Bike Shoes and Pedals

Reviews, Tips, and Tricks to Selecting, Buying
 and Riding Clipless Shoes and Pedals

 

 

History of the Clipless Pedal

The first modern clipless pedal systems appeared in the early 1970's from iconic manufacturer Cinelli and other smaller companies. Designed primarily for road use some early systems had adaptations for cyclocross such as sole spikes to help with traction. The first commercially successful clipless pedal system was released in 1984 by Look. It employed the three bolt cleat mounting pattern that is standard today. Legendary french cyclist Bernard Hinault won his fifth Tour de France in 1985 on Look pedals. The Speedplay pedal museum is well worth the look to get a feel for the chronology of pedal development.

Shimano revolutionized the clipless pedal market with their SPD (Shimano Pedaling Dynamics) system in 1990 (Museum of Mountain Bike Art & Technology) with a recessed cleat that clipped into the pedal. Unlike systems designed for road riding with large protruding cleat, this system of recessed cleat enabled the cyclist to walk normally and was ideal for off-road applications where treaded footwear was the norm. The SPD system became widely established as the standard MTB cleat before other viable offerings came to market such as Crank Brothers which arguably offer better mud shedding. Today Shimano manufactures road (SPD-SL) and mountain (SPD) lines however they are not cross compatible.

Learn About Modern Clipless Pedal Systems 

Learn about pedal and cleat systems for mtb (for mtb, urban, commuting and touring).

Learn about pedal and cleat systems for road riding (for road riding, triathlon, TT)

 

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 Bike Shoes and Pedals