pedals for born again cyclist?

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Kvin Stephens, Feb 1, 2003.

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  1. I recently replaced my 25 year old Crown Comet with a new Scott Expert, 24 gears, STI levers etc,
    and have been really enjoying myself. The bike was to get fit an lose a few pounds for my main
    interest: rock climbing, but I am really enjoying cycling for its own sake, especially up and
    down hills.

    I am thinking of getting some new pedals that clip into matching shoes, I understand that there are
    two types ( Look and something else?). My main fear is being unable to get my feet clipped into or
    out of the pedals easily and getting creamed by a lorry at a roundabout. Is one sort easier to use
    than the other, or would i be better sticking with the current muzzle type pedals for safety

    Thanks

    kevin
     
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  2. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Kvin Stephens wrote:
    > I recently replaced my 25 year old Crown Comet with a new Scott Expert, 24 gears, STI levers etc,
    > and have been really enjoying myself. The bike was to get fit an lose a few pounds for my main
    > interest: rock climbing, but I am really enjoying cycling for its own sake, especially up and
    > down hills.
    >
    > I am thinking of getting some new pedals that clip into matching shoes, I understand that there
    > are two types ( Look and something else?).

    No, there are loads of types, but Look and SPD are two of the most popular (and the two I've used).

    > My main fear is being unable to get my feet clipped into or out of the pedals easily and getting
    > creamed by a lorry at a roundabout.

    I completely understand the fear but it won't be a problem in reality with any decent pedals. Feet
    can be released instantly by twisting heels outwards - this will become a totally automatic
    subconcious action and doesn't require a massive amount of force, and you only need to put one foot
    down in emergencies anyway (if any!). Getting in can be easier than using toe-clips. There is a bit
    of a knack to clipping in (and some are easier than others), but you'll quickly get the hang of
    them. With many of them, you simply stomp feet down on the pedals and they will engage with a "snap"
    - that is felt and heard to assure you that you're properly "in".

    > Is one sort easier to use than the other, or would i be better sticking with the current muzzle
    > type pedals for safety

    No, give the proper pedals a go. They're (confusingly) called "clipless" because toe clips and
    straps are not required.

    Look pedals are great (in my opinion) for road cycling when you don't need to walk about much in
    your cycling shoes. (Look cleats, or shoe plates, stick out and rigid sole shoes are required). I
    find them very comfortable and easy to manage (even in central London) and very efficient - feels
    like got loads of power. For Looks, I suggest first trying one of the cheaper models with
    beginner-friendly low retension force, then if you basically like them, get PP396's (or one of the
    new models) which have adjustable float (from 0 to 9 degrees). Float is the amount of free rotation.
    Different people like different amounts for comfort, sometimes none.

    Alternatively, for a more practical and often-cheap option: SPD. These pedals are made by Shimano
    and others. Popular for mountain biking but can use them on a road bike. Cleats can be inset in
    mountain bike-style or casual cycling shoes so you can walk normally. Most of the popular pedals are
    double sided - have SPD mechanism on both sides. I strongly suggest you avoid single-sided "road"
    SPD pedals if you cycle in urban areas or anywhere that requires frequent clipping in and out. I've
    used this type and they're annoying and bloody dangerous - because they're so small and fiddly -
    difficult to flip round. Other systems with single sided pedals (eg. Look) can be much better
    because they're larger and can be weighted so they always point the same way before you step in.

    ~PB
     
  3. Gonzalez

    Gonzalez Guest

    >I recently replaced my 25 year old Crown Comet with a new Scott Expert, 24 gears, STI levers etc,
    >and have been really enjoying myself. The bike was to get fit an lose a few pounds for my main
    >interest: rock climbing, but I am really enjoying cycling for its own sake, especially up and
    >down hills.
    >
    > I am thinking of getting some new pedals that clip into matching shoes, I understand that there
    > are two types ( Look and something else?). My main fear is being unable to get my feet clipped
    > into or out of the pedals easily and getting creamed by a lorry at a roundabout. Is one sort
    > easier to use than the other, or would i be better sticking with the current muzzle type pedals
    > for safety

    I'm very happy with my new duel purpose pedals. Cleats on one side, normal the other side. And it's
    possible to remain legal with pedal reflectors.
    --
    remove remove to reply
     
  4. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Sat, 1 Feb 2003 20:52:01 -0000, "Kvin Stephens" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > I am thinking of getting some new pedals that clip into matching shoes, I understand that there
    > are two types ( Look and something else?).

