Bicycle Parts & Tools
There are many different brands, styles and price ranges of pedals and to the uninitiated, it may be a little daunting, but it is pretty simple really. Firstly there are 2 axle sizes, 1/2" and 9/16"
- The 1/2" size is only found on bikes with a "one piece crank", so these are fitted to most 12", 16" and cheaper 20" kids bikes' and some cheaper department store style adult bikes.
- 9/16" is by far the most common size and can be divided into 2 primary categories, clipless and standard. These names date back to the time (mid-1980's) when "click in" pedals were introduced. Up to this time, serious riders used toe clips and straps to secure their feet to the pedals, so this "new" style became known as clipless due to the absence of toe clips. Hence the previous style became standard, either with or without toe clips.
For quite a few years now "clipless" has itself been further divided with the availability of specific road and off-road pedals. Both styles allow the rider to "click" into the pedal for more efficient pedaling and power transfer. Off-road pedals are often used on road, and the decision as to which to use is usually decided by the shoe best suited to the style of riding and consideration of the importance of weight.
The most efficient system is the road bike style as the appropriate shoe is designed for minimum flex and is sleeker and lighter weight than the chunky, heavier off road combination, however for those who are not weight conscious the positives of the off-road style are the ability to walk around in the shoe without fear of slipping over and generally speaking the pedal will be double sided to make entry easier.