When outfitting your mountain bike with the latest action sporting gear purchasing pedals might not seem that exciting or important. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Pedals on a bike play an integral part in your biking pleasure. If your pedals function correctly then you will have a smooth, enjoyable experience.

Here are a few things to consider when choosing the perfect pair of pedals.

Platform vs. Clipless

  • Platform Pedals: If your first mountain bike was an entry level model then the chances are good it came equipped with standard platform pedals that were either made from metal or some form of hard plastic. The main advantage of platform pedals is that they require no special shoes. You can also quickly bail from the bike if you start to wipe out, which makes them great for beginners who might still not know the intricacies of the trail. Platform pedals are also often inexpensive compared to other pedals. Although, you can opt to buy a designer pair of platforms that feature optimum gripping ability. Some advanced mountain bike riders claim that the newer, sleeker platform pedals work just as good, if not better than other pedal types.
  • Clipless: Clipless pedal systems have a specially designed cleat that hooks to mountain bike-specific shoes. The clipping ability provides the rider with a tangible connection between their foot and pedal. You simply clip into the pedal by stepping down. To unclip you twist your heel to the side. It usually takes beginners awhile to get used to using clipless mountain bike pedals but once they get the hang of the pedal system them they become delighted with the energy that they can transfer with each stroke. The pedals provide improved handling which makes technical rides easier to undertake. If you are doing a bumpy descent or trying out bunny hopping then the clipless pedals keep your feet firmly in place. You will also be able to clear rocks easier because of the smaller footprint created by the pedals.
  • Combo Pedals: Combination medals have the advantages of both the platform and clipping pedals. They feature a wide platform that has a clipping mechanism. You can choose from two different styles. One style features a clip on one side and a platform on the other. The other type of pedal has a clip on both sides that are built on the sides of the pedal. Although the premise of the combo pedal is a good one, some models are difficult to engage. The models that have a clip only on the side often rotates towards the ground which makes it impossible to easily engage. Combo pedals are great if you bike different trails. When you need to have your shoes clipped for difficult maneuvers then the option is there for you to use.


Pedal Considerations

  1. Pedal Weight: Lightweight pedals are great but some brands lack durability.
  2. Mud Shedding: Your pedals are going to get dirty so make sure they have large holes so they will quickly and effortlessly shed mud.
  3. Adjustability: The more expensive the pedals are the more adjustments you will enjoy.
  4. Durability: Many pedals can be maintained by easily swapping out parts. This makes them extremely durable and long-lasting. You should avoid plastic pedals which will easily scuff or break when you are mountain biking and you hit rocks or logs. A good solid metal pedal should last you for years.

If you are going to purchase action sporting gear for your mountain bike then definitely invest in a pair of pedals this biking season.