Clipless pedals question(s)

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This will be another one of those questions I ask where I sound like someone who's just got out of prison after doing a 15-year stretch and is baffled by mobile phones and the internet and ipods. Anyway, both the hybrid bike which I use for commuting / 'leisure' riding and the old road bike which I'm gradually updating have got cheap and nasty pedals with old-fashioned toe clips and straps. I want to put clipless pedals onto both of them, but my only experience of clipless pedals was the big old red-and-white plastic Look ones circa 89/90, so I'm a bit out of touch.

I've been trying to work out if my cycling shoes could actually be used with clipless pedals and it seems like they can, but not with the ones I was hoping to get. It appears that my shoes can only be used with touring/MTB pedals as there's only two holes for screwing in the cleats (in a little sunken section of the sole). The Shimano SPD-SLs I was looking at need three holes in a big triangle - if I got them I would have to get new shoes as well.

My question is: what's the advantage of getting these as opposed to these 'touring' pedals? I don't really want to buy new shoes if I don't have to, but I also don't want to stick the wrong type of pedals on my racer and then end up regretting it.

The Resistible Force (Nasty, Brutish & Short), Thursday, 6 November 2008 23:35 (ten years ago) Permalink

what shoes do you have? shoes are more important than pedals imo, esp for the road. you don't want to be sprinting in squishy shoes, you could pull out of the clip, plus for long distances you might get a hot spot over the cleat (unlikely ime, but ppl are always sayin).

if the soles of yr existing shoes are quite stiff, i'd get a 2 sets of eggbeaters (maybe the cheap ones for the hybrid and sl's for the road) and used them on both bikes. you'll get by ok.

i think you said you wanted to do some racing maybe. if yr commuting shoes are not quite stiff, i'd get a pair of proper road shoes and the pedals of yr choice for the road, and still eggbeaters for the hybrid. i like speedplays for road fwiw.

Booker van Permalink (Hunt3r), Friday, 7 November 2008 00:12 (ten years ago) Permalink

What kind of riding are you wanting to do?

As hinted above, I'd say that if you're wanting to do some more serious road/race riding then SPD-SL would be a wise investment. If it's for more general riding then the MTB-style will be fine, and arguably better.

SPD-SL have a more solid and secure hold while MTB-style SPD is generally easier to clip in and out of, which is a big advantage for riding round town in traffic etc.

krakow, Friday, 7 November 2008 07:38 (ten years ago) Permalink

The shoes are Specialized. The soles are quite firm, but not as firm as proper road shoes:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3227/3010237692_27bca661b6.jpg

I use the hybrid for commuting (lots of stops and starts) and riding (mostly on the road, but with a fair stretch on bumpy towpaths and a little bit of offroading). The road bike (which is at my parents') I'm gradually bringing back into action and hoping to use for some sportives and races (depending on my ability) next year. Or I might even get a new bike (credit crunch permitting) for that and just keep the old road bike as something to ride when I visit my parents.

It sounds like I need two different types of pedals and so two different types of shoes.

The Resistible Force (Nasty, Brutish & Short), Friday, 7 November 2008 09:40 (ten years ago) Permalink

That's how I run things. SPD-SL on the fancy road bike and SPD on the rest, with appropriate shoes for each.

krakow, Friday, 7 November 2008 21:50 (ten years ago) Permalink

if the soles of yr existing shoes are quite stiff, i'd get a 2 sets of eggbeaters (maybe the cheap ones for the hybrid and sl's for the road) and used them on both bikes. you'll get by ok.

This is exactly my set-up. Eggbeaters are wonderful, mainly because you don't have to position your pedal before clipping in (as they have 4 entry points). To peop-le who're not going to race, I'd always say to steer clear of SPD-SLs because they make a negligible difference to performance while making walking/staying upright a pain in the arse. But since you are racing... I guess it depends whether you're intending to win or not!

Mark C, Saturday, 8 November 2008 14:09 (ten years ago) Permalink

Ha! I think I have about as much chance of winning a race as I have of becoming the first dolphin in space.

It took me a while to realise that 'egg beaters' was actually the name of a product, and not some kind of slang. Anyway, after exhaustive research I've decided to follow Hunter's & Mark's advice, and I've ordered myself some Egg Beater MXRs. I'm a bit concerned at just how small they are - doesn't it feel weird having such a small part of your foot in contact with the pedal? I'll try them out on the hybrid before deciding what to do with the road bike.

