Cleats - whats that about then?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Mark1978
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby Mark1978 » 9 Dec 2013, 4:31pm

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.


That's one advantage that I've just forgotten really. I always push off with my right foot so leave it clipped in all the time. Without SPD I'd have to hook the pedal up to the right set off position before I go, either that or scoot the bike forward until I get enough momentum. With SPD I just pull up and push down and I'm away.

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mjr
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby mjr » 9 Dec 2013, 4:35pm

Si wrote: 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>

Except that these days, so many dodgy contraflow cycle lanes/tracks have been built by bad highways designers and their "get 'em off the road" enablers that you're just as likely to have the rest of road on your right as the left... :-P
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Martyn B
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby Martyn B » 9 Dec 2013, 10:18pm

Cleats, specifically SPDs, get the thumbs up from me. I've been using them for about 15 years, starting with those with a 'flat' side and a 'clip-in' side before graduating after a couple of years to dual sided clipless pedals. I have them on all my bikes except the brompton and I'm currently looking at the available opions for the folder. I'm not technically astute enought to provide the scientific evidence that they improve my pedalling efficiency, but in my own mind I FEEL that they do and as far as I'm concerned, that's what counts.

From the safety point of view my experiences are as follows: I've had 3 big 'offs' since I've been using dual-sided SPDs: one on ice, one on a patch of diesel and a third when an articulated lorry lost its trailer as it was passing me (that's a good one for the anti HGV brigade!). On each occasion, I unwittingly parted company with the bike and managed to emerge from each scenario with a minimum of injury - on reflection, if I'd not been clipped in I do not feel that the outcome would have been any different. In each situation, I had no time to think about unclipping, which leads me to conclude that in these instances, unclipping was almost a natural consequence of the accident. I would also point out that I have my pedals minimally tensioned, with maxiumum float, and have never experienced any knee or ankle problems.

My wife is now a convert and has only toppled once, at the end of a ride, on our drive back home!

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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby MartinC » 10 Dec 2013, 9:50am

Si wrote: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?


Yes, in ideal circumstances this is what anyone with any sense does. In traffic circumstances are often less than ideal though and you have to stop and start unexpectedly. The classic irritation is the queue of traffic that's inching forward - the routine you describe only works if you're pedalling continuously when you need to stop.

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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby Si » 10 Dec 2013, 10:03am

MartinC wrote:
Si wrote: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?


Yes, in ideal circumstances this is what anyone with any sense does. In traffic circumstances are often less than ideal though and you have to stop and start unexpectedly. The classic irritation is the queue of traffic that's inching forward - the routine you describe only works if you're pedalling continuously when you need to stop.


I don't really have trouble in 'inching' traffic TBH. Can either 'crank' the pedals so they stay very close to 2o'clock ('cos I tend to try and trackstand anyway). Or you make sure that you are centre lane so no one can overtake you and you let the vehicle in front get a bit of distance before you start moving. Or you filter. But yes, I agree that there will be a few times when you end up stopped with the pedals in the wrong position, but by reading the road and anticipating they shouldn't be that often.

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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby skicat » 10 Dec 2013, 10:13am

This thread has been really useful. After 40-odd years of casual cycling with nothing but flat pedals, I am intending to try some multi-day touring next year and have been wondering about cleats. I've now decided to take the plunge and get some single sided Shimanos. This thread helped the decision process enormously :) .
That's another thing on the Christmas list then.
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby LollyKat » 10 Dec 2013, 10:23am

Si wrote: I agree that there will be a few times when you end up stopped with the pedals in the wrong position, but by reading the road and anticipating they shouldn't be that often.

With my saddle at the right height for pedalling I can barely reach the ground with one foot. When I stop I put all my weight on my right foot, ease off the saddle and put my left foot down. This means that the right pedal is always at the bottom of the stroke. It's not a problem as I ride with strapless clips which I find are good enough - can't be bothered with clipless.

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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby Vorpal » 10 Dec 2013, 10:37am

The advantage of cleats in traffic is that with one foot attached to the pedal, it is easy to bring the pedals to starting position.

I wouldn't try riding in traffic with cleats until I was confident about unclipping. I think that can be easily accomplished with a bit of practise.
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Mark1978
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby Mark1978 » 10 Dec 2013, 10:39am

skicat wrote:This thread has been really useful. After 40-odd years of casual cycling with nothing but flat pedals, I am intending to try some multi-day touring next year and have been wondering about cleats. I've now decided to take the plunge and get some single sided Shimanos. This thread helped the decision process enormously :) .
That's another thing on the Christmas list then.


It depends on your riding circumstances e.g. needing to ride in flat shoes, but if you want to make the switch to SPD it's easier to do it with double sided pedals, as you don't have to go through finding out what way up the pedal is, flipping it over etc, literally just stamp in and go.

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meic
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby meic » 10 Dec 2013, 10:54am

Good timing, CRC have now got affordable SPD pedals with BS reflectors and double release cleats!

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/shim ... prod104618
Yma o Hyd

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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby skicat » 10 Dec 2013, 10:55am

Mark1978 wrote:if you want to make the switch to SPD it's easier to do it with double sided pedals, as you don't have to go through finding out what way up the pedal is, flipping it over etc, literally just stamp in and go.


I can see the advantage of that, but I can also see it being useful to still have the flat pedal option if I want to just pop down to the shops without having to change to riding shoes. I only have the one bike.
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Mark1978
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby Mark1978 » 10 Dec 2013, 10:56am

meic wrote:Good timing, CRC have now got affordable SPD pedals with BS reflectors and double release cleats!

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/shim ... prod104618


Heavy as hell and £26.99 as opposed to £15.49 for a set of M520s. http://www.evanscycles.com/products/shi ... s-ec050919

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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby reohn2 » 10 Dec 2013, 10:58am

skicat wrote:This thread has been really useful. After 40-odd years of casual cycling with nothing but flat pedals, I am intending to try some multi-day touring next year and have been wondering about cleats. I've now decided to take the plunge and get some single sided Shimanos. This thread helped the decision process enormously :) .
That's another thing on the Christmas list then.


If you're meaning MTB type SPD's,can I suggest you buy double sided ones such as M520's,you'll find them much easier to clip into.
IME single sided are more trouble than they're worth,those that use them will cry foul but I've tried both,no contest :)
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meic
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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby meic » 10 Dec 2013, 11:02am

Mark,
The excuse given by those riding post 1987 bikes is that they couldnt get affordable SPD pedals with reflectors.

Now the excuse is "they are a bit heavier and a bit more expensive". :lol:

They are only £2 more than my illegal (single sided :wink: )A520's. (and 170g)
Yma o Hyd

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Re: Cleats - whats that about then?

Postby MartinC » 10 Dec 2013, 11:18am

LollyKat wrote:
Si wrote: I agree that there will be a few times when you end up stopped with the pedals in the wrong position, but by reading the road and anticipating they shouldn't be that often.

With my saddle at the right height for pedalling I can barely reach the ground with one foot. When I stop I put all my weight on my right foot, ease off the saddle and put my left foot down. This means that the right pedal is always at the bottom of the stroke. It's not a problem as I ride with strapless clips which I find are good enough - can't be bothered with clipless.


:D Yes, there's an awful lot of the "well it's fine for me so it must be fine for everyone" and it's sibling "I've never used these and know nothing about them so they're rubbish" on this thread.