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Old 09-21-11, 01:29 PM   #1
VertigoFlyer
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Wife is struggling with new Shimano Ultegra Pedals

Hey folks, My wife and I took the dive and bought Shimano Ultegra pedals. Mine are working wonderfully while my wife is really struggling with exerting enough torque/twist to exit the pedals. Said pedals are set to the lowest torque. I've swung a leg over her bike and they work fine for me.

She cannot twist hard enough to quickly exit out of the pedals. I certainly was surprised how much more torque I had to use to exit my pedals. This is after years on SPD pedals. So I can understand how she might have a hard time.

The question is what might we do to remedy this for her? I've swapped her pedals back to the Shimano A-520's she had on previously. I'm thinking we ought to incrementally increase the tension on these to get her used to having to use more torque to exit.

Any other ideas? I want her to enjoy real road pedals/cleats/shoes.
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Old 09-21-11, 01:45 PM   #2
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Did you get a pair of SL cleats with the pedals? If so, it might be worth switching out her SPDs to see it that helps.
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Old 09-21-11, 01:58 PM   #3
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Did you get a pair of SL cleats with the pedals? If so, it might be worth switching out her SPDs to see it that helps.
Yes the Shimano Ultegra pedals came with the SPD-SL cleats. The Shimano SPD cleats will not work with the Shimano Ultegra pedals. SPD and SPD-SL are not inter-changeable.
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Old 09-21-11, 02:13 PM   #4
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Back off the tension adjustment. I unscrew mine until I can no longer feel a detent, then turn in until I feel one. I have never pulled a pedal out in a sprint.

The red no-float cleats require less ankle rotation to unclip. You do need to take more care to set the cleat position correctly when you use no-float cleats but the decrease in rotation to unclip and the better feel make it worth the effort.

A bit of silicone spray on the plastic spring clip on the back of the pedal will make clipping in and out a little easier.
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Old 09-21-11, 02:24 PM   #5
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They are a bit stiff aren't they, especially when they're new, i don't know what the solution is though.
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Old 09-21-11, 02:28 PM   #6
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My wife is still riding SPDs (and may stay that way forever). I have M520s on her MTB and road bike. Both set of pedals are set to the lowest release setting and were used by me for a year before mounting them on her bike. She had trouble getting into and out of new M520s (lubing didn't help) but does fine once they are "broken in".

Maybe you can let her stick with the SPDs till you get your SPD SLs broken in a bit and see if she can deal with them then.
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Old 09-21-11, 02:51 PM   #7
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I can't recommend this to others, but I can tell you what I did to my niece's cleats when she was having a similar problem. I simply took a bit of sandpaper and lightly sanded the cleats as if they were slightly worn. It loosened them enough to make a difference for her.
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Old 09-21-11, 06:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VertigoFlyer View Post
Hey folks, My wife and I took the dive and bought Shimano Ultegra pedals. Mine are working wonderfully while my wife is really struggling with exerting enough torque/twist to exit the pedals. Said pedals are set to the lowest torque. I've swung a leg over her bike and they work fine for me.

She cannot twist hard enough to quickly exit out of the pedals. I certainly was surprised how much more torque I had to use to exit my pedals. This is after years on SPD pedals. So I can understand how she might have a hard time.

The question is what might we do to remedy this for her? I've swapped her pedals back to the Shimano A-520's she had on previously. I'm thinking we ought to incrementally increase the tension on these to get her used to having to use more torque to exit.

Any other ideas? I want her to enjoy real road pedals/cleats/shoes.
It simply doesn't matter that YOU don't understand. The facts are that SHE is unable (not unwilling) to adjust or use the clipless in a safe manner. Period!

That said, consider trying a not so rigid type of pedal that gives the ride some of the benefits of clipless.
http://www.amazon.com/Power-Grips-Sp...6651963&sr=8-9

If the Power Grip pedals stiil won't work then there is not one damn thing wrong with plain ol' platform pedals.

Now we all know that tiny little things we do to a bike can make or break our desire ,and comfort, to keep riding.

so until your wife can ride in 110% complete comfort and safety make it your Job #1 to find pedals that work for her.

Good luck with this issue..........
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Old 09-21-11, 07:12 PM   #9
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You can back the tension adjustment off three full turns past the low limit. Shimano seems to be very conservative in their adjustment range. Try two turns first, but I would not recommend going over three as you might risk disengaging the screw. The problem then is getting the screw started again. Two full turns and some lube on the cleats should be the ticket.
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Old 09-21-11, 09:59 PM   #10
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While I can't say for sure from across the internet, I would guess that your wife has enough strength to twist out of the pedals, but a combination of technique and hesitance are keeping her from exerting the right force to do it. If someone can coach her through it and encourage her, she may become adept at it.
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Old 09-21-11, 11:02 PM   #11
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If she's happy with her A520's, there's no reason in the world to use the new pedals. She won't be more comfortable or faster. If she falls on the pavement just once because she can't unclip, it could cause her to lose a season, or at least be pretty unhappy. I'd not bother with the new pedals at all, if it were me.
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Old 09-22-11, 12:23 AM   #12
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Thanks folks for all the great input! We both truly appreciate each one of you! It appears we resolved the issue. She had originally bought a pair of Scattante road shoes at Performance Bike. It was in these shoes that she had all the trouble. We took those back to Performance and went to REI and bought her a pair of Shimano road shoes.

