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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    463

    Newbie with clipless pedals

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    I'm new to clipless pedals, and have started riding again after being away from it for several years. I thought I'd relate my little story in case it helps anyone else. It has a happy ending.

    I had a heck of a time getting used to clipping out. I spent several days on it, practicing while standing, and riding around my neighborhood. I developed some really ugly movements trying to force it, and could rarely get my foot out on the first try. It was not fun, and I was scared to ride as a result.

    The bike, a Bianchi, came with real basic Look style pedals. When I bought the bike I practiced on a trainer with those pedals, and could not clip out of them. The sales person suggested I try the Shimano Ultegra pedals, since (he thought) they would have the best adjustment mechanism. They're the "performance" pedals, so they would be best, he said. They were better than the original ones, so I bought them. I was clueless and dependent on the sales person, and they didn't have the Frogs which so many people rave about. I brought it all home and proceeded to get real frustrated, as I described above.

    Sunday evening I did another round of "practicing" and hating it, and decided this was not getting any better. I went over to REI and explained the situation to a nice fellow. (This is not where I bought my bike.) He explained the differences among the different Shimano models, and showed me the egg beaters by Crank Brothers. Those were tempting, but I'd have to get different shoes because mine are Shimano. The Sidi shoes would work, again tempting!

    Here's the interesting part: He recommended the Shimano 105's because they are easier to clip out of. They are considered a "recreational" type of pedal, and that the "performance" pedals are designed to hold you in better. Hence they are tougher to get out of. And I could tell the difference - I tried them in the store, then took them home and swapped them in. Voila, I can actually get my foot out. Honestly! (as in, Sheesh!)

    I'm not perfect at this yet, but I can now ride my bike. I will attempt to return the Ultegras, but they don't look new any more.


    Amy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Kelowna, BC, Canada
    Posts
    2,737
    Thanks for the story. I am in the market for clipless and I'm not sure what to look for. Every little bit of info helps a lot!

    barb

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    242

    Shimano, yay!

    My first set of clipless peds were Shimano 747's I had them on my mountain bike and absolutely loved them! When I got my road bike my bike builder almost refused to put them on claiming no respectable roadie would have mtb peds on a road bike! LOL Well I did until I started having trouble with my mtb shoes giving me hot spots on my feet.

    A pair of new roadie shoes and some Speedplay X's and I was back to square one with learning how to clip in and out all over again, the Speedplay's were definitely harder to clip in and out of. Now that they are older they are easier in fact almost too easy it's probably time for a new set of cleats!

    I'm glad you found the Shimano's I'm sure you're going to love them for a long time to come. Happy spinning!
    Life is like a 10 speed bike, we all have gears we never use.
    Charles Schultz

    "The bicycle is just as good company as most husbands and, when it gets old and shabby, a woman can dispose of it and get a new one without shocking the entire community." Ann Strong, Minneapolis Tribune, 1895

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    30
    I am wanting to try Speedplays as they are dual sided and I am used to MTB SPD's. I don't want to set off from every intersection looking down at my feet!

    Anyone got tips about the good, the bad and the difficult versions of those? I know they come with lots, limited and no float but don't know how that affects the clipping out!?

    Thanks for starting the thread And well done for persisting!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Arlington, MA
    Posts
    240
    I see nothing wrong with MTB pedals on a road bike. I say whatever you are most comfortable with and whatever is easiest to use, ESPECIALLY for those just beginning on clipless. Think about it, why are you going clipless?

    1. being clipped allows you to spin and get an effecient full range of motion
    2. having hard bottomed shoes allows the majority of your power to be transfered to the pedal.
    3. toe cages are a pain in the butt

    I have SPDs (I think they are M520s) on my road bike, as they are typically MTB pedals, but for what i'm using it for it's all I need. The only reason I would upgrade to a different pedal would be to get more float.


    Quote Originally Posted by bikerchic
    When I got my road bike my bike builder almost refused to put them on claiming no respectable roadie would have mtb peds on a road bike!

    I get very upset when people, especially those that work at an LBS, get this snobby attitude. I mean really, who cares what kind of pedal you have or what kind of seat you are using or how long you ride for...YOU are the one riding and all that matters is what you think! You don't ride for anyone else but yourself. Bikerchic, I would have told your bike builder to go shove it and then take my business elsewhere.

