clipless or toe clips?

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lindsa
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clipless or toe clips?

Postby lindsa » 15 Feb 2012, 1:30pm

Hello.
I started using shimano spds back in the Summer and,despite,adjusting cleat fittings 3 or 4 times am still not convinced they have really improved my cycling.In fact,I seem to be getting more aches after rides-particularly across shoulders.(previously I could go for 4 or 5 hours with very little discomfort when I finished).I am now at the point of considering reverting to toe clips.
Any experiences,advice,thoughts would be much appreciated.
Thank you.

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meic
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Re: clipless or toe clips?

Postby meic » 15 Feb 2012, 1:50pm

A much disputed area. Here is an example of the many previous threads on the subject.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=20524&p=444202&hilit=toe+clips+pulling#p444202

As somebody who does very much like SPDs I would say that the majority find them beneficial and it is well worth sticking with them.

I cant see the connection with neck and shoulders. In my case it was cramps in the back of the thighs as I was using "new" muscles.
Yma o Hyd

DevonDamo
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Re: clipless or toe clips?

Postby DevonDamo » 15 Feb 2012, 2:00pm

You sound like you're more at the sporting end of cycling than me. Therefore, it would make sense for you to get a 'bike fit' from someone who knows their bike ergonomics. Making an adjustment in one interface can also necessitate an adjustment elsewhere.

For me, the decision between clips and cleats was easy - I use my bike for exercise and transport, and like to wear my everyday footwear on it, so I use toe-clips. Always have. I'm sure they're not as efficient as cleats, but that's not important to me as it doesn't matter if someone beats me to Tesco.

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Re: clipless or toe clips?

Postby Big T » 15 Feb 2012, 3:36pm

I too can't see how your shoulders are affected. It took me agers to get used to SPD's, they used to give me cramp in the front of my calves until I angled the cleats slightly to adapt a more natural (for me) foot position.
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bealer
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Re: clipless or toe clips?

Postby bealer » 15 Feb 2012, 3:49pm

I always go clipless. To the point I find it odd riding a bike without.

I had to go through the learning curve, namely stopping at the lights and not falling on my side. But after a while it became second nature. I clip in and out without having to think about it.

With regards to cycling I find it keeps my legs and especially ankles pedalling straight. Non of that rude-boy, hoodie bmx riding with my feet at 45 degree angles. I can also do full circle pedalling, ie pulling and pushing which I find very efficient when climbing.

I find pains depending on the shoes you use. Don't know about the shoulders though, I would think that's something else. I always use clipless MTB pedals and shoes. They often have a smaller area and softer shoe, so you can get foot ache. My current set up is fine though, I can cycle for 6+ hours without much pain in my feet.

I've never liked toe-clips. I find them lethal. I know it's probably no different from learning clipless, but I just find toe clips harder to get out of. They drag too on the ground if you're not in them and always try to turn the pedal upside down, so I'm left trying to spin the pedal round and get my foot in when setting off from the lights. Whereas clipless I can get in without looking or thinking beyond my sub conscious.

Malaconotus
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Re: clipless or toe clips?

Postby Malaconotus » 15 Feb 2012, 5:20pm

False dichotomy...

Image

Same weight as good SPDs. (380g per pair)
Sealed bearing, fantastic grip in all weathers.
No knee problems.
No need for special shoes.

Unless cycling cmpetitively, neither clips nor straps are necessary or desirable. (I used both for many years)

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al_yrpal
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Re: clipless or toe clips?

Postby al_yrpal » 15 Feb 2012, 5:34pm

I use SPDs on eggbeaters on the MTB. If I take a tumble its usually a soft landing. As you travel over roots and ruts its all too easy for your feet to get dislodged.

But on road bikes I have given SPDs up, I am just too doddery and slow to release them now. As for toe clips I always used to hate the things even when I raced in my youth.I think they are totally out of date anyway. The thing that made me get rid of SPDs was nearly falling off a small bridge in one of the Cotswold Slaughters, I overbalanced somehow, tried to get a foot down and only just made it. The water was only a foot deep but it was a long way down and would have been a nasty tumble. On the tourer I don't think they make a ha'peth of difference anyway.

As for those sharp grub screws in the photo above - absolutely lethal.

Al
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Brucey
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Re: clipless or toe clips?

Postby Brucey » 15 Feb 2012, 5:53pm

check your saddle height doesn't need to be different now because of the new pdeal/shoe thickness


and

make sure that you cleats are set right; if your foot feels like its trying to tip sideways (because the offset is wrong) you will tense up, and if the angle is wrong this will make you uncomfortable too.

