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I had trouble unclipping a brand new pedals

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I had trouble unclipping a brand new pedals

Old 01-06-18, 07:59 PM
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JMH714
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I had trouble unclipping a brand new pedals

I bought a new Ultegra SPD-SL carbon pedal today and installed on my primary road bike. Previous, I had 2-hole SPD and I had no issue with it.

But with SPD-SL, I found it really difficult to unclip myself and it took lot effort to unclip. I have screw all the way on negative side (assume it's looser). I can understand that it needs break in, but is there any other way to make it bit easier to unclip?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-06-18, 11:30 PM
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I wonder if swapping with someone who has used cleats would help.
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Old 01-07-18, 06:40 AM
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Don't assume anything with the adjustment. Try it both ways until you understand how it works or read the instructions.
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Old 01-07-18, 09:20 AM
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Never mind.
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Old 01-07-18, 02:44 PM
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Personally, I always found that my old SPD MTB pedals were always just easier to unclip from than any road pedal I've ever owned with the exception of Speedplay light action or low end Looks. I don't know if Shimano uses stiffer springs in the higher level pedals, but I do know that my old 105 SPD-SLs were fairly stiff, especially with new cleats, so trading in the Ultegra's for 105's might not do anything for you.

1nterceptor had a good idea with trying to find some used cleats, but keep in mind that the SPD-SL cleats have rubber grips on them to aid in traction when walking, and they become VERY slick when those come off.
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Old 01-07-18, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post
I wonder if swapping with someone who has used cleats would help.
I don't know anyone that is road cyclist... except for bike shops and out on road with strangers.

Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Don't assume anything with the adjustment. Try it both ways until you understand how it works or read the instructions.
I looked in manual and my assumption is right. It was set on very loose and it's still hard to unclip it.

Perhaps silicone spray in spring area?
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Old 01-07-18, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by pesty View Post
Personally, I always found that my old SPD MTB pedals were always just easier to unclip from than any road pedal I've ever owned with the exception of Speedplay light action or low end Looks. I don't know if Shimano uses stiffer springs in the higher level pedals, but I do know that my old 105 SPD-SLs were fairly stiff, especially with new cleats, so trading in the Ultegra's for 105's might not do anything for you.

1nterceptor had a good idea with trying to find some used cleats, but keep in mind that the SPD-SL cleats have rubber grips on them to aid in traction when walking, and they become VERY slick when those come off.
I read somewhere that Shimano Light Action pedals are easier to unclip (I learned that this morning...) Not sure why higher level of pedals are much more stiff. Maybe because of aggressive pedaling that need to be firmly clip in? I don't know.
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Old 01-07-18, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by JMH714 View Post
I read somewhere that Shimano Light Action pedals are easier to unclip (I learned that this morning...) Not sure why higher level of pedals are much more stiff. Maybe because of aggressive pedaling that need to be firmly clip in? I don't know.
I wasn’t aware Shimano had light action, but not surprised as pretty much everyone else has come out with them in the last few years. For me, I like a firm release. I’ve had accidental releases in the past, thankfully never to catestrophic consequences, but I’ve had a few scares.
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Old 01-07-18, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by JMH714 View Post
I don't know anyone that is road cyclist... except for bike shops and out on road with strangers.



I looked in manual and my assumption is right. It was set on very loose and it's still hard to unclip it.

Perhaps silicone spray in spring area?
I wouldn’t do that. Instead, focus on rotating your heel outward smoothly and decisively. Try to keep your heel flat, don’t let your ankle roll.

In my experience SPD cleats allow for a wider range of motion to release, even the so-called lateral release SH-51 cleats. So if you are used to those, it takes a bit of practice.

Last edited by caloso; 01-08-18 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 01-08-18, 09:41 AM
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I have to agree with improving your technique..... if you want to keep spd-sl's.

Keeping your foot on the pedal is one of it's jobs. That might be another reason why mountain bikers early on tended to favor the spd. It simply was a little more forgiving of poor technique and let you get your feet off the pedals when you needed them off the pedals.

SPD were not invented for mountain bikers, nor where SPD-SL intended for only road bikers. It just wound up that SPD's suited the mountain bikers more. The SPD-SL's suited the really high performance must have that last 0.01 second at the finish line bikers that still have power left in their legs at high rpm.

For me an SPD is more than enough for my flailing about at the few times I'm able to maintain 120 or so rpm while I'm on the road.
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Old 01-08-18, 11:33 AM
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my experience with SPD-SL (and before that look style) is that you need to "exercise" the pedal a bit, clip in, clip out (with as noted earlier focus on rotating heel out) do this 15-20 times each pedal.
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Old 01-08-18, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
SPD were not invented for mountain bikers, nor where SPD-SL intended for only road bikers. It just wound up that SPD's suited the mountain bikers more. The SPD-SL's suited the really high performance must have that last 0.01 second at the finish line bikers that still have power left in their legs at high rpm.
On the road... but there are still a lot of track racers that still use straps. I don't think it was that long ago that some of them were still using the pre-clipless style slotted cleats. And if you've ever ridden with slotted cleats and overly tightened straps, you will have absolutely no problem with clipless pedals of any kind.

But yea, normal (non-Light action) pedals may feel a little tight to release coming from the mountain bike world, but they're really supposed to be that way to prevent accidental unclips. My wife had some problems at first, just took some practice unclipping repeatedly while coasting at 10-15mph to sort it out. After a while the tension isn't a big deal and it becomes second nature.
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Old 01-08-18, 06:32 PM
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Thanks, guys. It was interesting reading.

To clarify, I did not come from mountain bike. SPD was on my road bike because it's good introduction me into clipless world - well, actually, it's half-half pedals. I've got used to clipless and then I just decided to jump into SPD-SL level.

I will have to try two things as suggested and see how it goes.

Thanks, again.
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Old 01-08-18, 09:46 PM
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Level? It's not like graduation where you are now an adult if you ride SPD-SL. I have SPD-SL on my track racing bike and SPD on all of my other bikes. I've been cycling for 43 years, and I don't plan to move "up" to other kinds of cleats.
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Old 01-08-18, 09:48 PM
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practice... bike in a doorway ..



Shimano, there are multi release cleats and single release, and you can dial back the release force required, with a screwdriver..







.....

Last edited by fietsbob; 01-09-18 at 07:30 PM.
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Old 01-09-18, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Level? It's not like graduation where you are now an adult if you ride SPD-SL. I have SPD-SL on my track racing bike and SPD on all of my other bikes. I've been cycling for 43 years, and I don't plan to move "up" to other kinds of cleats.
I didn't mean that way. I was speaking of my own "practice" with SPD before I move onto SPD-SL, it's like moving up level.
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Old 01-09-18, 07:35 PM
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Road shoes are not as walking friendly as the recessed pocket shoe with a rubber sole..

But the Spinning class dominatrix may require you to have the SPD Sl shoe with the pontoons on them.
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Old 01-10-18, 06:46 PM
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Are your new cleats being warped slightly because of how they are mounted onto your shoe sole? Speedplays can be affected like this. Hold a sharp straight edge on them and see. Does the mounting surface's flat or curve match the flat or curve of the cleat? Also, I like PFTE dry lube for cleat/pedal interface (goes on wet then dries).
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Old 01-10-18, 08:55 PM
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break-in issue

Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
my experience with SPD-SL (and before that look style) is that you need to "exercise" the pedal a bit, clip in, clip out (with as noted earlier focus on rotating heel out) do this 15-20 times each pedal.
He's right. I've got a couple sets and a set of the half-and-half as well. They each took different break-in times, and the dual clip/flat ones took the longest. I started with the loosest adjustment I could and tightened up as they broke in (and I got better with them).
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