I plan to remain an amateur, okay?
April 26, 2012 12:02 PM Subscribe
Given my cycling style, is there any point for me to go clipless/clip'n'straps/other sort of shoe-to-pedal attachment?
posted by Hakaisha to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (33 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I have a hybrid bike, a helmet, very simple bike gloves to baby my wrists, and I bike with the stock saddle and platform pedals that my bike came with on whatever shoes I have at the moment. Originally biking was a weekend-only kind of thing for out with friends; now that I'm growing to like cycling more and more I'm trying to go out whenever the weather lets up. I have a lot of hills around my area, but sometimes I'll bus/train to other places and bike there. I do not bike quickly (partly because I have a tweaked knee and I can't) - Strava averages me to go about 11 km/h; on flat road, I'll be closer to 13-15 km/h. I ride on pavement, but avoid main roads whenever possible, preferring quieter streets and bike paths. The longest rides I've probably been on when my knee wasn't tweaked was around the lines of 30-40 km and that was rare (and mostly pretty flat). I'm hoping to make it less rare, but I'm not going to be going for century rides like, ever.
I'm looking to improve my fitness and my speed with regular cycling, especially as my knee improves, but I'll never be a speed demon or off-road biker. No roadies or mountain bikes for me, I love my hybrid, and I can't see myself going faster than 20 km/h on flat roads. Maybe I'll bike to work one day, but that's far off yet. Googling tells me that clipless (or even clips/straps) transfer energy better and makes for an more efficient/faster ride, as well as work my hamstrings more so I won't get muscle imbalances in my legs. But how much good would that do when I only have semi-slicks that go up to 60 psi, when I sit upright, when I have flat bars instead of drop bars? My riding style right now suits me, and even without my knee problems, again, I can't see myself riding past 20 km/h even after my fitness improves.
Googling basically assumes clipless is the best thing ever for everyone, but I'm not sure it's worth it for me. How necessary is clipless OR other firm attachments to your pedals? How much more do you get out of it? I might consider getting some PowerGrips and swap out my pedals if it's really necessary/really improves my experience, but I'm not sure spending the money for clipless is worth it for (eventual) frequent-but-still-fun goings about town considering my riding style and bike of choice. As for hamstring work, I could always put in more time with bridging exercises on my exercise ball...