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  1. #1
    Senior Member garysol1's Avatar
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    Shoes and pedals and cleats

    New owner of a Burley Tandem here. I have a big question concerning shoes and pedals. On my single bike I use Carbon soled shoes with Keo cleats. I dont like the idea of holding the weight of the bike and my stoker up when stopped with such little traction available on my shoes. Am I making a non-issue into an issue? If not, what do some of you wear in regard to shoes and cleats to give you more foot traction? I assume a MTB shoe may be the answer but I am curious about a cleat that does not stick past the rubber sole.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Double Secret Probation R900's Avatar
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    I don't know about weight, but I use road pedals on my singles, and Ritchey SPD's on our tandem. They just make the whole experience easier.

    John

  3. #3
    Senior Member garysol1's Avatar
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    I am not worried about the weight of the pedal just having enough traction to hold UP the weight of the bike and my stoker when we stop and fet are down. I was worried about my cleats and the slick sole of my road shoe slipping on the pavement.


    Quote Originally Posted by R900
    I don't know about weight, but I use road pedals on my singles, and Ritchey SPD's on our tandem. They just make the whole experience easier.

    John

  4. #4
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    For racing tandems or hard-core training rides where stops are infrequent, no question that road pedals and shoes are a good choice. However, for all other forms of tandeming I strongly advocate MTB shoes and pedals.

    First off, as you note, the lugged rubber soles of the MTB shoes provide you with firm footing for starts, stops, and bike manuevering.

    Secondarily, I find that riding tandems becomes a much more socialized activity and tends to involve a lot more walking around. MTB shoes are far more adaptable to that walking around than road shoes and pedals.

    FWIW, we used SPDs for about 14 months and switched to Speedplay Frogs about 7.5 years ago. SPDs are a bit more compact, don't require Dremmel work on the soles of your shoes, and don't become exposed to the ground as readily as the Frog cleats but I've come to enjoy the float afforded by the Frogs. The slight exposure of the Frog cleat beyond the lugged sole has never caused me to lose my footing, but have occassionally scuffed the hardwood floors in our kitchen.

    SPD pedals also seem to be a bit more durable than Frogs, but Speedplay has been outstanding with their factory support and inexpensive rebuilds when a pedal occassionally develops a problem.

  5. #5
    Co-Mo mojo
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    Frogs vs SPD

    Tandemgeek --

    We are soon to be tandemistas and the matter of pedals is concerning us -- well, me. We use SPDs for our road bikes. Are Frogs a bit easier to get in and out of for the captain? My wife is very adept at clicking both feet out at the same time (although she'll likely stay clipped in at stops based on our trial experiences), but I'm concerned about getting both feet out before stops. My shoes are Sidi mountain bike shoes. I suppose another option is the Shimano SPD cleat that releases vertically as well as horizontally.

    Soon-to-be-captain Steve

  6. #6
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBC Steve
    Are Frogs a bit easier to get in and out of for the captain?
    Once you understand how the Frog retention "system" releases, yes... a foot comes out of a Frog pedal with almost no effort. However, unlike SPDs, there's only one way out: rotating your heel 20 degrees away from the bike, at which point the cleat is released (no click out, if you will). While SPDs take a little more pressure to "snap" the cleat out of the pedal, they allow you to either kick-out or kick-in your heel to facilitate release.

    Frog FAQ's are here: http://www.speedplay.com/index.cfm?f...=home.frogfaqs

    Again, my motivation for giving Frogs a try -- initially on our road tandem -- was to obtain more float both for myself and Debbie as she was having some hip and knee issues and I was getting a sore right knee. Boy-howdy... do they have float!!! For the first few pedal strokes I wasn't sure what I'd gotten us into: with so much unrestricted foot movement we felt like we were trying to walk on ice. While being it bit disconcerting, it also made me realize how much natural foot rotation was being restricted by non-floating pedal systems. After about a 1/4 mile we both became accustomed to the new pedal "movement" (actually I just plain stopped noticing it) and entry/exit were effortless. On the second ride there was once again they felt very odd when we first started, but that was about it for our transition. Oh yeah, knee and hip pain were gone.

    As for cons, the Frog's cleat required me to shave away some of the lugged sole on our Sidi Dominator shoes using a Dremmel tool. The newer G3 cleats (i.e., 3rd generation, noting that the 2nd generation was awful and short-lived as they were very hard to get into) are a bit smaller and have a lower profile than the G1 cleat and also incorporate a tension adjustment screw; however, they still require a little bit of shoe-shaving. The cleats are also a bit more expensive than the SPD models, but just by a few bucks; however, I believe they last a bit longer. Also, you must be mindful as the Frog cleats get worn down as the failure mode is such that the small metal lip and elastomer that keeps the cleat attached to the pedal eventually falls off. Having lost two of these, I've learned to keep a spare cleat in my seat pack as the last time it happend we were 1/2 way through a mountainous ride and I ended up duct-taping my foot to a pedal and limping back up the 10 miles and 2,500ft we'd just finished descending.

