Clipless Pedals

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 12, 2012 2:23 AM GMT
    Why the fuck do they call them "clipless" when you "clip" into them and unclip to get out of them before your elbow and hip become one with nature?
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    Nov 12, 2012 2:24 AM GMT
    I prefer to call them "snap-in pedals."
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    Nov 12, 2012 2:30 AM GMT
    BTW, back story: I did century rides for a couple years in the early 2000's, and got out of it after moving to SoFla (roads here are not safe for roadies). Only fell once with clipless pedals, and that was my first ride with them (got a pinch flat at 60 MPH downhill - not a good first impression).

    Anyway, that one fall was but a minor thing, since I didn't fall over till I'd completely stopped (forgot to unclip).

    That has never happened since then. Until yesterday, when I fell over onto some sharp and non-forgiving coral rock at the Rock Garden trail in Markham Park. Rode that trail many times, and this time was a slipup NOT related to clipless pedals, but they sure didn't make things any easier. I unclipped in time, but there was no place to put my foot to stop the fall. Rocks suck. icon_lol.gif
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    Nov 12, 2012 2:50 AM GMT
    paulflexes saidWhy the fuck do they call them "clipless" when you "clip" into them and unclip to get out of them before your elbow and hip become one with nature?

    Because the pedals that preceded them had "toe clips", the only kind of competitive bicycle pedals there were when I got my first road bike in 1962.

    I still like toe clips for around town riding, because I can use them with any kind of footgear, even sandals. Whereas clipless require special rigid shoes with matching sole cleats. I have both kinds for my current bike that I switch as my riding needs require.

    The advantages of clipless are lighter weight and more rigid control of the feet when pedaling, allowing more energy to be transferred to the crank. The disadvantage for some people is making a quick release in case of a bike spill. The cleat release pressure can be adjusted with an allen wrench, so perhaps you should lessen yours, if that's what you have installed. Or try toe clip pedals, maybe better for your off-road use.

    Toe clip pedals:

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    Nov 12, 2012 4:25 AM GMT
    I always had a hard time clipping in to the SPD (clipless) on my old mountain bike in steep terrain. (Well...no-track actually.) There are some available that are SPD system on one side and trap pedal on the other side. I'm thinking about getting those for my new bike. Feels too weird to ride loose. But I don't really want to wear bike shoes just to go to the store or something.

    (I ordered the new folding bike with quick-disconnect pedals that make it easier to pack and unpack. Guess I'll stick with them for a month or two.) Anyway, I keep a few sets of clip-pedals around for guests to use, since they don't usually show up with bike shoes.
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    Nov 12, 2012 6:06 AM GMT
    Mountain Biking + Toe Clips = Broken Ankle

    Stick with clipless.
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    Nov 12, 2012 6:17 AM GMT
    I know this thread was started by a mountain biker, so you guys might want to discuss SPDs vs egg beaters, but I'm a roadie and wonder if anyone has ridden both Look and Speedplay and has an opinion. I'm riding Shimano SPD-SLs which are similar to Look style and am thinking of switching to Speedplays. I hear mixed reviews on them...what do you think?

    Also, the one time I went mountain biking, I rode SPDs since I had those for my hybrid and my friend had those on his spare mtn bike, but adjusted really loosely. I liked being locked in more, but he told me i was crazy. I kept kicking out at inadvertently, so i tightened them up a lot and did a lot better. The next time he went out, he said he crashed hard because he couldn't kick out. Which is better on mountain bikes running SPDs...snug fit when locked in, or loose and easy to kick out of?
  • stee99

    Posts: 317

    Nov 12, 2012 6:27 AM GMT
    I think cleat tightness is a personal taste thing.
    As for speedplay vs SPD, I'm inclined to stick with what i know and is more common for spares availablity and reliablity.
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    Nov 12, 2012 6:35 AM GMT
    erik911sd saidI know this thread was started by a mountain biker, so you guys might want to discuss SPDs vs egg beaters, but I'm a roadie and wonder if anyone has ridden both Look and Speedplay and has an opinion. I'm riding Shimano SPD-SLs which are similar to Look style and am thinking of switching to Speedplays. I hear mixed reviews on them...what do you think?

