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Our Customer Rewards scheme allows you to earn points every time you shop with us. The points you earn can be used to spend on products both online and in store. You can spend your points as soon as they're on your account, so you won't have to wait around for your savings.

Signing up to the Customer Rewards scheme is free, and the points you earn can be used both online and in store. You can spend your points as soon as they're on your account, so you won't have to wait around for your savings. Rewards Points are valid for 12 months from purchase date.

Any bike purchased using 0% finance and/or Cyclescheme (or other employee salary-sacrifice scheme) is excluded from this offer.

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30 Day Test Ride

All the convenience of buying online, without the risk
When you buy a new bike at full RRP from, you can now benefit from the added reassurance of our Rutland 30-day test ride. Once your new bike arrives, you can ride it as your own for 30 days, and we're confident you'll love it! However, if it's not right for you, we'll exchange it for another model. (There's a nominal charge of £10 for us to collect your bike - just make sure you keep the box your bike arrived in.)

On which bikes is the 30-day test ride available?
The Rutland 30-day test ride is available on all full price, non-discounted bikes available for home delivery on It is not available on discounted or special offer bikes, click and collect bikes, bikes bought on finance, bikes bought through Cyclescheme, or bikes bought in store. This offer is only available on bikes delivered to mainland UK addresses.

How does the test ride work?
Your 30-day test ride starts from the date your bike is delivered. You must notify us by email within 30 calendar days of delivery that you intend to return the bike within this scheme. This offer applies to all bikes purchased on or after 14th August 2014. To ensure you remain eligible, we would ask that you adopt a 'fair usage' attitude during the test ride period, and make sure there is no damage to the bike outside of the minimal wear you would expect from a bike ridden for 30 days or a few rides. Please note that any damage to the bike, including damage from incorrect assembly, will invalidate the test ride.

How many times can I use the 30-day test ride?
We will allow up to two exchanges within this scheme.

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1 Hour Delivery Slots

Choose our Interlink Predict Priority service and avoid the hassle of waiting around all day for your delivery. Interlink will notify you of your one-hour delivery window by SMS and email, and you can track the progress of your delivery on a real-time map, all the way down to a final 15-minute time slot.

Furthermore, if you find yourself busy on the day of delivery, Interlink will off you rescheduling options, both the night before and on the day, so you can select an alternative delivery date, deliver to a nominated neighbour, leave the parcel in a safe place, collect your parcel from your local Interlink depot, or upgrade to delivery before 1200.

This service is available on most items, but does exclude bikes. If you require a 1 hour delivery slot for your bike delivery then please call our customer service team who can book this service for you over the phone.

Interlink Predict Priority is a premium delivery option. Additional charges apply.

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Price Match Promise

Price is important to everyone these days, so we regularly price check our competitors to make sure we have the best offers for you — but if you see the same product cheaper from one of our listed competitors, then get in touch and we'll do our very best to match the price.

Please note that we can only price match identical items (including size and colour), which are in stock and available for immediate delivery. Comparison price includes all delivery charges.

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Simply order your items, select Click & Collect and pick up your item at a time that's convenient for you - our stores are open 7 days a week. Best of all, the service is completely free.

Don't live near our stores? Use our Collect+ service to collect your package from one of the (many) locations near you.

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Cycling shoes and pedals - a beginner's guide.

   Words by Aaron Scott

   on 29/08/2013 18:11:00

Still riding in your trainers?  Considering an upgrade to clipless pedals?  We talk you through the different options, and review the best entry-level cycling shoes and bike pedals if you're just starting out road cycling, mountain biking or a bit of both.

Clipless pedals - not just for Mark Cavendish.

Why do I need specific cycling shoes and pedals?

A helmet can save your life, a waterproof will keep you dry, cycling shorts will protect you where you will be most grateful...if you’re new to cycling, you may feel a little overwhelmed by the plethora of equipment that you can spend your hard-earned cash on. Some of it will be immediately justifiable.

But shoes and pedals? ‘I’ve got plenty of shoes and I’ve already got pedals on the bike. So why bother?’ you may ask. Well, here are some reasons why.

1. Stiffer sole = more power + more comfort

The main difference between a cycling shoe and a normal trainer is the rigidity of the sole – a trainer’s sole will flex so that the ball of your foot pushes down, while your toes are pushed upwards. A proper cycling shoe, on the other hand, will remain rigid so that the underside of your foot stays level, allowing the ball of your foot to power down on the pedals more efficiently, without straining the foot or leg.

2. The pedals that came with your bike...

Hmm, in case you hadn't noticed, the pedals that came with your bike are, frankly, quite cheap and not of a great standard. It seems strange that with many manufacturers boasting about the great quality of their products they should fit something that is cheap and poor quality. The reason for this is that at some point, every cyclist will develop a preference for the sort of pedal they use.

