Why would you want to go with clipless shoes, what’s the difference between road and mountain, why are pedals important at all? These are some of the questions I had going in to Peloton Cycles in Fort Collins, CO working with Erik. I had just purchased a new electric bike and hadn’t spent much time on shoes. He took me on a short tour of the shoe section and gave me an overview of bicycle shoes and pedals.
We started off with an overview of the term clipless, the confusing thing is that these pedals and shoes often use clips of a sort in order to connect and hold on to each other. The term evolved from baskets and cages which were popular before the click-in systems were developed. People used to refer to them as clips and thus, when the cage or basket was replaced with an automatic connector the term came to be. Baskets were designed to completely lock in your foot and required help at the start and finish of a ride in order to get out. I have fallen and nearly broke my wrist using them for fun as a younger guy.
In short, road shoes have a much larger connection point in order to transfer power. Mountain shoes are more flexible so you can maneuver the bike itself easier and introduce tread so you can walk around and get the bike setup on unstable surfaces.