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Old 09-24-07, 11:47 AM   #1
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My first 26 mile clipless test ride

Got my shoes over the weekend and both sets of clipless pedals:
Shoes:
http://tinyurl.com/36lk2a

Shimano A520:
http://tinyurl.com/2nh3hx

CB Candy SL (blue):
http://tinyurl.com/2qo442

I tried the A520s first. No falls or close encounters with the ground in my 26+ mile test in mostly rural areas. There were several times I had trouble clipping the left foot in when starting off.. sometimes to find the single sided pedal was inverted... and other times just because it took me a while to find the sweet spot. Meanwhile, I can pedal with these... even not being clipped in.

My first observation was that it felt good to have the connection to the bike. I've had several instances riding platforms where bumps in the road almost took my feet off the pedals. Secondly, I found that I could generally go up the hills faster and in a gear or two higher than normal... as long as I remembered to lift on the upstroke instead of just powering down on the downstroke like I've done all my life.

I also noticed that acceleration was notably improved with the ability to provide power on the upstroke, unlike on my platforms. Thus far it takes a conscious effort to power the upstroke.

All that being said, I felt like I got more of a workout with the clipless pedals than with the platforms.

For my type of riding, the clipless seem to provide a benefit for me.

Tomorrow, I plan to change out the A520s and try the CB Candy SL pedals. First though, I gotta change to a black pair because I don't like the Berry Blue color with my blue bike.



Clipping out turned out to be no big deal. I started out holding onto something in the garage while I tried to clip in and out a few times. Then a ride around the cul-de-sac with just one foot clipped in. Then a short ride around the neighborhood with both feet clipped in.

Thus far, riding clipless has been a total non-event even though I was expecting a 0 mph crash or two. I'd even planned to try them on my older hybrid first.. but didn't have a pedal wrench and my 15mm open end wrench was too large to get the hybrid's pedals off. So I chanced it on the new bike and all went well.
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Old 09-24-07, 11:57 AM   #2
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I'm interested in how this goes for you. How about a progress report in a few weeks? Or after you decide which pedal? Or both?
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Old 09-24-07, 01:19 PM   #3
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Now about pedalling on the Upstroke-

You are advised to set the pedals up with a bit less tension when you start on clipless. Makes it easier to get in and out of and still keeps you connected to the bike on all but the severest bumps. Now when you get to a flat bit of track or road- The inclination is to push a bit harder on the pedals. This is the time to practice one leg riding so you get that leg pedalling in a full circle. No need to take the other leg off the pedal but just use one leg. When it gets tired- change legs. Then start pedalling with both legs just using the upstroke. You won't be able to use either method for long till you get the muscles built up but a couple of weeks of 10 minutes per ride and those "Pulling" muscles will be attuned.

Then it is go out and ride- practicing a bit each ride and consciously thinking about the Pedalling in Circles bit. You know you have got it right and it is natural when you pull your foot out of the pedal on the upstroke. That is when you start torquing down the adjustment screw to tighten the pedals.
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Old 09-24-07, 01:32 PM   #4
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Glad you're having a positive experience. I can greatly appreciate the need to have the right color pedals........
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Old 09-24-07, 01:50 PM   #5
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I think you will like the Crank Bros pedals, I have them on all my bikes. Coupled with a pair of Sidi Dominators, they are dynamite and there is no worry about which side of the pedal is up.
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Old 09-24-07, 03:37 PM   #6
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Congrats on taking a big step toward efficient pedaling. The next step is road specific pedals for the rides where walking is less important than riding. (But as you will no doubt soon see, many here don't agree with me on this ).
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Old 09-24-07, 04:28 PM   #7
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Glad your "first time" in clipless pedals was a positive experience. Now comes the hard truth -- there are just two kinds of folks who try clipless, those who have fallen while clipped in and those who will...
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Old 09-24-07, 04:47 PM   #8
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Good idea Stepfam! Wish I'd thought of that when I first went "clipless!"
Also, don't be afraid to grab your allen wrench and adjust them fairly loosely to start, then heavier later once you get used to them. I have two pair of shoes, one regular shoe and the other sandals, both with SPD's - one clips in heavily almost to the point of setting up a wreck and the other clips in lightly at the same setting. Can't figure that out........Any suggestions??
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Old 09-24-07, 07:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobkat View Post
Good idea Stepfam! Wish I'd thought of that when I first went "clipless!"
Also, don't be afraid to grab your allen wrench and adjust them fairly loosely to start, then heavier later once you get used to them. I have two pair of shoes, one regular shoe and the other sandals, both with SPD's - one clips in heavily almost to the point of setting up a wreck and the other clips in lightly at the same setting. Can't figure that out........Any suggestions??
Are the shoe cleats worn about the same on both shoes?





Speedlever, the Crank Bros pedals will not have an adjustment for tension. They are usually a tiny bit harder to get clip into, but very easy to get out of.
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Old 09-24-07, 09:47 PM   #10
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DG... I was thinking of you as I wrote this post. I remember reading that you came close to trying clipless but backed away.

I had a difficult time getting the blue Candy SLs exchanged for a black pair today. I'll try again tomorrow... after I ride.