    Several different ones. Speedplay, Crank Bros. Eggbeaters, SPD, Look
    - all have individual strengths. I started woth Look (very easy for new users, clips in easily)
    and now use SPD as well, but any will be fine once you get used to them

    >My main fear is being unable to get my feet clipped into or out of the pedals easily and getting
    >creamed by a lorry at a roundabout.

    Not a problem. Start off at the local park (most people fall of once!) and after a week or two
    you'll wonder what you were worried about.

    Guy
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  5. Don't get Look. I had them years ago. Good SPDs with good stiff-soled shoes are just as good for
    cycling and much more practical. Or you can use plain pedals, as I always do in winter.
     
  6. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Sat, 1 Feb 2003 22:33:51 -0000, "Gearóid Ó Laoi, Garry Lee" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Don't get Look. I had them years ago. Good SPDs with good stiff-soled shoes are just as good for
    >cycling and much more practical.

    Disagree strongly - Look are much less prone to pull-outs and more comfortable on long rides. I
    ride both.

    Guy
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  7. Alex Graham

    Alex Graham Guest

    Kvin Stephens wrote:
    > I recently replaced my 25 year old Crown Comet with a new Scott Expert, 24 gears, STI levers etc,
    > and have been really enjoying myself. The bike was to get fit an lose a few pounds for my main
    > interest: rock climbing, but I am really enjoying cycling for its own sake, especially up and
    > down hills.
    >
    > I am thinking of getting some new pedals that clip into matching shoes, I understand that there
    > are two types ( Look and something else?). My main fear is being unable to get my feet clipped
    > into or out of the pedals easily and getting creamed by a lorry at a roundabout. Is one sort
    > easier to use than the other, or would i be better sticking with the current muzzle type pedals
    > for safety
    >
    > Thanks
    >
    > kevin
    >
    >

    I can certainly recommend SPDs. I have them on my road/racing bike and they are excellent. The only
    complaint I have is the left hand one creaks annoyingly until I put some grease on the pedal . This
    is the foot I always clip out of at lights so thats probably why.

    The only time I used LOOKs was on a turbo trainer, with somebody elses shoes with black (no float)
    cleats. I only used them for half an hour, but my left knee was hurting pretty badly for a day or 2
    (I also got a cramp in that leg too which may have been connected). This was because the cleat was
    not aligned for my leg so if you get LOOKs go for red cleats! That allows the shoe to rotate while
    you pedal rather than force your leg round and twist the knee joint.

    But mtb shoes (without studs) and M515 double sided SPDs are great for commuting and long rides. You
    can get off the bike in a muddy lane without getting mud in the cleat, too. Anything clipless is
    much better for climbing out of the saddle as you can really get some torque on that chainwheel! Not
    tried them racing yet, so that remains to be seen.

    Have fun!

    -Alex
     
  8. > Disagree strongly - Look are much less prone to pull-outs and more comfortable on long rides.

    Properly adjusted SPDs don't pull out and a GOOD stiff-soled shoe is just as good as LOOK. I had
    looks for some years before SPD came out. LOOKs are a pain if
    1. You have to walk up an extremely steep hill, like 25% plus
    2. You are touring.
    3. For some reason you have to walk your bike home.
     
  9. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Sun, 2 Feb 2003 06:34:39 -0000, "Gearóid Ó Laoi, Garry Lee" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >> Disagree strongly - Look are much less prone to pull-outs and more comfortable on long rides.

    >Properly adjusted SPDs don't pull out

    As long as you use the M51 cleats, which are not supplied as standard with the pedals, otherwise
    they can pull out quite easily especially when worn.

    >and a GOOD stiff-soled shoe is just as good as LOOK.

    I use Shimano SPD-R shoes - they are as stiff as they come, and I still get hotspots with SPDs, but
    never with Looks.

    > I had looks for some years before SPD came out. LOOKs are a pain if
    >1. You have to walk up an extremely steep hill, like 25% plus
    >2. You are touring.
    >3. For some reason you have to walk your bike home.

    These are three things which define a tiny proportion of my riding. I have only once pushed the bike
    up a hill (it was steeper than 1 in 4 and the back wheel was spinning, so I had to), I only do day
    rides, and I take spare tubes and tools in my bag so I've only once pushed the bike home, and that
    because I was very cose & couldn't be arsed to fix a puncture in the dark when I could do it at home
    with a cup of tea by my side.

