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Which clipless pedals?

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by 008, 5 Oct 2007.

  1. 008

    008 New Member

    NW London
    I've had a brief encounter with SPD's but my knees disagreed with them and gave up after about 3 weeks.

    I've heard that Time Atacs give the most float and are extremely knee friendly. However, I was recently in a bike shop and the assistant advised me that Time Atacs aren't very knee friendly and suggested Crank Brothers... something like the Smarty.

    Now I'm really confused and wondered which is the most knee friendly, most float, clipless pedal out there?

  2. slow down

    slow down New Member

    Can't say which is best as I've only ever used Look on my road bikes (for around 20 years) and never had any problems, but I could recommend them as worth a try.
  3. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    I heard that the speedplay ones were best for knees.
  4. 008

    008 New Member

    NW London
    Thanks guys... now I'm really confused... another 2 makes added to the list :biggrin:

    Anyone out there had knee problems with SPD's and subsequently changed to another pedal which elimanted the knee pain?

  5. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    er... it's not the brand of pedals that aren't knee friendly, it's whether you have got the cleats in the right position.
    Some may seem to be more knee-friendly if they have a large amount of float but only because you are able to use the float to compensate for the fact you haven't got the cleats set right.
  6. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    have clipless pedals been out 20 years?! :biggrin: :biggrin:
  7. slow down

    slow down New Member

    Yep, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to use them for around 20 years. Hinault won the Tour using Look's in 1985.
  8. slow down

    slow down New Member

    Must admit though I use SPD's on my MTB, and never had any problems there either. As Bonj said, it could be cleat position or could be saddle position if you've just swapped to SPD's - you may need to adjust saddle height if previously used platforms.
  9. urbanrider

    urbanrider New Member

    Don't know if this will help but i have recently brought some clipless shoes and pedals and had knee pain too but only in the right knee :biggrin: i kept changing the cleat position after every other (10 mile) ride and have now found the right setting for me, no more pain at all :biggrin: its taken about 3 weeks to get it right and was thinking of giving up on them too glad i didn't now:smile: I also think you have to give yourself time for your legs and knees to adjust to riding with them

    keep trying different settings and give it some time

  10. Smokin Joe

    Smokin Joe Legendary Member

    I use Shimano and for all round quality they are the best I have had, the cleats are easy to walk on too. I would go along with Bonj and say it is the way you set them up which caused the problems. Beware of pedals with massive amounts of float, because you have to give an excessive and knee unfriendly twist of the foot to disengage. I found that problem with Time Impacts, they cost me nearly £60 and I took them off after three rides.
  11. monnet

    monnet Über Member

    Position is the key. As urbanrider says it's all about altering your cleats little by little. The thing I hate most about cycling is buying new shoes due to the problems cleat alignment. I agree with those who say that it is not the pedals that make a difference.

    It's also worth keeping an eye on your position on your bike. I changed shoes this year and in addition to the cleat problems the different design of shoes meant I had to raise the saddle a couple of milimetres. And of course once that happens you have to make sure your bars are at the right height and the layback on your saddle is correct.

    In short get whichever pedals you want but make sure they're good quality and buy the best shoes you can so you don't have to replace them. I use Look pedals (have done for about 12 years) so don't like the idea of change but if I had my time again I'd go with Shimano (better quality).
  12. Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    S of Kendal
    I rode for years on SPD and their cheaper copies without any problems. I was meticulous about cleat positioning but when the mileages really started to mount up before the last PBP I did start to get a slight gyp in one knee.

    I switched to Speedplay Frogs and have had no problems since. In fact my knees have never been better, even when walking in the mountains. I know it's not a proven cause and effect, but even though I still use SPD's on the mountain bike, I would never switch away from Speedplay for high mileages on the road.

    Speedplay Frogs do have a weird sensation to them when you start, but after a week you get used to that and they feel quite normal. There's certainly no issues with over rotation trying to get out. In fact, I think they are kinder on the knees as there is never any resistance to the rotation, whereas with SPD's (and most of the others) you have to eventually rotate against the spring pressure to get released.
  13. 008

    008 New Member

    NW London
    Thanks for the replies...

    During my 3 week 'trial', I was constantly adjusting the cleat position and ensured the saddle was also correctly adjusted... but to no avail, so I gave up and after going back to platforms, I could hear/feel my knees sigh in relief! This was a shame as I actually loved the feeling of being securely clipped in.

    Are different branded SPD pedals the same? I'm going to admit that the pedals I bought were from Lidl... cheapy experiment in case I didn't like the feeling! Will buying a pair of premium branded SPD pedals make a difference? I don't particularly want to spend £50-£100 on another set of pedals, only for my knees to cry out in pain again.
  14. Maz

    Maz Guru

    I had some knee pain when got my first SPD shoes. Later, I aligned the cleats by blu-taccing wooden chopsticks to them in line with the SPDs. Then I dangled my legs whilst sitting on a table and positioned my feet as if I was cycling, to see if the chopticks pointed fwd correctly...no they didn't so I adjusted the cleats accordingly.

    Sounds ridiculous, but it worked for me.