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Best clipless system for a beginner

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Best clipless system for a beginner

Old 08-11-11, 08:52 AM
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ladyroadie
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Best clipless system for a beginner

I've had my road bike for about 6 months, riding with toe clips, and am looking to go clipless. I stopped by my LBS and was a bit overwhelmed with the conversation. My understanding is that the LBS was recommending eggbeaters or SPDs for a beginner, but that both are to be used with MTB shoes, not road shoes (I think?), and that I'd lose some power transfer with this.

I'm not interested in racing, but I do go out riding with my husband and would like to be able to ride at his pace a little more (one of the main reasons I'm interested in the switch). I also don't want to repeat the expensive process I went through with bikes, quickly outgrowing my hybrid and in 6 months upgrading to a road bike. Would starting with the MTB shoes be a mistake, or is it not a real noticeable difference from road shoes?

We mostly do 30-50 mile rides out in the country, so I'm not too concerned about factors like walkability. I have another bike I can use for commuting. Easy maintenance is a factor, and since these are my first clipless pedals I'd like something without too steep a learning curve because I don't want to get frustrated and turned off altogether.

If anyone knows of any good overviews of the various systems, I'd greatly appreciate a link.
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Old 08-11-11, 08:59 AM
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renton
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I started riding last year. I got a pair of Shimano PD-R540 pedals and they are great, no complaints at all.
If money is no concern I would get the 105's though.
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Old 08-11-11, 08:59 AM
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tagaproject6
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There are so many and all claim to be the best. Speedplays come highly recommended, but some claim a modicum of maintenance, not the least expensive. Shimano SPD-SLs are also very popular.

https://www.roadbikereview.com/cat/dr...s_2503crx.aspx
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Old 08-11-11, 09:06 AM
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Learning how to use clipless regardless of the systems is much easier than ride a bike. I'll say go with the one within your budget and cheaper to replace the cleats. Like bike components, the costlier ones are lighter and smoother.
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Old 08-11-11, 09:06 AM
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my first clipless pedals, only 2mos ago, were looks (actually Forte' brand but use look cleats, virtually identical), I'm happy with em, easy in/out, no complaints...
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Old 08-11-11, 09:06 AM
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I voted for eggbeater
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Old 08-11-11, 09:10 AM
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look keo
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Old 08-11-11, 09:12 AM
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kahoon
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eggbeaters are great for a beginner, much simpler to clip and in and out of, and not necessarily a compromise from road systems. i use them for commuting, and don't feel that they are that much less efficient as my road setup. i use my commuter bike on rainy club rides, no issues there as well... good luck.
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Old 08-11-11, 09:21 AM
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I went with SPD (mountain bike) clipless for my introduction to bike pedals/shoes. They work very well. I really wanted to be able to walk in the shoes. I found some SPD bike shoes that don't look like hiking boots -- they look like bike shoes -- but they do have a rubber sole and I can put them on in the bedroom and walk to the Garage without worry. Plus they are easy to "unclip" and that's a concern when starting out.

For pedals I went with the half and half pedals from Shimano. One side is a flat metal pedal the other side is SPD clip compatible. I thought I'd want to have both. I was wrong. I don't ever use the flat side.
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Old 08-11-11, 09:24 AM
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SPD is easy to use and works well. It's also known as mountain bike system, but compatible and effective on road bikes. The platform is a bit smaller than road pedals, and some roadies say this makes less power, but I doubt that's significant. SPD will help you pedal more efficiently and keep pace with your husband better than platform pedals with clips. Your foot does not move around unnecessarily, but all movement is directed to the pedal. I notice a difference, compared to riding in running shoes, etc. SPD shoes with recessed cleats: can walk in them without tap-dancing or slipping and sliding of road cleats. They make SPD shoes that are like road shoes and others that are like hiking shoes. Shimano M-540 is a good value or starting point in SPD, because it's durable and has sealed bearings. There are many choices though. Eggbeaters are also designed to be easy to clip in, but I have no experience with them.

