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Need advice on clipless pedals

Old 10-12-11, 04:27 PM
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WestonP
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Need advice on clipless pedals

Hi, I'm about to buy my first set of SPD pedals but I can't decide just what kind to get. I do a round trip of about 20 miles a day to college on my hybrid and my shortcut takes me along a paved bayou trail, up and down a couple grassy hills and through a few miles of heavy traffic.

Initially I wanted pedal with a platform on one side but not knowing which side my foot will fall on seems dangerous in traffic. I've never used clipless before but does it make more sense just to go all in with SPD on both sides?

These are the models I'm comparing:

https://www.rei.com/product/764688/sh...rt-road-pedals

https://www.rei.com/product/705310/sh...pd-bike-pedals

And here are the shoes I ordered, if that's relevant:

https://www.specialized.com/fi/en/bc/...4235&gold_ses=

Appreciate any advice!
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Old 10-12-11, 04:53 PM
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The pedals with spd on one side and a platform on the other are pretty heavy. I don't find it a big deal at all to have a pedal on either side. It's a lot easier to pedal a mtb pedal like spd without being clipped in than a road pedal so I don't think it's an issue at all.

I'd also suggest you look at the Time ATAC pedals. Those are what I have and have used for years and really like them. REI has those too, IIRC.

J.
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Old 10-12-11, 07:09 PM
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WestonP
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Well my biggest concern with switching to clipless is getting a quick start in traffic. With platforms on one side I figured I could start with them and then flip over and clip in once I got going but all the clip/platform pedals I've seen are weighted for clip up which means I'd always be stepping onto the clip with my resting foot, so whats the point.
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Old 10-12-11, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by WestonP View Post
Well my biggest concern with switching to clipless is getting a quick start in traffic. With platforms on one side I figured I could start with them and then flip over and clip in once I got going but all the clip/platform pedals I've seen are weighted for clip up which means I'd always be stepping onto the clip with my resting foot, so whats the point.

Right. If you can't clip in, the likelihood that you can easily flip the pedal over from a start is pretty slim. For me, dual-sided pedals are the worst of both worlds.

Then again, I have multiple bikes with their own purposes. I don't have a need to mix footwear.
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Old 10-12-11, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
I'd also suggest you look at the Time ATAC pedals.
These aren't so great for clipless noobs because the cleat isn't forgiving when you're trying to adjust the angle and placement after a couple attempts. SPDs are much easier for first time clipless users
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Old 10-12-11, 07:20 PM
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I've had both, I disagree.

J.
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Old 10-12-11, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by WestonP View Post
Well my biggest concern with switching to clipless is getting a quick start in traffic. With platforms on one side I figured I could start with them and then flip over and clip in once I got going but all the clip/platform pedals I've seen are weighted for clip up which means I'd always be stepping onto the clip with my resting foot, so whats the point.
Yep, that's my take as well. You'll find that trying to get a "quick start" while having one foot clipped in and the other mashing on the wrong side of the pedal and then trying to flip it back over with your foot is counter-intuitive, and generally is just a pain. My first attempt at going with clipless was with SPD as well and I found it very easy to get used to. I quickly reached the point where stopping and starting was almost automatic, and having double sided pedals was even better since I didn't have to worry about which side was up.

My advice is to get the double sided pedals and take it out for several practice runs, until you have the tension set right and can clip in and out at starts/stops without looking at your feet.

Also, if Specialized hasn't changed too much recently, you're gonna love those shoes; they're comfy and last a long time. I've been using my Taho's for years now, and am very satisfied.
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Old 10-12-11, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by hairnet View Post
These aren't so great for clipless noobs because the cleat isn't forgiving when you're trying to adjust the angle and placement after a couple attempts. SPDs are much easier for first time clipless users
I started from scratch on Time ATAC's, in mountain biking. It was, to quote Linda Richman, no big whoop.
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Old 10-12-11, 10:02 PM
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Get the double-sided SPD's and be done with it.

I currently have the 520's, 540's, and XT's on 3 of my bikes and can't tell the difference between the 3.

Then I have the single-sided A-520's on a 4th bike and detest them.
They are a PITA when you are trying to get a quick start in traffic.
They will soon be replaced with a double-sided model.
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Old 10-12-11, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
Get the double-sided SPD's and be done with it.

I currently have the 520's, 540's, and XT's on 3 of my bikes and can't tell the difference between the 3.

+1 - I've been on SPD's on all my bikes for so long I can't even imagine a bike with out them. Always double sided.
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Old 10-12-11, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Dirt Farmer View Post
I started from scratch on Time ATAC's, in mountain biking. It was, to quote Linda Richman, no big whoop.

I'm riding all my bikes on Time Atacs now and getting the cleat perfect was a lot harder than with SPDs. Differing experiences
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Old 10-12-11, 10:52 PM
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I have the M540s on my Trek hybrid and use Specialized Taho shoes. I've been very pleased with the combination. The older Tahoe shoes I have (not the Sport model) are very comfortable. Their only drawback seems to be that they are a little heavy. Not sure if that applies to the Sport or not. I think dual sided pedals are the way to go for commuting. They are way easier to get into than my Shimano PD-A520 single sided pedals on my road bike (similar to Shimagnolo's experience). I also recommend the Shimano Multi Release SPD cleats. I do find the A520s to be more supportive on longer rides due to the small platform, but it is a pain to be frequently kicking them around to click in.
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Old 10-12-11, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by spudston View Post
I do find the A520s to be more supportive on longer rides due to the small platform, but it is a pain to be frequently kicking them around to click in.
Check out Shimano's website for the current lineup of pedals.
They now have two types at every level.
The new type is double-sided, but has a perimeter frame sort of like the A-520.

Last edited by Shimagnolo; 10-12-11 at 11:04 PM.
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Old 10-12-11, 11:13 PM
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I would also recommend mountain bike shoes. Way easier to walk around in when you are off the bike.
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Old 10-12-11, 11:20 PM
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I use spd's with platforms on one side. I like being able to run to the store in street shoes. I also often use the platform for one foot when in stop and go traffic.

I don't usually have any problem with flipping them because they tend to stay on the spd side. I flip them to use the platform side. Either way it's like clipping in and out after a couple of weeks it's effortless.
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Old 10-13-11, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
Get the double-sided SPD's and be done with it.
+1

https://www.google.com/products/catal...d=0CHIQ8gIwCA#
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Last edited by CB HI; 10-13-11 at 12:24 AM.
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Old 10-13-11, 12:41 AM
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the time atacs are a great pedal, i have them on the mtb however... no-one has ranted about speedplays yet? my roadie has lite actions and they kick ass. its not really as hard to walk in them as some may say.
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Old 10-13-11, 06:46 AM
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These all were designed for mountain biking. Getting clipped in with traffic when you have the opportunity to have one clipped in to start is not as difficult as trying to clip in on technical terrain. Don't overthink it. Get dual sided pedals and be done with it then learn how to use them.

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Old 10-13-11, 07:32 AM
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I have eggbeaters on all of my bikes and really like the "all-sided" entry.
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Old 10-13-11, 08:20 AM
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i have a dual-sided platform/SPD Forte campus pedals on my hybrid for maximum flexibility and i love them. just like learning how to use clipless pedals in the firs place, it took some time to get used to the dual-sided nature of the pedals, but after you're over that learning curve, it becomes completely second nature and your foot will just "know" what side of the pedal it wants to be on.

dual-sided pedals are absolutely wonderful for people who want maximum flexibility from their pedals; don't be scared off by the people in this thread claiming that they're too difficult to use.
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Old 10-13-11, 08:28 AM
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I built a new bike for the GF, and at the same time she was learning to use clipless.
Big mistake.
Never sacrifice a shiny new bike to a clipless newbie.
Initially, I put the A-520's from my spare parts box on it, but then realized that only made things worse, so I swapped the double-sided 520's from my touring bike onto her bike so she didn't need to also deal with trying to flip the pedals around.
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Old 10-13-11, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
Get the double-sided SPD's and be done with it.

I currently have the 520's, 540's, and XT's on 3 of my bikes and can't tell the difference between the 3.

Then I have the single-sided A-520's on a 4th bike and detest them.
They are a PITA when you are trying to get a quick start in traffic.
They will soon be replaced with a double-sided model.
Since there is no difference in function, save yourself money (like me) and get these: https://www.amazon.com/Shimano-PD-M52...8516659&sr=8-1
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Old 10-14-11, 10:06 PM
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Thanks for all the advice, I just got my Tahoe Sports in the mail, picked up some dual sided pedals from REI and went for my first ride. The default tension was smooth and I didn't have any trouble clipping in and out after a few minutes. I'll never go back to platforms.

A side question about shoe fit though, they are a little snug around the toe. I'm not curling at all but I can feel the end. It that going to be a problem?
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Old 10-14-11, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by WestonP View Post
Well my biggest concern with switching to clipless is getting a quick start in traffic. With platforms on one side I figured I could start with them and then flip over and clip in once I got going but all the clip/platform pedals I've seen are weighted for clip up which means I'd always be stepping onto the clip with my resting foot, so whats the point.
With SPDs, even if you have the clip on both sides of the pedal it's still easy to pedal for a short time even if you didn't get quite clipped in at first. I used 520s for a while, and had no problem pedaling unclipped for several strokes, even while starting on steep hills.
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Old 10-15-11, 09:35 AM
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I've used Shimano M540 spd and recommend it. Two-sided, easy and fast to clip and unclip. I like the good sealed bearings too.
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