How To Use Clipless Pedals

Clipless pedals offer bicyclists the advantage of increasing the power of each pedal stroke.  With clipless pedals, your legs, feet and pedals act as one, allowing you to transfer power from your muscles to your pedals efficiently.  As daunting as clipless pedals may seem at first, with a bit of practice you’ll be on your way to using your pedals like the pros.

  • First, put your cleated shoes on your feet and fasten them.
  • Next, mount your bicycle as you normally would.  Rotate the first pedal into the down position.
  • Position the cleated shoe on top of the pedal such that the front of the cleat catches on the corresponding opening in the pedal. Put weight down on your heel until you hear a click.  This indicates that you have properly secured the cleat to the pedal.
  • To push off, spin the same pedal to about 45 degrees above level and push off as you normally would.  Place your other cleated shoe on top of the other pedal.  Keep pedaling until you have enough speed to remain upright.
  • Repeat the process for the other shoe and pedal.  This can be tricky because you will be moving.  To become more comfortable with this step, practice clipping into your pedals while leaning against a wall.  This will help you get accustomed to the positioning of the cleat and the pedal.
  • Once both shoes are secured to the pedals, pedal as you normally would.  You will likely notice the added power on each upstroke.  This is the biggest advantage of using clipless pedals.
  • Now that you have learned how to snap in to your pedals, you need to know how to snap out of them.  To do so, simply pivot your heel outward until you feel the pedal release the cleat.  This, too, will take some getting used to and can be practiced against a wall.

Now that you know the mechanics of how clipless pedals work, here are a few tips while you’re learning how to use them.  Practice snapping in and out of your pedals at home, against a wall.  This will give you the confidence to do the same when you’re on the road or on the trail.  When you’re ready to venture outside, practice in a low-traffic area like a dead-end street or an empty parking lot.  Eventually, clipping in and out of your pedals will become second nature and you will benefit from an improved pedal stroke.


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