Thanks to the generosity of a friend, I have acquired a set of clipless shoes and pedals. After a few stationary experiments, I installed the pedals on my bike and went for a short ride. I was happy to find I was able to disengage and dismount without tipping over! I’ll have to practice a lot more before it becomes instinctive, though.

I expect that I will continue to use platform pedals on a day-to-day basis, as the practical advantages of being able to ride with any footwear far outweigh the potential performance benefits of being clipped in to the bike, at least for my routine errand-oriented riding. I can imagine using these pedals if I ever get into racing, though, or for future bike tours where I expect to be in the saddle all day.

And yeah, it’s confusing that shoes which clip in to matching spring-loaded pedals are referred to as “clipless.” The name distinguishes the design from pedals with straps or toe cages that surround the foot.

Posted on Friday, September 21st, 2012.