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Introduction to Bike Shoes and Pedals, Why They Matter

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Why would you want to go with clipless shoes, what’s the difference between road and mountain, why are pedals important at all? These are some of the questions I had going in to Peloton Cycles in Fort Collins, CO working with Erik. I had just purchased a new electric bike and hadn’t spent much time on shoes. He took me on a short tour of the shoe section and gave me an overview of bicycle shoes and pedals. We started off with an overview of the term clipless, the confusing thing is that these pedals and shoes often use clips of a sort in order to connect and hold on to each other. The term evolved from baskets and cages which were popular before the click-in systems were developed. People used to refer to them as clips and thus, when the cage or basket was replaced with an automatic connector the term came to be. Baskets were designed to completely lock in your foot and required help at the start and finish of a ride in order to get out. I have fallen and nearly broke my wrist using them for fun as a younger guy. In short, road shoes have a much larger connection point in order to transfer power. Mountain shoes are more flexible so you can maneuver the bike itself easier and introduce tread so you can walk around and get the bike setup on unstable surfaces.
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Text Comments (56)
Giancarlo D (3 days ago)
This guy is a legend. Cheers!
Maurice Appelhof (4 days ago)
Should have used lesser fov/bigger aperture. his nose looks too big
Bill Bisbing (30 days ago)
Really informative and great information! Thanks from a newbie to spinning.
Turki Baghlaf (1 month ago)
if im the owner of the store i would give this guy a promotion.
Jason Hart (1 month ago)
Like others have said, this guy is very good at explaining this confusing subject. Good job.
Methodical2 (1 month ago)
Very informative. Thanks
REALLYCLEANFLOORS (2 months ago)
Really great explanation. Thanks!
Qif Ry (2 months ago)
this is how they make money people dont be sstupid
rakistang pinoy (2 months ago)
Anyone using their mtb shoes (SPD cleats) for road biking? It's hard to walk on rb shoes (SPD-SL) and the cleats are damn so expensive.
Scott (2 months ago)
Why does anything with the words "S-Works" cost so much damn money? 17K for the Turbo Levo S-Works, 500 for some S-Works shoes, that is a joke, I can buy Alpine Star Tech 10 motocross boots for 400 bucks, bicycles people, bicycles.
Christopher Rwechungura (4 months ago)
this guys knows his stuff!!!
Zap Zap (4 months ago)
This guy needs a raise
Luis Superlano (5 months ago)
Great explanation. I am about to make the jump to clip in pedals on my road bike. I got the pedals that are flat on top and clip on the bottom.
PermaKulHurTur (5 months ago)
I'd rather ride with bare feet than listen to this shop background noise
LightSport Man (5 months ago)
What is the BLUE shoe
LightSport Man (5 months ago)
Can someone please tell me what shoe was the MTB shoe
ConteudoAnimal com br (6 months ago)
flat and tennis for sure
caba (6 months ago)
Best explaining video out there. Thank you.
Jeffrey Gray (6 months ago)
One point not mentioned. I have ridden diamond frame bikes with clipless pedals. Pulling up as well as pushing may not be much of a difference on a diamond frame bike. It does however make a huge difference when ridding a recumbent bike/trike. Being able to pull makes starting faster and adds to the abiltiy to climb. On a recumbent being able to pull as well as push can mean pedaling a hill or walking up the hill. I prefer my recumbent to an upright bike, but on a recumbent you have top power it yourself as you dont have gravity and weight helping climb.
tomisthlm (6 months ago)
Very informative!!!
Russ Schuett (6 months ago)
Too bad Peloton was bought out by Specialized.
Jackson Louie (6 months ago)
Great info. I've been using my flat Adidas and it works perfect.
Aquarius Storm (7 months ago)
This guy is a master at explaining
Scott Rawdin (7 months ago)
Thank you for this video. I have been wondering about changing from sneakers to bike shoes - but I too have had unfortunate experiences with the "clips" that imprison the foot. Perhaps the multi-release cleat could be a start for me?
KCFlyer2 (7 months ago)
I use stiff soled shoes with strapless toe clips. I don't get the full "power" out of them, but I'm riding an E bike so it's not that important. The strapless toe clips are easy to get into AND out of, but they keep my foot steady on the pedal. At my age, I can't afford to fall while "learning" how to clip in and out.
Mack RVentures (8 months ago)
Very helpful video for a newbie!
William Kiltz (8 months ago)
9:00 just saved me 360$$
Catalin Radulea (8 months ago)
Why in hell would you dislike the video ? Idiots...
bob tim tom tumb (8 months ago)
Wow the guy is good!!! Thanks!!!
Fringe Wizard (9 months ago)
I bike around in rubber boots that are for the winter.
Joe Rains (9 months ago)
Just what I needed: a brief orientation on the pedal systems. Well done! Plus, you answered the "why are they called clipless" question- I thought I must be confused. Thanks much!
Jimie Chou (9 months ago)
Very very good story telling! nice job guys!
Gabriel Denis (9 months ago)
This was the video I’ve been needing to see thank you both for a truly educational eye opening video. I understand more about clip-less cycling shoes and pedals.
Johannes Nilsen (9 months ago)
8:46 tecnically you can, but it's nto desirable, you can if you tilt your feet/pedal, but it's pontless to do so.
