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  1. #1
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    Please educate me on Crank Bros. pedals

    I didn't want to 'hijack' the other pedal threads out there, so I decided to start my own...hope that's ok.

    Ok...my bike is a Trek 2100 (WSD) roadie..it came stock with Shimano M505 SPD pedals. At the current moment, the only cycling shoes I have are a pair of Specialized Sport MTB shoes that I have been faithfully using for my spinning classes for the last 2 years or so. Of course, these shoes work fine with the M505 pedals on my bike...the problem is...I HATE THEM..the pedals, that is. I've tried adjusting the release tension numerous times, and I can't seem to find that "sweet spot", where I'm happy with the tension. In a nutshell, I've given up on the SPD's and would like to try something else...something easier to clip in/out of. I am leaning towards something from Crank Brothers, but I'm not sure which one to go with.

    If I'm reading the descriptions correctly, it sounds like ALL of their pedals employ the same basic design, that being a 4-sided entry pedal. That part I get...I think. Where it gets confusing for me is when I read descriptions for the Candy, Smarty, and Quattro pedals...and it says "2-sided pedal with 4-sided entry". Mind you...I have not seen any of the Crank Bros. pedals in person, so I'm only going by pictures and descriptions on the internet. So am I to understand that this type of pedal has 2 sides (duh!) but the 4 metal clips (don't know the technical term for them) inside the pedal spins within the pedal platform, thus giving the rider more of a chance to clip in quickly??? I hope that makes sense...LOL From everything I've been reading on here and other bike forums, lots of riders really like Crank Bros. pedals for their ease of getting in and out. Are they really that easy? Easier than standard SPD's? Would I be giving anything up by switching to any one of the Crank Bros. pedals? And the biggest question...which pedal is best? Eggbeater? Candy? Smarty? or Quattro?

    I'm doing my first sprint tri in June, and one of my concerns is T1. I cannot run/walk barefoot with my bike. I have some foot issues and going barefoot is not a good idea for me. I need to be able to at least jog through T1 with my bike, until I get to the mounting point. I figured mountain bike shoes would be the best option, due to their walkability over road shoes. This is another reason why I am considering a Crank Bros. pedal...so that I could use MTB shoes. However, I think at some point down the road...I may want to consider getting a pair of road shoes. Am I correct in understanding that all I will need to do, in that case...is to purchase the Quattro cleats for my road shoes?

    I know this is a lot of questions, and I'm sorry if all of this has been covered before. But I would like to get pedals this weekend and want to make an educated decision on my purchase. Thanks for helping a newbie out!!!

    Linda

  2. #2
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nscrbug View Post
    So am I to understand that this type of pedal has 2 sides (duh!) but the 4 metal clips (don't know the technical term for them) inside the pedal spins within the pedal platform, thus giving the rider more of a chance to clip in quickly???
    Yup. Look at pics of the eggbeaters. Four sided entry. Then look at the Candys, etc. It's the same 4 sided spring loaded mechanism now surrounded by a pedal. That mechanism rotates within the surrounding pedal platform.

    Quote Originally Posted by nscrbug View Post
    I figured mountain bike shoes would be the best option, due to their walkability over road shoes. This is another reason why I am considering a Crank Bros. pedal...so that I could use MTB shoes. However, I think at some point down the road...I may want to consider getting a pair of road shoes. Am I correct in understanding that all I will need to do, in that case...is to purchase the Quattro cleats for my road shoes?
    Dunno what the difference between the Quattro cleats and the eggbeater cleats are, but you might not want to switch from mtb shoes to road shoes once you get used to walking around w/o looking goofy.
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  3. #3
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    I can't do a lot of comparing, since I have only ever used Crank Brothers for my clipless use.

    I use the Candy C, and Lake MX-101 shoes. The combination seems to work well for me, and the shoes are walkable. Entry is easy, and I have had a couple of clipless falls, but whenever I tried to get out, I was able to... They have also never not held my foot while pedaling.

    I only have a hundred miles or so on them, so this is based on limited usage.

    I believe that there is only one cleat style for all Crank Brothers pedals (although there are ones that are designed to work with different hole patterns in the shoes, the cleat portion is the same. Therefore, if you stay with Crank Brothers, you would be able to ride whichever bike you want with both pairs of shoes.

    Good luck.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nscrbug View Post
    ...Shimano M505 SPD pedals.....I HATE THEM..the pedals, that is. I've tried adjusting the release tension numerous times, and I can't seem to find that "sweet spot", where I'm happy with the tension. In a nutshell, I've given up on the SPD's...
    When I was researching going clipless, I read nothing but bad reviews on the M505s. The M520s, on the other hand, were generally considered to be good and the price difference wasn't that much. I bought the M520s as my first clipless pedal and they are easy to clip into, keep my feet secure and are easy to exit. Liked them so much I put a set of A520s (the single-sided road version of the M520) on my new road bike and they are working fine as well. Not to try an keep you from exploring other types but don't judge all SPDs by the M505s.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CACycling View Post
    When I was researching going clipless, I read nothing but bad reviews on the M505s. The M520s, on the other hand, were generally considered to be good and the price difference wasn't that much. I bought the M520s as my first clipless pedal and they are easy to clip into, keep my feet secure and are easy to exit. Liked them so much I put a set of A520s (the single-sided road version of the M520) on my new road bike and they are working fine as well. Not to try an keep you from exploring other types but don't judge all SPDs by the M505s.
    You do raise a good point, and now have me thinking about this. To show my ignorance...I was under the impression that all 2-bolt Shimano SPD's, were the same. I honestly didn't know that some are better than others...hence the reason I was so eager to give up on them completely. I guess my first question to you is...how, exactly, do the various types of SPD pedals, differ? They certainly all look the same. What makes one perform better than another? What prompted you to choose the A520, over a traditional 3-bolt road pedal? What shoes do you currently use with your A520's?

