Clipless Pedals for Commuting

Discussion in 'Commuting and Road Safety' started by nadom, Jun 6, 2007.

  1. nadom

    nadom New Member

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    I'm just wondering if many people use clipless pedals for commuting? What are some of the advantages and disadvantages? Would you recommend it? I'm in the situation where I ride to work every day (it's an easy 7.5km ride one way) and ride on the weekends just for fun. I'm keen to make all the changes required to make the ride as enjoyable as possible. Thanks in advance to anyone who responds!
     
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  2. xxamr_corpxx

    xxamr_corpxx New Member

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    I won't be able to do this because the shoes required for going clipless violate my employer's dress code. You could leave your shoes at work though and get over this, but I don't have a permanent office yet to store them.

    Other than that, there's absolutely no reason not to. Clipless is much more secure than platform or ratcage, and more comfy too.
     
  3. nadom

    nadom New Member

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    Thank you, that's very reassuring. I've never used clipless so I don't know anything about them. I already keep two pairs of shoes at work along with bath towels and anything else I need to freshen up when I arrive at work so that part is sorted out.

    Do the clipless pedals make it a faster journey once you're used to them?
     
  4. BornInZion

    BornInZion New Member

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    I am car free, and I go everywhere on my carbon frame, Dura Ace road bike. I highly recommend upgrading to a cleated shoe for riding. It will improve your efficiency, increase your cadence and cycling pleasure and shorten your commute time. How cool is that?

    I like Speed Play, but it all comes down to personal preference.
    http://www.speedplay.com/
    You will want to cache a pair of "work shoes" at work.
     
  5. xxamr_corpxx

    xxamr_corpxx New Member

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    I've used clipless for only two rides so far, but the answer on whether they make you go faster is a definite yes. I practiced for an afternoon on my driveway before I rode on the road and I had no dramas, none of the "forgetting to unclip" falls that people talk about. I also have a feeling that one of my shoes may need to be adjusted for better fit first.

    Still, I'm not going back!
     
  6. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    Pointy, smooth-soled dress shoes seem to work particularly well in clips -and-straps or power grips!:D No, really. You can set the strap a lot tighter and still "unclip" fairly easily!
     
  7. 1id10t

    1id10t New Member

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    I too use clipless pedals and would not go back to flat pedals for my commute. The only real negative (IMHO) is unclipping; but once you get use to them it becomes automatic. On the positive, when you are at a set of lights and need to race off when the lights turn green you can be rest assured your feet don't slip off the pedals (except if you miss clipping in I suppose. This is where learning to track stand is useful :))
    I keep a spare pair of shoes at work to change into so I don't need to carry much.
     
  8. nadom

    nadom New Member

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    So I've pretty much concluded that I should get some clipless pedals! Are the double sided ones more practical than the single sided ones?
     
  9. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    Yes; get MTB pedals. Besides having double sided pedals, many of the MTB shoes like my Diadora Bike Patrols are easier to walk in though I can't for the life of me figure out why they didn't just make the sole 1/4" thicker so the cleats wouldn't touch the ground when you walk.

    And unclip both feet at stops. One way to crash is when the bike starts to fall in the direction of your one clipped in foot and you lack the forward speed to lean it the other way by steering into the fall.
     
  10. 1id10t

    1id10t New Member

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    he he he....the only times I've really fallen over has been this way; twice I inadvertantly unclipped the foot opposite to the direction of my lean. Dumb :eek:.
    Given a few pedestrians and other commuters something to giggle at on their commute home. :)
     
  11. nadom

    nadom New Member

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    I've been reading about clipless pedals and it's really quite overwhelming! I'm coming to the conclusion that Crank Brothers Quattro or Candy and Speedplay Light Action or Frogs are the best options. I'm wondering what other people think is the most suitable for a regular but short commute on a hybrid bike? I like to buy all my biking gear from the one store and they don't have Crank Brothers - should that impact my decision?
     
  12. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    Sometimes you have to turn for balance after unclipping the correct foot. Then when you're falling onto the clipped in foot, good luck unclipping with all your weight on it.

    I now unclip both feet when slowing for a stop.

    As for Nadom, I've only tried Nashbar.
     
  13. Richardj2

    Richardj2 New Member

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    Hi,

    I have been commuting for a couple of months now and have struggled to find the right pedals. I have tried two different sets of mtb flats , two different sets of toe clips but nothing felt 'right' I then decided to try an old pair of spds. I adjusted them to their slackest seting and so far have had no problems. I take it nice and easy and make sure I keep a good eye out for trafic. The best thing I did I was fitting these.

