We are often asked the question, “Are clipless or flat pedals best for my course?”
Whilst it’s always best practice to learn on flats, you should arrive at your course with the pedal/shoe combination that you are most comfortable with. Your skills course is not the time to get used to unfamiliar components on your bike. The same is also particularly true for tyres or any other major component.
If you do decide to use flat pedals please make sure your pedals have a platform with a large surface area to maximise the contact patch with your feet. Also choose a pedal that has lots of long pedal pins, preferably with screw thread all the way to the end which will give more grip than those with smooth surfaces.
We recommend DMR V8s (pictured above) which are a great starter pedal retailing at £27.99 a pair. There are many more expensive pedals on the market if you fancy spending a little more for that bling pair that matches your bike’s colour way. DMR Vaults (pictured at the top of the page) are the very best if money is no object. These retail at around £100.00.
Bike manufacturers more often than not cut corners on the pedals they supply with new bikes. If you are unsure your local bike shop will be able to advise you if the pedals supplied with your new bike fall into this category. Pedals will be the most important upgrade you will ever make to your bike.
Your footwear should be either a mountain bike specific flat pedal shoes such as those made by Five Ten, flat soled skate style shoes, last year’s running shoes or anything comfortable with a flat softish sole. Don’t use anything you don’t mind getting dirty and worn out quite quickly.
Finally never use clipless specific shoes with flat pedals, even with the cleat blanking plate left in, as the soles are often constructed with a very hard a rubber or plastic compound that will not allow the pedal pins to make a solid connection with your foot. Clipless shoes should only ever be used with clipless pedals.