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  1. #1
    Senior Member CafeRacer's Avatar
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    Shimano SPD- R Pedals

    I know theres a thousand threads about pedals so it will be short and quick. Anyone got a pic then can post up of how the loop is mounted for a strap? I have a general idea but would like to know for sure.

  2. #2
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    I don't have a pic, but I can tell you how to do it. I've been riding cages and straps and am starting to switch to SPD-R, and I just don't feel right without a strap. A couple of the local top level sprinters have that setup and I looked at their pedals before I decided to switch to SPD-R. I haven't put them together yet, so I can't send a picture.

    1) get some old steel cages and cut the loop for the strap off, leaving a tab of non-looped part about 1 cm long.

    2) drill a hole in the non-looped bit that's big enough for the tension setting screw from the pedals.

    3) unscrew the tension setting screw all the way out, and insert the piece from the toe clip so that it's between the screw head and the outermost bottom part of the pedal.

    4) when you screw it back together, make sure both springs are engaged properly (only do one pedal at a time, so you can refer to the other to see how they engage) and that the tension indicator is centered in the little window. The indicator tends to start off center when you reassemble them, and sometimes you have to push it with a hex key.

    5) When the pedal is back together you can put a strap through the loop and use it to tie yourself in.

    Check the steel loop periodically to see that it's not getting weakened from getting flexed.

    I've also seen the top guys ride SPD-Rs at World Cup without the strap-- once they're aligned well I think you can get them pretty tight, but I don't have enough experience with them yet so I plan to do the strap thing.

  3. #3
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    Bitingduck (nice name, by the way) has the best way of doing it if you really, really want straps. A couple minor additions:

    1. By cages, I think he means toe clips.
    2. You can use double straps by putting two of these toe clip cutoffs on each pedal, one pointing forward and one backward, or even better, both pointing the same way and one longer than the other. Either way, rivet them together with a couple pop rivets and you'll significantly reduce metal fatigue.
    3. All that being said, the only real point of a toe strap on SPD-R's is to keep your foot from lifting out IF you rotate far enough around to release the cleat. Anything less than a full lift-out and you'll snap right back in and never notice it. It isn't like with 7400's or similar pedals where you have to keep your foot forced down with the pedal jammed up into the slot of the cleat or bad accidents happen.
    4. You can tighten up SPD-R tension so that they hold the shoes so tight, it's almost easier to slip your feet into the shoes and leave the shoes on the bike (a la Jerry Ash, Anton Tkac, and other riders of the '80s). Tightened up a bit, I still use straps but don't feel I really need to.
    5. If you use zero-float cleats, they stick in a good bit better than floating cleats, reducing the need for a toe strap.
    6. Some riders need the strap forward of the tension adjustment screw, others need it in back. Just find a position that holds your foot and doesn't create pain on the top of your foot or lies over a shoe buckle or whatever. It takes a bit of experimenting to get the best position.

  4. #4
    J.A.M Jamtastic's Avatar
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    here os a pic of a different setup for you...

  5. #5
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    I once tried tapping holes and mounting them as shown above, but the screws need to be very small and very short or you run into the axle unit inside. The metal does tend to twist around the small screws and either break screws or enlarge the holes so it pulls free. However, it is very elegant and addresses the issue of the toe clip end rotating around the single screw of the tension adjuster -- not an issue once your foot is in the pedal, but a bit of a pain when you're trying to get your feet into the straps in a hurry.

    Here's a simpler variant on what Tomity came up with above: There's about a centimeter width of the center axle that accommodates a strip of stainless steel wrapped around it. I used 3/8 x 1/16" thick stainless strip from a craft shop, wrapped it around the axle part of the pedal frame, and pop-riveted it with a stainless pop rivet with the cut-off end of the toe clip in between. It doesn't have to be particularly tight, because the strap ends up bearing directly on the pedal frame anyway. The 1/16" thick strip doesn't stick up above the rubber pads on the pedals, so it never interferes with cleat engagement.

    By the way, use steel toe clips, not aluminum ones. The aluminum ones work harden very fast and break in a matter of a few days.

  6. #6
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    I took another look at the pedal on Tomity's setup. Sure looks like an SPD-SL to me. You can just barely see the rear cleat engagement clip, and it's an SPD-SL clip, not the spring assembly you'd expect to see for an SPD-R, and you don't see the bolt for the axle assembly on the underside. Not necessarily a bad idea, and no different from what one would do on an SPD-R, but I don't think it's actually an SPD-R pedal.

  7. #7
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    I haven't seen anybody with double straps on their SPD-Rs-- that's like a belt, suspenders, *and* duct tape. If it makes you feel safer it's a good thing though.

    I like your point number 4-- It hadn't really occurred to me to do that, but it's not a bad idea.

    That's a really nice setup that Jamtastic has, but I'm too lazy to take apart a pedal spindle to drill and thread it, and would be squeamish about leaving shavings in if I didn't take it all the way apart.

