Did you just order a Peloton or spin bike? Are you wondering what type of clip-in or SPD pedals you may need to get the best workout? Too often, people purchase pedals for their indoor bikes haphazardly without knowing what will actually work best for their bike and their body. In this blog, we’ll discuss why you need dedicated pedals for indoor fitness bikes and how to select the perfect pedals.
The pedals made for indoor spin bikes and outdoor road, or mountain bikes are distinct from one another. Pedals used on the Peloton and any other indoor bike actually need to be built tougher than the typical outdoor pedal because of all the up and down stress placed on them during exercise. As such, the pedals usually come with oversized bearings to cope with the stress, hence the pedals are often heavier.
There are mainly three types of pedals that you’ll find on an indoor exercise bike. The pedals and cleat interface are not interchangeable with one another, and your research should specifically focus on the best spin bike pedals that you already own cleats for.
You’ll recognize flat pedals from when you first learned how to ride a bike. Flat pedals are the most common type of pedal but it pales in comparison to toe clip and clipless when it comes to energy efficiency.
Modern toe clips often bolt onto the pedal body so that the rider can slide their foot snugly into the “cage.” Toe clip pedals have a range of designs. These designs all have different ways of maintaining a firm connection with your shoe sole and pedal surface. This type of pedal allows you to take advantage of the “dead” part of the flat pedal cycle where you push down on one side of the pedal while the other free rides back to the top of the cycle to take its turn on the downstroke.
Toe cage pedals comes 2 types, one is a toe cage by itself much like the Marque Toe Cage or a dual interface where one side will be a cleat interface and the other side a toe cage much like the Marque Exercise Pedal.
One will find this kind of pedal to be particularly useful when you are doing cross trainings or Peloton Boot Camps where you have to change between regular cycling shoes and sneakers.
But if you are running SPD cleats, TIEM shoes are generally comfortable enough to work both on and off the bike.
Probably one of the most counterintuitive names in the space, clipless pedals actually requires the rider to clip in. Much like the toe cage, clipless pedal allows you to take advantage of the “dead” part of the flat pedal cycle where you push down on one side of the pedal while the other free rides back to the top of the cycle to take its turn on the downstroke.
First seen on Pro Riders racing in the cycling Tours like Tour De France, clipless pedals is now also being used in indoor cycling to get more out of the ride and out of the saddle.
Clipless pedals comes in various different brands and cleat interfaces such as Look Delta, KEO, KEO Blade, TIME, SHIMANO SPD, SPD SL, just to name a few.
If you’re shopping for your indoor exercise bike, you may wonder where to start your shopping. How do you know what’s right for you and your bike?
For the most part, the best pedal will be the one you like best, but you shouldn’t be purchasing at random. You should make sure you’re buying ones specific for indoor spinning. Here are a few tips we’ve compiled that may be helpful during your search:
As you get started on your indoor exercise bike, don’t fret about the type of pedals you’re using. In the beginning, flat pedals can help you establish a regular rhythm. After that, use our guide to find the best spin bike pedals for you whether those are clip in (a.k.a. SPD pedals), toe cage, or another hybrid option. Just make sure you always choose an indoor-specific bike pedal option with oversized bearings