Cleats - whats that about then?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
JohnW
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby JohnW » 11 Dec 2013, 12:28am

mercalia wrote:.....................Yes often see those idiots at traffic lights with clipless doing balancing acts or riding around in small circles while waiting for the light to change.


...............yeah, but some of us used to do that before clipless was a twinkle in someone's eye - those who did it back then had fastened their straps very tight.............only once do I remember having my clips too tight, and that was in Hyde Park at the start of the second London-Brighton ride - and I felt such a twit. In fact, I felt an idiot, and I'd been riding long enough to know better.
Last edited by JohnW on 11 Dec 2013, 12:37am, edited 1 time in total.

JohnW
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby JohnW » 11 Dec 2013, 12:35am

rfryer wrote:
JohnW wrote:One thing that has surprised me about this thread is that there is not universal liking for the clipless.

That doesn't surprise me - there's a lot of resistance to new-fangled technologies on this forum. STI, carbon, clipless, etc, etc.

However if you look at the number of people that have given clipless a serious go, I get the impression that the number that subsequently return to alternatives is really quite low.


You're right there - I have a resistance to STI philosophy - I can't see the point nor the sense in it...............but each to their own. I don't resist it because it's new-fangled, but because it's expensive and I see no benefit.

As to clipless - well - I understand what its enthusiasts say, and I wouldn't say pointless but I'm in no hurry. I know quite a few who resist it or who, like me, just can't be bothered, but I don't think I know anyone who has returned to clips and straps having tried clipless.

coast 2 coast
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby coast 2 coast » 11 Dec 2013, 2:48am

PaulB wrote:My theory being that I will use the flat side of the pedal in town and flip the pedal over and clip in for long country rides. As the shoe cleat is recessed I can still use the shoes on the flat side of the pedal.


I'm betting your theory of how you plan to use your SPDs will go straight out the window, once you start using them. You will find yourself naturally and intuitively using them, at every single given opportunity. You will realize how much safer and in control you feel on the bike. Any hang-ups and fears you might imagine that exist in urban traffic, (through reading some of the nonsense on this thread), will quickly disappear.

I challenge you to make a future post on this thread denying this prophesy came true.

eileithyia
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby eileithyia » 11 Dec 2013, 7:55am

skicat wrote:
Mark1978 wrote:if you want to make the switch to SPD it's easier to do it with double sided pedals, as you don't have to go through finding out what way up the pedal is, flipping it over etc, literally just stamp in and go.


I can see the advantage of that, but I can also see it being useful to still have the flat pedal option if I want to just pop down to the shops without having to change to riding shoes. I only have the one bike.



Having driven to Cheshire and realised my cycling shoes were still at home.... I rode best part of 50 miles in my trainers on double-sided clipless pedals with no problems, ok I could not pull as used to but then you wouldn't with a flat sided pedal either.
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

LollyKat
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby LollyKat » 11 Dec 2013, 8:44pm

JohnW wrote:As to clipless - well - I understand what its enthusiasts say, and I wouldn't say pointless but I'm in no hurry. I know quite a few who resist it or who, like me, just can't be bothered, but I don't think I know anyone who has returned to clips and straps having tried clipless.


Vorpal is one:
Vorpal wrote:I don't find the clipless systems at all useful. I have a hard time finding shoes that fit, and I've never found any that I can walk in. I've never found a set-up that I'm happy with. I've made several attempts over the years.

I'm not the only one who doesn't think that they are the best thing since sliced bread. This thread also links to another....
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=78020

JohnW
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby JohnW » 11 Dec 2013, 11:53pm

LollyKat wrote:
JohnW wrote:......I don't think I know anyone who has returned to clips and straps having tried clipless.


Vorpal is one:
Vorpal wrote:I don't find the clipless systems at all useful..........I'm not the only one who doesn't think that they are the best thing since sliced bread............


Yes - true - but I was meaning those that I ride with.

I will tell you something that I definitely don't like - metal shards that jump up just as I put my brakes on, get caught between the block and the rim and then make a hole in my tyre sidewall. I know it is totally irrelevant to the thread, but just at the moment, I'm fuming and can't contain myself. I never heard of anything like it before - good job I was alone - unbecoming language and all that............