    I find Looks very comfortable and prefer them to SPDs. I use both - my MTB and my recumbent have
    SPDs and my tourer has Looks. I'd use Looks on the 'bent if it weren't for my inexperience, which
    means I have to put a foot down more often than I should. Having ridden the 'bent with Looks they
    are more comfortable than SPDs as you can have more float without risking pull-outs.

    I know people who tour with Time, Frogs and Eggbeaters as well; the consensus is that SPDs are
    actually not terribly good, but cheap and easy to get parts and shoes for. The only discomfort
    reports have been from SPD users (which agrees with my experience).

    Everyone is different, of course, but I certainly wouldn't warn anyone off Looks as they are a very
    good pedal system.

    Guy
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  10. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Gearóid Ó Laoi, Garry Lee wrote:

    > Properly adjusted SPDs don't pull out

    I've had pull outs with properly adjusted SPDs

    > and a GOOD stiff-soled shoe is just as good as LOOK.

    I use shoes which were stiff enough for Pantani and Looks feel very different to SPDs. Like Guy, I
    got hotspots with SPDs but don't with Looks.

    > LOOKs are a pain if
    > 1. You have to walk up an extremely steep hill, like 25% plus
    > 2. You are touring.
    > 3. For some reason you have to walk your bike home.

    It is still possible to walk in Look cleats - rubber cleat covers* help - it's just not as
    comfortable or quite as safe. I still say they're a good option for road cyclists who don't have to
    walk /much/.

    * Carry them in pockets and pop them on for walking. Not a big deal. (I recommend Kool Kovers).

    ~PB
     
  11. Well I've used SPDs for about 12 years and I've never pulled them out. Not once.
     
  12. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Gearóid Ó Laoi, Garry Lee <[email protected]> wrote:
    > Well I've used SPDs for about 12 years and I've never pulled them out. Not once.

    Not even when you stop? That must be the world's longest continuous cycle and/or track stand ;-)

    Tony
     
  13. Dan Gregory

    Dan Gregory Guest

    Best of both worlds Time Cyclo. Easy entry/exit and a wide enough pedal to spread the load All
    the best Dan
     
  14. On Sun, 02 Feb 2003 01:34:39 -0500, Gearóid Ó Laoi, Garry Lee wrote:

    >> Disagree strongly - Look are much less prone to pull-outs and more comfortable on long rides.
    >
    > Properly adjusted SPDs don't pull out and a GOOD stiff-soled shoe is just as good as LOOK. I had
    > looks for some years before SPD came out. LOOKs are a pain if
    > 1. You have to walk up an extremely steep hill, like 25% plus 2. You are touring.
    > 3. For some reason you have to walk your bike home.

    4. You go into stores with waxed tile floors.

    5. You are on a road climbing the slope of a hill and you come to an intersection with a road that
    is following a contour line, and you have the stop sign. (Ever notice how the grade steepens up
    another 10 degrees or so right at the crossroad, because successive repaving has raised the
    height of the road?)

    6. You object to having to replace cleats every six months to a year. (SPD cleats seem to last
    forever. The ones on my commuting shoes date to 1995, and they must have more than 10,000 miles
    on them by now.)

    7. You forgot to scribe the outline of the Look cleat on the sole of the shoe, another six months
    have gone by and you need to replace cleats; only now you have to go to the bike shop to get
    another cleat fitting with the RAD device.
     
  15. On Sun, 02 Feb 2003 09:07:15 -0500, Pete Biggs wrote:

    > It is still possible to walk in Look cleats - rubber cleat covers* help
    > - it's just not as comfortable or quite as safe. I still say they're a good option for road
    > cyclists who don't have to walk /much/.

    Yes, if you don't mind walking like a duck, heels down and toes pointing in the air. Also, when you
    have to dismount at the stop sign on the hill, you aren't going to put on the cleat cover.

    There's simply no comparison with walking in real SPD shoes. (And I don't mean those "SPD for road"
    things, either; I mean genuine double sided SPD pedals and shoes like Sidi Dominators.)
     
