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Old 09-04-10, 08:07 AM   #1
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Clipless Pedals YES or NO

Well, I have never tried Clipless pedals before and would like to know the Pros and Cons.....


I have a pair of Shimano PD-M505 clipless and I'm thinking about buying a pair of Mountain bike shoes to give them a try. They would be installed on my road bike but most people I have spoken to say that's fine, and say Mountain shoes are more comfortable. So what do you think, should I get a pair and give it a go or is the difference not woth the bother?

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Old 09-04-10, 08:24 AM   #2
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Clipless pedals are a drastic improvement over clips and straps in both security and releasability.
I'm a fan of the original "Look" pedals due to security and, frankly, familiarity with 22 years of use. Snag toe edge, press down to lock, rotate heel out to release.
I would practice a while on grass or soft ground until you get comfortable with the motions needed. And yes, you will forget to clip out at least once and fall over at a stoplight or sign; it's a rite of passage.

I don't care much for SPDs but it's preference on my part. I think Crank Brothers is a better system for "walkable" cleats but since you already have SPDs, give them a whirl.

Many road shoes are dual drilled for LOOK and SPD patterns and this time of year, there are often good deals to be had on the extremes of sizing (munchkin and sasquatch sizes).

B
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Old 09-04-10, 09:08 AM   #3
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Yes. I use one set of pedals and shoes on both my road bike and mountain bike and its no problem. I think they're mountain shoes. Clipless pedals are great, you get more power, control, all good stuff. SPD is the only company that I know of that sells a pedal that is platform on one side and clipless on the other, which I think is really nice. That way you can just wear any ol' shoe if you're zipping down to the store for milk, but you don't have to change the pedal if you're going on a longer ride. I suppose that the weight shaving crowd would frown at the extra weight of these pedals, but I like them.
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Old 09-04-10, 09:11 AM   #4
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I have SPD pedals on one bike. I was having numb toe problems with some toe clips and shoes and clipless seemed to fix that. The negative is the bike with SPD pedals only gets ridden on a planned ride. It's nice to just hop on with tennis shoes and go and the clipless pedals sort of put a damper on that.

I can't say that I notice a real performance boost with them, they mostly improved my comfort level. I wear road shoes, they are impossible to walk in but have really nice vents to keep your feet cool. Clipless pedals are nice, especially if you have multiple bikes and don't always have to wear special shoes.
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Old 09-04-10, 09:21 AM   #5
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i agree with brandon. ive used spd but i much prefer look pedals. both my road bikes have look keo classic pedals. if you get them from one of the uk websites they are a great value and depending on the bike, dont look too out of place. on vintage bikes, i prefer the gray color.

for walkable cleats i like crank brothers as well. they are VERY easy both in an out, shed mud, and look good.
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Old 09-04-10, 09:22 AM   #6
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Once you have tired clip-less, you will hate going back! I, too, like to preserve the antiquated, or vintage, look. But when it comes to pedals, I automatically fit my clipless mountain bike pedals and away I go. With one exception...

I want to install clip-less on my sixties Peugeot PX10 but the cranks are 1/2" French thread. I did purchase a new set of 9/16" pedal taps but have not had the courage to use them yet. I certainly have the skill to tap a set of cranks. The problem is, do I want to destroy the original nature of these lovely old 49D cranks?
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Old 09-04-10, 09:37 AM   #7
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I use LOOK on my riding bike and I think they're great. Have never tried any other clipless system.

I also think clips are wonderful and easy to get out of... I have to assume that anybody that thinks they're unsafe is just over-tightening the straps or something. I've been in several close calls that required me to slam my feet to the ground in a quick stop (drivers rushing through roundabouts, mainly) and was able each time to instinctively get out of clips. So anyways, I use clips on my commuter so I don't need to bring extra shoes, etc. All I know is that I don't think I can go back to platform pedals.
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Old 09-04-10, 09:53 AM   #8
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I've always used toe clips. "If it aint broke, don't fix it!" Never had a reason to consider a change. Same thing with padded cycling shorts. Never had a problem in the area, so never saw a reason to buy them.

