Clipless pedals

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Gavin, Mar 17, 2004.

  1. Gavin

    Gavin Guest

    After agonising for a very long time (not really!) I have
    decided that I should at long last make the transition to
    clipless pedals. The few people I know who use them have
    told me that once I get used to them I won't look back. I
    know that they are supposed to be more efficient from an
    energy point of view but since my favourite pair of trainers
    "died" last year I can't seem to find a pair that feel as
    comfortable in my toe clips/straps.

    So the big question is what should I chose? I know very
    little about what's available. I know there is straightaway
    a choice between MTB pedals and road pedals. From what I
    have been told the MTB pedal/shoe combination allows for
    ease of walking when off the bike - and I am by no means a
    racing cyclist
    :)

    I also believe that there are different types of mechanism
    for clipping into not all of which are compatible with
    each other.

    I would be very grateful if you could explain what my
    options are, the pros and cons of each and if you have any
    recommended makes/styles. I know the latter is subjective
    but I would be very interested in your opinions.

    Thanks,

    Gavin
     
    Tags:


  2. McBain_v1

    McBain_v1 New Member

    Joined:
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    Clipless pedals - gotta love 'em :D

    On two of my road bikes I actually have MTB pedals (my winter bike and my spring/autumn bike). The pedals themselves are typically smaller in terms of your pedalling platform (but are usually dual sided - easier to get your foot locked into) which some would argue leads to a slight loss in your ability to deliver power to your wheels. (click here for an example) You are correct in that it is easier to walk around off the bike in MTB shoes...

    But it all depends on how much walking around you think you are going to be doing. On my "summer bike" I've got Shimano PD-R600 road pedals (click here) and the cleats are on my Diadora ALU road shoes. The Shimano cleat is very large and coupled with the ALU shoes' aluminium sole, makes walking on any tiled surface dicey. However, the large pedal platform and minimal float means I feel that more power is being channeled to the wheels.

    In terms of weight, I am sure that you can get road and MTB pedals that are equally as light as one another.

    If you are making the transition I would advise that you get a clipless pedal that has a good amount of "float". Locking yourself into these pedals without any play at all could play havoc with your knees if you are used to being able to move your foot around a small amount with your pedal stroke.

    I would also advise that you loosen off the lock on whichever pedal you typically remove your foot from when you come up to traffic lights etc. (unless you are a master at track standing), just so that you are able to get your foot on the ground quick for the first few rides.

    Not all systems are compatible with one another (e.g. Look vs. Shimano) - I guess this is just a bit of protectionism between manufacturers. Each manufacturer has its own advocates and detractors. Personally I like Shimano (but not their shoes).
     
  3. Mseries

    Mseries Guest

    gavin wrote:
    >
    > I would be very grateful if you could explain what my
    > options are, the pros and cons of each and if you have any
    > recommended makes/styles. I know the latter is subjective
    > but I would be very interested in your opinions.

    This was discussed a few weeks ago, the most common types
    are SPD and Look. SPD are often referred to a MTB pedals but
    they can be used on road machines. Do not confuse these with
    SPD-R which are different again. If you want to have
    recessed cleats for better walking choose SPD. Look
    compatible shoes are usually very stiff with no compromise
    and provide a very good pedalling platform. My preference is
    Look but I ride road bikes only. SPD compat shoes can often
    resemble trainers so make a good choice where you have to
    walk around in between riding and can't or can't be bothered
    to change shoes.
     
  4. Richard Belcher

    Richard Belcher New Member

    Joined:
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    Bravo!

    It can be a scary prospect going clipless. I think it makes a real difference once you get into the "spin" of things. It makes peadling much easier & helps conserve energy on longer rides. It's also handy for stopping you bounce off the pedals when you're traveling on less than smooth British roads...

    The one thing everyone will tell you is to stick with it. Yes, you will fall over a few times but it's usually when you stop go to put your foot down then...TIMBER... we've all been there so don't worry. Practice, practice, practice...it'll soon be second nature to clip in/out & you'll wonder how you ever used to get around without them.

