Road biking is an exercise in speed and efficiency. From tires to helmets, every aspect is geared to making the bicycle and its rider lighter and more aerodynamic. Road bike pedals are no exception. From minimalistic to high-tech, road bike pedals come in a wide range of styles.
Platform pedals are ideal for cyclists who don't like the complications that can arise when you clip in and out of pedals. Platform pedals are the simplest type of pedal and the easiest to use. Unlike clip-in pedals, many of which require road bike shoes, platform pedals work with any kind of shoe. Platforms are ideal for beginners prone to falling, because you don't have to disengage your feet from the pedals to steady yourself. Check out the MKS GR-9 road biking platform pedal ($22 in 2009).
For a more efficient ride, clip-in pedals are the way to go. Although being physically attached to the bike can take some getting used to, increased efficiency is well worth the learning curve. Clip-in pedals require road biking shoes and attach to a cleat on the sole, allowing riders to pull up on one pedal while pushing down on the other. The result is a more powerful and efficient pedal stroke. Shimano's DURA-ACE SPD-SL clip-in pedals cost $238 in 2009.
Crank Brothers offers a unique and simple design--the Egg Beater--for cyclists who prefer clip-in pedals. Egg Beaters are lightweight and their four-sided design allows riders to clip in regardless of which side of the pedal is facing up. Plus, in inclement weather the open-face design prevents mud and debris from collecting in the clip-in area and jamming the pedal. Check out Egg Beaters at www.crankbrothers.com
Article Written By Billy Brown
Billy Brown is an outdoor sports writer living in Northern California.
An avid rock climber and trail runner, he's been writing about outdoor activities, fitness and gear since 2005. He regularly contributes to "The Record Searchlight," uncooped.com, and Trails.com, as well as other print and online publications. Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Simpson University and is a NASM-certified personal trainer.