Clipless virgin

Benthedoon

Well-Known Member
Location
Colchester
Hello everyone,
I have just picked up my gorgeous new road bike, I love her although I have only been about 5 miles so far (she's very new) the thing is I want to go clipless but I have never used them before.

A) Should I wait until Im properly used to the bike before I make the leap?
:eek: Which are the best/ easiest to use?

Advice and opinions please, thank you.
 

lukesdad

Guest
May as well take the plunge new bike new pedals! It wont make any difference putting it off. I use look keo if you want road pedals and time atac off road depending on how far you want to walk in your new shoes. They re only my personal prefrence. Others will have different ideas.
 

aberal

Senior Member
Location
Midlothian
Benthedoon said:
Hello everyone,
I have just picked up my gorgeous new road bike, I love her although I have only been about 5 miles so far (she's very new) the thing is I want to go clipless but I have never used them before.

A) Should I wait until Im properly used to the bike before I make the leap?
:eek: Which are the best/ easiest to use?

Advice and opinions please, thank you.
A) I'd recommend going for them as soon as possible - they do transform the way you ride. They don't take THAT much getting used to, although you do tend to feel a bit apprehensive that you might get trapped in them the first few times you use them.
:biggrin: Hard to say really - each to their own, but Shimano SPD's are probably the most common, though in my experience Look offer more float.
 

Jmetz

Well-Known Member
I am in exactly the same position, looking to covert to clipless, the Look seem to get brilliant reviews, so after purchasing a set of these pedals what else do i/we need, shoes etc.
 

aberal

Senior Member
Location
Midlothian
Jmetz said:
I am in exactly the same position, looking to covert to clipless, the Look seem to get brilliant reviews, so after purchasing a set of these pedals what else do i/we need, shoes etc.
You need shoes with the holes in the sole which will accept the cleats for your chosen pedal. Some shoes accept more than one, some are brand specific - your LBS would advise. It's been a long time since I bought mine but as far as I can recall the cleats will come with the pedals.
 

Martok

Klingon on a bike
Location
Watford
Definitely go clipless!

When I took the plunge, I went for Shimano A530 SPD Touring Pedals. They give me the option of riding with SPD cleats on one side of each pedal and have a 'standard' pedal on the other side which is useful if I want to ride without SPD for any reason (usually if I'm in traffic and riding slowly I'll have one foot clipped in and the other on a 'standard' side ready for a quick foot down on the road if needed).

I have some Specialized cycling shoes which the SPD cleats screw into (these came with the pedals). I like SPD cleats (as opposed to the various other types) as they are smaller and generally the cycling shoe is more usable for walking when off the bike compared to some of the others which make you walk like a duck! Do make sure that any shoes you get are compatible with the cleats that come with the pedals you buy!
 
OP
Benthedoon

Benthedoon

Well-Known Member
Location
Colchester
All very helpful, Ive had a quick look on a few sites and Shimano SPD's and Look seem to be the most readily available and there seems to be a lot of shoes that accept multiple types of cleat.
My next question would have to be about float, Im seeing things about different degrees of float could somebody shed some light please.
 

timmcp

Well-Known Member
Location
Wirral
I was a little apprehensive about clipless and getting stuck in them and falling over, which I have done once, but I certainly wouldn't ride without them again. I dont suppose I am as confident as some riders as I disengage one foot at least 10 meters from a junction, etc, although some riders seem to be able to balance nearly in a standstill.

It does make a huge difference to riding as you get drive to the back wheel through pretty much 360 degrees.

Just be cautious when you start out and enjoy them. :ohmy:
 
I've got M520's on both the mtb and the road bike. They are supposed to be mountain bike pedals, but afaic they work fine for both, are supposedly easier to get used to and the spd shoes tend to be more walkable. It didn't take long to get used to them at all - I had to ride the bike home in rush hour traffic after I got them fitted, with every traffic light on red, so by the time I got home, the clipping in and out had become fairly natural. Touch wood, so far I have only fallen over once, and that was actually standing over rather than riding the bike. Friend's sloping driveway, right foot clipped in, bike starts leaning over to the right and that was that. I timed it to get the maximum number of onlookers who all decided that they would never ever go clipless after seeing that.... :ohmy::blush:
 

Evilcat

Senior Member
Location
London
Most cleats have some degree of float (allowing rotational movement of the foot) built in, although pedal systems tend to allow you to either adjust the range of float or else buy fixed cleats. Some systems have re-centering float which forces your foot back into a fixed position, others have free float.

I always recommend the Speedplay Zero system, particularly if commuting, since they are double sided and very easy to clip back in once stopped: no struggling to flip the pedal. Speedplay also have fully adjustable float (allowing you to fine tune the pedals to your own style) and a very low 'stack height' allowing your foot to get close to the pedal spindle for efficiency. On the downside the cleats are expensive (since that's where the mechanism is) and difficult to walk in.

EC
 

aberal

Senior Member
Location
Midlothian
Although I ride a road bike I use Specialized MTB shoes which have raised tread which means walking in them is not a problem. The biggest problem with walking tends to be with the full blown road racing shoes - most other shoes are ok.
 

PpPete

Guru
Location
Chandler's Ford
I share Punkypossum's enthusiasm for M520's. In the first 2000 miles I've still not hit the deck as result of going clipless (came close on just a couple of occasions).

But....fitted some to a friends bike, he fell off 3 times in first 20 miles, begged me to put his old toe clips/straps back on.

The only downside to putting them on a new bike is the potential for an "off" that puts a scratch on the paintwork of your new pride & joy.
 
Be careful - there are two types of Shimano SPDs. The mountain bike style is a small cleat that fits in a recess in the sole of the shoe. Meaning it's possible to walk relatively normally. The road style is much larger and (in common with other road cleat systems) you walk on the metal cleat or rubber edges on it. Alright for a coffee stop or to go to the loo but you wouldn't want to do your shopping with them on. As others have said, many people use mountainbike style SPDs on road bikes. Easier to walk with and if you have both bikes it saves you having two sets of shoes.
Another consideration, though, is how easy they are to pedal without the proper shoes. There may well be times when you just want to hop on the bike in your trainers. You wouldn't want to go far on regular mtb spd pedals - they are too small - although you can certainly get mtb style SPD pedals that are double sided - one for cleat and one flat. On the other hand road spds are relatively large and offer not a bad base for a quick essential ride in your trainers.
Personally I use mtb spds on and off road.
 
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