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Thread: Clipless pedals

  1. #1
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    Clipless pedals

    Hello, I'm new to this forum (and forums in general) so please don't hate if I do something wrong and correct my mistakes.
    I own a fixed gear with flat pedals and straps.
    I am looking to upgrade to clipless, but I'm reconsidering that now because many people say that mtb pedals (which are the ones I'm looking towards, due to the fact that mtb shoes are easier to walk in.) unclip whenever people skid on their fixed gears.
    I tend to skid a lot, since I ride brakeless. So if clipless is unreliable then I wouldn't change to them.
    Also, I would like to know if road pedals are more reliable than mtb pedals. (I was looking to get the entry level SPDs', because I don't have tons of money to spend)
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Veteran Racer TejanoTrackie's Avatar
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    Clipless pedals only unclip when you turn your foot sideways and mtb (aka spd) pedals are no more likely to unclip than road pedals. Most pedals have an adjustment that allows the unclipping force to be set high enough to prevent unwanted unclipping. I've been using the cheap Shimano M520 SPD pedals with the SH51 cleats for years w/o any problems.
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    I don't ride brakeless or skid so I can't comment on that.
    Road pedals offer more surface area to be connected to (i.e. larger pedal connections) which equal less chance of hot spots due to pressure on the bottom of your foot. but I think that would only be the case for really long rides or heavy gear pushing.
    Mountain bike shoes are indeed easier to walk in since they have surface area between the cleat and the sole of the shoes. Road bike shoes you actually walk on the cleat that clips into the pedal (they do have covers which protect them) and its almost like walking in high heel shoes [not that I would know what thats like].

    If you are strictly riding point A back to point A then I would personally get road shoes (i.e. shimano SPD-SL)
    If you are commuting or plan on doing walking between riding I would go with mountain bike shoes if you want to go clipless (i.e. shimano SPD)

    And yes, I do find that my SPD pedals on my cross bike are not as secure as my SPD-SL on my road bike. TT is right though that you can adjust the amount of tension on the pedals which effects the effort it requires to clip and unclip (and how much it holds you in). but even with it adjusted the SPD-SL is more secure to me.
    Last edited by AristoNYC; 02-18-15 at 09:40 AM.
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    Senior Member franswa's Avatar
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    Not to hijack the thread but I was suffering from hot spots while using toe clips with straps and I found a solution that works for me without resorting to clip less. I invested in some $8 metatarsal pads for my soft sole shoes, et voila! No more hot spots on long, hard rides.

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    Senior Member TenSpeedV2's Avatar
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    M520 with a mtb style shoe user here as well. I don't skid so I cannot answer that part of it. Never tried any other type of foot retention on a fixed gear so I probably am not much help at all and am not sure why I responded to this post other than to practice typing.

    Carry on.

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    Also, there are different versions of shimano spd cleats:

    some will allow to pull straight out with enough force (bad for sweet fixie brakeless riding)

    some will not pull out regardless of how hard you pull unless you twist out (this is what you want)

  7. #7
    Veteran Racer TejanoTrackie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flatulentfox View Post
    Also, there are different versions of shimano spd cleats:

    some will allow to pull straight out with enough force (bad for sweet fixie brakeless riding)

    some will not pull out regardless of how hard you pull unless you twist out (this is what you want)
    Yes, like I said above, I use the SH51 cleats which can only unclip by turning the foot sideways. The cleats to avoid are the SH56 model, that allow unclipping when pulling up.
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    I'm not sure who those "many people" are but it's crap. Don't worry about coming unclipped if you're using the Shimano SPD system and the SH51 cleats. The basic M520 pedals come with the right cleats and are a great way to start.

    I've pulled out of SPDs while MTBing, but every time it was because I was actually off-axis or doing something stupid like trying to make the bike move sideways while bunny-hopping. In all skidding scenarios you'll be firmly pushing/pulling with minimal side-to-side movement.

    Bottom line: Go for it! If you're brakeless you'll really appreciate the solid connection and stiffer soles of clipless shoes. Even a cheapo $70 clearance pair of Shimano shoes will be lightyears ahead of sneakers and straps.

  9. #9
    Senior Member BilbroSwaggins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie View Post
    Yes, like I said above, I use the SH51 cleats which can only unclip by turning the foot sideways. The cleats to avoid are the SH56 model, that allow unclipping when pulling up.
    i discovered this recently during a sprint that ended with a broken fork and helmet.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nagrom_ View Post
    Hey buddy, just 'cause you aren't man enough to push big boy gears doesn't mean its jackass.

  10. #10
    Senior Member pwebb's Avatar
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    seriously dude, TIME ATAC. look em up. read the reviews, buy them and never look back. I've never "accidentally" un-clipped. I skid occasionally, never have worried about popping out. soooper easy to clip in and out when you want too, I've literally turtle shelled once and it was day two riding clipless EVER & trying to trackstand at light i.e. my fault. good compromise of platform without being bulky or large, i.e. better turning clearance for fixed gear. this all from a guy who rides them in floppy Chrome pro shoes. I can't wait to get some real MTB shoes.

    but yeah, look into them. Time or Shimano, clipless > straps/clips forever
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    I wouldn't recommend TIME as a first clipless pedal. Their cleats are harder to adjust and readjust for a beginner because they have those four big teeth that dig into your shoe.
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    If you want real security, spend the $70-80 for M780s. You can set the release to where you will never come out accidentally.

