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first clipless week

Old 08-17-04, 04:00 AM
  #1  
royalflash
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first clipless week

Hi everyone

after reading about clipless pedals on this forum I finally decided to get some for my commute through the Munich city centre. This journey involves lots of stopping and starting and I was nervous about falling off under an SUV so I got the wimpiest set up that I could. I bought the Shimano SH55 multi-release cleats with some Shimano M646 pedals (double sided binding with the option to use them as platform pedals). I adjusted the tension on the cleat binding so it was at minimum.

I have not had any problems so far trying to clip OUT (which was my main worry) but trying to clip IN is really difficult. Maybe the fact that the M646 pedal have a platform pedal type cage makes it more difficult I don't know. I seem to have more success with my right foot that I leave clipped in but often I try and clip in the left and don't manage it. I tried putting a very light smear of grease on the binding surfaces but it hasn't really helped that much.

When I do manage to clip in they are good and I can feel a power boost. Perhaps it will get easier with practice - just knowing where the binding is- does anyone have any experience with clipless pedals and any tips they could share about getting clipped in?
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Old 08-17-04, 04:24 AM
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I had a similar issue when I first when clipless, although I knew the technique because my LBS showed me what to do. I think it's just an issue of practice. However, the fact that you adjusted the tension could be an issue here, too. Perhaps you could try adjusting them back a little bit.
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Old 08-17-04, 04:33 AM
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I know how you feel. I have been using clipless pedals for about 2 months now. I still have problems getting the cleats to clip-in while I'm riding. I now have two bikes, both with clipless pedals. My hybird has Shimano PD-M324s, which were an aftermarket upgrade for the bike. These pedals have the clip on one side, and a platform on the other. They are great for clipless newbies. My new MTB has Shimano PD-505s which are pure, double sided clipless pedals. There is a plastic platform that is clipped into one side of each pedal that allows me to use them as regular pedals if necessary, although the platforms are small.

Overall, I like clipless pedals. They allow for greater, more efficient transfer of power to the wheels, and make you feel more "attached" to the bike. However, they can be unsafe if you do a lot of sudden stop-and-goes. I've already accumulated a number of abrasions on my knees and elbows from falling over not being able to unclip in time. Most of that is due to my recklessness, though. I would say that clipless pedals are safe under most circumstances if you're carefull.

I guess getting to the point where you can clip into the pedals quickly takes time and practice.


-Matt C.-
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Old 08-17-04, 06:03 AM
  #4  
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Originally Posted by tarmac
There is a plastic platform that is clipped into one side of each pedal that allows me to use them as regular pedals if necessary, although the platforms are small.
So... let's see if I understand this correctly. We now have clipless pedals that you will have to clip into in order to ride unless you use the small clippable (?) accessory provided?

--J
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Old 08-17-04, 07:06 AM
  #5  
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I've said it before and I'll say it again - I'm pretty happy so far with my crank bros mallets. They have a nice big platform, and you can clip in from either side. Clipping back in took awhile to get the hang of though. I don't know if it was the fact that I ride fixed or what. Part of it might have been not knowing exactly where to put my foot while I trackstanded at the lights, so it was taking sometimes up to a block to get the cleat back into position to clip in. Now I clip out about to full crank revoloutions before the light, and the clips go effortlessly into the right place for the clip in. Whichever foot is forward for the first clip attaches to get me moving, the other goes in on it's downstroke.

Keep with it - you'll get it.
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Old 08-17-04, 08:55 AM
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hmm ...

i've had time atac's on my mtb for 4+years, and now on my roadie as well. never had any trouble getting in or out. lots of float for my flakey knees and maintanance free for the most part. they work well and i cannot imagine riding with toeclips or other non-clipless pedals.

maybe try a different pedal?
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Old 08-17-04, 12:06 PM
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You don't "clip in", you "click in". They are clipless in that they don't have toe clips, which were called "clips" long before cleated (Look, Time, PD, SPD, etc.) existed.
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Old 08-17-04, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by madpogue
You don't "clip in", you "click in". They are clipless in that they don't have toe clips, which were called "clips" long before cleated (Look, Time, PD, SPD, etc.) existed.
Sorry our bad. Can we call the bike dictionary people and ask them to change the terminology yet?

I think clips should be re-named cages and clipless pedals should be re-named clipped pedals.

Who's with me?
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Old 08-17-04, 06:10 PM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by royalflash
I bought the Shimano SH55 multi-release cleats with some Shimano M646 pedals (double sided binding with the option to use them as platform pedals). I adjusted the tension on the cleat binding so it was at minimum.

I have not had any problems so far trying to clip OUT (which was my main worry) but trying to clip IN is really difficult. Maybe the fact that the M646 pedal have a platform pedal type cage makes it more difficult I don't know.
I switched to clipless about 6wks ago with the double sided Shimano M520 pedals (no platform) and single release cleats - I actually found it much easier than straps, especially the getting in part. I test road a bike last week with the M646 pedals and found it quite a bit harder than the M520s, due to having to flip the pedal to the right side and then having the platform in the way making it harder to feel the right position. Unclipping was about the same. M646 may be marketed to appeal to a beginner to clipless but my limited experience is that they make it much harder.

I also find that I can (and do) ride the M520s with regular shoes fine in dry condition for less that 1mi rides to coffee shop, etc. For longer rides its certainly worth putting on the cycling shoes.

