At the risk of sounding like a bumpkin, why do I see some bikes sold without pedals or at least pictured without pedals? Is there some kind of benefit to buying pedals separately? Do some people take their pedals off the bike when not in use, like they might take off their wheels or seat post?

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    Other very personal choices on a bike are handlebar wrap and saddle.
    – Jay Bazuzi
    Commented Aug 2, 2013 at 18:17
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    I understand that various pedal types but if i am spending over $1,000 dollars on a bike, i would think they would give you stock pedals.
    – user20399
    Commented Jul 10, 2015 at 19:57
  • Chris, seems reasonable. Maybe they don't want to sully their erstwhile quality bike with a cheap-o component. Just a thought. Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 17:46

2 Answers 2


Higher-end bikes are expected to be used with clipless pedals. However, there are several different standards for these pedals, and all of which have a different type of cleat that fits in them.

Most cyclists tend to stick with one of these standards across all of their bikes, so they don't have to have multiple sets of shoes. Thus higher-end bicycles typically are sold without pedals so that the customer can select the style of pedal that matches their existing shoes.

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    Just like higher end tennis rackets are sold with no strings. What startles me is that the same bikes are often sold with low-end tyres whereas tyres choice is pretty much just as personnal as pedal standards. Maybe is it because a bike without pedals still looks good in a show room but not a bike with no tyres (and the low-end tyres at least protect the rims...). But seeing Schwalbe Luganos on a bike with a carbon fork and a full 105 groupset is heartbreaking imho...
    – ptpdlc
    Commented Jul 31, 2013 at 20:27
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    It's not just a matter of the tire choice being personal. It's that the customer probably doesn't already have a spare set of tires (and usually the shop will swap them out if the customer requests it). But they very frequently do already have a set of shoes that might be incompatible with whatever pedals the shop were to put on the bike. Commented Jul 31, 2013 at 21:05
  • Agreed, the customer most often has shoes with cleats on them but unless he is replacing an old bike, he does not have spare pedals so how I see it is that the guy goes to the bike shop, buys a bike along with the right set of pedals among the zillion standards the shop has in stock and that matches the guy's cleats on the shoes he has already. When I bought a new bike just 2 months ago, I bought it along with a set of tyres and pedals (to match the cleats on the shoes I already had) and the shop kindly installed all these components...
    – ptpdlc
    Commented Jul 31, 2013 at 21:17
  • Clip-less pedals are not cheap, most retail around $50 or more. It won't be an easy choice for bike companies to put a particular style of clip-less pedals.
    – Akshay
    Commented Jul 31, 2013 at 21:52
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    @Kibbee: not only pedals, tires, and seats, but the frame also, and the chain, and the handle are personal. I find it odd that they bother putting on a frame on the bike. Good grief, just let me start biking will ya!
    – Lie Ryan
    Commented Aug 1, 2013 at 3:09

Why do I see some bikes sold without pedals?

Because most of the high end bikes are sold without pedals.

Is there some kind of benefit to buying pedals separately?

Pedals are a totally personal matter. A rider is expected to buy pedals for the new bike or use pedals from an older bike. Especially in the MTB world this is more prevalent where the rider will either be riding clipless or flat pedals and there are tons of variations for each of the two types.

Do some people take their pedals off the bike when not in use, like they might take off their wheels or seat post?

No. Never.

  • If you have ever been in a bike shop when a shipment on utility bikes came in you would have seen non of them had the pedals on. So it is not just the expensive bikes you can see that way. Pedals are taken off for transport in boxes and bike bags.
    – Willeke
    Commented Jul 11, 2015 at 9:50
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    Willeke, yes I agree, but this happens just for the transport. High end bikes are usually sold without pedals.
    – cherouvim
    Commented Jul 11, 2015 at 16:07

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