Clipless Pedals FAQ

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Kestevan, 5 Apr 2011.

  1. GravityFighter

    GravityFighter Senior Member

    Location:
    Leeds
    @Old Steve... very much the same here. After buying a new carbon road bike a few weeks ago, I went "full-roadie", bought some shoes and fitted SPD-SL's this week. First ride yesterday morning and the jury is still out. They definitely provide a stronger connection when they're in, but I've found clipping my left foot in is much harder than the SPD's I had. Going for another ride on Saturday and I'll try to do it by feel so that I get the knack. Here's hoping the muscle memory kicks in quickly.
     
  2. lutonloony

    lutonloony Über Member

    Location:
    torbay
    I am currently riding my M520s at minimum tension, and having no problems at all. Just wondering what the advantage of increasing tension is? TIA
     
  3. GravityFighter

    GravityFighter Senior Member

    Location:
    Leeds
    You'll find you get much less 'float' - the ability to wiggle your foot around whilst in the pedal. Unclipping may also be slightly harder too, but not by much.

    My SPD-SL adventure was an unbridled failure, so it's back to SPD's for me!
     
    lutonloony likes this.
  4. lutonloony

    lutonloony Über Member

    Location:
    torbay
    Thanks for that, might give them a bit of a tweak
     
  5. Johnno260

    Johnno260 Senior Member

    Location:
    East Sussex
    Ah yes the slow fall, I did this while slowing down for a junction and fell over near loads of school kids, it was the single most embarrassing moment in my life to date.

    Once I got un-tangled from the pedals and had the bike back up I probably broke the land speed record.
     
  6. What does Eddy Merckx think of clipless pedals? He thinks he could have broken 50km in his hour attempt with them.

    VN: Which modern bike technologies do you most wish had been around when you were racing?
    EM: Click [clipless] pedals and the shifters in the brake levers. I’m sure that if I could have ridden the hour record with click pedals I could have done over 50 kilometers.

    http://velonews.competitor.com/2016/09/news/eddy-merckx-evolution-cycling-meaning-cool_420735
     
    User259 likes this.
  7. Kosong

    Kosong Active Member

    Location:
    Bristol
    Is there anywhere I can try clip pedals on my bike before I buy them? One of my ankles is not quite as flexible as it should be so I don't want to spend £££ to find my ankle screams every time I try to twist it out. Would like a way of trying some on an indoor trainer/a bike like mine just to see if it's comfortable...
     
  8. bikeman66

    bikeman66 Senior Member

    Location:
    Isle of Wight
    Have you got a cyclist friend who might be able to let you have a go with their clipless pedals? I've personally never heard of a shop doing "try before you buy", but that's not to say they don't exist.

    In all honesty a fairly decent "beginner" combination of pedals and shoes can be purchased quite cheaply. Bought a set up for my son at Wiggle last year, Shimano pedals were £16.99 and the DHB shoes were about £35. Both still working perfectly. I've done no maintenance on the pedals and they still run as smoothly as ever.

    Most pedals have some system whereby you can adjust the release tension. My own pedals hold the shoe securely, but don't need massive force to disengage. I have always made sure I bought pedals with a small amount of "float" which allows a degree of side to side movement. This is because I have had slight issues with my knees in the past and didn't want to put them under stress by having my feet/legs locked in one rigid position throughout the pedal stroke. All I have to do is twist my heel out about 7 degrees and it disengages.

    Fair to say they can take some getting used to, and you'd be wise to sit in your garden, holding on to a wall or rail, practicing clipping in and disengaging quite a few times before even thinking about going out on the road.

    One of the best upgrades you can make, and one that will most likely improve your cycling considerably.

    Give it a try.......and let us know how you get on if you can!
     
    Kosong likes this.
  9. raleighnut

    raleighnut Guru

    Location:
    On 3 Wheels
    If you plan on walking I'd recommend SPD recessed shoes and the SH56 cleats (multi-release) allow you to unclip just by 'pulling up' as well as twisting your foot out.
     
