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  1. #1
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    What kind of Pedals?

    I was just reading a thread about clipless pedals, and quite fankly I got lost. I am new to cycling and on my bike I have just regular old pedals. I have seen the ones that the shoes clip on to, and the ones with the toe cage thingamajigs, but I have no idea what I should be looking for. I understand that they greatly improve your riding, and I would love to upgrade to one system or the other. Which should I look at first? What brands? What is the price range for a decent pedal system? Many thanks in advance to you all, O Wise Ones!

    PastorW

  2. #2
    Senior Member kache_98's Avatar
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    The ones with clips are the "toe cage thngamajigs". Clipless are with no "cage" and the shoes clip on to them, this come in a variety of systems (SPDs, Look, ect.).

    First decide which type of system you want (MTB or road shoes), then go from there. I would say a decent pedal would cost around $50 and about $65 for the shoes.

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    the actual el guapo atomship47's Avatar
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    as far as improving your riding...well, it's debatable to what degree.

    as far as what kind...they're kind of like saddles, you can spend a lot of money before you find the one right for you.

    if you're going clipless, i recommend shoes that are both look and spd compatable (it'll give you more options without having to buy multiple pairs of shoes).

    i've tried various makes/models using spd style cleats. so far my favorite pedal/system is the look keo classic.
    Compatibility:

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  4. #4
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    I really like Shimano M520 pedals especially for beginners as they are relatively inexpensive ($40) and, being double sided, a bit less to deal with when clipping in. MTB shoes are also more walkable than road shoes. I now have road shoes with ARC style pedals on my roadie and deck-style shoes with A520 SPDs on my commuter. The road shoes make a big difference on long rides but the SPDs are a lot easier around town.

    One word of caution: cheap pedals are often hard to click into/out of and are not good for learning. You don't have to spend a lot but get a quality pedal. Shoes are more about what fits you and they way you will use them.

    Lastly, I used clips and straps for decades and they are much better than nothing. You can set your bike up for less than $10 and see what you think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PastorW View Post
    I was just reading a thread about clipless pedals, and quite fankly I got lost. I am new to cycling and on my bike I have just regular old pedals. I have seen the ones that the shoes clip on to, and the ones with the toe cage thingamajigs, but I have no idea what I should be looking for. I understand that they greatly improve your riding, and I would love to upgrade to one system or the other. Which should I look at first? What brands? What is the price range for a decent pedal system? Many thanks in advance to you all, O Wise Ones!

    PastorW
    Pedals are a religious issue. Some people like clipless, some people don't. Racers like clipless pedals because they can use a pedal the size of a postage stamp, which saves them weight, and being attached to the pedals means that they can continue riding past the point where they're too tired to move their feet in circles. Claims that clipless pedals are more efficient are mostly over-stated. Most people don't pull up on the upstroke, even racers.

    If you're a clyde, the weight of any pedal doesn't matter. It's a trivial percentage of the weight of the bike/rider combination. If you're happy with your existing pedals, keep them. Platforms have lots of advantages, among them the ability to wear any sort of shoe, mulitple foot positions.

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    I just got some Speedplay pedals and I lov'em.

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    I'm not sure I agree with the statement about weight of the pedals not making any difference. I went from MTB shoes and pedals to road shoes and pedals and it made a significant difference in my fatigue level. It didn't help my speed, but I certainly could go farther with less fatigue in my legs. This makes sense from a rotating mass perspective. I advise people who ride roads to buy road shoes and pedals and those who ride MTB's to buy off road shoes and pedals. What benefit is a MTB shoe if you don't ever walk in it? This just gives you a heavier less efficient system with no benefit.

    chevy57

  8. #8
    Senior Member mkadam68's Avatar
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    Just a quick FYI: Chain Love has these Look Keo Carbon/Titanium clipless pedals at a killer discount right now ($250) if you're interested. Cheapest I've found previous was about $300+.

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  9. #9
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    I have though through a number of pedal systems trying to find one I like. For beginners, I highly recommend Speedplay or Frogs since they are easy to use. The only criticism I have of Speedplay is the horseshoe like cleat and difficulty in walking. One reason why I recommend Frogs, their MTB option. If you get Speedplays I highly recommend you also purchase "cafe covers" to slip on to walk around with.

