Do Clipless Pedals Make A Difference? – Detailed Guide

Do clipless pedals make a difference? It is the question asked by enormous riders, and my answer to them is it depends on plenty of factors which will be discussed below. Along with this, you might also be concerned about why your performance has been changed, right?

Or if you are a newbie and looking for which pedal is better flat or clipless then the wait is over as today you will get answers to all your questions here. Just tag along and keep on reading. I will also conclude which pedal type is better and why, without giving any gray outcome.

So without wasting any time let’s explore the facts and figures on which the difference depends.

Do Clipless Pedals Make a Difference?

Do Clipless Pedal Makes A difference

The answer to this question is “Yes” clipless pedals do make a difference and this difference is due to various factors. The first and foremost difference is about your own comfort. If you have been using flat pedals for years and then you switch to the clipless pedals then it would be difficult for you in the first place. Your performance can be affected by this sudden switch. But with time you will learn how to have a firm grip over the clipless pedals.

Secondly, if your shoes are not compatible with the clipless pedals then you might feel a difference in your performance. For the clipless pedals, the bottom or should I say the outsole of the shoes should have cleats. The cleats help the bottom of the shoes to be clipped with the pedal. This system improves your performance as you can smoothly push the pedals and cycle faster.

Now you must know that if you have been cycling with clipped pedals then suddenly switching to the clipless can make a huge difference. And your performance can be affected. But if you have been on the clipless pedals since day one then there is no issue. However, it is said and even reported that riders who ride with flat pedals tend to ride faster than the rider with clipless pedals.

Now the question arises: why is it so? Well, it is reported that riders who cycle the flat pedals know that there is no support and firm grip holding their feet and if they get lenient in the middle of the race they will have to accelerate with all the power once again. So with this fear, they keep on pushing the pedal with every bit of energy till the race ends.

But the information that I gathered and the various surveys say that there is no one type better than the other. One should always choose the pedal type according to his or her skills and the riding type. If one can ride a clipless pedal smoothly then he should definitely go for it otherwise it is better to choose a flat pedal.

Quick Comparison of Flat and Clipless Pedals

Now let’s discuss the pros and cons of each pedal type.

Do Clipless Pedals Make a Difference - Comparison of Flat and Clipless Pedals

Pros and Cons of Flat Pedals

Pros of Flat Pedal

  • There is no limitation on the foot for changing position
  • Simple to use
  • Benefits the beginner cyclists

Cons of Flat Pedal

  • The foot is prone to slipping off

Pros and Cons of Clipless Pedals

Pros of Flat Pedal

  • The foot is placed in a consistent position
  • Foot cant slip off
  • More secure

Cons of Flat Pedal

  • Difficult for the beginners

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it hard to ride with cleats?

No, it isn’t hard to ride with cleats. But if you are a beginner then you may find the cleats to be difficult. Give some time and you will become used to it. Otherwise, you can also look for other options available in the market but only if you don’t have a clipless pedal bike.

Can you ride clipless pedals with normal shoes?

Yes, you can ride clipless pedals with normal shoes but it is better if you choose shoes that have cleats below them.

How long do clipless shoes last?

The life of the clipless shoes depends on how you treat them. If you use them with care then they might last longer than the average lifespan but if you treat them roughly then they would only last up to 700 miles.

How often should you replace clipless pedals?

If you are a racer then you should definitely replace the clipless pedals after 3000-5000 miles. But if you are not a professional then the life span of the clipless pedals remains more than average. The clipless Pedals on average would last from 7000 miles to 9000 miles.


So we have learned that clipless pedals do make a difference if you are a beginner or if you have been using flat pedals for so long. It’s better you give some time to the new pedal type till you get pro with it. Otherwise, you can try to wear shoes that have an outsole with cleats. Lastly, the more practice you do the faster you will learn to ride with clipless pedals and become a pro at it.

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