The Resistible Force (Nasty, Brutish & Short), Saturday, 8 November 2008 20:35 (ten years ago) Permalink

Commuted with the egg beaters for most of last week and they were fine. I've collected my old road bike and brought it up to London (where it is balancing at an impossible angle on the stairs until I work out a better storage solution) and tried the egg beaters out on that too, and they seemed fine - no problems going up hill or anything - so I've ordered myself another set so I can have them on both bikes. The only problem was, shortly after finishing a punishing ten-mile circuit (still trying to get that time down!) I had to stop at a roundabout and when I tried to pull away (in a highish gear) I got a horrible cramp in my right calf. I'm hoping this is nothing to do with the pedals and more just a sign that I was overdoing it.

The Resistible Force (Nasty, Brutish & Short), Monday, 17 November 2008 11:59 (ten years ago) Permalink

Do you have ceilings high enough for this?

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1069/1090650369_0b84455f98.jpg

If so I have another one of these bike lifts which I could let you have for a tenner as I never installed it and I'm moving to America.

Ed, Monday, 17 November 2008 12:20 (ten years ago) Permalink

Thanks for the offer, Ed, but it wouldn't work in my flat.

The Resistible Force (Nasty, Brutish & Short), Monday, 17 November 2008 12:22 (ten years ago) Permalink

I am so lucky with my ceiling height.

Ed, Monday, 17 November 2008 12:26 (ten years ago) Permalink

is that a paper towel dispenser next to it?

eman, Monday, 17 November 2008 19:48 (ten years ago) Permalink

Do you have any links for that bike lift Ed? I live in an old tenement flat with high ceilings, so could well be interested in a solution like that.

krakow, Monday, 17 November 2008 21:16 (ten years ago) Permalink

five months pass...

So.... 5 months down the line, I've got eggbeaters on the hybrid for commuting, eggbeaters on my 1990 road bike which resides at my parents', and eggbeaters on my new road bike which I've been racing on. I'm perfectly happy with them, but I'm getting a bit concerned about my shoes (see photo link upthread). They're firmish, but not as firm as proper road shoes, and the velcro straps don't do up as tight as proper road shoes, and they've seen better days.

My question now is: is it possible to get a pair of decent* road shoes which are eggbeater-compatible? or do I need to get new pedals and shoes for racing?

*but preferably < £100

Teh Movable Object (Nasty, Brutish & Short), Friday, 24 April 2009 21:32 (nine years ago) Permalink

There are definitely 2 hole compatible road shoes out. there. There are also some very stiff mountain shoes as well. I have a pair of Adidas ones which were very cheap and are pretty stiff.

Prince of Persia (Ed), Friday, 24 April 2009 22:28 (nine years ago) Permalink

think there's also ways to adapt std road shoes to work with eggbeaters. crank bros have anticipated this situation, i think. also: i just had another pair of cheapo eggbeaters fall to pieces, so i hope you got the nice ones. i've just ordered some ATACs cuz fuck that bullshit

i like to fart and i am crazy (gbx), Saturday, 25 April 2009 02:29 (nine years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

What is the appropriate number of pedals? (started by n/a on board I Make Music on 30-Jul-2007)

2 I reckon

just pedals you have loved :) (started by in excelsis ayo (roxymuzak) on board I Make Music on 23-Aug-2009)

just eggbeaters

ledge, Sunday, 23 August 2009 14:22 (nine years ago) Permalink

^OTM, I did have spds for a long time and they are a pain.

Mornington Crescent (Ed), Sunday, 23 August 2009 14:25 (nine years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Are eggbeaters at all usable with normal shoes? I just picked up some cheap Lidl SPD-shoes and fancy having a go at this whole thing, but can't decide what sort of pedals. I was initially tempted by the sort of half-flat, half-spd ones, but a few friends have said they're a pain in London 'cos you always get the wrong side. So, open to suggestions/recommendations - I'm just riding to work and back so nothing too fancy, and ideally I'd like the option of not having to wear the special shoes.

j.o.n.a, Friday, 2 October 2009 13:42 (nine years ago) Permalink

What do you mean by normal shoes? Civvy shoes? Nope - even less so than other clipless pedals as the body of the pedal rotates, so you can't get any grip. They are compatible with two-hole soles, like SPDs, so they would fit your Lidl shoes.

Why not just leave a pair of shoes at work and cycle in the Lidl ones?

Mark C, Friday, 2 October 2009 16:33 (nine years ago) Permalink

why not stay with cages/clips? i don't imagine there's an enormous benefit of clipless for commuting in urban areas.

