Cleats - whats that about then?

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

Postby squeaker » 8 Dec 2013, 9:50am

Drake wrote:But are mtb cleats the same as the ones used on road machines?
Quick answer 'no', off-road cleats are recessed into the shoe sole, road cleats stick out (and the shoe soles are stiff) hence the roadie duck waddle).
Longer answer, if you want to walk any distance in comfort get off-road cleats and off-road shoes, which have more flexible soles, as well as recessed cleats. There's nowt stopping you using off-road cleats on-road: for example my favorite pedal on my 'bents is Shimano's single sided A520, if for no other reasons that it dangles at the right angle for quick engagement, and you don't want your feet falling off the pedals on a 'bent trike ;) Road shoes / cleat systems are supposed to help you get more power to the pedal, due to their stiffness.
As for will cleats help off road, I'd say it depends. Some of my acquaintances prefer sticky shoes and spiky pedals, for some of the more technical trails. Personally I still prefer simple double sided clipless pedals (eg Shimano 520) for trail riding, just to help keep my feet on the pedals, but as I'm rubbish on anything technical I end up un-clipping if the riding gets tricky, in case it all goes pear shaped, (and sometimes clipping in again, by accident), so understand where the sticky sole brigade are coming from - no idea what the latter are like to walk in for any distance though.
HTH
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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 8 Dec 2013, 9:58am

lidl/aldi shoes, pair of shimano 520??

you've got a test for ~£35

I find it hard without them now, my feet leave the pedals every turn. I can manage on a bromoton (ridden as a sit up and beg, in a suit)
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

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Mick F
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby Mick F » 8 Dec 2013, 10:54am

[XAP]Bob wrote:lidl/aldi shoes, pair of shimano 520??
you've got a test for ~£35
Spot on!
Maybe even less if you buy secondhand pedals or even borrow a pair.

[XAP]Bob wrote:I find it hard without them now ............
Not only do I find it hard, I find it weird!
Like has already been said, I reckon that clipless is the best cycling development in 30years and I could manage without indexed and/or Ergos ........... but clipless? No way!
Mick F. Cornwall

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

Postby coast 2 coast » 8 Dec 2013, 12:26pm

Vorpal wrote:I have a hard time finding shoes that fit, and I've never found any that I can walk in.


Hans Christian Anderson wrote a story about you and called it "The Princess and the Pea".

For your information, I have never found a pair of lycra shorts with a faux-chamois insert in the seat area, that were particulary comfortable to walk around in either. But because I know they weren't designed to be comfortable when walking around, I don't harbour unrealistic expectations about their performance. I know those same shorts are going to be supremely comfortable when on the bike. It is exactly the same with SPD shoes. You can walk around in them but they are never going to be as comfortable to you feet, as you favourite pair of carpet slippers.

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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby Vorpal » 8 Dec 2013, 1:40pm

coast 2 coast wrote:
Vorpal wrote:I have a hard time finding shoes that fit, and I've never found any that I can walk in.


Hans Christian Anderson wrote a story about you and called it "The Princess and the Pea".

For your information, I have never found a pair of lycra shorts with a faux-chamois insert in the seat area, that were particulary comfortable to walk around in either. But because I know they weren't designed to be comfortable when walking around, I don't harbour unrealistic expectations about their performance. I know those same shorts are going to be supremely comfortable when on the bike. It is exactly the same with SPD shoes. You can walk around in them but they are never going to be as comfortable to you feet, as you favourite pair of carpet slippers.


I don't believe that wanting comfort is harbouring unrealistic expectations.

They do make cycling shoes that appear to be okay to walk around in. But they don't fit me. Not even to wear in the shop. I don't know why most cycling shoes to don't fit me. They seem to run narrow. I do have a somewhat hard time finding regular shoes to fit me, but finding cycling shoes is worse. The only ones I've found that fit are Decathalon road shoes.

I tried the Specialized fitting system, and they advised me to have shoes form fit with some moulding process. But the cost was nearly £300, and I worried that I would spend so much money and still not have a workable solution.

The last couple of times I tried a clipless system, I tried the set-up on the turbo, but I never found anything that was satisfactory. I fiddled with position alot and couldn't find anything comfortable for me. Last time, a couple of years ago, I even recruited some help from a frame builder, and the position he suggested seemed okay on the turbo, but when I took the bike out on the road, I started cramping after about 7 or 8 miles. I thought maybe it was just because my muscles were unused the new position, but after a week or so, it still wasn't any better, so I gave up.

Clipless systems just don't work for some people. Maybe I'm one of them. I don't think it's a big deal, as they aren't high on my list of priorities. But you are welcome to think I'm being a princess. Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby les tocknell » 8 Dec 2013, 1:52pm

I use multi-directional release SM-SH56 SPD cleats and I swear by them. I used various single release SPDs for years but lost confidence after a non-cycling ankle injury. I swallowed the purist line that single release pedals were the only ones to use. After several slow speed falls I went for multi-release cleats with the pedals set to a low grip and I find I can still climb without pulling out accidentally but can bail out quickly when needed. I use Shimano shoes because they have a wide fit and the shoes are easy to walk in when touring and off-roading.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 8 Dec 2013, 3:14pm

Most cycle purists are wrong.

It might be that the 'princess' above needed much more float - there are systems which afford more float, but you need to afford them ;)

Cleats are good in many ways, they are not essential.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby JohnW » 8 Dec 2013, 3:32pm

There is a debate, but to answer your question Jimmy - they're not essential - I agree with Bob (above). I've never changed from clips and straps.

