Clueless about clipless

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 50984
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: Clueless about clipless

Postby Mick F » 22 Jul 2013, 10:02pm

Brucey wrote: ......In return for not being able to walk..... :roll:
As I asked, why do you want to walk?
Mick F. Cornwall

User avatar
andrew_s
Posts: 5319
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 9:29pm
Location: Gloucestershire

Re: Clueless about clipless

Postby andrew_s » 22 Jul 2013, 10:06pm

LondonBikeCommuter wrote:I think I've been offered a 'great deal' on some Eggbeaters which are 'really easy to use' but have been told that they can make your feet go numb?
But SPD looks like the way to go.

I used to use Eggbeaters 6 or 7 years ago.
a) They are the quickest to clip in of any of the systems I've tried, and equally easy out. I could clip in heading directly up a 1 in 5, and do a cyclo-cross style running dismount if I wanted.
b) Numbness would be the use of shoes with a too flexible sole. The small size of the pedal means that you have to use relatively stiff shoes, and the cheap end of MTB shoes mostly aren't too stiff. I'd suggest you take something like this as the bottom of the suitable range, and stick to something of a similar style.
c) After a while the clips wore grooves in the sole of the shoe that allowed accidental unclipping. I believe that you now get sole protection plates to put under the cleats.
d) I found the bearings used to fail if I didn't stick to the recommended servicing interval, which made them relatively expensive to run. Again, I believe that the bearings have been changed since when I used them.
Last edited by andrew_s on 22 Jul 2013, 10:12pm, edited 1 time in total.

Brucey
Posts: 42990
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Clueless about clipless

Postby Brucey » 22 Jul 2013, 10:10pm

Mick F wrote: ... I find it no problem at all to walk into pubs/cafes...


yeah, like a duck..... :wink: :roll:

why, exactly, would you want not to be able to walk properly.....?

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

User avatar
anniesboy
Posts: 776
Joined: 16 Feb 2007, 10:16pm
Location: South Oxon

Re: Clueless about clipless

Postby anniesboy » 22 Jul 2013, 10:10pm

Mick F » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:02 pm

Brucey wrote: ......In return for not being able to walk..... :roll:

As I asked, why do you want to walk?



Because I can in fact, I could walk before I could ride a bike

LondonBikeCommuter
Posts: 238
Joined: 21 Apr 2013, 4:10pm
Location: Swindon

Re: Clueless about clipless

Postby LondonBikeCommuter » 22 Jul 2013, 10:24pm

Wow! thanks got enough now to be thinking about... looking to pop in to LBS tomorrow lunch time to get something.

User avatar
andrew_s
Posts: 5319
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 9:29pm
Location: Gloucestershire

Re: Clueless about clipless

Postby andrew_s » 22 Jul 2013, 10:29pm

Mick F wrote:Why would I need to have a training shoe/walking shoe system?

The topic isn't about what is best for Mick F, but what's best for LondonBikeCommuter.
Does his handle not give you a clue that he isn't talking about the same sort of riding as you do?

Vladimir
Posts: 764
Joined: 3 Apr 2010, 11:50pm
Location: London
Contact:

Re: Clueless about clipless

Postby Vladimir » 22 Jul 2013, 10:35pm

Another vote for TIME pedals. Seriously good - I like the amount of play in them, save the articular surfaces of your knees from being ground to a paste (althought this matter is up for some serious and heated debate).

The bottom line is, with a shimano spd you will have almost no play (side to side) at all, so if the setup isn't bang on, then you will have joint pain somewhere...

Also, I have a strong suspicion that lower limb joints function just a little differently after sitting at a desk for 8-9 hours.

Either way the answer is a pedal that allows for a bit of variability, and for me, the answer to that is TIME, they'l give you about 10(ISH) degrees of rotation. And don't get me wrong, there are plenty of others out there.

In fact, if I remember correctly, there are pedals out there that give even more rotation than TIME, I don't remember what they are now, but when I googled them at the time, there weren't many places that stocked them...

The time pedals that I used for over a year (ATAC XC2) before I felt I needed an upgrade (ATAC DH4) only cost £45 - probably more expensive than Shimano though.

