Cleats/cage?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Johnhewitson
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Joined: 9 Jun 2021, 9:06pm

Cleats/cage?

Post by Johnhewitson »

Hi everyone, I've currently got the toe cage on my road bike pedals but someone told me it's much better to get cleats. Is there much of a difference between these? I've got the cage on my pedals quite tight so there isn't really much foot movement on the pedal.
Thanks,
John.
nirakaro
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Re: Cleats/cage?

Post by nirakaro »

Horses for courses! Most serious cyclists seem to prefer cleats, but I tried them and couldn't get on with them – it was the clipping in, not the unclipping, that bothered me. Especially in traffic, it always seemed to take several tries, and was more trouble than it was worth. I went back to toeclips. YMMV.
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531colin
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Re: Cleats/cage?

Post by 531colin »

Johnhewitson wrote: 25 Sep 2021, 11:38am Hi everyone, I've currently got the toe cage on my road bike pedals but someone told me it's much better to get cleats. Is there much of a difference between these? I've got the cage on my pedals quite tight so there isn't really much foot movement on the pedal.
Thanks,
John.
This is debated endlessly on here....if you search, you will find lots to read, mostly entrenched opinions!.
Basically, it depends what you prefer; having ridden most of a lifetime with toeclips, I now won't change back, I much prefer my double-sided SPDs.....but you will have to try for yourself!
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freiston
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Re: Cleats/cage?

Post by freiston »

I'll assume that you mean clipless cleats/pedals like Shimano SPD.

Like nirakaro said, horses for courses but I prefer clipless to clips. For me, I find them a lot easier than toeclips - they don't bash on the ground or the front mudguard when wheeling your bike, you don't have to keep reaching down to tighten/loosen the strap (or alternatively keep it loose) and there's more "float" (unless you have your toeclip strap loose and your soles don't lock onto the pedal edge). A downside is that you need a special shoe and some of them can be difficult to walk in when off the bike ("road" systems suffer from this more as opposed to "mtb" type systems). There are pedals that take clipless cleats one side only - so you can wear either the cleated shoes or other shoes.

From what I gather, a common issue for newcomers to cycling is struggling with engaging/disengaging the shoe with clipless systems, often leaving it too late or forgetting to do it but if you're already used to having to engage/disengage with toeclips, you might find this more second nature if you do make the transition (I did).

I went out on my folding bike (flat pedals) today for the first time in a few months and kept lifting my feet off the pedals.
Disclaimer: Treat what I say with caution and if possible, wait for someone with more knowledge and experience to contribute. ;)
bjlabuk
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Joined: 9 Jul 2021, 1:44pm

Re: Cleats/cage?

Post by bjlabuk »

You can get Cleat covers (eg https://www.wiggle.co.uk/shimano-spd-sl ... eat-covers) which make it easier to walk with Shimano SPD-SL cleats and also protect the cleats from damage. I have fallen off bikes fitted with pedal cages and with SPD-SL pedals! It is a skill that seems to come naturally to me LOL ! It is always the unexpected situation that will catch you out.
Last edited by bjlabuk on 25 Sep 2021, 10:09pm, edited 1 time in total.
eileithyia
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Re: Cleats/cage?

Post by eileithyia »

Clips save you leaning down and tightening / untightening the straps. They are easy to get used and would recommend spd double sided pedals or mountain bike type pedals and shoes, it's easier to get started with the clipping in and out and not having to get the pedals in the right position, esp in traffic.... also you can walk around in the shoes and can get shoes that look like trainers and therefore more normal for going into cafes / shops etc
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Mick F
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Re: Cleats/cage?

Post by Mick F »

Back (my) olden days, I had Campag pedals with straps and cleats.
Put cycling shoes in, and the cleat engaged with the rear plate of the pedal. The cleat was a plastic screwed-on plate with a slot that fitted the rear plate.

In order to get out, you had to release the strap to lift off the foot/cleat. If you didn't release the strap, you were solid into the pedals, and you fell over! :lol:

These days, "cleats" are very different things.
They engage with the pedal, and you twist out to get out.
Simple and easy.

These were mine.
campagnolo-victory-pedals-2_2.JPG
Mick F. Cornwall
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531colin
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Re: Cleats/cage?

Post by 531colin »

eileithyia wrote: 25 Sep 2021, 5:41pm Clips save you leaning down and tightening / untightening the straps. They are easy to get used and would recommend spd double sided pedals or mountain bike type pedals and shoes, it's easier to get started with the clipping in and out and not having to get the pedals in the right position, esp in traffic.... also you can walk around in the shoes and can get shoes that look like trainers and therefore more normal for going into cafes / shops etc
cleats, Shirley? You only have straps with (toe)clips.
BerlinMatt
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Re: Cleats/cage?

Post by BerlinMatt »

I've been experimenting with Half Clips this summer and I really like them. you're not locked in with the pedals but I'm not scared of my foot slipping off whilst riding in a group.
Pedal.jpg
Normally I ride SPD-SL but I find on longer rides my knees go to pot. I haven't noticed a big drop in speed although I would guess they are less efficient whilst going up steeper hills. I will need to summon the motivation to do a 600km brevet and see if it really is the clip-less pedals that are to blame.
Psamathe
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Re: Cleats/cage?

Post by Psamathe »

I've used toe clips for quite a few years and like them. I'm not looking for efficiency in terms of pulling-up (on the up side), just something to keep my foot in place - so I don't bother tightening the straps (they are probably far too lose). Got used to putting feet in so it's automatic, don't have to look or anything.

Just started SPDs but on recumbent so for very different reasons. So far I'm not keen - don't like walking around in the shoes. Clipping in and out is OK and I'm sure will get easier fairly quickly. Unsure as there is no float and currently don't know how to put float into it (I like being able to move my foot around). But early days and it's pretty well a requirement on a bent so I don't focus on the negatives.

I need new pedals on my DF and my thought (now I have a pair of SPD shoes) was to go with double sided pedals. But I think I'll stick to toe-clips.

Ian
djnotts
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Re: Cleats/cage?

Post by djnotts »

Half-clips for me on any type of bike. All that is needed to prevent feet sliding off pedals, especially on the wet.
That being fixed to the pedal adds uplift to effort is pretty much manufacturer's spiel.
keyboardmonkey
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Re: Cleats/cage?

Post by keyboardmonkey »

In the olden days I had toe clips and straps, and when I got back in to cycling around twelve years ago I carried on the same with a new bike - although I was wary of fastening them up, which rather did away with the point of them. But then I went over to SPD-SL for all my ‘clipless’ bikes, including my 80s tourer (in part because I’m too tight to buy different shoes for different types of bike). However, when I pilot the tandem it’s half clips for me (the stoker can choose whichever pedals she/he wants).

This discussion on SPD-SL versus SPD may be of interest:

https://road.cc/content/buyers-guide/sp ... als-232671
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NUKe
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Re: Cleats/cage?

Post by NUKe »

After 30 years of riding cleats I have recently gone back to flats. Cleats are overrated, I am just as fast on MTB flats and I can change foot position to alleviate the dreaded hotspot.
NUKe
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PJ520
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Re: Cleats/cage?

Post by PJ520 »

I use cleats myself; having said that the thrill of not being able to take your feet off the pedals while stationary at a traffic light is not to be missed.
You only live once, which is enough if you do it right. - Mae West
pwa
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Re: Cleats/cage?

Post by pwa »

I have used half clips and they work well. I did once get a shoe lace caught on the end of one, which created an interesting moment, but the main problem for me was that I wanted to use overshoes in the rain and they would be damaged by any type of clip. So for a couple of decades or more I have been using SPDs.
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