Pedals and shoes

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Badger1, 14 Apr 2008.

  1. Badger1

    Badger1 Senior Member

    As a newbie to cycling, please be gentle! I've been lucky enough to be given a Specialized bike by a friend of mine who's upgraded. I'm due to do the London to Brighton in June so have started training. My pedals have a flat side and a 'clip' so my inquiry is threefold.

    1) does using the clips really help efficiency etc?
    2) are there different 'systems' of clips, and if so what system is mine (see attached photos)

    3) I don't want racing shoes but something along the lines of these Would these work with my clips? If not can you recommend any others?

    I've search the forum but can't quite get the answers I'm looking for.

    Your help will be greatly appreciated.


  2. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    Answer to your questions

    1. Yes much better for efficiency and pedaling technique - you pedal in 360 degrees rather than push down - much more secure when sprinting.

    2 You system is SPD - most common in mountain bikes and commuting bikes...Lots of other systems - too many to list really.

    3. Those shoes would be fine - just add in the price of some spd cleats (the metal bits that click into the pedal - £5-£8 for two.
  3. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    Yes - I switched to "clipless" (the type of pedal you clip into, oddly enough ;) ) recently - the difference is night and day. Clipless is more secure in bad weather (your shoe sole doesn't slide about all over a wet pedal) and the fact that your legs do double duty (pushing down and pulling up) makes a large difference. Quicker, smoother, more efficient, I'd say.

    They look very much like SPDs (Shimano's mountain bike clipless system) to me. These use a small triangular cleat in the sole of the shoe. If the pedals didn't come with some, you'll need to buy the cleats.

    Should do - any shoe that's "SPD compatible" should. You need to buy the cleats and fix them to the shoe using the supplied bolts. To get the benefit of them you need a shoe with a fairly stiff sole though - cheaper shoes can sometimes be lacking in that regard. I use the MT41 shoe, and find that pretty good.

    Be sure to practice with the pedals and shoes before you set out on the road too.

    Some links;

    My own experiences as a clipless pedal newb are in this thread, along with good advice and encouragement from the good folk here.
  4. OP

    Badger1 Senior Member

    Cheers Guys for your replies, I'm going to pop into town tomorrow and have a look at what's on offer in the shoe departemnt!!
  5. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    1) Yes
    2) Yes
    3) Yes
  6. Dave5N

    Dave5N Über Member

    Bonj reprises 'when Harry met Sally' :biggrin:
  7. Slim

    Slim Über Member

    Plough Lane
    If it helps, there are clips that are multi-way release (Shimano SH56 - I think). These were perfect when I started using clipless. If the tension on the pedals is set fairly loose, the clips will release with a strong pull in an emergency. Have a look for a small screw on the pedal with plus and minus signs around it. Start with this set quite low until you get used to them.

  8. Deefex

    Deefex Well-Known Member

    I started using SPDs about 2 years ago and have never looked back. They're safer (can get your foot out of the pedal more naturally and quicker than you would with toe clips) and improve efficiency no end.

    Can't imagine going back to the old toe-clips.

    Get yourself a set of Shimano M424 pedals - double sided, with cage around the pedal so you can use it for quick trips to wherever and can't be bothered to change into your SPD shoes...
  9. buggi

    buggi Bird Saviour

    it will feel strange when you get them, you will probably fall off a couple of times even (comedy moments), but once you get used to them you will wonder how you ever did without them.

    and you will lick the hills with them.
  10. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    I'd say steer clear of multi release - just get standard SPD's - quick twist and you are out. SPD's are easy to get out of, road pedals though, tend to be much stiffer.
  11. Iceniner

    Iceniner New Member

    Ive got multi-release cleats on my shimano mtb shoes, work fine for me. I think i liked the idea of being able to pull my foot out from more directions when/if i was in a pickle and needed to get my foot out. My foots only come out once on a non side twist movement, but i run a low cleat tension.

    I have to agree with deefex, i feel much safer using clipless than toe clips. The movement comes quite naturally once you get used to it, you learn to get ready to unclip when pulling upto somewhere you might need to stop.

    Ive got these shoes, very comfortable for long rides and i walk around them during the day too and even with the cleat in i have no problem walking around.
  12. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    For what it's worth, I'm with Fossy on this one - a bit of practice, and the single release cleats are easy. Even had a couple of emergency stops last week, in both cases, my feet were out in time... (touches wood, etc)
  13. swee'pea99

    swee'pea99 Legendary Member

    As a paid-up skinflint and ebay bore, I'd moot the idea of trying some cheap-but-good ones to see whether they work for you. Something like these would be ideal. I've had two brand new pairs - people take them off new bikes if they're uneasy - one Cannondale, one Ritchey. Neither cost me more than a fiver, including delivery, and both have been (are) excellent. Oh, and more generally, I agree with earlier posters: once you've got the hang of them, you'll never go back. (One tip: be prepared to do a fair bit of fiddling around to get the tension right for you in the early days. Keep your allen key to hand.)
  14. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    Welcome Badger1

    Questions are answered, but please don't be afraid to ask more, no silly questions here.

    I would just add to practice clipping and unclipping somewhere where it won't hurt to fall off, or at least where you will not fall into anything dangerous. Start indoors just pracice clipping and unclipping 'till you get the hang of it. It does become second nature, but everyone has their clipless moment....usually in front of people who know them...!
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