    Might be worth finding a grassy area to try clipping in moving off slowly, picking a stopping point, slowing down, unclipping & stepping down. Repeat until it become instinctive. Don't try it in traffic straigh off...trust me! I bet in no time at all you'll be able to clip in/out at the lights, in heavy traffic waving to people etc...

    Good luck & let us know how you get on!

    PS: What do you ride? Road/MTB? You can walk in most road shoes, at least I can take a quick trip in my SPD-SL's, even on wood/tiled floors....I wouldn't want to hike in them though ;-) I use Sidi Energy Road shoes & SPD-SL cleats & I love em'
     
  5. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    gavin wrote:

    > So the big question is what should I chose? I know very
    > little about wh=
    at's
    > available. I know there is straightaway a choice between
    > MTB pedals and=
    road
    > pedals. From what I have been told the MTB pedal/shoe
    > combination allow=
    s for
    > ease of walking when off the bike - and I am by no means a
    > racing cycli=
    st

    You can et road stuff you can easily walk in, but the MTB
    avenue will=20 always allow that and give you that at lower
    prices as well.

    > I also believe that there are different types of mechanism
    > for clipping=
    into
    > not all of which are compatible with each other.

    Cleats are generally specific to certain pedals, but the
    important bit=20 is they all (at least all I've come across)
    will fit the same shoes. So =

    though my Time cleats won't fit SPD pedals, they fit into
    any shoes that =

    take Shimano cleats

    > I would be very grateful if you could explain what my
    > options are, the =
    pros
    > and cons of each and if you have any recommended
    > makes/styles. I know t=
    he
    > latter is subjective but I would be very interested in
    > your opinions.

    One possibility is a pedal with a cleat attachment on one
    side and a=20 "normal" platform on the other, so it's easy
    to pedal in trainers rather =

    than sliding off every then and now if you can't be arsed to
    put your=20 cycling shoes on. Beyond that I wouldn't worry
    too much, they'll all do =

    the business so see what's on offer. You can get Wellgos for
    about =A320= ,=20 or so. Some pedals are cleaner and use
    different mechs, like Time ATACs and=20 Eggbeaters. I
    personally like the Times, finding they're less affected=20
    by cleat wear, don't need fiddling with tension and there's
    less gubbins =

    to clean, but they'll set you back more and you'll get most
    of the=20 available benefit from a cheapish pair. Spend more
    once you're certain=20 you like them and think it'll make a
    difference,

    Pete. --=20 Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382
    660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital Fax 44
    1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net
    [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  6. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Peter Clinch wrote:

    > Cleats are generally specific to certain pedals, but the
    > important bit is they all (at least all I've come across)
    > will fit the same shoes.

    Caveat with what I wrote: all MTB type shoes should
    probably take MTB type cleats, but I didn't make that clear
    first time...

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext.
    33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital Fax 44 1382 640177
    Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  7. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    gavin wrote: ..........
    > So the big question is what should I chose? I know very
    > little about what's available. I know there is
    > straightaway a choice between MTB pedals and road pedals.
    > From what I have been told the MTB pedal/shoe combination
    > allows for ease of walking when off the bike - and I am by
    > no means a racing cyclist :)

    Nor am I, really, but I like Look racing pedals. They're so
    good for *cycling*. I suggest at least thinking about the
    option if you don't need to do much walking. Rubber covers
    for the cleats can be used to make safe walking possible -
    it's just that you can't walk entirely normally (with the
    stiff soles and sticky-out cleats) and walking would be
    uncomfortable for any great distance... but personally, I
    find long walks uncomfortable with any shoes! I should have
    been born with wheels :)

    To be fair, the SPD option is a good one to start with,
    especially considering the low prices available for pedals
    and shoes. Lots of other clipless systems as well. Sorry the
    subject is too large to list all the pros and cons of each.
    Please dip into the archives of uk.rec.cycling and
    rec.bicycles.tech via Google Groups.

    ~PB
     
  8. Mseries

    Mseries Guest

    "Richard Belcher" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:D[email protected]...