(dammit TIME, you owe me some comission!)

bad things to say about time: the cleats are made of brass, so they do wear out quicker than other systems. Also, don't go for cheap time pedals, I tried a set on the beater bike and they were horrible. I think they were called road gripper or some such, they had a clip in side and a flat side, but by jove, once you were clipped in, you couldn't clip out, the tension was just too high.

Brucey
Posts: 42990
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Clueless about clipless

Postby Brucey » 22 Jul 2013, 10:52pm

Vladimir wrote: The bottom line is, with a shimano spd you will have almost no play (side to side) at all, so if the setup isn't bang on, then you will have joint pain somewhere...


The float with SPDs varies with the pedal and cleat combo used. If the shoes use an extended support area this can make the float less free than otherwise; to an extent this feature is shared with quite a few pedal systems.

If you want a lot of float with SPDs, you can have it by grinding the cleats slightly. They tend to float more when worn, too. SPD cleats are cheap enough to experiment with IMHO.

In fact, if I remember correctly, there are pedals out there that give even more rotation than TIME, I don't remember what they are now, but when I googled them at the time, there weren't many places that stocked them...


speedplay pedals win the prize here I think.

BTW very many pedal systems have bearing problems. Crank bros pedals used to use plain bushings, but now use roller bearings where it matters. Time have gone the other way in some models. Plain bushings are somewhat draggy, and are to be avoided where possible. Some manufacturers will distort the truth and describe them as 'sealed bearings', so look out for that.

I just ordered another set of SPDs today BTW. A set of PD-M520s, £17.50 posted, including cleats. Bit of a no-brainer really.

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

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 50984
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: Clueless about clipless

Postby Mick F » 22 Jul 2013, 10:54pm

andrew_s wrote:
Mick F wrote:Why would I need to have a training shoe/walking shoe system?

The topic isn't about what is best for Mick F, but what's best for LondonBikeCommuter.
Does his handle not give you a clue that he isn't talking about the same sort of riding as you do?
Yes. He's a commuter, not a tourist.
I said that I commuted too.
In fact I cut my teeth on cycling by commuting.

I would ride to work and get off my bike and get changed into work uniform.
At the end of my day, I would get back into cycling gear and cycle home again.

Why did I have to walk any distance?

What has walking got to do with cycling?
Mick F. Cornwall

Brucey
Posts: 42990
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Clueless about clipless

Postby Brucey » 22 Jul 2013, 11:15pm

you walk to the bike, you put your feet down in traffic, you carry your bike over a footbridge, you stop and walk around the shops, you have to walk, maybe climb stairs etc at each end of your journey...you don't want to have a problem nipping down the road with your funny pedals and shoes... there are endless reasons to normal people to walk, and it is quite nonsensical to suggest otherwise.

I ask again, in the Real World what benefits accrue from the use of waddlers? I can't really see any TBH. A couple of my chums rode a 200K audax at the w.e. Both used carbon road bikes and they were fitted with SPDs. Not because they are MTBers or commuters or anything like that, just because the bikes are fast and the pedals are practical and comfortable pedals that work. They are not sucked into this roadie wannabe pedal vortex....

Why would you choose pedals that stop you from walking but offer nothing extra in return?

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

Fex54
Posts: 27
Joined: 12 Jun 2012, 10:27am

Re: Clueless about clipless

Postby Fex54 » 22 Jul 2013, 11:21pm

I have been using SPDs for about 5 years and would not so otherwise, by choice anyway.

I still wear the basic Shimano shoes that I first bought, with the original cleats. The shoes now show their age although the soles are not worn having not spent much time on the ground. I may get a new pair soon. I can walk perfectly well in these shoes but would not do so across sensitive surfaces as they well damage them. I had nearly no problems in getting used to the system.

My current two bikes both have Shimano PD-M540 pedals. I think that I paid less than £20 per pair, although they appear to be rather more than that now. I did buy some spare cleats although have not needed them and probably cannot find them now. While I do maintain the bikes, I spend very little effort, beyond a stiff brush and a couple of drops of oil every now and again on the clip mechanism, on these pedals and they just work. After over 4000 miles in the last couple of years, clipping in and out is still as easy as ever it was. I still keep them at minimum spring tension and have no problems. The bearings have never been opened and are still smooth and show no play. However, they have not been out very much in very wet weather and this may have helped with longevity.

