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School me on pedals and shoes that clip in

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School me on pedals and shoes that clip in

Old 06-05-14, 05:23 PM
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syncro87
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School me on pedals and shoes that clip in

Hi. This is stupid, but I'm fairly new to any kind of serious cycling, so bear with me.

It has occurred to me that as I get into riding more, pedaling on regular old pedals with tennis shoes is not the most efficient way to go. I've seen people riding with shoes that clip into the pedals. Seems a lot more efficient.

I have two bikes I primarily ride.

1. Specialized Sequoia Elite road bike. Street riding for fitness.

2. Spec Hardrock Sport old chromoly MTB, nonsuspension. Trails, tracks, haul my Burley Nomad, etc.

I'd like to get some clip style pedals for both bikes, and one pair of shoes that would be all rounders to use with either bike.

I know nothing about where to start with the whole clip in shoe and pedal thing. Please educate me. Are there different clip standards? Road pedals and shoes different from MTB? Good starter pedals and shoes?


I just dug around, and sitting in a drawer, from a used bike I bought a while ago, I found that I have a set of Shimano clip style pedals with a plastic insert that makes them have a platform on one side. I'm assuming this plastic insert is to allow you to use them as a platform pedal when you don't want to clip in. This plastic thing says SPD on it. I assume that is some kind of pedal standard or clip standard? Maybe I can use these if they are not outdated, and just get shoes.

Thanks for help.

I found a pic on the web of the exact pedals I have. I don't have the small parts, just the pedals as shown.

http://img.tarad.com/shop/v/v-bikes/...11173148_b.jpg

Last edited by syncro87; 06-05-14 at 05:57 PM.
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Old 06-06-14, 01:07 AM
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Originally Posted by syncro87 View Post
I'd like to get some clip style pedals for both bikes, and one pair of shoes that would be all rounders to use with either bike.
I recommend SPD mountain-bike style cleats and shoes. Despite the name, they work fine for road bikes. The pedals are available very inexpensively from Wellgo and others.
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Old 06-06-14, 07:27 AM
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Thanks.

I just hunted around on Google a little bit and found what I need as well. Amazing what you can find when you're not lazy and just post a question here, as opposed to lifting a finger yourself to find the answer. lol.


Cycling Shoes and Pedals Guide
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Old 06-06-14, 07:37 AM
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Both my bent and my trike are equipt with SPD M324 two sided pedals. Rat trap on one side and clip in on the other. That way you can use any shoe for a quick trip on the rat trap side, and clip in for longer rides with cycling shoes.

Last edited by rydabent; 06-06-14 at 07:42 AM.
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Old 06-06-14, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Both my bent and my trike are equipt with SPD M324 two sided pedals. Rat trap on one side and clip in on the other. That way you can use any shoe for a quick trip on the rat trap side, and clip in for longer rides with cycling shoes.
+1. My kids who use SPD's use the two sided pedals as well.
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Old 06-06-14, 09:08 AM
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Your Bike Shop will have shoes to try on before you buy ..

the recessed cleat feature , of mountain bike shoes, makes them better when you have to walk any distance..
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Old 06-06-14, 09:42 AM
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I would suggest mountain shoes as mentioned above and either SPD or Crank Brothers for pedals. I am getting ready to try SPD for the first time, but in the past, I did find the Crank Brothers Candy pedals easy to click into and release.

I have been riding on the platform side of these: Amazon.com : Shimano PD-A530 SPD Dual Platform Bike Pedal : Sports & Outdoors

They offer the flexibility of riding with either cycling or regular shoes... Even though I haven't ridden them with my cleats yet, I don't think I am a big fan of having to keep the proper side up to place my feet on, and doing it while trying to click in isn't likely to be any better... I'll give them a try, but if I find them too cumbersome, I may end up going back to my Candy pedals.
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Old 06-06-14, 09:45 AM
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Oh, and those "small parts" are the cleats etc that you will need to buy to use on the shoes you buy if you decide to try those pedals. They are readily available for SPD.
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Old 06-06-14, 09:56 AM
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Sweet, thank you everyone.
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Old 06-06-14, 10:44 AM
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Note that all cleats are not created equal. You must use SPD cleats with SPD pedals, Crank Brothers cleats with Crank Brothers pedals, Speedplay cleats with Speedplay pedals, etc.

Usually a pair of cleats comes with the pedals. You can always buy more if you have more than one pair of shoes.
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Old 06-06-14, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by syncro87 View Post
Hi. This is stupid, but I'm fairly new to any kind of serious cycling, so bear with me.

