Whether you’re cruising through the city streets or racing down a winding mountain trail, having slippery pedals on your bike can be a huge pain. Not only is it annoying, but the lack of grip onto the pedals can prove to be dangerous.
You need to have complete control of the pedals to manipulate your speed and body weight during the ride. Unfortunately, mud, dirt, and rain can make you lose control in an instant, leading to a nasty fall. Luckily, there are a number of ways to improve the grip of your pedals and keep riding. Instead of heading inside at the first sign of precipitation, keep these solutions in mind to regain grip and control of your bike.
Silicone pedal covers are a relatively new accessory that can increase the versatility of your pedals while keeping you safe. These covers slip over standard flat pedals with no complicated installation process, similar to that of a silicone phone case.
Covers are designed to accommodate virtually any flat pedal and feature cutouts to ensure full pedal functionality. It will stay on the pedals regardless of where you go and keep your feet stable as you ride.
How Silicone Pedal Covers Work
The magic is in the material. Silicone is a naturally grippy material. The rubbery texture will grip onto the shoe and prevent sliding. It works on any type of shoe, from sneakers to formal boots.
To add further traction, these covers have multiple grooves on the surface. These grooves will redirect water and grime away from your shoe to maximize grip.
Because the silicone material is so soft and pliable, these covers make an excellent bumper. Due to the construction and design of bikes, it’s not uncommon for pedals to ruin walls and doorways when they’re stored indoors. They jut out and can damage anything they come across. With a silicone cover, finishes are protected. The soft material prevents scratches and scuffs from occurring, allowing you to store the bike anywhere in the home.
2. Grip Tape the Surface of Your Pedals
Grip tape is a rough material that’s been used on skateboards for decades. As the name suggests, it’s designed to improve traction onto the surface. On a skateboard, the material covers the entire top surface so that skaters using shoes with soft soles will retain control.
With its efficiency on skateboards, why not use it to cover your pedals? The tape comes in large rolls that’s easy to shape and manipulate. One side contains an adhesive to keep it secure. The surface of the tape has a gritty texture similar to sandpaper. While it will wear off over time, a single affordable role of tape can give you hundreds of pedal applications.
Applying Grip Tape to Your Pedals
To prepare your pedals for application, remove any spikes and wipe the surface clean. From there, it’s all about creating the right shape for the pedals. With the grit side facing down, trace the shape of the pedals onto the backside of the tape. It’s important to also trace any grooves or cutouts that are included in the design of the pedal.
With a sharp precision crafting knife, cut out the shape. Once the rough cutout is finished, it’s time to refine the edges. The corners should be rounded off regardless of the pedal’s shape. A sharp corner will experience more wear than a rounded one, causing the grip tape to peel up over time. After that’s done, simply peel off the protective backing and adhere the tape to the pedal. It’s a good idea to buff the edges down with a durable object to ensure proper adhesion.
3. Wear Slip-Resistant Shoes
The best way to prevent slipping on standard bike pedals is to wear the appropriate pair of shoes. Typical everyday shoes aren’t meant to go through the rigors of biking, so it’s important to invest in a high-quality pair that’ll keep you safe. Slip-resistant features are a must-have.
Slip-resistant shoes have soles that are specifically designed to direct water away from the pedal. They can include water channels and grooves that prevent water from creating a barrier between your foot and the pedal.
With the unique traction design in place, there’s always a part of the sole making contact with the pedal to improve your grip.
Biking shoes also include stiff material in the sole that can help to reduce fatigue and create a stable surface on the pedal. Softer shoes will flex with every motion, causing the sole to slide off the edge of the pedal. With a stiff sole, the shoe remains flat and covers the entire pedal for the best stability and control.
4. Switch to Clipless Pedals
Used by hardcore mountain bikers around the world, clipless pedals make sure that your feet are always attached. Contrary to what the name implies, these pedals actually do clip into the bottom of your shoe.
When compared to standard flat or caged pedals, clipless pedals are much smaller and more compact. They work with specially designed cleats that attach to a clipless cycling shoe. The cleat contains a mechanism that locks the foot into place as you ride.
Improved Grip and Control
The main benefit of clipless pedals is that they provide optimal control and efficiency. Because the foot is directly attached to the pedal, you can experience more power in your stroke. This can be very handy when climbing a hill or accelerating. On the other hand, there’s also no need to worry about grip or slippage at all. Your foot will stay put even in the harshest weather conditions.
Attaching the Shoe
The manner in which you attach the cleat to the pedal varies based on manufacturer. Typically, it requires placing the foot onto the cleat at an angle. With a swift turn of the foot, the system should lock into place.
If you’re worried about not being able to remove your foot, clipless pedals have a safety system in place that allows you to get off the bike by simply turning your foot at a slight angle.
5. Try Dual Platform Pedals
Dual platform pedals combine the best features of standard flat designs and clipless options into one versatile pedal. On one side, there’s a normal flat pedal with spikes for traction. It can be used with any type of shoe and is perfect for leisurely rides. On the other side is the clipless system.
The clipless system is perfect for inclement weather. You can simply strap on your clipless cycling shoe and hit the trail, even if it’s raining. The system will keep your feet secure, ultimately improving your control and efficiency on the ride. You won’t have to worry about slippery pedals and can continue riding in any weather condition.
The best thing about dual platform pedals is their versatility. They give you the option of choosing what system to use. You can easily switch between flat or clipless pedals by simply turning the pedal over. Rather than having multiple bikes for different styles of riding, just invest in dual platform pedals
Instead of losing control and putting yourself at risk for injury, enhance your pedals for ultimate safety. With any of these 5 solutions, you can prevent your shoes from slipping off the pedals in wet conditions.
They’re all easy to do and relatively affordable. They let you stay in control no matter what the weather look likes.