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Thread: pedal options

  1. #26
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    Is hill climbing the only advantage of being clipped in? I've been working on my form and have made good progress with increasing my cadence. I don't know if this is correct but I try to think "Keep my feet light on the pedals." My belief is thinking that way forces me to lift my legs on the up stroke and not depend on the downward stroke to lift the opposite leg. Another thing I'm playing with is thinking that my legs are spinning in an oval that is pointed slightly down in the front. My belief is that this helps pull the up stroke leg over the top of the crank and lengthens the beginning of powerstroke. I really am just guessing here. Any Thoughts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
    I found I didn't lose power when I lost clipless.
    You say this like it's a scientific fact. Do you have data from a PowerTap or Quarq power meter to prove it? Or are you really just guessing?

  3. #28
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john423 View Post
    That's why I couldn't get the pedals off. I thought I needed a special tool, like you do for about 99 percent of the stuff on a bike, but I wasn't so sure, so I tried using just a regular adjustable wrench with no luck.

    I'd read that about the reversed threads, and I read about greasing the new threads, but somehow the "pedal wrench" thing escaped me.
    You can also use a large allen wrench on some models (from the inside of the crankarm at pedal axel level)

    NTW, I don't care for Look myself, I use two sided SPD's so there is no HTFU here.. My point is that no pedal is 100% failsafe. Even platform pedals. Sooner or later the foot slips and a whack to the archilles, maybe at a busy intersection. Something with every pedal and style.

    If it's a stubborn one (old ), you may not want ot force it too much to avoid stripping. The advatng eof liek what CraigB mentions, adding grease to the threads during installation. Also helps the threads seat better.



    pedal by gulpxtreme, on Flickr
    Last edited by Mr. Beanz; 02-21-11 at 11:05 AM.

  4. #29
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jethro56 View Post
    Is hill climbing the only advantage of being clipped in? I've been working on my form and have made good progress with increasing my cadence. I don't know if this is correct but I try to think "Keep my feet light on the pedals." My belief is thinking that way forces me to lift my legs on the up stroke and not depend on the downward stroke to lift the opposite leg. Another thing I'm playing with is thinking that my legs are spinning in an oval that is pointed slightly down in the front. My belief is that this helps pull the up stroke leg over the top of the crank and lengthens the beginning of powerstroke. I really am just guessing here. Any Thoughts?
    You've really stepped in it now, Jethro. You're going to get answers that are all over the map.

    For me (and I stress this is for me), the advantages are twofold, and they really come down to cleats vs none, and have nothing to do with clipless pedals per se. First, I feel incredibly uncomfortable and insecure when my foot isn't attached to the pedal. Maybe it's just a case of what I'm used to, maybe it was one too many times a foot slipped off a platform pedal as a kid, resulting in a whack to an achilles or a shin. Maybe it's just that I don't have a high-friction pedal and shoe combination anymore, so all I have to compare is a running shoe on a clipless, cleated pedal. That's not a happy combination for anyone.

    The other advantage for me is in terms of power transfer and form, the latter being mainly about efficiency. When I'm standing to climb, if the cadence gets low enough, I'll pull up on the back side of the stroke, sometimes with great force. And when I'm not standing, or trying to "ride light" over bad pavement, I make an effort to pedal smoothly and deliver power all the way around the stroke. The best way I've found to do that is not worry about foot angle or anything like that, but just concentrate on "making circles" with my feet. And I refuse to believe anyone can do that effectively without being attached to the pedals in one way or another.
    Craig in Indy

  5. #30
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    You can also use a large allen wrench on some models (from the inside of the crankarm at pedal axel level)

    NTW, I don't care for Look myself, I use two sided SPD's so there is no HTFU here.. My point is that no pedal is 100% failsafe. Even platform pedals. Sooner or later the foot slips and a whack to the archilles, maybe at a busy intersection. Something with every pedal and style.

    If it's a stubborn one (old ), you may not want ot force it too much to avoid stripping. The advatng eof liek what CraigB mentions, adding grease to the threads during installation. Also helps the threads seat better.



    pedal by gulpxtreme, on Flickr
    Actually, if they don't come off with a little pressure, carefully tilt the bike over on it's side with spot the arrow is pointing to up. Fill the little depression with penetrating oil, and let it sit for a few hours, if the depression is empty, that's good, fill it again, after a full 24 hours, put the wrench on it, if it's still tight, repeat again, after a couple of days it will come right off. you don't want to really force it, if you do, often as not the threads in the aluminum crank are will come out instead. To prevent future problems, when putting pedals on, grease the threads, and go easy, you should be able to thread most pedals on by hand.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    You say this like it's a scientific fact. Do you have data from a PowerTap or Quarq power meter to prove it? Or are you really just guessing?
    I was faster going up hills after I got rid of clipless. Is that good enough for you? It certainly is for me.

