Clipless vs. Not

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by BroccoliStalk, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. BroccoliStalk

    BroccoliStalk New Member

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    I'm new to cycling, but I was wondering what the pros and cons are for clipless pedals vs. non.

    I have pedals with a toe strap and they seem to work perfectly fine, but everyone (well a majority of cyclists on here) talks heavily about the greatness of clipless.

    Sorry in advance if this is a silly question.
     
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  2. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    More convenient
    Better power transfer
     
  3. lugee

    lugee New Member

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    Just keep in mind that switching to clipless is pricey. The combination of shoes + pedals (pedals usually come with cleats) add up quickly depending on the set up you go with.

    I say go for it, it is worth every penny.
     
  4. 64Paramount

    64Paramount Active Member

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    I used toe clips until just a few years ago, then I switched to clipless. I think the clipless are much easier to use and look nicer as well.
     
  5. genedan

    genedan New Member

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    Pedals+Shoes are definitely high on the hierarchy of "stuff to get" after you get into cycling.

    Efficiency is a big plus. Have you ever tried to punch someone who's wearing padding? It doesn't hurt them very much does it? It's the same way with pedals. Your regular shoes have a lot of padding so there's a lot of power lost when you're pedaling. Cycling shoes have a stiff sole with little to no padding so you get much more efficient power transfer.

    Of course, from a regular fitness standpoint you can be just as fit without special cycling shoes...but the clipless system is definitely safer than straps. Especially if you're riding in slick conditions. When it's raining, your pedals can get very slippery and it's much safer to have the security of the clipless system. Also, when you're putting a lot of power on your pedals, such as in sprints, clipless pedals will be more secure.

    Although Shoes are expensive, they will last you for a VERY long time. I bought a pair of SIDI Genius' for about $200 and they have lasted me for 5 years, and they can probably last me for more years easily. You can get cheaper shoes, but in my mind SIDI is a very excellent brand. Just make sure you read shoe reviews so you're aware of the design flaws/strengths of the models you want.

    Pedals can be very cheap, but they can also be very expensive, $20-$500 depending on the model. Cheaper pedals will give you most of what you need. The more expensive pedals tend to be lighter and offer more tension. Durability varies a lot, though. I have LOOK Keo Sprints, but from what I hear they are not as durable as Shimano SPD's, even though they are more expensive. However, durable pedals will last you a very long time.

    You will have to replace cleats. LOOK cleats ($16) don't really last very long (about 1000-2000 miles), but other brands have more durability.


    Any cons other than price? You'll walk really funny when you're wearing cycling shoes. So if you have to be somewhere where you need your regular shoes you'll either have to bring them with you or ride your bike with them. Depending on the brand this may not be possible. I don't think it's possible with Speedplays, but you can use your regular shoes on pedals with a large platform, like LOOK. There are also models designed specifically for mutli-shoe use, so you can look into those if you need to.
     
  6. lugee

    lugee New Member

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    Actually, speedplays have a cover you can purchase that converts the pedals into standard flat pedals. It pins two covers over the round pedal. I have a set for when I am wearing regular shoes to cycle. Also don't forget you can get "coffee shop covers" for your cleats.

    I have used regular shoes on my old LOOK 206 magnesiums and had a semi hard time gripping the pedals.
     
  7. genedan

    genedan New Member

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    Woah! I didn't know that. Another good reason why clipless is the way to go!
     
  8. CdnRider

    CdnRider New Member

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    can't believe nobody has stated this yet.....

    try getting out of a set of toe clips at a red light to put your feet down!!!

    i've seen numerous riders tip over trying to unclip over the years. mind you, new riders on clipless have had this embarassing experience as well.

    with the clipless.....you're only a twist of an ankle away to release.
     
  9. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    WOW, what a bunch of baloney I've read here!!!

    First lets start with the comment "More convenient, Better power transfer". Really? Is this why track racers still use toe clips because they hate power? See: Soma Fabrications or: Bike Works NYC -- Wheels, Parts & Accessories Just to show you a couple of many sites for track pedals.

