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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 09-03-10, 04:46 PM   #1
bengreen79
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Why did I wait?

So I finally bit the bullet and purchased clipless shoes and pedals. WOW. Instant power transfer, easier to get in than toe clips. Much more comfortable! And I only rode about a mile back from the LBS so far.

I got these pedals and these shoes.

I paid pretty much retail for them but that included installation and of course the opportunity to try the shoes on. I would have probably ordered the wrong size had I got them online.

So whoever is still thinking about, wondering if it's worth it, it is!
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Old 09-03-10, 05:08 PM   #2
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Now you're cookin' with gas!
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Old 09-03-10, 07:17 PM   #3
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Went clipless about 8 years ago -- SPD clones first, then the real deal. For a week in '04, I had to go back to platforms (clone gave up before I was financially ready to upgrade), and I NEVER DEALT WITH SUCH CRAMPING PAIN IN MY CALVES IN MY LIFE!

Now I'm on Time ATAC's, and will never change -- I have three sets, and am looking for more, JUST IN CASE...!
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Old 09-03-10, 07:27 PM   #4
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I have the same pedals as you got on both my bikes. I will never go back. My first ride into work with them was awsome. I also experienced the required "unclip left, fall right" ritual. I hope you can avoid that. Embarassing to do on the side of the road.
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Old 09-03-10, 07:33 PM   #5
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Amen!!!!

back in the 80s during my first exposure to real cycling i had an old Azuki touring bike with cages. I was perfectly happy with them and a bit weary of the new fangled cleats that only the most hardcore racers had at the time.

About 4 years ago I got back into cycling, buying an older trek from a guy at work that was already spd equipped.

took to them like a duck to water. can't ever imagine myself being strapped into a cage again....EVER. without a doubt, clipless is the biggest singtle improvement in cycling over the last 30 years. nothing else comes close.

sure wish i still had that old azuki though. damn, that thing rode like a cadillac. it's geometry allowed rock steady no hands riding at pretty near an speed.
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Old 09-03-10, 07:36 PM   #6
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I had the same feeling when I went from clipless/toeclips/platforms on different bikes to PowerGrips on everything.
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Old 09-03-10, 08:24 PM   #7
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For me, any marginal difference in "power transfer" is completely negligible compared to the awful sound the SPD cleats make whenever you walk on the sidewalk. I can't stand that constant grinding wherever I go (and I've got touring type SPD shoes). Maybe if all I did was race my bike, that would be fine. But, for commuting and utility, I'm on and off the bike 4 or 5 times each day. Any time "saved" by the pedals is surely lost by the weight and time associated with changing shoes.
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Old 09-03-10, 08:31 PM   #8
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Tip over and get it over with...j/k
I ride M540's on both road bikes...excellent pedals--->add Shimano sandals and your dogs will thank you repeatedly.
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Old 09-03-10, 09:19 PM   #9
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I made the switch last week -- same pedals you got, and similar shoes. Best money I ever spent on Ebay! As you say, the comfort is much greater, and I've only had trouble clipping in once or twice -- far less than the number of times a week I had trouble getting my clip-equipped cages flipped right way up. Over a 100 miles, and no falls yet, though I had a close call this afternoon at 'parking lot' speed -- hit an unexpected rut which tipped me towards the foot I already had clipped in. I am so glad I resisted the urge to get the flat/SPD hybrid pedals -- the two sided 520s are so much cleaner looking, and easier to use, I think.

I suspect most of the falls are people who are transitioning from flat pedals with no toe clips. I remember falling several times 25 years ago when I began using toe clips and straps, but the habit of un-clipping as needed is already firmly ingrained, and the mechanics are so much simpler (even though I had stopped strapping in while riding -- esp. as MTB shoes are much clunkier in the plastic toe clips I had been using).

My one issue is that because I take public transit as a part of my commute, I have to walk, and my cleats definitely contact the pavement/escalator steps, etc... from time to time. So far it doesn't seem to do them any harm, but I'm worried about long term longevity. But in two weeks, I will be in 'full cycling' mode, I think, so perhaps its a non-issue.
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Old 09-04-10, 07:38 PM   #10
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I just went the other way this summer after retiring. I ride my (what used to be) my commuter bike every day now. I ride 60+ miles every week just putzing around. The library, market, the beach etc and it's all on the flats of my spd pedals.

The long road bike rides are all clipless naturally.

The point is, don't get locked into one pedaling system. They all work good and have their place.
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Old 09-04-10, 09:45 PM   #11
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I still use cages and straps, but maybe one day I'll bite the bullet and get a set of SPD's.
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Old 09-04-10, 11:50 PM   #12
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I still use cages and straps, but maybe one day I'll bite the bullet and get a set of SPD's.
Bite it!
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Old 09-04-10, 11:52 PM   #13
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Don't think about your first fall, but it's gonna be hilarious.
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Old 09-05-10, 06:56 AM   #14
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Put it this way. When I got toe clips for the first time, I instantly said I'm never riding without them. I could shift up one gear and keep my cadence, i.e. it gave me about 15% more power.