    Also, the one time I went mountain biking, I rode SPDs since I had those for my hybrid and my friend had those on his spare mtn bike, but adjusted really loosely. I liked being locked in more, but he told me i was crazy. I kept kicking out at inadvertently, so i tightened them up a lot and did a lot better. The next time he went out, he said he crashed hard because he couldn't kick out. Which is better on mountain bikes running SPDs...snug fit when locked in, or loose and easy to kick out of?


    I've had both Look and SpeedPlays, and I see little advantage in riding, and a HUGE disadvantage in overall comfort. Both the Look and SpeedPlay systems lose weight on the pedal by increasing the size of the cleats, and while that really doesn't matter in the sum total, you end up with cycling shoes that don't allow you to walk normal and whose cleats are toast after a few thousand miles.

    Seriously, Look and SpeedPlay are for the noob. If you ride more than 2000 miles a year, you shouldn't look at them (especially not the Looks, whose plastic cleats are made to be chewed by pavement when you walk into a coffee shop). To make matters worse, when your cleats are chewed up, you can't get into the pedals. Argh!!!
  • stee99

    Posts: 317

    Nov 12, 2012 6:38 AM GMT
    Having ridden look cleats I'd hafta agree they get really chewed and the little rubber traction tab wears away and you go for a skate on every remotely polished floor.
  • wild_sky360

    Posts: 1492

    Nov 12, 2012 7:05 AM GMT
    I was getting sick of more gear. On my last bike I had the dealer swap out clips for traditional pedals and toe clips. I feel I can sink into them when necessary for rough terrain or wear flip flops for casual ride around the hood.
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    Nov 12, 2012 7:06 AM GMT
    I tossed the look-style pedals many years ago and just put SPDs on my road bike. I like to be able to walk into a cafe or something if I stop, and it's not as if I need to shave .01 seconds off my donut-grinding rides.
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    Nov 12, 2012 12:17 PM GMT
    stee99 saidI think cleat tightness is a personal taste thing.
    As for speedplay vs SPD, I'm inclined to stick with what i know and is more common for spares availablity and reliablity.

    Yes, personal taste, but for some of us ability. I have deformed ankles from birth, that greatly limit their range of motion, especially the left one. Nothing you can see externally, like a club foot, but some bones are fused together.

    It can be quite an effort to release that left foot from a clipless pedal, because I can't twist it, can only move up and down at the toes. It's a reason I still use toe clips for around town riding, which I can pull out of to the rear.

    A bike dealer sold me an alternate SPD cleat from Shimano that releases more easily, marked SM-SH56 M, and it seems to help me. Naturally I keep the spring pressure low, too, but I have a road bike, and I'm not a power pedaler, so unintentional releases aren't too common.
  • DanOmatic

    Posts: 1155

    Nov 12, 2012 12:17 PM GMT
    Egg beaters (Crank Bros.) for the mountain bikes. Look Keo for the road and tri bikes.
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    Nov 12, 2012 5:13 PM GMT
    i've used the Frogs ( Speedplay) and liked them till i got fed up with the cleats that wear out at warp speed. But the float is amazing.

    i had SPD's for years , but clipping in muddy conditions was always hell, and the float minimal.
    Once i moved on, it was without regrets.

    I also used the TIme pedals which i liked as far as float and easy clipping.
    But they were a bit bulky and therefore easy to hit against rocks.
    The metal bits on the pedals would also wear out and eventually just break, but you could always clip on the other side.

    now Eggbeaters only.. in spite of their weakness for being very exposed to damage, they are amazing.


    as for road pedals, i'm completely out of the loop there.. haven't had a road bike in years.

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    Nov 12, 2012 5:16 PM GMT
    paulflexes saidWhy the fuck do they call them "clipless" when you "clip" into them and unclip to get out of them before your elbow and hip become one with nature?


    Well, I know...it's stupid, isn't it? Actually, the old style "clips" you sled your street shoes into already used the name "clips" so they had to come up with something else. You think they would have used something like "snap in" or 'snap locks" or something that actually made sense, but...the marketing powers chose "clipless."

    Go figure.

    I have both clips and clipless. They're easy enough to change out.

    The notion being, course, that with clipless you can still snap out, but, use more of your hamstring in the locomotion cycle.