    The handle comes from a mean pet duck I had (eventually a raccoon got him, which was sad). He really hated me, and would clamp onto exposed skin really hard. You wouldn't think a duck could bite (or hold a grudge, but they can), but try having an 8 lb duck clamped onto your arm while you lift it up. He could even tell sleeves from skin, and wouldn't bother on long sleeves. I have a webcam setup so I can look at them when I'm not home. It's at http://bitingduck.com/webcam.html . I use the handle because it's easy to remember and not likely to be already taken.

  8. #8
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    I used to ride in Texas and had this flock of ducks mixed with a few Canadian geese that always crowded on the road on the route back to my house. If you rode through at a slow pace, they'd bite your legs. If you rode fast, you had a couple of them peck at your wheels and bring you down (them too, but at that point I didn't care). Texas was a dangerous place to ride. Lots of ranch dogs, and then there was this bull out west of Austin that would escape across a cattle guard and chase you uphill. He was pretty damned fast for a bull.

    The point of double straps on SPD-R's isn't so much to give additional security, as to improve comfort for those who can't quite get it with a single strap (i.e., one strap is painful on the top of the foot). I was just at the Los Angeles world cup and saw a lot of SPD-R pedals in use in sprint and kilo events. About a third used no straps, a third used one strap, and a third used two. Go figure.

  9. #9
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    When I was in Minnesota we had a flock of geese that we always went through, but the biggest hazard they gave us was the droppings.

    I was making copies on the infield so I didn't get a chance to check out the sprint stuff too much. The sprint events have a lot more results and start lists so we were busier for those and didn't get to see as much. I saw Jamie look like he was losing control of the bike coming down the home stretch in the sprint, disappear behind the officials stand, and come out the other side sliding. I missed the nose wheelie from where I was. The endurance events were like a break.

  10. #10
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    isnt easier put a time pedal instead of those shimano ones? Time pedal at least that i know of, they do not snap or anything. I been using them for years even with crappy cleats and no problems... Well for sure the reason to use shiano is because they are NJS certif???

  11. #11
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    I prefer the 7400 over the spd. In the dirt I stop using the spd and switched to Time. I have a shelf full of spd pedals from bmx, road, mtb. I still have a toe clip set up but the straps always dig into my foot when they are tighten so they sit on the shelf also.
    We don't have loose bulls around here but we have SUV's. We also have mountain lions here where I live and there are very real not urban legends.

  12. #12
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    Ultra,

    This modification does not meet NJS standards anyway, and SPD-R's aren't NJS certified to begin with. The issue is to keep your cleat in the pedal and while Times are nice, they don't have the level of retention needed for hard sprints, kilos, etc. I've seen both Times and Looks modified with either a screw-in locking bolt on the side or a wing nut or equivalent on the rear which essentially takes the spring mechanism out of play -- it simply locks the cleat in the pedal with no possibility of release. That's one way to use these kinds of pedals. However, note that one of the appeals of SPD-R's is that the cleats are all metal. While traditional Look fixed cleats have more plastic and stand up reasonably well in pursuit, madison, etc., the floating ones have had an unpleasant incidence of breaking out the plastic and coming loose (permanently) in hard efforts. European pro six-day riders have had occasional trouble with Time Impact cleats, mostly because the mechanism at the back would simply break, and I don't know of any who ride Speedplays because you simply can't crank them down hard enough (and the track version tends to pop out more unexpectedly but still pops out). However, most pedal customizations like we're talking about here are for the timed events -- sprint, kilo, and team sprint. Other applications can get by with most pedals in most circumstances. For those, an unmodified SPD-R is popular simply because it's aero, and the aero characteristics are easily enhanced with some shrink plastic window wrap applied to the underside.

  13. #13
    Back to being a Clyde.... ZappCatt's Avatar
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    In the Men's sprint in LA, there was only 1 athlete that I can find that did not use straps.
    I did not see the mens Kilo, so do not know how many used straps there.
    In the team pursuit there were quite a few who did not use straps.

  14. #14
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    Zapp,

    At the world level, it's quite unusual in match sprints not to use straps, and either 7400's or SPD-R's rule the day. Pretty much the same for team sprints. In kilos, about two-thirds of the riders use straps, and SPD-R's are particularly popular for their aero design. In pursuit (both individual and team), toe straps are quite in the minority. At the LA World Cup, a couple of us were right at the finish line and while riders were setting up, were photographing bar setups, pedal setups, and anything out of the ordinary. We got images of every rider in the kilo, team sprint, match sprint, and pursuit (at least on our side of the track), and the images confirm these observations. The Brits weren't in evidence at the event (except for Jamie, who didn't last long), and they tend more to no straps or single straps, in either case on SPD-R's. Again, pedal and strap usage are a different game on the massed start events -- kilo, match sprint, and team sprint have practices unique to their disciplines.

  15. #15
    Back to being a Clyde.... ZappCatt's Avatar
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    Yeah, I was on the track shooting for the sprints..

    I just looked through the pix to try to clarify on your percentages that you mentioned regarding straps and no straps..not trying to say that you were wrong, just pointing out that all except 1 rider in the sprints was strapped in, and that straps were less evident in the longer rides...as would be expected(except for the people in the team sprints were having to do the standing start out of the gates)

    I actually shot the pedal setups of the semi-finalists in the mens match sprints, since pedal choice is often a topic of discussion here and at Fixedgearfever.

    EDIT: These shots are the pedals of the American Blatchie, and the French dude who won the whole thing. Blatchie is the one with the SRM
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by ZappCatt; 01-30-06 at 12:23 PM.

  16. #16
    J.A.M Jamtastic's Avatar
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    The picture i posted is what i somehow intend to do though i too am worried about drilling to deep. Tommity has it done. They are indeed spd-l . maybe he got confused when using model spd-r540 or something. I am going to get it disaaembled at the lbs and drilled to their specs at a machine shop. hopefully then it will be precisely drilled and threaded perfect. we will see.

  17. #17
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    U dont have the tools at home to desaseemble the pedals? why pay for that? i mean im assuming u dont work in a lbs..

    UM

  18. #18
    J.A.M Jamtastic's Avatar
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    i do have the tools. but i need their advice on how far is safe to drill. I need to buy a calibrator. anyone know where a cheap one is.

  19. #19
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    I'm surprised they're not through holes-- since you're not going to use them in the rain you can probably do through holes (all the way to the spindle space) and then use threadlock to seal it. I can't imagine it's thick enough to get all that many threads, and with a blind hole you can't thread to the bottom, so it could be hard to get the screws to stay tight.

    If you're doing blind holes and have a friend with a milling machine it's pretty straightforward to get precise depths-- you move the table up rather than the head down, and most have pretty precise control over the table motion.

  20. #20
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    One other point regarding straps-- if you break a strap it counts as a recognized mishap, and you're more likely to get a restart under some circumstances. Sometimes it doesn't matter if it's a recognized/unrecognized mishap, but it's extra insurance. Coming out of your clipless pedals is more likely to be an unrecognized mishap and sometimes won't get you a restart.

    And you're right (11.4) about two straps being more comfortable. I use doubles on my clip/strap combination, and it's way more comfortable than singles. It never struck me to do it on the clipless.

    I worked starting gates/holding at Nats this year, and though I didn't really keep track, almost everyone doing the team sprint had at least one strap, and quite a few were using a regular clip/double strap combination.

  21. #21
    Senior Member CafeRacer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamtastic
    here os a pic of a different setup for you...
    That is an SL pedal. Cool idea thogh. Im going to look into that. finding screws wont be hard either since that part of the axle isnt very thick and the alum body is pretty thick. Trouble is that doesnt address what the point of the strap is for. I assume it was used origionaly to make sure you couldnt force the clasp open.

  22. #22
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    At this point, compared the SPD-SL approach above, with a Look or similar-to-Look pedal there are simpler and stronger solutions: First, you can have a threaded-in allen bolt that runs from the outside frame into the central clip assembly that holds the cleat (the black part in the rear that's spring loaded). Use an allen-headed screwdriver and tighten it in seconds, and it is simply and irrevocably locked -- you can't get out without the allen screwdriver unless you step out of your shoes. Second, you can also remove the tension adjuster, and you'll find a nice little flange inside tailor made for the head of a bolt. With the head of the bolt sticking through the hole in the back center of the clip assembly (that black part at the rear again), just put on a wing nut and crank it tight. It helps to keep the bolt from rotating by snagging it in place with a nut and a lockwasher clamping it to the little flange inside.

  23. #23
    Senior Member CafeRacer's Avatar
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    I saw those modified pedals on Olympic bikes. Pretty balllsy! I still think a strap is a better safeguard since you can still break a shoe cleat. I cracked on this summer and thanked god I noticed it because the next day I was going to the track. Who knows if it would have let go or not, but it would have sucked!

  24. #24
    Senior Member brooklyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZappCatt
    Yeah, I was on the track shooting for the sprints..

    I just looked through the pix to try to clarify on your percentages that you mentioned regarding straps and no straps..not trying to say that you were wrong, just pointing out that all except 1 rider in the sprints was strapped in, and that straps were less evident in the longer rides...as would be expected(except for the people in the team sprints were having to do the standing start out of the gates)

    I actually shot the pedal setups of the semi-finalists in the mens match sprints, since pedal choice is often a topic of discussion here and at Fixedgearfever.

    EDIT: These shots are the pedals of the American Blatchie, and the French dude who won the whole thing. Blatchie is the one with the SRM

    what kinda shoes do you wear with these pedals?

  25. #25
    Senior Member CafeRacer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brooklyn
    what kinda shoes do you wear with these pedals?
    Both are older shimano clip and strap pedals minus the steel cage. I have 3 pairs in my box or junk at work. Finding the shoe cleats is hard these days. Any shoe with a look pattern works

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