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What's the Point of Shoes/Clips, etc?

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What's the Point of Shoes/Clips, etc?

Old 08-10-13, 09:24 AM
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What's the Point of Shoes/Clips, etc?

I wasn't sure exactly where to post this, but since I'm well over 50, I figure that here is as good a place as any.

I ride my bike purely for pleasure and exercise - absolutely no racing or competition. Since finding this site, I see a lot of discussion about clipless pedals, clipped (is that the right word?) pedals, shoes, etc. However, I haven't found any basic information of what the point is in locking your feet into the pedals. Is that really desirable for an older rider like me that just rides local streets and bike paths for pleasure and exercise - perhaps 50-60 miles per week? FWIW, my bike is a Specialized Expedition with "normal" (clipless?) pedals.

Not trying to be difficult or troll - I just really don't know and am curious about this.

Thanks!
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Old 08-10-13, 10:03 AM
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It's for efficiency and ease of pedaling, and helping you do those little tricks like bunny-hopping over a curb. The downside being that in an emergency situation, one's feet do not always cooperate in detaching from the pedal in a timely manner.

I split the difference between platform and clipless myself, since I use toe-clips and straps. Clipless, clips, or platforms is a personal choice, but if you try it (and get used to clipping in and unclipping), you may decide not to go back, as you find the ability to pedal in a way that you never even thought about, while using platform pedals.
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Old 08-10-13, 10:08 AM
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I use these. No need for straps.

https://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...alf-clips.html

With size 14 shoes, I added a wood block for a better fit.

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Old 08-10-13, 10:17 AM
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You can also use the plastic ones, just cut off the ends that hold the straps.

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Old 08-10-13, 10:32 AM
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I also ride just for exercise and fun, being old-school am resisting going clipless, but have relented and will go clipless next season. This year I had an epiphany when I tightened up the straps. Changed my pedaling style from forward-down to spinning. Holy cow did that make a difference! I had to "hold myself back" because just that little pull backwards and up tended to throw my other leg forward and down. It's only a small percentage, but huge difference is feel. Course, now I can't get my tennis shoes out of the clips...so had to loosen them up again. *sigh*
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Old 08-10-13, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by newbert View Post
I wasn't sure exactly where to post this, but since I'm well over 50, I figure that here is as good a place as any.

I ride my bike purely for pleasure and exercise - absolutely no racing or competition. Since finding this site, I see a lot of discussion about clipless pedals, clipped (is that the right word?) pedals, shoes, etc. However, I haven't found any basic information of what the point is in locking your feet into the pedals. Is that really desirable for an older rider like me that just rides local streets and bike paths for pleasure and exercise - perhaps 50-60 miles per week? FWIW, my bike is a Specialized Expedition with "normal" (clipless?) pedals.

Not trying to be difficult or troll - I just really don't know and am curious about this.

Thanks!
You have it 180 degrees backwards. Clipless are the pedals with the binding system to hold the foot onto the pedal. Platforms are standard pedals with no retention system at all. Toe clips are the cages that racers and enthusiast used to use before clipless displaced them for most people.

I would say give them a try. I switched to clipless 6 years ago and wouldn't go back. They are more efficient than platforms and far safer than toe clips and straps, which require you to reach down and loosen the strap before releasing your foot from the pedal.
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Old 08-10-13, 10:34 AM
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Those two toe clips above are a good compromise. Newbert, I started using toeclips and straps early on. The primary reason is that several times while riding, my foot slipped off the pedal which resulted in a painful experience. I was tired of hurting myself, so I "strapped myself in". Today, the toeclips and straps are long gone, but I still clip myself in. For the type of riding I do, it is more efficient to ride that way. For casual, low-speed riding, they are not really necessary, but I would still get something like in the above two posts. Mainly so that your feet won't slip forward off the pedal, (that can really hurt!).
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Old 08-10-13, 10:34 AM
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I ride with clipless, and have done so for 30+ years... When I ride a bike with no clips (plain pedal) I find it awkward--especially moving the pedal to a 3 o'clock position, as I have to put my foot under the pedal to move it--with the clipless, it is seamless. I have some sort of clipless system on all my bikes--wouldn't ride without (although my folder has 'campus' pedals, which I can use with sneakers...but I rarely do)

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Old 08-10-13, 10:44 AM
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I ride my bike purely for pleasure and exercise
probably not important for your use.. people, guys especially, like gadgets..

Were you to join in larger cycling events , invariably the desire for the posher kit seems more important.

I have several pairs of bike shoes for clipless pedals , just does not seem so important now..

Since I don't travel to big longer mileage group bike gatherings..


Thing about the toe clip pedals is the shoes had slots in the bottom. they kept your foot from sliding forward,

So toes dont contact the front, and the slipping around, controlled, didn't require the straps to be so tight..


