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Understanding clipless pedals on mtb

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Understanding clipless pedals on mtb

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Old 03-27-07, 06:29 AM
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arod
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Understanding clipless pedals on mtb

Hi
I'm trying to understand exactly how clipless pedals work. I currently just ride with your standard pedals while wearing sneakers on my mtb.

I'm keen to get a pair of clipless pedals, but I would also like the option to be able to continue wearing my sneakers while riding.

So my question is, are clipless pedals designed so that as well as using your clipless shoes, you can also ride successfully wearing any kind of shoes? Or are they designed so that you can only successfully ride while wearing clipless shoes?

And what model pedals and shoes would you recommend?

Thanks
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Old 03-27-07, 06:35 AM
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barba
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You won't want to ride in regular shoes for long. On the rare occasions I do, I own a pedal wrench and it is easy to swap pedals. The combo clipless/platform pedals I have seen I am not terribly impressed with.
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Old 03-27-07, 08:18 AM
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dirtyphotons
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i've heard quite a few people speak highly of time atac z pedals. they have a nice big platform.

also crank brothers mallet m pedals. i use their eggbeaters and am quite satisfied.

i have a pair of cheapo performance one-side-clipless one-side-platform pedals, and they're just "ok."

i agree that once you get comfortable with clipless, you very well might want to ride that way all the time. i usually do.
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Old 03-27-07, 09:40 AM
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crash13
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I agree with dirtyphotons...Once you start riding clipless, you won't want to ride without them. I use Shimano SPD's on all of my mtn. bikes and they work great for me...You probably won't want to ride any trails with them, but a cruise to the market or downtown is not a big deal...
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Old 03-27-07, 01:15 PM
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willtsmith_nwi
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Platform combos do not provide a "performance" option for riding outside of the cleat. There are two reasons for this. Real flats have lots of pins on them that prevent the foot from slipping off the pedal. This also prevents you from rotating your foot. With "clipless" pedals you HAVE to rotate your foot to get out. You cannot have both capabilities. The other issue is that the clip in mechanism tends to stick up above the flat, moreso on the Time Z and Shimano combo then the Mallet-C. So when your you're not clipped in you're really perched on one side of the pedal and the clip mechanism.

The main advantage is that if you have to dab you can put your foot down on something a little more solid. A platform combo is a little precarious when clipped out, but a normal pedal is MUCH, MUCH worse. The existence of the platform allows you to a get a decent pedal capability if you miss the clip until you get to somewhere where you can pause to get back in. The other thing the platform combo allows you to do is ride the bike in a more "casual" fashion away from the trail. Though when you do this, it's best to use a deep lugged tread.

Personally, I use a mallet-C and the concave nature of the pedal actually makes it hard to pedal out of the cleat. In other words, your cleat has a strong tendency to get in the spring if you just wiggle your foot a little bit. Another offering available is the Atom Lab quickstep. This clip mechanism on this pedal is designed to recess below the flat if you're not clipped in. I have no idea how well it works, however I do know that it is VERY expensive. It's touted as a true two way pedal for down-hillers and free-riders.
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Old 03-28-07, 03:46 AM
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Al.canoe
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Originally Posted by willtsmith_nwi
With "clipless" pedals you HAVE to rotate your foot to get out. You cannot have both capabilities. .
With multi-release #56 Shimano cleats and the compatible SPD pedals, you can also release by pointing your toe down slightly and just pulling up. You don't have to rotate at all. I prefer the 56's (replaced the old design 55's) for that reason.

Al
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Old 03-28-07, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Al.canoe
With multi-release #56 Shimano cleats and the compatible SPD pedals, you can also release by pointing your toe down slightly and just pulling up. You don't have to rotate at all. I prefer the 56's (replaced the old design 55's) for that reason.

Al
Uhh... how the hell does that work on pedaling, then? I mean... you point your toe at the bottom of the downstroke and pull up on the backside of the pedal stroke. Does your foot come out of the pedal every time you do this?? And if not, it seems that you wouldn't be able to exert any pulling effort for fear of pulling out of the pedal? Weird.

Originally Posted by willtsmith_nwi
In other words, your cleat has a strong tendency to get in the spring if you just wiggle your foot a little bit.
I think you're missing the point. He wants to be able to use his regular sneakers on occasion to ride his bike. Thus the desire for a cleated pedal that has a platform he can push against when not wearing bike shoes. No cleat to engage or be precariously perched anywhere.

Originally Posted by crash13
I use Shimano SPD's on all of my mtn. bikes and they work great for me...You probably won't want to ride any trails with them, but a cruise to the market or downtown is not a big deal...
Uhhhh, what?

Won't want to ride any trails with SPDs? Isn't that the purpose of clipless?
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Old 03-28-07, 09:51 AM
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Okay, pedals confuse me.
I only have one bike - i cant afford any more than that.
I ride to school every day, so i cant have clip-in pedals (im a lingo n00b, btw), are there pedals you can get which are easliy interchangeable? because i would like to have a set of pedals with clips (ie to clip proper bike shoes into) but it wouoldnt be practical during the week.....

any suggestions?
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Old 03-28-07, 09:59 AM
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you want these (already mentioned above):



SPD clipless on one side, regular on the other.

(and they're only $30)
http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...slisearch=true
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Old 03-28-07, 10:21 AM
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Uhhhh, what?
Won't want to ride any trails with SPDs? Isn't that the purpose of clipless?

^^^^^Good catch Skiahh!

