Pedal Lift

October 12, 2012 in Tips

If you are new to biking you might be wondering which pedals are right for you. In the US, the biking industry is very performance oriented, so most bikes and accessories are designed with racing or exercise in mind, rather than casual city biking or country touring.

The cycling industry may lead you to believe that you need pedal clips (i.e. rat traps) or “clipless” pedals for an efficient and tolerable riding experience. While both of these pedal types have their advantages, I recommend using platform pedals, also known as “flats” for every day riding. Flat pedals allow you to use any footwear, and make the process of starting and stopping much simpler and more enjoyable. Many flat pedals (especially BMX type pedals) have pins that grip the sole of your shoe providing even greater mechanical advantage.

Here’s a tip:

Even though you are using flat pedal, you can still apply the same basic principles used in performance designed pedals. When using flat pedals, try lifting up your rear foot during the upstroke. Not so much that it is coming off the pedal, but enough to relieve your other leg from having to lift any dead weight. Try this method while going up a hill and you will find that it reduces the overall effort required to maintain your speed and it may help you reach a faster cadence, which will make the entire climb easier and more enjoyable.  I like to call this method “pedal lift”.