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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 10-17-07, 04:18 PM   #1
Chiboy
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Pedal Advice

Just got my new to me Tricross Comp ('06), which came with Nashbar Look-style pedals but no cleats. Instead of buying cleats, I wonder if I should just buy new pedals with cleats and get what I want. That's where YOU come in...what do I want?

I'm expecting to do some road riding as well as some light trails. I thought I saw that Krank Bros. has a pedal you can click into, or ride without clicking. Would those make sense (if they exist)? I wouldn't mind finding a decent pedal and cleats used, since I really don't know what I will ultimately want, but that may be difficult. Any advice on what I should look for?
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Old 10-17-07, 04:33 PM   #2
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Are you going to ride in mud? that's really an important question for cross pedals. I'm used to SPD's, so that's what I use and I just got a sweet Craigslist deal on some XTR's (M-970) and so far they work great for me. Lots of local crossers ride eggbeaters, either the standard or the candy c's, but I hear the quality has declined of late. However, they do shed mud. And one of the standards of cross is the Time ATAC pedals.

And lots of cross racers who ride in the muck spray their pedals and soles with Pam cooking spray before a race (really).

Good luck.

Last edited by mtmann; 10-18-07 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 10-17-07, 04:46 PM   #3
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Am I going to ride in mud? This is a brand new bike (to me)!!!! No mud, no clouds, no nothin'.

Actually, I probably won't ride in mud very much -- pretty light duty trail riding, I expect. What does that point me towards, pedal-wise?
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Old 10-17-07, 05:07 PM   #4
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I'm not up on a lot of products, but I don't know of a Look alike pedal that is intended for use off road. All I am aware of are the big plastic triangular cleats that skid like mad and won't fit a shoe with tread.

I'd say definitely go with an SPD type pedal and shoe. Then you could at least get off the bike while out on the trails and not have to fuss about dirt in the pedal.

Buying new cleats to go with used pedals isn't usually a good deal, especially for offbrand stuff.

Get a set of decent off-road pedals, which a lot of road riders prefer anyway for shoe compatibility and general ruggedness. Anything by shimano, Time, Crank Brothers will be good enough. Some of us have had good experience with the some of the Wellgo and Exus stuff as well. What shoes have you got?

I have no experience with combination pedals, might be convenient if you're using the same bike to fetch to the store as you ride trails with.

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Old 10-17-07, 05:47 PM   #5
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Thanks. I have no shoes. I've been riding an old mountain bike for the last 18 years and just sold that and bought the Specialized. I'm a real novice rider looking to get more into it. I guess I bought the bike in anticipation of becoming more of a biking enthusiast. Computer, pedals and shoes are on my list of things to figure out, as well as bike shorts or whatever I really need clothing wise (ie, not for looks, just for function). I already have plenty of wicking running tights, pants, shirts, singlets etc., since I am an avid runner.
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Old 10-18-07, 08:16 AM   #6
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The quickest, simplest thing would be to put on a set of old school pedals with clips and straps. Wear some sort of cross training shoe you already own and go ride. As you build up miles you'll want the shorts and the shoes with clipless pedals.

Any bike shop can set you up with pedals. I wouldn't spend much on them, expecting that you'll be upgrading within a year or so. Being strapped or clipped into the pedals is a big deal. Part of the difference between commuting and sport / competitive riding.

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Old 10-18-07, 09:31 AM   #7
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Crankbrother Eggbeater or Candy pedals are my favorites (at least the SL versions, not the less expensive ones). Time ATAC pedals are also excellent from everything i've read.
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Old 10-18-07, 09:35 AM   #8
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Eggbeaters are what I ride on my MTB and cross bikes.
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Old 10-18-07, 10:04 AM   #9
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Another way to go - and this is from Grant Peterson, the Rivendell website (http://www.rivbike.com/article/clothing/the_shoes_ruse) and lots of BOBs (http://sheldonbrown.com/bridgestone/...ellisabob.html) out there. Get some big, comfy platform pedals. BMX pedals can be really great for general riding - lots of grip, wide platform, comfy. Just be careful to get the right spindle diameter - most bikes take 9/16" threads, but a lot of BMX pedals are 1/2".
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Old 10-18-07, 12:50 PM   #10
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Interesting read. More food for thought. So now I'm really confused...
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Old 10-18-07, 10:58 PM   #11
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Interesting read. More food for thought. So now I'm really confused...
Sorry - didn't mean to add to the complexity. Mr. Peterson is just pointing out - as he has been for years - that there's a whole bike industry full of people selling the latest greatest and it isn't usually what the novice (or experienced rider) needs. If it was me, I'd start with some platform pedals and if you personally feel like clip-ins would help you stay on your pedals, or pedal more efficiently, or whatever, start with something inexpensive and common, like Wellgo spd's or even something used from Craigslist or a local shop that carries used parts. Upgrade to nice and expensive only if you feel the need.

