Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 26
  1. #1
    bragi bragi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    seattle, WA
    My Bikes
    LHT
    Posts
    2,817
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Are clipless pedals all that?

    I don't have a car at all, so most of my riding is done in traffic, with lots of stops, especially downtown at "rush" hour. I've been using regular old platform pedals, because I don't have to worry about my feet at all of those intersections; I can just start pedaling. Plus, I can wear whatever shoes I want. Lately, though, I've been toying with the idea of clipless. Only three things hold me back:

    1. I suspect that the performance improvement of clipless pedals is vastly exaggerated (though I don't really know, never having used them before).

    2. They might be a real pain if you have to stop/start every few blocks.

    3. I'm secretly afraid I'll fall over trying to unclip, and get laughed at by a fat guy in a minivan eating a burrito.

    Any thoughts?
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

  2. #2
    saikurisutto Niten's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    My Bikes
    1984 Trek 720, 2004 Marin Argenta, Police Auction Schwinn Impact, Coker Wheelman Highwheeler
    Posts
    110
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    I like 'em.

    Quote Originally Posted by bragi
    1. I suspect that the performance improvement of clipless pedals is vastly exaggerated (though I don't really know, never having used them before).
    I have two-sided pedals to solve the "need special shoes" problem. When I'm clipped in I feel a better connection to the drivetrain, and detect a slight increase in performance, which increases with RPMs. This increase is significant enough to make me prefer to ride clipped.

    Quote Originally Posted by bragi
    2. They might be a real pain if you have to stop/start every few blocks.
    Eh -- you get used to it. If I'm going to have to stop every block, I'll leave one foot unclipped maybe. Usually clipping in and out happens automatically. (It takes time and practice for it to become reflexive though.)

    Quote Originally Posted by bragi
    3. I'm secretly afraid I'll fall over trying to unclip, and get laughed at by a fat guy in a minivan eating a burrito.
    Oh, yeah. That'll happen.

    But it won't be the fat guy in the minivan, it'll be the nice-looking young lady/gentleman on the nice-looking bike you just rolled to a stop next to. S/he will look down at you and ask if you're okay; there will be pity in her/his voice.

  3. #3
    Third World Layabout crtreedude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Costa Rica
    My Bikes
    Cannondale F900 and Tandem
    Posts
    3,067
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you learn to pedal smoothly (up and down) you can get a real increase in comfort - especially going up hills. Also, for rough terrain, they are wonderful in my opinion, keeps the feet on the pedals.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Inland NW
    Posts
    95
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I rode clipless for years when my commute was 7 miles or more each way, with very little stops and starts. My commute now is within walking distance of work, shopping etc. I just started using platform pedals and would never go back to clipless on my "city" type bike.

    I too enjoy wearing whatever shoe/sandal I'm wearing when I hop on my bike, and when pulling my youngest in the trailer around town clipless wouldn't be worth the extra effort.

  5. #5
    34x25 FTW! oboeguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    NYC
    My Bikes
    Scott CR1 '07, Dahon SpeedPro '06
    Posts
    6,002
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by bragi
    I don't have a car at all, so most of my riding is done in traffic, with lots of stops, especially downtown at "rush" hour. I've been using regular old platform pedals, because I don't have to worry about my feet at all of those intersections; I can just start pedaling. Plus, I can wear whatever shoes I want. Lately, though, I've been toying with the idea of clipless. Only three things hold me back:

    1. I suspect that the performance improvement of clipless pedals is vastly exaggerated (though I don't really know, never having used them before).
    Your suspicions is false. It's almost impossible to have a proper backstroke with platform pedals. You're ignoring half you leg, so it shouldn't be surprising.

    2. They might be a real pain if you have to stop/start every few blocks.
    SPD-style pedals with the loosest spring setting possible are not a pain at all for the rigors of commuting. The recessed cleat also makes walking a breeze.

    3. I'm secretly afraid I'll fall over trying to unclip, and get laughed at by a fat guy in a minivan eating a burrito.

    Any thoughts?
    That's your problem, namely that it's all in your head. Clipless pedals are normal, platforms are weird. Honestly, does it make sense to only half-use one's legs? Do what my better half does, get a set of pedals that have SPD-style clips on one side and platforms on the other, along with a decent pair of shoes that have the cleat recessed and you're good to go. You can slowly get over the fear of falling by first practicing clipping in and out while leaning against a wall at home (or have someone holding you up), then while riding on soft grass in case you fall, and finally when you feel confident on a stretch of road with few cars and few intersections. Before you know it you'll be wondering why you were so afraid in the first place!
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy
    I do not want to be associated with the kind of riders that come through my neck of the woods on weekends, dressed in superhero costumes
    Do they wear capes?
    ---

    http://www.cycopaths.net/

  6. #6
    Commuter First newbojeff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    1,286
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Seems like this is the 4th or 5th thread in the last 2 weeks about clipless pedals. Not to be dogmatic about it, but, yes, clipless pedals are all that and a peice of pie. If you are not using them you are making a horrible mistake. To address your points:

