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  1. #1
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    SPD and Cleats and Clips - what are they???

    I don't know the difference between SPD and Cleats and Clips. Is there a website where I can see what these things look like?

  2. #2
    Beausage is Beautiful Fugazi Dave's Avatar
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    SPD refers to a type of clipless pedal. Clipless pedals use special shoes with special cleats screwed to the bottoms of them to get your foot securely attached to the pedal. The cleat clips into the pedal and is disengaged by twisting your heel outwards.

    Clips refer to another way of getting your foot more securely attached to the pedal. Here, a meta clip screwed to the platform of the pedal, usually combined with a strap, helps keep your foot planted where you want it.

    The idea for both is a more secure footing on the pedal and therfore better power transfer to the drivetrain. Some people prefer clips for various reasons, but I think one can generally assert that overall clipless is going to be more secure and probably more efficient. Both are going to give you better power transfer than straight up platforms without any retention mechanism.

  3. #3
    Senior Member LordOpie's Avatar
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  4. #4
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    Does one buy the shoe that matches the pedal, or buy the pedal that matches the shoe. Do all bike shoes and sandals fit into all pedals?

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    無くなった HereNT's Avatar
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    They don't all fit. Most MTB shoes won't accomodate road clips, and vice versa. The clips come with the pedal, so you want to find a pedal you think you will like, then find a shoe that can accomodate the clip.

  6. #6
    Senior Member LordOpie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by becnal
    Does one buy the shoe that matches the pedal, or buy the pedal that matches the shoe. Do all bike shoes and sandals fit into all pedals?
    Are you simply educating yourself or are you looking to buy?

    If you're gonna buy, tell us what type of riding you do -- miles, terrain, weather -- and we'll recommend some stuff.

  7. #7
    Senior Member jazzy_cyclist's Avatar
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    In the beginning, there were "platform pedals" - pedals with no way to really secure your feet to the pedals. This is what I grew up with.

    Later on, "toe clips" became the "in thing". It's sort of a "cage" on the pedal that you slide your foot into. These were a big improvement because you were able to apply pressure all around the 360 degrees (i.e., "pulling up as well as "mashing down").

    "Clipless pedals" were a refinement of this - I think of them as somewhat similar to ski bindings. The pedal has a receiving device, into which your shoe with a "cleat" attached fits. It clicks in. Once in, you are very securely attached to the pedals (it is common when first getting these, to forget to unclip when stopping, and falling over as a result).

    SPD (I think Shimano started this) was one of the first and still the predominant standard. "LOOK" is another one.

    The next innovation was pedals with "float" - the ability to pivot horizontally as well as vertically. My SPD pedals don't have much float to speak of so my knee flexes up and down, but this is not a problem for me; people with bad knees or injuries, etc. often work very well with these types of pedals with the extra float. It depends on your individual requirements.

    Stop by your local bike shop and check out the displays - you'll get a pretty good idea once you see these things up close.

    Okay - that exhausts my knowledge!

  8. #8
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    I'm looking to buy. I really think I should go with sandals, waterproof socks, and then foot covers. I live in Germany and we get lots of rain. Plus, on my long bike tours, my shoes, once wet, never seem to dry. Also, on hot dry days, I can wear the sandals alone. Sounds good to me.

    So, the pedals come with the clip, and then the sandals have a space in the sole that the clip fits into? Is that how it works?

  9. #9
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    Ah ha! I see what I misunderstood! SPD are clipless. So that means the hole in the shoe goes directly onto and attaches to the pedal cleat. Right?

  10. #10
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Cleat is the piece of metal permanently attached to the sole of the shoe with a couple of screws. When you get on the bike, you aim your shoe so that the cleat fits into pedal's binding mechanism (you hear an audible "click" when it binds).

    I ride in temperatures anywhere from -30C to +30C and I do not like to be attached to the bike in winter conditions. So I bought a cheap SPD compatible pedal (by Wellgo) that has binding mechanism only on one side. The other side of the pedal is normal platform. Then I bought a pair of biking shoes that came with SPD cleats (I had to install the cleats myself, but that's easy). Now I can ride with bike shoes and click in, or use normal footwear and platform side of the pedal. I've been happy with this setup.

    --J
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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  11. #11
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juha
    I bought a cheap SPD compatible pedal (by Wellgo) that has binding mechanism only on one side. The other side of the pedal is normal platform. Then I bought a pair of biking shoes that came with SPD cleats (I had to install the cleats myself, but that's easy). Now I can ride with bike shoes and click in, or use normal footwear and platform side of the pedal. I've been happy with this setup.--J

    That's exactly what I would like to have. Where could I get them online? I also live in Europe, Germany to be specific.

  12. #12
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    becnal, there are plenty of German on-line bikeshops, so you should have fast delivery and low cost in shipping. The two I frequently browse for reference are Rose Versand and Globetrotter. I just ordered some stuff from Rose Versand, it remains to be seen how it works out. As said, there are others - do a Google search and enjoy!

    Some pedals are sold with the cleats included, which should be even better for you. As mentioned, my Wellgos where cheap and came without cleats, so I had to bargain for the cleats when I bought the shoes.

    --J
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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