Johannes Nilsen (9 months ago)
I can only use flat pedals, I got joint misalignment issues, so I have to pop my feet back in place, I have to do it with my toes too, and all pedals on the market are too small apart from Pedalling innovations Catalyst pedals, they offer more stability. my current setup is Fiveten Freerider & Catalyst pedals. https://pedalinginnovations.com/ https://www.adidasoutdoor.com/fiveten-men-bike-shoes I have ridden with Mid foot position since I started riding, ball position does not make any sense.
Dennis Dowd (9 months ago)
Super.
Flare Knux (10 months ago)
catch me in my Crocs tho - you wont
ibrahim s (11 months ago)
great video
Jorge Tenorio (1 year ago)
Great video review
Rob K (1 year ago)
Shimano Sandals and Keen Sandals are the best because you feet get air to stay dry and cool.
Jamie Satcher (1 year ago)
Thank you for a great, informative video!
Michael Knight (1 year ago)
Bought a pair of Time Attack 20 years ago. I always felt trapped in a emergency. It was my 1st & last attempt at clip or clipless. Did I give up to quick?
Lynn Chen (5 months ago)
Michael Knight It’s all peer pressure. Now, I ride loose toe clips/straps off road. I got tired of clipless problems of being too binding or too releasing
thomas medeiros (5 months ago)
SH 56 M Shimano cleat allows multi release angles. Have used them for years on Mt.Bike shoes for trail riding. I use the SH 51 single release on my road bike. Been on clipless since the were introduced. Have tried several brands but Shimano is all that I have been riding for a long time. Don’t go by a pedal from 20 years ago.
Jean Durant (6 months ago)
Spd multi release cleats might be a good option. It saved my butt a few times Downside could be unclipping when pushing hard on the pedals
Arahorn (9 months ago)
Yes you gave up too quickly. I was raised on the race bike, was racing since age 7 and started out using pedals with clips. This was in the 80s before clipless came out. Not only were our feet strapped in, but our cleats were slotted so that they held firmly into the pedal slot. Because I'm used to them, I can say I've never felt unsafe in them, when you're used to them it's very easy to get your foot out quickly and on the spur of the moment. Really, it's just practice, and eventually it won't feel unsafe or be unsafe. I'm not sure what a Time Attack is, however my suggestion is by-pass the straps, and go to clipless. Not only are they better for riding, but they are also safer in that they are much quicker to get out of, you don't have to use your hand to undo the straps before pulling your foot out. You just twist your foot and you're out, very easy. As well, if you crash, your foot will come out, whereas if you're strapped in, your foot is more likely to stay trapped. So go with the newer modern clipless setup. I had a big break from racing for 10 years, and when I came back around year 2000, they were using clipless. I had never used them before, but I got the hang of them very quickly, it was no problem at all. And probably for me it was even easier than the cages I'd used before, but even the cages are safe if you get used to them. But I can understand that being new to them may feel dodgy. All I can say is keep practicing with them and you will get to the stage where it's second nature. I'd much rather use cages than nothing at all, even for rolling around the corner to the shops or in heavy traffic where I'm stopping and starting regularly. But best thing is those clipless ones, they are very user-friendly and safe compared to cages. If you feel unsafe about clipless, just think that before they had clipless you would have had to use cages, which were harder to get out of.
Bungle2010 (1 year ago)
Yes. Clipless take a while to get used to.
Diogo Valente (1 year ago)
Finally the explanation why you call it clipless in USA :p Good tour, thank you
stateniland (1 year ago)
Hello.. I ride with flat pedals (no clips).. would you suggest the best type of sneaker/shoe I should be wearing?
academyrulz (1 year ago)
There ARE perfectly viable options out there in the sub $100 range.. Currently have 2 yrs and around 13000 miles on a set up that was under $75 for the pedals , shoes and cleats shipped to the door...I am not a high end cyclist by any means  but I ride around 600 or more miles a month for cardio , and the more budget options fit my needs perfectly.. And I want to add that some of the more budget ended shoes accept BOTH standard SPD cleats and look delta style road cleats...For around $50 you can get a  road shoe that will accept SPD style cleats for spin class/mountain pedals  or look style delta cleats for road pedals.. Its all about your intended purpose.. If you are pleasure/fitness/ spin riding do you really need $150 pedals and $300 shoes? Those are great for someone who races and has an extremely high power output and NEEDS that kind of top end equipment to handle the abuse they are going to dole out to it.. But for most of us just stepping up to a set of lower end clipless pedals and shoes for spinning ,commuting or pleasure/fitness riding will be a great improvement over riding platforms and street shoes.. I would post a link , but I don't know your policy on providing links in the comments..
thersten (3 months ago)
+Phil M Performance Bike shop has some. They're called Forte Which I think is their own brand.
Phil M (9 months ago)
Can you tell me where to get inexpensive shoes for SPD pedals? I'm 69 and have no interest in zooming around. I'm only using them on a TAD trike to make it easier to keep my feet on the pedals for safety.
R D (2 years ago)
Good variety this video will definitely help people to choose when buying 👍🏻🇨🇦
Frank Bonilla (2 years ago)
Great info video ! 8-)
David Haney (2 years ago)
please do a series on vendors who make or sell custom battery packs.
Lynn Chen (5 months ago)
David Haney Yes. $800 per battery is pretty outrageous. We need alternatives to production e-gear.

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