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SPD Hell

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by got-to-get-fit, 20 May 2008.

  1. got-to-get-fit

    got-to-get-fit New Member

    Location:
    Yarm, Cleveland
    i recently changed the clip pedals on my road bike to clipless. Not knowing too much about pedals i just bought the cheapest i could find and theses turned out to be Richey logic comp. They are designed for SPD. Now after a little more education i realise that these pedals are probably better suited to mountain bikes and really i shouldnt have been so stingy and bought a pair of looks or spd-sl. Anyway im having real trouble with them...im ok if i can slowly set off and take the time to find the pedal and engage but often i find myself at roundabouts and traffic lights surrounded by cars and thats when the problems start. trying to quickly engage foot to pedal is an absolute nightmare. I keep missing the pedal and my foot slides off or does not engage properly, all this means i move away slowly with my foot sliding all over the pedal and me getting panicky.

    The question is did i really buy the wrong pedals ...are they incompatible with road bikes generally?

    or....

    Will i get used to them ...i have had them on for about 2 months now and still having difficulty


    Im really tempted to stick the clip pedals back on.
     
  2. k-dog

    k-dog New Member

    It does take time. I would have thought that 2 months would be long enough though.

    Road pedals aren't any easier to get into - in fact they are often more difficult (and you have the added factor of them being single sided).

    Just make sure you have the tension set at an appropriate level - looser at the moment - and give the pedals a good grease on the moving parts - that makes a big difference so the ease of getting in and out.

    Probably worth having a look at your cleat position too as if they're in the wrong place then it makes it harder to get clipped in.
     
  3. simonali

    simonali Über Member

    Location:
    Wiltshire
    I used SPD-SLs for quite a while and was never able to clip into them without looking down at my feet/pedals, so don't worry whether you got the wrong ones!
     
  4. Dayvo

    Dayvo Just passin' through

    Location:
    O' slO'
  5. redfox

    redfox New Member

    Location:
    Bourne End, UK
    IMO, if you are struggling with SPDs then SL are not the way to go.

    After using plain SPDs for all my bike riding for years, I mistakenly ordered a pair of SPL-SL shoes last year and took it as a sign that it was time to move up to proper road shoes.

    This decision lasted me all of two months, during which time I suffered a couple of 'clipless moments' - something I had avoided for years. I never really felt happy using them and found re-engaging after stopping very distracting.

    I am back on SPDs now and far prefer them. I find the no brains instant engagement and ease of walking when not on the bike of more benefit than the slight improvement in power transfer I noticed with SL pedals.

    I vaguely recall getting used to my original SPDs and it was a nervous time, but it is worth the effort. Stick with it!
     
  6. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    I have used non-shimano MTB pedals before and found them a nightmare - much much trickier to clip into than shimano ones, and i tried the famous ones like time atac and eggbeaters, so god knows what a brand who aren't exactly known for great pedals are like.
     
  7. ASC1951

    ASC1951 Guru

    Location:
    Yorkshire
    I've never tried the Richeys but have used SPDs on all my road bikes for years. It does take practice and the only ones I was ever able to do a 'stamp down and go' with were the double-sided Shimano MTB SPDs.
    I now use single-sided versions, so I generally have to glance down. To be honest I don't find that a problem, even in town, and even on my fixed although following the left pedal round as well as flipping it is a whole lot harder.

    My left cleat is my last in and first out, so I find it helps to keep that very loose.
     
  8. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    Location:
    Crewe
    I use SPDs in the week, and SPD-SL at weekends, both on my Giant SCR2.0.

    SPD-SL aren't any easier because they're a road pedal, believe me - I find the clip in action is actually trickier (you have to sort of "hook" the cleat in the hole in the pedal, then press down - SPDs are far more a matter of getting the foot about right and pressing down). It may be time to go back to first principles - check the alignment of the cleats, loosen the tension on the pedal, and practice clipping in/out somewhere quiet...
     
  9. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    Location:
    South Manchester
    MTB SPD's are the easiest pedals to use by far, and are ideal for commuting. Once you are used to them you'll click in immediately within less than a quarter turn of the pedals and be off. The advantage with the SPD's is you can still pedal on them if you haven't quite clipped in.

    I use SPD (MTB) for commuting on the MTB, but have Looks for the road bikes - but I rarely commute on them (or just do my long commutes). Even as an experienced cyclist, I have to concentrait when using the Looks, as the SPD's are so easy.

    I've got Shimano SPD's (M535's) - been on for years - slight adjustment last night with a hammer and a file has sorted out a little play in one of the sides of my most used (i.e. clipped in and out) pedals....
     
  10. alecstilleyedye

    alecstilleyedye nothing in moderation Staff Member

    practice makes perfect, whichever system you use (i use look and hate spds, having tried lidl's effort). if you have spds, make sure that the bolts on the cleat under the shoe are tight, mine undid very quickly compared to look ones, which are usually a bugger to get out when it's time to change the cleat.
     
  11. Joe24

    Joe24 More serious cyclist than Bonj

    Location:
    Nottingham
    Takes time to get used to them. I had big problems with my Look Keos and not being able to clip into them. Was a bad idea to try my first clip in on an uphill slope:blush:
    It sometimes takes me a few goes to clip in them right even now. I tend to unclip slightly so i can move my foot away but have it in a place where if i need to go that i put just put power down and clip in.
    My second ride with them was a club ride, joined onto a busy road and knowing i wasnt going to be able to clip i pedaled one legged really fast and stayed up with the group. Good laugh and got some strange looks. :biggrin:
     
  12. barq

    barq Senior Member

    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    I've used Ritchey SPDs and they are a perfectly reasonable clone of Shimano's lower end products. In your shoes (sorry! :biggrin:) I'd be following the advice about reducing the spring tension and then keep practicing. I'm sure you'll be ok in the end, it just takes some getting used to. One rather dull option would be to prop the bike up outside (preferably near a wall) and spend ten minutes every night clipping and unclipping - it is safer than learning in traffic.
     
  13. I use SPD's on my commuter and flat bar road bike and I find them easier than the SPD-SL's on my dropped bar bike. I don't know if it was just me but I found it easier clipping in with my saddle at the correct height. I had it too low when I 1st went clipless :biggrin:. As eveyone says practice is the answer.
     
  14. Maz

    Maz Guru

    I wonder if the type of shoes you're wearing is making it more difficult to clip in? Are they roadbike shoes or ones designed so you can walk in them?
     
  15. got-to-get-fit

    got-to-get-fit New Member

    Location:
    Yarm, Cleveland
    Thanks for all the advice guys ...looks like im just going to have to persevere with the SPD's cos the other versions dont sound any easier to get used to. Im going to loosen off the tension on the springs a little to see if that makes a difference.

    Maz - My shoes are road bike shoes. They are DHB's from wiggle. They seem like good shoes the only bad thing is that they are a bugger to walk in cos the cleat is exposed.