    For a road bike I like the Shimano Dura Ace. Again fairly easy to use and it has a nice wide platform which helps distribute weight.

    I am currently using Time pedals on both my mountain bikes and road bike. I love the Time pedals on the MTBikes and was getting tired of having to deal with two pedals systems so I shifted out the Dura Ace on my road bike for the smaller Time pedals. I also like using Sidi's Dominators (the mtb shoe) so I can walk around and not worry about the cleats. I used to destroy the Speedlay and Dura Ace cleats walking around (BTW the shoes I wear cost around $220. Shoes can be expensive running up to $400 but as cheap as $30. Pedals can run anywhere from $30 - $200. The higher the price generally the lightest weight which frankly unless you are an elite racer, you won't need. A good pedal system will cost between $65 - $140).

    Frankly I believe a pedal system is safer than using cages. If you don't like the idea, then use a flat pedal but you will get better efficiency and output using a cleat/pedal system. Probably the most economical are SPD's although not my favorite. You can probably get shoes and pedals for less than $100.

    And when you decide on the pedal and get them installed, take the bike over to a large parking lot and just practice clipping in and out. KEY: speed, don't try to clip in if you aren't moving fast. Generally push off from the stop and once you do a couple of pedal strokes and have some speed, then try to clip in. Eventually it will be second nature and happen automatically. And don't panic if you forget. Just remember to pull in our arms and legs when you go down. It won't hurt all that much that way. BTW you will fall, we all do!
    Last edited by Pamestique; 09-05-08 at 05:27 PM.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by chevy57 View Post
    I'm not sure I agree with the statement about weight of the pedals not making any difference. I went from MTB shoes and pedals to road shoes and pedals and it made a significant difference in my fatigue level. It didn't help my speed, but I certainly could go farther with less fatigue in my legs. This makes sense from a rotating mass perspective. I advise people who ride roads to buy road shoes and pedals and those who ride MTB's to buy off road shoes and pedals. What benefit is a MTB shoe if you don't ever walk in it? This just gives you a heavier less efficient system with no benefit.
    I'd have to disagree with you on this...

    These days, there's very little difference in weight between road pedals and mountain bike pedals. Heck, the Eggbeater MTB pedals on my road bike are lighter than most of Shimano's high-end SPD-SL road pedals! In most cases, the difference in weight is only 15-30 grams, which isn't much. Of course, it is possible to buy heavy MTB pedals (e.g. Crank Brothers Acid), but these days it isn't required.

    For me, practicality was the big seller for MTB pedals and the reason I advise anyone thinking of buying their first set of clipless pedals to consider them. Many of my rides these days are longer (2-4 hours) and involve some amount of walking during breaks. I got tired of skating around in road shoes, trying not to fall or twist my ankle before I made it back to the bike. Haven't thought about my old Look pedals and Shimano road shoes once since I installed the Eggbeaters...

  11. #11
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PastorW View Post
    I was just reading a thread about clipless pedals, and quite fankly I got lost. I am new to cycling and on my bike I have just regular old pedals. I have seen the ones that the shoes clip on to, and the ones with the toe cage thingamajigs, but I have no idea what I should be looking for. I understand that they greatly improve your riding, and I would love to upgrade to one system or the other. Which should I look at first? What brands? What is the price range for a decent pedal system? Many thanks in advance to you all, O Wise Ones!

    PastorW
    It all depends on your riding style, and budget, if most of your trips are short haul, like shopping, commuting, church etc., where you don't want to be carrying extra shoes, then toe clips (the older cage and strap system), can be ideal. For clip-less systems, that you actually clip into, you need special pedals and shoes. There are two systems about, MTB and road. There is no hard and fast rule, that only MTB pedals and shoes can be used on mountain bikes, and only road on road bikes, rather it's how the shoe, cleat and pedal work together.