    More convenient? You have to get use to toe clips just as you would have to do with clipless, once your use to one or the other then convenience isn't an issue is it?

    Trying to get out of toe clips at a light? Geez, I've been riding toe clips on ALL my bikes for over 35 years and never once had an issue at a light...and funny thing about, all my old buds I use to train and race with didn't either as did anyone else that used toe clips back in the day. And someone seen "numerous" riders fall over trying to get out of toe clips? Where the hell to you live? in Clutsville? In my over 35 years of riding I've never seen numerous fall overs in fact barely a handful!

    And your only a ankle twist away from release with clipless? Well gee your only a foot lift away from release with toe clips! Only in track racing does one cinch down the straps so tight to eliminate any possibility of having a foot pull out of the pedal thus if you were track racing and came to a stop light your not going to get your foot out...but then again your not going to be able to stop because there are no brakes on a track bike anyways...but there are no stop lights on a track thus no issues with either problem.

    Also with toe clips you CAN wear any shoe you want from a racing shoe designed for toe clips of course, to tennis shoes, to sandals, to work shoes, or dress shoes if you have to, without adding on any silly plastic part to make it work.

    I didn't say all the above because I think strap and clips are the way to go even though that's what I use, I was just debunking all the myths here.

    By the way, no one mentioned that with clipless you have slight better corning clearance.
     
  10. CdnRider

    CdnRider New Member

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    Well gee your only a foot lift away from release with toe clips......??? then a hand off the handlebars....to reach down and release the strap. which one is safer? Then getting back into them?? again...nowhere near as simple and quick as clipless. Again...this is MY opinion and from MY experiences on both clips and clipless! It's not even close.

    i'm not knocking those of you who are still on toeclips. to each his/her own. but there HAS to be a reason or 2 as to why the majority of serious cyclists are riding clipless now.

    I TOO used to ride on clips. Actually still have them on my casual mtn bike. for bumming around casually.

    To the poster above. You state that you've been riding on clips for 35yrs on ALL your bikes.
    Have you ever tried clipless??? for an extended period? not just a 5min demo. I know i was sold from my first set which were 'POS' SAMPSONS....back in the mid 80s.
     
  11. Yojimbo_

    Yojimbo_ Well-Known Member

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    You might want to read again what the previous poster said about cinching the straps tight.

    I have both - clipless on my road bikes and toe clips on my hybrid commuting bike. I have no problems getting in or out of the toe clips - no reaching and I usually don't have to look down either. I think the toe clips are a little easier than the clipless actually, which I suppose is why I have them on my commuting bike.
     
  12. Pertanga

    Pertanga New Member

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    I just bought Mountain bike SPD pedals/shoes. They look okay for general walking about and you're not sliding about on the over exposed cleats (have road pedals changed that much over the years?). I haven't tried road specific pedals, never been keen after seen my dad slip on his butt 3 times...

    Oh and yes be prepared to fall off at least once when you first get them, everyone does the left knee to ground dive. I was lucky and did it out of sight of anyway.
     
  13. meowcatz

    meowcatz New Member

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    Check out ebay. There are tons of shimano pedals (new) for $50 with cleats.
     
  14. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Again false info. If you have the right shoes with the cleat on the bottom you DO NOT have to reach down and release the strap (or tighten it upon reentry). Releasing the strap is only if you are track racing and you want to be sure your foot will not come out of the pedal under extreme power...OR...if your using a shoe that does not have the cleat with the slot for clipping onto the pedal cage then you would have to cinch the strap tight to prevent the foot from coming out. Cinching a strap on long rides will cut the circulation off to your feet. I use to ride in the mountains of So. California and never had an issue with my foot coming out a pedal and yet still have it adjusted properly so I could get out fast; and as you should know mountain riding requires a great deal of power.

    I can get back into my straps WITHOUT having to loosen them or tighten them usually takes me about a second. When you come to stop you only need to remove one foot, the other stays in place thus the second to get back in.

    And yes I do have a set of clipless pedals and shoes that came with the Mercian, and rode it that way for while; but that system is not well suited for touring so I bought a set of cage pedals with straps and clips for it.

