Advice please - should I stick with standard pedals?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by KayEm, Oct 14, 2004.

  1. KayEm

    KayEm New Member

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    I'm awaiting delivery of my first road bike - a Cannondale R700. As a newbie to road riding, I would appreciate some advice on whether to fit standard pedals or get something that I can clip cycling shoes into. How easy are clips to get out of when coming to a halt, or (god forbid) you crash? Also, I doubt cycling shoes would be half as comfy to wear on a long ride as my old trainers; so what are the benefits?
     
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  2. Buddy2004

    Buddy2004 New Member

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    Hi,

    I too started road cycling recently and at present am using my mtb with smooth tyres. I got some Look pedals and Diadora shoes - I would definitely recommend getting proper cycling shoes and pedals, if you intend pursuing cycling as a pastime. You will find that not only are cycling shoes more supportive and lighter than your trainers, but also the extra oommph that you get from being able to pull upwards, as well as downwards as you pedal makes going up hills that bit easier.

    There's loads of different types out there. What I was looking for was a nice broad pedal face (to avoid pressure points) and also a cleat / pedal combo that allowed some rotation laterally (termed 'float'). Traditional cleat (the clip that attaches to the shoe) and pedals were fixed, so that your foot can't rotate from side to side at all, which can cause problems with knee injuries if the cleats are not properly set up.

    I'm very happy with the Look pedals that I have. Do a search for pedals on this forum and check out some of the comments.

    As far as unclipping - so far, I have yet to forget and fall over! It soon becomes second nature and clipping in and out is no problem.

    If you are buying now, you may be able to get a good deal in the end of year sales.

    Good luck!
     
  3. szbert

    szbert New Member

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    I am completely SOLD on Speedplay Zeros. The CroMo can be bought for around a hundred bucks now. They totally rock. Adjustable, non centering float, REALLY low stack hight for max power transfer, comfortable and sturdy. Just make sure you get the coffee shop caps for the cleats.
     
  4. ghostpedal

    ghostpedal New Member

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    You should definitely go with clipless pedals. It is a whole new experience using them, they are not hard to clip in and out of, and combined with cycling shoes, will be much more comfortable than normal footwear. You are getting a good bike, so you gotta get the good pedals. I use Look right now for road and Shimano for MTB, but my next pair will be Speedplays. Have fun, and keep riding.
     
  5. ItsikH

    ItsikH New Member

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    Excellent question. Some claim that clipless are more dangerous than not wearing helmets. 3 important points:
    1. It takes time to get used to. The releasing movement is not intuitive, almost unnatural IMO.
    2. Health issue: I suffered from it for months before learning. The shoe should just fit, not too tight but without movement. A good pedal should allow some movement of the shoe so you can twist it and change position if it hurts.
    3. Safety: Some tend to tighten the peddal thinking it will hold better. It will just be harder to release. Tighten just enough to prevent it from releasing unintentionally.
    Finally, when getting used to it - it works and is safe.
     
  6. tvanhuisen

    tvanhuisen New Member

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    I agree with the results so far: go with the clipless pedals ("something that I can clip cycling shoes into"). You will find with a little practice, you can get in and out of them very easily.

    The downside is that you may fall over once or twice while you are learning to use them. The upside is that you will get much more out of your pedaling effort by applying the strengths of your legs to the full pedal rotation (up/down, forwards/backwards).

    As for shoes, I would bet that you would be *less* comfortable while riding with standard trainers than you would with properly fitted cycling shoes, especially if you plan on eventually doing longer rides. The flex that soft soles allow drains the energy from your pedaling. Stiff-soled shoes maximize the transfer of energy to your cranks, reducing wasted energy that can tire you out.
     
  7. KayEm

    KayEm New Member

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    Thanks for all the help guys, I guess that's why you don't see any pro's wearing old Timberland cross trainers then! ;)
     
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