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SPDs and a Brompton

Posted: 21 Feb 2013, 10:42am
by SJSBrompton
I bought a pair of Specialised ladies cycling shoes in the recent Cycle Surgery sale, with the intent of, at some stage, fitting SPDs to my Brompton.

I currently suffer with slipping on the standard Brompton pedals, even with rubbery soled, stiff shoes (haven't tried the new shoes above on standard pedals). I change into heels at work anyway, so wouldn't be wearing the same shoes at work.

I also tend to slip forward on the pedal and pedal with the middle of the foot, rather than the front (I assume that the front part of the foot is supposed to be more efficient, which is why the pros have the little SPD type pedals). I have tried keeping the front part of my foot on the pedal - it feels a bit strange, but you can feel it is working better. Though I think in that position I would need the saddle a little higher.

A few folks seem to have fitted Shimano M520s (?) to their Bromptons successfully (though I guess mainly those who were already used to that type of pedal; maybe the Brompton was their second, commuter bike). They seem to be the best ones in terms of not increasing the width of the folded Brompton by too much, in lieu of the removal of the left hand folding pedal.

It probably seems silly, but my balance isn't always the best, and whilst I think I will be okay once rolling, I am worried about the whole clip out/in thing. I have several sets of traffic lights on my London commute (though it is at least flat - I found the old thread re: unclipping on hills very interesting). I really don't want to be a** over t*t on some of the busy junctions.

Any advice for a newbie to this type of thing?

Re: SPDs and a Brompton

Posted: 21 Feb 2013, 11:08am
by 531colin
With your foot further back, you need the saddle further back really, rather than further up.
520's are excellent pedals, I've never wanted to pay more. Ideally, get somebody who is used to them to put a few miles on your new pedals.....they get easier to get out of after a few miles. There is a tension setting, I always run on the lowest tension, it means my foot comes out in any emergency, but it stays in the rest of the time.

Re: SPDs and a Brompton

Posted: 21 Feb 2013, 11:13am
by Redvee
SJSBrompton wrote:I really don't want to be a** over t*t on some of the busy junctions.

Any advice for a newbie to this type of thing?


Going A over T is a rite of passage for clipless pedals, my first happened within 20 seconds of starting out :oops:

Re: SPDs and a Brompton

Posted: 21 Feb 2013, 11:22am
by SJSBrompton
If your foot is out (mine would be the left foot, leading with the right), and you can't clip back in successfully, can you just about get along with the front of the foot on what there is of the pedal, the SPDs are so small compared to a standard pedal. Do you clip back in on the top or bottom of the stroke?

I can't watch Youtube at work - I think there might be some guidance there when I get home.

Re: SPDs and a Brompton

Posted: 21 Feb 2013, 11:29am
by 531colin
After about 5 minutes use, you will just step on the pedal and click straight in. Its all a non- problem in use.

Re: SPDs and a Brompton

Posted: 21 Feb 2013, 11:34am
by SJSBrompton
Thanks Colin. I am probably worrying unnecessarily, I think it is because my balance away from lights etc isn't the best already, though I am okay once moving.

Re: SPDs and a Brompton

Posted: 21 Feb 2013, 12:07pm
by [XAP]Bob
It's not getting away that's the issue (in fact once you can clip in naturally you'll probably find it easier to get away) but coming to a stop, you have to remember to unclip before you stop.

Re: SPDs and a Brompton

Posted: 21 Feb 2013, 1:02pm
by Brucey
what I found (and others have also reported) is that you think you have it licked after a week or two, and then something unexpected happens, you get distracted, and then you have a daft topple moment.

cheers

Re: SPDs and a Brompton

Posted: 21 Feb 2013, 1:17pm
by Merry_Wanderer
I've had a Brompton now for a couple of years and swapped the standard pedals for Shimano M520 SPD's (taken from my MTB) after the same problems with feet slipping off the pedals. I've adjusted the SPD's to the lowest tension setting (as Colin suggests) and they're nice and loose to click out of when coming to a road junction etc but they're nice and stable when pedaling.

I'd suggest having a try on a quiet lane / car park somewhere till you get used to them and as other people have said, soon it's second nature. As Brucey said, the time to be wary is when you're coming up to a junction / traffic light etc. Remember to unclip before you get to a stop! Oh, and mind your shins when you carry the bike. I keep clonking mine with the
pedals :-D

Re: SPDs and a Brompton

Posted: 21 Feb 2013, 1:25pm
by TonyR
SJSBrompton wrote:If your foot is out (mine would be the left foot, leading with the right), and you can't clip back in successfully, can you just about get along with the front of the foot on what there is of the pedal, the SPDs are so small compared to a standard pedal. Do you clip back in on the top or bottom of the stroke?

I can't watch Youtube at work - I think there might be some guidance there when I get home.


I clip in at the top so the push down to click in is part of the down stroke. Its seems the natural way of doing it to me too.

As for not clipped in, I find you can quite happily and securely pedal along with the pedal lodged in the instep of the shoe. Useful if you miss clipping in first time or if you want to keep your foot unclipped for a while for some reason.

Re: SPDs and a Brompton

Posted: 21 Feb 2013, 2:10pm
by andrew_s
You could look at MKS Cube Ezy pedals, where the whole pedal unclips from the crank. The cleats seem to be specific non SPD-compatible ones.

Re: SPDs and a Brompton

Posted: 21 Feb 2013, 3:11pm
by MLJ
Although I use 520's now, originally I just fitted mini-clips (strapless clips) to the Brompton pedals to prevent my feet sliding off. These do not interfere with the fold in any way.

Re: SPDs and a Brompton

Posted: 21 Feb 2013, 4:01pm
by SJSBrompton
MLJ

I don't suppose you have a link to those?

Re: SPDs and a Brompton

Posted: 21 Feb 2013, 6:36pm
by Cunobelin
andrew_s wrote:You could look at MKS Cube Ezy pedals, where the whole pedal unclips from the crank. The cleats seem to be specific non SPD-compatible ones.



DEATH TRAPS!!!!!!!!!!

There is a plastic collar that breaks after a few miles

At which point the twist to take your foot out also removes the pedal

Try putting your foot down with the pedal still attached to your shoe!

Experienced it once and ditched them

Re: SPDs and a Brompton

Posted: 21 Feb 2013, 7:12pm
by Brucey
SJSBrompton wrote:MLJ

I don't suppose you have a link to those?


several half-clips here;

http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/toe-clips-dept300/

cheers