And lastly, to the pedals. Adding to the list of “more things to buy for your bike”. You can go with the pedals that come with your bike.
You should try to wear hard soled shoes if you do that – air-soled running shoes take the wind out of your pushing power. You can add “clips” or little cages for your toes to lock in so you can pull up as well as push down.
This takes a bit of getting used to – remembering when you slow down to stop that your feet aren’t free. Or you can go “clip less”
For the real cycling experience, you need pedals with bike shoes that lock in so that you smoothly pedal with power all round the turn. There are a baffling amount of options, but the basic premise is you “clip in ” as you move off and you unclip by twisting your foot as your roll to a stop. Forget that and you capsize!
Road bike shoes look like this:
With external cleats that make you walk like a duck when you stop at the cafe and are extremely slippy.
MTB shoes look like this:
With recessed cleats so you can walk normally.
The difference is the ease of clipping in and out. Road shoes clip more firmly for better power transfer to the pedals (faster!). But easier to forget or get in a pickle and fall off. MTBs have easier release so perfect for beginners.
Types of pedal
They mostly look like this:
Advantages being that the pressure on the ball of your foot is quite wide, disadvantages (for a novice) being you get clipped in tightly = more falling off potential
But you can get these:
If you want an easier in and out and also you can clip in on either side which might make you feel more confident. You can see these have a smaller area under the ball of your foot so some riders get a “hot spots” of pressure discomfort on a long ride.
There isn’t much theory to add, although there is an Australian study confirming that riders over the age of 26 get more foot pain when clipped in than younger riders. But you didn’t need science to tell you that!