How do Shimano clipless pedals work
Many newcomers to cycling find it difficult to imagine anchoring their feet firmly with the pedal. But the majority of road cyclists you meet use one or the other clipless pedal system - and there are good reasons for that.
A long-time cyclist only talks about “clicking in”. That means nothing else than that you use a pedal system that connects the shoe sole directly to the pedal, similar to a boot when skiing. The comparison with skiing is not so absurd when you consider how the click system was called into the world: The inventor of this system, LOOK, made ski boots when they came up with the idea of the click pedals for cyclists. Until LOOK had the flash of inspiration, cyclists like Coppi, Merckx & Co rode with pedal cups and / or straps to connect the foot to the pedal.
The main reasons for using clipless pedals (or clickies) are twofold: First, it's just comfortable. Anyone who has ever ridden a racing bike with normal, flat pedals knows from personal experience that your feet move back and forth and therefore have to be repositioned over and over again. The problem is solved by the clipless pedals: your feet stay where they belong. If you don't have to worry about where your feet are, you can concentrate fully on the bike and the ride. We have all descended a mountain relatively quickly. Now imagine that you are repeatedly distracted by your feet that are not resting on the pedal. Not only when going downhill, but also when you have to drive around obstacles and find yourself in situations that demand all your concentration, it is easier if your feet stay where they belong.
Second, your kick becomes rounder and your overall pedaling efficiency is better. You can focus and step on the pedal with more pressure, which in turn means that you can transfer more force. You will also find it easier to pedal at a higher cadence. Anyone who has ever tried to pedal 100 RPM with a flat pedal knows what I'm talking about: Keeping your foot in constant contact with the pedal during a high cadence is both physically and mentally demanding. It is impossible to maintain a steady and high cadence. With clipless pedals you can keep your cadence steady without using up strength and energy and without exhausting yourself physically and mentally.
It is understandable that the thought of clipless pedals does not sound like a familiar thing to you. That is why we have put together this little article: On the following pages we will explain to you how to set your clipless pedals correctly, how clicking in works and how you can prepare yourself before you venture out in public for the first time.
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