Toe clips represent a major and significant increase in safety and efficiency on any bike, for any rider. The benefits of a clipless system over clips & straps are marginal at best. One benefit often quoted is the ability to pull back on the pedal on the bottom of the cycle without pulling out of the clips. Again, if you're not wailing so hard on the pedals that this is an issue that's loosing you points or risking an accident, why change? Beware of marketing driven, consumerist peer pressure.
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Old 09-04-10, 09:56 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by randyjawa View Post
Once you have tired clip-less, you will hate going back! I, too, like to preserve the antiquated, or vintage, look. But when it comes to pedals, I automatically fit my clipless mountain bike pedals and away I go. With one exception...

I want to install clip-less on my sixties Peugeot PX10 but the cranks are 1/2" French thread. I did purchase a new set of 9/16" pedal taps but have not had the courage to use them yet. I certainly have the skill to tap a set of cranks. The problem is, do I want to destroy the original nature of these lovely old 49D cranks?
NO! j/k

You know, you could tear down the pedals and take the spindles to a machine shop and get them to cut the pedal threads down to 1/2". Possible issue could be the material hardness, the shop should be able to figure out if its doable or not before starting.
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Old 09-04-10, 10:00 AM   #10
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Once you have tired clip-less, you will hate going back! I, too, like to preserve the antiquated, or vintage, look. But when it comes to pedals, I automatically fit my clipless mountain bike pedals and away I go. With one exception...
I have both, and have no problem with either, I do find myself reaching down to open the toe strap even when I ride clipless though... After about the 4th stop I don't let muscle memory run the show.
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Old 09-04-10, 10:11 AM   #11
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I think it mostly depends on what riding you're doing. for me, 30+ miles and hilly really necessitates at least toe clips and padded shorts. in defense of clipless, it really makes you feel like you're one with the bike (like fixie riders claim often...come to think of it, I wonder how clipless + fixie would work...)

However, 90% of the time, I'll keep my toe clips or ride without. Toe clips look good and fit most of my (classier looking) shoes; for short rides around town, I usually just go without any clippage and ride in sandals.

If it's for longer rides, yeah - you will feel the difference with clipless.
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Old 09-04-10, 10:22 AM   #12
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I'm trying out clipless right now after using toe clips/straps and sometimes cleated road shoes for the past 30+ years. My Campy NR pedals are narrow, so when I don't wear the road shoes, I wear a pair of Avocet mod30 touring shoes.

I haven't gotten use to the clipless yet; they are a pair of Time ATACs that my brother lent me. I have a hard time getting out, particularly the right foot. Reminds me of the first time I rode toe clips/straps with cleated shoes and had them tightened down... with the toe strap ends tucked into the buckles for a neat look. Looked really neat when I fell over after not being able to release them in time .

Since I have had both hips done, I don't need to be falling over, so if I can't get used to the Time pedals, I may pick up a pair of Crank Brothers as I have heard they are easy in and out. I have also heard that the Time's are one of the hardest in and out.
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Old 09-04-10, 10:31 AM   #13
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Guys, clipless pedals have been around and used by most road bike riders (emphasis on riders) since the mid 80's. Hardly a new innovation.
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Old 09-04-10, 10:51 AM   #14
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Guys, clipless pedals have been around and used by most road bike riders (emphasis on riders) since the mid 80's. Hardly a new innovation.

you are addressing the C&V crowd. it takes a while for them to catch up to technology.

personally I can't recall, other than a parking lot test ride, the last time I rode clips/straps. I use mostly the Wellgo pedal Bianchi sells which provide a nice big platform so I can just put my foot on a pedal. midrange mountain shoes look bulky on the road but you can walk in them. look at touring shoes too. OH yeah I want some of spd/quill (aka incorrectly called platform) pedals for my 'city' bike
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Old 09-04-10, 10:59 AM   #15
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I just went back to clipless (SPD) after many years (just got back on the bike end of last year).

