I hear it all the time. “I need clipless pedals so I can pull up!” Sigh.
I think you’ve been sold a bill of goods.
So many people come into my store asking about clipless pedal and shoes. Their assumption is that they “need” these items in order to be a “serious” cyclist. If I could channel Denzel (channeling Malcolm X) for just a minute. “Ya been took!, Ya been hoodwinked, Bamboozled, Led Astray, run amok!”
Before I get too far I should say that I’m never going to tell anyone not to use something. If you want to wear cycling specific pedals and shoes, go right ahead. I wore them for a couple of decades.
My issue is with folks thinking they NEED to wear them. YOU DON’T.
When I put flat pedals on my bikes and could ride in whatever shoes I happened to be wearing, I fell in love with my bike all over again.
So what about this “pulling up” thing? What I can tell you is this: It took me the better part of a season to get used to flat pedals. My left foot particularly kept wanting to come off the pedal. As I got used to not being attached, I found that my feet stayed planted on the pedals, and my pedal stroke smoothed out. Pulling up was a crutch that actually took away from efficiency.
Don’t believe me? I get it. Here are just a few of the articles I found on this subject.
Here’s the bottom line: if you like your pedals and shoes, by all means, keep wearing them. If you’re unsure, however, why not give flat pedals a try?