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Thread: Clipless?

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    Senior Member bikexcountry's Avatar
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    Clipless?

    I'm going across California this summer (no longer the US) and I was wondering when I buy my bicycle if it is worth springing for clipless pedals?

    They will cost $160 for the pedals and shoes. Disadvantages I see are having to change them out for school, and of course the cost. Should I just stick with toe clip pedals?

    As always, thanks for the help!

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    Ouch! You aren't getting racing-type clipless pedals, are you?

    I've found that quality SPD mountain-bike pedals and Shimano SPD sandals can be worn on and off the bike, offer plenty of stiffness, and are extremely comfortable. You should be able to get a combo for under $160... Even managed to lock the bike and climb 2.5 miles up Lassen Peak in the sandals!

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    Coming from a racing background my opinion has long been that if you are not firmly connected to your pedals you are wasting your time. A few years back I moderated that view after a great deal of experience with clips and straps combined with traditional touring shoes with plain rubber soles. And now, after several years of experience with my local Rivendell group I have moderated even further - many of those folks are doing very long rides, often off-road, with platform pedals and footwear ranging from tennis shoes to sandals. And some of them can ride away from me on the hills.

    So my opinion is that if you are happy with your toe clips and straps then you should continue with them. Clipless is very unlikely to add anything to your experience, unless taking a few seconds off of your climbing and sprinting times is important to your touring.

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    Senior Member Chris Pringle's Avatar
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    There is learning curve to clipless which might be too much if you're on a brand new bike. Get the bike first and get used to it. Spend the money on more important gear. Add clipless later, maybe after your first tour. I've ridden both ways and I don't think clipless pedals make a huge difference for touring. If you are racing, that's a different story.

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    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Six jours View Post
    Coming from a racing background my opinion has long been that if you are not firmly connected to your pedals you are wasting your time. A few years back I moderated that view after a great deal of experience with clips and straps combined with traditional touring shoes with plain rubber soles. And now, after several years of experience with my local Rivendell group I have moderated even further - many of those folks are doing very long rides, often off-road, with platform pedals and footwear ranging from tennis shoes to sandals. And some of them can ride away from me on the hills.

    So my opinion is that if you are happy with your toe clips and straps then you should continue with them. Clipless is very unlikely to add anything to your experience, unless taking a few seconds off of your climbing and sprinting times is important to your touring.
    "you are wasting your time". That is simply an amazing conclusion applied to a rider's choice of footwear. I guess that's racer's mindset as you say, and in that context where every little thing counts I guess that's the right conclusion. Well, I appreciate your opinion has moderated since ..since I'm a rider who went from clipless to straps on all my bikes. Hate to think I wasted hundreds of hours just biking, when I could have been...Cycling?
    Last edited by FrenchFit; 05-20-12 at 11:41 PM.

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    Senior Member bikexcountry's Avatar
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    Ok then I think I'll just go with clips or straps. I'm on platform right now and don't want to spend a ton of money.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
    "you are wasting your time". That is simply an amazing conclusion applied to a rider's choice of footwear. I guess that's racer's mindset as you say, and in that context where every little thing counts I guess that's the right conclusion. Well, I appreciate your opinion has moderated since ..since I'm a rider who went from clipless to straps on all my bikes. Hate to think I wasted hundreds of hours just biking, when I could have been...Cycling?
    The racer's POV is that racing is everything and that anything not race-related - or at least borrowed from racing - indicates that you are not "serious".

    Today, it seems to me that almost all "serious" cyclists are of that same mindset, even if they are never going to get anywhere near a race. So I see lots of advice along the lines of "you have to have clipless or you are a fred" even directed toward people like the OP, who appears to be getting along just fine with what he's got. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me at all to learn that the OP's question stems at least partially from the advice of other SoCal cyclists, who would not be seen on anything less than the latest 15 pound carbon bikes, even for a quick trip to the market.

