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Old 07-30-10, 05:04 PM   #1
Emily Dickinson
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Newbie questions about clipless pedals

I just purchased a new (used) Bianchi Brava with "2-sided" clipless pedals. I've never used clipless pedals of any sort before and I have a few questions. I plan to use this bike mostly for commuting and some touring.

1. Should I keep the clipless pedals? Are they safe for city commuting? I commute 30-60 miles a week. New pedals will probably cost about the same as new shoes.

2. If I keep the clipless pedals, do I always need to wear special shoes with them? What if I'm just going for a quick ride to the store?

3. Anything else you want to tell me about clipless pedals?

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Old 07-30-10, 05:44 PM   #2
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yes, yes, and always unclip and THEN stop.
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Old 07-30-10, 05:48 PM   #3
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If they're two sided, it's likely they're mountain bike style (SPD) pedals. You should have no problem finding walkable shoes. Also, you can always do a quick ride with rubber soled shoes if it's just to the store or around the block. Any further than 5 miles, though, and my feet really start hurting.
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Old 07-30-10, 06:30 PM   #4
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Clipless pedals are EVIL! Burn them with fire!!!

Nah, just kidding. They'll work fine as long as you can get some nice shoes you like to work with them.
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Old 07-30-10, 08:50 PM   #5
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I recently switched to two sided clipless pedals (SPD) on my hybrid. As a complete newbie to clipless pedals I found them easy to adapt to and I see no reason why they would be troublesome while actually commuting. I don't use them on my commuter (a Dahon folder) because I just don't care to deal with carrying extra shoes and swapping them out. You can walk in SPD shoes well enough for modest distances but most people would not care to walk around in them all day. So commuting with SPD pedals pretty much means dealing with swapping shoes at work. That is not really such a big issue even for me but my commute is just under 5 miles and takes quite a flat route so I don't really see enough benefit to clipless pedals to justify the shoe swapping. I do much longer recreational rides on my hybrid and I think the SPD pedals are great for that.

Riding SPD pedals in ordinary shoes is something you can do. I have not tried it myself. The Shimano SPD pedals have a combination reflector assembly/platform pedal that you can clip to one side of your pedals. I bought a pair on a whim and have only tried them once. They certainly do work. In my opinion they would not hold up to very many insertion and removal cycles so if you are going to leave them in, which probably is not too much of a bother, they would likely last a reasonably long time and make riding in ordinary shoes comfortable. If you install and remove them often I fear you would wear them out quickly. If you have another brand of pedals they probably won't work though some other brands may be compatible with SPD cleats and could possibly use them.

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Old 07-30-10, 09:02 PM   #6
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Yep... you can adjust to clipless if you want. However, platform pedals are OK too:
1) great in winter or other situations where you might like to get off the pedals quickly.
2) great to use if you have multiple bikes, unless you can afford to outfit all of them with clipless pedals.
3) great if you are riding and walking.
4) great if you have a pair of good hiking shoes and don't want to spend any more money.
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