  16. On Sun, 02 Feb 2003 05:24:06 -0500, Just zis Guy, you know? wrote:

    >> I had looks for some years before SPD came out. LOOKs are a pain if
    >>1. You have to walk up an extremely steep hill, like 25% plus 2. You are touring.
    >>3. For some reason you have to walk your bike home.
    >
    > These are three things which define a tiny proportion of my riding. I have only once pushed the
    > bike up a hill (it was steeper than 1 in 4 and the back wheel was spinning, so I had to), I only
    > do day rides, and I take spare tubes and tools in my bag so I've only once pushed the bike home,
    > and that because I was very cose & couldn't be arsed to fix a puncture in the dark when I could do
    > it at home with a cup of tea by my side.

    You may not do them often, but when you do have to do them, the failures can be spectacular.

    Once years ago when Looks first came on the market, I was on a ride with my daughter on the tandem.
    We had a typical 23.6" tandem granny gear; at the start of the ride a bunch of young smartass
    roadie-wannabees ribbed us mercilessly about our low gear, as such folk used to do back in the day,
    before we all got older and triples came in style.

    They dropped us shortly after the ride start, of course; but later in the ride as we were grinding
    up a long steep hill of local renown (MarLu Ridge the wrong way) we overtook them. They were walking
    - rather, trying to walk. It was like a scene from a Disney cartoon: the feet were whirling, but the
    cyclists were sliding back, and they were effectively stationary. I cherish the memory of passing
    them still.

    I've seen people slip and fall in stores. Those Look cleats are as slick as ice on certain hard
    surfaces. I've toured in Look shoes; it was a real pain switching to sneakers every time I wanted to
    get off the road to urinate, or go into a store to buy food. I've dreaded the hundred yard walk
    through a large supermarket to the bathroom in the far diagonal corner of the store - that
    duckwalking gets very tiresome very fast.

    I've been on the tandem and stopped at a stop sign on a hill, where the road intersects with a major
    road following the contour, and have lost traction and ended up unable to control the bike, and had
    to have my stoker do an emergency dismount.

    I originally switched to SPDs on my commuter, because I didn't want to walk through the building
    where I work (which has marble floors) in slippery cleats, but once I experienced how easy it was to
    walk, and discovered that for me it was easier to clip in, easier to clip out, and no less
    comfortable than Looks, I switched the whole fleet over. I've never been sorry I did.
     
  17. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Sun, 2 Feb 2003 17:48:38 -0000, "Gearóid Ó Laoi, Garry Lee" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Well I've used SPDs for about 12 years and I've never pulled them out. Not once.

    I managed at least one pull-out per day until I got the M51 cleats. I've also pulled them out on the
    MTB, but much less often and only when towing a trailer bike. What can I say? I have strong legs.

    Guy
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  18. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Sun, 02 Feb 2003 17:16:54 -0500, Steve Palincsar <[email protected]> wrote:

    >SPD cleats seem to last forever. The ones on my commuting shoes date to 1995, and they must have
    >more than 10,000 miles on them by now.

    I do over 4,000 miles a year Look cleats last something over 2,000 miles. Not an issue.

    Guy
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  19. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Sun, 02 Feb 2003 17:31:12 -0500, Steve Palincsar <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I've seen people slip and fall in stores. Those Look cleats are as slick as ice on certain hard
    >surfaces.

    Indeed - I sometimes take the shoes off in shops. But remember, they are primarily designed for
    riding the bike, for which they are exceptional. I make no pretence to being the next Lance
    Armstong, but I've ridden centuries, ridden for two hours at an average of over 20mph, climbed
    double-chevron hills in the saddle with a 30-odd inch gear. Looks are brilliant for riding the bike.

    Looks are comfortable, easy to use, and work extremely well. I prefer them to SPDs. I would probably
    prefer Frogs to both, but can't really justify buying into another pedal system. Eggbeaters are good
    too, but I really like Looks, and wouldn't warn anyone off them.

    Guy
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  20. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Sun, 02 Feb 2003 17:19:23 -0500, Steve Palincsar <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Yes, if you don't mind walking like a duck, heels down and toes pointing in the air. Also, when you
    >have to dismount at the stop sign on the hill, you aren't going to put on the cleat cover.

    Oh come one - I ride every single working day, rain or shine, snow or ice - I never had an issue
    with Looks at stops, and onl went SPD on the 'bent because I need some traction when I put a foot
    down. I'll probably change the 'bent to Look during Warmrain (formerly Summer).

    Guy
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