Kids / clipless pedals

StevenMD Posts: 7
edited February 2012 in Family & kids cycling forum
Hi all - Does anyone have any thoughts on the best way to introduce kids to clipless pedals? My 10 year old daughter is keen to "upgrade" from flat pedals to clipless. She mainly rides on a circuit but we also have a week of riding on cycle lanes in Belgium coming up in a month or so. I'm thinking a road pedal with wider platform might work best or maybe even a touring pedal with a flat side so she has a choice. However, some of her pals have been using MTB pedals and obviously those shoes will be easier for a child to walk in. Anyone with experience of this or a view?



  • Mike Healey
    Mike Healey Posts: 1,023
    We've had kids from 7 upwards using them, with few problems. They've used road and mtb pedals. My preference would be for mtbs for the reasons you mentioned in your penultimate sentence, i.e. easier to walk in
    Organising the Bradford Kids Saturday Bike Club at the Richard Dunn Sports Centre since 1998
  • MTB

    Double sided, you don't want them looking down to flip the pedal over
    Generally dial down the release to an easier level
    generally easier to find cheaper quality MTB shoes than road as they soon grow out of them
    easier to walk in
    won't be ruining road cleats every 10 mins by walking on them at £10 a pop
    far better for frequent release when they are doing the typical british cycling coaching start/ stop/cones etc

    As for learning , in the house leaning onto something, clip in and out 25 times for how ever many nights to build muscle memory. The aim is to avoid that frantic tugging on the pedal as you come to a standstill a fall to one side.
    Then a nice soft grassy field, then a tarmac playground, empty car park.

    Feel qualified to answer as my son is 8 and has look Keo and road shoes for his road bike and MTB for Cyclocross. Fortunate getting size 2 road shoes 2nd hand from someone who got them in Belgum where they start them young. Sometimes put his MTB clips on his road bike when he is at training event where they are doing frequent unclipping or standing start races round cones as its slower looking getting into road clips from a standing start. If he could only have one pedal at this stage would be MTB

    Hope this helps
  • Perfect. Thanks, fellas. That's really helpful.

  • othello
    othello Posts: 578
    kitersteve wrote:

    Fortunate getting size 2 road shoes 2nd hand from someone who got them in Belgum where they start them young.

    A good find! Childs sized SPD shoes are like hens teeth, or cost an absolute fortune. I know Diadora do some, but they are about £60 a pop.

    If anyone comes across a store of cheaper child's SPD shoes (size 1), keep quiet and come and tell me :)
    Blogging about junior road bikes
  • My 10 year old daughter uses double sided mtb spds. Can't remember when we went clipless but she used them on tandem first to get used to them. We used toeclip cages (no straps) to get her used to positioning her feet first.

    The smallest mtb shoes we found were 34, and she has just moved onto 36 (no 35s available).

    Before this we used football boots with studs cut off to put plates on - came across a few others at races who had done this as well
  • Tom Butcher
    Tom Butcher Posts: 3,830
    My two took to them pretty easily - they were 9 at the time - a few rides on the local park and they were fine. Both use SPDs. Son does still prefer flat pedals through choice though but he's quite cautious on a bike - daughter always uses the clipless now apart from riding to school. A good source of second hand kids road shoes are cyclocross league forums - loads of kids race them so if you ask my bet is something will be offered.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.