If you are new to cycling, you probably don’t know what cycling cleats, right? You probably heard this but have not seen one. Let me tell you what cycling cleats are.
Clip-in pedals are made up of two main components, which are the pedal and the cleat. The first one is the pedal. This is the thing you attach to your bike just like a flat pedal. The second is the cycling cleat. This is the one attached to the sole of your bike shoes that allows you to clip your feet in and out of your bike pedals.
However, some cyclists, most especially beginners, think that cycling cleats are dangerous. But, is it? Let me answer you.
Are cycling cleats dangerous? If you are a complete beginner, it is dangerous if you use your cycling cleats immediately out on the road without proper practice. You need to learn to clip and unclip your cleats from your pedals first. Without practicing the basics, you might get into some serious accidents.
Pros use cycling cleats because it helps them feel their bike more. They use cycling cleats to prevent their feet from slipping off the pedals. If your feet are clipped into your pedals, it allows you to pedal more fluidly because your pedals and cranks become an extension of your whole body.
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Reasons Why Cycling Cleats Are Dangerous
Personally, I haven’t used cycling cleats since I am not into bike racing or trailing. I am just a guy that loves to do casual rides. I love to travel and enjoy nature while I am biking on the road, not to compete with other cyclists.
However, most of my friends use cycling cleats. At first, I really didn’t know the benefits of it. But when I heard their testimony about cycling cleats, that is when I realized that it is also essential. However, aside from its benefits, it also carries some danger, my friends said.
Almost all of my friends that use cycling cleats fall during their first time using it. Why do they fall? Because they were accustomed to flat pedals! They forgot that they are already wearing cycling cleats that cause them to forget to unclip their cycling cleats from their pedals.
It is usual for beginners. That is why it is not advised to go for a long ride immediately after you buy cycling cleats and without proper practice. I have seen cyclists that get their heads crushed by a truck because they fall on their bikes because they are not yet adept at using cycling cleats.
Cycling cleats are definitely dangerous for newbies. They might tumble with their bicycle if they don’t know how to unclip their cycling cleats from their bike pedals. When they use it on the road, and they tumble, cars might hit them! That is why it is better to practice using cleats first in your village before using them outside of the busy road.
So, to answer the question, there is only one main reason why cycling cleats are dangerous. The reason why is because you might tumble with your bike that can cause mild or lethal injuries. You have to be very cautious when using cycling cleats to prevent accidents from happening. Remember, you still have family waiting for you at home.
Benefits Of Cycling Cleats
Keeping aside the dangers cycling cleats may bring, let us take a look at the benefits wearing cycling cleats can give to every cyclist around the globe.
Being clipped into your pedals will help you feel your bike more. Wearing cycling cleats will also prevent your feet from slipping off on your pedals when you pedal your bike or shift your weight around.
Another benefit of cycling cleats can give you is it allows you to pedal more fluidly. Why? Because your pedals and cranks are connected with your body. When you go for a long ride, you will get less tired once you get home if you wear cycling cleats because the pedal stroke is smoother!
Also, it will become more effortless for you to climb an uphill when you wear cycling cleats and use clip-in pedals because being clip allows you to pull up on the pedals to keep even power transfer throughout your pedal stroke and maintain your momentum and traction.
When you spring or accelerate so hard, you also pull up on the pedal forcefully. It is hard to do when your feet are not clipped on your pedals.
Cycling cleats will also help you do certain tricks on a mountain bike. When you are not yet adept at executing a bunny hop, cycling cleats will help you cheat a little bit in getting your wheels off the ground.
Cycling cleats have many benefits, especially for racers. That is why many cyclists are using it. If it has no benefits and is dangerous at the same time, it will not be well-known in the cycling world.
Do Cycling Cleats Make You Cycle Faster?
Yes! Wearing cycling cleats will make you cycle faster than using pedals. Cleats enable you to not only push down your pedals, but also push up, push forward, and back so that you can apply more power. The more power you apply, the faster you will be.
Are Cycling Cleats Bad For Your Knees?
The straight answer is no. Cycling cleats are not bad for your knees unless you fall from your bike or if your cleats are positioned too close to the insides of your cycling shoes that increase the distance between your feet. When your feet are distant, it can stress the inside collateral ligaments and cause pain in the inner sides of the knees. Also, if your seats are too high, it can hurt your knees.
Are Cycling Cleats Safe To Use For Urban Commuting?
Yes, only if you are already adept at using cycling cleats. If you are a complete beginner, it can be dangerous. You have to learn the basics first before diving into the city with your cycling cleats and pedals.
The danger about cycling cleats is if you fail to clip out before you stop your bike. Like I have said, beginners will usually fall since this is the only way they can learn to ride a bike with cleats. When you fall on the road, it can cause injuries to you and inconvenience from other people.
Yes, this may be a little bit embarrassing. That is why you have to make sure that you already know how to clip in and out right before you use cycling cleats for urban commuting.
Once you master it, you will get the advantages of clipless pedals, such as the stability and extra power that you need. It will also give you the extra boost you need, especially if you are already late for work or school.
However, if your city is known for its massive traffic, it is frustrating to use cycling cleats for urban commuting. Why? Because there will be an enormous stop-and-go situation! Also, even if you decide to walk because of the traffic, it can be irritating because of the cleats under your shoes.
So to conclude, wearing cycling cleats for urban commuting is great as long as there is no traffic and if you already know how to clip out your shoes from your pedals properly.
Cycling cleats are dangerous for beginners that don’t know how to clip in and out their shoes from their pedals. That is why you need to practice first how to use cycling cleats and clip-in pedals until you master it before you go for a long ride. Never go for a long ride or use it for commuting if you didn’t master it yet. You can get into some serious accidents and can cause inconvenience for other people.