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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 09-05-05, 07:02 AM   #1
New2Cycling
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Pedals and Shoes

Hello Everyone,

I ride a hybrid bike, a Schwinn- Searcher. It has just regular pedals and I normally wear sneakers when I ride. I've had some friends recently tell me about pedals in which shoes can click into. You're able to get more out of your bike with these pedals. My question is this: With a hybrid bike like mine, should I even bother to look into these special pedals? And how do you know what shoes go with what pedals? As I was looking at the performance site, they have the pedals divided up into road bike and mountain bike pedals. I'm not sure what I should look at. Thank you for your advice and time.
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Old 09-05-05, 07:11 AM   #2
Boudicca
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Clip pedals are great, even on a hybrid, and they really do give you extra power, even though you are bound to fall out of them the first couple of times you ride. I have mountain bike pedals/shoes (and shimano sandals) for both my hybrid and my road bike -- the cleats (the metal bits that clip into the pedals) are recessed a little, so you don't teeter too much when you walk, and you get less wear on the cleats. There are lots of discussions on what sort of pedal to use -- search the road forum for clues -- but if you are commuting in traffic you want something that you can click out of in a hurry, and you want it to become second nature to click in and out. Have fun.
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Old 09-05-05, 07:14 AM   #3
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I ride a trek 520, its a touring bike but I ride it everywhere (don't own a car). The pedals your talking about are called clipless, and they are better once you get used to having your feet locked to your pedals. They are more eficent then regular pedals with sneakers for two main reasons.

1. Cycling shoes are stiffer so your pressing on the pedal with your entire foot.
2. Your able to pull up on the pedal on your upstroke.

What you might want to consider is getting dual purpose pedals. I use the nashbar rodeo pedals which is a regular platform pedal on one side and SPD compatiable clipless on the other. The shoes I use are shimano they are casual sneaker look alikes with the cleats recessed so you can walk around semi-normally in. (on concrete I make a clicking noise)

Deciding weater to switch is up to you. I would go with standard SPD system they seem to be more common, thats only a personal opinion though.

Good Luck

Ray
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Old 09-05-05, 07:23 AM   #4
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I use plain old pedals on my commuting bikes and they work just fine. There are plenty of data out there that can show you a small benefit to being connected to your pedals while commuting but I have never noticed an inability to go as fast as I want while riding regular pedals. I also like being able to wear the same shoes in the office that I wear while I ride (or sandals for that matter). Racers see a more substantial benefit to clipless pedals but they also study and refine their pedal stroke and really need to get every bit of power they can. I've ridden with all the doodads in the past and frankly, they sucked all the fun out of the ride because I spent as much time preparing to ride and tweaking the doodads as riding. I prefer to just hop on the bike and go so plain old pedals are my thing. Others will surely feel differently and have plenty of good reasons why something else works for them. Remember, this is just my opinion based on my experience.

Enjoy your bike,
e.
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Old 09-05-05, 08:11 AM   #5
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There are three kinds of pedal system:
Plain platform pedals (like yours)
Platforms + toe clips and straps
Clip-in systems (called clipless)
Racing and high performance cyclists all use clipless systems now. The MTB ones are double sided and are more practical for general purpose riding. You need special shoes with a stiff sole and a metal cleat bolted to the sole. MTB shoes have a partially recessed cleat, road shoes have the cleat protruding so walking is impossible.
For riders who do lower distances and ride at a more leisurely pace then the adantages of clipless are less apparent.
The pros are higher efficiency. The cons are that you have to use the special shoes and that beginers usually fall over when their brain gets overloaded and they forget to unclip.
I find that the intermediate solution (platforms + toe clips) works for me. It is quite efficient but I can ue any type of shoe.
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Old 09-05-05, 10:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelW
There are three kinds of pedal system:
Plain platform pedals (like yours)
Platforms + toe clips and straps
Clip-in systems (called clipless)
Racing and high performance cyclists all use clipless systems now. The MTB ones are double sided and are more practical for general purpose riding. You need special shoes with a stiff sole and a metal cleat bolted to the sole. MTB shoes have a partially recessed cleat, road shoes have the cleat protruding so walking is impossible.
For riders who do lower distances and ride at a more leisurely pace then the adantages of clipless are less apparent.
The pros are higher efficiency. The cons are that you have to use the special shoes and that beginers usually fall over when their brain gets overloaded and they forget to unclip.
I find that the intermediate solution (platforms + toe clips) works for me. It is quite efficient but I can ue any type of shoe.
I'm with you on this one...toe clips and good ol' chuck taylors. Been usin' 'em for years (from about 7 years old to about 50) and see no need to change to the new fangled things that make me "one with my bike"...but that's just me.
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Old 09-05-05, 10:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by New2Cycling
Hello Everyone,

