The foot to pedal connection could be the single most important aspect of how the rider fits on the bike in addition to the safety aspects of a good connection. Due to the inertia and momentum that can be created by the weighted flywheel, it is necessary for riders to keep their feet secured to the bike at all times when riding.

Most indoor bikes are equipped with toe cages and straps to secure a rider”™s foot to the pedal. The rider inserts their foot into the plastic or metal cage and tightens the attached strap to ensure their foot will not come out while pedaling.

Many indoor bikes now provide clipless pedals. Although this can appear to be an oxymoron, clipless pedals use a cleat that is attached to the bottom of a cycling shoe which then “clips” into the pedal. The cleats and pedals can come in various sizes depending on the make and model. Currently, the most common are SPD® (Shimano® Pedaling Dynamics) although a few facilities still use the older LOOK® (red cleat) pedals. Contact your facility to learn which pedal options are available for the bikes you are going to use.

There are large benefits of using clipless pedals over flat pedals in terms of comfort and efficiency. There are several good reasons to ride clipped in which include: 1) Riding clipped in allows you to recruit more of the muscles in your leg, more efficiently. While flat pedals tend to get the most drive when you push down, the clipless pedals also create forward movement when you pull up. 2) Provided your cleats are set up correctly and your saddle height and fore/aft position is right, you”™ll be clipping yourself into the optimum position — limiting the chance of injury and improving efficacy. 3) Your feet won”™t slide around like they can do on flat pedals.

To get clipped in, start with one foot already attached, and at the top of the pedal stroke. Push down with the clipped-in foot, and sit on the saddle. When the unattached pedal comes to meet your foot, rest the cleat attached to your shoe over the top of the pedal, and apply pressure. To release yourself from clipless pedals, you simply need to twist your ankle outwards.

If you have never used clipless pedals before, we strongly recommend that you take a few moments to practice getting in and out of the pedals when not in front of the class.

Cycle science (As printed in Mountain Bike Rider)
“According to sports scientist Will Harrison, “The type of pedal we use will alter technique and the lines we choose. Clipless can knock our confidence at first, however they can help us with better power, control and efficiency”.

That”™s exactly what we wanted to test- do clipless really affect power that much? We jumped onto the Wattbike and found a big difference.”


Joey Stabile

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