Clipless vs. Not

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

  1. Yonni

    Yonni New Member

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    That one threw me when I started out too.

    I've ridden both but I find I have better technique with clipless. Could just be me but I find it easier to pull up on the pedals with clipless. Very useful for accelerating uphill á la Pantani & Contador (study their stroke from behind and see how much they bend the ankle to pull up on the pedal when accelerating).
     


  2. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    I never had any problems pulling up on the pedal with toe clips, and I have the wear marks on top of the toes of my cycling shoes to prove it;).
     
  3. hod65

    hod65 New Member

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    i think if you have knee issues pedal straps may be the best way to go .dosent cleats hold your foot in a ridgid position with very little movement ...use straps myself have no problem with stoping as just loosen strap with your fingers but can be difficult to get your foot back in quickly to get away from lights
     
  4. 64Paramount

    64Paramount Active Member

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    Don't get the fixed cleats that are used with toe clip style pedals confused with clipless pedals, Hod.

    The fixed cleats that are normally used with toe clip style pedals, catch on the edges of the pedal and will not allow your heel to rotate, which caused me a lot of knee pain several years ago. I think that's what you are refering to.

    Clipless pedals also use cleats, but the pedal itself allows your heel to rotate as much as 15 degrees, depending on the brand of pedal, and I've never had any comfort issues with them.
     
  5. Yonni

    Yonni New Member

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    That's a very personal thing. Many pedals offer varoius degrees of "float" or free lateral movement. A friend of mine (who rode 3 seasons in the 80s as domestique to the French champ in an amateur team) always rode Dura ace pedals (I think) and when he changed to to another brand developed knee problems. Now he rides Time IIRC with no knee issues at all. Of course that's an expensive learning curve but like I say, it's a personal thing. If there were no benefits and it was all marketing how come LeMond introduced them in the first place and one top rider (can't remember which) held out for so long and then even he had a change of heart in the end? With an entry level set of pedals costing not much more than a decent flat pedal and clips you can pick up shoes for around £50 it's worth it in my opinion. Just to play Devil's advocate, I've read other forums where people claim that the fastest guy they know ride clips. The truth is probably that the difference in performance is so minimal that it's only really noticeable to Cat 1&2 or above.
     
  6. BroccoliStalk

    BroccoliStalk New Member

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    Wow. Lot's of great answers here.
    I plan on switching in the next 3 months or so.
    I need to save up some money first.

    My toe straps are really difficult to get into, but other than that there is no issue with them.

    Thanks for all of your answers. :D
     
  7. hod65

    hod65 New Member

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    didnt know that, may give them a try the walking issue is still a negative though as i like to stop for a coffee and scone on the longer trips ,id imagine you would damage the cleats if you walked on them after a time ...someone mentioned plastic covers are they practical ?
     
  8. 64Paramount

    64Paramount Active Member

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    Yes, I'm sure those covers help.

    But, you could also check out those SPD type pedals that will allow you to use shoes where the cleats are recessed into the sole of the shoe.

    That would give you the benefits of clipless style pedals and still allow you to walk around normally without having to worry about damaging the cleats.

    Several companies having touring style shoes available, which are designed to provide both pedaling performance and ease of walking, that will work with clipless pedals.
     
  9. hod65

    hod65 New Member

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    sounds good these would suit me perfectly ,
     
  10. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Problem with recessed cleats is that you can still get mud and dirt and gravel etc into the cleat basically ruining the cleat.

    There is a shoe called a non-SPD mountain shoe that doesn't have cleats, what they have is a hard flat sole for efficient pedaling and a really sticky rubber area that adhere to the pedals without clipping in. These are aimed toward the person who wants to be on the bike yet walk or hike a lot.

    There is also a shoe called a hybrid mtb shoe that have a flat rubber sole similar to the non-spd mtb shoe, except this one has a rubber patch that you can remove when wanting to clip onto pedals and reinstall the patch when you want to walk. These actually look more like a hiking shoe and not a cycling shoe thus I think their better then the non-spd shoe.
     
  11. eddykow

    eddykow New Member

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    Where did you find/see these shoes?
     