    > PS: What do you ride? Road/MTB? You can walk in most road
    > shoes, at least I can take a quick trip in my SPD-
    > SL's, even on wood/tiled floors....I wouldn't want to
    > hike in them though ;-) I use Sidi Energy Road shoes &
    > SPD-SL cleats & I love em'

    That reminds me of a time I tried to visit a cash point at
    a very upmarket bank in Honolulu. It was raining and I was
    wearing old fashioned rattrap pedal shoes with slotted
    cleats. The shoes were not old fashioned though, stiff
    plastic with no grip provided for. The path to the cash
    point was sloped and marble and the wet and my shoes
    afforded no grip at all ! I had to haul myself up using
    the railing.
     
  9. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    in message <[email protected]>, gavin ('[email protected]')
    wrote:

    > After agonising for a very long time (not really!) I have
    > decided that I should at long last make the transition to
    > clipless pedals. The few people I know who use them have
    > told me that once I get used to them I won't look back. I
    > know that they are supposed to be more efficient from an
    > energy point of view but since my favourite pair of
    > trainers "died" last year I can't seem to find a pair that
    > feel as comfortable in my toe clips/straps.
    >
    > So the big question is what should I chose? I know very
    > little about what's available. I know there is
    > straightaway a choice between MTB pedals and road pedals.
    > From what I have been told the MTB pedal/shoe combination
    > allows for ease of walking when off the bike - and I am by
    > no means a racing cyclist

    That's much too simplistic. I have 'road' shoes (designed
    for touring) which are easy and comfortable to walk in, and
    my partner has MTB shoes (designed for racing) which are
    virtually impossible to walk in (but have huge football boot
    studs in the toes for scrambling up steep banks).

    All cycling shoes have a fairly rigid shank in the sole. On
    designed- for-racing shoes this shank is quite bent, so that
    the shoe is like a high-heeled shoe without the heel. These
    are the ones that are difficult to walk in, and it's largely
    the bend that makes it difficult.

    A shoe which has a flat sole (ideally with some degree of
    grip) and where the cleat doesn't project beyind the tread
    will be fine to walk
    in. You can get these in both touring and MTB styles - the
    difference being the MTB ones will have more tread,
    designed to deal with slippier surfaces.

    > I also believe that there are different types of mechanism
    > for clipping into not all of which are compatible with
    > each other.
    >
    > I would be very grateful if you could explain what my
    > options are, the pros and cons of each and if you have any
    > recommended makes/styles. I know the latter is subjective
    > but I would be very interested in your opinions.

    At the cheap end of the market, Shimano SPD pedals are
    perfectly good. There are better pedals about but they are
    much more expensive. The major problem with the SPD system
    is the pedals tend to clog with mud off-road.

    SPD pedals are available as beautiful little attenuated
    single sided pedals for road bikes, or as doubles sided
    pedals for off road bikes; or - useful if you're a
    beginner or will sometimes ride without your cleated shoes
    - as SPD one side and ordinary platform the other. My
    partner likes these.

    As to shoes, get a pair that fit (and be prepared to spend a
    bit of money, although you may not have to). My own personal
    favourites are a pair of SIDI boots, but they're my
    favourites because they fit *my* feet so well and are so
    comfortable. There's no point in getting shoes in which you
    are not comfortable, it will just put you off.

    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke)
    http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

    Morning had broken, and there was nothing we could
    do but wait patiently for the RAC to arrive.
     
  10. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Richard Belcher wrote:

    > The one thing everyone will tell you is to stick with
    > it. Yes, you will fall over a few times but it's
    > usually when you stop go to put your foot down
    > then...TIMBER... we've all been there so don't worry.
    > Practice, practice, practice...it'll soon be second
    > nature to clip in/out & you'll wonder how you ever used
    > to get around without them.

    Worth noting is that once you're used to it it's actually
    *easier* than getting out of clips and straps, especially if
    you've got straps done up tight and have to stop
    unexpectedly.

    > Might be worth finding a grassy area to try clipping in
    > moving off slowly, picking a stopping point, slowing
    > down, unclipping & stepping down. Repeat until it
    > become instinctive. Don't try it in traffic straigh
    > off...trust me!

