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best clipless for a newbie

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best clipless for a newbie

Old 06-03-06, 06:43 PM
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best clipless for a newbie

hi i just got into road cycling a couple of months ago and have developed this extreme passion for it. im looking to do a few upgrades to my bike but first i am looking into a nice set of clipless pedals/shoes. i know there are all the different 'formats' of clipless like look, SPD, speedplay, etc. my brother is a junior racer and he uses look. i mainly do casual riding at the moment and mix it all up (climbing, endurance, etc) but would definitely be interested in delving into some MINIMAL racing in the future. what would be the best pedal format for me to get? and while im at it, would anyone be able to suggest a good, affordable (im a college student) shoe? any input is very appreciated
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Old 06-03-06, 08:12 PM
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I'm a fellow newbie with about 250 miles under my belt. I bought some LOOK SPD pedals a while back and have loved them. They cost me around $50 from my LBS so I am sure you can get them on eBay for much cheaper now. They are very good quality and for me a great pedal to get started on. Some people will bash them because they don't weight 100 grams but so what.
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Old 06-03-06, 08:16 PM
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Shimano SPD SL 540 - $37.95 and free shipping from www.probikekit.com:

https://www.probikekit.com/display.php?code=M1032

Heavier, but functionally identical release mechanism to Ultegra/Dura Ace.

Check the shoes, too.

'Nuf said!
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Old 06-03-06, 09:12 PM
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are these easy to get in/out of. see what i am afraid of is, when i pull up to a red light and it eventually turns green, not being able to clip in all the way or not at all and end up falling in the middle of the intersection (would be very bad!!!)
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Old 06-03-06, 09:26 PM
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^^ that's going to be an issue with any clipless system you get. Doesn't matter how hard or easy; if you've forgotten to unclip, by the time you realize it it's generally to late to do anything but fall.

I like crankbrothers stuff quite a bit. The mechanism is simple and low-maintenance. No settings to fiddle with.
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Old 06-03-06, 11:53 PM
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I like to have the option of walking around when I get off my bike, so that means I have to use mountain shoes. Based on that, I really like the Speedplay Frog pedals. There is no spring tension centering your foot over the pedal. There is lots of free float, so they are very easy on your knees. They are also relatively light, have very positive engagement, but are easy to exit with just a bit of practice.

Good luck,
Ira
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Old 06-04-06, 05:58 AM
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Spd
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Old 06-04-06, 06:25 AM
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Hi,
I have tried a bunch of clipless. This spring I got some Shimano A-520 pedals
and I like them a lot. They are reasonably priced, light, and use the spd cleat.
SPD cleats are easy to use, and you can use Mtn bike shoes. The advantage with those is you can still walk off the bike.
https://www.rei.com/product/47919226.htm
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Old 06-04-06, 08:30 AM
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As a newbie I found clipping into a SPD style pedal rather difficult. :/ I got some SPD-SL's and found the going much easier but everyone is different.
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Old 06-04-06, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by irablumberg
I like to have the option of walking around when I get off my bike, so that means I have to use mountain shoes. Based on that, I really like the Speedplay Frog pedals. There is no spring tension centering your foot over the pedal. There is lots of free float, so they are very easy on your knees. They are also relatively light, have very positive engagement, but are easy to exit with just a bit of practice.

Good luck,
Ira
+1 My first too, it's Look now but those Frogs were the easiest to learn on.
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Old 06-04-06, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by VeganRider
+1 My first too, it's Look now but those Frogs were the easiest to learn on.
I think the Speedplay X series is a good one to learn on, and is sufficiently high-performance to stay with.

The advantages for a new rider (and racer alike):
-The cleat is huge and engulfs the pedal. Even if the pedal is turned 90 degrees off axis, all you need to do is get the cleat on top of the pedal and apply pressure, forward or backward. The Frogs are a little tougher to engage, but that's just my preference.

-Like the frogs, the speedplay X have no spring tension to overcome, and actually will disengage a little sooner than the Frog, making them easier to get out of.

Disadvantages:
-You need a road shoe to use the X, which is a little tougher to walk in, but as you ride more you won't want to walk anyway

-Um, can't think of anything else.

So it depends how hard-core you want to be. If you want to have comfier shoes to stop in, go with the Frog. If you want a more serious road riding shoe and are OK with learning to walk funny like all us roadies do, I would go with the X pedal. I've been using them for a good 7 years since switching from Look due to knee problems, and I love them!

Good Luck!
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Old 06-04-06, 09:23 AM
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I put CrankBros Quattro SLs on my road bike and a set of Mallet Cs on the mtb. Then I bought one pair of shoes (Specialized Sonoma or something like that) which were marketed as a mtb shoe. But they work pretty well on the road bike from what I can tell (but what do I know? I'm a n00b!).

