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How To “Turbo Charge” Your Mountain Biking…Brief Introduction

So you have started mountain biking and are really getting into it, and you are looking to get that extra power out of your pedal stroke.

But you are finding with all the stops and starts of off road riding, your feet are slipping off the pedals or never in the right position on the pedal to really get the best stroke when you really need it. So what can you do?

If there is one thing that can really “Turbo Charge” your mountain biking and take it to the next level…it’s clipless pedals

The name “clipless pedals” for mountain bike gear can be a bit confusing. In the old days, mountain bikers used strap-like devices to secure their feet to the pedals. These were called “toe clips.” As the sport evolved, so did the gear. Instead of straps, a special cleat/pedal mechanism was developed where the shoe cleat clamps into the pedal. It’s very similar to ski boot bindings.

Since the straps/clips disappeared, the new system was named “clipless.” Confusion arises since today’s bikers often “clip in” with their pedal cleats.

What Shoe to Use

Many cross country and trail riders these days use clipless pedals. These keep the foot secure and maximize pedal power. If you choose this system, you have to buy special pedals, cleats and shoes.

Other riders, like downhillers and freeriders, prefer flat pedals and shoes. The pedals may have pegs and a concave shape for improved grip. Foregoing the clip allows for more positions on-the-pedal and quick off-the-pedal foot movement for rough terrain.

Not Sure?

If you’re unsure about which system to use, it might be best to go with a flat pedal first. The reason being that your initial investment is lower. You can use a flat bottom bike shoe and not require any other special gear. Either way, there is definitely a pedal/shoe set up out there that meets your riding style.

So keep in touch and get out on the trails.

About The Author

Rod Bucton, mountain bike fanatic from Mid North Coast, New South Wales Australia…discover the shortcuts to mountain biking for beginners and while you’re at it follow Rod on Facebook or Instagram.

Like any sport, bicycling involves risk of injury and damage. By choosing to ride a bicycle, you assume the responsibility for that risk, so you need to know — and to practice — the rules of safe and responsible riding and of proper use and maintenance. Proper use and maintenance of your bicycle reduces risk of injury.

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