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Old 04-20-06, 08:20 AM   #1
HiYoSilver
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Explain - floats & cleats

I can't believe I never asked this before, but I need some advice about feet and bikes.

Floating systems --
what are they?
who makes them?
what is the range of float?

Cleats--
Under what conditions do you move the cleats to the far front?
Under what conditions do you move the cleats to the far rear?

thanks
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Old 04-20-06, 08:50 AM   #2
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I use a Time Atac system. No adjustments. The cleats are installed in one of 2 ways, either 8 or 15 degrees float. Thats the amount of twist you need to do to your foot, swinging your heel sideways to become unclipped.

Not enough float can cause knee problems if not set up correctly, so most generally advise to use a sytem with enough float so it compensates for poor set up and allows your knees to not be put under stress.

Too much float and people have a hard time getting unclipped since the heel needs to be rotated so much.

Its a personal preference, many like speedplays. In my neck of the woods a speedplay system costs about 2x as much as a time atac without giving me 2x the benefit, so i stay with the time atac.

Moving the cleat forward and back, i adjust till under the ball of my foot. I'm sure some will have more technical advise on placing.
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Old 04-20-06, 10:26 AM   #3
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I use the eggbeaters myself. I have them currently set up for a 15 degree release angle (20 is the other option). I thought that float though was the free play before you start to put a strain on the springs holding you in place...

OR are float and release angle the same?
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Old 04-20-06, 10:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
Floating systems --
what are they?
who makes them?
what is the range of float?
They are pedal systems that allow the user to rotate his/her cleat/shoe horizontally to some extent without having the cleat disengage the pedal.

Most pedal manufacturers include the option for some float within their binding systems.

Usually from 0 degrees from center to a high of 28 degrees (At least for Speedplays - one of the highest float pedals around)

Quote:
Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
Cleats--
Under what conditions do you move the cleats to the far front?
Under what conditions do you move the cleats to the far rear?
The rule of thumb is to align the cleat under the ball of your foot. In practice this technique tends to work very well for all riders I have helped size. If your pedaling style is more "heel-down" I can see trying to move the cleat a little farther forward of the ball of the foot.
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Old 04-20-06, 10:38 AM   #5
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Floating systems --
what are they?
who makes them?
what is the range of float?

stress relief for knees - nobody's leg moves straight up and down there's always a bit of lateral movement

most pedal manufacturers - although personally I'd stick with time, every time

variable anything from a couple of degrees to 20 or more

Cleats--
Under what conditions do you move the cleats to the far front?
Under what conditions do you move the cleats to the far rear?

uh - none always centre the cleat under the ball of your foot.


try these for research

http://www.roadbikereview.com/cat/dr...S_2503crx.aspx

http://www.mtbr.com/reviews/pedal/
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Old 04-20-06, 11:40 AM   #6
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The ball of the foot runs diagonally from the base of the big toe to the base of the little toe, so this allows for considerable amount of change in fore-aft positioning of the cleat. Try changeing the position and go for a decent length ride, you will then know if it is an improvement or not.
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Old 04-20-06, 04:04 PM   #7
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augghhhhh. pedals are so darn confusing.

Is there a shorthand summary of the standard type of cleats?

It looks like there may be four types, but I get brain freeze whenever I look at pedals:
-- circle platform, ala frog
-- normal, ala shimano
-- long, ala look
-- wired, ala eggbeater

I presume you have to match shoe/cleat/pedal as one unit and these are not interchangeable. You can't just pick a shoe, a pedal and then assume you can click in without any more thoughts.
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Old 04-20-06, 04:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
Is there a shorthand summary of the standard type of cleats?
Yes there is:
-Cleats that work with your pedals
-Cleats that won't work with your pedals


Pedals are easy, but become "hard" because there are a lot of great choices that can be had and can be recommended for a number of reasons. As for matching a cleat to a pedal platform...just buy the pedals you like. They will come with the needed cleats. Relax. This is supposed to be fun right?
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Old 04-20-06, 04:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiYoSilver

I presume you have to match shoe/cleat/pedal as one unit and these are not interchangeable. You can't just pick a shoe, a pedal and then assume you can click in without any more thoughts.
Actually the shoes are rather universal... Usually with a 4 hole system that allows just about any cleat to be bolted on... there are exceptions, so be sure to ask if you happen to fall in love with a particular shoe.

To the best of my knowledge, SPD does not have any float. (although there is an SPD-SL system, with float, that looks a lot like the LOOK cleats... just to confuse you.)

Perhaps the strangest thing is the name: "clipless."

The current system is much more of a "clip" based system than the old "toeclips" which were in reality much more of a "strap" system.

Perhaps in reality we should say "strapless" vice "clipless."
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Old 04-20-06, 04:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
augghhhhh. pedals are so darn confusing.



I presume you have to match shoe/cleat/pedal as one unit and these are not interchangeable. You can't just pick a shoe, a pedal and then assume you can click in without any more thoughts.


Depends upon the shoe. Some shoes have bolt patterns which allow you to use mountain bike Shimano SPD style cleats or road Look style cleats. Shoes which have a standard 2 bolt hole pattern will accept Shimano SPD, Eggbeater, or Time ATAC cleats. Road shoes often will accept only the 3 bolt pattern cleats such as LOOK ARC or Shimano Road cleats. for example, this particular shoe could be fitted with either road style or mountain style cleats due to having multiple bolt patterns on the sole:

http://www.performancebike.com/produ.../20_4452_B.jpg


Most pedals will have some float built in...I think that Shimano SPD usually has 4 degrees...maybe 6. This is different from release angle which was confused earlier.
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Old 04-20-06, 04:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
I presume you have to match shoe/cleat/pedal as one unit and these are not interchangeable. You can't just pick a shoe, a pedal and then assume you can click in without any more thoughts.
uh no - these days almost every pedal type fits almost every shoe (as with all generalisations there are a few exceptions)



Personally I went with

sidi mtb shoes - good fit, replaceable soles, quality construction, one pair of shoes for all the bikes, etc
time atac - strong, reliable, simple, easy to maintain/service, knee friendly float, one type of pedal for all the bikes, etc
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Old 04-21-06, 08:29 AM   #12
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Whew, thanks for the info. I'll focus on a pedal upgrade from Time and see what's good.

I need something with good float to lessen knee problem. I don't think I have any float now. I'll check this weekend. this is a rest day as the knee is still sore.
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