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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 10-04-07, 03:40 PM   #1
jjiggajouncer
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New (to me) Track Bike... stay with the platforms or go clipless?

A friend is loaning me his Fuji Track bike which has platform pedals (no cages) and I was wondering what you guys thought of the various pedal options out there. I haven't been on a bike in a number of years, not to mention I've never ridden a fixed gear so I pretty much a n00b. Also, I've never used clipless, only platforms and cages in the past.

So, the way I see it, my options are:

1. Get some pedals with cages

2. Get some Power Grips

3. Get clipless pedals and shoes

I tried on some Specialized Taho mountain bike/casual shoes the other day (recessed cleats) and they fit quite well which was surprising considering I have hard to fit feet (wide forefoot and narrow heel). Anyway, I like they way they fit and the fact that I can easily use them as an everyday shoe and walk around and whatnot. That said, I think I'm leaning towards clipless and I was wondering if anyone has thoughts on "the best" system out there. I've been looking at SPD, Crankbrothers, and Speedplay Frogs. I'm really concerned about general safety so I would want to be able to clip in and out as easy as possible.

Again, I've never used clipless pedals before so general ease of use is also important to me.

Umm, so yeah. Thoughts, ideas, recommendations, suggestions?
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Old 10-04-07, 03:45 PM   #2
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Well, as I learned in college...It depends.

If you are riding for exercise, go clipless.
If you are riding to commute, go clipless.
If you are riding around town, shopping, bar-hopping, on-and-off the bike, etc...go with cages.

That's my opinion.
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Old 10-04-07, 03:48 PM   #3
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As far as best clipless goes, I've ridden fixed with SPD (x5), Ultegra SPD (x2), TIME ATAC (x3), and Eggbeaters. Plus, I used to work at a few shops, so I've pretty much seen it all. TIME ATACs proved to be the best for fixed riding in my personal experience.

People on the board (many of which have only used one kind of pedal) will overwhelmingly suggest eggbeaters, though.
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Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.
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Old 10-04-07, 03:51 PM   #4
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To clarify.

A pedal cage is the part of a cage pedal you put your foot on.(the serrated part in the picture below)

A platform pedal is one with a platform instead of a cage

When you say cage I assume you mean toe clip.


Unless you don't want to look mildly dorky I suggest clipless. SPDs with multi-release cleats are good for beginners just make sure you brake is working.
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Old 10-04-07, 03:53 PM   #5
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Yeah, just realized I left off what type of riding I plan on doing. I guess a little bit of everything. First would be exercise. Next would be commuting to school (about five miles one way), and next would be occasional town/coffee shop/bar hopping stuff.

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Well, as I learned in college...It depends.

If you are riding for exercise, go clipless.
If you are riding to commute, go clipless.
If you are riding around town, shopping, bar-hopping, on-and-off the bike, etc...go with cages.

That's my opinion.
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Old 10-04-07, 03:54 PM   #6
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Are the TIME ATAC pedals recessed cleat friendly?

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As far as best clipless goes, I've ridden fixed with SPD (x5), Ultegra SPD (x2), TIME ATAC (x3), and Eggbeaters. Plus, I used to work at a few shops, so I've pretty much seen it all. TIME ATACs proved to be the best for fixed riding in my personal experience.

People on the board (many of which have only used one kind of pedal) will overwhelmingly suggest eggbeaters, though.
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Old 10-04-07, 03:55 PM   #7
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i would say go with clips and straps, that way you won't always have to have certain shoes on. i dont think i've ever "wished" i was clipless, although I have never tried.
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Old 10-04-07, 03:56 PM   #8
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If you decide on clipless, just remember to unclip before you stop. Yup-
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Old 10-04-07, 03:57 PM   #9
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Yes, you are correct, sorry about the confusion. When I said cages in the original post I guess I actually meant clips. Ima n00b, what can I say?

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To clarify.

A pedal cage is the part of a cage pedal you put your foot on.(the serrated part in the picture below)

A platform pedal is one with a platform instead of a cage

When you say cage I assume you mean toe clip.


Unless you don't want to look mildly dorky I suggest clipless. SPDs with multi-release cleats are good for beginners just make sure you brake is working.
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Old 10-04-07, 04:01 PM   #10
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i would say go with clips and straps, that way you won't always have to have certain shoes on. i dont think i've ever "wished" i was clipless, although I have never tried.
I think the operative phrase is "although I have never tried."

Check the profiles of the bikes in my sig. I've tried a lot of pedals.

