Peloton Cleats or Toe Cages; Which one do you select for spinning?


The Peloton bikes, both the standard bike and the bike plus, come with clipless pedals. Unfortunately, the pedals are in the Look Delta design, which means that you will need to Look Delta design cleats on your shoes to ride on these pedals.

So, can you use toe cages with Peloton pedals? Yes, you can. Peloton may come with clipless pedals, but it allows for toe cage compatibility. Actually, the peloton company makes toe cages for the bikes. Better still, you can get cheaper and dual Peloton toe cages on Amazon that you can use with either of the bikes.

If you can use either the cleats or toe cages on Peloton, what’s the difference between the two?

1. Peloton Default Pedal Use

Peloton has clipless pedals. This means that the cleats are necessary for riding on the clipless pedals. Therefore, cleats are used with the default Peloton pedals.

On the other hand, if you want to use Peloton with toe cages, you will have to purchase the toe cages separately.  

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2. Cost

Peloton may come with pedals ready for cleats, but it will neither come with cleats nor the special cycling shoes for use with cleats. Therefore, you will have to buy Peloton compatible shoes and cleats, either as a package or separately.

In the same way, you will need to purchase toe cages that are compatible with Peloton to use the toe cages on Peloton. And in some instances, you may have to purchase a whole pair of pedals that come with toe cages. However, you will skip buying a new pair of shoes, as you can use the toe cages with your current pair of sports shoes.

Therefore, as far as cost goes, both the cleats and toe cage used with Peloton come at roughly the same cost.

3. Shoes

The greatest difference between toe cages and cleats is the type of shoes used. When using the toe cages, you can ride the Peloton bike using regular non-cycling shoes. Whether you have a common sneaker or a sports shoe, they can all fit on your pedals.

On the other hand, the cleats are used with cycling shoes. The cycling shoes have a smooth bottom, and the ball of the foot features the cleat plate. This is where you fit the cleats. Cleats clip into the clipless pedals for a successful ride. Therefore, they have to be in the pedal design. In the Peloton bike case, the cleats are either Look Delta or SPD-SL, which clip into the Look Delta design of the pedals.

Therefore, you cannot use the cycling shoes with the cleats on the toe cage pedals. On the other hand, you cannot use sneakers or regular shoes on the clipless pedals. Hence, the two systems are incompatible.

Due to the fact that you can use any regular shoe type on Peloton toe cages, the system is better for family use. As a result, you don’t need to purchase extra shoes for everyone. Even better, the toe cages are adjustable for universal shoe fitting.

4. Power Transfer

Cleats facilitate optimal power transfer, which prevents quick fatigue on the user. Usually, the cycling shoes used with cleats are rigid or semi-rigid on the outsole, which, together with the cleats, facilitate power transfer. Besides, the shoes are locked on the pedals, preventing movement and enhancing the power transfer.

However, toe cages use the same shoes you would use for walking, with a flexible sole. This means that the power transfer is minimal compared to the cleats. Also, the shoes can still move in toe cages; they won’t move out of the toe cages.

Due to the power transfer feature, the cleats are better for a serious Leaderboard competition. You will find them easier with cadence and also when dealing with climbing resistance on the bike.

5. Functionality In Injury

When you have a leg or foot injury, the best option is the cleated shoe. The cleats stay locked on the pedal, and the minimal foot movement ensures a quicker recovery.

When using the toe cages, the feet move too much for a foot or leg injury recovery.

However, if you have a sore foot, you may need toe cages to ease the pressure. Cycling shoes tend to fit true to size, which will not be good for a sore foot or a foot with blisters. With toe cages, you can use any shoe, including a shoe that has a larger space for your injury. Therefore, the shoes will ease the pressure, aiding healing.

Read Also: Is Peloton Good for Bad Knees?

So, Peloton Cleats or Toe Cages?

Between Peloton toe cages and cleats, it all boils down to personal choice. There is a spectrum of benefits for cleats, which is a good reason people will still go for toe cages despite the obvious option of using cleats on Peloton.

If you are torn between the two, go for the major advantages of using each, then weigh between the two options. If you want optimal power transfer and are a fan of the Leaderboard, the cleats are the best option. Also, the cleats are an excellent option when you are suffering from knee and foot injuries. They prevent foot movement, aiding in quicker recovery.

On the other hand, if the whole family uses the Peloton bike and you are on a budget, the toe cages are favorable. You just need a single set to satisfy the whole family and even visit friends. Moreover, toe cages are a favorite option for those who cannot fit with cycling shoes properly, especially when you have larger feet.

The good news is that you can actually change the Peloton pedals for pedals with dual usage. In addition, they allow for Look Delta cleat compatibility on one side, and on the other, they feature toe cages. But, of course, changing Peloton pedals may cost you the Peloton warranty, so you have to weigh the gains.

Parting Shot

Peloton cleats Vs. Toe cages? Fortunately, Peloton allows for the use of both cleats and toe cages. Each has its benefits that cannot be covered by the other. Besides, you have the option to use either. For example, you can take a peloton class using toe cages, then uninstall them for another class in cleats.

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