  7. #32
    Cat 5 field stuffer bbeasley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jethro56 View Post
    Is hill climbing the only advantage of being clipped in? I've been working on my form and have made good progress with increasing my cadence. I don't know if this is correct but I try to think "Keep my feet light on the pedals." My belief is thinking that way forces me to lift my legs on the up stroke and not depend on the downward stroke to lift the opposite leg. Another thing I'm playing with is thinking that my legs are spinning in an oval that is pointed slightly down in the front. My belief is that this helps pull the up stroke leg over the top of the crank and lengthens the beginning of powerstroke. I really am just guessing here. Any Thoughts?
    They help me / force me to keep my foot in the correct place. With platforms I tend to slide my foot forward and mash.

    The biggest thing though is clipping in helps me put my race face on. I'm working hard to increase my cycling fitness level and clipping in signals game on.

  8. #33
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    You say this like it's a scientific fact. Do you have data from a PowerTap or Quarq power meter to prove it? Or are you really just guessing?
    Do you have scientific data to prove otherwise? I haven't tried clipless, did try clips and straps for a couple of weeks.. I track the distance and time for every ride, and if you look at that time period, you can not tell which rides were with the clips and which were not, the average ride performance for the weeks of the test were no better then the weeks before and no better then the weeks after I took them off, in fact it was slightly less, because of needing to futz with the pedals when getting going. I've seen more then one rider futzing around getting clipped in, so this isn't just a clips thing, I've seen a few zero speed fall overs, too.

    There is another issue too, if for every ride you need to stop and get the uniform on and find the special shoes and put those on, your more likely to just take the car....

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    I have owned and repaired my own bikes most of my life and never have I owned a pedal wrench.
    Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're probably right

  10. #35
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Danw View Post
    I have owned and repaired my own bikes most of my life and never have I owned a pedal wrench.
    A specifically designed pedal wrench is definitely not required, but some sort of wrench that's got a large moment arm is usually needed, even if that's a normal wrench with a piece of pipe slipped over the end to make it temporarily longer. The longer it is, the easier. At least that's been my experience.
    Craig in Indy

  11. #36
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Danw View Post
    I have owned and repaired my own bikes most of my life and never have I owned a pedal wrench.
    I don't either and I have been wrenching my own bikes for 40 years. I have a 15 mm wrench and that works just fine on most of my pedals and when I am trying to remove my Shimano M770 pedals, these don't have flats on the spindle and you need an allen wrench to take them off back side (see Mr Beanz's photo).
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
    Do you have scientific data to prove otherwise?
    Yes. I have a power meter and a computer that reports cadence. I can easily see that clipless pedals allow a higher cadence than platforms, which actually translates to using less power for a given speed (= better efficiency). I see significantly larger power numbers during sprints and slightly higher number during climbing with clipless pedals. Part of that is surely psychological: I've had my foot slip off a pedal during a full-tilt sprint and it didn't end well, so I'm always a bit reluctant to trust platforms when power outputs rise above 500W...

    I haven't tried clipless
    Before pretending to know something about them, perhaps you should give them a try?

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigB View Post
    A specifically designed pedal wrench is definitely not required, but some sort of wrench that's got a large moment arm is usually needed, even if that's a normal wrench with a piece of pipe slipped over the end to make it temporarily longer.
    Disagree. Pedals really don't need to be much more than hand-tight. Properly greased and installed, you shouldn't need a large lever to remove them...

    The primary reason to own a pedal wrench is that the wrench flats on pedals seem to be getting narrower and narrower. I've purchased several sets of pedals recently that had flats so narrow that a standard wrench wouldn't fit! The head of a pedal wrench is narrower, so it will fit on the flats that are too narrow for a standard wrench.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    The primary reason to own a pedal wrench is that the wrench flats on pedals seem to be getting narrower and narrower. I've purchased several sets of pedals recently that had flats so narrow that a standard wrench wouldn't fit! The head of a pedal wrench is narrower, so it will fit on the flats that are too narrow for a standard wrench.
    That seems to be the norm for several different components on bikes, and is something I've always found annoying.
    Craig in Indy

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    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    Before pretending to know something about them, perhaps you should give them a try?


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    I can't really tell that much difference on hills between my bike with toe-clips and the one with SPD pedals. BUT, I like the SPDs better.

