Are clipless pedals faster?

Trev The RevTrev The Rev Posts: 1,040
edited November 2012 in Road general
Are clipless pedals faster? If so why?
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  • No, they're the same speed as ordinary pedals.

    I assume you're talking about dropping them from a building or something.

    They may help YOU pedal more efficiently and encourage you to become a better and faster rider though.
    Trail fun - Transition Bandit
    Road - Wilier Izoard Centaur/Cube Agree C62 Disc
    Allround - Cotic Solaris
  • No, they're the same speed as ordinary pedals.

    I assume you're talking about dropping them from a building or something.

    They may help YOU pedal more efficiently and encourage you to become a better and faster rider though.

    How do they help one become a better of faster rider? Do you have any evidence?
  • peatpeat Posts: 1,243
    Look, we know what you are digging at Trev.

    The answer simply is, they're not.



    But they do look cooooooool.
  • sub55sub55 Posts: 1,025
    Are clipless pedals faster? If so why?

    faster than what
    constantly reavalueating the situation and altering the perceived parameters accordingly
  • Are clipless pedals faster?

    Yes but only on a TT involving a dual carriageway.
    If so why?

    Because the scientists who work for the Energy Drink Companies say they are.
    "You really think you can burn off sugar with exercise?" downhill paul
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    What are the other options ?

    Normal pedals - where you have to readjust your foot position to ideal every time you put a foot down, and dont forget the fun when your foot slips off.

    Clips and straps - where it can be a censored to flip the pedal and get your feet in. Plus unclipping needs a hand free. And tighten too much and your feet go numb. Also not all shoes work with straps.

    For me - Clipless are the best option by far. I've had them for a good 25 years now and they're so much better than other pedals. As to faster ? Probably the same.
  • TakeTurnsTakeTurns Posts: 1,075
    You are engaged with the pedal as supposed to flat pedals, therefore you can pull up as well as push down. For me it makes a massive difference especially when climbing. I'd say yes.
  • SproolSprool Posts: 1,022
    Isn't it considered bad technique to pull up?
  • Are clipless pedals faster? If so why?

    Yes. They are smoother.
    All the gear, but no idea...
  • TakeTurnsTakeTurns Posts: 1,075
    Sprool wrote:
    Isn't it considered bad technique to pull up?

    Depends how much force is applied. When done correctly it's beneficial.

    If I'm doing a hill sprint, it helps to slightly pull up.
  • smidsysmidsy Posts: 5,273
    They are definitely not faster at getting your feet on them after stopping at junctions/traffic lights etc.
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • SproolSprool Posts: 1,022
    What about when used with a good recovery drink?
  • sungodsungod Posts: 11,877
    yes

    the reason is only disclosed to those initiated into the 7th circle of omnomnom
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • This should be fun...

    I really don't see why this merits debate. There are plenty of idiots in cycling who are easily persuaded that an awful lot of things will make them faster. It only has to have carbon fibre in the construction somewhere. :lol:

    However, as any person with a brain can tell, fundamentally they can be no faster than any passive aid. A bicycle transmission can't increase the amount of force that the rider can deliver into it any more than one hammer can knock in a nail better than another. The differences in either case are secondary, whether they're a more positive feel for the rider or a better heft.

    Clipless pedals and toe clips and straps work by securing the rider's feet; allowing him or her to transfer power with confidence at an optimal (not too fast, not too slow, but probably higher than they could comfortably do on a plain platform) cadence. Rather than repositioning their foot throughout the stroke to keep it on the platform, the rider is able to produce a steady rhythm, and there is no chance that a foot will slip off and end up in the front wheel (at worst).

    They are an effective tool to the cyclist. I dont see what more needs to be said. What's next: 'Are light bikes faster?'
  • DavidJBDavidJB Posts: 2,019
    I gained 132 watts moving from flat to clipless...
  • MrSwearyMrSweary Posts: 1,699
    All I know is that the point I always encountered leg death on my commute home on flats is fine since I moved to clipless this week. Do they make me faster? Dunno. Do they improve my pedalling efficiency? Yup, no doubt whatsoever.
    Kinesis Racelite 4s disc
    Kona Paddy Wagon
    Canyon Roadlite Al 7.0 - reborn as single speed!
    Felt Z85 - mangled by taxi.
  • SproolSprool Posts: 1,022
    improved pedalling efficiency = faster speed possible for same effort or same speed possible for less effort.
  • MrSwearyMrSweary Posts: 1,699
    Well, yes, obviously. I didn't want to say that explicitly for fear of fanning the flames!
    Kinesis Racelite 4s disc
    Kona Paddy Wagon
    Canyon Roadlite Al 7.0 - reborn as single speed!
    Felt Z85 - mangled by taxi.
  • Dr Andrew Coggan found that clipless pedals are not faster and do not improve power or efficiency when compared to clips & straps or sports shoe on flat pedal.

    http://www.academia.edu/238318/Coyle_EF ... _2622-2630

    Considering the amount of money manufacturers ask you to pay for these pedal systems I am surprised they can not prove these systems are any better than ordinary shoes on flat pedals.
  • ShutUpLegsShutUpLegs Posts: 3,522

    Considering the amount of money manufacturers ask you to pay for these pedal systems I am surprised they can not prove these systems are any better than ordinary shoes on flat pedals.

