Clipless Pedals Part 1 | Why Use Clipless Pedals

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

In this series of articles, I'm going to discuss clipless pedals! Part 1 is about why you should use clipless pedals (hint: for performance and comfort!); Part 2 goes into more details about types of cleats for clipless pedals including of the amount of “float” available; Part 3 goes into how to position your cycling cleats for optimal power and to avoid risk of injury.

A lot of people ask me, “Why should I use clipless pedals?” Because they will make you faster! Once you get the hang of it and overcome the fear of not being able to get out, you'll love it too.

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They're called clipless pedals because there are no old-school toe clips and straps. Instead, similar to ski-bindings, the cleat on the sole of the cycling shoe clicks into the “clipless” pedal. It's all about attaching firmly and securely to the bike; being one with the bike. You will sometimes find them called clip-in pedals, and you'll use matching cleats for the sole of clip-in cycling shoes.


  • It'll make you more efficient because more of your energy makes it into each pedal stroke, including the upstroke.
  • It'll give you more power because you have a smooth and constant application through each crank rotation.
  • You'll take more chances and have more control on the bike because it's quicker to detach from the bike compared to toe clips & straps.
  • You can tailor the position for your own comfort (and injury avoidance): adjusting the “float” or tension of pedals means you can swivel your foot to protect your knees. This video shows you how to loosen and tighten clipless pedals.

I couldn't recommend clipless pedals highly enough! In the next article Clipless Pedals Part 2 | Types of Cleats for Clipless Pedals, we'll answer the question “What type of cleat should I have on my bike?”, which is an important decision that can change your comfort and performance. Then in Clipless Pedals Part 3 | Positioning Cleats for Clipless Pedals, we'll look at how to position your cycling cleats.

If you want more guidance on how to improve your cycling performance or comfort or move better after a cycling injury, book in with me for a Cycling Functional Assessment, Cycling Injury Physiotherapy Consultation, or Bike Fit. Find out more about Bike Fits here.

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