Clip-in Pedals vs. Basket Pedals

Triathlon Event  I am getting ready to compete in my first olympic triathlon next month. I have always biked with regular pedals and tennies but am trying to go to bike shoes. Is it possible to use bike shoes without clips and with regular pedals. I really hate being attached to the bike even though I know clips are supposed to be beneficial.

Nancy from Tennessee

Triathlon Event  Hi Nancy,
Thank you for contacting!

Congratulations on signing up for your first olympic triathlon! We hope you are very excited for the event!

This is a great bike question! You are going to create more problems for yourself wearing bike shoes and not clipping into anything. It’s a waste of money and your feet will be slipping all around — the shoes are meant to clip into something. We suggest that you go with your running sneakers and basket pedals. You’ll have similar benefits to clipping in but you won’t be “attached”.

More information about bike pedals:

  • Clip-in pedals and bike shoes – These are shoes with a clip that snaps into the pedal. If you go this route, you will have the benefit of not only pushing down on the pedal, but of pulling up on the pedal. Your foot is “attached” to the pedal but you can, with practice, snap easily in and out of them. They are the preferred method for a serious cyclist.

  • Basket pedals and running sneakers – These are regular pedals with basket-shaped straps at the front of the pedal and you hook your sneakered-foot into them. If you go this route, you will have the benefit of not only pushing down on the pedal, but of pulling up on the pedal as well. They are not as secure as clips and sometimes your foot can slip out. You are NOT “attached” and can easily slide your foot in and out.

We also suggest that you consider training on clip-ins next season to see if you can get used to them, especially if you have been bitten by the tri bug and plan to do events that are longer than Sprint/Mini-Tris. They can be a real asset to your bike leg if you can get comfortable with them.

Be well.
~Megan staff Recommended Resources:


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