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Old 04-23-08, 01:32 PM   #1
Zan
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Quick Question About Clipless

Hello!

I finally made the switch to clipless pedals. Went to the store the other day, got myself two sets of Shimano M520s, and a set of Time MXC shoes. One set of pedals is for my road bike, the other for my soon-to-be-mine SC Chameleon.

Anyways, I'm just curious... is there supposed to be any play in the pedals when you're clipped in? I haven't been out for a decent ride yet - just enough to get a feel for how they work. I adjusted the tightness so that they're fairly loose... so that might come into play (but i didn't see a difference when they were looser/tighter). When I'm pedaling around i can twist my feet so that the heel swings back and forth sideways slightly, with no resistance (compared to when trying to eject). is this normal, or am i way too loose?

Thanks!
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Old 04-23-08, 01:57 PM   #2
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It's called "play" and varies from one system to another. I noticed this too when I first switched to clipless (also SPD). As I recall SPDs have a fair amount of play compared to other systems; some people like that, others don't, but it is entirely normal.
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Old 04-23-08, 02:06 PM   #3
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It's called float, and it's good for your knees.
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Old 04-23-08, 02:10 PM   #4
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Quite right. It's normal.

The cleats come with the pedals, of course, but they are not all the same the shimano cleat ending in the number 51 is only supposed to release when you twist your ankle to the outside. The #56 should release with either an inward or outward twist, as well as in an upwards direction. You might be able to do some fine tuning by changing cleats, but geez, $20.00 a set seems kind of steep for what they are.
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Old 04-23-08, 02:14 PM   #5
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It's called float, and it's good for your knees.
Oh my wounded pride. Der... yes, float, not play.
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Old 04-23-08, 02:41 PM   #6
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Oh my wounded pride. Der... yes, float, not play.
LOL, I had to think for a couple of seconds to remember the word myself. My clipless pedals have been put away for the winter and I haven't thought about such things as float for a long long time.
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Old 04-23-08, 03:06 PM   #7
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My advice to clipless n00bs is to set the tension to the bare minimum needed to stay clipped in under heavy power. There's no advantage for novices in setting it any tighter, and significant disadvantages.

Float (in the angular or side-to-side sense) is a good thing, it helps your knees etc. stay happy. Play (in the up-down or fore-aft sense) makes me nervous.
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Old 04-23-08, 03:56 PM   #8
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okay cool. i went out for maybe half an hour today (it's a recovery day for me) to give 'em a spin. The "float" doesn't seem to bug me whilst riding. Everything seems cool. It's nice being able to pull up and get power from that! I feel a lot more secure on the bike.

Thanks for the responses.
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Old 04-23-08, 04:20 PM   #9
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So, have you fallen yet?
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Old 04-23-08, 04:54 PM   #10
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LOL, I had to think for a couple of seconds to remember the word myself. My clipless pedals have been put away for the winter and I haven't thought about such things as float for a long long time.
Yeah, but I've been riding all winter on SPDs!

My excuse it that I just never think about float. As long as I stay clipped in while sprinting to keep up with traffic or whatever, I'm happy. I don't think I've ever had a conversation off the intertubes that involved float.
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