I also use Shimano SD60 SPD sandals and those are perfect for short (and long) rides - meaning for a short trip to the coffee shop I would put on those sandals anyway cycling or not - it takes no time at all with velcro straps and they are comfortable. The point is that if you have clipless, this does not mean that there are not easy options for still using the pedals for casual rides.

Al
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Old 08-18-04, 12:49 AM
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thanks for your responses- I think the terminology is a little confusing- every time I mention clipless pedals to a non-cyclist I have to explain what they are "you know clipless pedals-the one with clips on" hmm very logical. Anyway I will persevere for a while and try adjusting the tension on the binding. If that does not work I might look out for some different pedals like M520 on ebay and put the M646's on my MTB
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Old 08-18-04, 10:25 AM
  #11  
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Correction...

It was the M324 (platform on one side, clipless surrounded by platform on the other) I tried at a bike store and found much harder to engage that the M520's I use every day.

Not sure what the M646 are. Didn't see them on the Shimano page:
http://bike.shimano.com/Footwear_Ped...dals/index.asp

Al
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Old 08-18-04, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by royalflash
I think the terminology is a little confusing- every time I mention clipless pedals to a non-cyclist I have to explain what they are "you know clipless pedals-the one with clips on" hmm very logical.
That's 'cuz they're not clips, they're cleats. So you should say "you know, the ones with cleats instead of toe clips".
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Old 08-18-04, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by madpogue
That's 'cuz they're not clips, they're cleats. So you should say "you know, the ones with cleats instead of toe clips".
ha then I would just have to explain what cleats are cuz non-cyclists have no idea what these are at all
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Old 09-06-04, 07:12 PM
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I'm reawakening this thread, because I have the same problem.

New WTB clipless pedals, new specialized MTB shoes. I can't get the things to clip/click/cleat in. I haven't actually tried riding yet, but in the garage both wearing the shoes and trying to attach by hand I cannot get shoes to attach to the pedals. The hope was to practice attaching / detaching in the safety of my own yard and/or garage before braving the treacherous streets.

Does the toe go in first? Or the back end? I've been figuring toe then heel, but tried both ways without much luck.

thanks,
brian
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Old 09-06-04, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by HereNT
Sorry our bad. Can we call the bike dictionary people and ask them to change the terminology yet?

I think clips should be re-named cages and clipless pedals should be re-named clipped pedals.

Who's with me?
Yes, but....

Cages is becoming an increasingly popular derogatory term for motor vehicles. We might confuse people. "Put you foot into the cage" meaning? Kick the s**t out of the car
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Old 09-06-04, 08:50 PM
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royalflash, tak eyour bike inside, get on it in a doorway, lean against the door jamb, and clip in and out 50 times. Practice makes perfect, and you probably aren't doing it enough times on a ride. It also means you can make the tension adjustment at home and more easily.

For mine, Time Atac pedals. No problems except the brass cleats wear quickly (but then I wear my cycling shoes all day every day).
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Old 09-06-04, 09:45 PM
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Take off those grocery getters platform and you may find it easier to click in and out. When you get on the bike get off the saddle and push your foot down, it should click fine and then do it with the other foot. Practice makes perfect. After you get the hang of it try and reattach the platforms if you want, but if you have a mtb shoe you should be able to walk around in them enough to warrant putting them on even for quick trips.
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Old 09-07-04, 12:35 AM
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I think the big problem some riders are having with clipless (Clip in) pedals are they are using mountain biking pedals for road work where they have to clip in and out often at stop signs for example. I had many problems with the first cheap clipless pedals I got at the LBS and the following Mountain bike Time pedals I bought. The idea of clipping in from either side may be appealing but it makes the whole thing more difficult. Clipping in may prove difficult if you don't hit it right first off. After I bought good shoes and Shimano Ultegra SPD-SL pedal I have no more problems and wouldn't ride any other way. I never miss clippiing in or out. It is really easy. I would reccomend road pedals for road riding and mountain pedals for off road riding.
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Old 09-07-04, 01:39 AM
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With practice you also develop a sense of exactly where in your sole the cleat is. I remember feeling very awkward at first, not being sure how far my shoe should be from the pedal crank arm when clipped in. It always took me several tries to get it right. Now I usually clip in at first attempt without giving it any thought at all.

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Old 09-07-04, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by halfbiked
Does the toe go in first? Or the back end? I've been figuring toe then heel, but tried both ways without much luck.
Still struggling with this issue.
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Old 09-07-04, 09:16 AM
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Your foot should be level, not angled.
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Old 09-07-04, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by larue
Your foot should be level, not angled.
So, just stomp down until you're clipped in?
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Old 09-07-04, 02:57 PM
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Kinda get the toe half in first, then push foward and down with steady heavy pressure. Your foot should still be flatish though. After clicking in a few times, you'll get the hang of it.
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Old 09-08-04, 03:27 AM
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I got Wellgo MTB Spd's in June, use them for road, mtb'ing and commuting, I think they're great. I've found when clipping in, get your foot in the right spot and if they don't clip in right away, a little ankle wiggle or 2 usually works. Forcing them doesn't usually work very well.
I haven't had any "failure to unclip" incidents on the road, but usually have one or 2 every ride on the mountain bike.
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Old 09-08-04, 10:28 AM
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I have 515s and 520s. All at close to minimal tension. No problems clicking in or out, except when the pedals or cleats are dirty. Lubricating the springs with 1-2 drops of light oil helps, especially in Winter (or in rain, I suppose), because rusty springs make clicking in more difficult.

I don't know about weather patterns in Munich, but I'd suggest good lubrication.
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