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A friend of mine gave me these clipless pedals and I have just now had the time to get into them and check them out. Can someone explain to me how they work and how I am supposed to use them? Why are they called clipless? They seem to have spring loaded clip things on them. Should I even bother using them for basic trail riding?
Clipless pedals are "clipless" because they were designed to replace pedals that used toe clips. Toe clips are those things that you see mostly on old road bikes that look like dog muzzles.

Definently try them out. They give you more control of your bike and allow you to exert power on the upstroke.

To use clipless pedals, you'll need mtn bike specific shoes that allow attachment of the cleats. The cleats are what interfaces your shoes with the pedals. There are all kinds of clipless pedals out there. The big three are Shimano, Crank Bros, and Time. Shimano is by far the most common--at least that's been my observation. They all do the same thing, but in different ways.

What pedals did ya get?
 
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