It all comes from not being able to see the future. But maybe that's not where I should begin.
Okay, so let's look at what we have. First is your basic platform pedal.
The second kind of pedal is still basically just a platform pedal, but it has "toe clips" on it.
|Pedal with toe clips|
Finally, we have pedals which lock onto cleats on the bottom of special-purpose cycling shoes.
|Clipless pedal and cycling shoe with cleat|
So back to my terminology gripe.
Platform pedals are reasonably named. They do, after all, provide a platform for you to push your foot down on just before it slips off and your shoelaces get caught in the chain.
But the second two types cause some major problems. You see, through an unfortunate lapse in foresight, the things that hold one's feet to the pedals of the second type were called "toe clips" rather than "toe straps." Little did they know that some genius would come along some years later and invent a pedal that you actually clip into. So once the final pedal came along, eliminating the "clips," this piece of technology came to be known as "clipless" pedals.
That's right. You clip into clipless pedals. How confusing is that?
So here's my proposal:
- Clipless pedals should be known as "clipful"
- Pedals with toe clips will be called "strapish"
- So long as we're renaming everything else, let's call platform pedals "backups" or "spares" or "little Billy's ticket for a new pair of shoes"
I think you'll have to agree that this arrangement clears up a lot of confusion.
You'll note that there's not a single Wikipedia reference or Sheldon Brown citation here. That's because all bike geeks suddenly know all of this stuff the second they walk into their first bike shop. Please just accept everything here as unquestionable truth.