Chances are if you're reading this article, you've had some experience on a bike and you've been thinking about diving into the world of clipless Pedals. So what's holding you back? Sure they might look a little funky, but if you really stop to understand the advantages, you'll realize, once you go clipless, there's no turning back. Here are some bicycle tips on why you should choose clipless pedals.
Planted on the Pedal
If you're simply wearing flat shoes and peddling on a traditional flat pedal, you run the risk of your foot slipping off. This is especially true in when riding in wet or muddy conditions. If moisture or mud comes between the sole of your shoe and your pedal, your foot might slip right off causing you to lose control of the bike. Clipless shoes allow your foot to be firmly planted in the correct position on the pedal. Knowing you're feet won't slip also gives you greater peace of mind while you ride.
Transfer of Power
As you ride with clipless pedals, the transfer of power from your leg will be greater than if you rode with a traditional flat shoe. Why? Because your foot, knee, thigh and hip are all in the proper alignment as you make the downstroke pressing on the pedal. Additionally, as your leg moves into the upstroke the clipless shoe will help your leg lift the pedal. Granted, the upstroke will never be quite as strong as the downstroke, but any additional power can give you a much needed hand on those big climbs or those long distance biking trips.
When your feet are securely in place on the pedal, you'll have better control of your bike. For example, if mountain biking through terrain with small branches in the way, you'll be able to complete a "bunny hop" much easier knowing that your feet will not fly off the pedals. Additionally, if you need to put a little "English" on the downstroke by favoring one leg, you know the other leg will remain in place and balance out on the corresponding upstroke.
The One Question Everyone Asks
"But I'm afraid to be locked in! Is it dangerous?" No! Clipless shoes are easy to release. You simply twist each foot out to the side and voila! The foot is free. You are not strapped-in as with some other shoe-pedal combinations such as toe straps.
Using clipless cycling shoes gives you security knowing that your foot is planted on the pedal. It won't slip off in wet conditions.
Clipless pedals allow you to have a greater transfer of power on both the upstroke and downstroke than if you wore flat shoes.
Clipless pedals also give you greater bike control when performing tasks such as hopping over small branches or adding "English" to a stroke.
The question everyone asks bicycle shops, "are clipless pedals more dangerous?" No! Honestly your feet are easily released. You just need to get the hang of it.