    I don't skid but I have been known to go downhill really fast; fast enough that I have no idea where my heels are. (And I tend to rotate them in going around corners.) The M780s are the first clipless pedal I have ever trusted riding fixed in my usual fashion. And I still won't go quite as fast as I might with straps. I have been riding toeclips, quality leather straps and aluminum slotted cleats for decades. Pulled tight and with cleats in good shape, I trust that combo. I really like the redundancy. Pull a cleat out at speed and my foot is still in the clip. Slow down. Get that cleat back in, get that heart out of my mouth and continue, intact!

    Ben

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    Thanks all for the reply, appreciate it. I've decided to go with the Shimano SH-R107 Road shoes (they have MTB pedal compatibility, though, which is super cool) and Shimano PD-R540 road pedals. I want to confirm before I make my purchase if this is a good choice, though. What do you guys think?

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    cheese connoisseur Mumonkan's Avatar
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    when i was shopping for clipless pedals i was gonna get the 540s, and ended up going with the 105's, better quality for not much more

    i use giro shoes with shimano 105 pedals, i skid sometimes in them, and the only time ive unclipped when i didnt want to is when i was hit by a car, or fell off on some gnarly singletrack

    and yes im serious.
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    Senior Member mrblue's Avatar
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    I use Shimano M520 pedals. I love them, but, yes, I do occasionally unclip when skidding. This is because I have bad form and I accidentally twist my ankle while pulling up. Therefore, I unclip. When I do more pushing down, as opposed to pulling up, and I'm mindful of my form, I rarely have an issue. However, when I use toe clips and straps, I tend to pull my forward foot out 70-80% (maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration) of the time. So from my experience, there's no 100% solution.

    If you do go with clipless pedals, go with MTB style, i.e. Shimano M520, or ISSI pedals. Choose something that will allow you to use shoes you can walk around in. Road bike shoes SUCK for walking around.
    Last edited by mrblue; 02-21-15 at 12:28 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrblue View Post
    If you do go with clipless pedals, go with MTB style, i.e. Shimano M520, or ISSI pedals. Choose something that will allow you to use shoes you can walk around in. Road bike shoes SUCK for walking around.
    Yes, but not everyone who rides plans on walking around after [or during].
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    Senior Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    I converted to SPDs on my normal bike a year ago. Just love them, although occasionally it takes a few moments to find the proper positioning of the cleat to snap it in. I got used pedals on the cheap. My Shimano pedals are a bit of a pain to adjust tight enough that I don't pull out on a hill climb, but loose enough to be able to get in.

    I have a pair of Wellgo SPD compatible pedals that seem much easier to adjust, and perhaps more secure.

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    Senior Member Wilfred Laurier's Avatar
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    If the bike is to be used for 'utility' then walkable mtb clipless and shoes are a good idea, and have little drawback compared to road shoes and pedals. Road shoes and pedals are a fine choice if the bike is only to be used for recreation.

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    I don't use my bike for any other purposes than having fun, so I dont mind either mtb or road pedals if that's the only thing to consider. However, I do a lot of whip skids (98 percent of my skids are short whip skids) and I thought I would need something that grabs tight because of that since I hear from many people around me saying that their mtb pedals release too easily. That was my main concern. Thanks for the help, as the comments on this thread has helped me conclude that road pedals is the way to go for me

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    Senior Member mrblue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AristoNYC View Post
    Yes, but not everyone who rides plans on walking around after [or during].
    You're right. Walking is sooooo 2014 and over rated. We should just never get off our bikes and remain clipped in forever.

    I know for me, personally, even in the few steps between my garage and my front door, I've almost killed myself more than enough times, wearing my road bike shoes, than I care to recall. I mean, I've even almost slipped in the few steps necessary for dismounting, stepping onto a curb, and locking my bike to a rack. So even if one isn't necessarily "walking around" just a few steps can be slippery ones, in road bike shoes.

    Just sayin'...
    Last edited by mrblue; 02-21-15 at 12:31 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrblue View Post
    You're right. Walking is sooooo 2014 and over rated. We should just never get off our bikes and remain clipped in forever.

    I know for me, personally, even in the few steps between my garage and my front door, I've almost killed myself more than enough times, wearing my road bike shoes, than I care to recall. I mean, I've even almost slipped in the few steps necessary for dismounting, stepping onto a curb, and locking my bike to a rack. So even if one isn't necessarily "walking around" just a few steps can be slippery ones, in road bike shoes.

    Just sayin'...
    Get cleat covers, or just stop walking like a newborn Giraffe.

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    I ride with Shimano cleats and pedals (spd) and I've only ever accidentally unclipped once and that was while I was skip stopping. Other than that I've had absolutely no problems so I think you'll be just fine

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    Senior Member bhop's Avatar
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    I have SPD-SL pedals on both my bikes. I commute on my fixie (keep spare shoes at my desk at work), i shop sometimes during my lunch break or on the way home. Walking in road shoes (for short distances) isn't as much of a chore as people seem to think, especially if you put cleat covers on. Is it as comfortable as regular shoes? No, but they're doable. If I do plan to walk a lot, i'll bring my spare shoes in my backpack. Chucks don't take up much space.

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    I've never tried walking in roadshoes, but the Specialized MTB SPD shoes I had was a PAIN to walk in. Very hard sole, so no flex and very high profile around the cleats, so I walked like someone who recently shat his pants...

    I'm going for straps now. I'd very much like to ride with my normal footwear.

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