down each side alternately, and the bike goes forward. This bike has a standard kind of bike pedal that everybody knows about from the bikes that we used and we enjoyed when we were kids. It’s flat, you push it, and the wheel goes round, but that’s all you can do. In order to make better use of the energy that you put into bicycling, they’ve come up with a number of different kinds of pedals. This is what’s known as an SPD. What it does is it has a place here in which a clip that matches up the bottom of your shoe. What you do is take your shoe, stick into the clip, and I’m going to go backwards because I can’t go forward without the bike going forward, but you can see the clip is keeping the pedal attached to my shoe. When you want to unclip, you just unclip. What these clips do and all the different kinds of clips that are made is to not only to push down, but to pull up and to make circles, which uses different muscles in a different order. Makes you more efficient and gives you a better ability to control what you’re doing when you’re pedaling. One of the nice things about most SPD pedals is they’re two sided. One side is the same as other, so you don’t have to worry about which way the pedal is sitting when you clip in. When you clip out it’s there whether it turns or not. There are a number of other different kinds of clipless pedals. These are known as Look, and there are others with different manufactures. They all work by the same principal. Unlike the SPDs, you have to get in from one side only so it matters which side of the pedal you get into, but these are designed so you bring your foot and just clip in like that. It should be for somebody who’s experienced in it and gets used to it just as efficient. The difference between this kind of a clip and the SPDs that I just showed you is that these are much larger. The theory is since they’re much larger, they transmit the power of your legs more efficiently to the pedal. Once you’ve got the clips figured out, the kind you like and they’re set right, you can find that you can go faster, you can pedal harder, and you feel more comfortable on the bike than you would with the old kind that you grew up with.
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