When it comes to choosing an exercise bike, one of the factors that you want to consider is the pedals. These pedals for home studio bikes can either be clip-in style, or they can be clipless, and your personal preference and goals will help you choose which one your bike should have. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each type of pedal, and then you can decide which is best for you and your workout goals!
Pros And Cons Of Clip Pedals
Essentially, the overall goal of pedals with clips on them is to ensure that your foot stays on the pedal in the correct spot – which is vital if you have a road bike that you’re taking out on a wet road, or even just riding down the street. However, on a stationary studio bike, the optimal foot placement isn’t as worrisome, since you don’t have environmental factors to consider that might take your foot off the pedal.
Clipping into your pedals is going to give you more control and stability throughout your ride, since your foot will be clipped in with the ball of your shoe on the pedal itself; this in turn activates your posterior chain (i.e. hamstrings) as you pedal. Clipping into your pedals can give you a sense of security, but it can however make for a risky ride – especially if you’re on a road bike – and you can’t unhook your feet from the pedals if needing to stop, or if you get into an accident. Obviously, getting out of your clips will improve the more you do it (and will be even easier on a studio bike since you can stay upright), but it is something to consider if you’re biking outdoors. Clipping into your pedals also requires a special type of shoe, and it can be difficult or awkward to walk in them like you would with regular sneakers.
Pros And Cons Of Clipless Pedals
Also known as flat pedals, clipless pedals have a bigger surface area for you to put your feet on, and don’t require you to strap or click into anything on the pedal. Clipless pedals are also very easy to use. From beginners to advanced athletes, all you need to do is place your feet on the pedals and go, without the hassle of being clicked into anything. This makes it even easier if you’re riding and want to quickly remove your feet from the pedals (i.e. hopefully reducing the risk of an accident if you’re out on a road bike), or just in general making it easier to hop on and off of your studio bike at home. With clipless pedals you’re also avoiding having to use the cycling shoes with cleats, which is what is necessary for a clip pedal set up; this way, you’re able to ride in whatever type and style of shoe that you want.
Some folks also find that it can be a bit uncomfortable to ride with the ball of their foot locked into the clip pedals; with that being said, you can move your feet around as needed on a clipless pedal, making it a more personalized ride, comfort-wise.
However, there are some downsides to these flat pedals. Speed maintenance can be difficult, whether you’re on a studio bike or on a road bike; after all, you don’t want to be pedaling too quickly and then have your feet slid off of the pedals and hit you in the leg or cause an accident, and both of these scenarios are likely if you’re not moderating your pace. Another issue with clipless pedals is that you might notice that you have to pedal a bit harder (especially up an incline), which can tire out your quads faster than if you were clipped into the pedals on the bike.
Changing Out Pedals
Thankfully, if your studio bike or road bike comes with a certain set of pedals and you don’t enjoy them, you can change them out for a different set. For example, if you find that you prefer to be clipped in while riding, you can switch out your flat pedals for different ones – just ensure that the brand you pick will fit appropriately with your specific bike!
Typically, you’ll need a wrench and some waterproof grease in order to change out your pedals, but take a look at your specific pedals that you’re installing to see what you’ll need.
All in all, which pedals you choose are totally up to personal preference! Try different styles and see which ones work best for you and your fitness goals, and you’ll be on your way to logging your miles soon!