PaulB
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby PaulB » 12 Dec 2013, 12:08am

coast 2 coast wrote:
PaulB wrote:My theory being that I will use the flat side of the pedal in town and flip the pedal over and clip in for long country rides. As the shoe cleat is recessed I can still use the shoes on the flat side of the pedal.


I'm betting your theory of how you plan to use your SPDs will go straight out the window, once you start using them. You will find yourself naturally and intuitively using them, at every single given opportunity. You will realize how much safer and in control you feel on the bike. Any hang-ups and fears you might imagine that exist in urban traffic, (through reading some of the nonsense on this thread), will quickly disappear.

I challenge you to make a future post on this thread denying this prophesy came true.


If you read the whole of my posting again you will see that I have used SPD type pedals before but have found them (or the shoes) to be uncomfortable. I have had no problem clipping in or out but I cannot say I felt any safer or in control of the bike. I have yet to be convinced that securing your feet to the pedals offers any advantage other than preventing them slipping off. When I used clips and straps I had the straps very loose so it was no problem getting my feet in or out. The half clips on my folder were fine at stopping my feet from shifting on the pedals. The only reason I'm giving SPD pedals another go is because I've spent a lot of money on them - and the shoes! I hope I can become comfortable with them as my toes generally went numb and I experienced cramp in the soles of my feet with SPD. It may be the shoes rather than the pedals that caused the problem.

As for using the flat side of the pedal in town; I live near the edge of town and do not cycle into the city. My riding is purely for leisure along country lanes. However the short five minute ride out of the town involves several junctions and right hand turns where clipping in and out every 25 yards or so would be a pain. Once into the countryside I'll be clipping in. I still think we've been conned into using "clipless" pedals by clever marketing.

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Neilo
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby Neilo » 12 Dec 2013, 9:10am

I guess they are a bit like marmite, love them or hate them.
I have them on all my bikes. Road, mountain, tadpole trike.
I really like them on the mountain bike and the trike. I don't get bounced off the pedals, and I've found when climbing if it gets a bit stony or loose, you just keep turning and get through it, whereas those with flats have to dab a foot. On the trike I think they are essential, If you use flats and your foot comes off, you are likely to get what they call leg suck, where your leg gets caught under the front boom and could get broken.
I don't know if it would make much difference on the bike I use on the road, but I like them.
I did have a couple of clipless moments when I first used them, never fell over, but had a second of panic.
My advice is give them a go (give it a while to get used to them). You can get them pretty cheap on ebay, £1.50 for one pair I had. I think I paid about £20 for shoes from Lidl. If you like them, great. If you don't put it down to experience, someone will always buy them off you. I have only bought one set new, the others came from ebay.

Neil
If it aint broke, fix it til it is.

Brucey
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby Brucey » 12 Dec 2013, 12:30pm

PaulB wrote: .... The only reason I'm giving SPD pedals another go is because I've spent a lot of money on them - and the shoes! I hope I can become comfortable with them as my toes generally went numb and I experienced cramp in the soles of my feet with SPD. It may be the shoes rather than the pedals that caused the problem.


I think you are right to be suspicious of your shoes. You should perhaps be suspicious of your setup, too; about a third or maybe half of all the setups I see are in some way flawed. Some sources of SPD discomfort;

a) cleats set wrong on the shoe; there are three adjustments and they all need to be right.

b) shoe sole not stiff enough; I would always advise to buy stiff-soled shoes (e.g. MTB race shoes) rather than something with a less stiff sole. You should not be able to 'feel the cleat' through the shoe.

c) shoe upper the wrong shape

d) 'wide foot syndrome'

The last of these is more commonplace than you might think. I have quite narrow feet/shoes and they only just clear the crank with the cleat set properly on SPDs. If my feet were any wider I would have to use different cranks and/or pedal extenders. I see plenty of people who set the SPD cleat well inboard of where it should be ( i.e. at the exact centre of pressure) merely in order to gain crank clearance; this is a bad idea because the shoe bends outwards, and the foot can be subject to cramp because it is being loaded weirdly. SPD pedals come in two lengths; short and very short (Ultegra and Dura-Ace models, now NLA). Pedal extenders are not prohibitively expensive and are worth trying.