Well...Wasted quite a bit of $$$ on Dura Ace, Cyclone, and MKS ESQuartz pedals, clips, and nice Cinelli and Silva straps!

I had forgotten how nice it was to ride clipless I guess. Now I have A520s on the Sampson and M520s on the Pinarello. Methinks I will end up buying something for the Reus eventually (sooner than later probably).

I still have clips/straps on the Super Course, beartraps on the Rockhopper and old Iron Horse, and Power Straps on the PR10 (hopefully selling that this month).

I think clipless is effortless and mindless once you get used to it and you probably wouldn't want to go back.

If anything, it is the annoyance of the cleats on shoes (even SPD). I used Specialized BG Sonoma which is sorta a road/casual shoe and the cleat protrudes a hair...clickety clack...clickety clack. Mountain shoes with tread fare better for sure.

Oh yeah...French threading...the tapping from 1/2 to 9/16 is a non-event. Use some cutting oil (or any oil really) and it will breeze right thru.
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Old 09-04-10, 11:23 AM   #16
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Just a couple of thoughts on pedals. I ride Looks, SPDs and toe clips. I have clips on my Madison as my grab and go bike, and four, or about half, of my C&V bikes for C&V purposes. I don't mind riding clips but, for the C&V's with clips, if I am going to put in any real mileage, I'll swap them out for clipless. I have SPDs on my Volpe single speed, my "city bike," and my go anywhere Land Shark cyclocross. My modernish bikes all have Looks or Shimano Look clones. They all work. However, I will never again wear cleats with clips.

Now, a couple of other meandering points. My experience is that Looks and SPDs are extremely solid and well built. As a result, the used bike market is full of 15 plus year old Look Deltas / Arcs that have been ridden hard and still work as well as the day they were new. I've picked up about a half dozen sets of Looks as part of old bike purchases. When I've actually bought a used set, I probably paid $15. So, they are plentiful and cheap. Likewise, particularly with sales, you can get perfectly adequate and functional clipless compatible shoes for less then $50. So, there is easy entry into this market.
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Old 09-04-10, 11:34 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
you are addressing the C&V crowd. it takes a while for them to catch up to technology.

personally I can't recall, other than a parking lot test ride, the last time I rode clips/straps. I use mostly the Wellgo pedal Bianchi sells which provide a nice big platform so I can just put my foot on a pedal. midrange mountain shoes look bulky on the road but you can walk in them. look at touring shoes too. OH yeah I want some of spd/quill (aka incorrectly called platform) pedals for my 'city' bike
Bianchigirl;

I have the M-324 combined SPD and platform pedals and would not call the non-SPD side a quill pedal. The quill is the pointed raised part on the outer top cage that prevents shoes slipping sideways on the old road pedals and the Shimano M-324 combination pedals do not have it. The platform side is more of a MTB style platform than a quill pedal top surface.
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Old 09-04-10, 12:07 PM   #18
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Frankly,
Clipless pedals have been around so long, I don't know how one could think up a "con" about them. I really can't think of how anyone would miss (sure don't) having to reach down all the time pull straps tight or release them when a quick flick of the ankle does this with clipless pedals. And again, it's not like clipless pedals were invented yesterday, so it's entirely "period correct on a lot of C&V bikes.
Just go for clipless if you haven't yet, you won't be sorry.

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Old 09-04-10, 04:08 PM   #19
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I'm a glip-and-strap guy. Just my personal preference.
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Old 09-04-10, 04:24 PM   #20
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time ATAC. i love
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Old 09-04-10, 04:44 PM   #21
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Frankly,
Clipless pedals have been around so long, I don't know how one could think up a "con" about them. I really can't think of how anyone would miss (sure don't) having to reach down all the time pull straps tight or release them when a quick flick of the ankle does this with clipless pedals. And again, it's not like clipless pedals were invented yesterday, so it's entirely "period correct on a lot of C&V bikes.
Just go for clipless if you haven't yet, you won't be sorry.