Last edited by justadude; 08-11-11 at 10:23 AM. Reason: ed
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Old 08-11-11, 09:30 AM
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You're going to be able to ride more at your husband's pace when you've been riding more and have gotten fitter AND he comes to his senses and slows down and teaches you how to draft. There are reasons to switch to clipless but every scientific study done on power transfer to pedals indicates there are no energy efficiency gains for clipless pedals over plain o' flat platform pedals.
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Old 08-11-11, 09:36 AM
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i'm brand new to road biking but have been an mtber for a long time. i bought a pair of eggbeater candys and use my mtb shoes on my new road bike. i was told that the difference in stiffness between newer mtb shoes and road shoes is negligible. plus i like to get off the bike a lot and walk around/ take breaks. i've been an eggbeater fan forever. can't really go wrong.
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Old 08-11-11, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by creativepart View Post
I went with SPD (mountain bike) clipless for my introduction to bike pedals/shoes. They work very well. I really wanted to be able to walk in the shoes. I found some SPD bike shoes that don't look like hiking boots -- they look like bike shoes -- but they do have a rubber sole and I can put them on in the bedroom and walk to the Garage without worry. Plus they are easy to "unclip" and that's a concern when starting out.
This is my story, too, except that I have no garage. I walk my bike up a flight of steps to get to the road, though, and I like stopping from time to time when I ride. There's a park about 15 miles south of me, a peninsula jutting into the lake, and sometimes I like to lay the bike down in the grass and walk along the shore for a few minutes, then get back on the bike and find another scenic spot.

I have carbon fiber soled mountain shoes. They're incredibly stiff. In fact, you can get SIDI Dominator and other road shoes, but with mountain hole patterns. That isn't what I have, but, if you go down a route like that, there's no power loss compared to road systems. I don't think you'll lose any noticeable amount of power anyway; shoe flex is more a comfort issue.

Go mountain if you want to be able to walk around easily, and road if you don't.
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Old 08-11-11, 09:47 AM
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I like my shimano 105 pedals. I bought them because the cleats are easier to walk in than some for short distances. I have been happy with them.
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Old 08-11-11, 09:50 AM
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I boarded the 'SPD for beginners' bandwagon but very quickly switched to SPD-SL, which I love.
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Old 08-11-11, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by MKahrl View Post
but every scientific study done on power transfer to pedals indicates there are no energy efficiency gains for clipless pedals over plain o' flat platform pedals.
Interesting. Do you have a link to any of those studies?
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Old 08-11-11, 10:03 AM
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I'd skip the SPDs and go straight to a road pedal/shoe combo. This is what I did. Total beginner on clipless and started with SPD-SL and Shimano R540 pedals. Got the hang of it within a day.
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Old 08-11-11, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by creativepart View Post
For pedals I went with the half and half pedals from Shimano. One side is a flat metal pedal the other side is SPD clip compatible. I thought I'd want to have both. I was wrong. I don't ever use the flat side.
Same here. I thought I would use the platform side but never did.

I just switched from SPD on MTB shoes to Speedplay Zeros. I wish I had started with the Speedplays. I had to buy new road shoes too, because the larger Speedplay cleats can't be used on MTB shoes.

What it comes down to is this: Do you want to get off your bike and walk around a lot? If yes, get MTB shoes/pedals. That is the only advantage they offer for a roadie. If no, get road shoes/pedals. I think Speedplays are easier than SPD-SL for a beginner because you never have to worry about what side of the pedal is up.
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Old 08-11-11, 10:10 AM
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when you buy shoes to go with the pedals, can you buy just about any cycling shoe and just install any cleat on them or do you have to find a shoe that is specifically compatible with your clipless pedal system?
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Old 08-11-11, 10:18 AM
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I use eggbeaters for everything. Love them.
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Old 08-11-11, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by surfer777 View Post
when you buy shoes to go with the pedals, can you buy just about any cycling shoe and just install any cleat on them or do you have to find a shoe that is specifically compatible with your clipless pedal system?
Road shoe cleats can be installed on just about every road shoe, although there are some exceptions. Buy them together or check with the manufacturer before purchasing. Same with MTB.
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Old 08-11-11, 10:23 AM
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It's the shoe, not the pedal, that makes for the efficiency. A carbon, or otherwise stiff, soled shoe will accomplish the goal. SPD's are walkable, so if you want to go into a store, pub, or even just a washroom without slipping, they're a better solution.
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Old 08-11-11, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by surfer777 View Post
when you buy shoes to go with the pedals, can you buy just about any cycling shoe and just install any cleat on them or do you have to find a shoe that is specifically compatible with your clipless pedal system?
different types of pedals have different types of cleats. shoes have fittings for the different cleats. not all shoes are compatible with all cleats and vice-versa. typically spd and road are not interchangeable.
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Old 08-11-11, 10:37 AM
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Look Keo Classic....they were my first pair, i haven't had a problem with them and they are very affordable.
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Old 08-11-11, 10:38 AM
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So if you buy clipless road pedals, buy road shoes (obviously) and check compatibility before you buy. Thanks for the info!
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