Cleats - whats that about then?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
User avatar
Si
Moderator
Posts: 15184
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 7:37pm

Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby Si » 9 Dec 2013, 11:41am

mercalia wrote: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 )


Nope, don't buy it. SPDs, when set up properly with the right cleats and the right amount of float can actually be a lot better for your knees than flats as they allow the foot to change position during the pedal stroke whereas with flats, and straps especially, the foot stays in the same place..i.e. no dynamic float.

As for his discussion of the crash - basing his whole opinion of the pedals on one occurrence...a little naive, especially as we have no idea on the guy's set up, whether he was used to the pedals or how tight he had the releases set.

Tell you what...what if we were to recount all of the injuries due to people slipping off flat pedals, which vastly outnumber those where the rider happened to have SPDs,...would you then decide that flat pedals are too dangerous to use? Would you?

No, look at the 100s of 1000s of people using clipless pedals and then look at how few actually claim that the pedals made a crash worse (then discount those who weren't used to them, weren't using them properly, or just doing something else silly), compare that to the numbers who have never had any problem with them (like, apparently, virtually all the people in this thread who have actually used them properly).

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, 11:54am

Does it count if you hadn't tightened your cleat properly and thus couldn't get your foot out of the pedal and spent 15 minutes faffing with it at the sportive rest stop resulting in missing out on those lovely fig rolls ? :(

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

Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby JohnW » 9 Dec 2013, 12:02pm

Brucey wrote:
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...............


Yes - that's HGVs for you. The driver didn't try to kill the girl because of the types of clips she was riding - it was just in his nature.

A similar thing happened in a neighbouring city last year, but that time the HGV driver succeeded in ripping off one of the girl's legs.

Recently an HGV overtook a cyclist local to me who was riding in the cycle lane - the HGV overtook him and then pulled over into the cycle lane. The cyclist's legs were smashed. The HGV driver is still driving.

We could all tell tales about HGVs - but it's a subject for another thread.

The same thing can happen with clips and straps - if your straps are too tight. HGVs don't care what type of clips you're using.

niggle
Posts: 3424
Joined: 11 Mar 2009, 10:29pm
Location: Cornwall, near England

Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby niggle » 9 Dec 2013, 12:03pm

Mark1978 wrote:Does it count if you hadn't tightened your cleat properly and thus couldn't get your foot out of the pedal and spent 15 minutes faffing with it at the sportive rest stop resulting in missing out on those lovely fig rolls ? :(

You should have just taken your foot out of the shoe and hopped to the fig rolls: food is far too important to let dignity get in the way :wink:

MartinC
Posts: 1909
Joined: 10 May 2007, 6:31pm
Location: Bredon

Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby MartinC » 9 Dec 2013, 12:24pm

I use bikes with flat pedals, rat traps with half clips, quills with toe straps, SPD's and Look Keos so I don't have any particular axe to grind. They are all useful and beneficial depending on what usage the particular bike has and they all have drawbacks depending on the use case too. The safety issues with flat pedals are that you're not in such close control of the bike, your foot can slip off the pedal (unless you've got a single chainring you should use a chainguard if you're risk averse) and you can't respond quickly in traffic because you can't pick the pedal up without putting your foot under it first.

Sure you need to learn how to use clipless pedals but it's fairly dumb argument against them. Setting off on a bike without learning how to ride it first is an even riskier enterprise so if having to learn a skill is a constraint then you wouldn't be riding a bike anyway.

Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 18748
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby Vorpal » 9 Dec 2013, 12:53pm

mercalia wrote: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 )


As someone who doesn't get along with cleats, I must say that safety did not factor at all into my decisions. If anything, I think that they are an advantage in that regard. I have some scars on my shins from pedal slip :oops:

I had several minor injuries as a youth, pretending to be a professional BMX rider, doing jumps and all that on cheap flats. :D

The worst one, I did as an adult; a rat trap type pedal dug into my shin when my wet shoe slipped off the back, trying to get started on an uphill. :oops: :evil: That prompted one of my forays into clipless systems.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 16717
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby mjr » 9 Dec 2013, 2:27pm

MartinC wrote:The safety issues with flat pedals are that you're not in such close control of the bike, your foot can slip off the pedal (unless you've got a single chainring you should use a chainguard if you're risk averse) and you can't respond quickly in traffic because you can't pick the pedal up without putting your foot under it first.

This is probably the other "dumb argument" made about clips/clipless pedals! I've only had my foot slip off a pedal when I missed and pushed down when my foot was only on the edge of it - and I've seen people do similar with SPD when they've not engaged the clip fully and just skidded across the pedal. And who needs to put their foot under a pedal??? Just push the other pedal down instead! They're linked, you know.

Anyway, I wasn't asking about the infrequent crashes that look clip-inspired or clip-assisted as a dumb argument against them: just that I didn't understand those crashes in light of comments here and thought readers might have some insight.

I'm quite happy now I've got extreme flats (commuter flats) but I'd always like to understand more about other bikes and think every rider should use what makes them feel happiest, but it does seem like the different pedal systems are best for different people and no one system is "better" for everyone.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

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 » 9 Dec 2013, 3:03pm

mjr wrote: And who needs to put their foot under a pedal??? Just push the other pedal down instead! They're linked, you know.
Yes, they are linked, but you can't push down with the right foot when you're leaning on your left foot on the ground - maybe on the kerb.

I'm one of those strange people who ALWAYS pedals off with the right foot. If the left foot is on the ground, the right foot is ready to pedal, and the right foot has to lift the right pedal to the correct position. Having the right foot clipped in makes this easy.

Maybe you pedal away with either foot?
I certainly don't.
Mick F. Cornwall

User avatar
feefee8
Posts: 207
Joined: 31 Jul 2013, 1:35pm
Location: Fort William

Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby feefee8 » 9 Dec 2013, 3:10pm

Mick F wrote:
mjr wrote: And who needs to put their foot under a pedal??? Just push the other pedal down instead! They're linked, you know.
Yes, they are linked, but you can't push down with the right foot when you're leaning on your left foot on the ground - maybe on the kerb.

I'm one of those strange people who ALWAYS pedals off with the right foot. If the left foot is on the ground, the right foot is ready to pedal, and the right foot has to lift the right pedal to the correct position. Having the right foot clipped in makes this easy.

Maybe you pedal away with either foot?
I certainly don't.


I'm the other way; my right foot always goes down. I'm not a clipless rider but it wouldn't make any difference. If I tried putting the left foot down, I'd be confused at best and most likely off the bike at worst. I can't even dismount from that side although I feel I should maybe remedy this as I feel so one footed; never quite get around to it though :shock:

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

Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby mercalia » 9 Dec 2013, 3:48pm

Si wrote:
mercalia wrote: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 )


Nope, don't buy it. SPDs, when set up properly with the right cleats and the right amount of float can actually be a lot better for your knees than flats as they allow the foot to change position during the pedal stroke whereas with flats, and straps especially, the foot stays in the same place..i.e. no dynamic float.

As for his discussion of the crash - basing his whole opinion of the pedals on one occurrence...a little naive, especially as we have no idea on the guy's set up, whether he was used to the pedals or how tight he had the releases set.

Tell you what...what if we were to recount all of the injuries due to people slipping off flat pedals, which vastly outnumber those where the rider happened to have SPDs,...would you then decide that flat pedals are too dangerous to use? Would you?

