Cleats - whats that about then?

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jimmy M
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Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby jimmy M » 7 Dec 2013, 10:45pm

I'm a keen returning cyclist. I have a hard tail mountain bike that i use for a 6 mile each way commute and regularly knock out 15 milers around the village lanes. Anyhow my question is what are cleats about and what are the advantages in using them? I have toe clips on my bike. If i were to change to cleats do i have to use special shoes just to cycle in?

mercalia
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby mercalia » 7 Dec 2013, 10:59pm

they are for people who like to be chained to their bike. If your bike not a perfect fit can give u knee trouble?

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meic
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby meic » 7 Dec 2013, 11:11pm

Not much of a chain as we can slip free in a split second. :D

Plenty of argument on the forum about them if you do a search. Many (like me) who have taken them up would hate to have to go back to not using them.

They just hold your shoe onto the pedal (yes you need special SPD shoes and pedals) so you dont have to keep it there with foot pressure, which means you can pull the pedal forwards, backwards and even upwards a bit, instead of just pushing down.
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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 7 Dec 2013, 11:29pm

also means that your foot can't slip off the pedal. twisting off iseasy, but those potholes won't bounce you off...
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coast 2 coast
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby coast 2 coast » 7 Dec 2013, 11:37pm

Possibly one of the greatest innovations in cycling technology in the last 30 years. I rate them higher than indexed gears.

reohn2
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby reohn2 » 7 Dec 2013, 11:48pm

coast 2 coast wrote:Possibly one of the greatest inovations in cycling technology in the last 30 years. I rate them higher than indexed gears.

I'd have to agree with that,especially double sided SPD's,though I think road STI's have the edge on innovation :)
I find it difficult to ride without SPD's,though can manage without STI's
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Redvee
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby Redvee » 8 Dec 2013, 12:04am

reohn2 wrote:I find it difficult to ride without SPD's,though can manage without STI's


Ditto

Drake
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby Drake » 8 Dec 2013, 7:26am

I'm fairly ignorant about cleats. On the Carlton i owned way back. i used toe clips and straps. I can see the advantage on road machines , , but what about mountain bikers when off road ?

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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby eileithyia » 8 Dec 2013, 8:02am

Off road your feet easily clip in without all that flipping the pedal up while trying to negotiate rough terrain. You can pull up as you push down. And the recessed cleats/shoes are designed to walk in.

As others; have various versions of spds, and 1 bike still on downtube friction levers, I did not miss the sti's on the recent hillclimbing events I did on that bike, but would have missed my cleats....
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Drake
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby Drake » 8 Dec 2013, 8:29am

eileithyia wrote:Off road your feet easily clip in without all that flipping the pedal up while trying to negotiate rough terrain. You can pull up as you push down. And the recessed cleats/shoes are designed to walk in.

As others; have various versions of spds, and 1 bike still on downtube friction levers, I did not miss the sti's on the recent hillclimbing events I did on that bike, but would have missed my cleats....

Ok. But are mtb cleats the same as the ones used on road machines? The reason i ask is that i'm fortunate to have the South Downs in my "backyard", so i've been considering some form of cleat system of late. I obviously don't want to get something unsuitable for off road use.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby Vorpal » 8 Dec 2013, 8:57am

I don't find the clipless systems at all useful. I have a hard time finding shoes that fit, and I've never found any that I can walk in. I've never found a set-up that I'm happy with. I've made several attempts over the years.

I'm not the only one who doesn't think that they are the best thing since sliced bread. This thread also links to another....
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=78020
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bikes4two
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby bikes4two » 8 Dec 2013, 8:58am

Ok, to answer this one:
- the type of shoe you have determines the type of cleat(s) available for that shoe and the cleat type dictates the pedal type.
- some folks have specific shoes for road bikes and others for mtb bikes etc but there's no reason for you not to use, say, your mtb shoes/cleats/pedals on all your bikes
- personally I use Shimano spd cleats (the small 2 bolt variety) and associated shoe/pedal on all my bikes (road/off road/tandem/hack)
So much choice!
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andymiller
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby andymiller » 8 Dec 2013, 9:13am

My theory is a bit simpler: mountain bikers use shoes with recessed cleats so that they can walk in the shoes if, god forbid, they reach an unrideable bit and have to pick up the bike and hike with it. I don' t know what sort of cyclocrossers use. I don't think they have any advantages for riding.

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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby Vorpal » 8 Dec 2013, 9:24am

andymiller wrote: I don't think they have any advantages for riding.


Mountain biking is one of the uses where I do think that cleats + clipless pedals have some advantages. They keep your feet on the pedals better than clips do.

I also think that they have advantages for long distance and racing cyclists, especially professionals. The advantage is probably only 1 or 2% (despite the claims for clipless systems), but that can make a big difference in fatigue levels when someone is doing 100 miles per day over a week or more, or riding a grand tour.

As for the rest of us, if they work, great, if they don't, it doesn't matter as much as the manufacturers and retailers would like us to think.
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cycleruk
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby cycleruk » 8 Dec 2013, 9:38am

SPD (Shimano Pedalling Dynamics) cleats and shoes were specifically designed for off-road cyclists. The cleat fits into the sole of an SPD shoe and can be moved around slightly for adjustment to suit . The sole of the shoe is made so that the cleat surface is level, or slightly below, the shoe tread surface. This allows easy walking when off the bike.
Road shoe cleats are fitted on the surface of the sole. So when walking you actually walk on the cleat which gradually wears the cleat out.

I am quite happy using toe clips and straps when off-road but I have the straps set loose so I can pull my foot out easily.
Having said that I currently have SPD pedals on my MTB and found no problems with them (yet).
The main problem with any cleat system is if they get clogged up. They don't work as you can't "clip in" your foot.
Another little problem with SPD shoes are the holes that go through the soles to fix the cleat - they can let water in if not sealed properly.
No such problems with toe clips and straps and you can even wear walking boots, though it can sometimes be a fiddle to flip the pedal.
I use SPDs on all my bikes both road and MTB.
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