20 Years of Clipless Pedals

Writing for the Guardian’s green-living blog, Peter Walkers looks back at 20 years of clipless pedals.

It’s 20 years since Shimano took cleats, or clip-in technology, from the world of road racing to the everyday commute. Next time you’re in the office and a newly arrived cycling colleague walks past making a faint click-clack noise as they go, they’ve either mistakenly put on their tap shoes or - a better bet - they are among the many devotees of the cleat, or clip-in pedal.

In the years I’ve been riding, fewer people ask me about my shoes; unless, I’m wearing booties and then they want to know what’s going on with the elf boots.

This bucket of pedals I snapped at TrekWorld earlier this year, contained many of the pedals in Speedplay’s timeline.

TrekWorld: Bucket o' Pedals

Myself I’m a Time guy – what pedals do you use and have used?


I use Shimano SPD’s on my commuter and one mtb bike, and crank bros on my main mtb rig.

One of my riding buddies just got the times, but he hasn’t used them yet….

I’ve used Look Carbons since 1989 on my road bikes.  I picked up a pair of Onza clipless for my MTB in the early ‘90s. 

A couple of years ago I started buying extra pairs of the Onza’s to use them on all my bikes.

This summer, however, I switched my SS MTB to Forte Campus pedals (1-side SPD-style clipless, the other side a cage).  I’m considering switching all my rides to Forte pedals, just for the cleat compatibility.

just the Speedplay Zeros on my road bike, everything else is an MKS platform-style pedal.  Just say no to pedal-flipping.

Travel with MKS quick release and every time I flip them over wish they were double-sided.

Make mine Time!  That or one piece BMX style flats for me.

1994-1996 Look
1995-1997 Diadora Powerdrive
1997-2004 Speedplay X-series
2004-present Speedplay Zero
1997-present Speedplay Frog

plus a variety of clip&strap; pedals over the years

Advertise here

About this Entry

Seeing Fall From a Saddle was the previous entry in this blog.

Puma Bikes? is the next one.

Find more recent content on our home page and archives.

About Bike Hugger