Then when I switched to snap-in cleats (Look), I said I'm never riding without them. I could shift up ANOTHER gear and keep my cadence, i.e. it gave me ANOTHER 15% more power.

But you can't really do errands with Look shoes. Walking in those shoes is outright hazardous.

I switched to SPD, and I love them. I usually wear SPD sandals but sometimes wear SPD shoes.

I feel ANY foot retention is better than none. But if I can, I'd rather wear SPD than toe clips, and I'd rather use toe clips than no retention. I have several bikes, so I have various pedal types.

And even PowerGrips are pretty good.
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Old 09-05-10, 03:07 PM   #15
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So I finally bit the bullet and purchased clipless shoes and pedals. WOW. Instant power transfer, easier to get in than toe clips...So whoever is still thinking about, wondering if it's worth it, it is!
If you decide to take your riding to the utilitarian level where your walking around and doing errands get some touring specific shoes. In addtion get the thinnest and most narrow cleats you can find and you'll avoid clicking on hard surfaces. Also, slipping on stairs. It only takes once(been there, done that). Anyway, congrats on making the jump. I had the same thought when I finally did. Now about clipless and fixed gear...
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Old 09-05-10, 03:41 PM   #16
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I have those exact pedals, with Shimano shoes. I used them for 3 years and finally switched back to toe clips just for simplicity. Honestly, I don't see what the big deal is. I guess my form must suck or something, but they don't do anything for me that toe clips don't do. I'm not paying any real attention to my styles or efficiency or anything, I'm just friggin' going to work and back again.
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Old 09-05-10, 04:10 PM   #17
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PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE ----- follow up with your first fall(s) story when it happens, OP.

I had a blast with mine then followed up years later when a cleat screw that fell out again made me unable to resist the relentless pull of gravity on a clipped in foot.
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Old 09-05-10, 05:16 PM   #18
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PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE ----- follow up with your first fall(s) story when it happens, OP.

I had a blast with mine then followed up years later when a cleat screw that fell out again made me unable to resist the relentless pull of gravity on a clipped in foot.
I almost did today. I was at our local park and a 2-3 year old girl was running away from her dad. She started to get too close to the road so I cut off her path on my bike so her dad could catch up. Still had one foot clipped and almost fell because my bike leaned towards my clipped foot after that unplanned manuever.

Managed to get out just in time.
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Old 09-05-10, 05:23 PM   #19
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Real men ride with platform pedals.
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Old 09-06-10, 05:41 AM   #20
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Platform pedals are for Queens.

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Old 09-06-10, 06:07 AM   #21
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Real Freds ride with Keen SPD sandals and matching tube socks!
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Old 09-06-10, 10:38 AM   #22
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...The point is, don't get locked into one pedaling system. They all work good and have their place...
I'm sitting here with my shoulder in a sling, waiting on surgery, because I tried to ride too aggressively in a pedaling system that was inappropriate. Let me explain. My most aggressive equipment is a Cervelo R3 with Look clipless pedals. Its a great combination for all out speed and competitive group rides.

I recently adapted a Miyata 914 bike for light day trips and commuting, which included combo flat/spd pedals. I use the SPD side for day trips and group rides. I intended to use the flat side of the pedals for commuting wearing running shoes. I forgot to use my head and played racer-boy from the stop light, standing on the pedals to accelerate, while wearing running shoes. My foot slipped off the pedal and I crashed hard. The result was a concussion, category 5 AC joint injury, and cracked rib.

Have I learned from this experience? ... probably not. I'll go back to some kind of secured pedaling system on the Miyata, so this cannot happen to me again. My head is too stupid to rely on using good sense, even though I love having my feet free for commuting.

Bob
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Old 09-06-10, 03:26 PM   #23
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Real Freds ride with Keen SPD sandals and matching tube socks!
Those black full calf gold toe socks with the little garters to hold them up??
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Old 09-06-10, 03:55 PM   #24
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So I finally bit the bullet and purchased clipless shoes and pedals. WOW. Instant power transfer, easier to get in than toe clips. Much more comfortable! And I only rode about a mile back from the LBS so far.

I got these pedals and these shoes.

I paid pretty much retail for them but that included installation and of course the opportunity to try the shoes on. I would have probably ordered the wrong size had I got them online.

So whoever is still thinking about, wondering if it's worth it, it is!
Hey, me too (same pedals AND shoes) just last week.

My only fall so far has been when I was riding around on grass at night (my first time using the pedals) and just toppled over.
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Old 09-14-10, 07:29 PM   #25
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As requested, following up with details if my first fall. That didn't take too long...

I was behind a dump truck and we were both at a stop sign waiting. He kept starting and stopping, skipping several more than adequate openings. This was an empty truck mind you. He went about 4 feet and then stopped again. I had my left foot unclipped but fell to the right when he stopped again for the umpteenth time. I was going about 1 mph so the only damage was a seat that needed to be straightened. No one was behind me so no one really saw it.

Glad I got that out of the way!
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