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About my 105 pedals and $5 SPDs

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About my 105 pedals and $5 SPDs

Old 04-04-24, 10:12 PM
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About my 105 pedals and $5 SPDs

Hey all. So, I finally took the plunge and bought my first pair of clipless pedals, 105's. I jumped for a nice pair of road shoes (Lakes.) Now I can see why so many riders use clipless. I "feel" more powerful on the pedal, in some indescribable way. More connected. The only issue I find is that the pedals don't fully 'right' themselves after I unclip. I have to toe the clips over and then clip in. I was under the impression that Shimano's always right themselves to align with the cleat. I selected Shimano over Look because I thought that Look pedals tend to turn upside down when unclipped. Am I doing anything wrong with my 105's?

Also, I was in my local thrift store today and came across a set of brand-new SPDs (PD M530.) Unused. Got them for $5. They even came with the instructions.
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Old 04-04-24, 10:49 PM
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Look are weighted so that the cleat (usually) hangs vertically and you toe them forward as part of clipping in. Sounds like your SPDSLs are the same.
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Old 04-04-24, 11:54 PM
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Your experience is how the pedal works, you have to use your foot to get the pedal to rotate to where you can clip in. Is why many folks say why bother and use SPD mt pedals.
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Old 04-05-24, 01:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve B.
Your experience is how the pedal works, you have to use your foot to get the pedal to rotate to where you can clip in. Is why many folks say why bother and use SPD mt pedals.
Which is a reasonable criticism if you do a lot of stop/start riding. Mine tends to be 99% clipped in with very few stops.
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Old 04-05-24, 01:28 AM
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Originally Posted by choddo
Which is a reasonable criticism if you do a lot of stop/start riding. Mine tends to be 99% clipped in with very few stops.
I was not criticizing your pedal choice. I was commenting that this is how the pedal works.
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Old 04-05-24, 02:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve B.
I was not criticizing your pedal choice. I was commenting that this is how the pedal works.
Sure, I meant critique by the people saying “why bother” - implies there’s a downside and there probably is in that scenario.
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Old 04-05-24, 03:05 AM
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Originally Posted by ArgoMan
Hey all. So, I finally took the plunge and bought my first pair of clipless pedals, 105's.
Congratulations! I rode a road bike for > 5 years before going clipless with SPD-SL.

Originally Posted by ArgoMan
... The only issue I find is that the pedals don't fully 'right' themselves after I unclip. I have to toe the clips over and then clip in. I was under the impression that Shimano's always right themselves to align with the cleat.
The mechanisms of SPD-SL pedals are at the rear so the front loops weigh less and point upward. You put the front of your cleat into the loop and step forward and down to clip in.

Originally Posted by ArgoMan
Also, I was in my local thrift store today and came across a set of brand-new SPDs (PD M530.) Unused. Got them for $5. They even came with the instructions.
That is a great deal and the pedals are calling for a gravel bike to be assembled around them, especially since it sounds like you should be able to get the hang of SPD-SL for your road bike.

Last edited by SoSmellyAir; 04-05-24 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 04-05-24, 06:01 AM
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The heaviest part of the pedal (the back where the clamping mecanism is) should always be pointed towards the ground because of gravity. It helps sliding your cleat forward in the pedal and then clipping the back. Some of them don't move as free as others and you may end with pedals ''stuck'' in another orientation.

Takes a while to ''get it'', but once you do, it becomes natural.
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Old 04-05-24, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by ArgoMan
Hey all. So, I finally took the plunge and bought my first pair of clipless pedals, 105's. I jumped for a nice pair of road shoes (Lakes.) Now I can see why so many riders use clipless. I "feel" more powerful on the pedal, in some indescribable way. More connected. The only issue I find is that the pedals don't fully 'right' themselves after I unclip. I have to toe the clips over and then clip in. I was under the impression that Shimano's always right themselves to align with the cleat. I selected Shimano over Look because I thought that Look pedals tend to turn upside down when unclipped. Am I doing anything wrong with my 105's?
Shimano pedals will naturally fall into the right position for clipping in, but when they are brand new the bearings might be a bit sticky. They will spin more freely after a bit of use and then should hang correctly. They don’t hang flat, they hang heel down, so you flip them forward with your toe to clip in.
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Old 04-05-24, 07:47 AM
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I rode flat pedals on my road bike for a number of years before transitioning to clipless. The difference was a dramatic difference in efficiency. Can't believe I ever rode without.
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Old 04-05-24, 08:28 AM
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I use single sided PD-A520's. Which are also SPD. Neither of the two sets I have moved freely enough when new to put themselves into the proper position to make it easy to clip in. But after a 100 miles or so they got better quickly. So give your pedals a chance before you start getting annoyed about them not righting to the proper position.

Also, when I re-lube them, they are stiff for a while until all the excess grease get pushed out of the way.

Perhaps if I bought the more expensive Ultegra or DuraAce they wouldn't need the break in period. But they don't make them in SPD.

