Pedal Choices



Foogle78

New Member
Apr 24, 2006
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I have recently purchased a new Trek 520 Touring Bike and have ridden over 250 miles in the first month (that is a lot for me) unfortunately it has the dreaded SPD clips on it, and I am struggling getting in and getting out of these things. I have fallen a few times, but luckily no injuries. I am looking to go with either Looks or Speedplays, but I don't know which is better. I have one friend that advocates Looks and one guy that loves his Speedplays. Which way should I go? Which pedals are the easiest in and out? Which ones take a beating? Which ones will I say "These are much better!" once I get used to them. I don't think I am going to get used to the SPDs.
 

capwater

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Sep 15, 2003
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SPDs just need some practice getting in and out. Don't give up. Looks, being road specific, are a bit easier to enter since the toe tips up. if you are prone to getting off your bike several times during a ride, the recessed cleat SPD shoe would be better to walk in.
 

artmichalek

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Sep 15, 2004
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SPD's are probably the easiest type of clipless pedals to get out of. Reduce the tension and practice. If you're still having problems, switch to multi-release cleats.
 

fish156

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Mar 26, 2005
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Foogle78 said:
I don't think I am going to get used to the SPDs.
You did not say if these are your first clipless pedals. If so, this transition will take some practice and seem difficult at first. As was already pointed out, SPD's are amongst the easiest to get in and out of. One thing that I have found with Shimano pedals is that there are no bets about the settings when they are brand new. Take the time to adjust them to minimum. If they are double sided, make sure you adjust all four settings the same. Once you get used to them, then you can ratchet up the settings a "click" at a time. Some SPD pedals come brand new with flat platforms installed on one side. These are really just to facilitate test rides on bikes and should be tossed out. The last pair I got with these platforms (M540's) had the tension screws adjusted fully tight on the platform sides.
For a beginner, "full tight" would be very difficult, so make sure and crank them down to minimum to start.

I started with SPD's and found them very difficult. Now it's second nature to me and I don't even think about it. There is a learning curve and switching to a different clipless pedal is probably not going to help make it any shorter. Just try to be patient and you will get used to them (and, then, wonder why you ever waited so long to go clipless).

Opinions on different pedal types are like asking about the best chain lube. There are plenty of good types and everyone has their favorites. That being said, SPD's are used and loved by many riders. Just have some patience and keep practicing and I think you'll get used to them pretty soon. Getting to the point where you can clip in and out without looking takes a long time. Getting to the point where you can do this with only a glance should not take too long. Good luck!