How much of a difference do Toe Pedal Clips make in comparison to Platform Pedals?

  • I am a novice cyclist, using my bike to travel to work with a round trip of about 15 miles in moderate to heavy traffic. I have been thinking about upgrading my bikes platform pedals to a set of pedals with toe clips. (Clipless pedals are probably out of the question because traffic is too heavy). My question is whether I can expect a performance boost (in terms of my average speed) by doing this, and if so how significant it is likely to be. (based on studies / past experience of other riders)

    On a long-ish commute, switching to toe clips and cycling shoes took about 15 minutes off my times. The stiffer shoe is probably a bigger part of that.

    I got a set of pedals with toe clips about a week after asking this, but did not like them. I went clipless a few weeks later and have not looked back - they rock - thanks for the advice.

  • Mac

    Mac Correct answer

    9 years ago

    I found toe clips to be better than platform pedals, but not by a huge amount.

    Seriously, get clipless pedals. It doesn't matter how much traffic there is as it's so easy to get your foot in or out of the pedals. The advantages are huge.

    • The cycling shoes are so much more comfortable than street shoes
    • Your foot is so secure on the pedal - you can confidently apply as much force as you want, knowing that your foot will not slip off the pedal
    • You can get extra oomph up a hill by pulling with your back leg.

    Once you get clipless pedals you'll never look back!

    Agree. Many people may shy away from having their foot attached to the pedal, but it really isn't that much of a problem. It should be quite easy to clip in and out of clipless pedals. Probably easier than using a strap system, since it has to release with a simple turn of the foot. With toe clips, there are more places for things to get caught on.

    100% agreed. Clipless pedals are orders of magnitude less of a safety concern than toe clips are, especially in traffic.

    I remember falling over with toe clips trying to pull my foot out when I had panniers on. Embarrassing.

    @Stephen - This is only the case if the straps are insanely tight, and is a myth continually perpetuated by clipless converts clomping about like Frankenstein. (I really, really like consonance, if you can't tell.)

    If you stall on a steep incline, you can slip your shoes out of toe clips, but it's virtually impossible to undo clipless.

    Okay, this is turning into a religious war. Lots of comments that are opinions not facts. Maybe take it to chat?

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Content dated before 6/26/2020 9:53 AM