So today while continuing on my workout adventure, I learned something that I am sure most everybody here probably already knew. I feel kind of silly now that I had the light bulb come on. While doing my workout it prompted me to focus on the zones of my pedal strokes like “pulling up” or “dragging back”. My first thought was “How in the helll do I pull up on the pedal? My feet are not attached to my pedal…” DING The light came on and it just clicked (no pun intended) So that’s why people that ride bikes have those special shoes that click into the pedals! 45 years old and I had no idea! I always thought it was so their feet wouldn’t slip off the pedal keeping people from crotching themselves on their bike while riding aggressively. I didn’t know you could pull up making more power.
So now that I learned a new thing, its time for me to learn more about this new found aspect of bike riding. How do they work? Do you have to worry about getting trapped in your pedal and possibly fall over not catching yourself? What are some good brand of those shoes and pedals? Where is a good place to find that kind of stuff? Is that stuff pretty expensive? I’m not looking to go all out and buy the premium high dollar equipment. I don’t think I am going to become a professional bike racer or something, but I wouldn’t mind having something that will make my zwifting experience a little more enjoyable if possible. I feel I might be missing out on something that is key to bike riding I had no knowledge of.
Anyway… Just thought I would share that. Thanks in advance for any questions that any of ya can answer for me.
Welcome to the wonderful world of clipless pedals.
Lots of questions… (google is your friend) - and a note (that always provokes heated debate): the benefits of pedaling technic such as you were prompted to focus on:
are, well, debatable (they do exits, of course, but do read on…) In fact, (insert a missing link to the relevant research article here…) the “pros” pedaling technic turns out to be far from that “ideal”.
This is not to say clipless pedals have no merit - they surly do (I use them…)
I think most cyclists have a story to tell about having incidents whilst riding clipped in, if not about themselves then it happened to a friend.
View it as a rite of passage to the next level of cycling (as long as you don’t really hurt yourself).
NB I landed on a when I didn’t clip out on my MTB.
Being old enough to remember the pre-clipless word of clips, I also remember falling off/having issue more often with toe-clips than I ever have with modern clipless pedals.
Most types of clipless have easy release versions and adjustable release tension for the nervous newby.
Best path is a friend who will let you borrow a pair of pedals an shoes for a weekend. Personally I would say go for SPD and double sided pedals to start but that’s just my preference.
The “pulling up” thing is a bit of a myth. A lot more important is releasing the pressure on the pedal on the upstroke.
Clipless pedals let you put more power through the pedal, and they’re actually safer when riding outside, because your foot can’t slip on the pedal.
Here’s a good video of two pros that show the forces applied to pedals throughout the pedal stroke, you can see how it changes from sitting-standing, cruising-sprinting.
Oh… so pulling up does not really do that much then. Weird. I can see from the video James showed the extra power was from me pulling back slightly on the bottom of the downstroke. I wonder why the training program tells you to pull up then? I guess its a preference thing, or is it just having you engage muscles that you don’t usually use for a more rounded workout?
if you think pulling up does not do much, go out for a bike ride without clipless pedals
There are tons of articles on the myth of pulling up on the pedals.