Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking - Noob pedals
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I have Shimano SPDs on my bike, because that's what the guy at the LBS recommended when I bought my bike. However, since that time, several crossers have suggested that I switch to Crank Bros. Candies because of their mud shedding capabilities. But, being totally new to both cross and cycling in general (read: not totally comfortable in clipless pedals), I'm thinking that for now I should go with whichever allows me to unclip the easiest, since, if I can't get off the bike, it really doesn't matter how much mud accumulates on the shoe. So, which pedal would I be able to get out of the easiest? And am I making a mistake going with ease of release over mud shedding ability? (I mean, I can learn to unclip better, but it's going to be hard to teach my shoes not to pick up mud...)
I have never raced cx, but i would deff. say the candies. I have ridden with both spd's and egg beaters, and i can honestly say i like the egg beaters. they are correct, they wont get clogged with mud as fast, and they provide more float. some dont like that, but i do, and i find it easier to dismount in a hurry if need be. your best bet, is to see if the lbs will let you try them out, see if you like them. you will be able to use your current shoe, all you will have to do is put new cleat on them.
11-03-07, 05:42 PM
MKS Touring Pedals $29.95
Double sided flat pedals. I have been using these. No clipping issues at all :)
I have egbeaters on my new bike (that's what they came with). Previously I used shimano spd. After a couple hundred miles on the eggbeaters (and nearly 3000 on the spds) I think I can make a comparison:
- Very, very smooth. Buttery smooth. Especially on the unclip.
- Four sided entry. After a brief learning period, I find these pedas to be laughably easy to clip into. I can sort of roll/slide into the clip with ease, but it took more exact placement to get into the shimanos.
- I haven't used them in mud yet, but the nature of the design (very open) means they probably won't have much of a clogging issue
- Very good value. The wellgo knockoffs work almost as well but don't last quite as long, and are even cheaper.
- Adjustable tension. You can give em a lot of float or almost none at all.
- decent sized platform compared to the standard eggbeaters (not an issue if you're looking at the candies)
- Basically no platform. I haven't gotten any hotspots yet, but the farthest I've done in them is about 50 miles (today).
- Too much float. This might be an advantage for you, but personally I could do with a little less. I feel like I have to twist too far to the side to disengage.
- clog with mud, when they're realy muddy/dirty they can be kind of scary on the disengage.
- "only" double sided entry
My take is that the strengths of the eggbeaters basically play towards use in cross racing (with the exception of the relative difficulty to disengage). If you want to race cross, especially somehwere muddy, I'd go with crank bros.
On the other hand if you want a good all around pedal, I'd stick with shimano. You can ratchet up the tension for road use and set it low for commuting/ off road. And you can still race with them (many people do, myself included).
I'll be keeping the egbeates on my cross bike because I loooove the smoothness and I do the occaasional race. However since my cross bike is also my road bike I think I will also be getting a pair of road shoes/cleats come spring for a little more tension.
11-05-07, 07:37 AM
My gf did a cycle tour with egg beaters this summer, she never got hot spots and we were biking for 5 or 6 hours a day. She was using a specialized mountain competition shoe, so the super stiff sole probably helped with hot spots.
11-05-07, 09:24 AM
I love eggbeaters (and their variations). :) Easy in and out though i haven't used them in any CX races (or sloppy conditions yet). I have eggbeaters on my commuter/CX bike and candies on my fixed gear (and quattros on my road bike).
I commuted and raced with shimano spds for years with no problems. They finally gave out and I decided to try the Candy C. I have used them for one week and one race. Much, much easier to unclip. And the little platform provides enough confidence to stand on. I am about 185 lbs. I don't know about durability. Ask me in a couple years! I'm a little worried about the "rebuild kit". Does that mean they wear out fast?
11-05-07, 10:39 AM
eggbeaters are great but not at all necessary.
if you're having trouble releasing your spds should have a cleat tension adjustment that you can loosen to make unclipping easier. crank bros pedals dont have this adjustment, but it really isn't necessary because they're pretty easy to get out of.
if you're having trouble unclipping with spds the answer is not new pedals, it's practice! pretty soon it'll feel natural, i promise.
11-05-07, 01:39 PM
Eggbeaters beat the tar out of SPD pedals. AND I've ridden and raced SPDs plenty so I know what I'm talking about.
After a frustrating ride with SPDs I bought a set of Candy's that were on sale. Loved them so much at the FIRST ride that I went back the next weekend and bought enough to fit each of my bikes. (Eagbeaters on two and Candys on two).
Eggbeeaters don't rely on spring tension (like SPDs) to retain the cleat. The cleat design takes care of that. As a result float is nice and smooth, clipping out is easy, and they clear goop very easily.
So I visited two different LBSs this past week and both recommended I stick with the SDPs. Grrr. I've already got the tension as low as it can go, so yeah, I guess the issue is practice. The only time I have a real problem is when I'm unclipping my left foot on a dismount. Of course, every time I get stuck like this, I end up on the ground, or worse, draped over whatever I had hoped to jump over, with my bike on top of me and my foot more tightly attached to the pedal than to my ankle...
Meanwhile, it appears to be unanimous that everyone on bf thinks the candies are easier to get out of, while both guys I talked to at the shops said they were more difficult to unclip... :rolleyes:
Since I already have the SPDs, and they don't appear to be the worst possible option, I'll probably stick with them (and keep practicing), use the money I would have spent on eggbeaters for groceries instead, and hopefully try out some other people's pedals and see if I like them. Thanks for all the advice!
One thing to keep in mind in regards to clipless pedals in general: the more you use them, the more you gain confidence with them, the more likely you are to increase the tension on the pedals. I've raced SPDs four times now, and in each race, I've adjusted the tension tighter and tighter. I've also ridden them in swampy mud and crusty snow, and they've worked fine.
If you go to a 'cross race, you'll see tons of SPDs and Eggbeaters. Honestly, unless you are a top-level rider sensative to the tiniest nuances of your equipment, you can't go wrong with either. There are top pro 'cross racers on SPDs and Eggbeaters, and neiter seems to hold them back, and even us human Cat. 4/Mens C racers use both and and are fine with them.
Seriouslly, don't sweat the issue. Keep your SPDs and beat the living crap out of them. Eventually you'll be increasing the tension on them and eventually you might even race them, at which time you can decide to stay with the pedals, upgrade to better models, or simply invest the money in to the best shoes possible.
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