Trust me. If you are only getting on and off the bike a few time during a trip (long exercise rides, long commutes to school/work) then the benefits of riding clipless (i.e. switching muscle groups instead of just mashing 100% of the time) FAR outweigh the annoying click clacks of cleated shoes.

Besides. If you are commuting you just change shoes once when you get there then once a few hours later for the ride home. I used to keep my "work" shoes at my desk to avoid carrying them.

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Are the TIME ATAC pedals recessed cleat friendly?
Yes. I ride Nike KATO III and SIDI Dominator II MTB shoes for clipless.
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Old 10-04-07, 04:23 PM   #11
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Just curious, have you ever tried any of the softer sole mountain type shoes? Is the major thing against those types of shoes the fact that they lack stiffness of "real" cycling shoes? I've tried on some of the super stiff mountain shoes and found them to be very uncomfortable although maybe that's just because I was standing in them as opposed to riding.

By the way, nice bikes. Me likey. Some of them kinda match my shoes.


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I think the operative phrase is "although I have never tried."

Check the profiles of the bikes in my sig. I've tried a lot of pedals.

Trust me. If you are only getting on and off the bike a few time during a trip (long exercise rides, long commutes to school/work) then the benefits of riding clipless (i.e. switching muscle groups instead of just mashing 100% of the time) FAR outweigh the annoying click clacks of cleated shoes.

Besides. If you are commuting you just change shoes once when you get there then once a few hours later for the ride home. I used to keep my "work" shoes at my desk to avoid carrying them.



Yes. I ride Nike KATO III and SIDI Dominator II MTB shoes for clipless.
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Old 10-05-07, 10:42 AM   #12
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Just curious, have you ever tried any of the softer sole mountain type shoes? Is the major thing against those types of shoes the fact that they lack stiffness of "real" cycling shoes? I've tried on some of the super stiff mountain shoes and found them to be very uncomfortable although maybe that's just because I was standing in them as opposed to riding.

By the way, nice bikes. Me likey. Some of them kinda match my shoes.
MTB shoes aren't as stiff as road cycling shoes because in MTB, one is expected to dismount and run or climb sometimes during which ultra stiff shoes wouldn't work. Actually, if MTB riders never had to dismount, then they would just ride in slick road shoes.

Thanks for the compliments on the bikes.
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Old 10-05-07, 11:14 AM   #13
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is that really true that MTB shoes are not as stiff? I would think that, say, for example, the SIDI Bullet is identical in every way to the SIDI Zeta other than the lugs on the sole. The shoes look totally identical.

My SIDIs are incredibly stiff soled shoes.
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Old 10-05-07, 11:35 AM   #14
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is that really true that MTB shoes are not as stiff? I would think that, say, for example, the SIDI Bullet is identical in every way to the SIDI Zeta other than the lugs on the sole. The shoes look totally identical.

My SIDIs are incredibly stiff soled shoes.
as usual carleton's talking out of his ass.

dominators/bullets aren't as stiff as some road shoes(don't know about zetas) but they are stiff enough that there is no meaningful give when running/walking. You're able to run/walk tolerably well not because they flex but because the outside is designed with a curve.
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Old 10-05-07, 11:45 AM   #15
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Well, I picked up the bike last night and I've ridden it a couple times to get used to it and try to make necessary fit adjustments.

Riding a fixie wasn't quite as strange as I thought it would be, I actually took to it fairly easily.

I'm pretty certain now that the platform pedals simply have to go because I've had to fling my legs out to the side twice in two rides. Granted, I am a n00b and I have a lot to work on as far as form, cadence, and general practice goes, but when going down a slight incline it was really difficult for me to pace my cadence and not get going too fast without my feet being thrown from the pedals.

So, it looks like I'm going the clipless route. I'm heading to a couple bike shops later today to see what they have and maybe try some more shoes on. Is it standard practice to let you try out shoe/cleat/pedal combos before you buy, or do places tend to shun that with the thought that they could no longer sell the product as new if it has been clipped into? Again, I've never used clipless before so I'd really like to be able to compare some of the options that are out there to see if any one of them stand out to me as being inherently easier to get into or out of.

Thanks to all of the replies so far. It gives me warm fuzzies to know that some people are out there and are willing to provide some insight.
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Old 10-05-07, 12:24 PM   #16
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as usual carleton's talking out of his ass.
Whatever. I'm speaking from experience. You speak from what you read on the internet.