    Mountain Bike riders, tend to spend a reasonable amount of time walking, even when riding, in order to protect the surface your walking on, and the cleat, shoes tend to have much thicker soles, with the cleat recessed, into the shoe. Road shoes, in order to save a precious few grams, have a much thinner sole, so the cleat sticks out below the bottom of the shoe, making it difficult to walk in the shoes, this can do severe damage to wood, tile or concrete floors, not to mention beat up the cleat itself. If you have multiple bikes, it's advisable to use the same make and model of pedals on all the bikes, with the pedals set up the same, so your not trying to remember how to use the different pedals on the different bikes.

  12. #12
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    Beyond budget and beyond style is the question on where do you want your cycling to take you.

    Do you cycle to cruise the beach looking to pick up girls? (I know, I know, it doesn't work like that but some think it does.)

    Do you cycle to lose weight or gain fitness?

    Do you intend to keep cycling or it this just another "toy" or "hobby" in a long line of self interests?

    Clipless pedals are an "upgrade" for riders who get serious about their riding. You don't have to go clipless and lots of folks don't. However, if you're going to get serious, then you will need to get connected to the bike in some manner. The route is through clipless pedals.

    New model Shimano 105 pedals are generally acknowledged to be the best bang for the money. You can get them "buy it now" on fleabay for <$60. Shoes should be bought at a store where you can try them on.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by chevy57 View Post
    I'm not sure I agree with the statement about weight of the pedals not making any difference. I went from MTB shoes and pedals to road shoes and pedals and it made a significant difference in my fatigue level. It didn't help my speed, but I certainly could go farther with less fatigue in my legs. This makes sense from a rotating mass perspective. I advise people who ride roads to buy road shoes and pedals and those who ride MTB's to buy off road shoes and pedals. What benefit is a MTB shoe if you don't ever walk in it? This just gives you a heavier less efficient system with no benefit.

    chevy57
    Pedals are a rotating system. Once you're pedaling at speed, it requires very little, if any, extra effort to spin the pedals, regardless of their mass. You'd be very hard pressed to tell if someone attached a couple hundred extra grams on your pedals.

    I don't doubt that going to different pedals makes you feel less fatigued. There are a number of factors other than weight that cover that. Comfort of the shoe, position of the cleat on the shoe, float in the pedals. and lots more.

  14. #14
    Senior Member John1992's Avatar
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    Hi,
    I am also looking to move from platform to clipless and have been asking questions on BF. The main (really only) reason I am looking to make the move is safty. I could be all wrong with the safty angle - let me know any thoughts you folks might have, but I have had a foot slip off the pedal a few times when I have been standing up and luckly have not crashed. I am a big guy 290 ish and like to stand on the pedals to get speed, hills etc. I also like to lean forward on the bike when standing and I just feel a little too much like I am going to slip off all the time.

    I have good quality large platforms with a bunch a studs so I dont think it is the pedal. I also experiance an odd thing when I am in the 20's and shifting fast I get a bit of a pop (sorry I am having a hard time putting the feeling into words) that bounces my feet off the pedals.

    My last comment would be that I have been riding 4 -5 times a week around 30 - 35 miles a shot for 3 years and each time I up grade anything, clothing, bike, bike parts etc - I have wondered why I did not do it a long time ago. I first did not think I needed to spend the money becuase I did not race, then I moved into the upgrades but at the mid price point thinking that was a nice average step, now all I want is to go straight to the high end when possible. I probably would have saved money by just getting high quality items from the start. As it is now I have a large collection of used stuff that I have upgraded past.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by John1992 View Post
    I am also looking to move from platform to clipless and have been asking questions on BF. The main (really only) reason I am looking to make the move is safty. I could be all wrong with the safty angle - let me know any thoughts you folks might have, but I have had a foot slip off the pedal a few times when I have been standing up and luckly have not crashed. I am a big guy 290 ish and like to stand on the pedals to get speed, hills etc. I also like to lean forward on the bike when standing and I just feel a little too much like I am going to slip off all the time.
    Honestly, I don't think that clipless pedals are any more safe than platform pedals. Sure, your feet may not slip off the pedals when you're standing and leaning forward. But you have to balance that with the fact that it is very easy for your foot to slip off the pedal when you're not clipped in (e.g. accelerating away from a stop) and that if you stop quickly you may not have time to unclip before you fall over.