My thought process was that I wanted to do the clipless thing on both bikes but didn't want to shell out a ton of money or have to learn two systems, so multi-functionality was important to me. I've only fallen once, which was the first time I rode the Quattros. I did switch the cleats so I have the easier 15deg unclip, and I find it easier to unclip at the top of the crank than the bottom, but I'm happy. As my skill level increases, I'll wind up buying a set of road-specific shoes (something with a stiff sole, the ones I have flex which is nice for walking, but...), but for now, I'm happy.
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Old 06-04-06, 10:15 AM
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To add to some of the posts above - I promise you there will be a time where you are stopping and can't come unclipped fast enough and fall over. In my cases the pride hurt more than the fall. Maybe we need to have a new post with funny stories of falling over? I guess it's part of it but happy to say after a few months you get used to unclipping oen foot and slowing down to stop on that side.

They make the world of difference in efficiency and can't believe I ever rode without them.
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Old 06-04-06, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by i killed judas.
are these easy to get in/out of. see what i am afraid of is, when i pull up to a red light and it eventually turns green, not being able to clip in all the way or not at all and end up falling in the middle of the intersection (would be very bad!!!)
If you want easy-in and easy-out......Speedplay.
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Old 06-04-06, 11:52 AM
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I also have crankbrothers on my MTB and road bike. Very easy to get in and out of.
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Old 06-04-06, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by i killed judas.
are these easy to get in/out of. see what i am afraid of is, when i pull up to a red light and it eventually turns green, not being able to clip in all the way or not at all and end up falling in the middle of the intersection (would be very bad!!!)
you can't go past Shimano 105s (R540) for value, and the release tension can be loosened so much that you can get a foot out with just a flick of the ankle.
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Old 06-04-06, 07:16 PM
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Someone has to mention Look Keo. Speedplay is easy in & out, but planting your foot down with that huge cleat took away the appeal for me. I think the rest of the roadie pedal market is pretty similar. From SPD-SL to Time to Look, they're all the same style of entry and exit.

I started cycling not very long ago, and I'm happy with the Look Keos. I've commuted with them and it hasn't been an issue.
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Old 06-04-06, 07:26 PM
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its always a good idea to ride with clips and straps for awhile until you get really used to it, and accel as much as possible without having to buy anything fancy. dont get ahead of yourself. walk before you run. also...this means , clips and straps on BOTH pedals. once you can get into the cages without looking, and you can keep a 23mph pace with minimal gear, then maybe step it up....

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Old 06-04-06, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by 531Aussie
you can't go past Shimano 105s (R540) for value, and the release tension can be loosened so much that you can get a foot out with just a flick of the ankle.
Mine are at the loosest setting and unclipping couldn't be easier.

However, you WILL fall when learning to ride clipless...no matter HOW MANY miles you have in.

It's usually when you don't plan your stop, and it's part of the game.

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Old 06-04-06, 09:18 PM
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BMX pedals. Firmly lock you to the pedal with any shoe or sandal that has a soft rubber sole. And, BMX pedals work reasonably well with even leather dress shoes if you use your bike to commute to work.
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Old 06-04-06, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by i killed judas.
are these easy to get in/out of. see what i am afraid of is, when i pull up to a red light and it eventually turns green, not being able to clip in all the way or not at all and end up falling in the middle of the intersection (would be very bad!!!)
Chances are you're going to fall at some point with clipless. I was pretty used to flipping my foot into my clips by the time I got my first pair but I still ended up falling after I was surprised when the lock fell off the back of my bike about a week after I got the pedals/shoes.

Everyone has at least one 'fell while at a dead stop' story, if you somehow escape that you'll really never quite fit in
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Old 06-05-06, 06:14 AM
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I started with Shimano SPDs and MTB shoes (Sidi Bullets). I put Shimano M424 pedals on my Bianchi Axis "commuter" bike because they have a resin cage around the clip and can be effectively ridden with non-bike shoes. My road bike has Shimano 520s which have proven to be convenient and durable. https://www.performancebike.com/shop/...egory_ID=10045

The Sidi Bullets give you the ability to walk around a bit while still having the hard sole of a road shoe.

And you WILL fall down at a stop the first day you ride clipless pedals. Don't worry, I heard it doesn't hurt.

Good riding,
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Old 06-17-06, 02:30 PM
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I'll second the Speedplay easy in & out ... put them on and loved them. Easy to use, and the float is nice on my knees.
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Old 06-17-06, 02:30 PM
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I'll second the Speedplay easy in & out ... put them on and loved them. Easy to use, and the float is nice on my knees.
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Old 06-17-06, 02:36 PM
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This is what I use. It's light, easy to use, cheap, and best of all...
you can use Mtn bike shoes and walk without endangering your life.

https://www.rei.com/product/47919226.htm

With shoes fit is everything. You have to try a bunch and get the one
that fits like a glove while remaining comfy. Having said that, Lake
makes good cheap shoes, as does Shimano and a few others.
You just have to go from bike shop to bike shop looking for a good fit.
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