When I attended the bike clinic at Contes I remember them showing us a good pedal for beginners but I dont remember what it was. It wasnt the teeny tiny one, I actually think it may have been a mountain bike pedal.
I just bought a bike (yeah me! :)) and I want to buy pedals and shoes. Can someone recommend a good basic pedal (easy in and out). Also being the total newbie I am, can you use any shoes with the pedals or do you need specific shoes for specific pedals. I am hoping to get this this weekend when I pick up my bike.
When you buy the shoes, you will also need to buy cleats. Cleats are what attaches your shoes to the pedals. Cleats come in two different types. The are either "float" or "fixed." Get the float kind. It will will give more wiggle room while you are ridding and will make life a lot better for you.
Some pedals will allow you to adjust the tightness of the pedal to cleat connection. If you decrease the tightness then it will make getting into and out of a bit easier.
For the shoes, I recommend getting the ones with velcro. These are sometimes refered to as triathlon shoes. Most people find that velcros are easier to deal with than the little plastic straps.
The best pedals to get in and out of differs from person to person. The best way to find out the best one for you is to try it out in the store.
Any pedal will take time to learn. I suggest putting your bike on a trainer or in a doorway to practice clipping in/out.
Speedplay road pedals are easy to use since they are two-sided (i.e., you can clip in on either side).
If you're sold on MTB pedals, I recommend Crank Bros eggbeaters. They are also multi-sided and easy to use.
Whether shoes and pedals are compatible depends on the cleat size and the number of bolt holes on the shoe. Most road cleats are too big to fit between the treads on a MTB shoe. In general, road pedals/cleats work on road shoes and MTB pedals/cleats on MTB shoes.
Another thing to consider, Shimano pedals/cleats are widely used. The spin bikes at the gym are usually compatible with Shimano cleats.
I use Look pedals and love them. These are the pedals that were pointed out at the Conte's workshop-but buy an entry level pair of whatever pedals you choose, not one of the fancy carbon deals for much more $$. If you bought a road bike, I don't recommend using a mountain bike shoe and pedal for it. I also don't think you need to spend the extra $$ for the velcro/triathlon shoe over an entry-level road bike shoe unless you are gunning to win the race, as the extra 20 seconds or so in transition it takes to get them on is not a big deal. I used the same Look pedals and road shoes I bought as an NTPer for three seasons, in everything from Olympics to Ironmans, and was very happy with them.
I also use Looks and I like them...now. When I first started though, I was wishing I had the Speedplays because they look easier to clip in and out of (as mentioned above, you can clip in no matter what side is facing up). Speedplays are probably the "tiny" ones you referred to - they are just little disks. I can't say for sure that they are easier because I've never actually used them, but it certainly reduces the need to look down at your pedals (and thus take your eyes off the road).
If you are already pretty comfortable on your bike and not very concerned about the clipping, I hear the majority likes Looks.
I bought tri shoes (with a single velcro strap) because they happened to be the cheapest option. I think they're great. But Amy's right, I wouldn't worry about losing a tiny bit of time to buckle your shoes. Just pick the ones you like best. Good luck!
I use Shimano pedals and like them a lot. For shoes I agree with Katie as long as "the ones you like best" means the most comfortable ones for you. My first pair of shoes were cheap and were not comfortable (not because they were cheap, but they didn't fit right) which made riding miserable. The next pair I bought cost me a lot but fit like a glove and I only got ride of them because I had over 5000 miles on them and needed a new pair (and upgraded to a carbon sole).
Clipping out of pedals probably has more to do with the user than the pedal. Everyone falls their first time, just face that fact (I have yet to meet someone who hasn't) and it is not that the pedal is locking your foot in, it is that as a rider you need to find a balance. I have found the times that I have fallen or come close to falling is because I am trying to unclip the wrong foot based on my weight distribution. I prefer to unclip my left foot, in order to do that I should put my right foot at the bottom of the pedal stroke so my weight is on that side. that will allow my left foot to twist and release from the pedal without throwing off my weight. If you try to unclip the foot that is at the bottom of the pedal stroke, you will most likely fall.
I think the pedals they recommended during the clinic at Contes were Keo.
Hope so because that's what they sold me!
honestly a lot of these pedals are very similar.
the look style and shimano 3 bolt pattern look style pedals are practially the same thing.
the speedplay are different but in their own way, if you go this route get the zero or light action zero pedals as they are the updated versions.
then you have the mtb style pedals, this includes the spd style and i'll also include the crank brothers egg beater pedals as they are very similar cleats and also the time atac pedals as they have a mechanism similar to the egg beater pedals.
it all comes down to budget and what you want.
road specific pedals are just that very light and meant for road riding. mtb specific pedals are like the suv of pedals they can be used for roads but they are made originally for off road.
good luck. just read some reviews on the net and decide, you really can't go wrong with a reputable pedal company and shoe company, just make sure that you get shoes that can be attached to those pedals.. ie, 3 bolt patter shoe need pedals that can accept 3 bolt cleats, 2 bolt pattern shoes need pedals made for 2 bolt cleats, simple.
I'll forward you an email a friend and bike coach sent me about buying bike stuff. I bought the pedals he recommended - only $40 at Performance. Now that I'm more comfortable with clipless pedals and cycling shoes, I'm loving it.