Types of Road Bike Pedals

Types of Road Bike Pedals

We all grew up riding cycles, and you must be lucky that you still got time to enjoy this fun-filled activity. The selection of the right pedals is essential to make your ride smooth and injury-free. Most of the riders have to battle minor injuries to calf muscle or scratches on the leg due to the wrong selection of pedals.

There are various aspects that we love to consider while shopping for a bike. One such essential factor is the pedal of the bike. We will understand different types of pedals in this article as it will help you find the right kind of pedal for your ride.

#1. Understanding Different Types of Pedals

What Are Different Types of Bike Strokes?

When the concern is about selecting the right bike pedals, it is essential to understand different bike strokes. Generally, there are two different types of strokes upstroke and downstroke. You have to exert pressure on the pedal while downstroke and feel light and relaxed during the upstroke. Let us break down different types of pedals for better understanding.

Flat Pedals

They are among the most common types of pedals but are least effective when they are about grip. One has to exert pressure while both the strokes to ensure that their leg doesn’t slip from the pedals. You can find such strokes in basic pavement bikes. Riders who love dirty roads or who don’t like to take additional pairs of shoes on tour will love riding with flat pedal bikes.

Clipless Pedals

If you need something more effective than flatbed pedals and clipless pedals are the perfect option. They tightly held your shoes which means you need to twist your leg to remove it from the pedal. Undoubtedly, you have to make yourself ready for initial falls and mild bruises.

With time you will master clipless pedals and pass like a storm making all others amazed with your speed. There are two types of clipless pedals, a 3-hole cleat system and a 2-hole cleat system. Let us understand the differences between them.

Cage Pedals

As the name suggests, cage pedals have specially designed cages with leather straps that bind with your sole. You don’t have to wear any particular type of footwear to fit in any kind of shoe. They are effective at pavements and flat-dirt rides but can hit your leg hard if you try to wear them while trekking or mountain riding.

#3. Differences Between 2 and 3- Hole Cleat System

3-Hole Cleat System

The 3–hole cleat system from Shimano starts from the sole and is an excellent option for all the riders who love long rides. Walking becomes a daunting task while wearing these shoes as the protrusion can make you feel uncomfortable. One of the best advantages of using this type of system is spending low energy while pedaling.

2-Hole Cleat System

2-Hole Cleat System

There is not much difference between the 3-hole and 2-hole cleat systems, but 2-hole is difficult to pedal. The shoes of the 2-hole cleat system are tight. One can also easily walk while wearing them off the cycle. Most professional riders love to use them because of their multiple advantages.

Drawbacks of Clip System Pedals

One of the prominent disadvantages of clip-system pedals and shoes is that they can make your leg numb in cold weather. The clip-based shoes lack sufficient padding, which can make your legs chilled, and you have to battle with irritating numbness at times.

You can wear these shoes in humid and warm climates but resist them during winters and specifically under lower temperatures. You can also use different types of road bike clipless pedals, which come with outer covers.

#4. Why Go With Clipless Pedals?

What Are Clipless Pedals?

Have you ever tried ski-binding? Then you must not find it challenging to arrange your legs in the cleats offered by the clipless pedals. You don’t have to be serious with the name all the time as you clip in the clipless pedals. The difference between clip system pedals and clipless pedals is you mount your leg on the pedals in the clip system, whereas the pedal mounts your leg in a clipless system.

Different Types of Road Bike Pedals

What Are the Benefits of Using Clipless Pedals?

Clip-less pedals are the perfect choice pedals if you love riding fast or performing tricks like over-logs or curbs. One of the best advantages of fixing your legs in these pedals is your feet don’t have to bounce when you ride over bumps and on rough terrains. It takes time to adapt to the weird mechanics, but you will love riding with these pedals once you have mastered them.

#5. How Different Types of Riding Affects Pedaling?

Best Pedals for Road Cycling

Most of the riders love to use clipless pedals as they feel comfortable and safe while riding them. One of the best advantages of using clipless pedals is you don’t have to exert more pressure on the legs.

Moreover, selecting a 3-hole design makes it easy for all the riders to distribute the force uniformly. Road cycling is the best way to enjoy the sport and keep yourself fit; hence, pedals are not as complicated as mountain bikes.

Best Pedals for Mountain Bikes

Riders who love bumps and curbs would love to go with clipped pedals as they make it easy to ride over them. They also make it comfortable to walk while enjoying any ride.

You can also select a 2-hole clipless system as you may tend to stay on the safer side. Moreover, it is always better to choose the pedals which can hold your legs firmly. Mountain riders are not smooth; hence you need to be consistent to avoid accidents and severe injuries.


If you love your cycle, then you must be loving your pedals. Now that you are well-aware of different types of pedals, shop for the right one which suits your needs. We hope you enjoyed the ride. Share this article with your friends. Do mention your choice for pedals in the comment section.

Written by Lee Hill

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