Clipless pedals

Very often when people are buying a new road bike for the first time they baulk at the suggestion of adding clipless pedals such as Look, Shimano, Speedplay, Time or any other variation. This may well be a mistake.

The main concern they have is the perception that it will be more difficult to release their foot from the pedal which could result in a fall.

However, this is actually one of the main reasons that clipless pedals were designed in the first place.

Below is a picture of Greg Lemond in the 1983 Paris Roubaix. With his feet well strapped into this toe clip pedals he is unable to get his foot out as he falls and suffers a nasty leg injury as a result. The following year he was one of the first riders to test and use Look clipless pedals.


Plain flat pedals without toe clips can eliminate this possibility but then there is the chance that your foot can slip off altogether at the wrong time which can result in injury to the rider once more.

Clipless pedals do take a spin or two to become accustomed to, but once you do get the hang of pressing forward and down to clip in and flicking your heel out to release there will be no going back.

There is also the added benefit of being more power efficient as being clipped in allows you to pull up on the upstroke giving a more rounded pedal stroke.

Comfort is another advantage. Once you have your cleats positioned correctly with the pedal axle directly under the ball of your foot and free lateral movement on both sides, if using cleats with float, you will be immensely more comfortable than those who pedal with their heels. And for anyone who ever had a numb big toe from the pressure of a steel toe clip, converting to clipless is almost like cycling on air.


Go clipless and never ‘look’ back !




4 thoughts on “Clipless pedals

  • April 14, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    Good insights Barry. The pride is often as bruies as the body afer the first few falls, especially if the fall is witnessed by others! I believe Sean Krlly was one of the last if not the last of his generation to abandon the toe clips.
    John Treacy.

    • April 15, 2014 at 6:18 am

      He was indeed John. He now uses speedplay pedals.

  • April 15, 2014 at 9:28 am

    once u go clipless u can never go back and it leads to a more comfortable ride

  • November 4, 2014 at 2:04 am

    They did lie to us about no longer having cold toes. That was a product of pressure on the metatarsal heads and not the toe strap.


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