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Clipless shoes are the ones with cleats and clips on the pedal that the cleat clips into. So why in the world are the called clipless?

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Link to the Terminology community wiki Clipless Pedals –  Andrew Lowe Aug 27 '10 at 10:33
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up vote 21 down vote accepted

It has to do with the difference between pedals with toe clips and clipless pedals.

Pedals with Toe Clips

alt text

Clipless Pedals (and shoes)

alt text

The clipless shoes are for the clipless pedals.

The wikipedia page says the following:

Clipless refers to the lack of an external toe clip, but not to be confused with platform pedals without toe clips.

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Just to clarify, there is a bit of difference in terminology here. The 'toe clip' or 'clips' (black plastic in the first image above) should not be called a 'cage' or 'cages'. A 'cage' on a pedal is the metal surrounding the pedal body; in the above image, it is the silver part. In that sense, 'clipless' pedals are 'cageless' as well. –  Dustin Aug 26 '10 at 17:56
    
@Dustin, thanks, you're right - I'm removing the word 'cage' from the post. –  b.roth Aug 27 '10 at 8:55
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