    1. The performance is much better. You can deliver power to the drivetrain throughout the rotation of the cranks. Climbing and starts are much easier when standing using clipless for the same reasons.
    2. They are much easier to get in and out of than toe clips and are not a pain at all.
    3. Your fear of the horizontal trackstand is reasonable, especially when you start out clipless. It becomes second nature quickly, though.

  7. #7
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Denver, CO
    My Bikes
    Some silver ones, a black one, a red one, an orange one and a couple of titanium ones
    Posts
    15,319
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by newbojeff
    3. Your fear of the horizontal trackstand is reasonable, especially when you start out clipless. It becomes second nature quickly, though.
    Plus, if you fall, think of the stories you'll have to tell. Without clipless: "I rode to work today and didn't fall over." Yawn! With clipless: " I fell in front of this absolutely stunning redhead..." Much better story
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  8. #8
    Easily distracted...
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Decatur, Ga
    My Bikes
    Surley Cross Check
    Posts
    1,067
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by newbojeff
    If you are not using them you are making a horrible mistake.
    They're nice, but far from necessary. First decide what type of riding you do. For distance and performance, go clipless. For utility, flexibility, and comfort -- use platforms. Stop and start downtown traffic will never maximize your efficiency with any type of pedal but platforms will maximize your utility on and off the bike.
    Safe, efficient, and comfortable transportation.

  9. #9
    Senior Member barba's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    4,083
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    They are pretty great and once you get used to them it is hard to go back. There is a nice performance boost (esp in the hills), but there is also a bonus in the feel of being connected to the bike that is bigger. I feel much more confident standing up and really pedaling hard. They are not entirely different than toe clips that are pulled tight, but they are much safer & more comfortable IMO. You can pick up nice combo pedal/shoe deals on the web for $100. I would look for SPD, Eggbeaters or Time.

  10. #10
    34x25 FTW! oboeguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    NYC
    My Bikes
    Scott CR1 '07, Dahon SpeedPro '06
    Posts
    6,002
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by barba
    They are pretty great and once you get used to them it is hard to go back. There is a nice performance boost (esp in the hills), but there is also a bonus in the feel of being connected to the bike that is bigger. I feel much more confident standing up and really pedaling hard. They are not entirely different than toe clips that are pulled tight, but they are much safer & more comfortable IMO. You can pick up nice combo pedal/shoe deals on the web for $100. I would look for SPD, Eggbeaters or Time.
    Wellgo too, BTW, which are essentially an SPD clone. It's the type used by Performance's "Campus" pedal (one side SPD-style, one side platform).
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy
    I do not want to be associated with the kind of riders that come through my neck of the woods on weekends, dressed in superhero costumes
    Do they wear capes?
    ---

    http://www.cycopaths.net/

  11. #11
    saikurisutto Niten's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    My Bikes
    1984 Trek 720, 2004 Marin Argenta, Police Auction Schwinn Impact, Coker Wheelman Highwheeler
    Posts
    110
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    Plus, if you fall, think of the stories you'll have to tell. Without clipless: "I rode to work today and didn't fall over." Yawn! With clipless: " I fell in front of this absolutely stunning redhead..." Much better story
    +1 The stories are half the reason I commute! Them, and the stunning redheads.

  12. #12
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    My Bikes
    Jamis Aurora
    Posts
    2,020
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    All that and a bag of chips.
    Treasurer, HHCMF Club
    Now living in the land of the cheesesteak.
    But working at a job where I can't surf BikeForums all day any more...

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    27
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by bragi
    1. I suspect that the performance improvement of clipless pedals is vastly exaggerated (though I don't really know, never having used them before).
    2. They might be a real pain if you have to stop/start every few blocks.
    3. I'm secretly afraid I'll fall over trying to unclip, and get laughed at by a fat guy in a minivan eating a burrito.
    I went clipless (Time ATAC) for the summer a few years ago. Then decided that clips/straps were better and switched back for about a year. Then tried the ATACs again and have stuck with them ever since.

