The Best Pedals for Trek Hybrids

A Trek hybrid bike is an ideal set of wheels for just about anything. Hybrid bikes use an upright geometry similar to a mountain bike, but they use road-specific tires and wheels for low rolling resistance on pavement. Trek hybrids are built with sturdy aluminum frames and road-ready wheels and tires; these bikes are true generalists with the ability to tackle your urban commute or a bit of trail-riding on the weekend. Finding the best pedals for a hybrid bike falls to your personal preference, since each style of pedals has its own advantages and disadvantages for different riding styles.

Variety is the Spice of Life

There are three main pedal types available for your hybrid bike. Traditional flat pedals are common among beginner cyclists, since they're simple to use. Clipless pedals, named for the antiquated "toe clips" they replaced, use a metal cleat and a special cycling shoe to connect you to the pedals. Finally, a "hybrid" pedal allows you to embrace the best of both worlds with a pedal that clips on one side and has a flat surface on the other. Understanding how each variety impacts your pedaling stroke can help you choose the best pedal for your route.

The Good Kind of Flat

Flat tires are a pain, but flat platform pedals can take away a lot of stress from your cycling routine. These pedals are enormously popular among beginner cyclists and commuters because there's no special footwear needed to jump on the bike and ride. Platform pedals can feature metal rivets that dig slightly into the flexible rubber of your shoe, giving you a slip-free grip in wet conditions. They often also feature toe cages made from metal or plastic, which use a strap to secure to just about any footwear for some additional efficiency while pedaling at high cadences. The flexibility of a flat pedal matches nicely with the versatility of a Trek hybrid bicycle, making them the pedal of choice when you buy your Trek hybrid new.

At One With the Bike

Connecting to your bike using clipless pedals is a daunting proposition to many hybrid bicyclists, but these concerns usually disappear with a bit of practice. Clipless pedals use a metal cleat to connect your specialized cycling shoe to the pedal directly, which increases your efficiency by allowing you to pedal faster and harder without risking a slip. They also allow you to pull up on the pedals slightly while climbing, which uses more muscle groups to make your pedaling more efficient. Clipless shoes come in a variety of styles, all of which match nicely with the road-ready performance of your hybrid. The best clipless pedals use lightweight alloys like aluminum and titanium to reduce the weight of your bike as much as possible, without sacrificing a safe and secure connection.

The Best of Both Worlds

For a hybrid bicycle, no pedal matches quite as nicely as a hybrid bicycle pedal. These pedals are flat on one side for convenience and ease of use, but feature a clipless mount on the alternate side so you can choose to use your cycling shoes when efficiency and power are your top priority. The flexibility these pedals provide extend the versatility of your Trek hybrid, which already excels as a jack-of-all-trades. Look for a cycling shoe that features a walking sole, like a mountain bike shoe; this will allow you to switch from clipless to flat mid-ride, giving you a comfortable and convenient cycling experience.


About the Author

Edith Hignutt has written professionally since 1998. Her work has appeared in "Her Sports & Fitness," "Maritime Life & Traditions" and "BMXer." Hignutt holds a USA Cycling Coaching License and works with athletes in addition to owning a small plant nursery. She specializes in health and wellness, recreation and home and garden topics. Hignutt attended Rutgers University.