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  1. #1
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    60 YO looking for advice about clipless

    Background: I'm a long-time runner (37 years), but as I got slower and more sore after some longer runs, I took up cycling as a cross-training sport about 6 years ago. Since then, I've heard a lot about the advantages of clipless pedals, but I can't see my way clear (fear mainly, since I was hit from behind a year ago...) to getting full road shoes and clipless performance pedals. Is there any middle ground that anyone knows of maybe mountain bike shoes and pedals that would be easier to unclip from? I ride a Trek FX 7.5 and currently average about 16 mph on flat pedals, if that matters for anything.

    I'm sure this has been discussed before, but the search function appears to be down.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Seat Sniffer Biker395's Avatar
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    Shimano SPD mountain bike pedals and cleats on MTB shoes are what I use.

    BTW: For that fear of getting hit from behind, try a rear view mirror (helmet or eyeglass mounted).
    Proud parent of a happy inner child ...
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  3. #3
    Member pippin65's Avatar
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    I bought gavin mtb shoes from Amazon, because they were cheap. I like them btw. I then bought shimano pd m324 pedals which I love. Inexpensive to try and I think that the flat side if the pedal offers versatility. I turned the spring tension down so I wouldn't have to fight them and am very happy.
    Mirrcycle mirrors are awesome.

  4. #4
    Slow Recreational Rider TheManShow's Avatar
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    I am 68 and ride Shimano Road Peddleswith a Delta Cleat, I do not like SPD as the surface area that touches bottom of shoe is small. As feet get old chshioning deminishes in most of us. It is an old age thing.
    “Nothing is impossible. Some things are just less likely than others.”-Jonathan Harshman Winters III (November 11, 1925 – April 11, 2013) American comedian & actor.

  5. #5
    Senior Member JGM411's Avatar
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    When i was riding my fx 7.3 everyday, I used shimano spd a530

    [

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by DAC17 View Post
    Background: I'm a long-time runner (37 years), but as I got slower and more sore after some longer runs, I took up cycling as a cross-training sport about 6 years ago. Since then, I've heard a lot about the advantages of clipless pedals, but I can't see my way clear (fear mainly, since I was hit from behind a year ago...) to getting full road shoes and clipless performance pedals. Is there any middle ground that anyone knows of maybe mountain bike shoes and pedals that would be easier to unclip from? I ride a Trek FX 7.5 and currently average about 16 mph on flat pedals, if that matters for anything.

    I'm sure this has been discussed before, but the search function appears to be down.

    Thanks.
    Running/walking shoes and toeclips. Well out of fashion these days but been using this combination for 34 years and never had any wish nor desire to go with cleats or clipless. I'll get flamed for the suggestion, I'm sure. Always happens. 72 y/o and an ex-runner also, fwiw. Had to give up all impact sports a good few years back due to lower back issues.

    Edit: For expansion/clarity/whatever...my current set-up is basic New Balance 409 running shoes, Shimano SPD 324 pedals, MKS toeclips, and moderately snug leather straps. Before that it was MKS quills and toeclips with leather straps. Also, I'm a pretty much daily recreational/fitness rider on an Al frame Cannondale Synapse.
    Last edited by ltxi; 07-22-15 at 07:49 PM.

  7. #7
    USMC Veteran, 1975-1977 qcpmsame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ltxi View Post
    Running/walking shoes and toeclips. Well out of fashion these days but been using this combination for 34 years and never had any wish nor desire to go with cleats or clipless. I'll get flamed for the suggestion, I'm sure. Always happens. 72 y/o and an ex-runner also, fwiw. Had to give up all impact sports a good few years back due to lower back issues.
    I doubt that, we have several regulars that still use toe clips and straps here, I do ride SPD-SL now, but I am planning a future C&V build and quill pedals and clips will be on board. Some have had bad experiences back in the day with the strps too tight and the old style nailed on clips sticking, but I never had any issue with them. If you have something that works for you, use it and more power to you.