    The only places where I actually pull up on the pedals hard enough to make a difference is on flat roads where you can ride for about an hour without stopping at all (also allows me to engage more hamstring power on the bottom of the pedal stroke), and on steeper hill sections if I get out of the saddle to "stomp it."

    Especially if I'm tired, and feel like the hill is winning, I will stand up and pull up hard on the up-stroke, while pulling back down against the handlebars with my arms for the opposite leg going down. Anything to relieve some pressure from my throbbing and burning lower quads, and engage and stretch other muscles in my feet, legs, and hips.

    Along those lines, I prefer SPD cleats with no float. I always have a problem pulling out on the up-stroke with floating SPD cleats. It can be scary to snap-pull your cleat off a pedal on a hill.

    If you pull up hard, Look-type road cleats are the most secure, but I don't think they are worth the trouble. The shoes are too difficult to walk around with in a pinch, you simply CANNOT pedal out of a busy intersection until you are clipped-in, the cleats don't work on spin bikes at most gyms, AND I would end up with a separate set of shoes just for my mountain bike and gym. Not that I'm against having another pair of cycling shoes. I just like knowing that no matter which pair that I pick that is dry and in good repair, will fit any of our bikes at home or the gym.
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    anyone every try speedplay? Both sides can clip in. I came from shimano.

  18. #43
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjvcycler View Post
    anyone every try speedplay? Both sides can clip in. I came from shimano.
    I've toyed with the idea of Speedplays, and Eggbeaters, but I guess I'm not dissatisfied enough with the SPDs on the Fisher to be really motivated to do it. I doubt that I'll ever stray from Look or Look-compatible pedals on the Trek, or any other road bike I might have.
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  19. #44
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    i switched to speedplay and will never look back, you just clip and go, just step on and your in... at first the are a little hard to clip down on them because they are new but the wire that attaches loosens up and its so easy, and they stay clipped unless you want them to come off. there is not way you miss clipping in like looks. no looking down to spin the pedal to make it latch.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigB View Post
    I've toyed with the idea of Speedplays, and Eggbeaters, but I guess I'm not dissatisfied enough with the SPDs on the Fisher to be really motivated to do it.
    I've tried Eggbeaters. My problem with them is the release angle: either 15 or 20 degrees as opposed to the 6 degrees (or is it 4? I forget) with SPDs. Because you have to twist your heel so much further before the pedals release, I found it more difficult to unclip before falling over. This was a particular problem when attempting to negotiate technical single-track on the mountain bike, where I might need to bail out at a moment's notice.

  21. #46
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Can anyone give a quick lesson in the differences among all the available Speedplay pedals? There seem to be quite a few.
    Craig in Indy

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    The biggest difference seems to be weight among the road pedals but the concept of "float" should be the same. I use speedplay pedals and like them. Though there has been some discussion on whether they're good for your knees.

    Can anyone give a quick lesson in the differences among all the available Speedplay pedals? There seem to be quite a few.
    Michael Sullivan

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by mgsullivan View Post
    The biggest difference seems to be weight among the road pedals but the concept of "float" should be the same. I use speedplay pedals and like them. Though there has been some discussion on whether they're good for your knees.
    No. Speedplay has several different lines of pedals. Within a given family, weight is the primary difference, though there are others (ex: number and type of bearings). Between the families, there are a number of significant differences: amount of float, adjustable vs. non-ajustable float, and release angle to name a few. The Speedplay website does a pretty good job of explaining the differences. The road pedal comparison screen is a great way to figure out the differences between their various pedals.

  24. #49
    Senior Member Seve's Avatar
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    As mgsullivan noted, the biggest difference is the claimed weight of the pedal and of course the make up of the component materials etc.
    Edit:
    See sstorkel's posts for links to the site.

    How much is marketing vs. something one would notice ?

    If my memory hasn't failed me, I think that some may have float options not available in others .... up to ~ 15%.

    I liked the double sided option for clipping in, although your choice of shoes are narrowed down if you are looking for a native 4 hole mounting connection, otherwise the adapters work fine.

    Since the clip mechanisms are essentially transferred to the shoes, whereas others Look, Shimano,Time etc. are part of the pedal the total weight difference is likely negligible. Of all styles that I have used, I found them the most difficult to walk in.

  25. #50
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seve View Post
    I liked the double sided option for clipping in, although your choice of shoes are narrowed down if you are looking for a native 4 hole mounting connection, otherwise the adapters work fine.
    I was wondering about that. I'm not sure I've seen a shoe with 4 bolts - only 2 and 3. But then I haven't made the rounds of all the shops, turning every single shoe over to check.
    Craig in Indy

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