The Fit Recovery Cycling Dictionary defines the following words thusly:
A foot covering used to ride a bicycle that makes one walk like a duck and costs a ridiculous amount of money but allows a cyclist to get every last watt of power to the crankset where it belongs – because when you’ve got a bike, who needs to walk? Typically consisting of a leather upper and a carbon fiber sole… Why carbon fiber? Because Carbon Fiber.
The cleat is a hard plastic or metal* that attaches to the carbon fiber sole of a cycling shoe that allows the wearer to clip into and out of pedals.
*One could rightly point out that if the sole of the shoe is carbon fiber, a metal cleat won’t be the best option.
The lever that attaches to a bicycle’s crank arms that accept the cleat that attaches to the carbon fiber sole of a cycling shoe, whereby transferring all possible wattage from the foot to the bicycle’s drivetrain.
Now, there’s a reason all three of these components of a bicycle are included in this post: They’re meant to work together. For those who believe “the pedals that your feet clip into” are too dangerous, this post is for you. No they’re not more dangerous, you’re uncoordinated, don’t know how to use them, and you need practice. The three components, when used correctly and in conjunction with each other, are vastly safer that platform pedals. Not only that, they’re better for one’s legs, knees, ankles and hips because they don’t let the foot bob around to different parts of the pedal. This is, of course, because you had your feet properly aligned and set on the pedals by way of the cleats, which are screwed to the soles of your shoes and clip into your pedals, by a professional at your local bike shop.
While there are those who choose to mountain bike using platform pedals, which I can understand, I prefer to not have my feet bouncing off of my pedals when I’m going over rocks and roots and I like being able to pull up with the back foot while pushing down with the front. But that’s just me.
Pedal, Shoe, and Cleat.