Cleats - whats that about then?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
User avatar
meic
Posts: 19355
Joined: 1 Feb 2007, 9:37pm
Location: Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen)

Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby meic » 8 Dec 2013, 8:56pm

Speaking from being rather too experienced at crashing motorbikes but not having crashed a cycle for decades, I would say there is a big difference.
A motorbike is bigger and heavier than the rider and you really want to get away from it in a crash scenario. A cycle is a flimsy little frame and it will just follow the much larger mass of the cyclist (or not) and do less harm than other roadside furniture. You wouldnt suffer much from having it remaining stuck to your feet.

I think all cleats would pull out before doing injury to a cyclist.
Yma o Hyd

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 50977
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby Mick F » 8 Dec 2013, 9:07pm

mmmmm .........

When I came off a few years ago after hitting a big pothole, I remained clipped in as I slid along on my side.

Why?
Because I was more concerned about Bike than I was about myself. I held onto the 'bars and left my feet clipped in and slid backwards for 50 to 100yds. Bike was unscathed - except for having two wrecked wheels. :oops:

Maybe I could have unclipped, but I didn't even try, preferring to stay seated. Honestly, when I came to rest, I was still in the saddle with my feet clipped in and my hands on the 'bars. The mere fact that my left thigh was rubbed raw and my left elbow had a hole in it was besides the point! :D
Mick F. Cornwall

profpointy
Posts: 519
Joined: 9 Jun 2011, 10:34pm

Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby profpointy » 8 Dec 2013, 9:19pm

To get back to the orignal poster's question, and away from assinine comments suggesting driving into someone as an experiment, the simple answer is that clipless has pretty much all the benefits of toe-clips and straps - superior in many ways in that you are more secure than toe clips AND much much easier to clip in, and at least arguably slightly easier to clip out. However you need the dreaded "special shoes". Of course you also have some of the dis-benefits of toe clips - but this is a journey you've already made, so irrelevant.

Mountain bike style spds (be they shimano, or crank brothers or whoever) can be used with shoes that are reasonably ok to walk in. This is what i've got for my road bike(s). Road style have different shoes and cleats and essentially can't be walked in - but are alledgedly slightly more efficient.

Despite hating the special shoes thing, i am convinved by mountain style spds, crank brothers egg beaters in my case, which i find lovely to use being 4 sided, but are overpriced and less robust than they should be. Shimano dual sided spd are exceptionally well priced, and pretty good. I'd not personally bother with the spd one side, flat the other if you're already sold on toe clips, as the pedal is wrong way up half the time. That said it is an option if you sometimes want to do casual riding with ordinary shoes say - but then there's no toe clips either.

Brucey
Posts: 42952
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby Brucey » 8 Dec 2013, 9:27pm

jimmy M wrote:.... If i were to change to cleats do i have to use special shoes just to cycle in?


Yes.

But if you use SPDs they are also good to walk in, too.

'Road Clipless' pedals (with three bolt cleats) mostly are variants of the original Look system and are not good to walk in at all.

There are two or three other systems that also have a small recessed two-bolt cleat (like SPDs) but none (IMHO) are appreciably better than SPDs and all are more expensive. So SPDs are a good choice for the majority of offroad and non-competition road cyclists. Genuine shimano SPD pedals consistently have good quality bearings in them, where some SPD copies are OK but many have cheap draggy bearings, optimistically described as 'sealed bearings' in many cases.

Good SPD shoes are stiff enough in the sole that they are comfortable to cycle in (you don't 'feel the cleat' through the shoe) but flex enough in the sole that you can walk in them. When they first came out I thought this would be impossible (and in fairness, some shoes did break early on...) but they seem to have it taped these days. MTB race shoes are almost as stiff as road racing shoes but you can walk in them; brilliant.

As suggested upthread, if you want to try these, get a set of PD-M520s (they should come with cleats) and a decent set of SPD shoes that fit you. Be a little wary of 'leisure' styled SPD shoes because the soles in some models are not as stiff as they should be, which can eventually cause trouble when cycling.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

mercalia
Posts: 14578
Joined: 22 Sep 2013, 10:03pm
Location: london South

Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby mercalia » 8 Dec 2013, 9:48pm

meic wrote:Speaking from being rather too experienced at crashing motorbikes but not having crashed a cycle for decades, I would say there is a big difference.
A motorbike is bigger and heavier than the rider and you really want to get away from it in a crash scenario. A cycle is a flimsy little frame and it will just follow the much larger mass of the cyclist (or not) and do less harm than other roadside furniture. You wouldnt suffer much from having it remaining stuck to your feet.

I think all cleats would pull out before doing injury to a cyclist.


I think the fear in my mind is that the bike will drag u also under the wheels of the HGV if the decleating fails - the bike gets ensnared.

that u think the cleats would pull out is a hope I think rather than a certainty?

JohnW
Posts: 6450
Joined: 6 Jan 2007, 9:12pm
Location: Yorkshire

Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby JohnW » 8 Dec 2013, 10:21pm

coast 2 coast wrote:.............Not every bike I own has indexed shifters..........


.......attaboy.......!!!!!

JohnW
Posts: 6450
Joined: 6 Jan 2007, 9:12pm
Location: Yorkshire

Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby JohnW » 8 Dec 2013, 10:24pm

meic wrote:.............means you can pull the pedal forwards, backwards and even upwards a bit, instead of just pushing down.


Meic - I've always done that, with traditional clips and straps - the feature is not unique to, nor was it invented by, clipless pedals.

