How to Choose Bicycle Pedals

How to Choose Bicycle Pedals
The pedals on a bicycle are often customized by the type of riding you do. There are a number of options, materials and price ranges to choose from. For casual riding, the pedals that come with a bike will often suffice, but if they brake or if you are a more serious rider, you'll want to choose pedals that make the most sense to you and your type of riding.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Step 1
Determine the type of riding you'll be doing. For example, will you be riding off-road on a mountain bike or cyclocross bike, commuting and running errands, road racing, track racing or multiple types of riding on the same bike? These factors will impact the pedals you choose.
Step 2
Familiarize yourself with the types of available pedals. There are flat pedals used for recreational riding; toe-clips can be added to these for more control, which is also a popular add-on on fixed-gear bikes. Clipless pedals are for more athletic riding, and there are several varieties of these. Campus pedals are flat on one side and clipless on the other side for a variety of types of riding.
Step 3
Consider your price range. There is an incredible range of prices for bicycle pedals. Flat (or platform) pedals are often the least expensive, and many bicycles come installed with these. Bicycles will never be sold from the manufacturer with clipless pedals or campus pedals. Higher-end bicycles generally do not come with any pedals because it is assumed that the cyclist will have her own pedals to add to the bike.
Step 4
Do your research. Go to a few local bike shops and ask some questions, and do some research online on specific brands (see Resources). Because the price range is so wide, it is generally possible to stay within your set range and find pedals for a good price.
Step 5
Install your pedals using a pedal wrench, or take your bike to a local bike shop to have a bicycle mechanic install them for you. If you do not own a pedal wrench and have not changed your pedals yourself, this is the recommended option.

Tips & Warnings

Keep in mind that clipless pedals require special shoes that clip directly into the pedal; the word "clipless" is misleading in that way, but these pedals were designed after "toe-clip" pedals and needed to be distinguished from them.

Article Written By Frances Hall

Frances Hall is a librarian and writing and women's and gender studies instructor. Hall has written for Her Active Life and Queercents and has been blogging since 2004. Hall holds a Master of Arts in library science from Dominican University and a Master of Arts in English/literature with a focus on feminist writing pedagogy, as well as a graduate certificate in women's and gender studies.

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