I'll report my experiences here ... 0 mph crashes.. whatever. I figure some clipless newbie like me might appreciate the perspective.
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Old 09-24-07, 09:56 PM   #11
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stapfam,

Thanks for that tip. I'll definitely try that technique (and need to develop those muscles). Maybe that will help me start to overcome hills. I just run out of gas on them to this point. The ol' engine still needs some tuning up. I don't have to stop during the hill climb, but am not very fast. I have a granny gear and am not afraid to use it. Thanks to the friends who advised the triple in lieu of the compact double.

Regarding tension set-up... I backed that adjuster all the way to soft and then moved it one click firm. I had no issues with the cleats coming out of the pedals prematurely. I did sense a bit of a hot spot on my left foot. I probably need to make a bit of a positioning adjustment there.

How often do you check the screws on the cleats? Every ride?
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Old 09-24-07, 09:59 PM   #12
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How often do you check the screws on the cleats? Every ride?
I usually do for the first few rides. Once they don't move again, I just check them occassionally.
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Old 09-24-07, 10:01 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by jppe
I can greatly appreciate the need to have the right color pedals...
Heheh. Just goes with the OCP and Fred components of my ride. I mean, really! What self-respecting OCPer would have clashing pedals?
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Old 09-24-07, 10:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old School
Now comes the hard truth -- there are just two kinds of folks who try clipless, those who have fallen while clipped in and those who will...
Well... I would just do it and get it out of the way. But I don't think it works like that. Or maybe I'll get lucky and bypass that ritual of passage.
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Old 09-24-07, 10:11 PM   #15
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HopedaleHills,

I don't know if I should expect much difference between the A520s and the Candys or not. I tried clipping in with my hands holding the pedal and shoe and it seemed difficult. Not sure if I need to use the shim and/or trim my MTB shoes or not.
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Old 09-24-07, 10:13 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesDawg
The next step is road specific pedals for the rides where walking is less important than riding. (But as you will no doubt soon see, many here don't agree with me on this ).
One step at a time, my friend. But I have to say that at this point, road specific pedals (and those hard soled slick shoes) have no appeal. But that could change.
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Old 09-24-07, 10:58 PM   #17
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One step at a time, my friend. But I have to say that at this point, road specific pedals (and those hard soled slick shoes) have no appeal. But that could change.
That's why I said next step. These shoes aren't made for walking. (although they aren't nearly as hard to walk in as you might imagine).
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Old 09-25-07, 05:12 AM   #18
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Once they don't move again, I just check them occassionally.
Thanks for clarifying. For those who ride CB pedals, how do I know if I need the shim or not? If I'm having trouble clipping in, add the shim?
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Old 09-25-07, 05:15 AM   #19
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That's why I said next step. These shoes aren't made for walking. (although they aren't nearly as hard to walk in as you might imagine).
Above you mentioned road specific pedals... which I believe the A520s are. Are you meaning road shoes instead of MTB shoes?

What advantage do road shoes offer over MTB shoes?
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Old 09-25-07, 05:54 AM   #20
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Good idea Stepfam! Wish I'd thought of that when I first went "clipless!"
Also, don't be afraid to grab your allen wrench and adjust them fairly loosely to start, then heavier later once you get used to them. I have two pair of shoes, one regular shoe and the other sandals, both with SPD's - one clips in heavily almost to the point of setting up a wreck and the other clips in lightly at the same setting. Can't figure that out........Any suggestions??
I had the same problem with my sandals and regular shoes. It turned out to be different cleats on the shoes. Shimano listed both cleats as compatible for the pedal but they felt much different when clipping in and out.
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Old 09-25-07, 06:05 AM   #21
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I have had to add the shim on both pairs of my shoes for the CB pedals. The other thing about them is that it is easier to clip in if yuo don't try to stomp down on them but just start a normal forward pedaling motion with a little more push. They clip easier if the motion is forward/down rather than just down. After a while you don't even think about it.
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Old 09-25-07, 06:44 AM   #22
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Thanks Tim. Hope to try the CBs tomorrow.

Did you add the shim because it was hard to clip in? Just curious what the shim is for.
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Old 09-25-07, 06:46 AM   #23
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Above you mentioned road specific pedals... which I believe the A520s are. Are you meaning road shoes instead of MTB shoes?

What advantage do road shoes offer over MTB shoes?
They are stiffer, lighter and are vented better.
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Old 09-25-07, 06:56 AM   #24
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Secondly, I found that I could generally go up the hills faster and in a gear or two higher than normal... as long as I remembered to lift on the upstroke instead of just powering down on the downstroke like I've
Clipless will allow you to do more than push down on the pedals and then pull them up. You can also pull through the bottom of the stroke and push them over the top. I think I can add more power by pulling through the bottom of the stroke than pulling up. I would follow stapfam's suggestion of pedaling with one leg, but I think you'll get more out of it if you actually do take the other foot off the pedal. Having only one foot connected forces you to focus on what just one leg is doing, and prevents you from subconsciously "cheating" with the other leg. It'll also give you good practice at reclipping while moving. Note that you should do this one legged spinning on quiet (neighborhood) roads, at a moderate speed, and in a gear that allows you to spin at a good cadence.
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Old 09-25-07, 07:16 AM   #25
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Thanks for clarifying. For those who ride CB pedals, how do I know if I need the shim or not? If I'm having trouble clipping in, add the shim?
That's how I'd judge it. The Candy pedlas look like they have more of the pedal clip exposed than my Smaty pedals do. The shim is plastic, so it compresses a bit anyway. Your shoes might have a different height tread than others, also.
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