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What are the best road bike clipless pedals for a new comer?

Hello!  I’d like to switch to clip pedals for my road bike. What are the easiest to get in and out of?  What should I look for besides that?  Thanks in advance

4 Replies

@RGL13 Thanks for reaching out!

To make the transition to 'clipless' pedals you will need both pedals for your bike and cleats for your shoes. Typically the pedals will come with cleats included, so be sure to check that before you purchase cleats separately. The following suggestions are for SPD pedals, which are typically used for recreational cycling or mountain biking, however, they are much easier to learn on for a beginner to clipless riding than the dedicated three-hole road clips. Here are a couple good SPD options for pedals:

  • Shimano PD-T241 Click'R SPD pedals. These are great because they are not only a good option for learning how to use clipless pedals, but they can also be flipped over and pedaled with a regular shoe so they give you a lot of versatility.
  • Shimano PD-ED500 Road Touring Pedals. These give you SPD clip-ins on both sides of the pedal so no matter where you put your foot down you'll be in position to clip in. These are designed for road/commuter bikes where you may need to clip in and out frequently. Which makes them great for a beginner.

If you do go with a set of pedals without cleats or would like a set that has a easier learning curve, here are a couple of recommendations:

Lastly, you will want to make sure that your cleats are nice and tight on the bottoms of your shoes. The looser they are the harder they are to disengage from the pedals. Also, make sure you take your first ride somewhere free of traffic where you can practice clipping in and clipping out of your pedals. Here is an Expert Advice article about How to Choose Bike Pedals that might give you some more good information.

Hope this helps!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Those are all great suggestions. I would only add that it would be wise to get some help from a bike shop or REI store to get the clips positioned correctly. They adjust quite a bit and can lead to hot spots or other problems if they are not set properly. There is no right spot, but there is a right spot for you.

Hey @REI-JohnJ  -  

Probably a silly question, but can you confirm that if I go with the SPD / 2 holed pedals, I can then get any pair of two-holed shoes?  Or is there something else I need to think about with shoes?  



@lnewskirt Thank you for the question and we apologize that it has taken us so long to get back to you!

You are correct that any pair of cycling shoes compatible with two hole cleats will take any two-holed SPD cleat. Other than that you should be good to go. When trying on cycling shoes, remember that the shoe should be snug and well fit, but not so tight as to affect circulation in your feet. 

Hopefully this helps and we apologize again for the wait on a response!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.