Last edited by Iride01; 04-05-24 at 09:02 AM.
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Old 04-05-24, 08:47 AM
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IME, the toe flip becomes natural, same with clipping in and out, takes some time and experience. The flip is still necessary with dual sided spd pedals. The thing I do not like is the toe area getting significant wear from doing the flip. Even shoes with a toe cap show the wear. It is an aesthetic thing, I wind up using shoe polish or a marker pen to mask it.
The drawback on the spd-sl’s is twofold, the cleats wear out much faster, and it takes a low number of steps to speed that up dramatically. To mitigate that, a cover for spd-sl cleats works well. One just has to remember to bring them on a ride, and to put them on. Obviously, if you don’t get off the bike, not an issue.
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Old 04-05-24, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01
I use single sided PD-A520's. Which are also SPD. ... Perhaps if I bought the more expensive Ultegra or DuraAce they wouldn't need the break in period. But they don't make them in SPD.
For single-sided SPD, you can buy PD-ES600.
For double-sided SPD, you can buy XT or XTR.
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Old 04-05-24, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by WaveyGravey
I rode flat pedals on my road bike for a number of years before transitioning to clipless. The difference was a dramatic difference in efficiency. Can't believe I ever rode without.
For me, the most noticeable difference in going from flats (with pins) to SPD-SL was more comfortable feet from wearing and pedaling with CF-soled shoes, which have hardly any flex and no compression.
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Old 04-05-24, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
For single-sided SPD, you can buy PD-ES600.
For double-sided SPD, you can buy XT or XTR.
I wasn't looking for new pedals. I guess my statement may be a little ambiguous.

Perhaps if I bought the more expensive Ultegra or DuraAce they wouldn't need the break in period.
I was just saying that the Ultegra or DuraAce might not need the longer break in period. But I don't know as they are too pricey for me just for a pair of pedals.

I'm still happy with the PD-A520's I bought in 2016 and 2017. They still work. All I've done is re-lube them once about 3 years ago. I guess it might be time to re-lube them again.
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Old 04-05-24, 10:31 PM
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I can't say why, but it feels like I'm getting more out of every stride with the clipless pedals. I "feel" faster. I'm sure some of you understand this. Maybe it's the shoes? Before switching I wore a pair of rubber-soled, flat Adidas running shoes. Narrow and tight, but with some cushion. I was using MKS campy race reproductions with the clip attachment, but no straps. Very easy to get in and out of, very secure. And I did feel attached to the pedal. So maybe the difference can be attributed to my new Lake shoes. Very expensive, but worth the money, I think. Solid platform. This is for my race bike that I'll be using in an upcoming Tri. For my everyday bang-around bike, I think I'll keep a set of the MKS pedals on it.
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Old 04-06-24, 05:46 AM
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When clipping in on the SPD-SL I don't use the toe of my shoe, rather I use the cleat itself by catching the front of the pedal to push it over and then just press until it catches.
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Old 04-06-24, 06:25 AM
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The shoes and pedals likely likely give you more efficiency in the pedal stroke, especially changing from shoes with a lot of flex. That may give you a little more speed. The “feel” of being faster could be, in part, the placebo effect. That can also play into the actually being a bit faster. The mind is a powerful entity.
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Old 04-06-24, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by ArgoMan
I can't say why, but it feels like I'm getting more out of every stride with the clipless pedals. I "feel" faster. I'm sure some of you understand this. Maybe it's the shoes?
I got clipless pedals because my cadence was getting higher and it was difficult to keep my feet on the pedals when hitting bumps at high rpm, which at that time was only around 80 RPM with out foot retention of any kind. Now 80 RPM is a normal cadence and I sometimes get to 120 RPM when accelerating fast. Though I miss my younger days just after I got cleats when I could get higher still over 130 RPM and cruise for a while at 100 RPM.

So sure, if your cadence is improving and your feet confidently held on the pedal then you will be faster. And perhaps you naturally pull up with the other leg which also adds power to the crank that you can't do without foot retention of some sort.

Stiff soled cycling shoes are better for power transfer to the pedals. It use to be that SPD shoes weren't thought to be stiff enough, but I think today many are. I still use SPD on my road bikes and don't have any intention at the moment to go to anything else.
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Old 04-26-24, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by WaveyGravey
I rode flat pedals on my road bike for a number of years before transitioning to clipless. The difference was a dramatic difference in efficiency. Can't believe I ever rode without.
Totally! That, and I'd had an unfortunate incident where my foot slipped off the front when I was out of the saddle, giving me a chainring tattoo...😁
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Old 04-26-24, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01

And perhaps you naturally pull up with the other leg which also adds power to the crank that you can't do without foot retention of some sort.
That’s a bad idea and ineffective, although there are guys on BF who are totally convinced that they produce power by pulling up on their pedals.
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Old 04-26-24, 04:19 PM
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I saw a video on YouTube that very technically compared clipless to flat pedals. The conclusion was that difference in power output was negligible, if even present. Made me feel really good about keeping with my old-school Campy pedals with clips....until I took the plunge and bought some 105s. I don't really know if there is any real difference in my ability to create power, but it just feels better. Maybe its the shoes?
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Old 04-26-24, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by ArgoMan
Maybe its the shoes?
It's gotta be the shoes.

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Old 04-27-24, 02:52 PM
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Your calves and hamstrings can contribute about 25% of your crank torque, provided you are clipped in, of course.
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Old 04-27-24, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by ArgoMan
I saw a video on YouTube that very technically compared clipless to flat pedals. The conclusion was that difference in power output was negligible, if even present. Made me feel really good about keeping with my old-school Campy pedals with clips....until I took the plunge and bought some 105s. I don't really know if there is any real difference in my ability to create power, but it just feels better. Maybe its the shoes?
The videos I've seen that made that comparison tested the two types under conditions of steady cadence and power. Not surprising they didn't find a difference. Where clipless shines is in fast accelerations and climbing efforts.

Certainly works that way for me. On the rare occasions that I take a bike out that has conventional pedals and toe clips, I'll usually experience, at least once, one foot violently flinging backward and up when I'm putting power down with the other to, e.g., sprint up a short hill.
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