Mountain bikers are passionate about the gear they choose to ride, and will take to the grave certain choices. Pedals are among those preferences, and many cling to a clipless pedal system with ferocity. While the reasons might seem unclear at first, once you discover your preferential pedal, you might have similar feelings.
In 2018, looks are vying with functionality on the cycling shoe catwalk. Bling is back, with shiny metallic uppers, funky colors and ‘oil-slick’ (i.e. bright and shiny) soles. Taking the Bling Beauty Queen title is the Gaerne G. Stardust, a shoe which arguably looks more at home at a 70s disco than pedaling up a mountain pass.
While we’re waiting for some of these shoes to hit the market, we’ve been looking at some of our favorite tried-and-tested models. (And yes, many are pretty as well as functional.) While we may not balk at spending thousands of dollars on our bikes and associated components, when it comes to shoes, our wallets often win the battle with our hearts (or feet).
But cycling shoes aren’t just something to keep your feet cool and dry. They can directly impact your performance, both by transferring power efficiently from your legs through to the pedals and by being comfortable enough to allow you to keep that power transfer up hour after hour. An ill-fitting pair of shoes will make cycling a misery and you may be surprised at just how much faster you can go with a stiff, well-designed shoe.
Your perfect shoe will depend on a number of factors including the shape of your foot, the type of cycling you’re doing and the level of performance you’re aiming for. In this article, we’ll be looking at shoes that are designed for clipless pedals. If you’re used to flat pedals and are looking to upgrade, check out this article for tips on getting started with clipless pedals.
Is that the clip-clop of a pony trotting up the road towards you? No, it’s just a road cyclist eager for their morning coffee. Unlike mountain bike clipless pedals, road cycling pedals have an exposed cleat system that’s designed for one thing – to transmit power from your legs through to the bike.
If you’re new to clipless pedals, I’d recommend reading our complete guide to clipless pedals. In this guide, we compare two of the most popular manufacturers, Speedplay and Look, to figure out which pedals are best for you.
Pedals equal power. (At least in part.) And when it comes to road cycling, power is what it’s all about. With the right pair of pedals, you’ll be sailing up those hills faster than Sagan in a sprint.*
If you’re reading this article, I’m assuming you’re after a pair of road pedals. So, when we’re talking about Shimano pedals we’re comparing the SPD-SL range rather than the mountain biking SPDs.
Right, let’s get started. Here’s a recap of what we’re looking for when comparing road cycling pedals.
*Cycling Hacks cannot guarantee this.
When you first start mountain biking, an ordinary pair of running or hiking shoes will probably do you just fine. But once you’ve decided this is the sport for you, a more specific shoe can definitely help improve your performance.
What you go for will depend on the type of riding you do, the weather conditions you ride in, and your budget.
As a beginner, upgrading to clipless pedals can feel like learning how to ride a bike all over again. But once you master the initial learning curve, you’ll no-double feel more in control and powerful on the bike. Ready to take the plunge? Here’s everything you need to clip in and elevate your riding to the next level.