Join Date: Apr 2008
Bikes: Cervelo RS, Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Pro, Schwinn Typhoon, Nashbar touring, custom steel MTB
I use the Crank Brothers Eggbeater pedals on both my road and commute bike. I'm using them with the Shimano MT31 shoe. I found them a bit difficult to get used to at first, but now I love them. Here are a few suggestions:
1) If you're having trouble getting clipped in, or staying clipped once you are in, think about using the shims provided with the pedal. The shim isn't very thick, but it may raise the cleat just enough to make clipping easier. I tried my shoes with and without the shims and eventually settled on not using the shims.
2) Keep practicing! When I first got the pedals, I had quite a bit of trouble using them while on the trainer. For some strange reason, I found it easier to clip in when I was out riding. It probably took me the better part of two weeks, riding 4-5 days/week before I felt truly comfortable with the pedal.
3) Play around with the placement and angle of the cleat. All placements are not created equal! I had to futz around with this before I found a position that was easy to clip. In my case, I push the cleat as far forward in the mounting area as possible and angle it slightly. I found it helps to look at the bottom of the shoe and then try to visualize which way the cleat would be pointing when I tried to clip in. I noticed I have a tendency to point my toe toward the frame, so it helped to rotate the cleat slightly. It might also help to clip the shoes in, step out of them, then take a look at where they're positioned in relation to the pedal.
4) The cleat is further back on the shoe than you think! If you look at the bottom of the shoe, it looks like the cleat is pretty far forward. It isn't. Or perhaps I should say: my biggest mistake was thinking that the cleat was further forward than it actually was.
5) I only clip and unclip one foot while riding. It's one less thing to worry about. My right foot tends to stay clipped in for an entire ride. If I need to stop, I unclip my left foot. I don't even bother to practice clipping and unclipping with my right foot! If worse comes to worst and I can't get the left foot clipped, I can still ride pretty effectively with the right foot clipped and the left just resting on the top of the pedal. I'll do this until I reach a place where it's convenient to try to re-clip the left foot or look down at the pedal to figure out what's going wrong.
Now that I've told you all the important, but useless, background stuff here's the secret: you need to catch the front of the clip with the front of the cleat then step down hard. If this doesn't work and you're sure you've caught the front of the clip with the cleat, move your heal left and right a bit (like you're squashing a bug or putting out a cigarette butt) while still stepping down hard. These pedals, especially when brand-new, need some real force to make the cleat seat. If you're trying to, say, clip-in at the top of a pedal stroke you may have difficulty. Give 'em a good stomp! The nice thing is: if you give them a hard stomp and the cleat is anywhere close to being in the right place, you'll end up clipped in.