What are contact pedals

What are contact pedals

Anyone who rides a bike knows the importance of pedal selection and ownership. Many cyclists eventually begin to think about switching from conventional pedals, colloquially referred to as "toptalks", to contact ones. What are contact pedals, what are their distinctive features?

Design features

The answer to the question of what contact pedals are is simple: they are a special mechanism that ensures a fixed position of the foot. Thanks to this, the pedal becomes almost one with the foot, due to which the interaction with the drive becomes complete. Pedals of this type consist of two elements - a spike attached to the sole and a platform, so a special kind of footwear is required to use them. A spike is inserted into the groove, which is snapped into place by a spring frame.


Types of contact pedals are distinguished by a number of features:

  • scope of use;
  • device
  • the place where the spike is located;
  • fixation level.

According to the scope of application, walking, otherwise referred to as children's, road and intended for mountbike are distinguished. Products of the first type are designed for leisurely driving on a flat road, the second - for road sports. Cleats for clipless road-type pedals are fixed with a frame, the length of which reaches a third of the size of the sole. Given such a significant size, the pedals are made single-sided to facilitate construction. Mountain bike pedals are used in all mountain bikes, including pleasure bikes. They are compact and easy to put on and take off.

By design, the following types of contact pedals are distinguished: single-sided, including models with a platform, double-sided and equipped with an additional support. The first allow you to fasten only from a certain side. Single-sided pedals with a platform have a platform on the back and the cyclist can use the pedal as a contact pedal or turn it over and ride in any boots. For double-sided pedals, the fixing frame is located on both sides, it is not necessary to turn them over. In tourism - when using shoes with soft soles - pedals with additional support are used, equipped with an external frame around the mechanism. In this way, the area on which the shoe rests increases.

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The spike can be located directly on the pedal or on the boot. In the first case, the mechanism is attached to the sole, and on the pedal there is a flat-shaped spike, its size is small. The second design is more common: the fixation frame is on the axle, and the spike is on the sole.

Fixation can be rigid or loose. Rigid fixing pedals do not allow freedom of movement except for rotation, due to which the knee joints work only in one plane. This is essential in professional road cycling. Free pedals allow you to turn the foot within certain limits. The knee joint is also given some degree of freedom, so these pedals are recommended if there are problems with the knee joint.

Transition to clipless pedals

Many cyclists are wondering how to switch to contact pedals. This is not recommended for beginners, but if you have some experience, you can switch to them. Putting your foot on the bicycle pedal is accompanied by fastening, which you need to learn first of all:

  1. Move the pedal down.
  2. Catch it with the spike attached to the boot.
  3. Press the pedal, making an effort with the base of the toes.

If you hear a click, it means that the fastening has taken place. To unfasten, you need to sharply turn your leg a little away from the bike. In order not to fall, you should slightly tilt the bike in the same direction. Setting up contact pedals involves adjusting the force of fastening and installing spikes on shoes. The first action is carried out by means of a bolt that regulates the tension of the spring holding the spike. To facilitate fastening and quilting, the bolt is turned into a minus.

As a rule, special shoes have four spike holes - two at the top and two at the bottom. Which one to use depends on individual preference. If the spike is located closer to the toe, the main load falls on the calf muscles, and when installed close to the heel, different muscle groups are involved. The best option is to install the spike approximately in the middle between the bases of the little finger and thumb.

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The spike also has an adjustment - a movable plate that sets the distance between the boot and the connecting rod. Men are advised to place the spike closer to the outer part of the sole, and women - to the inside. When adjusting the angle of the spike, you should first place it so that the shoes, when fastened, stand parallel to the connecting rod. If this causes discomfort in the knee joint, the angle must be changed until the discomfort disappears.

By properly setting contact pedals, you will be able to appreciate all the advantages of using them to the fullest.

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