    Rich
     
  14. Camilo

    Camilo New Member

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    Any of those pedals are fine. So are "regular" SPD pedals (Shimano and other brands). Don't worry about that- buy some that you like, from a shop you like, at a price you can afford. I sincerely don't believe there will be a meaningful functional difference.

    I've ridden on SPD for about 10-12 years (shimano SPD single sided road pedals on road bike, Cheap-O Nashbar double sided pedals on the MTB, same MTB shoes and cleats for both). I happen to like the one sided road pedals, but two sided can be easier, and no reason not to use them. I'm perfectly happy with the SPD pedals, but when they wear out, I'll probably try Crank Bros eggbeaters and/or candy pedals just because (a) change of pace and (b) my favorite shop sells them for a good price.
     
  15. aubinmg

    aubinmg New Member

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    I'm using Wellgo dual function pedals (clipless on one side and platform on the other) with Lake MX101 shoes. That way I can use my clipless on my 15k commute and just jump on the bike with whatever I'm wearing to go to the corner for a litre of milk. Practice makes perfect. Keep the tension low and do pratice getting in and out of te clips in different situations. On my second ride with the clipless pedals on my new bike I had to make a panic stop and couldn't get my feet out of the flipping pedals. Good laugh for the pedestrians watching agape and a hell of a bruise on my hip. Having said all that I wouldn't go back to the traps I used before. Also, I keep a pair of shoes at work so I don't have to haul a pair back and forth.
     
  16. Garyh_GONP07

    Garyh_GONP07 New Member

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    The main reason for clipless pedals is that they permit you to pull up, with your legs, on uphills, thus maintaining a RPM that is more effective than pushing a too-high gear or getting out of the saddle to 'push and shove'. The trick then is to seemlessly apply power through the entire crank revolution through conscious self-training.

    Commuters often find themselves in strife if clipless pedals are set too tight e.g. disengagement is not spontaneous in heavy traffic and a spill occurs. So it is necessary to set the release to the lightest 'tug' without actually allowing your foot to disengage unexpectedly. Then gradually increase the tension as your confidence in traffic grows. A pedal that does not disengage when you absolutely need it to is disastrous in traffic.

    Shimano SPD pedals are fine; I have used SPD for 20 years (road, touring, MTB) and now use a mid-range resin-framed double-sided SPD with self-raising front edge which takes either my Diadora cleated shoes or street shoes for the quick dash to the shops. The Crank Brothers egg beaters are very small in profile and some cyclists are known to get a sore spot in ball of their foot from the tiny platform. These 'minimalist' pedals are best left to MTBers in competition or who really need the weight savings.
     
  17. batjerk

    batjerk New Member

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    I agree with the general sentiment that clipless pedals are fine for commuting. I've only been commuting for a couple of months recently, but have had SPD pedals and shoes for a decade now. About that long ago I was car-free. (Thanks to a traffic violation.) I've never had any problems with disengaging the cleats, except when I had the retention set waaayyy too tight. Oops. Glad no one saw that.

    My new pedals (came on new bike) have resin platform that clicks into the cleat retention device on the pedal allowing me to have a platform for the quick jaunts to the hardware store or post office or whatever, and the clipless side for longer rides. Also, just unclip the platform for a double-sided pedal should I want to trail ride or something.
     
  18. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    Two points:

    1.) SPDs keep your quads from getting overly tired on long commutes even if there aren't any hills; also, they teach good pedaling habits which transfer to platform pedals. I find myself pushing backward on the bottom and pushing forward at the top of a revolution even when on a bike with platforms, though obviously you can't pull up.

    2.) For commuting, SPDs work fine even if normally left in the lowest tension setting all the time.
     
  19. nadom

    nadom New Member

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    Thank you everyone for your responses. It's all been informative and I'm wiser for it! I've got my shoes now and I'm just waiting for Saturday to come around so I can pick up my new pedals - that gives me two days to practice before I ride to work again. It seems everyone has had at least one fall...I sure hope I don't fall in the next couple of weeks!
     
  20. deedubya

    deedubya New Member

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    I could have written this posting! I'm presuming you bought your 95B's and MX101's at MEC.

    Do you know how to maintain the petals? I had one set fail; I'm presuming due to my not greasing them. Problem is I don't know how.
     
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