When this happens to you, you’ll end up discarding the pedals that came with your bike, fit your favoured pedals and invest in a matching shoe. Bike companies therefore see little point in spending more money than they need to on something that a consumer will most likely throw away. For new bikes over a certain price point, it is unlikely that any pedals will be fitted at all.

3. Clipless pedals = more pedal power

There are two main types of cycle pedals. Cleated (also called clipless pedals) and un-cleated (flat pedals).

How do clipless pedals work?

A cleated or clipless pedal means that the pedal comes in two sections:

  • The pedal itself, which screws into the crank arm,
  • The cleat - a plate that attaches to the sole of a cycling shoe (this is sold with the pedal, not the shoe).

When you place your foot on the pedal, the cleat and pedal snap together, securing the foot to the pedal. This enables the foot to remain in an efficient pedalling position, delivering more power to the wheels. And it is a lot more. You will be noticeably faster. The bearings also become smoother the more you spend on a set of pedals, again enhancing efficiency.

> See our blog ‘How to…ride with clipless pedals’

3. Flat pedals = better grip

If you are looking at mountain biking you may opt for a flat pedal, with no cleat. This will allow you to react fast when conditions demand, so you can get your foot down on sharp downhill corners, or remove your foot/feet to perform tricks. The cheaper pedal that came with your bike will offer limited grip, compared with better-quality off-road pedals. This poor grip will present you with difficult pedalling in wet, slippery conditions and manipulation of the bike through the pedals will be much more difficult.

4. Less weight

Weight is always at the back of a cyclist's mind and shoes and pedals are no exception. High-end road pedals and shoes can be extremely light, with Look pedals replacing the metal tension spring (the bit that causes the mechanism to grip to your cleat) with a strip of carbon to reduce the number of grams that you propel down the road. Less weight means greater speed for your efforts.

5. More durability

In contrast to ultra-lightweight road pedals, good-quality flat mountain bike pedals will be made from metal and are likely to weigh more than a cheaper plastic counterpart. This ensures they are up to taking the knocks and bangs that vigorous off-roading can present. However, higher-end mountain bike pedals will still be relatively light, and are often constructed using a CNC machined, lightweight alloy.

Choosing your first pair of cycling shoes and pedals

Now then. Before you start to absorb (confuse) yourself in the finer points of cross country vs. downhill mountain bike pedals, a word of advice for the beginner cyclist. If you're reading this and trying to decide on your first pair of cycling shoes and pedals - remember that whilst different pedal and shoe types are designed with specific styles of riding in mind, they are not limited to just these riding styles. You can, if you wish, use a flat pedal with some all-mountain shoes on your road bike, and many people use popular Shimano SPD clipless shoes/pedals on both their road/commuter and mountain bike, so they can use the same pair of shoes with both bikes. Hey – whatever works best for you!

Best entry-level cycling shoes and pedals if you do a mixture of road and off-road cycling

We asked our product manager Dom, and our Grafham sales manager Mark for their recommendations. Here they are:

Shimano M324 SPD/flat pedal:

Mark says: "These pedals are great if you commute or ride the school run during the week, but want to get out on the trails at the weekend. They're flat pedals on one side, with a cleat on the other, so they're really versatile.  Decent price too."

Shimano M520 SPD pedal:

Dom says: "Another excellent value pedal from Shimano - lightweight, compact design - sold as a cross-country (XC) pedal, but great for touring and commuting too."

Specialized BG Tahoe - cleat-compatible shoe for men and women:

Dom says: "The Tahoe has a slightly flexible sole, which makes them easier to walk round in while you pop into the shops, while still making your pedalling more efficient than with a pair of trainers. Good value for money and a quality brand, so they'll wear and last well."

Specialized BG Sport MTB shoe - cleat-compatible

Mark says: "Racier look, and still at a good price point. Slightly stiffer sole than the Tahoe for increased efficiency, and velcro straps for speed and a perfect fit."

Related content

  • How to…ride with clipless pedals. To master the art of riding clipless you’ll need some new kit, and a commitment to learning how to clip in and out of the pedals. The quid pro quo is, quite literally, a greater connection with your bike – giving you a more satisfying and efficient pedal...[more]
  • Cycling shoes – our insider’s guide. We review the best road cycling and mountain biking shoes [coming soon]
  • Bike pedals – our insider’s guide. How to pick the best mountain bike and road pedals [coming soon]

Still want more advice?

We’ve produced lots more guides to help you find out more about bikes, cycling and cycle gear. These include bike guides, sizing guides for bikes and clothing, and handy guides to cycle clothing, bike accessories, commuting with a bike, and more. Browse our full range of guides here.

And if these guides don’t answer your questions, we’re here to help – just give our friendly customer service team a call on 01572 737 624. Lines are open Mon-Fri, 9.30am-5pm UK time.

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