Pedals are one of the most important components on the bike. Together with the saddle and the handlebars, they make up the only 3 points of support between the body and the bike, so they must be perfectly adjusted to the style of each cyclist.
In addition, it must be taken into account that they are in charge of transferring the force of the legs to the transmission of the bike. The less energy lost in this process, the more efficient our pedaling will be.
In general, there are 4 types of pedals. Below we explain the main characteristics of each one and their indicated uses.
They have a wide contact surface with the shoe and only one side with a hook. Generally, they are the stiffest option, ideal for not losing an ounce of strength.
Being automatic pedals, they have the possibility of adjusting the release of the foot, according to the cyclist's preferences. In this sense, it is important that the pedal is compatible with the cleat, since not all brands are compatible with each other.
Unlike the road ones, they can be attached to the shoe on both sides and their size is much smaller. The cleat is also more minimalist, a fact that makes it easier for the cyclist to walk when getting off the bike, for example, when encountering some difficulty in the terrain.
Due to their design, mountain pedals allow much more foot play, a necessary detail in the most technical sections. They are also usually used in gravel, since, being an adventurous discipline, it can present various obstacles of nature, such as rivers or fallen trees, which will have to be avoided on foot.
In addition, as a general rule, the pedals, the shoes and the mountain cleats are quite resistant to face possible sections of kicking, blows or falls.
As in the case of the road shoes, they also allow you to adjust the tension of the release to facilitate the release of the foot.
They are the simplest of all, since they do not require a specific cycling shoe. As they are compatible with conventional footwear, they are suitable for groups such as boys and girls, occasional cyclists and commuters.
The transfer of power is not the most optimal, but it is not a burden either, since the distances covered are short and undemanding.
They are also used in disciplines such as BMX or downhill, specialties that demand a lot of mobility and a great speed when the feet are released. Some of them have grip pivots, to give greater stability and security.
It is the most versatile option. One of the faces has a hook for mountain cleats, while the other is a conventional pedal.
Its use is ideal for those people who use a single bicycle in different areas. For example, in the sports section, they can use cycling shoes with cleats to be 'hooked', but at work, they can go to work with formal shoes.
As always, there is a wide range of prices in these 4 categories, due to factors such as material, weight, rigidity or the technology used. On the other hand, both road, mountain and mixed pedals require specific footwear. Later we will talk about the different possibilities!