You will read much learned stuff about float and other technical matters. Fascinating though this is, I have not concerned myself with this detail and have not found reason to regret this. My recommendation is not to spend a lot, to start with anyway, and get on with it! I would try a few miles away from traffic to get acquainted with the system but I found that it soon become second nature to unclip before stopping, rather than after!
FEX54

Vladimir
Posts: 764
Joined: 3 Apr 2010, 11:50pm
Location: London
Contact:

Re: Clueless about clipless

Postby Vladimir » 22 Jul 2013, 11:27pm

Brucey wrote:If you want a lot of float with SPDs, you can have it by grinding the cleats slightly. They tend to float more when worn, too. SPD cleats are cheap enough to experiment with IMHO.


Fair enough but I am certain - from personal experience - that with ATAC XC2 and ATAC DH4 the float is there from the word go.

Brucey wrote:I just ordered another set of SPDs today BTW. A set of PD-M520s, £17.50 posted, including cleats. Bit of a no-brainer really.


Very good price indeed, but they're the ones I have tried in the past and whilst I did very little appreciable riding but I felt very disconcerted at the lack of float.

This is all very subjective, by the way - London commuter should try some different pedals. Depending on the LBS - they might be able to help you with trying out some different pedals - but this may not be likely.

Cheers

Vlad

User avatar
[XAP]Bob
Posts: 18065
Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: Clueless about clipless

Postby [XAP]Bob » 23 Jul 2013, 9:27am

And if you want you can get plastic soled SPD shoes, so you can get that "unable to walk" effect with spds if you want it ;)

Having done that (rather than ever used roadie cleats) I know that I, as a commuter, value the ability to walk from the bike parking into the office, and to a locker.
Also the ability to walk from the garage to my house, and even to stop off at a shop on the way home to grab some groceries...

MickF, you may well organise your life around not walking, but it is a very useful capability to have. What benefit do roadie cleats give over SPDs? My keen sandals are stiffer than my lidl shoes, but neither give me any numbness. And I can't really see how larger cleats would be a benefit over a firm attachment to a larger sole.
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.

User avatar
Mick F
Spambuster
Posts: 50984
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Tamar Valley, Cornwall

Re: Clueless about clipless

Postby Mick F » 23 Jul 2013, 9:41am

Why are there two types of cleats?
If SPD types are ok, why do road cleats exist?


As for walking ......

Back in the old days when I first bought cycling shoes that would take a cleat, I used rat-trap pedals and straps. The cleat was screwed onto the sole and it had a slot in it that slotted onto the rear pedal plate. The straps were then pulled tight. It was impossible to remove a foot unless the strap was undone first.

Walking was difficult with those shoes. They had hard plastic soles and with the tough hard cleat screwed on, "walking like a duck" was the norm. I used to lock my bike up next to the ship and waddle carefully up the gangway and down into the ship. Some of the decks were bare steel! I had to be very careful indeed and hold on to rails and hand-holds.

These days, I use road pedals and road cleats and I can have my foot out in a swift deft flick of the ankle. I can walk easily and safely too though I wouldn't walk in them for miles. The cleats are tough nylon but the shoes have hard rubber soles with big tips front and rear. I'm in no danger of slipping. I also have cleat covers made of soft rubber that I often carry in my back pocket to protect the cleats.

No, my shoes aren't walking shoes in the slightest, but I can walk round a supermarket in them, visit cafes and pubs and shops and park my bike, or push my bike up a hill.
Mick F. Cornwall

Brucey
Posts: 42990
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Clueless about clipless

Postby Brucey » 23 Jul 2013, 9:55am

Mick F wrote: ....If SPD types are ok, why do road cleats exist?....


I genuinely have no idea these days. There doesn't seem to be a very good reason for it.

If there is any benefit to them (e.g. for racing), it is pretty much lost on me, and I speak as an ex-racer.

No need to waddle anywhere, not any more, I'd say.

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