At first glance, many riders may believe that there is only one type of bike pedal. However, that statement is far from true. There are actually multiple bike pedals, which all serve a different purpose.
As a cyclist, it’s essential to understand what each mountain bike pedals offers you because it makes a difference when you’re cycling. Certain bike pedals can help provide more control for consistent pedaling depending on the terrain. If you want to get the most out of your next cycling journey, it’s beneficial to understand the differences.
There are two main types of bike pedals you’d use for mountain bikes, clipless and flat. This article lists which version is generally better for off-road and mountain biking.
Two types of bike pedals are used for mountain biking, and each has its own pros and cons. Of course, knowing the design and use of each pedal can help you make the correct choice for which pedal would best fit your cycling journey. Below, we’ve listed the design and use of each type of mountain bike pedals.
Mountain bike flat pedals are designed with a large surface area, including metal pins. Essentially, flat pedals are a double-sided platform strategically placed to help your feet grip. The pins also help support foot placement and weight by helping keep traction between cycling shoes and the pedal.
This can be useful when you’re out on a mountain trail as it ensures your foot stays on the pedal even through rocky terrain. Additionally, the small pins help create strong traction, which prevents your foot from sliding off or to the side. As you can imagine, when you’re in the mountains having complete control is key to having a safe and enjoyable ride.
Clipless pedals are slightly different from flat pedals, and there are also multiple types. First, the two main types are single-sided and double-sided pedals. In short, a ‘clipless’ pedal has built-in metal rods that attach to cycling cleat shoes.
Single-sided clipless pedals only have attachment clips on one side. They are generally used on roads and have a broad platform. The wide platform helps aid stability and can help reduce the amount of weight due to its lightweight design. However, the main downside is that they are hard to ride if you’re not using cycling shoes.
On the other hand, double-sided clipless pedals have metal pins on both sides of the pedal. The pedal has multiple-sized platforms and is large enough to use with or without cleats. The main benefit is that you’ll be able to adjust the tension of the cleat and attach it to either side of the pedal.
Whether you’re an expert or just a first-time cyclist, understanding what type of pedal suits what terrain is crucial. Not only do pedals highly impact what gear you need, but it also changes how the ride will feel. You can bet you want to have the best stability and control on rocky mountain terrain.
Using flat pedals for mountain biking has the following benefits:
Using clipless pedals for mountain biking has the following benefits:
Overall, the best type of pedal will be based on the terrain you’re biking and the style of riding you do. For example, flat pedals are good for on-road or bike trails because they give you more control. On the other hand, Single-sided clipless pedals are decent for city travel because they lock you in and allow you to pedal more efficiently. Lastly, double-sided clipless are suitable for mountain biking because you can unclip and clip very quickly.
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