    Linda

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    Which spd cleats are you using, that you are having trouble releasing from the pedal? If it is the standard black cleat, try the silver/gold colored ones, they are multi-release, and release MUCH easier from the pedals. If that is the only problem, changing cleats would be the cheapest solution!

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    Read, Ride, Repeat ModelT's Avatar
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    I've got a set of Eggbeaters on my Recumbent, and a set of Smarties on my Tri bike.
    The Eggbeaters are easier to get into, but the Smarties provide a little more support for your feet.
    Both are very easy to get out of in a hurry if you need to.

    With Spd, you are hooked at the front and swing your foot from there to get out.
    With Crank Bros. you pivot from the center of the pedal spindle (In or out, no adjusting required) and it feels a bit more natural.

    Rolling into T2 is not a good time to argue with your pedals about letting go...

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCWGrover View Post
    Which spd cleats are you using, that you are having trouble releasing from the pedal? If it is the standard black cleat, try the silver/gold colored ones, they are multi-release, and release MUCH easier from the pedals. If that is the only problem, changing cleats would be the cheapest solution!
    Now that you mentioned it...I had brought up the single vs multi release question while visiting my LBS awhile back. I never really did get a clear-cut answer on it, though. BTW, I currently use the black, single-release cleats. I am, however, curious about something...with SPD's you release by turning the heels outward...my question is, how would the multi-release cleats differ in that respect? You still would release by turning the heels outward, right? So how is it that the multi-release are that much easier to clip out of, than the single-release?

    Linda

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    Quote Originally Posted by ModelT View Post
    I've got a set of Eggbeaters on my Recumbent, and a set of Smarties on my Tri bike.
    The Eggbeaters are easier to get into, but the Smarties provide a little more support for your feet.
    Both are very easy to get out of in a hurry if you need to.

    With Spd, you are hooked at the front and swing your foot from there to get out.
    With Crank Bros. you pivot from the center of the pedal spindle (In or out, no adjusting required) and it feels a bit more natural.

    Rolling into T2 is not a good time to argue with your pedals about letting go...
    Thanks for the feedback! It's good to hear that the Smarty pedals are working out well on your Tri bike. I'm not sure that I quite understand the engage/release action that you described on the Crank Bros., but I like the fact that you say it feels "more natural". Seeing as how I've already gone down trying to unclip out of my SPD's...I'd say that ANYTIME is not a good time for my pedals to not let go. ;-)

    Linda

  10. #10
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    Sheldon Brown has a good SPD reference table for info on single vs. multi release and compatibility.

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/shimano.html#spd
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyossarian View Post
    Sheldon Brown has a good SPD reference table for info on single vs. multi release and compatibility.

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/shimano.html#spd
    Hmm...very interesting. Thanks for the link! I noticed that my M505's are not even listed. I also noticed that the M520's and M540's are shown as using the SH-56 multi-release cleats. Does anyone know if these multi-release cleats are the ones provided with those 2 particular pedals? Or do they just supply the standard SH-51 single-release cleats with them?

    I'm still a little unclear as to how the multi's work differently from the single's. I mean...what other way is there to release from an SPD cleat other than turning the heels outward?

  12. #12
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    If your cleats are black, they're probably single release. If they're silver or gold colored, they're multi-release. When I ran SPDs, I could twist my foot inwards or outwards to release. I never tried rolling the foot out except when I fell in which case they'd release. And after the cleats got worn, I could get them to release just by pulling up.

    BTW, for a "simple" pedal system, it got too complicated for me which is why I switched to Eggbeaters and Candys. Simple mechanism and lots of float. Plus, popping out of the pedal while skidding my fixed gear wasn't cool.
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  13. #13
    JRA. BikEthan's Avatar
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    I've been using Eggbeater SLs (I'm a big fan of stainless) for commuting for a few years now. I just put a second pair on my touring bike (although I'm thinking about the Cs for a little more support over long rides). They've held up really well so far. Easy to clip in and out of and very little spring tension in the float. Another good choice would be TIME ATACs I used them on my mountain bike for quite a few years and had good luck with them, although my preference is for the eggbeaters. I've never ridden Shimano pedals so I can't say much one way or another.
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  14. #14
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    Ok...on the suggestion of CACyling...I went down to Performance and picked up a pair of Shimano M520's today. Just finished installing them on my Trek 2100 road bike. After a few test clip-ins/outs...they do seem to be much easier than the stock M505's that were on the bike when I bought it. I came close to buying the Crank Bros. Candy's...but the only color they had in stock was red...which would look awful on my bike. I think I got a good deal on the M520's...paid $35.99 for 'em. So far, my single-release cleats seem to work fine with them...although I did pick up a pair of the multi-release, but may end up returning them if it turns out that I don't need them. I'll test out these 520's for awhile...and if I end up not liking them, then I'll be trying the Candy's or Quattro's next.

    Linda

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