    In practice I think first time users are *sooooo* paranoid
    about them that they rarely come to grief. In most
    situations stopping is predictable, so if you look ahead and
    see you'll have to stop shortly you unclip *then*, not when
    you *have* to. There's no problem riding without being
    formally clipped in, so when you do get to the stop point
    you just put your already unclipped foot down. And remember
    that if you do get it wrong you will almost certainly be at
    mph along with everyone else there. The only thing likely to
    be seriously wounded is your pride.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext.
    33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital Fax 44 1382 640177
    Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  11. I like Look pedals and shoes with Look cleats on them. I
    really haven't regretted making the change to clipless
    pedals from standard pedals with toeclips.

    Just remember to unclip *before* your bike comes to a halt
    ;-)

    Cheers, helen s

    --This is an invalid email address to avoid spam-- to get
    correct one remove dependency on fame & fortune h*$el*$$e**-
    nd***$o$ts***i*$*$m**m$$o*n**[email protected]$*$a$$o**l.c**$*$om$$
     
  12. Dave Kahn

    Dave Kahn Guest

    "Pete Biggs" <ptangerine{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > gavin wrote:

    > To be fair, the SPD option is a good one to start with,
    > especially considering the low prices available for pedals
    > and shoes.

    I agree with this. The larger platform of Looks is possibly
    an advantage to a racer or long distance cyclist, but it's
    perfectly possible both to race and cycle very long
    distances with SPDs. The supposed performance advantage of
    Looks is so marginal that the ease of walking in SPDs
    outweighs it except for racing IMO.

    --
    Dave...
     
  13. >The one thing everyone will tell you is to stick with it.
    >Yes, you will fall over a few times but it's usually when
    >you stop go to put your foot down then...TIMBER... we've
    >all been there so don't worry. Practice, practice,
    >practice...it'll soon be second nature to clip in/out &
    >you'll wonder how you ever used to get around without them.

    This is *so* true, and demonstrated to me the only advantage
    I know of in having a fat arse - padding when falling over
    due to forgetting to unclip :)

    Cheers, helen s

    --This is an invalid email address to avoid spam-- to get
    correct one remove dependency on fame & fortune h*$el*$$e**-
    nd***$o$ts***i*$*$m**m$$o*n**[email protected]$*$a$$o**l.c**$*$om$$
     
  14. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    "Dave Kahn" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > > To be fair, the SPD option is a good one to start with,
    > > especially considering the low prices available for
    > > pedals and shoes.

    > I agree with this. The larger platform of Looks is
    > possibly an advantage to a racer or long distance cyclist,
    > but it's perfectly possible both to race and cycle very
    > long distances with SPDs. The supposed performance
    > advantage of Looks is so marginal that the ease of walking
    > in SPDs outweighs it except for racing IMO.

    I disagree. I don't find walking in Looks a huge problem,
    and if I wanted to walk I would have left the bike at home
    in the first place. I find Looks more comfortable - less
    inclined to hotspots. I also find them easier to clip in
    than Spuds. I do use both.

    --
    Guy
    ===
    May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after
    posting. http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

    88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at
    Washington University
     
  15. David Martin

    David Martin Guest

    On 17/3/04 3:07 pm, in article
    [email protected], "Dave Kahn"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > "Pete Biggs" <ptangerine{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote in
    > message news:<[email protected]
    > berlin.de>...
    >> gavin wrote:
    >
    >> To be fair, the SPD option is a good one to start with,
    >> especially considering the low prices available for
    >> pedals and shoes.
    >
    > I agree with this. The larger platform of Looks is
    > possibly an advantage to a racer or long distance cyclist,
    > but it's perfectly possible both to race and cycle very
    > long distances with SPDs. The supposed performance
    > advantage of Looks is so marginal that the ease of walking
    > in SPDs outweighs it except for racing IMO.

    I agree entirely. I still have a pair of Look pedals (which
    I do like more than SPD) and shoes but have moved both bikes
    with clipless to SPD. The major reason was finding a pair of
    shoes that were comfortable to walk around in.