I still think we've been conned into using "clipless" pedals by clever marketing.


maybe. I think their plus points outweigh their minus ones for many cyclists
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Whippet
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby Whippet » 12 Dec 2013, 12:47pm

I've obviously been conned by the clever marketing too. Wouldn't be without my SPD pedals now.

reohn2
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby reohn2 » 12 Dec 2013, 1:01pm

PaulB wrote:.............. I still think we've been conned into using "clipless" pedals by clever marketing.

IMO clipless pedals and particularly double sided SPD type clipless used with recessed cleats are the best thing since sliced bread.
When set up right,my feet are in the perfect cycling position,fixed to the pedals and very comfortable,the breakaway from the pedal is the same action as putting my foot down ie;outward with my ankle to clear the pedal and then downward.there is enough float in the pedals when they're set with the natural pedalling position of the foot in the centre of the float area.
Shoes are important and stiff comfortable well fitting shoes are paramount,which is the same for any serious distance walking FTM.some one once told me to buy good shoes and a good bed,because if you're not in one you in the other :wink:
clips and straps unless you're use to them are far more likely to give problems when stopping andd starting.
Once I'd used clipless flat pedals were impossible to live with.
I ride in all kinds of situations,long stretches where I needn't unclip,heavy stop start traffic where I need to constantly clip in and out,off road technical situations where I need to unclip quickly to 'dab' a foot and get back in again quickly.
On the tandem we can get down to as little as 2mph I/we never feel there's a problem

I have no problem with any situation but then I've been using them for something like 18years I ride M520's,M725's and M424's all with single release SH51 cleats :D
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JohnW
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby JohnW » 12 Dec 2013, 2:33pm

PaulB wrote:............I still think we've been conned into using "clipless" pedals by clever marketing.


............."clipless" and so many other things..............

mercalia
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby mercalia » 12 Dec 2013, 3:10pm

So Lidl at one time sold very cheap clipless shoes? still do? any good?

mercalia
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby mercalia » 12 Dec 2013, 3:19pm

Brucey wrote:
PaulB wrote: .... The only reason I'm giving SPD pedals another go is because I've spent a lot of money on them - and the shoes! I hope I can become comfortable with them as my toes generally went numb and I experienced cramp in the soles of my feet with SPD. It may be the shoes rather than the pedals that caused the problem.


I think you are right to be suspicious of your shoes. You should perhaps be suspicious of your setup, too; about a third or maybe half of all the setups I see are in some way flawed. Some sources of SPD discomfort;

a) cleats set wrong on the shoe; there are three adjustments and they all need to be right.

b) shoe sole not stiff enough; I would always advise to buy stiff-soled shoes (e.g. MTB race shoes) rather than something with a less stiff sole. You should not be able to 'feel the cleat' through the shoe.

c) shoe upper the wrong shape

d) 'wide foot syndrome'

The last of these is more commonplace than you might think. I have quite narrow feet/shoes and they only just clear the crank with the cleat set properly on SPDs. If my feet were any wider I would have to use different cranks and/or pedal extenders. I see plenty of people who set the SPD cleat well inboard of where it should be ( i.e. at the exact centre of pressure) merely in order to gain crank clearance; this is a bad idea because the shoe bends outwards, and the foot can be subject to cramp because it is being loaded weirdly. SPD pedals come in two lengths; short and very short (Ultegra and Dura-Ace models, now NLA). Pedal extenders are not prohibitively expensive and are worth trying.


so many ways to get it wrong it seems & many do?. Strapless flats are self adjusting with no declipping issues 100% no failure rate & much cheaper. make u wonder why cleats ever caught on.

Mike Sales
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby Mike Sales » 12 Dec 2013, 3:38pm

mercalia wrote: make u wonder why cleats ever caught on.


Doesn't it? Perhaps people find that your problems with cleats are unimportant compared with the advantages they have. These have been discussed repeatedly above.