Part 3; Best foot forward or what comes around goes around
If you suffer from numb toes after your ride the problem is liable to be either the wrong seat height or your shoes being too tight.
At some point the pedals provided with a bike wear out. The following is a cross section of affordable pedals available for bicycles. The most common are flat and clipless.
Wellgo LU987U are metal platform pedals with a large surface area and metal pins for extra grip. Heavier than plastic pedals, but the large metal body makes for a robust pedal ideal for muddy conditions. Seen as a copy of the DMR V8 pedal ( £28 ) but half the price . Comes in various colours.
The MKS MT Lite pedal has a small alloy cage, with a serrated edge, attached to an alloy body. Lighter in weight than the platform pedals used on mountain bikes but robust enough for general use. It will accept toe straps and reflectors making it ideal for commuting. Comes in silver with a black cage with an RRP of £25 ( often seen for £20 ).
The M:Part City pedals have a small alloy body, surrounded by a plastic cage topped with a rubber edge for grip. The rubber edge isn't very grippy and wears off quickly under use. With an RRP of £25 better pedals are out there. Often seen fitted to Dutch style bikes.
B'twin folding pedals are sold by Decathlon. They are made of plastic and have small bumps moulded into the edge for additional traction in the wet. They come with reflectors built in and the folding design makes them handy for putting the bike in the car or storing in a narrow hallway. This design comes as standard on many folding bikes. With a retail of £10 they're decent enough to begin with.
Shimano M520 SPD pedals use a clipless system where the shoes are attached to pedals via a cleat. The cleats are supplied with the pedals and special( stiff soled ) shoes are required for use. There's a cleat retention mechanism on both sides for ease of use and the open design makes them good for muddy riding. They are alloy throughout and come with sealed bearings for longevity. Great for beginners looking to put more power into their pedalling. The design has been copied by many brands but none of them are as good. From £20 for pedals, £40 for shoes.
The Shimano M324 is a dual function metal pedal. With a SPD fitting on one side and a flat cage on the other, this makes it ideal for both commuting and touring. Often copied but never beaten for quality. RRP £50 ( seen for sale at £32 ).
Other clipless pedal systems are available. The SPD system is the most practical for spare cleats, ease of use and walking when dismounted.
More expensive pedals ( Speedplay Zero Ti £400 ) are out there, but until you know what type feels most comfortable why waste money.
Whatever pedals you fit remember to grease the threads before fitting to ease removal and prevent creaking. Always tighten with the appropriate spanner or allen key.