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When should I increase my pedal release tension?

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When should I increase my pedal release tension?

Old 08-06-20, 02:22 PM
  #1  
ScottRiqui
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When should I increase my pedal release tension?

I'm new to clipless pedals, and am using an SPD-SL setup. Prior to my first ride, I set the release tension to its lowest setting - as long as I don't start having problems with my shoes spontaneously coming unclipped, is there any reason to ever increase the tension from its lowest setting?
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Old 08-06-20, 02:28 PM
  #2  
Roobz
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Nope. If your happy on the lowest setting then keep them like that. Iv never accidentally unclipped from mine on there lowest setting. I have 105 pedals.

adjusting the tension means re-learning what it takes to unclip. Increasing your chances of falling over. not worth it really.
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Old 08-06-20, 02:47 PM
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I've been riding a long time. I've seen plenty of crashes that started as the foot coming off the pedal, often when the rider has had a scare. If you are going fast, you usually fare a lot better securely on the bike and committed to staying upright. My advice would be to periodically tighten the release a click or two. Little enough that the added resistance won't be more than a momentary scare but such that ultimately it takes a little effort to unclip.

I raced in the days of toestraps pulled tight. We didn't unclip mid-ride very often and we rode through hairy situations. Yes crashes happened, just as they do now. The crashes played out differently. The injuries were different, but not, in general, worse. We lost more skin, I suspect we broke fewer bones. Yes, the gymnasts do better with clipless and their trained falling techniques. But many of the rest of us do better to just stay with the bike and slide. (I'm clumsy. I knew at an early age I had no business learning those falls.)

I ride my clipless pedals cranked tight and yes, I do fall over occasionally. If you accept that you just made a fool of yourself, relax and present the ground with everything you've got, you rarely get more than a small bruise or two. My clothes rarely suffer more than dirt.

Ben
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Old 08-06-20, 05:42 PM
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I'd leave them on the lowest click. Like Roobz I've never accidentally unclipped. In fact, there have been a couple of times when I wished I had

Glenn
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Old 08-06-20, 06:12 PM
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tighten more each ride only if you wish to entertain others at random times unintentionally. Want to really provide entertainment? Tighten each pedal to different tensions.
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Old 08-06-20, 06:16 PM
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Accidentally unclipping is the only reason why you would want to increase the release tension yet even at the lowest tension SPD-SL's aren't that low. If you have poor technique and twist your foot around as you sprint then you may want to increase tension. If your a MONSTER sprinter off the line you may want to increase the tension.
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Old 08-06-20, 06:25 PM
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ScottRiqui
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Thanks for the replies - there's some rotational play between my shoes and the pedals, and I wanted to make sure it was just the float in the cleats, and not the pedal retention latch beginning to release the cleats prematurely.
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Old 08-06-20, 06:30 PM
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AnthonyG
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Originally Posted by ScottRiqui View Post
Thanks for the replies - there's some rotational play between my shoes and the pedals, and I wanted to make sure it was just the float in the cleats, and not the pedal retention latch beginning to release the cleats prematurely.
SPD-SL cleats are available with and without float. If your foot does "float" around too much when you sprint then you may want to increase the release tension.
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Old 08-06-20, 07:25 PM
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The only time I've seen a rider's foot inadvertently come out of an SPD-SL pedal was when the cleat broke. We were just winding up for a town-line sprint, and the guy was up off the saddle, doing 30mph at that point. It was pretty spectacular.

So, yeah, unless you have a high-wattage sprint, you can leave it on the lowest setting. And keep an eye on the wear indicators.
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Old 08-06-20, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by ScottRiqui View Post
Thanks for the replies - there's some rotational play between my shoes and the pedals, and I wanted to make sure it was just the float in the cleats, and not the pedal retention latch beginning to release the cleats prematurely.
I like the float of the yellow cleats.

Glenn
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Old 08-07-20, 01:02 AM
  #11  
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I always keep my SPD-SL and Look Delta pedals at the lowest tension and would prefer if it was even lower. I've never unclipped accidentally, even when I'm standing to sprint up short steep climbs and literally pulling the rear wheel an inch off the ground (not a good practice, just poor technique).

If there's enough float it's very unlikely these will unclip accidentally when the feet are normally positioned. It could conceivably happen with zero or low float cleats.

I've seen other folks in local group rides accidentally unclip but they were using other clipless systems.

