Should I Use Clipless Pedals for Mountain Biking?

Clipless pedals are becoming a more popular choice among mountain bikers. They offer a unique set of advantages over traditional flat pedals, such as increased efficiency and increased control over the bike.

Clipless pedals allow the rider to clip their shoes onto the pedal, providing a secure connection between foot and pedal and allowing for maximum power transfer from the cyclist to the bike. This provides an advantage to riders who need to get up steep climbs, as well as those looking for improved cornering control.

One of the main benefits of using clipless pedals is improved efficiency. With traditional flat pedals, cyclists have to push down on the pedal with each stroke in order to move forward.

This results in wasted energy and can lead to fatigue. With clipless pedals, riders can pull up on the pedal at the same time as they push down – resulting in an efficient, circular motion that is less tiring on long rides.

Another benefit is increased control over your bike. Clipless pedals allow you to be connected directly to your bike, providing a more secure connection than with traditional flat pedals.

This allows for more precise cornering and improved traction on surfaces like wet rocks or loose gravel. Additionally, riders can use their body weight more effectively when maneuvering their bike around obstacles.

However, there are some drawbacks to using clipless pedals. They require special shoes that fit into the cleats of the pedal, which can be expensive and hard to find if you don’t already own them. Additionally, they take some getting used to – it can take several rides before a rider feels comfortable with them.


Overall, clipless pedals can offer mountain bikers an advantage in terms of efficiency and control over their bike. But they may not be right for everyone – depending on your budget and how much time you have available for practice rides. Ultimately, it’s up to each individual rider to decide if clipless pedals are right for them or not.

Photo of author

Jennifer Watson