It has occurred to me that as I get into riding more, pedaling on regular old pedals with tennis shoes is not the most efficient way to go. I've seen people riding with shoes that clip into the pedals. Seems a lot more efficient.
Unless you plan to take up racing the is no need to use clipless pedals. None what so ever! Clipless=racing.

Don't be swayed by all the wannabe racers that populate forums like this.

You might consider toe clips or power grips that increase you pedal power capture instead of clipless that lock you feet to the bike!!

Toe clips......
Amazon.com: toe clips

Power grips.......
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...%3Apower+grips

Or, for most people, plain platforms of your choice are more than enough pedal.
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Old 06-06-14, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
Unless you plan to take up racing the is no need to use clipless pedals. None what so ever! Clipless=racing.

Don't be swayed by all the wannabe racers that populate forums like this.

You might consider toe clips or power grips that increase you pedal power capture instead of clipless that lock you feet to the bike!!

Toe clips......
Amazon.com: toe clips

Power grips.......
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...%3Apower+grips

Or, for most people, plain platforms of your choice are more than enough pedal.
Interesting food for thought, and I thank you for posting it.

I guess I just assumed I was wasting a bunch of energy doing my fitness rides with plain old pedals. i.e. you are only pushing down.
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Old 06-06-14, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
Unless you plan to take up racing the is no need to use clipless pedals. None what so ever! Clipless=racing.

Don't be swayed by all the wannabe racers that populate forums like this.

You might consider toe clips or power grips that increase you pedal power capture instead of clipless that lock you feet to the bike!!

Toe clips......
Amazon.com: toe clips

Power grips.......
Amazon.com: power grips

Or, for most people, plain platforms of your choice are more than enough pedal.
Or you like your feet attached to the pedals, for serious riders or mt bikers. Many people find them to be an advantage to have clipless pedals. Actually, toe clips and power grips are much harder to get out of in an accident. Shimano multi release clipless twist out in any direction. With mt biking I have not ever not come out of my clipless when needed, ever. Nightshade seems to be biased in this area, look at his sig line.
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Old 06-06-14, 04:57 PM
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Another way is to use strapless clip pedals; they are available at Nashbar. Very easy to slide your feet into and out of, no special shoes needed. i have been using them for years and seem to be durable.

Nashbar Road Bike Toe Clip - Normal Shipping Ground

Did i mention cheap?
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Old 06-06-14, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by syncro87 View Post
Interesting food for thought, and I thank you for posting it.

I guess I just assumed I was wasting a bunch of energy doing my fitness rides with plain old pedals. i.e. you are only pushing down.
Give clip less a try, and you won't go back. I even got my wife to switch, and she had been using toe clips since the 70s.

I use Shimano 2 sided pedals, 540 I think, on my road bike, Wellgo one sided SPD on my mountain bike. My wife has Shimano 324 on her road bike. They had been on my hybrid but I gifted them to her. As for shoes, I have used Louis Garneau, Nashbar, and Nike (now discontinued).
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Old 06-07-14, 08:23 AM
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I love my two sided pedals. Flat platform on one side, SPD on the other. I have them on my off-road touring bike and my road bike. (I'd admit that my mountain bike just has platforms.) I also use shoes with recessed cleats so I can walk on them pretty easily. It also mean I can use the flat platform side if I want to. SO... if I feel that I may need to jump off fast, I can just clip out and ride the platforms. But I'll say I feel much safer having my feet attached to the pedals so they won't fall off when I go fast or push hard. Having a foot slip off the pedal can be horrible. (Plus the whole power thing...)
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Old 06-07-14, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by syncro87 View Post
Interesting food for thought, and I thank you for posting it.

I guess I just assumed I was wasting a bunch of energy doing my fitness rides with plain old pedals. i.e. you are only pushing down.
On the other hand, don't be swayed by the lone voice against clipless. A lone voice that, by the way, advocates two much more difficult systems to master than clipless. I've ridden toe clips and straps, Power Grips, Look style clipless, single sided SPD and two sided SPD style clipless. The two sided SPD is by far the easiest to use.

Toe clips, Power Grips, Look style and single sided SPD all require you to flip the pedal up to engage the system. I found Power Grips to be the worst as you have to wiggle you foot into the strap. That's not something that is easy to do while you are trying to get started. I tried to use them on mountain bikes which is an even worse place to use them. Off-road, you need that boost of power of being attached to the pedals provides and if you have to flip the pedal and then futz with trying to get into the strap, you lose that advantage. Toe clips aren't much better and they tend to drag on the ground until you get them flipped.

Double sided SPD is always there for your foot to engage. Just get your foot on the pedal and you only have to shift your foot a little to get the cleat engaged. Getting out of them takes a simple movement of your foot and they release. You can set the tension to just about any level that you want. Many people who have problems with clipless probably haven't adjusted the tension from the factory and it's set too high.

