First road bike - pedals with straps or shoe clips??

About to buy my first road bike, they do scare me a little bit with their thin wheels! But I love biking and can't wait to have a proper bike to make it more fun.

Have seen models from a few major bike companies like Giant, Specialized, Trek - some come without pedals and bike shop would sell me clip pedals.  Some come with pedals with straps on....this seems a bit less scary to start and I guess I can change pedals at a later date.  Also reduces the initial outlay not having to pay for pedals seperately.

Is my thinking flawed?!



  • popsiderpopsider ✭✭✭

    Yes you wont get on with clips and straps (the ones you clip into are actually called clipless - confusing I know).    Getting your foot into the straps is a faff if you are just getting used to road bikes and if you actually tighten the straps then they are difficult to get your foot out of without reaching down and loosening the straps - especially if riding with trainers with grippy soles.

    If you are new to it I'd ride with flat pedals for a bit - you may well be able to take the clips and straps off the pedals the bike comes with to convert them to flats - or failing that buy some cheap flat pedals for a tenner or something.   Then when you are confident on the bike get some clipless pedals and cycling shoes.    


  • Ah!  Yes indeed getting confused with clipless/clips.  Didn't even know you could get flat pedals!!!  Thanks

  • fat buddhafat buddha ✭✭✭

    +1 with pops

    there is also a halfway house if you want - single sided clipless pedals.  these are flat on one side and have clip ins on the other.  they are intended for mountain bike clipless shoes (which are differnet to road ones) so you have the best of both worlds.   I have them on my singlespeed so if I want to just pop off to the shops, I don't need to faff with putting the clipless shoes on, I can use ordinary shoes on the flat side.

    many roadies ride with MTB clipless so they don't have to have different pedals and shoes for different bikes.   

  • TBH I never found any problem getting used to using clipless pedals. So long as you can ride a bike already, which it seems you can, I'd just go for the clipless pedals and cycling shes. Just spend a bit of time on a quiet road practicing at first, especially getting one foot out and stopping, then starting again. Just don't forget you are clipped in when you get to a set of lights. 

    The narrow wheels are no more wobbly than chunky ones.

  • Wonder woman. Definitely just get plain pedals to start with then you can ride in trainers. You can 'upgrade' to clipless pedals and shoes when you are used to the riding position. I wouldn't bother with the strap things - they made me fall off! image

  • Hi Wonder Woman

    When I first got my road bike, it had straps (or whatever the proper terminology is - I am a complete jargon numpty!).  The first time I went out on it I didn't even manage to cycle away from the front of the house, because I couldn't get both feet in.  I had a hissy fit and got the tools out and took the straps off there and then.
    Once I felt confident on the bike I got clipless pedals and shoes, and love them.
    My friend has the single sided clipless pedals which FB mentioned, and she likes them.


  • This forum is SO great.  Thanks all - sounds like single sided clipless for my first adventures (and I didn't even know they existed til I asked....).  Glad I did ask else I'd have ended up with the straps and bet I would have had a hissy fit too!!!

  • WilkieWilkie ✭✭✭

    I went staight into the clipless pedals when I got my first road bike a few months ago.

    It was scary at first, especially until I learned that my natural inclination is to put my LEFT foot down!

    I got MTB-style shoes and pedals - they are MUCH easier to walk in when you are not actually riding the bike, such as cake stops image

  • Cake we're talking!

  • WilkieWilkie ✭✭✭

    One of the requirements of road cycling - stopping for tea and cake along the way!

    MTB shoes mean you can walk around no problem - road shoes are a pain.

  • fat buddhafat buddha ✭✭✭
    Wilkie wrote (see)

    MTB shoes mean you can walk around no problem - road shoes are a pain.

    +1 there but there is a big difference in the performance you'll get on a road bike with road shoes due to the stiffer soles and bigger platform which means you can put more power through the pedal

  • WilkieWilkie ✭✭✭

    I don't worry about that sort of stuff, FB, as long as I can get to the cake shop! image

  • Hi Wonder Woman...

    I would +1 the one sided clipless if you are starting out.  Once you get used to clipless though they are fantastic and you'll fly along - They really do make a big difference. 

    These look pretty good - i nearly bought some for my winter road bike (but in the end use some old mountain bike pedals i found in my garage so i could get some more use out of my mtb shoes on that bike).

  • I started off with the straps as they came with the bike when I bought it. I supposed I wasn't tightening the straps as much as I probably should have done as I didn't have any problems getting my feet in and out.
    However, I've upgraded to clipless now and apart from falling over on the grass area outside our house while initially getting used to them and once while out riding I find them a lot better to use than straps and couldn't see myself using anything but clipless again.

  • Thanks Blunders, Jv...

    One more silly Q - do any pedals fit any bike - i.e. could I buy bike from local bike shop and ask them to fit pedals I've bought from wiggle myself?

  • fat buddhafat buddha ✭✭✭

    A - yes.   they have standard screw fittings

  • I agree with all of the above.  I was not a confident cyclist and went with the basket strappy type things as I thought they would be easier than the clippy things (another jargon numpty here!).  What a huge mistake!  Soon got them taken off and changed to clippy ones (no idea what type).  Obviously I'm not going to put in writing that I haven't fallen off using them (not wanting to tempt fate) but I definitely fell off LOTS with the basket type thingies as they were such a nightmare to get in and out of.

    I have got (I think) the MTB type due to ease of walking round (I use it to commute to work and have tried to retain some sense of decorum on entering the building!).  I think the bike shop man said that they are generally looser, or somehow usually easier to clip in and out of, but I may have made that up.

  • WilkieWilkie ✭✭✭

    MTB are easier than road bike pedals because you can clip in on either side of the pedal.

    Road pedals have to be the 'right' way up, and they tend to turn themselves upside down when you're not clipped in.

    You have to first flip them the right way up, then clip in.

  • fat buddhafat buddha ✭✭✭
    Wilkie wrote (see)

    You have to first flip them the right way up, then clip in.

    becomes 2nd nature after a while although there is always a potential for a screw up!!

  • I am in the no straps camp. I just couldn't get out fast eniough.....ouch!

    Clip pedals are fab and amazingly quick to get the hang of. Just sit on stationary and try an couple of times and Bobs your uncle,.

  • 0/10 for effort there. 
  • JGavJGav ✭✭✭
    cougie said:
    0/10 for effort there. 
    Wait, are you a bot too? @cougie
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