These pedals are the most commonly recognized pedals across categories. Their flat surface provides an even surface for your foot to rest on. Platform pedals can be used with a variety of shoes and are the easiest to remove your foot from. This type of pedal is ideal for someone who is just beginning or is uncomfortable with their foot being restrained.
Another type of pedal commonly seen on road bikes is a pedal with a toe cage that can be adjusted to your feet. Cages encase the front of your foot to allow you to complete your pedal stroke with an upward pull. The ability to both push and pull on your pedal stroke increases the overall efficiency of each stroke. For cyclists looking to migrate toward clipless pedals, this is a great, cost-efficient, way to get used to the feeling of having to remove your foot from the pedal when you stop.
Road cyclists may be most known for these pedals where you actually “clip in”. While there are many kinds of clipless pedals, this form of pedal provides the most efficiency to the power of each pedal stroke. This pedal works by connecting a special bike shoe that has a cleat on the bottom directly into the clips of the clipless pedal. Clipless pedals do take some work to master, but after a while, it becomes second nature and your ride will be more efficient because of it.