(BTW flatties are OK for a few miles but I'd rather eat worms than use them all the time TBH)

hth

cheers
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scottg
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Re: clipless or toe clips?

Postby scottg » 15 Feb 2012, 6:02pm

There are a couple in between measures, half clips and power grips.

The Roller of half clips....
http://www.bgcycles.com/pedal-clip-combo.html
Hi-zoot copy of the Berthet pedal with ha-clips.

Power Grips are interesting,
http://kentsbike.blogspot.com/2005/11/power-grips.html
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Brucey
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Re: clipless or toe clips?

Postby Brucey » 15 Feb 2012, 6:05pm

al_yrpal wrote:I use SPDs on eggbeaters on the MTB. If I take a tumble its usually a soft landing. As you travel over roots and ruts its all too easy for your feet to get dislodged.

But on road bikes I have given SPDs up, I am just too doddery and slow to release them now.

As for those sharp grub screws in the photo above - absolutely lethal.

Al


I had release troubles for a while; just got more awkward for no good reason, and on some pedals was especially difficult. After a little head scratching I found two reasons;

1) some non-shimano pedals lacked the 'kicker ramps', which would have been OK but..

2) there was a small groove worn in the back of the cleat where the 'claw' bears normally. This made the release far more difficult/hit-and-miss than normal in genuine shimano pedals and nearly impossible in the non-shimano ones.

I just ground the back of the cleat back to remove the groove and the cleats are about 0.5mm shorter than they were but work just fine. I don't need to think about unclipping, they come out that easily and smoothly, better than new in fact.

you might find that you have slightly worn cleats in which case try what I did.

+1 on the studs BTW. Right ankle biters....

cheers
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ferrit worrier
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Re: clipless or toe clips?

Postby ferrit worrier » 15 Feb 2012, 6:19pm

When i got my new road bike in 2008 I requested toe clips, then I read a thread on here about SPD's that got me thinking! so I invested in a set. Brilliant, never looked back (except when overtaking) Far safer than clips I can get my feet off in a split second, no fumbling, trying to get feet into clips. As others have said make sure your cleats are aligned properly. I met a couple of guys in Kendal YHA who were complaining about theirs! sombody had told them that the feet should be pointing inwards :roll: I gave them a quick lesson in alignment with a sheet of paper, dangle foot over paper draw round that gives you the angle of the cleat to the shoe.

spdsw.jpg


note; in the drawing the right foot points out more than the left so the cleat has to be aligned to allow for this, keep the paper perpendicular to the body and the rest should be easy. :D

Hope all that helps

Malc
Percussive maintainance, if it don't fit, hit it with the hammer.

westofsouth
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Re: clipless or toe clips?

Postby westofsouth » 15 Feb 2012, 7:37pm

This combination works for me -

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/zefal-toe-clips/ - strapless version
http://www.wiggle.co.uk/mks-sylvan-touring-pedals/

On a recent group ride, a rider failed to unclip his SPD in time and knocked the woman alongside him off her bike. Her back wheel was also buckled.
Can't say I've noticed any superior hill-climbing performance of the average club rider equipped with SPD's :|

Malaconotus
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Re: clipless or toe clips?

Postby Malaconotus » 15 Feb 2012, 8:05pm

al_yrpal wrote:As for those sharp grub screws in the photo above - absolutely lethal.


They would be if your foot could slip off. But it can't. You have to lift your foot off the pedal; it cannot slide. After 2000 miles of on and offroad use I have never come close to being injured by the screws, although I've had several incidents where being attached to the pedals would have made things hairy. For hardcore mountainbiking with jumps and dropoffs and whatnot I would recommend shin pads, but for anything else they aren't necessary.

I do think that using SPDs improved my foot position and pedalling efficiency so they were a useful training aid. But the grip of BMX platform pedals enables the same spinning action without the clips.

Brucey
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Re: clipless or toe clips?

Postby Brucey » 15 Feb 2012, 8:11pm

Not everyone is as careful or lucky as you are.... I've seen people bark their shins on pedals just pushing the bike... those blighters would be lethal....

cheers
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alicej
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Re: clipless or toe clips?

Postby alicej » 15 Feb 2012, 8:12pm

westofsouth wrote:Can't say I've noticed any superior hill-climbing performance of the average club rider equipped with SPD's :|

I don't wear them for "performance", but I love them for being able to pull the right hand pedal up quickly when stop-starting a lot in traffic, and I also find I can use the right hand cleat to give myself an extra shove for acceleration when I'm getting going again after lights etc.

For a few weeks now I've had only the right cleat fitted, which gives me the best of both worlds as the left leg is the one I land on most often and I just have a flat pedal on that side, so no problem with not unclipping in time.