    Never ever hand any problems with SPD on my off-road bikes and, were it not for switching over to Frogs on the road tandems, I'd probably still be using SPDs off-road. However, it became impractical to manage all the different shoes and cleat systems noting that I still use Campy ProFit pedals on my single road bikes. Again, Frogs were sought as a solution to a problem (knee pain) and they have proven to be excellent all around pedals.

  7. #7
    Dork on a Bike
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    I run the Eggbeater MTB pedals on the front and my wife has Shimano SPDs on the back. It works for us as I have Eggbeaters on my MTB and she runs SPD's on her single.

    FWIW, I did run the Eggbeaters for a little while on my single but switched back to Ultegra SPD-SL's because I thought the Eggbeaters were a little squirelly when sprinting.

    I agree with the above posters about preferring MTB shoes (and pedals) on the Tandem. For me it provides a more solid footing at stops.

    Duane
    2007 Cannondale Scalpel 1
    2004 Trek 1500
    2006 Cannondale Road Tandem
    2007 Felt F1X

  8. #8
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    90% of the time, captain does not have to get both feet out of clips and on to the ground; stoker stays clipped in.

  9. #9
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    I also run Eggbeaters. Easy in, easy out. I think they are worth a hard look.

  10. #10
    Senior Member garysol1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woog
    I also run Eggbeaters. Easy in, easy out. I think they are worth a hard look.
    I think tomorow I will take a look at egg beaters and the frogs

  11. #11
    Co-Mo mojo
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    One foot or two

    Thanks for the great responses. What is the prevailing wisdom for captains -- one foot down or two, while your stoker stays clipped in at stops? Several tandem friends believe that it is always best to put both feet down in a wider stance -- this provides more stability, while avoiding getting bashed in the shins when the stoker rotates the cranks around to take off. I'd appreciate hearing what various tandemistas do -- thanks for your replies! Zonatandem says 90 percent of the time one foot is good enough.

  12. #12
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    We, my wife and I, use Frogs on the tandem and on the triple. The mid stoker is generally on SPD's on the triple. We used SPD's exclusively in the past but the frogs disengage efortlesly and provide plenty of play wich our knees love.

    On the Tandem only the captain takes out left foot at short stops and sligthly leans the bike to the left. The stoker tries not to move. Just before taking off the captain's right pedal is placed at about 45 o forward and we take off.

    On the triple both the captain and the rear admiral take out the left foot.

  13. #13
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBC Steve
    .. one foot down or two, while your stoker stays clipped in at stops? Several tandem friends believe that it is always best to put both feet down in a wider stance.
    This is like an economics question because the answer must always be: 'it depends'.

    Short stop at a level, well-paved intersection while waiting for cross traffic to clear? Left Foot down.
    Short top at a off-camber intersection while waiting for cross traffic to clear? Right Foot down.
    Long stop at traffic light or busy intersection? Many times both feet down.
    Stopping anywhere with "questionable" footing or while riding in the rain? Usually both feet down.

    Of course, Rudy and I have the advantage that our stokers are short, light, and fairly disciplined with regard to minimizing on-bike weight shifts when stopped. As a new team, and more importantly, if your stoker is taller and/or larger, two feet down is the right way to start. As you get more comfortable as a team, you may find that you can modify your technique. For some teams, it just never is practical to have the stoker clipped in at stops. So, at the end of the day, like many things there simply is no right or wrong way, just the best way for you and it'll take some time to figure out what that is. In the mean time, the 'default' suggestion isn't a bad way to go, i.e., two-feet down.

  14. #14
    Senior Member djembob02's Avatar
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    As to the original question. I would recommend using some type of shoe with decent rubber sole.

    I also use eggbeaters, I did lose footing just a little one day when the ground was wet and I wasn't really paying attention. Fortunately I caught it before falling.

    Regarding feet down: I only put one foot down (in my case, the right foot) at any short stops such as stop lights. If I will be in place for a while, waiting for our group ride to start, socializing, etc. Then I will put both feet down. This is on a triplet although both of my stokers are pretty lightweight. My stokers never unclip until we've reached our final destination.
    Bobby

  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    I use Time IMpact pedals/cleats on Carnac carbon shoes.

  16. #16
    K&M
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    I am too cheap to by another set of pedals for the tandem, so I just switch the Look pedals over from our road bikes when we ride the tandem. I guess one advantage of this is that we are clipping in and out of pedals we are used to. Like Cornucopia72, I just unclip one foot at most stops. In order to avoid dumping bike and stoker, I try to be very careful about how and where I put that hard sole and cleat down -- and I haven't blown it yet -- but there's no question that a MTB shoe would be better suited to the job. No matter how easily I put the foot down, I still wear out cleats at a pretty rapid rate.

  17. #17
    Senior Member garysol1's Avatar
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    Well I went tomy LBS today and looked at some options and ended up with the Crank Brothers Smarty pedals and Pearl Izumi Sprint shoes. I think this combo will work fine. Easy in and out and a flat sole walking surface. Very lite for hot weather here as well. Thanks for all the ideas.


  18. #18
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    with a little balance, it doesn't take much force at all to hold the bike upright with the stoker clipped in. Never worried about a lack of traction on my shoes to do that.

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