    #1 - I don't see any major performance improvement over clips with tight straps. Maybe a little boost, but not much. However, over longer distances the toe clips hurt my toes. Clipless doesn't hurt my toes.

    #2 - This was irritating at first but I don't really notice it now.

    #3 - I only fell once. I was pulling my son on a tag-along and when I was slowing down to stop, he managed to stop us suddenly and I went over. I DID have many close calls in the first couple hundred miles though.

    Put your bike in a training stand and practice cipping in & out over and over and over and over....until you're sick of it. Then go find a nice soft grassy area and ride your bike in circles while clipping in & out over and over and over..... Finally, go for a real ride and develop the habit of clipping out sooner than you think you would need to. I don't clip out when I want to put my foot down, I clip out a couple pedal strokes BEFORE I want to put my foot down.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Tom

  14. #14
    DNPAIMFB pinkrobe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Cowtown, AB
    My Bikes
    Titus El Guapo, Misfit diSSent, Cervelo Soloist Carbon, Wabi Lightning, et al.
    Posts
    4,654
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by GTcommuter
    They're nice, but far from necessary. First decide what type of riding you do. For distance and performance, go clipless. For utility, flexibility, and comfort -- use platforms. Stop and start downtown traffic will never maximize your efficiency with any type of pedal but platforms will maximize your utility on and off the bike.
    My $0.02: I find clipless are perfect for stop-and-go riding [actually, ALL riding]. Sprinting from light to light requires all the power I can generate, and clipless help me get it to the wheel.
    Proud Member of the HHCMF
    '06 Cervelo Soloist Carbon | '09 Titus El Guapo | '09 Misfit diSSent | '09 Wabi Lightning

  15. #15
    Senior Member mihlbach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    6,327
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by bragi
    I don't have a car at all, so most of my riding is done in traffic, with lots of stops, especially downtown at "rush" hour. I've been using regular old platform pedals, because I don't have to worry about my feet at all of those intersections; I can just start pedaling. Plus, I can wear whatever shoes I want. Lately, though, I've been toying with the idea of clipless. Only three things hold me back:

    1. I suspect that the performance improvement of clipless pedals is vastly exaggerated (though I don't really know, never having used them before).

    2. They might be a real pain if you have to stop/start every few blocks.

    3. I'm secretly afraid I'll fall over trying to unclip, and get laughed at by a fat guy in a minivan eating a burrito.

    Any thoughts?


    I really just depends...if you are just riding no more than a couple of miles, and you are real laid back about it (i.e. not in a hurry at all), then platforms are just fine. On the other hand, if you are interested in speed, efficiency, distance, or, at least, riding at a moderate to fast pace, then clipless is the only way to go. Clipping and unclipping become instinct after a short time of riding clipless....and you'll immediately notice the boost in your acceleration and climbing power. Yeah, you'll fall once or twice in the beginning.

  16. #16
    bragi bragi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    seattle, WA
    My Bikes
    LHT
    Posts
    2,817
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    There seems to be an overwhelming consensus that clipless pedals really ARE all that. (though I should probably point out that people did manage to ride fast on platform pedals for decades before the invention of clipless...) I kind of like the idea of half & half pedals; it gives me a security blanket if I need one. I think it's worth it to give 'em a try; thanks, all.
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

  17. #17
    Commuter First newbojeff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    1,286
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by bragi
    I kind of like the idea of half & half pedals.
    My first forray into clipless was with half and half pedals with similar reasoning. I have used the platform half probably twice in the last 4 years.

    To repeat, and with all due respect to Eggplant_Jeff, they are all that and a peice of pie. Panniers are all that and a bag of chips.

  18. #18
    Senior Member oldokie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Oklahoma
    My Bikes
    Bianchi San Remo, Cannondale SR500
    Posts
    412
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I just started using clipless about one week ago and I really like them despite the learning curve. Yes...I fell over the first time I rode to the store and forgot about them until too late ...helpless feeling but I learned my lesson to unclip before I stop. Same at stop signs and other road situations where you might need to put a foot down. I feel much more secure in applying power to get thru an intersection or when my feet are wet without worring about a foot slipping off the pedal. I have not graduated to the "automatic" level yet when it is time to unclip but I am getting better with each ride. I think with more time, it will become second nature and I will seldome need to think about it.
    My recommendation....spend some time riding without traffic around and practice the unclipping and stopping/starting without fear of falling or getting run over. I think you will like them.
    Paul D

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    78
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I like platforms. I commute and I don't like carrying a change of shoes. I haven't found any clipless (recessed or not) that were comfortable enough for all day wear. Full disclosure -- I wear 13 wides and have found very few makers catering to my canoes. All that said, I do think they add to performance. Maybe what you are looking for are those half and half pedals. My .02 cents.

