Just like on any other bike, hybrid bike pedals come in various shapes and sizes. One cannot just choose pedals without considering the type of bike he/she has. It also depends on a lot on how and where you will be riding. Knowing this will help you choose the right pedal for your bike. Pedals are an important component because your feet are in contact with it throughout the journey and they support the legs which generate all the power to move the bike.
Salient Features of a Hybrid Bike
Hybrid bikes are known for their salient features and the functional versatility it offers. The different components of a hybrid bike are taken from the single purpose specialized bikes. The tires might be from on kind, and the seat may be from another. Similarly, the pedals too are chosen from different bikes. Hybrid bikes have become quite popular now, and more people are moving towards this niche instead of going for the usual single purpose bicycles.
Choosing the Type of Hybrid Bike Pedals
If you are planning to spend more of your biking time on dirt roads, then you should choose pedals that are used in mountain bikes like the Time Z pedals. On the other hand, if you plan on riding mostly just on roads then pedals similar to the Shimano PD-A530 should be opted for. Apart from these two, there are many other kinds which can be used in hybrid bikes, respective to their usage.
However, in the end, it all matters on what makes you feel comfortable. To make an informed choice, you first need to know what kind of hybrid bike pedals you can get.
Hybrid Bike Pedals
Note that these pedals are not just limited to being used on hybrid bikes. They can be used on other bikes as well. The purpose here is to show that these pedals exist for being replaced on the stock pedals of you hybrid bike.
Platform Hybrid Bike Pedals
These types of pedals are the basic types which have support on both the sides and can be used with any shoes. These pedals are the kind that almost all of us have come across one way or another.
Now, as newer versions of it have come in the market, more lightweight materials are being used for its construction and replaceable pins on its surface to ensure that the foot’s grip is maintained. Among professional bikers, those usually having rides down a hill prefer this kind of pedal. The downside, however, of this kind is that even though you can push down on it but pulling up is not possible.
Pedal Toe Clips and Straps
Toe clips or cages, as many people refer to it, are attached on the front side of a pedal and support your toes, so biker is better able to control the pedal and exert force. An extra strap is also attached to both ends of a pedal. This further improves the grip. Riders can quickly push down on it and even pull it back with the help of their leg power.
Clipless Bike Pedals
Clipless pedals are known for their high level of control at instances when the bike is going fast or in contact with hurdles.
Even if the bike does bounce, you will not feel any bump on the pedal and your feet will stay in their position. The setback to this is that having to click on and off of the pedal every time can be very tiring.
Clipless pedals have a variety of types. They different for a mountain, touring, road and casual bikes.
Mountain Bike Clipless Pedals:
Clipless pedals that are specially designed for mountain bikes have two holes in them. Screws are placed on those holes. The screws are there to attach the cleat on the bottom of the shoe so that rider can change the angles easily by sliding the cleat forward or backward. This 2-hole system is also referred to as SPD, which is the Shimano pedaling dynamics.
Road Bike Clipless Pedals:
For road bikes, there is a 3-hole system in comparison to the 2-hole. Reason being, the cleats are larger than the usual size. This larger size sure has an advantage as it has a wider contact area, due to which more force is applied to the pedal.
This ensures that a secure connection is maintained between the shoe and pedal, even at times when a bike is going through intense speeds. However, getting feet on and off of the pedal is easier on the 2-hole system which is why professional riders mostly prefer 2-hole pedals.
An example of a road bike pedal is Shimano PD-R550 SPD Sports road pedal. This pedal works both ways, with or without a cleat. The kind is perfect for recreational cyclists. This hybrid bike pedal is ideally suited for city bikes and for hybrid bikes that would rarely travel off-road.
Clipless/Platform Bike Pedals:
One of the best hybrid bike pedals to install. This kind has a hybrid approach to it because it is flexible and comfortable like a platform, but the efficiency and grip are taken from a Clipless pedal. This type is ideal for those who want to take advantage of a Clipless system without having to wear those compatible shoes at all times.
Clipless pedals may be good for longer rides; platform pedals are useful when you just have to go for a short distance. This pedal is plain on one side, and the other side has clips. The combination of both of them in the form of a hybrid is much better as it will give best of both.
Getting Used to Clipless Pedals
A Clipless pedal isn’t an easy type to get used to in the first few days. It surely needs practice and time. Let us take the simple example of taking your foot off of the pedal. You cannot do it straightforwardly and instead you have to twist your foot slightly. The process may seem easy, but you need to try it a few times to let your muscle remember it for future. According to research, if you repeat a task about 50 to 60 times then your muscle gets used to it and then you can undertake it without actively thinking of it.
A very common issue that many riders face is the dirt getting stuck in pedals or the cleats. The simple solution for this is to use warm water and just scrub the dirt off. To further lubricate the pedal you can use any lubricant and then let it dry. Other maintenance includes tightening screws and ensuring that the pedal remains connected to the bike.
Cost of Pedals
The cost for pedals can range from $50 to $100. The price varies as the quality of the pedal differs from one to another. Buying pedals is not the only cost that is to be incurred. You also have to factor in the compatible shoes for the pedals.
Another variable for the price difference is the weight of the pedal. Lighter pedals are most expensive ones. However, you should know that the functioning of even heavier pedals is same as lighter ones, for casual riders. For those who want to buy the compatible shoes used with Clipless pedals, Nashbar Pro Classic cycling shoes are amongst the most notable ones.
These were all the main types of hybrid bike pedals that are found in the market. Since hybrid bikes are the combination of several bikes, the rider can also experiment with several pedals. There is no one right answer. The choice depends on your preference.
The different brands like Shimano, Power grips, etc. can be compared and then the most feasible one should be bought. It also depends heavily on your budget.