I don't race but I do commute to work on clipless, I mountain bike on clipless, I tour on clipless and I go for fast rides on clipless. Some people here (see above) have a irrational fear of clipless but there really is nothing to fear. It may take a little practice and a little bit of adjustment but they are easy to use and certainly aren't the "death traps" that some would have you believe.

The best mountain bike SPD pedal is the Shimano M520, by the way. They are cheap (about $30) work better than other brands and last for, roughly, ever.
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Old 06-08-14, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
Or you like your feet attached to the pedals, for serious riders or mt bikers. Many people find them to be an advantage to have clipless pedals. Actually, toe clips and power grips are much harder to get out of in an accident. Shimano multi release clipless twist out in any direction. With mt biking I have not ever not come out of my clipless when needed, ever. Nightshade seems to be biased in this area, look at his sig line.
You're talking to a guy who cruises around town at 8-10 mph on a 40 pound Worksman.

"Back in his youth" (I think I recall reading somewhere in the past that he's close to 70) he had a bad experience with "clipless" pedals when he was dragged by a truck while caught in his "clipless" pedals. So, he speaks from experience.
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Old 06-08-14, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Little Darwin View Post
They offer the flexibility of riding with either cycling or regular shoes... Even though I haven't ridden them with my cleats yet, I don't think I am a big fan of having to keep the proper side up to place my feet on, and doing it while trying to click in isn't likely to be any better...
Just for what it's worth, I made weights from a small piece of angle iron for the front of the pedal (front when clipless side is up. I never got the pedals to sit in a level position, but they consistently return to the same position. Your feet quickly learn where they are.
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Old 06-08-14, 08:50 PM
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The original poster seems to have gotten his question answered, but these things sometimes take on a life of their own so I thought I'd add my experience. Short version I too came to the conclusion that SPD pedals and mountain bike shoes with recessed cleats were best. You definitely do not need to have any interest in racing to benefit from clip less pedals.

I'm a beginner biker and I tow my kids in a bike trailer using my mountain bike. I wanted something to exercise more of the muscles in my legs so I looked at the clip and clip less options. After a very short amount of time the clip less showed obvious benefits. Much easier to get out of than cages as your natural foot motion is sideways when needing to get off your bike. Being able to pull back to spin your pedals in an otherwise low powered part of their rotation was an unexpected benefit. I also went trail riding for the 4th time ever recently and the clip less were a much bigger advantage in control and thus safety than I thought. I expected them to be a liability and they weren't at all. When I get a road bike I plan to put SPD pedals on it too, since I'm not a serious biker and the loss of efficiency in not having a stiffer road bike shoe is more than made up for by the convenience of the same biking shoe for both bikes and shoes I can walk around in.
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Old 06-09-14, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Nermal View Post
Just for what it's worth, I made weights from a small piece of angle iron for the front of the pedal (front when clipless side is up. I never got the pedals to sit in a level position, but they consistently return to the same position. Your feet quickly learn where they are.
That sounds like a great idea! Anything for consistency would be good. How did you attach the angle iron to the pedal? Did you try any attachment methods that didn't work well for you?

In looking at my pedals ( http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 ) I don't see an obvious way to attach a piece of metal, but I could possibly switch pedals if I need to. I definitely prefer having a flat side on my pedals if I can find something that works for me.
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Old 06-09-14, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
Or you like your feet attached to the pedals, for serious riders or mt bikers. Many people find them to be an advantage to have clipless pedals.
Fine..........if you are racing or competing but never on the street.
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Old 06-09-14, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
Fine..........if you are racing or competing but never on the street.
Most people don't agree with this. It's ridiculous to say clipless aren't for street use. People above already stated they found clipless easier to get out of that anything else. Now if you are talking about using street shoes for work, doing short distance commuting and you are in lots of traffic/stops at intersections, then clipless may not be the best.
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Old 06-09-14, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
Fine..........if you are racing or competing but never on the street.
What about training for racing? You have to practice like you play, right? Do we have your permission to use clipless pedals for training? How about if we're just riding through town out to a training ride or race? Would that be okay? Or, how about if I was going to a training ride or race after work? Could I use clipless pedals to ride on city streets for the morning commute?
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Old 06-09-14, 02:27 PM
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@ Little Darwin.

http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-PD-M324-Dual-Platform-Pedal/dp/B00AZ2OID8/ref=pd_sim_sg_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=1FBHM1E5BRKQHAJDESD0

My error. I thought all Shimano dual platforms would be the same. The above is what I have, and I used the existing holes, two of which on each pedal are not used. After looking, I see I saved some labor by only weighting the right side pedal as I never clip into the left side when I'm moving.
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