I've never ridden clipless, so I cannot compare the two philosophies objectively, but most of my cycling colleagues who are my age and younger have changed to clipless, and don't ride any faster than they did before and they're no fresher after 100 miles than they were before. I'm 70 now, so my most of my lone day rides are limited to about 140 miles day and I'm home a bit later than I was 20 years ago, but that's not due in any way to my choice of pedals/clips. I still keep up with the club-crowd who are on clipless.

I've nothing against clipless pedals, and I understand why, in theory they're more responsive, but I just can't be bothered to change - I really cannot see the point. Each to his own.

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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby mercalia » 8 Dec 2013, 3:51pm

I am surprised no one has said any thing about bike fitting and spds & knee . The bike has to be a really good fit and adjusted otherwise spds will be trouble?

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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby coast 2 coast » 8 Dec 2013, 4:27pm

I was a very early convert to the first generation SPDs, having never previously used clips and straps. I was immediately impressed with the greater improvements in efficiency over flat pedals. I doubt there is much, if any, difference in the efficiency between SPDs and clips and straps. However SPDs are undoubtedly safer, by virtue of the ability to un-clip almost instantaneously.

I used SPDs for many years untill damaging my knee and ripping out my tendons. Returning to my bike after various surgical operations to rebuild my knee, I found it could not now tollerate SPDs. I switched to Time Pedals, which function exactly the same way to SPDs but provide me with a litle more float. I have never looked back. I like them, my knee likes them, every bike I own has them. Most of them are double sided but some are single sided so I can wear normal shoes if I choose. Not every bike I own has indexed shifters.

So to answer your question Jimmy, they improve efficiency over flats but not necessarily clips and straps when they are pulled tight. They are a lot safer than clips and straps, when pulled tight but cost more, by virtue of having to buy a dedicated pair of shoes to ride in. Most people who try them don't think to go back. Most people who use them love them. There will allways be people who raise objections but if you have normalish shaped feet there are thousands of shoes to choose from.

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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby Mike Sales » 8 Dec 2013, 4:45pm

Damage to my right hip causes my knee to veer outwards as it rises. My left leg works in a lovely vertical plane (in my eyes at least) but the right moves in a plane more like the surface of crisp.
I decided on the Time ATAC system because it was said to give lots of float and allowed easier walking, with the recessed cleats.
It was a good choice. My right foot swivels on the pedal which gives an odd wear pattern on the brass cleat, but no knee problems.
I have done plenty of miles on ATACs.
As far as I know knee problems are caused by the more rigid, floatless systems.

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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby mjr » 8 Dec 2013, 4:53pm

Ice recently gone the other way, from spiky pedals to completely flat commuter pedals that use the sticky surfaces and textures to give fairly good grip. It's slightly swimmy in the wet but so were spikes. I do too much utility cycling to want clips or SPD (seen too many people fall over) and I'm sick of pedal spikes destroying shoe soles prematurely.
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby mercalia » 8 Dec 2013, 5:01pm

there is another issue that is worth noting considering the spate of ( urban )deaths. They are just not safe to use in an urban situation. I know some people here will say how quick they can un clip from spds. Not if you have an accident, you will go where the bike goes and probably get into a real tangle. I have had a couple of motor cycle accidents mainly due to diesel on the road - no contact with other vehicles, and u just dont have time to think anything, it just happens with u looking on; further more the bike went one way and me another, I rolled a bit and had no injuries. If you are attached to the bike u just cant do this. Any instinctive body movements are nullified

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Si
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby Si » 8 Dec 2013, 5:08pm

I've used SPDs since they first became popularly available. For years I would not have wanted to do any ride without them. In fact I tried some flat (standard shimano mtb ) pedals a couple of years ago, just for going to work and back, and hated them - not being able to pull on the up-stroke to put down that extra bit of power on a steep climb or in a sprint, and not having that nice assurance that my foot wouldn't slip off on rough roads/cycle tracks or in the rain....not to mention the discomfort from 'hot-foot' (using walking boots rather than cycling shoes).

This year...for the last three months or so, I've been using Wellgo flats (big platform, lots of gripping pins) together with Aldi cycling shoes. I have to say that they have performed much better than I imagined they would. For rides up to around 40 miles and with hills that don't get worse than 1 in 8 or so they have been virtually fine. Still get the odd little slip now and then but nothing like as bad as with the shimano pedals. Comfort is very good, as is convenience.

But I still feel much more confident with the SPDs and can sprint/climb faster with the SPDs too.

Horses for courses really.

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Si
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby Si » 8 Dec 2013, 5:13pm

mercalia wrote:there is another issue that is worth noting considering the spate of ( urban )deaths. They are just not safe to use in an urban situation. I know some people here will say how quick they can un clip from spds. Not if you have an accident, you will go where the bike goes and probably get into a real tangle. I have had a couple of motor cycle accidents mainly due to diesel on the road - no contact with other vehicles, and u just dont have time to think anything, it just happens with u looking on; further more the bike went one way and me another, I rolled a bit and had no injuries. If you are attached to the bike u just cant do this. Any instinctive body movements are nullified


Nope, totally wrong. In a crash you don't need to think about unclipping - it just happens by itself. Think about it for a bit - who were the first set of cyclists to use SPDs? Yep, MTBers. Who crash all the time? Yep, MTBers....so if people were getting stuck to their bikes due to using SPDs don't you think that MTBers would have given up with them ages ago? But, guess what...they haven't! That's because they know that in a crash they will get unclipped...indeed, in my experience, you are more likely to unclip from a SPD than you are to get out of a traditional clip and strap.

Sounds to me like you've not actually done much riding or crashing with SPDs - you'd have a much better idea about them if you did (the riding that is - I'm not wishing you to crash).