Commuting - Urban pedal clips
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12-30-12, 03:36 PM
I am trying to decide whether to get pedal straps or go for cleats and pedals with clips. I primarily use my ride for commuting in downtown Seattle, so it is usually wet. Also to consider is that I have size 13 shoes, so the toe cage type pedals that I currently have don't fit and are currently a problem, my foot won't go far enough in so I'm pedaling with my toes.
I'm thinking of going with either a strap like this one:
The problem with cleats, is I have no idea what buy. I already made enough mistakes with my bike, I don't want to waste another $200 on shoes and clips that aren't right for my application.
12-30-12, 03:57 PM
I have a pair of Power Grips on my fixed-gear, and like them for the ability to wear regular shoes and to bail easily in sketchy riding like snow and B-level roads. They're like the Rodney Dangerfield of bike pedals, though. ;)
I've used old school toe clips, half clips, power grips and now Shimano m324's which have platforms on one side and spd's on the other.
For commuting I've found that there isn't a tremendous benefit of being locked to the pedal (the increased power is negated by stoplights), but like your concern really like something for when it's a good rain. Your foot slipping off the pedal is a real drag. My conclusions were the two best options were either the half clips http://velo-orange.blogspot.com/2009/12/half-clips.html or the spd's. Powergrips weren't bad. The main downside was that when getting into them didn't work you can't tell by feel what is wrong and have to look down. I would assume that there's a similar problem with the strap you are looking at.
I would go ahead with doing the spd's. There's a bit of a learning curve, but once you get used to them in a week or so there's really no effort that goes into using them. Using the ones with platforms on the other side allows you to still ride in other shoes if you feel like it.
I would recommend you buying inexpensive SPDs (M520 or similar), decent MTB shoes, and neoprene shoe covers. If that's steep, flat pedals aren't so bad.
I commute in Portland with SPD's. Far better than toe clips and straps, which have to be tight to do anything for power transfer. Doesn't take any longer to clip in/out than to get in/out of clips.
It is possible to buy generic SPD pedals (Wellgo, Performance, etc.) and a pair of shoes for under $100 - although size 13 feet would make it harder to find inexpensive shoes. I've used only Performance or Nashbar SPD pedals in the decade-and-a-half or so since I went to clipless after many years with toe clips followed by a couple of years with PowerGrips.
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