  12. jwinter

    jwinter New Member

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    I am a new cyclist. Purchased a bike last month and my LBS threw on some standard platform pedals to "get me by". Finally got funds together and after much research on this forum and elsewhere, I went this route: shimano spd-sl 540 pedals, 70 bucks at the lbs with cleats included (3-hole style). Tried on some entry level shoes at 70-90 dollar range that would have been fine, However I did splurge a bit and get a nice looking pair of mid level carbon shoes for 189.00....Results; went on a 32 mile ride past wknd, this fairly inexspensive setup worked great. My feet never got sore and cycling seemed to be much smoother with less effort. ONLY FELL DOWN TWICE:rolleyes:...by forgetting to unclip and "pannicking" upon stopping, I fell over at mile 17 and mile 30. The later being near a busy road where i was slowing to cross. I scrapped up my leg and arm pretty good and was a little sore the next day. The worst thing was scratching up the side of my new pedal as my foot came loose . Anyways, definetely a cool setup once i get used to it...thoughts from a newbie, Thanks so much for the Forum
     
  13. 64Paramount

    64Paramount Active Member

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    Jwinter, don't feel all alone about forgetting to unclip before you came to a stop. A lot of us have done that with our clipless pedals, you just have practice doing it until it is automatic.

    It is embarrassing though, isn't it? :)
     
  14. decca234uk

    decca234uk New Member

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    I've used toe clips for years but I'm considering going clipless. I've never had any problem with toe clips though i've seen cyclist wobbling over the road while they try to get their toe into one when setting off fro stationary. I'm not a competative cyclist, just a commutter and leisure and fitness cyclists, but the arguments for clipless peddles has won me over. I'm going to purchase some shortly.
     
  15. CdnRider

    CdnRider New Member

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    decca234

    do give us a little update once you get started on your new pedals. Seems like a lot of people have benefitted from this thread.

    I've BEEN one of those guys wobbling on the road trying to get into my toe clips once....

    I think since most of the clipless systems out now have some degree of lateral float - you'll be fine. Something to note, especially if you have delicate knees such as myself. My first set of clipless were the old Sampson with ZERO float and they seemed to strain my knees. Switched over to LOOK wtih the 'red' ARC cleats with float and haven't had any major knee issues, besides the odd pain here and there. Have since used 3 different types of LOOK pedals.
     
  16. Old Biker

    Old Biker New Member

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    I've been racing now for 25 years both on road and track. In the beginning we only had strap clips with a metal slotted cleat on the bottom of the shoe. We always pulled up the strap hard once the foot was in the cage correctly. Had a few mishaps when my hand missed the quick release buckle, once on the track which cost me a broken wrist. For the past 10 or 12 years I have used LOOK clipless and find the are much more convenient particularly when starting off a race and requiring that quick connection. I do admit though that I have pulled my foot in a sprint because I haven't kept up my maintenance and had worn cleats. As many have said on the track the straps are better especially if you have the double strap type but on the road I wouldn't swap my clipless.
     
  17. mrksem454

    mrksem454 New Member

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    Well, With my point of view Clipless pedals are awesome, and once you get used to them, It will become second-nature to start and stop with them. Their benefits far, far outweigh any drawbacks unless you are into freestyle jumping and stunts.
     
  18. flan48

    flan48 New Member

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    I feel that Power Grips are an excellent alternative - easy to get in and out of yet foot is "attached" to the pedal allowing for pulling back or up. Power Grips also allow for the use of any shoe/sneaker.

    Best regards
    Barry
     
  19. quenya

    quenya New Member

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    To the OP and everyone who argues one way or the other: from the standpoints of economy of effort and saftey, a cyclist needs a very stiff sole and some means of keeping the foot in the same position relative to the pedal axle.

    Clipless systems do this.
    Toe clips do this.

    Tennis shoes, running shoes, boots, or whatever used with platform pedals and to cages/straps don't do this.

    I think that part of the confusion/disagreement here is that people are really talking about three pedal types, toe-clips, clipless (which function similarly), and platform pedals with toe cages and straps (which superficially look like toe clips but have very different functionality)
     
  20. Yonni

    Yonni New Member

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    Yep, they work OK. I have a pair of these which I use with a set of cheap SPD pedals for long slow rides where I plan on stopping for a coffee or a snack at the beach. They have more flexible soles than a road shoe but if you are on a cake shop run you aren't looking for super performance. I simply swap the pedals over for harder sessions or better still, keep the SPDs on the winter bike and Look clipless on the racer. The SPD cleats will get a bit of grit in them occasionally but a quick squirt of WD40 when I get back sorts that out.
     
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