These, because of their concave surface locate the foot on the pedal axis.

these pedals https://www.ergon-bike.com/us/en/product/pc2

serve much of the function of the half clip, but there is no 'tail' hook hanging down when upside down ,

because there is no upside down..

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Old 08-10-13, 10:58 AM
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From A 60+ rider: I rode clips and straps for quite a few years, went to clip-less about a year and a half ago. I find clip-less easier to get in and out of. When I ride platform pedals now, I feel insecure...afraid my feet are going to slip off and I cant really spin like I want to.

I suppose the real issue is the style of riding one prefers...Clip-less on a beach cruiser doesn't seem quite right either.
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Old 08-10-13, 11:07 AM
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If you occasionally like to ride longer distances at higher cadences, and other times prefer to just pedal slowly around the neighborhood, something like the Shimano M324 could provide the best of both worlds. Nice platform on one side for pedaling with sneakers or sandals, SPD on the other side. My wife uses these, I have an older Wellgo pedal of similar design. https://www.ems.com/product/index.jsp...FSJqMgodE04A0w

I have been using clipless so long that I tend to use them just out of habit, so contemplating just getting 2 sided SPD and dispensing with platforms altogether. But they are functional.

Last edited by MRT2; 08-10-13 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 08-10-13, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by newbert View Post
Is that really desirable for an older rider like me that just rides local streets and bike paths for pleasure and exercise - perhaps 50-60 miles per week?
Only you can answer that question. If you are currently happy with your rides, then probably not. If you are interested in:
a. riding longer distances at a faster pace;
b. fitting in with others who ride clipless;
c. some display of cycling cool;
then you might want to consider them.

The real value for a non-competitive cyclist is two-fold as I see it. First, there is an increase in efficiency - how much can and is often debated. Then there is the issue of keeping your foot in place. For me this has a great deal of value. Once my pedals and shoes are adjusted properly (not always an easy thing) my knees are in better shape. There is less chance of misaligning my setup and causing injury.

I went clipless when I started having knee issues as my mileage and pace increased.
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Old 08-10-13, 11:37 AM
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Ever have your foot slip off the pedals when you didn't want them to? A foot retention system of some kind will minimize how often that happens.
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Old 08-10-13, 11:37 AM
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I ride clipless, loose toe clips and platforms, but not at the same time.

But, then, we 70++'rs are likely more adaptable and have a greater and faster learning ability than you younger guys!! We wouldn't be 70++'rs if we weren't.
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Old 08-10-13, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Ever have your foot slip off the pedals when you didn't want them to? A foot retention system of some kind will minimize how often that happens.
True. I rode a rented bike a couple of years ago and absolutely hated it. The thing I hated most was the feeling that my feet were slipping off the pedals. If I ever rent a bike again, I am thinking about bringing my own pedals.
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Old 08-10-13, 11:51 AM
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I'm also in my 50s. I've been riding since my teens. When I was young, I would take spills and scrapes when the bike slid off the asphalt and onto the gravel shoulder of the many streets of Vancouver in the 1970s and 1980s. Then I installed toe-clips and my friends questioned how safe they would be if you can't get your foot off the pedals? This has never been a problem. In fact, I had never taken spills as described since wearing the toe clips because they keep your foot on the pedal and your concentration is focused on steering and moving out of your hazard. The only spills I have taken since are in-fact at recreational bike paths where the hazards are other recreational cyclists and pedestrians and their children.
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Old 08-10-13, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
Only you can answer that question. If you are currently happy with your rides, then probably not. If you are interested in:
a. riding longer distances at a faster pace;
b. fitting in with others who ride clipless;
c. some display of cycling cool;
then you might want to consider them.

The real value for a non-competitive cyclist is two-fold as I see it. First, there is an increase in efficiency - how much can and is often debated. Then there is the issue of keeping your foot in place. For me this has a great deal of value. Once my pedals and shoes are adjusted properly (not always an easy thing) my knees are in better shape. There is less chance of misaligning my setup and causing injury.

I went clipless when I started having knee issues as my mileage and pace increased.
Thanks to everyone for your responses! I haven't experienced any knee issues and I don't really care about b) and c) above. I am interested in increasing my distances though. Not too interested in a faster pace, though.

Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Ever have your foot slip off the pedals when you didn't want them to? A foot retention system of some kind will minimize how often that happens.
To be honest - No, I haven't had this happen to me. Maybe I just don't ride aggressively enough for this to be an issue?