    I'll second the double sided SPD pedals to get used to the clipless pedals, some of the mtb shoes with the easy to walk in soles, too. SPD type pedals, or the Speedplays, aren't difficult to use, or learn to use.

    But, all this said, just ride somehow. its the best thing I do for my sanity, and my health.

    Bill
    I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

  8. #8
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    Mountain bike shoes and pedals are no easier or different than road shoes and pedals for clipping and unclipping.

    Toe clips with shoes are easier providing you don't use straps. You might try the shorter clips made of flexible plastic that dont use straps. The problem with this is unless you use cycling shoes with stiffer soles, you lose efficiency. However some of these allow you to get experience with clipped variations do you can move to something different as you gain confidence.
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DAC17 View Post
    Background: I'm a long-time runner (37 years), but as I got slower and more sore after some longer runs, I took up cycling as a cross-training sport about 6 years ago. Since then, I've heard a lot about the advantages of clipless pedals, but I can't see my way clear (fear mainly, since I was hit from behind a year ago...) to getting full road shoes and clipless performance pedals.
    I'm not understanding this. What does getting hit from behind have to do with clipless pedals and road shoes? It's not going to make any difference to your safety since any clipless system (road or mtb) are pretty much the same in use and release.

    The benefits in riding are pretty significant especially as your work on form and climbing efficiency. I'd encourage you to do it. If you can chew gum and walk at the same time, you'll have no problem. Release rapidly becomes automatic (like instantly) - it's intuitive. I would not worry much about this.


    Is there any middle ground that anyone knows of maybe mountain bike shoes and pedals that would be easier to unclip from? I ride a Trek FX 7.5 and currently average about 16 mph on flat pedals, if that matters for anything.

    I'm sure this has been discussed before, but the search function appears to be down.

    Thanks.
    A mountain bike shoe that is more upscale (stiffer sole - maybe carbon) would work fine on a road bike. A lot of people do that. I do it when we are touring or adventure biking. Road pedals offer a wider and larger platform and are generally more comfortable over distance. Definitely noticeable to me over a 1-2 hour ride and I get a lot more fatigue in me feet than I do in my road shoes. If you don't ride a lot or more than an hour at a time, then it's probably close and MTB shoes are easier to walk in. Given a choice, I'll pick road shoes and pedals if given a choice.

    MTB shoes are almost always built with more flex in the sole to facilitate walking/running than a road shoe would be. When you get to the high end mtb shoes, they start to factor this out and put stiffer soles in them.

    I've had pretty much all the mtb pedal systems. I'm currently on the Speedplay Syzrs from Time ATACs and before that SPD (Shimano) and I like them in that order with Shimano being my least favorite by far (I'm a fan of float because of knee injuries). For road pedals, I've done years/decades on Look almost since from the time they first came out in the '80s and then switched 5 years ago to Speedplay to solve some fit issues. I prefer the Speedplay Zeros considerably now over the Looks and would recommend them but both are good with speedplay being easier to set up. Look and Shimano road are pretty similar.

    If your going to be doing road riding and limited walking, I'd encourage you to go the road pedal route over MTB pedals on a road bike. It's a better all around solution and interface to the bike.

    J.

  10. #10
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    Thanks to all for the various viewpoints. I see there are no "correct" answers; all depends on your view. I may try the two-sdied pedals to start, and see how that goes.

    And the mirror idea is absolutely correct.

  11. #11
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    I'm 70. I switched from Look style clipless pedals in 2012 after having occasional difficulty unclipping in emergency situations. The bike shop owner recommended Speedplay Light Action. Been riding with them since. Got them on both bikes. Never had a problem.
    My bikes: 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2015 Cannondale SuperSix EVO carbon

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  12. #12
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    I used these for 57,000 miles.

    VO Deep Half Clips



    Size 14 shoes

    Last edited by 10 Wheels; 07-22-15 at 07:02 AM.
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  13. #13
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    Shimano PDM324 , only tight enuf to put tension on the screw, are very easy to get out of. I find mountain bike shoes more comfortable, and easier to walk in.

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ltxi View Post
    Running/walking shoes and toeclips. Well out of fashion these days but been using this combination for 34 years and never had any wish nor desire to go with cleats or clipless. I'll get flamed for the suggestion, I'm sure. Always happens. 72 y/o and an ex-runner also, fwiw. Had to give up all impact sports a good few years back due to lower back issues.
    Back in the day (1970's and 80's) when I was riding with "real" cleats and toe clips, I still never fell down due to a pedal issue. One got very good at releasing the toe clip strap when one needed to put a foot down. One also learned early on the necessary skill of balancing in place on one's bike. When you toe is absolutely connected to the pedal and it is impossible to pull it out, you can imagine how wonderful clipless pedals were when Look invented them in about 1985. They are so easy to use, I just don't see the angst associated with using them especially for the benefit gained.

    J.

  15. #15
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ltxi View Post
    Running/walking shoes and toeclips. Well out of fashion these days but been using this combination for 34 years and never had any wish nor desire to go with cleats or clipless. I'll get flamed for the suggestion, I'm sure. ...
    Since 1968 I have been using toeclips and straps with either cycling shoes or walking shoes on all of my bikes, and I have no desire to switch to anything else. I keep the straps just barely loose enough that I can jerk either foot back and out quickly. I do miss my Avocet touring shoes, with the four parallel transverse ridges and the steel shank inside a rubber sole -- best all-round transportation, touring, and general purpose cycling shoe I ever owned.

    As for fear of getting hit from behind and to facilitate lane changes and merges, do get a mirror. I have used a helmet-mounted CycleAware for about 15 years, but there are several other great options available, as well, so take your pick.
    Last edited by John E; 07-22-15 at 08:17 AM.
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  16. #16
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    on all my road bikes I use spd-sl pedals...
    on my cross bike I use spd...
    all will work fine and once you get used to them, release will be automatic muscle memory, you won't even think about it.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Poonjabby's Avatar
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    Bike Peddler Take A Look Mirror - REI.com

    I've tried different bike mirrors. I find this one works the best. It can mount to the visor on your helmet or glasses.

    Poon
    Poonjabby Rides a Bike on Facebook

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by John E View Post
    Since 1968 I have been using toeclips and straps with either cycling shoes or walking shoes on all of my bikes, and I have no desire to switch to anything else. I keep the straps just barely loose enough that I can jerk either foot back and out quickly. I do miss my Avocet touring shoes, with the four parallel transverse ridges and the steel shank inside a rubber sole -- best all-round transportation, touring, and general purpose cycling shoe I ever owned.
    Have you ever tried clipless pedals?


    As for fear of getting hit from behind and to facilitate lane changes and merges, do get a mirror. I have used a helmet-mounted CycleAware for about 15 years, but there are several other great options available, as well, so take your pick.
    Agree that mirrors are useful, but you still need a place to go and a strategy to get there with the skills to match if you see a situation developing. Otherwise mirrors just allow you to observe the impact. I've ridden with a mirror for a long time after a neck injury and I still often get surprised by cars coming out of no where (apparently, at least to me). This new Garmin gadget looks interesting - gives you about a 500' warning that a vehicle is approaching. That turns into about a 5 second warning at 60mph.

    J.

  19. #19
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    Getting more attachment to your pedals will definitely help but clipless pedals are not the only way to achieve this. Look at the above post with photos submitted by "10 Wheels." This open toe clip will give you some sense of pedal attachment without any issues of unclipping. These devices are very inexpensive and most shoes or sneakers will work with them. Do not use open-toed shoes, however. You should try them. If you like them, you may want to go with a more complete toe clip system. Keep the adjustment fairly loose so that you can easily slip in and out. They will give you greater pedal attachment and better performance. However, you will find that the shoe you wear will be more important with regular toe clips than the open style. You'll want a shoe with a smooth hard bottom and protection across the top of your toes. Then, if you like the feeling, try clipless. You'll have to get shoes as well and the whole system can be a little pricey. Plus, you have to wear those shoes. Many people swear by clipless pedals. I have used them and they work well. My toe clips work just as well but I have shoes that were designed for toe clips (no longer available), so that matters a lot.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by practical View Post
    My toe clips work just as well but I have shoes that were designed for toe clips (no longer available), so that matters a lot.
    Shoes that were designed for toe clips had a cleat that was nailed to the shoe. The cleat was a bump with a slot in it that locked over the rear edge of the pedal. When you pulled the strap tight, you could not pull the shoe off the pedal unless and until you released the strap. This actually worked very well - but you really had to plan a stop. That's the application in which toe clips were used and in which they worked as well as modern shoes and clipless pedals do. In most all other applications of toe clips they are not nearly as efficient as clipless pedals are with an appropriate shoe.

    I don't understand the argument to not go with clipless pedals. They are simple and automatic from which to release with no or even just rudimentary training. The shoes are excellent and the choices are many and support applications from pure race to pure touring with a lot of walking.

    J.

  21. #21
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    shimano SPD let you unscrew the tension on the cleat holding spring..

    On long tours my old favorite shoes have a sole slot, the rest of the sole was increased and so "cleat" does not protrude..
    it was a made to order modification ..
    the looser fitting shoe with a stiff sole and supportive insole proved very comfortable. .. toe clip and (not tightened)strap, Pedals ..

    with the modern clipless shoe, fits are tighter, because you dont want your foot pulling out of the shoe.

  22. #22
    Si Senior dbg's Avatar
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    Shimano SPD sandals here. I love my sandals. I also have mtb shoes. I briefly used road shoes but you can't walk in them very well.

    And I feel safer being clipped in.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "I guess I'll just fade into Bolivian" --Mike Tyson

  23. #23
    Senior Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    I use SPDs.
    There is a multi-release cleat which is supposed to be easier to get out of. I haven't tried it.

    Personally I like the Wellgo pedals slightly better than the Shimano pedals.

    You might also look at the SHIMANO CLICK'R - TECHNOLOGIES - CYCLING FOOTWEAR AND PEDALS - LIFESTYLE GEAR - SHIMANO

  24. #24
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    I found it impossible to get my foot off my SPD pedals reliably, so I went back to toe clips and straps with cleatless road shoes.

    I question the benefit of clipless for non-racers. True, they upped my speed by about 10%, and I lost that when I returned to quill pedals - but my goal is to get a workout while having fun. A 2ndary goal is to lose weight.

    My thinking is that my ability to meet those goals is a function of the effort I put out. If the effort to average 12 MPH (been off the bike a long time, and I'm way overweight and 70) in toe clips is the same as the effort to average 13.2 MPH in clips, what's the benefit? Even if there is one, I'd have to take into account additional falls and the hot spots on my feet from the SPD cleats.

    Now that I think of it, IIRC, I was more tired after a 12 MPH ride with toe clips than a 13.2 MPH ride with SPDs, which may mean I expended less effort with SPDs - if that's the case, toe clips are better in that regard for a person with my goals.

    BTW, Performance came through with their 12 month money back guarantee. I returned the SPD pedals about 11.5 months after I bought them, and they refunded the cost without any hassle.

  25. #25
    Senior Member flan48's Avatar
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    But, all this said, just ride somehow. its the best thing I do for my sanity, and my health.

    Bill
    Exactly right, and I am totally in agreement. Ride with whatever makes you comfortable, and be safe.

    For what it's worth I have a good platform pedal with Wellgo "V-Pins", and with trail running shoes have extremely terrific grip. In fact, I can even pedal in circles by pulling back and over. This is even more so when riding with Five Ten shoes whose grip is phenomenal.

    So, the bottom line is: just ride, and be safe.
    Best regards
    Barry,69,New Jersey
    Trek 7.4FX - Exercise for life

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