    So that's the thinking behind my post: despite what folks may see and hear from the "serious" cyclist, there are all sorts of perfectly workable solutions, up to and including platform pedals and sneakers, if that suits him.

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    Switching from toeclips to clipless felt good to me. It is easier to get out of SPDs than to pull away from straps, and the bond is stronger nevertheless. I wouldn't spend so much money on them, the basic models can be quite cheap, although comfortable shoes are important I suppose.

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    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikexcountry View Post
    Ok then I think I'll just go with clips or straps. I'm on platform right now and don't want to spend a ton of money.
    Just one man's opinion, but...
    Clips and straps will work, but IMO opinion are a poor substitute. I was riding before folks started using clipless much and was an early adopter of clipless. Clips and straps always seemed to either:
    1. Be too loose to do any good.
    or
    2. Be much harder to get out of if the straps are cinched down. Additionally the straps if tight enough to do any good can be uncomfortable. I find all of the talk about falling over because of clipless to be hard to understand since I found them easier to get out of than clips and straps right from the start.

    That said folks used them for many years before clipless became popular. So you certainly could use them.

    BTW those little half clips with no straps are all but worthless in my opinion. In fact I just as soon go with bare pedals as them.

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    Senior Member biknbrian's Avatar
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    I always liked the mini toe clips like these:

    http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...94_-1___202363

    Obvioulsy they work with any shoe, and release is easy. They don't keep your foot held down, but they did keep my foot from sliding off/rolling the pedal as I powered through the upper part of the stroke. (To me it isn't really about pulling up, but sweeping forward and backward at the top and bottom of the stroke). I ran these things for years on my all around bike and only recently went full time clipless. Of course I couldn't imagine doing any long distance riding without being clipped in.

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    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikexcountry View Post
    I'm going across California this summer (no longer the US) and I was wondering when I buy my bicycle if it is worth springing for clipless pedals?

    They will cost $160 for the pedals and shoes. Disadvantages I see are having to change them out for school, and of course the cost. Should I just stick with toe clip pedals?

    As always, thanks for the help!
    It is not worth the cost.
    I use these, some now 40,000 miles.

    http://www.outsideoutfitters.com/ps-...toe-clips.aspx

    http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/h...lfclips010.jpg
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

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    Senior Member Big Lebowski's Avatar
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    Clipless?

    I am 10 minutes removed from my second ride on my Shimano A530 pedals. Worked fantastic. These have the SPD clips on one side and a platform on the other when one is not wearing cleats.

    Speaking of shoes, I'm wearing the Specialzed Tahoe. They look and feel like a sturdy trail shoe.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Chris Pringle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    Just one man's opinion, but...
    Clips and straps will work, but IMO opinion are a poor substitute. I was riding before folks started using clipless much and was an early adopter of clipless. Clips and straps always seemed to either:
    1. Be too loose to do any good.
    or
    2. Be much harder to get out of if the straps are cinched down. Additionally the straps if tight enough to do any good can be uncomfortable. I find all of the talk about falling over because of clipless to be hard to understand since I found them easier to get out of than clips and straps right from the start.
    +1 - Same experience here w/ clips and straps. Tried them once and thought they were a real PITA, so I did waste my money on those. To me it's either platform or clipless now. No more in-betweens!

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    <riding now> BigAura's Avatar
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    I like SPD pedals with Keen Bike Shoe/Sandals. I don't carry any extra shoes because the Keens are comfy on and off the bike. They are waterproof and also dry well. For warmth I wear them with merino wool socks. A somewhat pricey combo but worth it IMO.

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    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Personally use clipless on my road bikes, where performance under pressure is an issue. Sometimes I tour clipless, sometimes with clips and straps. At touring speeds I find the difference in efficiency to be almost negligible, and I certainly don't find clips and straps a PITA. Always clips and straps when just riding around town, when I am likely to be in street clothes/shoes.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Lebowski View Post
    I am 10 minutes removed from my second ride on my Shimano A530 pedals. Worked fantastic. These have the SPD clips on one side and a platform on the other when one is not wearing cleats.
    I use pedals like these, and love them. I've ridden thousands of kilometres with them over several years, in all sorts of conditions.

