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Clipless and Mud

Old 12-19-03, 12:55 PM
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lamajo25
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Clipless and Mud

I went for a long ride with a group yesterday. A bit on the soft side and some muddy spots along with some snowy patches. Taking a break at one point and got some mud in the cleats. I noticed a bit of a problem with un-clipping. Anyone else experience that problem?
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Old 12-19-03, 01:11 PM
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What sort of pedals? Shimano SPD or generic copy, I assume. It's a bad mud-shedding design, and known for unclipping problems. If you're going to ride in muddy or snowy conditions a lot, it's worth upgrading to a Time ATAC or Crank Brothers Egg Beater pedal. From my experience, either one is a far superior design to the SPD system.
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Old 12-19-03, 01:19 PM
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It's SPD. I got the Nashbar pedals that are identical to the Shimano pedals. The most problem appeared to come from the cleat, is that where you are saying the problem is originating?
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Old 12-19-03, 01:37 PM
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The cleat and the pedal end up being a unit; you can't replace the cleat with a different type to resolve the problem. Mud will pack around any cleat (happens just as much on my Egg Beater cleats), so while the problem might appear to be the cleat, it's really a problem with how the pedal deals with a muddy cleat. The SPD pedal is not efficient at clearing the mud away from either the cleat or it's own mechanism. The mud from the cleat gets into the pedal when you engage, then starts interfering with the release mechanism, hence the jamming. I had exactly the same issue with a Shimano M515 pedal - it's a fine commuting pedal or light MTB pedal, but sucks in mud or ice.

Some of the higher end Shimano pedals are better in mud and ice (e.g. M959), but I still find the Time and Egg Beater pedals to be superior. With lower end or generic SPD systems, it seems to be pretty much a 'live with it' situation. Other than not stepping in mud, or cleaning your shoe every time before you engage (both of which are unreasonable) there's really nothing you can do differently.
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Old 12-19-03, 02:18 PM
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Hey thanks for the info. I did find a good way to clear it on the trail if it gets too muddy. I bought them because 11 months out of 12 here in AZ are dry and no problems. I figured dirt should bother them. A good piece of metal like a wrench works well to tap and clean them everyonce in a while but thanks for the info again.
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Old 12-19-03, 02:32 PM
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Never with Frogs.
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Old 12-19-03, 02:42 PM
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If you ride in muddy conditions Time ATAC is the way to go. The guys who ride with SPDs are always kicking stuff to dislodge mud from their cleats. Even if you do live in AZ where its dry most year its still worth it IMO to upgrade to ATAC if you have the extra $$$. It's just a better system.
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Old 12-19-03, 03:12 PM
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One cyclocross trick is to spray the cleat and pedal with PAM so that the mud doesn't stick so easily. I use 959's which are a little better than the 747's they replaced. In really sloppy mud they are fine, but in dryer mud they do tend to pack up.

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Old 12-19-03, 05:49 PM
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Time ATAC's are AWESOME in the mud. They're so easy to release from it's not even funny. I've ridden in the nastiest mud in the universe and they're completely unstoppable. I can't even imagine NOT being able to unclip when I need to most.. IN THE MUD! We all know we crash the most in wet conditions.
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Old 12-19-03, 06:07 PM
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yeah, i upgraded from Shimano 515s to ATAC control Z's, the Z's never jam, and are always easy to get into. I seriously love these pedals.
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