How to Clip into Spin Bike Pedals: An Intro to Spin Bikes

How to Clip into Spin Bike Pedals: An Intro to Spin Bikes

Many people either invest in spin bikes by purchasing one or spending the time to use it. After all, spin bikes are great for developing stamina for outdoor biking or even for exercise as riding a spin bike can burn plenty of calories. However, it is the opposite for other people. Some find everything about spin bikes overwhelming; they don’t even want to know how to clip into spin bike pedals. If you are one of them, then here’s a rundown of what a spin bike is and how to use it.

The Basics of Spin Bikes

The first spin bike was produced in the 1980s. Today, it is popularly known as an indoor cycling bike. The purpose of the spin bike is to give riders the same riding experience as if they are riding outdoors. This is probably one of the reasons why most cyclists use this bike as a substitute when they are unable to go outside from training. Others also ride this bike for fitness purposes.

One merely has to sit on the bike seat, lean forward and hold on to the handlebars just like what one does when riding an outdoor bike. The spin bike also has a fixed gear, so the pedals won’t turn from the flywheel even though the rider has already ceased pushing the pedals. This is what keeps the bike moving even when the cyclist is already slowing down.

The pedals and the crankshaft are also similar to the outdoor bikes. One has to apply manual resistance to the flywheel to pedal hard just like when one is going up a trail. Riders can also stand up on the pedals to gain more speed and leverage when going uphill.

However, unlike outdoor bikes, one cannot accessorize the spin bikes. At most, you’ll find some with a small LCD screen, that may show some data such as speed, calories burned, distance and RPM, as well as a bottle holder for the water like what you usually see in the gym. Think it’s boring? Well, think again. Nowadays, spin bikes come with the clipless pedals and matching shoes.

Basic Terms to Understand

Knowing how to clip into spin bike pedals starts by understanding the concept of clipless pedals and cycling shoes.

Clip-ins, or also popularly known as step-in pedals, let riders attach their shoes or cleat to the pedals. Clipless shoe pedals are the pedals on the spin bikes that are highly similar to the more expensive mountain and road bikes. It is referred to as “clipless” because one does not need toe clips given that the cleat in the sole of cycling shoes can be snapped directly into the spring-loaded clip found on the pedal face.

Most spin bike pedals have clipless pedals with matching shoes, which features a cleat with two or three holes found beneath the ball of the feet. Most bikes have a platform for toe clips if one is riding the bike with regular rubber or athletic footwear.

How to Clip into Spin Bike Pedals?

Clipping into spin bike pedals is no rocket science.

Step 1: Put on the shoes

Attaching the cleats starts by putting on the cycling shoes and finding the ball of the foot. Make sure that the brace is aligned under the balls of the feet to ensure optimal performance and maximum comfort in the ankles so that one can make fluid pedal strokes.

Step 2: Ensure a natural toe-in or toe-out

The next step is finding the right toe-in or toe-out by ensuring that the mounted cleats let a natural toe-in or toe-out, which means how the feet are pointed when the rider attach the pedals and the cycling shoes. Keep in mind that the feet should feel naturally pointing and that there are no twisting sensations or any pain. One can start pointing the shoes straight to begin determining if there is an uncomfortable sensation.

Step 3: Secure attachments

Check if the cleats are tightly screwed and securely snug against the shoe’s sole. The footwear should neither rotate or shift while attached to the cleats.

Step 4: Clip in and pedal gently

If the cleats and shoes detach, then repeat the entire process.

Additionally, it also pays to read the instructions of the bike manufacturer and the shoemaker before clipping in the bike and shoes. These product makers may have specific instructions, which when missed may cause incorrect clipping or worse, lead to injury. If one is in a spinning class, then asking the instructor for help is also a great idea.

Finding the Right Shoes

Using a clipless pedal bike requires shoes that are compatible with the bikes. A rider who is serious in riding a spin bike should invest in a good pair of cycling shoes, which comes in several kinds such as MTB, road shoes, and universal shoes.

Mountain Bike Shoes

MTB is short for mountain bike and, as its name suggests, is perfect for those who like going outdoors. This shoe type is compatible with SPD cleats. It has a two-hole design.

Road Shoes

Road shoes are primarily designed for the outdoors and are lighter than the MTB. They have a rigid sole with almost zero flexibility. It has three holes and offers the best stability.

Universal Shoes

The universal shoes are also popularly known as the universal mount and are modified road shoes. They can attach to different kinds of cleats and is the perfect choice for those who like the road shoe comfort.

Clipping in Spin Bikes Is Easy

Those who would like to try spin bikes and use the clipless option can easily do so. After all, clipping into a bike is easy as long as one has become familiarized with how the system works and has bought the right shoes that can match the activity involved.

One, however, has to keep in mind that comfort is critical when preventing any injury with a pair of riding shoes and clipless bikes. The rider must test out how the shoe fits while pedaling gently before engaging in a more vigorous routine with the bike. If there is pain or discomfort on the feet when the shoes are already clipped in, then it is best to start over and redo the clipping in process. Failure to do so may result in serious injuries.

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