    I nearly ruined my ride today accelerating from a stop: stood on the pedals to get some acceleration since there were a bunch of cars behind me, my left foot didn't get clipped in, slipped off the pedal, and I crashed down onto the saddle. Luckily, I caught some of my weight with my arms so my groin only received a glancing blow when it encountered the saddle...

  16. #16
    Senior Member John1992's Avatar
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    dude - your messing with my argument for the wife for spending another pile of cash, shhhh.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John1992 View Post
    dude - your messing with my argument for the wife for spending another pile of cash, shhhh.
    I am with you!

    Here is a totally dumb question... Will my mtb clipless shoes fit all clipless pedals? They did when I switched to my hybrid and I now need to get clipless pedals for my road bike (if my wife lets me). If I order something online will they fit?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by puckpack View Post
    Here is a totally dumb question... Will my mtb clipless shoes fit all clipless pedals? They did when I switched to my hybrid and I now need to get clipless pedals for my road bike (if my wife lets me). If I order something online will they fit?
    Your MTB clipless shoes should work with any pedal that uses a 2-bolt cleat. Road pedals typically use a 3-bolt cleat, which won't work with MTB shoes. Depending on the way the pedals, cleats, and shoes fit together you may need to insert shims under the cleats. My Crank Brothers pedals came with such shims, though I didn't actually need to use them with my shoes.

  19. #19
    the actual el guapo atomship47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    Your MTB clipless shoes should work with any pedal that uses a 2-bolt cleat. Road pedals typically use a 3-bolt cleat, which won't work with MTB shoes. Depending on the way the pedals, cleats, and shoes fit together you may need to insert shims under the cleats. My Crank Brothers pedals came with such shims, though I didn't actually need to use them with my shoes.
    unless you get shoes that are both 3 and 2 bolt compatible...which is what i was referring to earlier. from what i've seen, you can find mtb style shoes like this. i don't recall seeing road-specific shoes like that.


    fwiw, i tried crank bros because they generally get good reviews here. i didn't like them. they were lower end candy c's. however, i disliked them enough that i didn't want to sink more $ into the same style.
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    Thanks for the info. Now I know to look for 2 bolt pedals.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by CACycling View Post
    I really like Shimano M520 pedals especially for beginners as they are relatively inexpensive ($40) and, being double sided, a bit less to deal with when clipping in. MTB shoes are also more walkable than road shoes. I now have road shoes with ARC style pedals on my roadie and deck-style shoes with A520 SPDs on my commuter. The road shoes make a big difference on long rides but the SPDs are a lot easier around town.
    The 520s are nice, but I recommend the Shimano M424. They're only a little more expensive than the 520s ($45 right now at Nashbar after 10% off http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?sku=3026) but more flexible. They're two-sided SPD clipless like the M520 but also have a cage so you can wear them for short trips without the cycling shoes. It all depends on how you ride your bike, but I like to be able to hop on the bike for a ride to the store without putting on the cycling shoes.

  22. #22
    Senior Member RedC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by puckpack View Post
    Thanks for the info. Now I know to look for 2 bolt pedals.

    Unless your shoes will handle either kind of clips. Clips come with the pedals, not the shoes. My MTB shoes will handle both kinds of clips. While I currently am using spd's but I may have different pedals on my new bike and I can't think of a lot of reasons to buy new shoes.
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  23. #23
    V8s all day primov8's Avatar
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    I'm new to road cycling too and my first bike had a pair of wellgo dual entry spd pedals. Since that bike was sold after two weeks and replaced with my buildup, I switched over to Shimano RD540(spd-sl/Look bolt pattern). Let me tell you, its so much easier to clip with the RD540, even though they're single sided entry pedals. I had a harder time trying to clip onto the wellgo spd pedals especially since the contact point on the pedals are so much narrower. With the RD540s, just hook the front part of the spd-sl cleat onto the pedal,press your feet down and your set.

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    Thanks for all the information. I do have one other question though, what does spd mean?

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