    You don't have to buy them Trev.
  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 6,887
    Dr Andrew Coggan found that clipless pedals are not faster and do not improve power or efficiency when compared to clips & straps or sports shoe on flat pedal.

    http://www.academia.edu/238318/Coyle_EF ... _2622-2630

    Considering the amount of money manufacturers ask you to pay for these pedal systems I am surprised they can not prove these systems are any better than ordinary shoes on flat pedals.
    You want to forward that to Sky & BC, I'm sure they'll all be back on flats within days.
  • bompington wrote:
    Dr Andrew Coggan found that clipless pedals are not faster and do not improve power or efficiency when compared to clips & straps or sports shoe on flat pedal.

    http://www.academia.edu/238318/Coyle_EF ... _2622-2630

    Considering the amount of money manufacturers ask you to pay for these pedal systems I am surprised they can not prove these systems are any better than ordinary shoes on flat pedals.
    You want to forward that to Sky & BC, I'm sure they'll all be back on flats within days.

    I know, I just find it ironic that the research by Dr Andrew Coggan shows clipless pedals are not 'faster'. We all know they must be because all the pro teams use them. There is however censored all if any evidence to prove it.
  • Mr WillMr Will Posts: 216
    They are better in so many other ways (comfort, ease of use, security pedalling, etc) that whether or not they are faster is somewhat academic.
    2010 Cannondale CAAD9 Tiagra
  • Mr Will wrote:
    They are better in so many other ways (comfort, ease of use, security pedalling, etc) that whether or not they are faster is somewhat academic.


    Nail head interface!
    Can we all move on now, perhaps into a discussion about the atrocities of riding with powermeters. :D
  • iPeteiPete Posts: 6,076
    Dr Andrew Coggan found that clipless pedals are not faster and do not improve power or efficiency when compared to clips & straps or sports shoe on flat pedal.

    http://www.academia.edu/238318/Coyle_EF ... _2622-2630

    Considering the amount of money manufacturers ask you to pay for these pedal systems I am surprised they can not prove these systems are any better than ordinary shoes on flat pedals.

    clips and straps are the devils work, especially those cheap ones that come with new bikes, riding those with trainers is bloody painful and if you need to get your foot out quick, it ain't happening!

    As for price, M520's are £20, extortion :lol:

    Basically what everyone else has said, comfort and functionality make them great, not extra speed. Although I've been told by several people to buy SPD-sl because they are faster than SPD :lol:
  • DesB3rdDesB3rd Posts: 285
    I know, I just find it ironic that the research by Dr Andrew Coggan shows clipless pedals are not 'faster'.

    Coggan's work is now 25 years old (the year before my family got an Amstrad PCDD, which gives some idea as to the state of electronic monitoring gear); don't quote me but I have a feeling that more recent work conflicts his conclusions, noting very minor efficiency advantages albeit not the sort of thing that would advantage a weekend rider... Other factors.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Trev - have you ever had a foot slip off a pedal and you've b*llocked yourself on the top tube ? Just doing it the once will let you see the problems with flat pedals. :-)
  • sub55sub55 Posts: 1,025
    Being long enough in the tooth to have used proper clips and straps with cycling shoes and grooved cleats will concede theres probably no power/ speed difference in them to modern clipless pedal systems. However, you dont see many riders these days with broken ankles . If you're comparing either of the two above systems with using ordinary shoes , simply theres no comparison . Though probably shoes have the bigger influence.
    constantly reavalueating the situation and altering the perceived parameters accordingly
  • Dr Andrew Coggan found that clipless pedals are not faster and do not improve power or efficiency when compared to clips & straps or sports shoe on flat pedal.

    http://www.academia.edu/238318/Coyle_EF ... _2622-2630

    Considering the amount of money manufacturers ask you to pay for these pedal systems I am surprised they can not prove these systems are any better than ordinary shoes on flat pedals.

    But did Dr. Coggan conduct these tests in 'real world' conditions? Or 'road race' conditions? I don't think he was even concerned about them; it does not appear to be important to his research at all. I have never met the man, but I somehow doubt that he would advocate the frankly ludicrous suggestion that road cyclists everywhere should switch to flat platforms. Why any intelligent person would do so is completely beyond me. ;)
  • I ride on flat pedals which have a clip on the other side should I ever want to try.

    However why fix something that aint broke? The flat side are perfect and I love the freedom of being able to take my feet off in any given situation.

    I like the option of sticking both feet out to the side as I descend mighty hills like some character off Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
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