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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Pedal suggestions for CX and Mtn. biking?

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    I've been riding with Shimano M520s on both my CX and mtn. bike since I started riding...prior to getting road pedals I even had them on my road bike. But I don't love them. Maybe it's user error, but I really struggle to get clipped-in sometimes. Or I get clipped-in, but pop out easy 50% of the time on my left foot...the other 50% of the time that pedal won't release, which really sucks when I'm in the middle of a CX race and doing a rolling dismount. I had a hard fall today when this happened while approaching a barrier on a gravel road. Earlier in the race the same pedal wouldn't stay in the cleat while going through a windy single-track section of course. I have had this issue while mountain biking, too.

    Is it likely something I'm doing or should I be checking out other pedal systems? My DH has had M520s on all of his bikes (mtn, CX, fat bike) and really likes them, but he is also a big, strong dude with beasty legs. I don't know how much a rider's strength or size would effect ideal pedal choice.

    Thoughts...?
    Kirsten
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Tucson, AZ
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    Weird. Not that I've ever tried cross, but I've never had trouble with the M540s (effectively the same thing) not doing what I want them to in regards to releasing. I occasionally have issues clipping in, though.

    I'd consider looking at different pedal systems, really. I find they require a bit of force to get my left foot out--any looser would mean I wouldn't be attached to to the pedal.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Austin, TX
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    211
    Have a look at the Shimano M530 pedals. The get a very good review ( http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/catego...il-pedal-45093 ) and supposedly are easier to clip into than the M520's. If unclipping is a problem, consider using the SH56 multi-release cleats, which are supposed to give more means of exit that the standard SH51 single-release cleats.
    JEAN

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Central NJ
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    876
    I've always used Crank Bros. Candies on my mtb and cross bikes. Double sided entry and they have some float. I've never really had a problem clipping in or out.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hi Ho Silver View Post
    Have a look at the Shimano M530 pedals. The get a very good review ( http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/catego...il-pedal-45093 ) and supposedly are easier to clip into than the M520's. If unclipping is a problem, consider using the SH56 multi-release cleats, which are supposed to give more means of exit that the standard SH51 single-release cleats.
    I've wondered about these. Are they essentially the same as the M520s, just with a body built around them? I have a feeling I'd have the same clipping-in/out issues if the mechanicals are identical.
    Kirsten
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  6. #6
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    Nov 2009
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    West MI
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluebug32 View Post
    I've always used Crank Bros. Candies on my mtb and cross bikes. Double sided entry and they have some float. I've never really had a problem clipping in or out.
    I've been intrigued by these, too. I know they're really popular. I'd love to know more about the LOOK mtn. pedals that are pretty new on the market, but they've not been around long enough to have developed a reputation. I really like my LOOK road pedals.
    Kirsten
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    So Cal.
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    508
    I use both Shimano (but not the 520/530) and Candy SLs on the commuter. I find that the Shimano is more of a pressure ramp-up/pronounced snap in and out, and the CBs are a bit less of a resistance then a softer snap. The tension to release feels a bit less. But sometimes starting from a light, I have to pull up a bit to confirm 'yea I'm in' because I did not feel anything snapping in.

    If the issue is generating enough force on that outward heal movement, maybe the Speedplay Frogs would work. They require no effort to get out; just rotate your heal outward enough and they will 'fall' out. I've been intrigued with the design but been happy with XTRs and single release cleats so never tried 'em.

    As long as there are no physical issues making that outward heal movement difficult I don't think the multi release cleats will make anything easier and increases the chance of unintentional release. The foot/shoe really needs to move as one, if your foot can move around in the shoe it will make release just that much harder so make sure your shoes are a nice snug fit.
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  8. #8
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    Nov 2009
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    West MI
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    Quote Originally Posted by tzvia View Post
    I use both Shimano (but not the 520/530) and Candy SLs on the commuter. I find that the Shimano is more of a pressure ramp-up/pronounced snap in and out, and the CBs are a bit less of a resistance then a softer snap. The tension to release feels a bit less. But sometimes starting from a light, I have to pull up a bit to confirm 'yea I'm in' because I did not feel anything snapping in.

    If the issue is generating enough force on that outward heal movement, maybe the Speedplay Frogs would work. They require no effort to get out; just rotate your heal outward enough and they will 'fall' out. I've been intrigued with the design but been happy with XTRs and single release cleats so never tried 'em.
    I don't know anyone who uses Speedplay Frogs, which makes me leery to even consider them. I don't really even know all that many people who use Speedplays on their road bikes, as we live on a big sand dune.

    I don't think the issue is heel strength. We have my pedals set on the lowest resistance...sometimes I'll hit a bump and a pedal will release, but then other times when I actually want it to release I get stuck. Not so much when I'm just clipping in and out for simple stops, but with a rolling dismount I don't have a second chance for that left foot to unclip. Once my right foot is on the ground it has to release or I'm goin' down...which is what happened yesterday. Usually it unclips automatically, but when it didn't yesterday it was really painful. Gravel is not my body's friend, heh.

    That same side seems to have issues engaging, too. I don't know if it's the actual pedal or the cleat or maybe some interference with my shoe.
    Kirsten
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
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    9,683
    I use Speedplay Frogs on the road and will eventually use them on the mountain bike. I've never had a problem with them unclipping accidentally and with a lot of float they are quite knee-friendly. There appear to be a lot of competition amongst mountain bike pedals, and Speedplay is releasing a new mtb pedal this year with adjustable float - though they will still make Frogs & have no intention on ending the line and forcing people to choose another pedal.

    Frogs have no tension, so it is simply about heel placement to get in/out. I was afraid when I switched from SPD that I would have a problem twisting my ankle far enough but it's never been an issue. My fitter strongly advised me against both Time and Candies because of my size and ankle issues - he thought that I would likely get hurt using them because they can, apparently, be difficult to get out of.





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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
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    After some reading around and looking at my shoes DH and I suspect that my issues with my left pedal could be shoe-related. Because my left leg seems to be a bit shorter than my right (I have ALL of the telltale symptoms...I tend to list off to the left a bit on my saddle and every niggling running issue I've ever had is on my right side, since the longer leg ends up working harder) I place that cleat a bit forward of my right cleat.

    This is a photo of the underside of the same model of shoe I have:

    On either side of the right cleat there is a divot in the tread (just behind the ball of my foot), so the pedal doesn't end up rubbing on the tread in any way. But on my left shoe the cleat sits (directly under the ball of my foot) where there is no divot on the sides AND there are obvious gouges on the tread around the cleat on the left shoe. So we just took a utility knife to those spots to knock them down a bit. Hopefully that will solve the issue. I'm really tired of feeling like I've been on the losing end of a fight after riding, heh.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catrin View Post
    My fitter strongly advised me against both Time and Candies because of my size and ankle issues - he thought that I would likely get hurt using them because they can, apparently, be difficult to get out of.
    I have a crappy left ankle, too...sprained it badly 2 years ago and it's still not all that great (no more trail running for me, most likely). I've read that Times can be tricky, too, which has kept me from considering them, even though I know the ATACs are really popular in the CX world.

    I was just reading a bit about Frogs and it appears that the cleats can be sort of fragile in CX use, since it involved a fair amount of running around. Maybe that's why I haven't seen anyone using them.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '11 Redline Conquest (Apex)
    '13 Salsa El Mariachi 3
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3

 

 

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