JohnW
Posts: 6450
Joined: 6 Jan 2007, 9:12pm
Location: Yorkshire

Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby JohnW » 8 Dec 2013, 10:31pm

Brucey wrote:.........Most newbies do topple once or twice; about a week or two in when you think you have got it, you can get distracted and forget............I rode 20 years with clips and straps before converting to SPDs and (because the release is different with SPDs) I toppled with those, too.


I think that this is something that we may forget as we cycle the years away - I did the same when I first started with clips and straps - we have to get used to everything.........

Brucey
Posts: 42952
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby Brucey » 8 Dec 2013, 10:51pm

mercalia wrote: I think the fear in my mind is that the bike will drag u also under the wheels of the HGV if the decleating fails - the bike gets ensnared.

that u think the cleats would pull out is a hope I think rather than a certainty?


I've actually seen a girl on a bike get run over by an HGV making a left turn. The HGV driver decided to overtake 30 yards from the turning and got half way past the cyclist before turning sharp left. Both rider and bike went beneath the HGV. The bike was a normal upright bike with flat pedals. One of the rider's legs was under the bike; both were broken. I badly wanted to punch the driver's lights out because I saw the whole thing and I have never seen anyone do anything so callously stupid in my whole life. She was 'lucky' in that her injuries could have been far worse; the truck didn't run over her higher up her body.

In that case the pedals didn't make any difference whatsover, and I would assume that in most similar cases it wouldn't make any real difference either.

Maybe there is evidence somewhere from accident reports that may help form an accurate view.

My SPDs release incredibly easily now (the cleats are somewhat worn) but even when they were new and a little stiffer, they came undone everytime I pitched off my MTB when riding offroad. I've not made a habit of throwing myself down the road but I can't see my feet staying in them if I did.

I have a feeling that a lot of three-bolt pedal systems have a minimum tension setting that is a bit higher than SPDs.

I rode LOOK pedals for a while (back in the day) and they were certainly a bit stiffer to release, even when set to minimum.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

rfryer
Posts: 779
Joined: 7 Feb 2013, 3:58pm

Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby rfryer » 8 Dec 2013, 11:36pm

I use SPDs for commuting. I almost never have any issues with getting out of them in normal use. The only exceptions are when occasions when I'm thinking about it! A particularly effective way to do a prat fall is to unclip in advance, then accidentally clip in with realising and fail to subsequently lift my foot from the pedal. Or take out one foot, then topple over onto the clipped-in side.

However, I do have a recent real-life anecdote of being hit by a car while clipped in, and sent somersaulting across the road. As I remember it, one foot came unclipped, and the other stayed in. But as someone else mentioned, getting clear of the bike isn't such a big deal in a situation like that; it's better to know that the bike is safely between your legs than battering you on the head.

And for the record, I wasn't wearing a helmet (but didn't suffer any head injuries), and wasn't wearing high-vis (which I believe might have helped).

RJS
Posts: 256
Joined: 16 Feb 2013, 10:05pm
Location: Torbay

Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby RJS » 8 Dec 2013, 11:46pm

I think the uncliping, or not, is down to the individual, my feet naturaly turn outward, so I have to even after many years, quite consiously turn my foot, and it has to be at the bottom of the stroke, and yes especialy to start with I was the wrong way up several times :shock: By contrast my son has never ever been over he can unclip instantly any time, mountain bike or road pedals.
Cheers, Rob.

Mark1978
Posts: 4912
Joined: 17 Jul 2012, 8:47am
Location: Chester-le-Street, County Durham

Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby Mark1978 » 9 Dec 2013, 9:55am

I've crashed twice; once hit by a car, and the second, stupidy, crashed straight into a fence, both times I ended up on the deck with my feet detached from the pedals.

mercalia
Posts: 14578
Joined: 22 Sep 2013, 10:03pm
Location: london South

Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby mercalia » 9 Dec 2013, 10:25am

here is an interesting view on cleats and mtb-ing from 2011 - not that long ago?

http://www.mountainbikesapart.com/bike- ... ss-pedals/

I found when googling

some bad experiences both off road and in the comments on road ( Marg )

User avatar
Colin63
Posts: 1075
Joined: 31 Aug 2008, 9:46am
Location: Lancaster

Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby Colin63 » 9 Dec 2013, 10:38am

I use Shimano M324 clip less SPD/flat pedals on my road bike (see them here: http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/shim ... p-prod5937). For me they're the perfect pedal. Mostly I wear shoes with cleats, but when I'm riding around town - particularly in winter when I like to wear warm, heavy soled boots - I can wear normal footwear. The flat side nicely grips the sole pattern of my boots.

eileithyia
Posts: 8131
Joined: 31 Jan 2007, 6:46pm
Location: Horwich Which is Lancs :-)

Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby eileithyia » 9 Dec 2013, 11:32am

Have to smile at all this, far too much conversation yesterday while I was out, why was no else riding their bikes it was Sunday after all :lol: When Look style road pedals came in, I found myself being left behind in road race bunches; as the race started all the girls were click click click and off, while I was still trying to pull up my toe straps...
Converted to road pedals, used them on my commute to get used to clicking in and out... absolutely no problems once used to them... found them a bit tedious for touring / off road, so converted to spd's for every other bike I ride apart from race bike.. would never look back.

Urban cycling; am doing this all the time with my commutes and no issues. spd's at least are easier for walking around at cafe's, in out of work, when shopping, when you need to walk on off road segments.

Accidents; have had 3 accidents with cars over the years while using some form of clipless pedal, have no idea what happened to the bike just know that each time I was actually detached from the bike as when I was picking myself up from the ground.
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells