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  1. #1
    elder oldBear's Avatar
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    Easiest clipless to 'pull-out' in emergency

    What is the 'easiest to exit' clipless pedal you know of?

    I'm currently in speedplay and love the pedal, but I just took a tumble which messed up my back (somewhat recurring problem I have to watch out for) and I'm going to miss cycling whilst I recover.

    Going up a rather steep hill, gears malfunctioned - chain slid into highest gear, brought all forward momentum to a halt and before I could twist out, I was down.

    I need something I can pull out of in such an emergency. I know, don't let it happen! I've been clipless for a number of years now and it has/does - twice. First time I just accepted it and figured I'd be more careful and prepared. Looking back on this one, I really don't see how I could have prevented it and at 60+ don't like facing a recovery period (or worse, like a friend, - a broken hip).

    So please, no lectures on what I should have done to prevent it. Just any recommendations on quick exit pedal alternatives.

    Many thanks to you all for all the enjoyment and advice you've provided over the years.

    cheers
    Last edited by oldBear; 07-30-07 at 06:51 PM.

  2. #2
    Ride Daddy Ride Jet Travis's Avatar
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    All I've ever used is SPDs set pretty loose. Never a problem unclipping. and your chances of falling on your butt if you walk more than a few paces is significantly diminished.
    Last edited by Jet Travis; 07-30-07 at 07:40 PM.
    "Light it up, Popo." --Levi Leipheimer

  3. #3
    elder oldBear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jet Travis View Post
    All I've ever used is SPDs set pretty lose. Never a problem unclipping. and your chances of falling on your butt if you walk more than a few paces is significantly diminished.
    Thanks for the reply.

    'Never a problem unclipping' - does that mean you can also just pull out? I've never had a problem unclipping the speedplays but on two occasions I just didn't have the time or manueverability to 'twist' out properly, whereas if I could have just 'pulled' loose, I believe I would have been ok.

    btw - what model SPD's?

    Thanks again.

  4. #4
    Ride Daddy Ride Jet Travis's Avatar
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    You can't just pull out. You've got to turn (or twist) your foot, but I find it to be easy and quite intuitive. I have several different models for my different bikes, probably based on what was on sale at Performance. One called the "Campus" by Forte (I think) is kinda nice cuz you can use them as platform pedals if you want. (Great for a casual spin or trip to the grocery store). Several others offer similar features. For more serious riding, I think the "dual-sided" type are nice, because your chance of easily clipping in is increased by 50%.

    I really do like the walkability factor of most Mt. Bike shoes, which is what I use. As a photographer, I like to get off the bike and explore some now and then.
    Last edited by Jet Travis; 07-30-07 at 07:14 PM.
    "Light it up, Popo." --Levi Leipheimer

  5. #5
    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
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    Some Shimano SPD cleats are multi-directional ie, you can reef your foot out from any angle. I've got them and they are great. I've never had an accidental release but the ability to just wrench your foot clear has saved me going down a few times - I haven't had to pull with any extraordiary pressure either, the fear of the situation and my reaction has been enough to get them out.

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  6. #6
    bobkat
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    I use SPD's and recently with a new pair of bike sandals I almost went down when they didn't release in a hurry. So I adjusted them really loose and so far they haven't slipped out when I didn't want them to. I've had no experience with other types of clipless, though. I've heard eggbeaters or drank brothers are good!?!

  7. #7
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    I like SPD's and feel like they are the best choice for my weary knees.

    Be aware that there are two types of Shimano cleats for SPD...the #51, and the #55 or #56. The #51's only release to the outside and can get you in a bind (no pun inteneded...don't ask how I know). The 55 or 56 models are simple and easy to release..right, left, rotate, or pick up in back.
    Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.....Milton Friedman

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    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    I've programmed myself for so long to push down/twist out that it's automatic in the times I've needed a sudden toe dab. Besides, twisting in might find an obstruction in the chain ring, crank arm, etc. When you want to suddenly free that foot, generally you put your foot outwards away from the bike for quicker stability. Just offering up a minority view here.

  9. #9
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    set um loose. They will come out.

  10. #10
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jet Travis View Post
    All I've ever used is SPDs set pretty loose. Never a problem unclipping. and your chances of falling on your butt if you walk more than a few paces is significantly diminished.
    +1, I use them on both my Road and MTB. On the MTB I have to get out fast at least once on almost every ride. Never had a problem on the road and very rarely on the MTB. I use Shimano MTB shoes, they're great. I can get off the bike and walk like I'm in regular shoes.
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  11. #11
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    It also depend on the pedals. My MTB has M520s. Super easy to click out.

    My road bike has A520s. Even set as low as possible, it's not so easy.

    My rec: M520s. Bought 'em off Ebay for $39.

  12. #12
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    Speedplays should be very easy to pull out of...unless....you over tighten the cleat on your shoe. Once you;ve done this, it is much more difficult to disengage from the pedal... even if you go back and untighten the cleat a bit. I found this out the hard way.... twice.... I can be a slow learner at times. I ruined two pair of cleats before I followed the written instructions to the letter and now I find them very easy to click out.
    Oh I used to be disgusted and now I try to be amused. But since their wings have got rusted, you know, the angels wanna wear my red shoes. But when they told me 'bout their side of the bargain, that's when I knew that I could not refuse. And I won't get any older, now the angels wanna wear my red shoes.

  13. #13
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    I use Eggbeaters on my MTB because I can click out of them quicker than I could with SPD, not that I had a big problem with SPD. But sometimes, like in the situation in the OP, things happen too fast to get out of most any pedal system, even platforms. The best prevention is to practice disengagement enough that it is instinctive and you can get out of any pedal quickly.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  14. #14
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    I know you asked about clipless, but have you ever considered toe clips?

  15. #15
    Senior Member Terrierman's Avatar
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    M520's with MTB shoes work for me, only fell twice, and only one of those was a fatality.
    It's all downhill from here. Except the parts that are uphill.

  16. #16
    elder oldBear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LastPlace View Post
    I know you asked about clipless, but have you ever considered toe clips?

    Yes. Used toe clips for 30+ years, and will consider 'going back' if I can't find a suitable clipless solution. But, aside from the inability of my current speedplay's to allow me to 'emergency release', I really like the clipless better. I find I can bike farther without my feet becomming numb as they used to during very long rides in clips.

    cheers

  17. #17
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    I switched from SPD to Eggbeaters for the little bit of float, and the difference in ease of release is very noticeable. You've still got to turn your foot to release, but just a little outward movement of my heel and I'm out.
    Silver Eagle Pilot

  18. #18
    Senior Member BikeArkansas's Avatar
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    After being in the same situation you are experiencing, I went to the Crank Brothers eggbeaters. Yesterday I was riding only to work out some very tired muscles. I guess I was not staying focused and missed a slow, but very sharp turn. My front wheel and handle bars hit a wood fence. Bad news. I hit on my left side, which is the side I normally twist out of first. Even with the disadvantage of having to twist out of my "opposite" foot I as out of it and stayed upright after bouncing off the wood fence. I would have been on the concrete with the SPD pedals I did use. Just my experience.
    I started riding my bike to get healthy. Now I try to stay healthy so I can ride my bike.

  19. #19
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    From the description of the incident I do not think different pedal/cleats would have made a difference. I use Bebop which is similar design and very easy to unclip. Broke a chain on a steep up hill and just could not get out of the clips before impact with the ground.

  20. #20
    Senior Member gear's Avatar
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    I don't think the pedal/cleat was at fault in the accident you describe. You did not do the correct motion that time and fell. Children learning to ride bikes with platform pedals need to learn to move their foot off the pedal before they can place their foot down on the ground (you can't push through the pedal to get to the ground). Its always harder to reteach your body a motion it has memorized a specific way, clipless pedals require your body to make a movement differently (leading with your heel) than it initially memorized it. That more than the pedal/cleat is the cause of your problem. Stick with your pedal/cleat (keep them adjusted loosley) and you will make your body memorize the motion and reproduce it at any speed you need.

  21. #21
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monoborracho View Post
    I like SPD's and feel like they are the best choice for my weary knees.

    Be aware that there are two types of Shimano cleats for SPD...the #51, and the #55 or #56. The #51's only release to the outside and can get you in a bind (no pun inteneded...don't ask how I know). The 55 or 56 models are simple and easy to release..right, left, rotate, or pick up in back.
    +10 on the SPD 56 cleat (for newer pedals M520, 540, A520 etc.) The 55 is for older pedals (M515 etc.)

    The emergency getout mode is heel up sharply............pop your out. Add to this variable tension in the pedal and it couldn't be easier. The multiangle cleats are colored gold when new and the standard cleats are black. Unfortunately you will have to pay an extra $20 to get the cleats as they come with no pedal or shoe that I know of.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monoborracho View Post
    I like SPD's and feel like they are the best choice for my weary knees.

    Be aware that there are two types of Shimano cleats for SPD...the #51, and the #55 or #56. The #51's only release to the outside and can get you in a bind (no pun inteneded...don't ask how I know). The 55 or 56 models are simple and easy to release..right, left, rotate, or pick up in back.
    The SH51 cleats also release heel in. This fact is not mentioned in the docs that come with the cleat, I would guess that the lawyers do not want Shimano to be liable in case you unclip to the inside and your heel hits the wheel. I prefer the multi-release cleats, much easier to get out.

  23. #23
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    I use Look and all I know is that I've come out of the pedals going over the handlebars and along with most other crashes.........

  24. #24
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Weak Link View Post
    It also depend on the pedals. My MTB has M520s. Super easy to click out.

    My road bike has A520s. Even set as low as possible, it's not so easy.

    My rec: M520s. Bought 'em off Ebay for $39.
    I for some reason agree with TWL. Shimano SPD's are good but do get the double sided version. I also have the A520's on the road bike and they do conform to normal Roadie looks- but having had them for a month- If I was buying again I would go for the M520's. Several advantages on the SPD system. First of all you can get a shoe that you can walk in- even for extended periods, and they can be adjusted for tension. It will not be long though before you adjust them tight to stop the foot from coming out of the pedal. With regard to the different cleats- I only use the standard version and no problem in unclipping.
    Last edited by stapfam; 07-31-07 at 10:59 AM.
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  25. #25
    Pedal pusher... alicestrong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post
    +10 on the SPD 56 cleat (for newer pedals M520, 540, A520 etc.) The 55 is for older pedals (M515 etc.)

    Unfortunately you will have to pay an extra $20 to get the cleats as they come with no pedal or shoe that I know of.
    Yes a tad bit of a rip...you need an "upgrade" to clip out of the pedals more easily.

    I asked a salesman why they didn't just include the easier to clip out of cleats with the pedals in the first place. He said the easy to get out of cleats are not as "professional"...

    OK...so let the "professional" cleats be the upgrade then!!
    May you live long, live strong, and live happy!

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