  20. #20
    drink slinger
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    454
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by bragi
    1. I suspect that the performance improvement of clipless pedals is vastly exaggerated (though I don't really know, never having used them before). ?
    After I bought a road bike with clipless I quit riding my old MTB with platforms for well over a year. Then I had a mechanical problem one day and had to hop on the old mountain bike, and when I was going up hills my feet were literally sliding off the back of the pedals because I was so used to pulling through my stroke with clipless. I had to TRY to keep my feet on the pedals.

    Quote Originally Posted by bragi
    2. They might be a real pain if you have to stop/start every few blocks. ?
    This was somewhat true when I was using the Looks that came with my bike. But now that I'm using Crank Brothers I couldn't be happier.
    Five is right out!

    My build a precision truing stand on the cheap instructable

  21. #21
    domestique squeakywheel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    off the back
    Posts
    2,005
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think it depends how far you are going and what you are going to do when you get there.

    5 miles and don't want to change shoes at destination = why bother with clipless.

    10 miles and have a place to stash spare shoes, then yeah, probably want some performance pedals.

    Right now, I'm kind of keen on PowerGrips.

    Edit: I have SPD clipless pedals on my 30 mile weekend road bike.

  22. #22
    Ride 365 Lucky07's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    NYC/UpperDutchess, NY
    My Bikes
    '06 Cannondale Six 13 Pro 2, '05 Specialized Allez Elite, '04 Jamis Satellite, 90's Raleigh M-45 single speed conversion, 80's Fuji Team single speed conversion, 70's Schwinn World Sport
    Posts
    1,882
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Here's my take: I've used platforms, clips, half spd pedals, & double sided clipless (Quattros) on a short commute. Platforms are fine for short commutes. The new bmx style platforms with studs are great for keeping any kind of shoe on the pedal. Clips are a good half way point. But unless you're diligent about getting your feet IN them, you'll can destroy them by scrapping the clips against the ground while pedalling. Half spds were pretty useless in my opinion. Annoying clip lump when wearing regular shoes, & then you have to flop the pedals to the right side when wearing cleats. Clipless is very easy once you have it down, but they can be nerve wracking to use in heavy stop & go rush hour traffic. Hope that helps...
    "...devil take the hindmost..."

  23. #23
    Eric Nye
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Covington, La.
    My Bikes
    2006 Rivendell Atlantis, Bike Friday Tandem Two's Day, 1984/85 Trek 420, 1970's Raleigh Tourist
    Posts
    5
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I use MKS-brand RMX (BMX) pedals, basically metal platforms with built-in reflectors. I used to ride with toe clips and straps, then clipless. I got tired of losing my balance, i.e., tipping to the right, past the point of no return, with my right foot still clipped in. I thought, "I'm getting older (mid-50s), and the last thing I need to do is fall and break my hip." I know, it makes me sound hopelessly old and feeble, but I enjoy the freedom to wear normal shoes when I ride. My typical outfit is cargo shorts, a loose T-shirt and sandals instead of special shoes and special bicycle garb. I don't miss the clipless pedals at all.

  24. #24
    Speed Demon *roll eyes*
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Waterloo, Ontario
    My Bikes
    1998 specialized s-works mtn bike / 2005 Kona Jake the Snake
    Posts
    982
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I love my clipless. Been riding them since the mk2 look pedal (remember those black ones anyone? came right after the original white ones about 23ish years ago....) and LOVE THEM!! Currently, I use Time Attac pedals and highly highly reccomend them. They are easy to get out of, have insane amounts of "float" (your feet can rotate a lot before unclipping, making it easier on the knees since your foot can rotate on a wonky pedal stroke like I have instead of your knee grinding if your foot is immobile...). They are also relatively light, and very strong.

    OH, you will fall, but you will get over it. Honest.
    1998 Specialized S-works Hardtail - hotrodded
    2005 Kona Jake the Snake cyclocross

  25. #25
    Mad scientist w/a wrench
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Chucktown
    My Bikes
    none working atm
    Posts
    760
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Pardon the stupid question, but I haven't taken a look at the clipless sets at my LBS and am looking to buy some from the net...these things are sold in pairs right? I see things like eggbeater's sold for $50ish and wonder if that's 50 each pedal or per pair...I'm assuming pairs, but just want to be sure.
    Proudly wearing kit that doesn't match my frame color (or itself) since 2006.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •