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Clipless pedals

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Old 01-28-18, 10:42 PM
  #51  
canklecat
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First ride with clipless Sunday afternoon, 23 miles after a quick parking lot practice clipping-in/unclipping. I'm sure I'll get the hang of it quickly.

My immediate impression was that I like the stiff soled shoes (Scott Road Pro, decent low price). My feet are very narrow with high arches and these are pretty close to fitting correctly. I'll fiddle with some inserts, as I do with most shoes.

First thing I noticed was no cramps in my foot arches. Lately, with platform pedals and cycling/walking shoes, I've been stopping on almost every ride to stretch out painful spasms in the arches and sometimes legs. It's been happening at night in bed too. But so far no spasms with the stiff Scott shoes, especially on hill climbs where it usually kicks in.

But the soles and floating delta cleats feel like ice skating, trying to clip in with Look pedals. Judging from my riding video sounds, it took me almost 30 seconds to clip in completely. That may be even slower than GCN presenter Matt Stephens, for whom fumbled clip-ins are a long running joke. After that I seemed to need only one or two fumbles after complete stops (I stopped completely at most stop signs just for practice).

The 9° of float in the red cleats feels ridiculous. Like I'm slipping and sliding all over the place. I'll try it for awhile but I may switch to the zero-float cleats or those with less float. We'll see how my knees feel after getting accustomed to the red cleats.

One possible advantage to the floating cleats is I'm probably less likely to accidentally unclip while standing to climb hills. When my legs are shaking from heavy exertion I may not be able to fully control my foot position well enough to stay clipped in with zero float cleats. We'll see how it goes.

I wasn't any faster, but I wasn't trying hard either. I was mostly concentrating on spinning smoothly, and reminding myself to unclip if necessary. And I'm just getting over the flu and haven't ridden much this month, so I wasn't pushing too hard.
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Old 04-02-18, 11:04 AM
  #52  
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I went from toe clips to clipless and then back to toe clips and on one of my bikes just plain platform pedals voer a period of forty years. I don't think I will ever return to clipless, but it is all a matter of preference. I like being able to wear any shoes or sandals. I sometimes even ride short distances in crocs.
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Old 04-02-18, 04:18 PM
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Different POV. I went clipless a few years ago, but when I moved to Reno, I found that my road bike (Masi Resolucione) was just too much bike for me. So, on my Sirrus Elite I went back to platform pedals. I'm not a speed demon so I saw little performance improvement with clipless and at the time, was doing too much city street riding and didn't feel comfortable. I am, as you can see, a proud member of Club Tombay all of whose members have fallen because they were clipped in and couldn't unclip in time.

So I'm happy with platforms and feel more relaxed on them. I'm 67, btw.
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Old 04-02-18, 07:08 PM
  #54  
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Started mtn biking at 53. Almost immediately went to clipless and right after that, hit the ground. In fact multiple times. First time out on the trails I fell maybe 4-5 times because I "couldn't" get unclipped. Not that I was somehow locked in, just hadn't learned to unclip without thinking. After that I don't remember falling. I use Time pedals with mtn shoes. Never fallen on the road bike because of clipless. It just becomes second nature, you don't even think about it.

Cannot agree with, nor understand the mindset you're somehow more vulnerable on a mtn bike, or somehow going to be worse injured. Everyone I rode with used clipless. You mtn bike single track long enough and you're going to fall. Clipless pedals won't cause it any more than platforms will prevent it. Nor will somehow your injuries become magically worse because you're wearing clipless. If anything, IMO it give you better control and more power when you need to really power over rough and gnarly trail, especially when climbing. When descending really rough sections, I felt it kept me "connected" to the bike giving me better control.
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Old 04-03-18, 05:22 PM
  #55  
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Have those on my Hybrid and Road bike would not go back. Side note the gyms I go to have Keiser Stationery bikes with Shimano m324 pedals. So I wear them for off season workouts.
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Old 04-04-18, 02:14 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
First ride with clipless Sunday afternoon, 23 miles after a quick parking lot practice clipping-in/unclipping. I'm sure I'll get the hang of it quickly.

My immediate impression was that I like the stiff soled shoes (Scott Road Pro, decent low price). My feet are very narrow with high arches and these are pretty close to fitting correctly. I'll fiddle with some inserts, as I do with most shoes.

First thing I noticed was no cramps in my foot arches. Lately, with platform pedals and cycling/walking shoes, I've been stopping on almost every ride to stretch out painful spasms in the arches and sometimes legs. It's been happening at night in bed too. But so far no spasms with the stiff Scott shoes, especially on hill climbs where it usually kicks in.

But the soles and floating delta cleats feel like ice skating, trying to clip in with Look pedals. Judging from my riding video sounds, it took me almost 30 seconds to clip in completely. That may be even slower than GCN presenter Matt Stephens, for whom fumbled clip-ins are a long running joke. After that I seemed to need only one or two fumbles after complete stops (I stopped completely at most stop signs just for practice).

The 9° of float in the red cleats feels ridiculous. Like I'm slipping and sliding all over the place. I'll try it for awhile but I may switch to the zero-float cleats or those with less float. We'll see how my knees feel after getting accustomed to the red cleats.

One possible advantage to the floating cleats is I'm probably less likely to accidentally unclip while standing to climb hills. When my legs are shaking from heavy exertion I may not be able to fully control my foot position well enough to stay clipped in with zero float cleats. We'll see how it goes.

I wasn't any faster, but I wasn't trying hard either. I was mostly concentrating on spinning smoothly, and reminding myself to unclip if necessary. And I'm just getting over the flu and haven't ridden much this month, so I wasn't pushing too hard.

Watching & waiting for progress reports
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Old 04-04-18, 04:40 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by bogydave View Post

Watching & waiting for progress reports
Hey, those two months flew by. I'm very comfortable with clipless now, at least on the road bike. Not sure I'll go clipless on the hybrid, which I use for errands and casual group rides. But it's been great on the road bike.

I think I just ticked over 600 miles on clipless since the beginning of February, mostly over the course of a bunch of 20-40 mile rides two or three times a week. I also swapped saddles to a firmer roadie type saddle, along with a few minor tweaks.

The ice-skating sensation of the floating cleats was gone after two weeks. I don't even think about it now. Occasionally I'm aware of consciously shifting my heel angle to relieve minor knee twinges, including yesterday when I was climbing into a stiff headwind. Generally my right knee prefers it when my foot is toed-in slightly.

I might still prefer less float, mostly to make it quicker to unclip in traffic. I don't need quite that much float for comfort and protecting the joints. Being able to unclip a bit quicker would be okay with me. But as far as I can tell there's no middle ground with the old style Look delta cleats -- it's zero float or 9° arc. Apparently the in-between cleats are only for the newer Keo style. Not a big deal, though.

Not sure I'm faster with clipless. But it spreads out the effort so I'm less exhausted, especially on climbs. When the quads start to tire or go into sudden spasms I can pull on the pedals a bit until the cramps subside. And my foot arch spasms have stopped -- at least until after a ride when I take off the shoes. I really needed the rigid soles and added arch support orthotics to prevent arch spasms during rides.

I can tell now on rides using the hybrid with platform pedals that using clipless on the road bike has changed my pedaling style. On a 40 mile casual ride with friends over the weekend I found myself consciously needing to mash more to maintain consistent contact with the pedals. Took several miles to regain the knack. And I missed the clipless advantage on the one bit of steep climbing we did -- I stood and mashed halfway up the hill, then sat when the thighs were burning and... I couldn't pull up on the pedals! A younger friend passed me, noticed I was struggling and asked if I was okay. I mumbled something polite like "Screw you, young whippersnapper."
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Old 04-04-18, 08:58 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by Mountain Mitch View Post
Going clipless is really a matter of taste. Except for pros, the studies show almost no actual mechanical advantage. But some people just like the feel of being clipped in.

However, there’s a big difference between being clipped in while road riding, which is fairly benign, and being clipped in while (seriously) mountain biking, where things can very quickly go serious wrong. I have known a few mountain bikers, mostly in the expert class, who successfully use clipless. Yet even most of those are returning to platforms.
Absolutely agree here with road vs serious mountain biking. I am clipless on the road and love it, for MTB I use the clips w/o the straps. I like to drive into the toes and pull up with serious climbs yet want to get away from the bike when things go sideways. To each their own but this is just one ol guys way of doing it.

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Old 04-05-18, 03:49 AM
  #59  
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I've ridden a bike most of my life although got more serious when I turned 56. Up to that time, pretty much just the platform pedals. When I bought my first fairly expensive road bike, I started with the toe straps and went with those for the first year and into the second year with that bike. Then, at around 58, I got the SPD clipless. I'm generally a klutz, but I adjusted fine and using them became second nature (I'm turning 65 soon). Probably everyone takes a spill or two at the start - and maybe even later if we're not paying attention, but a good sense of humor about myself took the stress away from that.

When I first bought the clipless, btw, my LBS set me up on a trainer and had me practice clipping and unclipping until I felt I could ride home without completely embarrassing myself . I did try to find the route with the fewest lights an timed things to minimize any stops. But, it all worked out soon and I'm happily clipless now.
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Old 05-08-18, 09:06 AM
  #60  
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After 20 years of using clipless on the road and for mtb, I largely stopped using them on the road about 3 years ago. I was 48 at the time, not sure if that counts as "late in life".

Honestly, I see basically zero benefit outside of intense bursting sprints to run clip-less on my road bike over GOOD flats and shoes. If I were racing or riding with people trying to drop me on bursting sprints I would run them. Otherwise, I find pretty much every argument I see for them fall into 3 categories:

1- Unsubstantiated conventional wisdom
2- Real life comparisons of clipless to flat pedals, but based on experience with sneakers and cheap flats, rather than quality flats with pins and cycling shoes designed to be used with flat pedals (and there is a BIG difference)
3- It is what pro racers use, so it must be better.

That said, definitely try clipless if you are interested. The only real DOWN side I find is that I have to swap pedals on my bike sometimes. They feel different than running flats, and it is really just personal preference.

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Old 05-08-18, 09:28 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by baldilocks View Post
Have any of you started using clipless in pedals late in life? I was considering Shimano PD-M324 SPD Dual Platform Pedal. As a young man buying a mountain bike, the sales man talked me out of clipless and into a half clips, and I have used them since then. At age 51 is it too late to teach a old dog new tricks? I only commute 5 miles a day, but would like to do do some bike over-nighter's and maybe touring someday. Also do any of you use clippless on technical trails, or should I stick to sneakers? Thanks in advance for all your answers.
To answer your questions more directly (since my previous rant did not do that):

They take some time to get really comfortable with, but I can't see why it would be harder at 51 than at 29 when I learned. The only difference is how long it takes to heal the first few times you fall over.

Try them, it is the only way you will know if you like them.

As far as tech trails... I actually PREFER clipless for technical mountain biking. I use speedplay frogs, and have zero issues getting out when I need to. I have wrecked in every imaginable way in every imaginable scenario over the past 20 years and after the first year I have NEVER gotten stuck in my pedals or not been able to put a foot down quickly enough. I have bailed from my bike countless times in countless situations. For all practical purposes I can put a foot down or get out just as easily with the Frogs as with flats. I do not even consciously think about it. You just develop the muscle memory, and it is there (or at least I did).

BUT.... that's just me. Many folks feel just the opposite regarding clipless and MTB.
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Old 05-09-18, 04:20 PM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
There's really only one trick: When you want to release your foot, rotate your heel out.
When you first transition from platforms to clipless, unclipping is fairly simple ...as long as you remember to do it. The rotating your heel out is quite easy, but so is forgetting your not on platforms.
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Old 05-09-18, 04:27 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
There's really only one trick: When you want to release your foot, rotate your heel out.
Except for those riders who rotate their heels in.
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Old 05-09-18, 11:02 PM
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I would recommend Shimano SH-56 Multi-Directional Release SPD Cleats for first time users.........
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Old 05-10-18, 03:07 PM
  #65  
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I know many folks prefer the multi-release cleats and recommend them for new users, but I am not a fan. I only want the pedal to release when I make one specific, intentional motion.
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Old 05-10-18, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
I know many folks prefer the multi-release cleats and recommend them for new users, but I am not a fan. I only want the pedal to release when I make one specific, intentional motion.
I haven't tried them myself. But, the reason I use toeclips, or clipless is to occasionally pull up. Not always, but at least sometimes.