The most notable incident I can think of was Lance Armstrong at the start of a time trial. Don't recall which clipless system he was using or how much float.
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Old 08-07-20, 01:07 AM
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Yeah, regarding that cleat breakage thing, be sure to inspect your cleats often and replace them when necessary. I went almost three years before replacing my Look Delta cleats and nearly waited too long. There was barely any tongue left on the left side plastic cleat. That could have been disastrous and seriously painful if it had broken while standing to climb or sprint.

SPD-SL are very similar to Look Delta, but add some grippy rubbery tips that make it easier for walking, but harder -- IMO -- to unclip. Waxing the friction surfaces helped smooth out the clipping/unclipping. I just use leftover candle wax. Doesn't attract grit like oil or grease. And SPD-SL float is slightly less than Look Delta, so I need to adjust a bit when I switch bikes.
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Old 08-07-20, 01:14 AM
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My right foot came unclipped a few weeks ago when I was doing hill repeats. I was full throttle (for what it's worth) and eased up for an instant as I shifted. Evidently twisted just enough to unclip. I kept the rubber side down and on the pavement, but I'm sure it was comical to see. Crotch on the TT, one arm flailing in the air, right foot dragging on the ground, body practically laying on the stem. Somehow kept the thing pointed forward, and let gravity bring me to a stop.

I cranked those suckers down a few notches from the light setting.

YMMV.
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Old 08-07-20, 06:14 AM
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See, that's the thing with this site. You go into a thread that you think will be stupid (I mean, the answer to the original question seems self-evident), but then you learn a couple of things.
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Old 08-07-20, 07:07 AM
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And some of us are just lazy. The pedals on my "work" bike came out of the box very tight, since my ride to work is 5km/3m of low traffic country roads I have never had a problem. The pedals on my "good" bike came out of the box very loose, on my Sunday rides I end up in strange territory or busier urban areas and unclip a lot more. Maybe this is dumb luck or maybe it just proves that a person can adapt to anything.
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Old 08-07-20, 07:34 AM
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I moved from "rat traps" to Shimano SPD 520's in the late-90's(?). I set them at the lowest setting (to Learn).
I'm still using 520's for several of my bikes and still on the lowest setting. Never unintentional came out of them but there were a few times I was glad they were set low.....
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Old 08-07-20, 11:47 AM
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When you feel secure enough to not need this forum's approval ?



Time ATAC had no adjustment other than which cleat went on which shoe.






...
..
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Old 08-07-20, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by ScottRiqui View Post
I'm new to clipless pedals, and am using an SPD-SL setup. Prior to my first ride, I set the release tension to its lowest setting - as long as I don't start having problems with my shoes spontaneously coming unclipped, is there any reason to ever increase the tension from its lowest setting?
Mine are set at the lowest and I havenít even thought about it since. I found Shimano to be much tighter than Look. I guess if the spring weakens you can always tighten it.
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Old 08-07-20, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by ScottRiqui View Post
I'm new to clipless pedals, and am using an SPD-SL setup. Prior to my first ride, I set the release tension to its lowest setting - as long as I don't start having problems with my shoes spontaneously coming unclipped, is there any reason to ever increase the tension from its lowest setting?
When I set my pedals to the lowest tension, I felt like my shoes were not securely connected to them. I had to add about 8 clicks or so of pedal tension to find the balance between feeling secure yet still able to escape without having to think about it. It sounds like your mileage is different than mine.
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Old 08-07-20, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Troul View Post
Want to really provide entertainment? Tighten each pedal to different tensions.
My pedals are dual-sided, so I can have 4 different tensions set, but imagine the fun with 4-sided pedals! 8 different settings!
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Old 08-07-20, 02:03 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by ScottRiqui View Post
I'm new to clipless pedals, and am using an SPD-SL setup. Prior to my first ride, I set the release tension to its lowest setting - as long as I don't start having problems with my shoes spontaneously coming unclipped, is there any reason to ever increase the tension from its lowest setting?
The point is ALWAYS, only to increase tension of you pull out. You always want the easiest release pressure you can have.

With Shimano SpD MTB pedals the cheap ones release easily and are pretty difficult to get into. The high performance pedals are exactly the opposite - they are easy to enter and damned hard to release. After you are experienced enough to automatically release without thinking about it, you can change. The most common cause of mishaps with clipless users is not being able to get out in time. to put a foot down and avoid a fall.
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Old 08-11-20, 02:35 PM
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The lowest setting possible that keeps you clipped in.
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