No, look at the 100s of 1000s of people using clipless pedals and then look at how few actually claim that the pedals made a crash worse (then discount those who weren't used to them, weren't using them properly, or just doing something else silly), compare that to the numbers who have never had any problem with them (like, apparently, virtually all the people in this thread who have actually used them properly).


lots of unsubtantiated claims here. I played devils advocate in the first instance becuase I knew there would be a lot of riders here would not even consider that cleats had a darker side, that sensible people are immune( we are all sensible people right?) . From what I can make out the guy in the blogg is/was an experienced trekker/trail rider and the way I read it that the accident with his friend was what finally made up his mind. It warrants a pause for thought and not be dismissed out of hand. That there is a risk factor in using cleats. Only how much?

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

Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby Brucey » 9 Dec 2013, 3:59pm

mercalia wrote: ... there is a risk factor in using cleats. Only how much?


er, less than not using them...?

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

User avatar
Si
Moderator
Posts: 15184
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 7:37pm

Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby Si » 9 Dec 2013, 4:02pm

Some what less than the risk factor in not using them I would say.....once you have learned to use them.
You seem to still be relying on a handful of cases where we don't know that facts versus a substantially larger number of cases where we do know the facts, the facts being that people crashed while using SPDs and the crash was not made worse by the use of SPDs. If people were really getting their legs ripped off left, right and centre, by use of SPDs I think that it would have clearly come to light many years ago.....unless it's all a big conspiracy by the dark lords at Shimano.....come in Mulder...we need you now.

User avatar
feefee8
Posts: 207
Joined: 31 Jul 2013, 1:35pm
Location: Fort William

Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby feefee8 » 9 Dec 2013, 4:04pm

Brucey wrote:
mercalia wrote: ... there is a risk factor in using cleats. Only how much?


er, less than not using them...?

cheers


That surely depends on each individual rider?

User avatar
Si
Moderator
Posts: 15184
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 7:37pm

Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby Si » 9 Dec 2013, 4:15pm

Mick F wrote:
mjr wrote: And who needs to put their foot under a pedal??? Just push the other pedal down instead! They're linked, you know.
Yes, they are linked, but you can't push down with the right foot when you're leaning on your left foot on the ground - maybe on the kerb.

I'm one of those strange people who ALWAYS pedals off with the right foot. If the left foot is on the ground, the right foot is ready to pedal, and the right foot has to lift the right pedal to the correct position. Having the right foot clipped in makes this easy.

Maybe you pedal away with either foot?
I certainly don't.



<shoves tongue in cheek> People not being able to get their pedals set properly is my bug bear (and probably that of a lot of other instructors who work with kids)....oh the amount of faffing when there's a line of ten of them at a give way all trying to work out which is their left and right foot..... Those that stop, put their left foot down, realise that the pedal isn't at 2o'clock, so then have to put their right foot down so they can then push the pedal with their left foot, then put their left foot down so they can get their right foot back on the pedal.....aaahhhhh the gods give me strength :evil: :evil: :evil: And as for those who have to put both feet down and then reach down with their hands to put the pedals in the correct position.....come the revolution, up against the wall......

It's so simple, as you come to stop, revolve your pedals so they are at 2 o'clock, then the moment you stop put one foot down, thus leaving your other foot on the pedal at 2o'clock and ready to go. Why make it any more complicated?

Even those that can't do this (and there really is no reason why one shouldn't be able to do it in normal riding conditions), all you have to do is put one foot down, hook the toe of the other foot under its pedal and rotate it to the right position - takes no time at all....so why all the faffing with hopping from one foot to the other?

At least they have changed the National Standards so that you are now allowed to put your right foot on the ground and leave your left foot on the pedal....which does help some people who just can't do it the proper way (left foot on the pavement means that, in theory, if you fall over you are more likely to fall onto the pavement rather than into the road). </tongue in cheek>

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 16717
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby mjr » 9 Dec 2013, 4:31pm

Mick F wrote:Maybe you pedal away with either foot?
I certainly don't.

Ah, yes, I do - I think which foot I put down may depend which way the road slopes - plus I think I nearly always stop with my foot just behind vertical before I put it on the road, which helps to put the other foot in the right position for starting off.

I guess there's some technique for all pedals...
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.