When I first started riding I heard over and over again that I needed to get clipless pedals. I was told it would not only speed up my rides because 40% of your power is lost when you’re not clipped in, but also work different muscles in my legs because up the up-pedal. As I started looking into them, I quickly realized I had no idea how they worked. This is a quick post to show how clipping in with road pedals works.
First, you need to buy shoes and the pedals. It is more wise to spend more money on the shoes. A comfortable shoe with a nice hard sole will help you out a lot more than a a really expensive pedal. The pedal has one job, to clip your shoe in. Your pedal should come with a cleat. The cleat is what attaches the shoe to the pedal and, thus, clipping you in. BEWARE: if you are buying your pedal on Ebay or something, make sure it comes with the cleats.
There are lots of varieties of pedals. The wide hole at the top is the front.
It’s basically a tongue and groove system. You place the top of the cleat in the hole at the top as a catch. When your shoe is on your foot, you’ll pretty much slide the tongue of the cleat in place and apply pressure to lock the cleat in the pedal.
And that’s it! You’re clipped in. The tricky part about clips is actually clipping out. To release from the pedal you have to twist your heel around so that your cleat slightly spins which allows the back part of the pedal to bend back and release the cleat. It takes loads of practice and probably a couple of times falling over, but eventually it becomes second nature.