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Old 06-20-08, 04:10 PM   #1
InTheRain
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SPD single release vs. multidirectional release cleats??

If I understand correctly, single release cleats will only release when you kick your heal outward. Multidirectional must mean that they release when the heal is kicked outward or inward. The shimano SPD SH-51 cleats are "single release." The shimano SPD SH-56 are "multidirectional." I've been riding the multidirectional, but realized that I bought replacement cleats that are "single release." Is there an advantage to one over the other?

I'm using these cleats on mountain bike shoes (I enjoy being able to walk in my shoes) that I use on a touring bike as well as a road bike that takes SPD cleats. The shoes/cleats are not being used for any mountain bike specific purpose.
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Old 06-20-08, 04:17 PM   #2
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I have ones marked for single release and am in the habit of kicking outward, so if you arnt used to them you will get used to them. Also I've been on a number of tours and have never seen someone kick inward so if you do you are the first I've heard of doing so
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Old 06-20-08, 04:40 PM   #3
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When I first learned to ride clipless I got the multidrectional cleats, but I made a point of training myself to only release outwards. Then I got the unidirectional cleats. It wasn't hard to adapt.

ONe advantage of the single direction cleats is you never have to think about which way to move your foot, and you don't have to worry where your pedal is. With the multidirection cleats, you might accidentally try to release inward when the chain stay or seat tube was blocking your heel, causing a delay in release.
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Old 06-20-08, 04:40 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ca7erham View Post
I have ones marked for single release and am in the habit of kicking outward, so if you arnt used to them you will get used to them. Also I've been on a number of tours and have never seen someone kick inward so if you do you are the first I've heard of doing so
I kick in with my road bike becuase the release tension is very high and I can kick harder inwards.
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Old 06-20-08, 04:48 PM   #5
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Nobody ever really kicks inward to release, that I know anyway. I've used the multi-release cleats and the ordinary ones. I don't know exactly what Shimano says about them, but they are much more forgiving in what you can do to release - meaning the angle and even some upward movement. Probably not what you want for technical mountain bike racing, but perfect for touring or for casual mtn biking. They are much quicker and easier to release at the very last fraction of a second before you're at a dead stop, or in a fall or accident. Helps prevent falling over. I've never liked my feet to be too firmly attached, so I always like the multi-release cleats for the riding I've done (sport touring kind of thing).
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Old 06-20-08, 04:58 PM   #6
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I have ones marked for single release and am in the habit of kicking outward, so if you arnt used to them you will get used to them. Also I've been on a number of tours and have never seen someone kick inward so if you do you are the first I've heard of doing so
Finally! I'm first at something. Actually the multidirectional cleat doesn't really require much of a "kick" inward - it releases quite easily... even when I don't want it to. It could be that the cleat is getting quite worn and needs to be replaced. I have kicked outward also, so I'm familiar with the technique. I'd say I kick in about 65% and kick out about 35%. I guess I'm not sure why Shimano makes the same cleat with different release techniques.
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Old 06-20-08, 11:27 PM   #7
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i thought the multi release cleats had a more upward release point... I have some m520's with the standard cleat and they release both out and it.
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Old 06-21-08, 07:08 AM   #8
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Yes, they do release with some upward movement, but not straight up. It's like you do move your heel, but there can be some upwards movement at the same time. You don't have to be as precise and as deliberate in your heel movement. Easy to do, harder to explain. But let me say this... in 10 years of using them, I can't recall ever pulling out when I didn't want to, even with the pedal tension set low. But this was on a road bike, not a mountain bike ridden in technical trails.
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