TADA! It all works great now! Seems the Scattante's weren't stiff enough to allow her to apply the proper amount of torque to snap out of the Ultegra pedals.

Today I REALLY LIKED the return policy at Performance Bike!

She says the Shimano's are much more comfortable than the Scattante's, I like that. A happy wife is a happy hubby!
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Old 09-22-11, 11:26 AM   #13
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PRO TRICK: Spay the bottom of your shoe with Pedge. Should lub the cleat enough for easy entry and exit.
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Old 09-22-11, 11:33 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CACycling View Post
My wife is still riding SPDs (and may stay that way forever). I have M520s on her MTB and road bike. Both set of pedals are set to the lowest release setting and were used by me for a year before mounting them on her bike. She had trouble getting into and out of new M520s (lubing didn't help) but does fine once they are "broken in".

Maybe you can let her stick with the SPDs till you get your SPD SLs broken in a bit and see if she can deal with them then.
That's what I was going to suggest. You break in your SL's and then put them on her bike and put the second pair on yours. Or just let her keep with the spd's if that makes her happy.

Edit: whoops, late to the game. should read the whole thread before replying, glad you found something that worked.
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Old 09-22-11, 02:34 PM   #15
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Never thought about shoes having an effect on release but if there is any flexibility with the sole/cleat area- it can have. Come to think of it- On a ride I split a shoe once at the join of the upper to the sole. Only a short split but that did affect the release mechanism.

Glad you sorted the problem.
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Old 09-23-11, 12:38 PM   #16
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Interesting tidbit I found today on this site http://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com/...hich-are-best/

"As a general rule I won’t use Shimano Spd SL’s (which are a well made pedal) for women under 65kg or men under 60kg because the minimum release tension is too high for many of them and can cause knee niggles and occasionally injuries from repeatedly disengaging foot from pedal for those who are susceptible."
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Old 09-25-11, 12:31 PM   #17
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I had the same problem when I got my new Shimano Ultegra pedals. I put them on the lowest setting and still found them tight to get out of. Then on a triathlete forum, I read a suggestion to spray the hinges with WD40 (even though they were still brand new). I tried it and it worked.

I recently rode my bike in a rain along a highway and the cleats got very gritty and became stiff again. So when I got home, I cleaned them with a brush and sprayed them again and they are back to working well.

Some things I've read said you shouldn't spray them with WD40 because it attracts dirt. I haven't found that to be the case, though. I've got about 1600 miles on these, and except for the gritty road ride in the rain, they've been working fine since I sprayed them that initial time.

Last edited by PrairieDog; 09-25-11 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 09-25-11, 05:40 PM   #18
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We rode today and she did much better! Still a bit tight but I think we're past the OMG stage for her. This makes me very happy! Thanks everyone for the great feedback! I truly appreciate it!
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Old 09-25-11, 06:00 PM   #19
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My wife had the same problem with new 105.

I read good review on Nashbar Z11 and gave it a try - worked fine since the first ride
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Old 09-26-15, 08:43 AM   #20
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Might be a bit late but I used Shimano light action pedals. When I switched to Ultegra 6800 pedals I found the spring tension too high as I have a left leg injury. This may be sacrilege but I drilled a very small hole at the blind end of the Ultegra pedal, drifted out the binding pin, swapped the springs to light action ones and bingo! the only set of light action Ultegra carbon pedals!!!!. I filled the hole with epoxy resin mixed with a splash of black paint .Maybe this would be one solution tohe problem
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Old 09-26-15, 09:14 AM   #21
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Might be a bit late...
Oh, I don't know. The OP's wife has been clipped in for only four years, now...
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Old 09-26-15, 12:56 PM   #22
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Just my opinion here but if she is doing just fine on the MTB SPD pedals, why force her to change to something that doesn't work for her? All clipless pedals have but one purpose and that is shoe retention. If the SPD pedals are holding her feet to the pedal and she can engage and disengage them without problems, they have done their job. I've been using SPD pedals (M520 and M530) on my road bike for five years and have never had a problem with disengaging. If you are looking for a bit more surface area than an M520, look at the M530. Still double sided entry and has a cage around it that makes a very good contact platform for most MTB shoes.
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Old 09-28-15, 09:55 AM   #23
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I think she needs a new saddle and probably needs to change her chain lube too. And stop the statins...
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Old 09-28-15, 11:05 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carbon38 View Post
Might be a bit late but I used Shimano light action pedals. When I switched to Ultegra 6800 pedals I found the spring tension too high as I have a left leg injury. This may be sacrilege but I drilled a very small hole at the blind end of the Ultegra pedal, drifted out the binding pin, swapped the springs to light action ones and bingo! the only set of light action Ultegra carbon pedals!!!!. I filled the hole with epoxy resin mixed with a splash of black paint .Maybe this would be one solution tohe problem

I'm also late to the party, but I was going to suggest using the Shimano SPD-SL light action pedals instead (and they are inexpensive ... little more than a set of cleats). I tried a pair and they are VERY easy to get out of. I didn't know you could change out the springs on the Ultegras. Very cool.

All the other suggestions here are great, too.
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