Chombi
I've got one "Con". I use flats on my "grocery getter", For a bike that I use to take me someplace where I'm going to walk around, I want flats and chain protector on the chainwheel. Before someone brings up the merits of MTB shoes, I have a pair of SPDs and yes they are close to a walking shoe, but not quite the same.
That said, for any other bike that I take on a ride, road or mountain, I use clipless.
BTW, I used to use SPD mountain (two bolt cleats) on all my bikes. Now I've changed most of my road bikes to LOOK for a very good reason, the extra float eliminated the knee pain that the SPDs caused. I'll continue to use SPDs on my MTBs and MUP riders.
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Old 09-04-10, 05:05 PM   #22
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"I want to install clip-less on my sixties Peugeot PX10 but the cranks are 1/2" French thread. I did purchase a new set of 9/16" pedal taps but have not had the courage to use them yet. I certainly have the skill to tap a set of cranks. The problem is, do I want to destroy the original nature of these lovely old 49D cranks?"

You know, you could tear down the pedals and take the spindles to a machine shop and get them to cut the pedal threads down to 1/2". Possible issue could be the material hardness, the shop should be able to figure out if its doable or not before starting.
Don't do this. If the cranks are really French thread (and they probably are) then they're metric and should be 14 mm. Should be easy to tap them out to 9/16" for compatibility with current pedals. The pitch of the two threads is almost identical (20 TPI or 1.27mm/thread vs. 1.25mm/thread) and the diameter is also very close (14.3 mm vs. 14 mm) so the tap doesn't have to do much.

I switched from clips and straps to SPD MTB pedals. Didn't notice any performance advantage, but there was improved comfort on long rides. The clips and straps would push down on the tops of my feet and start hurting after 50 miles or more. The shoes I wear with the SPD pedals are very comfortable for walking and I've even used them on some extended hikes. Never had an issue with being unable to get my foot out of the clipless pedals in time but did have a couple tumbles when using clips and straps.

Last edited by prathmann; 09-04-10 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 09-04-10, 06:26 PM   #23
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Duh...14mm to 9/16...that's what I was referring to above re: being a non event. 1/2" is kid's bike/BMX threading...didn't catch that...sorry.

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Don't do this. If the cranks are really French thread (and they probably are) then they're metric and should be 14 mm. Should be easy to tap them out to 9/16" for compatibility with current pedals. The pitch of the two threads is almost identical (20 TPI or 1.27mm/thread vs. 1.25mm/thread) and the diameter is also very close (14.3 mm vs. 14 mm) so the tap doesn't have to do much.

I switched from clips and straps to SPD MTB pedals. Didn't notice any performance advantage, but there was improved comfort on long rides. The clips and straps would push down on the tops of my feet and start hurting after 50 miles or more. The shoes I wear with the SPD pedals are very comfortable for walking and I've even used them on some extended hikes. Never had an issue with being unable to get my foot out of the clipless pedals in time but did have a couple tumbles when using clips and straps.
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Old 09-04-10, 07:21 PM   #24
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I love, love, love SPD. Love it. I have a pair of SPD sandals and a pair of SPD mountain bike shoes.

This pedal is great (and inexpensive, too), because you can jump on the bike for a short trip, grocery run, whatever. You won't have foot retention, but that's OK for a short trip. I'm thinking of seeing if I can install PowerGrips on them. That way, I'll always have foot retention. When I use cleats, I suspect dragging the PowerGrips on the ground won't cause a problem.

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Old 09-04-10, 07:34 PM   #25
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Maybe I'm a luddite, but I'm not a huge fan...You have to wear special shoes, it's just as easy to get in and out of clips, you don't hear stories of toe clips getting stuck, because of grit or dirt, and (IMO), depending on the type, they don't look correct on classic steel.

Mainly, my first reason is my main reason against clipless pedals (and bike kit clothing, and saddles requiring a chamois, etc) - if I own a bike, I want to be able to go to the garage and hop on. I don't want to have to put on special shoes, swap out my underwear, and don a special shirt. What's the point? To that end, Brooks and toe clips all the way, for me....
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