What I meant was, you wouldn't want to ride a trail or offroad with normal shoes and SPD pedals, since the surface or platform of the pedal is so small...
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Old 03-28-07, 11:06 AM
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Why not just get good MTB shoes? They're just like sneakers with recessed attachments for the clipless cleat. You can walk around like normal and never know you're wearing bike shoes. The soles are a bit stiffer, that's the only difference you'll notice.
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Old 03-28-07, 01:34 PM
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Al.canoe
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[QUOTE=skiahh]Uhh... how the hell does that work on pedaling, then? I mean... you point your toe at the bottom of the downstroke and pull up on the backside of the pedal stroke. Does your foot come out of the pedal every time you do this?? And if not, it seems that you wouldn't be able to exert any pulling effort for fear of pulling out of the pedal? Weird.

QUOTE]


I pedal full circles (over the full 360 degrees) even when out of the saddle. Never have inadvertently released due to pedaling. It's a different motion than that for lifting the foot off the pedal. You may point your toe down at the bottom, but your not lifting your foot up as you should be dragging it back like you are scraping gum off the sole. As far as the backside, I don't think the toe is down and you should be just lifting the weight of your leg anyhow. The only time I inadvertently release is when I'm in a tricky section and inadvertently rotate my foot while applying body English when off the saddle.


The neat thing about the 55/56's is that they release when your falling and don't have time to rotate the foot. With the 56's, you can bunny-hop using the cleats to pull the rear of the bike up, keeping the feet level. The 55's would often release.

I'm sure though that the 56's don't hold as well as the 31's which is what 99% of the SPD users use; the main reason being that few know about the 56's. However, I don't need to be locked in that firmly as I just do XC.

Al
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Old 03-28-07, 01:46 PM
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I've been running the Mallet C's and absolutely love 'em. If the wife & I just want to liesurely cruise around the lakes by our house & get a bite, I just wear my regular sneakers. You can feel the eggbeater under there but it isn't too bothersome. Besides, once you clip in & get used to riding that way, you won't want to ride any other way. As far as shoes, I've been using Specialized's Tahoe. I like 'em allright, no complaint's & they kinda look like regular old sneaks. But I think my next pair is going to be some Adidas (can't remember the model right now but ck out there cycling shoes on line. They look pretty cool.).
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Old 03-28-07, 02:03 PM
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Timely topic for me!
Let me start by saying I'm a 40yo casual biker (i.e. paths, or with my 6 & 8 yo). And yes, I've got toe clips on my comfort/hybrid bike (gasp!). I will have the pleasure next week (if you can call it that) of attending a media mountain biking event - I work in a different industry, and we're teaming up my product with that of a mountain bike manufacturer and having a little combined media event.

Anyways, I was told I can bring my own pedals / shoes (if I have them) or just use regular shoes (I assume someone is bringing some platform pedals!). There will be some other non-bikers there (journalists or reps from yet another manufacturer). Would it be a bad time to finally get some SPD-compatible shoes and pedals? I'm thinking I might look like even a bigger dork as a non-biker trying to bring his own pedals.

I'm pulling up the webpages of the very attractive and fit outdoor female journalists who will be participating. With 12 hours a day cardio and a tanning booth, I might be ready by next week, what do you think?

BTW, I too am interested in the dual purpose pedals - maybe after I fall in love with the clipless I won't want the platform anymore?

Wish me luck! I hear it's all downhill!
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Old 03-28-07, 02:42 PM
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Just get the clipless! you'll have to crash a few times, maybe go over the bars once or twice, but you'll get used to them like the rest of us, and realize they are the way to go!
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Old 03-28-07, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by cz9h3d
Timely topic for me!
Let me start by saying I'm a 40yo casual biker....

Would it be a bad time to finally get some SPD-compatible shoes and pedals? I'm thinking I might look like even a bigger dork as a non-biker trying to bring his own pedals.
Only if you really do want to look like a dork. Your first experiences on clipless should be on calm, quiet rides where you don't care who sees you upside down, still attached to your bike, struggling to get up. Or who don't care to see you slowly topple over as you struggle to get out of the pedals while your momentum slips away and with it your stability. Funny stuff!

A week? Maybe enough time if you catch on quickly and practice enough to be comfortable. Problem is, you might not make the right choice your first time out of the gate. I switched to clipless with SPDs and spent that while season trying to get out from under my damn bike! I just couldn't get the hang of unclipping! Switched to Frogs and haven't looked back but there were some interesting moments that first summer and my riding buddies had some good laughs at my expense.

If you're concerned with impressing the "very attractive and fit outdoor female journalists", you might want to pass on the clipless for now. Oh, and feel free to PM me those web pages!
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Old 03-29-07, 01:38 PM
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Cleats and Cleats.

Originally Posted by Al.canoe
With multi-release #56 Shimano cleats and the compatible SPD pedals, you can also release by pointing your toe down slightly and just pulling up. You don't have to rotate at all. I prefer the 56's (replaced the old design 55's) for that reason.

Al
Pins that prevent your foot from rotating will also prevent your foot from slipping forward or back against the pedal. A combo platform that "does it all" has to keep the shoes high enough so the sole does not dig into the pedal body so you can get out. In order to perform well in normal shoes it must do the opposite.

The only pedal out there that probably has a chance of doing BOTH well is the AtomLab Quickstep whose clips recess when you're not riding in cleats.

BTW, I'm highly skeptical of a system which allows one to pull up and out of the cleat. Pointing ones toe downward just rotates the pedal. It sound to me as if this cleat allows you to get out by pulling parallel to the pedal body. Sounds like a good safety feature.

Originally Posted by skiahh
I think you're missing the point. He wants to be able to use his regular sneakers on occasion to ride his bike. Thus the desire for a cleated pedal that has a platform he can push against when not wearing bike shoes. No cleat to engage or be precariously perched anywhere.
No, I'm just pointing out the limitations of platform combo pedals. They will not perform like a true platform with raised traction plates or pins. Though for light "recreational" use the Mallets are probably the bet pedal in the under $100 range do to the concave design.
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