Clipless pedals – a topic I had thought about a lot since the idea of buying a road bike first entered my mind. The predominant thought was, “Do you really need them?” Today, my answer is a definite “yes”! Without them, you make life unnecessarily hard.
I didn’t really make the choice to switch to clipless pedals myself, since my boyfriend saw mountain bike shoes in my size that were on sale, bought them and installed clipless pedals on my bike as well. At first, I didn’t really know what to think – after all, I had imagined countless scenarios which all ended with me having to brake for some reason, not managing to get out of the pedals and just tipping over with my bike.
But sometimes you just need to try and overcome your fears. That’s why I practiced clipping in and out a few times while sitting on the saddle and hanging on to the balcony railings. I realized it wasn’t such a big deal, so I carried my bike down to the street, went up and down the road and kept clipping in and out. And – big surprise – this wasn’t a problem, either. Nothing stood in the way of my first real ride with clip pedals now, which was also only the second ride with my road bike.
The following day, we cycled from Cologne to Bonn along the Rhine River. This route is always busy with walkers, runners, skaters and cyclists. As I clipped out every single time I thought someone might get in my way, there were many opportunities for me to use and enhance my new skill.
If you’re thinking about switching to clipless pedals, I’d definitely recommend that you give it a go. As you can read everywhere and as I can confirm from my own experience, you can pedal much more efficiently, need less power, can therefore ride faster and don’t run the risk of slipping off the pedals, e.g. when it’s wet outside. On top of that, you feel a lot sportier with them, which never hurts, either 😉 If you aren’t used to riding with clipless pedals, it’s definitely a good idea to adjust the release tension so that it isn’t too firm and it’s easy for you to clip in and out, which will make you feel safer and more confident.
I have road bike shoes and pedals for my road bike now. Since I could bring myself to ride my mountain bike with clipless pedals, too, a few months ago, my mountain bike shoes and pedals now serve the purpose they were intended for as well.