Clip-in Pedals vs. Basket Pedals

Triathlon Event  Did my first sprint tri last summer, and had a blast in Chicago..borrowed ALL equipment. Been training for NYC Olympic tri next week in and took a BAD fall with clip in 10 days ago. I am now scared to wear them. Are sneakers ok for 25 miles?? Thanks!

Jane from New York

Triathlon Event  Hi Jane,
Thank you for contacting and congratulations on completing your first triathlon! We’re sorry to hear about your fall and can see how you’re a bit anxious to jump right back on the bike with the clip-in pedals.

The answer to your question, “Are sneakers ok for 25 miles??” The answer is yes although it’s not the most efficient. Obviously, Clip-in pedals are the best, but second to that are the Basket pedals and you can wear them with sneakers.

Here are the pros and cons:

  • 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.

Whatever you decide to do, be sure that you spend some time practicing with the option you choose to avoid any future accidents. We wish you the best of luck in your next triathlon!

Be well.
Julie staff Recommended Resources:


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