    Kosong likes this.
  10. bikeman66

    bikeman66 Senior Member

    Location:
    Isle of Wight
    I agree.

    I use Time ATAC pedals on both my mountain bike and road bike. Since I originally used them on my MTB it is just a system I have got used to, so when the road bike came along I thought (being the tight arse that I am) that I could save the cost of two pairs of cycling shoes, by using the same type of pedal on each bike.

    I don't think they look particularly clunky, and the advantages, like raleighnut points out, are that it is much easier to walk in shoes with recessed cleats. Another benefit is that where the cleats are recessed (and made of metal, as opposed to most road cleats being plastic) they don't wear out as quickly (compared to observations I have made regarding road cleats some of my mates use.
     
    Kosong likes this.
  11. Kosong

    Kosong Active Member

    Location:
    Bristol
    Thanks all. Yep walking would be very important, so will have a look for recessed shoes. Although on tour I'd also have a pair of shoes/boots with me for longer hikes/walks (I really find 99% of shoes hideously uncomfortable due to my ankle so comfy boots are a must! I'll take the weight gain for the comfort). I don't mind how they look, just as long as they don't cause my ankle or joints any problem. Will have a look into ones with float - for sure it sounds like I need quite a bit of it as i hate not being able to move my bad ankle around a bit to stretch/click it into place. Pulling up as well as rotating also sounds like a good option - particularly when my ankle is stiffer in winter.

    As for trying some out, the only person I know who uses them is my brother - and I can't ride his bike at all! (drop bars and wrist problems = not fun. Trekking bars ftw!) He is only a size bigger than me in shoe though so maybe i could put his pedals on my Surly for a bit and take it to the field by his house. I know he has his very tight though, with hardly any float, but maybe I could play around with it. I certainly saw the difference in power when we cycle together, especially uphill, and from all reports he says it's much less taxing on your legs as you can pull up as well as push down on the pedals. Thanks again all for excellent advice, will see if i can nick my brothers pedals for a few hours.

    Will check out the DHB shoes - I really rate their stuff for quality and good value, £36 is much cheaper than I thought it would be!
     
  12. Kosong

    Kosong Active Member

    Location:
    Bristol
    Thanks all. Yep walking would be very important, so will have a look for recessed shoes. Although on tour I'd also have a pair of shoes/boots with me for longer hikes/walks (I really find 99% of shoes hideously uncomfortable due to my ankle so comfy boots are a must! I'll take the weight gain for the comfort). I don't mind how they look, just as long as they don't cause my ankle or joints any problem. Will have a look into ones with float - for sure it sounds like I need quite a bit of it as i hate not being able to move my bad ankle around a bit to stretch/click it into place. Pulling up as well as rotating also sounds like a good option - particularly when my ankle is stiffer in winter.

    As for trying some out, the only person I know who uses them is my brother - and I can't ride his bike at all! (drop bars and wrist problems = not fun. Trekking bars ftw!) He is only a size bigger than me in shoe though so maybe i could put his pedals on my Surly for a bit and take it to the field by his house. I know he has his very tight though, with hardly any float, but maybe I could play around with it. I certainly saw the difference in power when we cycle together, especially uphill, and from all reports he says it's much less taxing on your legs as you can pull up as well as push down on the pedals. Thanks again all for excellent advice, will see if i can nick my brothers pedals for a few hours.

    Will check out the DHB shoes - I really rate their stuff for quality and good value, £36 is much cheaper than I thought it would be!
     
  13. bikeman66

    bikeman66 Senior Member

    Location:
    Isle of Wight
    Hi Kosong

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/shimano-pd-m520-pedals/

    These are the Shimano pedals I bought for my son. They've gone up a couple of quid, but for the money they've been fantastic. Cleats included.
     
    Kosong likes this.
  14. Kosong

    Kosong Active Member

    Location:
    Bristol
    Cheers bikeman - I'll take a look at those once I've had a play with my Brothers cleats :smile:
     
    bikeman66 likes this.
  15. screenman

    screenman Legendary Member

    Why did you not unclip? Surely you cannot blame your forgetfulness on a lump of metal.^_^
     
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