I ride a hybrid bike, a Schwinn- Searcher. It has just regular pedals and I normally wear sneakers when I ride. I've had some friends recently tell me about pedals in which shoes can click into. You're able to get more out of your bike with these pedals. My question is this: With a hybrid bike like mine, should I even bother to look into these special pedals? And how do you know what shoes go with what pedals? As I was looking at the performance site, they have the pedals divided up into road bike and mountain bike pedals. I'm not sure what I should look at. Thank you for your advice and time.
This is what I use.... Platform on one side, and Clipless on the other... Shimano M324



The only time I use the Platform side is when I take the kids to the pool... I use clipless side 99% of the time!
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Old 09-05-05, 10:46 AM   #8
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I have the Shimano M324s on my Trek 7200 hybrid. But frankly, I just don't like riding clipless. I do wear cycling shoes or sandals for the stiff soles but I'm thinking about removing the cleats from the sandals. I use mountain bike pedals on my electric bike because they grip really well.

I'm sure it's true that riding clipless is more efficient or so many cyclists wouldn't swear by them, but for me, it doesn't outweigh my obsession with falling. I fell once and had too many near-misses when I rode clipless and I honestly never saw any benefit for me. It's more fun for me not to worry about it.
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Old 09-05-05, 10:47 AM   #9
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Regarding the inconvenience of going somewhere with cleated shoes: Even before I went clipless a year ago, I always kept spare shoes and socks at the office in case I had to ride through rain, and also for winter, when I take the bus, but wear boots. I got mountain bike shoes even though I mostly ride my road bike, since the tread supposedly keeps the cleat off the floor, but in fact it only partly works, and I still clack when I walk. I wouldn't go into a home wearing the cleated shoes, but most businesses, and my office building, have floors that can handle anything, and I've never slipped or felt unsteady.

Bike shoes can accept different kinds of cleats, so you install the ones that match your pedals. I have mountain bike pedals on my mountain bike (Shimano M515) and road pedals on my road bike (Shimano A520) and my one pair of shoes with SH-51 cleats work with both of them.

I like the clipped in feeling, although it took three falls (which of course happen when you're at a standstill, so they weren't too hairy) and a few weeks to fully get comfortable with them. When I got a new road bike this summer I had no trouble riding with platforms, but I really missed the clipped in feeling for a few weeks until my new pedals arrived from EBay.

Robert
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Old 09-05-05, 11:30 AM   #10
patc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by New2Cycling
Hello Everyone,

I ride a hybrid bike, a Schwinn- Searcher. It has just regular pedals and I normally wear sneakers when I ride. I've had some friends recently tell me about pedals in which shoes can click into. You're able to get more out of your bike with these pedals. My question is this: With a hybrid bike like mine, should I even bother to look into these special pedals?
I have a hybrid/comfort, and dual-sided pedals: platform on one side, cleats on the other.

Here is a very subjective, and very unscientific, way of answering the question: I find the difference with clipless to be small but very much appreciated. If I feel comfortable on a given stretch of road in 3-4 (front/rear) gears using the platform side of the pedal, then with the clipless side I will ride using 3-5 for the same effort.

Its not about going faster, its about feeling less tired when I get there - or after a long day on my feet knowing that getting home will be slightly easier.

At first I made the shoe decision based on my destination- if I needed to wear boots for work, I just cycled in boots. Now I make the decision based on how much cycling I will do, and just stuff the boots in my pannier.
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Old 09-05-05, 01:38 PM   #11
John Ridley
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I have not yet tried clipless, and I know everyone says I don't know what I'm missing. Anyway...

At least get toe clips. I personally think that commuting with regular pedals and no toe clips is pretty dangerous. I finally got some after about the 4th time my sneakers slipped off the pedals trying to pull out from a stoplight in the rain with a truck on my tail. Embarassing and dangerous. Toe clips will keep your feet on the pedals in the rain and snow.

All that said, I'm probably going to start thinking about clipless. I'll probably go with some cheap mountain shoes to start with.
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Old 09-06-05, 06:48 AM   #12
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I recamend the Cannondale (now called ROAM) sneaker type shoe with recessed SPD cleats (easy to walk in) and Shimano M424 SPD pedals with platform around the cleat grabber. I tried the pedal Walkafire recamends (cleat on one side platform on the opposite) but didn't like it because gravity makes the pedal roll cleat side down and I had to flip it with my toe to clip in, I like the double sided cleat and platform pedal as you can use it with or without cleats and you don't have to pay any attention to the process of clipping in (it eventually clips together all on its' own).
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Old 09-06-05, 07:22 AM   #13
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Shoes: Cannondale Roam, $60

Pedals: Performance SPD clones $30

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Old 09-06-05, 07:35 AM   #14
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I got these Answer Shoes on eBay... under 20.00 very comfortable, and no noise when walking around with cleats... Sidewalks ya might hear some crunching of small pebbles... but indoors..very quiet.
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