    Emily

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Irvine, CA
    Posts
    83
    Who cares what kind of pedals go on your road bike. As long as YOU can ride comfortably. Besides, if they're not riding YOUR bike, they don't get to comment.

    I have Time ATAC pedals on my commuter and my road bike. They are considered mountain biking pedals, and I don't even have a mountain bike (any longer).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Little Rock, AR
    Posts
    9

    Speedplay X Series

    I have Speedplay X Series on my road bike:
    http://www.speedplay.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.x
    I LOVE them. I was very nervous about going clipless. My SO bought these (and Pearl Izumi shoes) for me for a Christmas gift. They are very easy to get into and out of, and I feel they give me so much more power that I had with toe cages.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    San Diego/ Temecula CA
    Posts
    18
    I'm going to be putting my new pedals on this weekend and giving them a try so I'll report back!!

    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...egory_ID=10046

    Nicola
    Does this bike make my butt look fast?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    41

    cleats and small shoes?

    Do you have smaller feet?

    The problem might be with the way the cleat fits to the shoe--I had horrid times trying to clip out--until I got shorter screws. I found the screws were bottoming out before tighening the cleat to the shoe, thus the cleat was slipping instead of releasing from the pedal. Finally found a guy at a LBS (after I moved cities) that said, yes, this is a problem w/ small shoes, and here are these wedges you can buy... The wedges fit between the cleat and shoe--and no problems at all with the screws that come standard w/ the cleats!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    41

    cleats--looks

    Forgot to mention I use Look cleats, and Shimano pedals (600). There's also a tension adjustment screw on every pedal--so between having the cleat tight, the tension can be adjusted to make it easier or harder to get out of (didn't see that mentioned in prior posts). But if you had to twist your ankle around more than 15-20 degrees, check the fit of the cleat to the shoe! (but sounds like the pedal change has helped you, hooray!)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    463
    Quote Originally Posted by veloputt
    I found the screws were bottoming out before tighening the cleat to the shoe, thus the cleat was slipping instead of releasing from the pedal.
    Hmmm... I don't think this is the case. I've examined the shoes, and the cleats are on real tight. And I wear a size 8 shoe.

    I did play around with the tension adjustment. I had it as loose as it would go, and also tried other settings.

    This is a good point, though. Note that the pedals didn't come with an allen wrench. The Shimanos take a 2.5mm allen wrench, which isn't standard with the "combo tool" you usually buy that has whole-number sizes.

    I will add that clipping in & out requires a certain skill and "getting it" in terms of the proper motion with your foot. Maybe after a lot of practice I would have "gotten" the first pair, and will get better with the new ones. But as a consumer I'm annoyed that anyone will sell you a product that will glue you to the pedals and cause you to fall. I noticed a blurb on the Crank Brothers website claiming that Egg Beaters won't make you fall, which I thought was interesting - not that I totally believe them, but that they said this.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    41
    Clipping out is not something that goes against nature, and takes getting used to for it to become second nature when you're riding...

    But it sure was horrid when first getting the Looks and not getting out and my boyfriend at the time (who raced) thought it was all of my fault, and had zero sympathy when all I could do is fall over at busy intersections! (fortunately only a few times, but horrid each time).

    Also another rider's advice early on helped tremendously--decide which foot to clip out at stops, and always do it with that foot. For me, it's my left foot. My right only comes out when I get off the bike.

    And keep the cleats and pedals clean!
    Happy riding!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    463
    Thanks, I really appreciate the advice!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    3,932
    Quote Originally Posted by dachshund
    He explained the differences among the different Shimano models, and showed me the egg beaters by Crank Brothers. Those were tempting, but I'd have to get different shoes because mine are Shimano. The Sidi shoes would work, again tempting!
    Are you sure you can't put the Crank Brothers cleats on the Shimano shoes?

    But of course nothing has to stop you from getting a new pair of shoes.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    463
    Apparently the cleats have a different pattern (2 bolt) that doesn't match the 3 holes on the Shimano shoes. The Sidi shoes will fit both types of cleats, naturally.

    I will keep my eye on those Sidi shoes for sure! But maybe not this month...

 

 

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