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Old 02-22-10, 01:47 PM   #1
tucketw98
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Pedal-Cleat-Shoe Compatibility

I would really appreciate some advice here - I just got my first road bike off craigslist. It came with pedals - Wellgo RC713 - but not cleats. I made the mistake of ordering shoes without thinking through the compatibility issues. The shoes are Northwave Vertigo with a three bolt pattern on the sole (just got them because they were new and cheap - $39).
The Wellgo website says these pedals are 98A and Shimano 51 compatible. I'm not 100% sure what that means, but from what I can put together it looks like I may need a shoe with a two bolt pattern instead of three.
If I'm wrong about that, which cleats do I buy to make my shoes and pedals compatible?

Thanks much!!!
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Old 02-22-10, 02:33 PM   #2
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You will either need to get "Road bike" (3 hole cleat) pedals or "Mountain Bike" (2 hole cleat) shoes. The two systems are not interchangeable, at least not the Shimano SPD pedals/cleats.

Road cleats/pedals have a larger contact area and are generally thought to provide a more stable attachment of the shoe to the pedal. They are a real pain to walk in. Mountain cleats/pedals are usually designed for multi-sided entry, have the ability to shed mud and dirt, and provide better "walkablity," since the cleats can be recessed into the sole of the shoe. Road pedals are not a good choice for mountain biking, but either style can be used on a road bike.

Many people prefer to start out using Mountain bike shoes and pedals because they are "easier." However, once you get serious about road biking and start racking up the miles, you'll probably prefer road pedals.
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Old 02-22-10, 03:20 PM   #3
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I've had Wellgo pedals and, if they would have been my first clipless pedals, I probably would have given up on clipless. You are right in thinking they won't work with your new shoes. Personally, I'd dump the Wellgo pedals and get some nicer pedals. I use SPD-SLs (you can get the entry level ones at Pro Bike Kit for $55 w/ shipping) or you can go with one of the other 3 holes cleat styles. As noted above, many choose to start with MTB style pedals (I started with Shimano M520 SPDs) but that would require different shoes (and, I would suggest, different pedals).
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Old 02-22-10, 08:31 PM   #4
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The other alternative is what I did, I have both road shoes (3 hole cleats) and MTB shoes (2 hole cleats) and I ride with Crank Brothers pedals. All Crank Brothers pedals will work with road and MTB shoes. My recommendation is the Quattro pedals but 2nd choice is Candy.
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Old 02-22-10, 08:50 PM   #5
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I've had Wellgo pedals and, if they would have been my first clipless pedals, I probably would have given up on clipless. You are right in thinking they won't work with your new shoes. Personally, I'd dump the Wellgo pedals and get some nicer pedals. I use SPD-SLs (you can get the entry level ones at Pro Bike Kit for $55 w/ shipping) or you can go with one of the other 3 holes cleat styles. As noted above, many choose to start with MTB style pedals (I started with Shimano M520 SPDs) but that would require different shoes (and, I would suggest, different pedals).
What issues did you have with the Wellgo pedals? I have many thousands of miles on Performance and Nashbar branded SPD pedals (relabled Wellgo pedals as far as I can tell) and they've worked quite well for me. As long as you have them adjusted properly, entry and exit are a breeze and you don't come unclipped. I've been commuting on two different sets (two different bikes) of Performance Forte SPDs for 5 years now.

For a new rider, I would hesistate to recommend SPD-SLs or any other single sided road pedal because they do require a considerable amount of extra attention for clipping in and you better be prepared to unclip when the time comes. SPDs or Crank Bros. pedals are much eaiser enter and exit and cheap enough that upgrading after a short time won't break the bank (you can always move them to a different bike so that they don't go unused).
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Old 02-22-10, 09:44 PM   #6
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You can use Wellgo SPD type cleats with either Wellgo or Shimano SPD pedals, but they dont clip in and out quite as easily as the Shimano cleats on the Shimano pedals. I use Shimano A520 pedals which have a platform around which gives more support to the shoe. They are single sided but are balanced so the right side is always facing you when you clip in. You can also get double sided pedals with clip on one side and plain platform on the other which is good if you want to pop down to the local store wearing your sneakers.
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Old 02-23-10, 10:16 AM   #7
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What issues did you have with the Wellgo pedals? I have many thousands of miles on Performance and Nashbar branded SPD pedals (relabled Wellgo pedals as far as I can tell) and they've worked quite well for me. As long as you have them adjusted properly, entry and exit are a breeze and you don't come unclipped. I've been commuting on two different sets (two different bikes) of Performance Forte SPDs for 5 years now.

For a new rider, I would hesistate to recommend SPD-SLs or any other single sided road pedal because they do require a considerable amount of extra attention for clipping in and you better be prepared to unclip when the time comes. SPDs or Crank Bros. pedals are much eaiser enter and exit and cheap enough that upgrading after a short time won't break the bank (you can always move them to a different bike so that they don't go unused).
I've never had an "off brand" pedal, SPD or ARC compatible (Wellgo, Nashbar or Performance), that I can enter or exit as easily as Shimano. I've tried many and I always come back to Shimano. To me, it isn't worth the savings.

I agree SPD-SL isn't the best for a new rider but the OP bought shoes that are 3 hole and it seems that SPD-SL would be a good option as the entry-level Shimano SPD-SLs are reasonably priced and easy to enter/exit. Had the OP been starting with nothing, I would have recommended M520s with MTB shoes.
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Old 02-25-10, 12:20 PM   #8
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Thanks

Everybody - thanks for the input.
Just ordered some SPD-SL's for $47 off amazon.

Also - why am I being referred to as the "OP"?
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Old 02-25-10, 12:35 PM   #9
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OP is an abbreviation of Original Poster in forum-speak.
I think you'll find the SPD-SL to be an excellent pedal.
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Old 02-25-10, 01:30 PM   #10
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When you get everyting together and have the pedals set to the lightest retention, put on your shoes, straddle the bike and practice clicking each foot in and out numerous times to get the feel for it. Then, decide which foot you normally put down when you stop and remember to click out that foot well ahead of each stop. It will become a habit soon but it helps to be really intentional the first few rides.
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Old 02-26-10, 03:36 AM   #11
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You could have just used some adapters like this:
http://www.trisports.com/shspdad.html
But since you needed to chase down some cleats on top of that (and the Shimanos are nicer pedals) I think you made a good choice.
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