Why don't you just STFU and let grown folks talk.
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Old 10-05-07, 12:35 PM   #17
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So, it looks like I'm going the clipless route. I'm heading to a couple bike shops later today to see what they have and maybe try some more shoes on. Is it standard practice to let you try out shoe/cleat/pedal combos before you buy, or do places tend to shun that with the thought that they could no longer sell the product as new if it has been clipped into? Again, I've never used clipless before so I'd really like to be able to compare some of the options that are out there to see if any one of them stand out to me as being inherently easier to get into or out of.
As far as trying on stuff, as with any store if you get to go in during non-peak hours you'll probably get more attention and won't feel as rushed. Each bike shop / bike store is different. So maybe ask a friend or on this board what's a good friendly shop.

It will likely take a good amount of time to try on several shoes and a few pedal styles. Take test rides with the pedals on your own bike if you can.

Most MTB shoes are drilled for two hole cleats (SPD, Time, eggbeater, etc...). Just be sure to get a pedal whose cleat will match your shoes and vice-versa.
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Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.
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Old 10-05-07, 12:38 PM   #18
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...also

I guess you have to decide if you are gonna wear cycling socks or standard tube socks (which are 2-3 times the thickness of cycling socks) for riding and use those when trying shoes on.
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Old 10-05-07, 01:41 PM   #19
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As far as trying on stuff, as with any store if you get to go in during non-peak hours you'll probably get more attention and won't feel as rushed. Each bike shop / bike store is different. So maybe ask a friend or on this board what's a good friendly shop.

It will likely take a good amount of time to try on several shoes and a few pedal styles. Take test rides with the pedals on your own bike if you can.

Most MTB shoes are drilled for two hole cleats (SPD, Time, eggbeater, etc...). Just be sure to get a pedal whose cleat will match your shoes and vice-versa.
yeah, not a whole lot of luck at the LBS today. tried two different ones and they didn't like the idea of letting me try out pedals and cleats before buying. kinda sucks, but i guess that's the way it goes. i may call a couple other places to see if that's a service they offer. either that, or buy something from REI considering they have that super liberal return policy...
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Old 10-05-07, 01:44 PM   #20
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...also

I guess you have to decide if you are gonna wear cycling socks or standard tube socks (which are 2-3 times the thickness of cycling socks) for riding and use those when trying shoes on.
i actually already considered this but i do think it is a valid point that could easily be overlooked. i'm VERY particular about the way my footwear fits so i already know what socks i'll use for the vast majority of my riding.

again though, good point.
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Old 10-05-07, 01:47 PM   #21
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Whatever. I'm speaking from experience. You speak from what you read on the internet.

Why don't you just STFU and let grown folks talk.
So was there something wrong with the actual post or do just not like being called out for posting so much bull****.

Of course I can't be sure but my guess is that I have more years of experience with mtb clipless then you do.

Your sock comment is just as poorly informed since many cycling socks are very thick.
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Old 10-05-07, 01:59 PM   #22
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Personally i would say ride with clips+straps, do you really want to bring an extra pair of shoes And a clean shirt, to class, clipless (IMO) it not much better than straps and clips, for simplicity thats what i would recomend, also if your being loaned the bike do you really want to spend all the $$ on pedals and shoes?

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Old 10-05-07, 02:08 PM   #23
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So was there something wrong with the actual post or do just not like being called out for posting so much bull****.

Of course I can't be sure but my guess is that I have more years of experience with mtb clipless then you do.

Your sock comment is just as poorly informed since many cycling socks are very thick.
Dude, just SHUT UP already.
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Old 10-05-07, 02:16 PM   #24
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Mtn shoes are stiff, just not as still as road shoes, at least mine anyways.

I wear a pair of SPD mtn shoes when I commute to work and a lot of the time just leave them on for most of the day. I work in an office and sit on my butt most of the day so its not an issue...
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Old 10-05-07, 02:18 PM   #25
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Personally i would say ride with clips+straps, do you really want to bring an extra pair of shoes And a new shirt, to class, clipless (IMO) it not much better than straps and clips, for simplicity thats what i would recomend, also if your being loaned the bike do you really want to spend all the $$ on pedals and shoes?
good point. i've actually already spent a fair amount of money ($60 for a helmet, $110 for a bike rack) since i found out i would be getting this loaner bike.

basically, i'm treating this bike as my (re)introduction to cycling and i realize there are some staple things i would want to spend some dough on so i would have them when the time comes to get a bike of my own (whatever and whenever that might be).

i guess the worst case scenario is i spend some money on some things (helmet, car rack, shoes/pedals) and then end up not liking cycling and dropping it altogether. if that turns out to be the case then, well, i guess from the way i see it, it is better that i spent money only on that stuff rather than spending money on that stuff in addition to a bike.

see, i can justify this up one side and down the other.
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