The Debate over Clipless Bike Pedals

An experienced film and television engineering executive, Southern California-based Elchanan Grabarsky serves as the CFO of B.Y.E, Inc. Aside from his professional activities, Elchanan Grabarsky enjoys cycling in his free time. As any avid cyclist will tell you, having the right equipment can have a significant impact on your overall performance. Nowhere is this fact more evident than in the debate over the advantages of clipless pedals.

According to clipless proponents, clipless pedals offer a number of advantages over traditional pedals, including allowing for a much better transfer of power from the foot to the power train of the bike. In the same vein, proponents argue that pulling up on the upstroke enables cyclists to engage different leg muscles at different times, delaying fatigue in their legs.

On the other side, clipless opponents cite a general lack of scientific evidence that clipless pedals actually do cyclists any good. In fact, many opponents argue that clipless pedals offer a crutch that cyclists can use to bypass their hips. While some contend that clipless pedals allow cyclists to “sit and spin” in an effective manner, others argue that standing up can be just as efficient, as long as the cyclist engages his or her hips and core muscles.