And, I suppose, to hold the feet securely where I want them.

Hmm... thinking about when I went from toeclips to clipless, I was increasing my miles, and having my feet with pressure points and tipping off the edge of the pedals. The clipless hold them flat, and good shoes give the feeling of a larger contact area.

Anyway, the multirelease don't sound like they would do what I want them to do.

The pedals all have adjustable tension. So, for newbies, perhaps set the tension light, then as one gets more used to the pedals, slowly crank up the tension to prevent pull-outs if they are a problem.
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Old 05-11-18, 06:01 AM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Opposite..I took them off, I modified my shoes* , and used a toeclip and strap pedal on the tour I took to the various British isles.
Same here, the only places I use clipless anymore is on my trike, or a recumbent if I will be sticking to bike paths. I am just getting too sensitive to the crashes. Yes, clipless = more crashes.
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Old 05-11-18, 07:23 PM
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58 just got back into cycling...clipless on two out of three bikes.
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Old 05-18-18, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Except for those riders who rotate their heels in.
I used to use quill pedals for years and years with toeclips, straps and cleats. The vintage shoes eventually ceased to fit well, and I found I was riding an anachronism! So at age 60 on the advice of my sister, I bought SPD pedals (Shimano PD-M530, a double-sided platform) with road looking MTB shoes. WOW! They were walkable! Then came the emergency stop and I could not unclip even on the loosest setting. Teetered over and felt like the largest fool on the road. No damage, except to my pride.

The tension was full loose and I realized that the unclip motion (twist heel out) was not natural for ME. I did some research and I found Shimano SPD cleat # SH-56 - the silver SPD cleats. The normal SPDs most encountered (and which I was originally using) are the black SH-51 cleats that came with the M530 pedals I was using. The difference is the silver SH-56 cleats are able to release with more types of foot movements.

I was told they were popular with tourists and people who had knee issues due to the easier release, but that they did not pull loose. I started with them on the lowest tension, and try as I could, I could not pull out during accelleration or climbing, but they would twist out easily at a stop. I was hooked and they are my standard. I later upgraded to the Shimano PD-9020 XTR pedal, a lighter design with a larger platform, that I got at a great mid-winter sale. They also seem to better guide the clip into the shoe slot..

From the Shimano website: Sh-51 cleat fits all Shimano mountain pedals with 4 degree float except 858; Sh-56 Fits all Shimano mountain pedals with top plates and 0 degree float except 858.
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Old 05-19-18, 03:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caloso
There's really only one trick: When you want to release your foot, rotate your heel out.
Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Except for those riders who rotate their heels in.
I quit rotating my heel inward after tapping the chain stay a few times and the spokes once -- no damage, luckily, but I knew right away that could have been disastrous. That spoke contact was all it took to break me of that bad habit. After that I consciously practiced rotating the heels outward until it was muscle memory and I didn't make that spoke contact mistake again.
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Old 05-19-18, 10:18 AM
  #71  
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Go with the SPD-SL's. It will take all of one or two rides to get comfortable with it.
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Old 05-19-18, 11:01 AM
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First bike ride in 18 months today. Used M-something Shimano and my Sidi MTB shoes. No issues. Using clipless is like riding a bike.
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Old 05-20-18, 07:36 PM
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When I toppled over during the emergency stop when I started clipless, my wife said I was reaching down to loosen the strap. Old habits died hard.

For my the turning the heel out was the 'unnatural' for me movement. Yeah for the SH-56 SPD cleats.
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Old 05-20-18, 08:15 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
First bike ride in 18 months today. Used M-something Shimano and my Sidi MTB shoes. No issues. Using clipless is like riding a bike.
Why the lay-off, if you don't mind me asking?
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Old 05-21-18, 06:55 AM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post

The pedals all have adjustable tension. So, for newbies, perhaps set the tension light, then as one gets more used to the pedals, slowly crank up the tension to prevent pull-outs if they are a problem.
If they are a problem is the key...unless you pronate or rotate excessively when you ride, coming out unintentionally should not be a problem. Mine (SPD's preferred and used on the street) are adjusted to minimum and as I am a fan of acronyms I use COP...Circles of Power when I ride. Cant imagine not using them especially in "friendly..hehe" competition.

cheers,
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