    The key with any pedal is to have really stiff soled shoes,
    the stiffer the better. I am tempted to fit SPD cleats under
    some old crampons for winter biking in plastic boots..

    ..d
     
  16. Dave Kahn

    Dave Kahn Guest

    Richard Belcher <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

    > The one thing everyone will tell you is to stick with it.
    > Yes, you will fall over a few times but it's usually when
    > you stop go to put your foot down then...TIMBER... we've
    > all been there so don't worry.

    Falling over is optional. It seems that most people fall
    once, but it's never happened to me (yet). The fall usually
    happens when people forget they're using the new system and
    the twist-to-unclip action has not yet become automatic.
    When it does happen it's generally a case of humiliation
    rather than pain.

    The best falling over story I heard was from Doug at Moore
    Bros in Twickenham. When he first went clipless he was
    worried about falling so on approaching his first set of
    traffic lights, naturally provided with an adequate supply
    of spectators, he decided to lean nonchalantly on a bollard
    rather than attempt to unclip. Unfortunately the bollard was
    not bolted down.

    --
    Dave...
     
  17. davek

    davek New Member

    Joined:
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    helen wrote:
    >Just remember to unclip *before* your bike comes to a halt

    Heh. Yes. I've been using SPD-Rs for about a month or so now and I am well and truly converted to the clipless cause. Of course, having only tried SPD-Rs I can't say how good they are compared to other makes/models. But I'm happy with them. But I certainly like them a lot more than toeclips and straps, which I have never got on with at all.

    I've only actually fallen off once and that was because I stopped quite sharply without thinking to unclip first. I just went over sideways - fortunately landing on the pavement, and doubly fortunate that there was no-one around to see it happen. It was more comical than painful. A bigger problem than falling is getting my feet back in the pedals when pulling away from junctions or lights, but I'm gradually getting better with practice.

    Apart from that, I can only concur with what others have said. And no way am I ever going back to platforms!
     
  18. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Dave Kahn wrote:

    >> To be fair, the SPD option is a good one to start with,
    >> especially considering the low prices available for
    >> pedals and shoes.
    >
    > I agree with this. The larger platform of Looks is
    > possibly an advantage to a racer or long distance cyclist,
    > but it's perfectly possible both to race and cycle very
    > long distances with SPDs. The supposed performance
    > advantage of Looks is so marginal that the ease of walking
    > in SPDs outweighs it except for racing IMO.

    I kahn't quite agree with that, I'm afraid.

    I switched from SPD to Look pedals (using same road shoes)
    and found the greater float and larger platform makes
    setting up easier and all normal riding *much* more
    comfortable and secure... not to mention more efficient, but
    that's hard to prove so I won't mention it :) Definitely an
    option for the non-racer (even the urban one) as well as
    racer IMO - although I don't blame anyone for trying SPDs
    first/instead.

    ~PB
     
  19. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Pete Biggs wrote:

    > I switched from SPD to Look pedals (using same road shoes)
    > and found the greater float and larger platform makes
    > setting up easier and all normal riding *much* more
    > comfortable and secure

    And don't forget ATACs: certainly more float than SPuDs, and
    you get actual lateral float as well as the normal
    rotational float: you can clip in anywhere along the spring
    bar, not just one specific spot. Setup is a non issue once
    you've decided whether you're Normal (15 degree release) or
    Well 'Ard (20 degrees release) and put the relevant cleat on
    the relevant shoe. No buggering about with tension ever
    again and the cleats still give completely bombproof
    attachment even when they're incredibly badly worn.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext.
    33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital Fax 44 1382 640177
    Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  20. Pete Biggs wrote:

    > Definitely an option for the non-racer (even the urban
    > one) as well as racer IMO - although I don't blame
    > anyone for trying SPDs first/instead.

    I might have done had SPD's existed at the time :)

    Another reason for Looks, though is the existence of the
    black cleat. Personally I regard float as a Work of Stan. At
    least Look give you the option.

    --

    Dave Larrington - http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/
    ===========================================================
    Editor - British Human Power Club Newsletter
    http://www.bhpc.org.uk/
    ===========================================================
     
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