    I didn't say they were bad, in fact if you reread my post I thought they were good, I was just debunking the myths of clips and straps.
     
  15. Brittanyboy

    Brittanyboy New Member

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    Even though I never used toe strap clips, I must say from my observation of professional bike races. I've never seen a rider with toe clips. They are all using clipless, must be some reason.
    come out of the 80's already. Clip in clip out, it's easy and gets the job done. If your just commuting, get a set of flat pedals.
     
  16. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    The biggest reason that the pros are using clipless is because that is what they are provided by their sponsors, who, by the way, make the clipless pedals and/or shoes. Now which is going to make more money for the sponsor.....clipless pedals and shoes......or toe clip and strap pedals where the user can wear any shoes he wants? And since most everone believes that the pros have the ultimate authority on the equipment that they use, then they assume that what ever the pros use must be the best. Actually I find that pull the foot out of the cage and then putting it back in is easier for me. That is what I was taught as a child and have done for over 40 years now and it is what I prefer. I did use clipless for well over a year but it did not seem as natural to me as toe clips and straps so I switched back. But as a previous poster stated, it is a matter of personal preference. Just because you use one system does not mean that system is the best system for everyone and therefore you are right. You are right that it is the best system for you and that is all. And CdnRider, I have never, in all my years of riding, seen a rider with toe clips fall over at a red light, but I have seen quite a number of newbie riders fall over because they were not very familiar with their clips.

    I have always sort of wondered if things aren't just a little backwards when you have to clip into and clip out of "clipless pedals"?:confused:
     
  17. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Clipless has gone the way of the cycling world that's why you see them in races. But if you watch track racing you will see toe clips; in fact the main online track racing cite only sells toe clip's and related pedals; see: BUSINESS CYCLES: Track Components Why are track racers for the most part only using toe clips? Because track racers are very strong and they have been known to break the clipless design, and with that event happening on a fixy bike with no brakes things can get dicey spinning around in a velodrome at 40mph. You and I though are not that strong so really breaking loose from a clipless pedal would probably never happen to us. There are some track racers using clipless design but others feel safer and more secure with the toe clips.

    And just as with clipless toe clips are also simple to get in and out, just lift and pull back and you foot slides out, unless your track racing then your feet are cinched in very tight. By the way in regards to pro racing they have had many instances of the clipless design failing and a riders foot coming off the pedal. And something no one has mentioned about clipless pedals is that cleats and pedals are susceptible to failure from dirt, mud, and snow which is why wilderness mtb riders don't use them.

    And really dude, I'm out of the 80's already, maybe you need to be less narrow minded and consider other ideas; I know your afraid of considering other ideas that's why you never went to my track bike sites, or looked into why tourists ride mostly with toe clips, or why wilderness mtb riders use them...hmm must be a reason huh? And again you didn't read any of my previous posts where I mentioned I use clipless pedals so how is it I'm "stuck in the 80's"?
     
  18. LB CYCLIST

    LB CYCLIST New Member

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    i just picked up my first set of clippless shoes n pedals,i got brand new for 130.00 at a local cycling shop, shimano shoes and forte pedals and boy do i feel a huge difereance. like mentioned before you have to get used to clippin out and clippin in. i always alow my self plenty of time to clip out before i come to a stop. and you have to remember the side u clip out of is the side you wanna lean your bike when u coem to a stop.

    like everything it comes with practice.


    get the shoes.
     
  19. graf zeppelin

    graf zeppelin New Member

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    This. Absolutely.

    Within that, of course, is degrees of better comfort over longer rides due to stiff sole support (which is giving you that power transfer) and immediate ease of getting in and out of riding position (which is basically also convenience).

    Just make the switch. You absolutely will not regret it.
     
  20. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    More comfort? I haven't noticed a difference in comfort between the two! I've ridden up to 148 miles in one day with toe straps...of course everything became uncomfortable after that many miles!!!!! But I routinely ride 75 to 100 miles on a Saturday with toe clips I don't experience any comfort issues. And of course a lot of tourists do this all the time with toe clips with no problems.
     
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