What Kind of Pedals are on Spin Bikes and are You Wearing the Right Shoes?

What Kind of Pedals are on Spin Bikes

If you want to experience a non-traditional bike ride, then you ought to consider joining the enthusiasts of spin classes. They use bikes with wheels that help mimic mountain climbing or sprinting. While your regular athletic sneakers may work perfectly fine for a spin class, if you plan to become a regular member, then you ought to consider buying cycling shoes. This might make you wonder what kind of pedals are on spin bikes and why does it matter what type of shoes you wear.

The pair of shoes you wear for any exercise is important because it may help to improve circulation and make you more efficient in what you’re doing. It may also be recommended for your own safety. While the technique is important, in any activity, the tools you use are just as important as your talent and skill.

What Kind of Pedals are on Spin Bikes?

There is really not one kind of pedal that is incorporated in spin bikes. Knowing what kind of pedals are on spin bikes can help you determine what pair of shoes to wear.

  • Flat Pedals

Flat pedals are the most basic types of pedals, and you will be no stranger to flat pedals as most outdoor bikes have them. The pedal is large and is usually made using plastic or metal. With this pedal style, you can wear any type of shoes including flip-flops. In fact, some people may even choose to pedal barefooted.

Nonetheless, if you are in a spin class or doing exercise, you should wear a pair of shoes that gives you a lot of athletic support. That way you will limit the stress or pressure that goes to your feet and back.

  • Toe Cage

Contrary to the name, toe cage pedals are not instruments of torture or bondage. They are a bit more of an upgrade from the flat pedals and provide a lot of support to your feet when biking. They are called toe cages because the pedals have straps that give them a cage-like finish. The straps are adjustable, and you can tighten them around your feet to keep them in place while you pedal.

To use the pedal, you simply have to slip your feet into the cages and adjust the straps. It is recommended that you use toe clips if you want your feet to stay on the pedals as your feet can sometimes slip.

  • Clipless Pedals

Clipless pedals are those that accommodate the clipping of shoes. Shoes with cleats are those that are specially designed for cycling or spinning. It might be difficult to walk while wearing them, but if you use these shoes for cycling, they make it relatively easy for your feet to remain connected or clipped to the pedals. Also, they allow you to be faster and more efficient. These pedals are perfect for cyclist training indoors.

  • Dual-Sided Pedals

Dual-sided pedals give you the best of both worlds. They work for people wearing cleats and those who are not. If you go to a spin class, and you don’t have a pair of cleats, but there is a dual-pedal bike, you can simply use your gym shoes to get you through the class.

In addition, dual-sided pedals are capable of accommodating clipless pedal shoes and regular shoes. These pedals have both a clipless system and a toe caged system to keep your feet in place regardless of the shoes you use. This standard pedal system was made popular by Star Trac.

What are the Advantages of Using Cycling Shoes?

The dual-sided pedal is the most popular style for most spin bikes because gyms want to meet the needs of professionals and amateurs. Not all gyms will have the same setup though, so you should probably call ahead so that you would find out what pedaling system the spin bikes in the gym use. As such, you could ensure that you take the right pair of shoes with you.

However, even if you are not a professional cyclist, you should still invest in a pair of cycling shoes because using them to spin offers several advantages to your work out. One, at the bottom of the cycling shoes, there are holes to which you can attach a cleat. The cleats don’t come pre-installed on the sole of the shoes because different sized cleats fit different pedals. Also, the shoes are usually hard and have straps so that they can be secured to your foot’s arch.

Additionally, using a pair of cycling shoes in spin class improves your form and offers you more efficient movement, enabling you to get more power. Your foot discomfort will be considerably reduced as the shoes help with numbness and reduce the strain that you may experience on your calf muscles and Achilles tendon.


Spin bikes have four types of pedals: the flat pedal, toe caged pedal, clipless pedal and dual-sided pedal. Each pedal has different functions and can accommodate different types of footwear. In most spin bikes, you will be able to change out the pedals to suit your needs. So, if your bike comes with a flat pedal, and it is not a pedal that you fancy, you should consider changing it to one that is more suited to your needs.

Dual-sided pedals are the most popular spin bike pedals in gyms as professional cyclists and hobbyist can use them. But, despite the willingness of most gyms to support both cycling and regular shoes, you should still invest in a pair of cycling shoes as not all gyms will be kind enough to offer the facility.

Additionally, if you use a pair of cycling shoes during your spin class, you will experience greater benefits than if you were to use a regular pair of sneakers, especially if you intend to work on your quadriceps and hamstrings.

With that said, whether you get cycling shoes or not, you should always pair your spin shoes with a pair of socks that not only provides comfort but minimizes friction (blistering) and keeps your feet cool.

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