    I can clip in if I want, or not if I don't want to. I can wear cycling shoes (mtn bike shoes) if I want, or ride in sandals if I want. In fact, I often ride with one foot clipped and the other one not clipped, especially when climbing really steep hills or negotiating traffic.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Before you were born, know, those special shoes and pedals have been popular
    for much less time , than the many decades .. before ..
    A ski industry guy thought they would be Cool to have ski bindings, in effect, on bikes..

    And people never felt a need for other than a decent leather soled shoe,
    to cycle tour in, with toe clips on their pedals ..

    that being said, I read many folks liking Shimano's SPD sandals
    as they adjust in width dependent on what thickness of socks is chosen.

    so the thick wool and a gore-tex boot liner sock over the wool ones does
    a good warmth, thin light sox so you don't burn the top of your feet,
    in the sun, as the other end of the temperature range.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 05-21-12 at 01:00 PM.

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    Love my Shimano PD-M535 clipless pedals! Have them on all of my bikes, including my touring bike. Won't ride without them...

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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    And people never felt a need for other than a decent leather soled shoe,
    to cycle tour in, with toe clips on their pedals ..
    Actually, Dutch former pro cyclist Jan Janssen once commented how much he hated the toeclips he had to use in the 60s. Made his feet hurt.

  20. #20
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Racing puts comfort well down on the list ..

    My favorite touring shoes were a result of finding someone
    with shoe repair gear to work with..

    Heavily modified shoe now has a full width slot, hour glass shaped for angle float.
    with a heel .. and the slot recessed for walking,
    the forefoot fairly smooth soled, so a quick easy flip, and insert
    into the toe clip pedal.

    the other part of the comfort was a nice contoured insole ..
    and a loose fit so circulation was not impeded..

    Off the bike they were sort of like penny loafers. with a 3/4 stiff sole.

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    Hey bikexcountry! I asked a similar question on a thread a couple of months ago and got a good range of answers. You can find that thread here. In the end I decided on the Shimano 530 spd pedal that is clipless on one side and has a deck on the other. I got the Keen Commuter shoes and I liked the combination. I just finished a short tour and liked the versatility of both sides of the pedal. In town, in areas with frequent stops, and for quick starts, the deck side of the pedal was great, even with the spd shoes. For the long miles, being attached to the pedal is great.

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    Senior Member bikexcountry's Avatar
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    I got cheap clips. I decided to avoid clipless, I have no xp with them and its a lot cheaper to take my current (admittedly pos) pedals off my bike and put them onto my touring bike. Which I purchased today, yay! Novara Randonee, paid $1020, and seven for the clips.

  23. #23
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    There ya go! Stiffer soled shoes and shoes with stiff uppers will be more comfortable in clips. If you hate 'em after a 1000 miles, you can always change out for clipless. I started road biking long before there were clipless. Clips can make your feet cold, can be dangerous, and can make your little toes hurt. Other than that, they're great. When you use them, tighten the strap and secure the end on one foot. On the other foot, just pull the strap tight, but don't secure the tail. It's quick to reach down and loosen the buckle when you see something coming up that might make you put a foot down. Over a few hundred miles, the pedals, if they're cage pedals, will wear grooves in the bottoms of your shoes. This will help keep your foot in there, but will also make it harder to pull your foot out. I used to cut in grooves, once their positions were well marked on my shoe soles.

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    50% of my touring was with toe clips and low top basket ball shoes. Alex, congrats on the purchase. I know it's a lot of money but it's a good bike. Ride in a straight line and be visible. I didn't realize how bad old folks vision was until I became one, and they drive! Do you have a good floor pump at home?
    Last edited by LeeG; 05-22-12 at 04:03 AM.

  25. #25
    <riding now> BigAura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikexcountry View Post
    Novara Randonee, paid $1020, and seven for the clips.
    yer good

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