While most people learn to ride a bike with flat pedals, toe clips are an option that can be added later to change the way you ride. These are most popular on high performance, racing and mountain bikes, but there are also after-market pedals with clips that can be installed after removing the stock ones. Some think toe clips help improve their ride time and comfort. Others think they’re a waste and actually make taking a ride more difficult.
Toe clips do exactly what they sound like. They clip the shoe to the pedal and are usually used in conjunction with actual bicycle shoes. Toe clips are not unforgiving mechanical things that offer no escape, however. With just a lift of the heel and a twist of the foot, your shoe will pop out neatly so you can rest on the curb or prevent a fall.
Do toe clips make your bike ride faster or take less time? First, part of the benefit comes from the bicycle shoes frequently worn with them. They have more rigid soles than standard athletic shoes, so they transfer more power from your legs to the pedals.
Even if you use your old sneakers to ride your bike, toe clips keep your feet in the right place and help better utilize your efforts. Not only can you push harder because your foot will never slip off with clips installed, but you can also pull up with the back foot to add even more forward motion.