[QUOTE=Daniel4;15946464]I'm also in my 50s. I've been riding since my teens. When I was young, I would take spills and scrapes when the bike slid off the asphalt and onto the gravel shoulder of the many streets of Vancouver in the 1970s and 1980s. Then I installed toe-clips and my friends questioned how safe they would be if you can't get your foot off the pedals? This has never been a problem. In fact, I had never taken spills as described since wearing the toe clips because they keep your foot on the pedal and your concentration is focused on steering and moving out of your hazard. The only spills I have taken since are in-fact at recreational bike paths where the hazards are other recreational cyclists and pedestrians and their children.[/QUOTE]

I know what you mean about the hazards of recreational bike paths. I ride on one locally, and I encounter kids, dogs and adults lost in their own world all the time.
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Old 08-10-13, 12:45 PM
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Some guys ride well at a lower cadence without anything.....One I used to know, when I first started cycling, I couldn't keep up with. He was just a very strong rider.
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Old 08-10-13, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by newbert View Post
To be honest - No, I haven't had this happen to me. Maybe I just don't ride aggressively enough for this to be an issue?
That would be my guess.

Assuming that's the case and you're happy, why change? If the time comes that you're skinning your shins with the pedals, you can always add toe clips or convert to clipless pedals. FWIW, I've yet to meet a rider who, once they got acclimated to clipless pedals, wanted to switch back.
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Old 08-10-13, 12:57 PM
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Although clipless pedal and toeclips and straps improve efficiency a bit, I quit using them this year. I used clipless on my road bike for years, but got tired of them and switched back to platforms and toe clips w/straps. I still have clips and straps on my old road bike, but only use that occasionally on fast club rides. I had platforms/clipless on my touring bike but finally quit using those because I had so much trouble with hot foot while riding long distances I found I used the platforms more. More to the point of your question, if you think the little bit of improved efficiency is worth the inconvenience and possible discomfort, use them. Some of the newer platform pedals seem to be nearly as efficient to me. I have the MKS Lambda pedals on two of my bikes and recently put VP Thin Gripster pedals on my touring bike. The Thin Gripsters have little rivets on the surface that keep your foot in position beautifully. I actually have to lift my foot off to change positions. I have been able to actually pull up on the pedal stroke if I am ankling properly.

Marc
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Old 08-10-13, 01:14 PM
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What's the Point of Shoes/Clips, etc?

I ride just plain pedals, what was referred to as rat-trap pedals, without clips or straps. I like the ability to just jump on and ride with whatever shoes I am wearing, even sandals. I rode for years with toeclips and straps, and a few more with clipless pedals and shoes. Not a big difference to ride without.
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Old 08-10-13, 01:42 PM
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Platforms with pins. They grip well enough to pedal in circles, and you don't have to clack around in ridiculous shoes when you walk into a store or restaurant.
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Old 08-10-13, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
True. I rode a rented bike a couple of years ago and absolutely hated it. The thing I hated most was the feeling that my feet were slipping off the pedals. If I ever rent a bike again, I am thinking about bringing my own pedals.
And shoes.
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Old 08-10-13, 03:10 PM
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I feel much safer clipped in (SPD clipless). I can rise out of the saddle, hop over holes or bumps, and peddle in all manner of bumpy situations and never lose my foot grip on the pedal. I find not being clipped in to be more annoying. And it is more efficient --especially on hills.
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Old 08-10-13, 03:10 PM
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[QUOTE=newbert;15946505]Thanks to everyone for your responses! I haven't experienced any knee issues and I don't really care about b) and c) above. I am interested in increasing my distances though. Not too interested in a faster pace, though.



To be honest - No, I haven't had this happen to me. Maybe I just don't ride aggressively enough for this to be an issue?

Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
I'm also in my 50s. I've been riding since my teens. When I was young, I would take spills and scrapes when the bike slid off the asphalt and onto the gravel shoulder of the many streets of Vancouver in the 1970s and 1980s. Then I installed toe-clips and my friends questioned how safe they would be if you can't get your foot off the pedals? This has never been a problem. In fact, I had never taken spills as described since wearing the toe clips because they keep your foot on the pedal and your concentration is focused on steering and moving out of your hazard. The only spills I have taken since are in-fact at recreational bike paths where the hazards are other recreational cyclists and pedestrians and their children.[/QUOTE]

I know what you mean about the hazards of recreational bike paths. I ride on one locally, and I encounter kids, dogs and adults lost in their own world all the time.
If you have no desire to ride farther then it really doesn't matter much. Many of us are well over 50 and many do not push clipless unless asked what the benefits are. Often we tell the questioner or post them in these threads and there is a debate as to the value of the system.

The system works for those who want to improve their power delivery. For those that do not and are satisfied to stay where they are they may not. The truth is cycling can be a bit like any other activity or sport. Often better equipment choices will help those that enjoy the activity learn to enjoy it even more. I used to hike with an old heavy frame Boy Scout back pack and tennis shoes. When I was younger it worked fine. Now I have hiking boots and shoes, a hiking stick, a back pack frame made of petrified smoke and proper nutrition and hydration. I might not be any better at hiking up a mountain but my feet don't blister and my neck isn't killing me. It is much like clipless.
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