Again, good luck. Most importantly, ride that bike
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Old 10-19-07, 05:59 AM   #12
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Interesting read. More food for thought. So now I'm really confused...
Great -- pseudo-science in cycling!

What Mr.Peterson says about cyclists not pulling up on the pedal is true. The most effcient cyclists do not pull up they merely take all the weight off the pedal on the upstroke. HOWEVER they are excellent at applying force over the top of the pedal stroke and at bottom of the pedal stroke which you can't do well without being firmly attached to the pedal. He has taken what information he wants and used it to his advantage without telling the full story!!!!!! I have just lost any respect I have for the man.

that being said I use crank brothers on my road bike (candies) and cross bike (eggs)
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Old 10-19-07, 06:31 AM   #13
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that being said I use crank brothers on my road bike (candies) and cross bike (eggs)
I sure don't know what I'm talking about, but from what I've read, I would have thought you would put the candies on the cross bike (for occassionally being unclipped in rigorous terrain). And maybe egg beaters on the road bike. Am I completely wrong about that?
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Old 10-19-07, 07:31 AM   #14
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There are different schools of thought as with everything. some prefer eggs on the 'cross bike for superior performance in mud (I can only support that by saying I have never had a problem clipping into the eggs in the mud) I have only raced 2x (i have rode my cross bike off road quite a bit though). And I've never used the candies off road. I find that with the crank bros. pedals that clipping in becomes rather intuitive and have never seen a need to pedal unclipped more than a stroke or 2. My reason for using the candys on the bike is that the platform definitely eliminates any rocking (side to side rotation) on the pedal that I will get with the eggs when pedaling hard (read sprinting)
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Old 10-19-07, 10:00 AM   #15
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Why on earth would you want to be unclipped in "rigorous terrain?" That is exactly where you get the most advantage from being clipped in. Yes, I am aware that BMX and Downhill mountain bikers do not use clips or straps, but they are doing things completely outside the realm of a cyclocross bike. They also don't use candies or anything similar, they use huge platform pedals with allen bolts and other jagged, spiky, scary stuff sticking out of them.

Get a set of pedals and go ride.

After several hundred miles you'll start to see what kind of riding you do and what you'll want to improve.

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Old 10-19-07, 10:25 AM   #16
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I was merely thinking that if you felt it was likely that you would go down in "rigorous terrain", you wouldn't want to be clipped in.

I am definitely riding!
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Old 10-19-07, 11:30 AM   #17
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Why on earth would you want to be unclipped in "rigorous terrain?" That is exactly where you get the most advantage from being clipped in.
I just started cross racing this season and noticed that even the pros sometimes unclip the inside pedal when taking sharp - (especially off-camber) corners. A couple reasons: throwing your uphill leg out (and back) helps keep you on if you lose traction, and it helps put your weight on your downhill pedal.
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Old 10-19-07, 07:29 PM   #18
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I just started cross racing this season and noticed that even the pros sometimes unclip the inside pedal when taking sharp - (especially off-camber) corners. A couple reasons: throwing your uphill leg out (and back) helps keep you on if you lose traction, and it helps put your weight on your downhill pedal.
not quite the same thing. they aren't pedalling they unclip put their foot out and reclip as soon as they start pedalling. Chiboy is talking about using the platforms to pedal without being clipped in. personally I feel more secure being clipped in over sketchy terrain YMMV
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Old 10-19-07, 09:35 PM   #19
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I'm lurking from the C&V forum over here because I just bought a new cross bike to help me get through the (much milder) Idaho winters...I usta race cross quite a while ago (clips and straps, dude). I have raced mountain bikes off and on forever, it seems like...I use eggbeaters on my mountain bike, and was thinking of doing the same for the new cross bike.

Anybody use frogs? I have some extras and was thinking about cutting the bottom of my shoes up to mount the cleats. Will they be nasty?

Oh, and yeah, we spray everything with pam up here. Crap freezes to everything otherwise.
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