♪♫(●̲̲̅̅̅̅=̲̲̅̅̅̅●̲̅̅)♪♫ (Steve Shasta), Friday, 2 October 2009 16:42 (nine years ago) Permalink

also eggbeaters fall apart and are garbage

THE DUSKY VISITOR APPEALS TO CÆSAR (gbx), Friday, 2 October 2009 21:24 (nine years ago) Permalink

None of my (three sets of) eggbeaters have fallen apart. And special shoes are cool.

Teh Movable Object (Nasty, Brutish & Short), Friday, 2 October 2009 22:30 (nine years ago) Permalink

"why not stay with cages/clips? i don't imagine there's an enormous benefit of clipless for commuting in urban areas."

Is the benefit of clipless really that great in any area? Cages/toeclips accomplish most of the benefits as clipless with locking your legs into a rigid repetitive position.

Alex in SF, Friday, 2 October 2009 22:32 (nine years ago) Permalink

Yes, but you can get your feet out of clipless really easily instead of having to reach down and loosen the strap.

Teh Movable Object (Nasty, Brutish & Short), Friday, 2 October 2009 22:46 (nine years ago) Permalink

Why would you be tightening the strap so much that you can get out except by loosening it?

Alex in SF, Friday, 2 October 2009 22:48 (nine years ago) Permalink

Why would you have a strap if you're not going to tighten it?

Teh Movable Object (Nasty, Brutish & Short), Friday, 2 October 2009 22:57 (nine years ago) Permalink

Uh to hold your feet in place? It doesn't have to be that loose to get your feet in and out.

Alex in SF, Friday, 2 October 2009 23:04 (nine years ago) Permalink

steve shasta, u scamp

the two sets of eggbeaters i've owned were the lowest end of their line, tbh, but both failed in exactly the same way: the pedal body pulled right off the spindle

most of riding at the time was on salty city roads, but still. i've got ATACs now, and they r00l

THE DUSKY VISITOR APPEALS TO CÆSAR (gbx), Friday, 2 October 2009 23:10 (nine years ago) Permalink

tbh you can look at the low level eggbeaters - anything below sl's- and tell they are crap. the cages are like, stamped soft steel. uright tho obv that does not make it ok.

(i do have three pairs of sl's, one pair that raced 3 seasons of cx ~18 races?. still sweet.)

for street use, its def ATACs imo.

iro with the brown bag (Hunt3r), Friday, 2 October 2009 23:18 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeah, the second pair i got was out of necessity: shit happened at work, and i was a block from a bike shop, so i just spent the $65 or whatever and went about my business

spent twice as much on the ATACs, so yah, i'm sure the decent eggbeaters are totally fine (i still think there's too much float, tho!)

THE DUSKY VISITOR APPEALS TO CÆSAR (gbx), Friday, 2 October 2009 23:23 (nine years ago) Permalink

for me their advantage is weight. for mrs hunter, it's ease of release (she tried atacs, ate shit a few times).

in terms of entry/exit i prefer atacs- they always feel the same. firm, very consistent, easy to find. they do hit obstacles alot tho.

iro with the brown bag (Hunt3r), Friday, 2 October 2009 23:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

time pedals are the best, for sure.

cutty, Friday, 2 October 2009 23:28 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeah, the "difficulty" of release on ATACs is why i prefer them now: they just feel so ~solid. and really easy to find! not as easy as EBs, but holy crap so much better than the SPDs i borrowed for about a week.

THE DUSKY VISITOR APPEALS TO CÆSAR (gbx), Friday, 2 October 2009 23:29 (nine years ago) Permalink

for me their advantage is weight

lol never took u for a weenie, hunt3r

THE DUSKY VISITOR APPEALS TO CÆSAR (gbx), Friday, 2 October 2009 23:29 (nine years ago) Permalink

RACIN IS REAL BRO :)

eh, its situational. dont know about the latest times, but until a few years ago, the comparably priced sl's/atacs were like 130 g difference. that's enough to move me at the same price.

iro with the brown bag (Hunt3r), Friday, 2 October 2009 23:34 (nine years ago) Permalink

i raced an mtb hillclimb on my road speedplays to save weight <<<---- realest

iro with the brown bag (Hunt3r), Friday, 2 October 2009 23:35 (nine years ago) Permalink

dang

THE DUSKY VISITOR APPEALS TO CÆSAR (gbx), Friday, 2 October 2009 23:42 (nine years ago) Permalink

http://www.rbaction.net/contentimages/Crumpton6.jpg

^^^ hunt3r's favorite pedals, i heard

THE DUSKY VISITOR APPEALS TO CÆSAR (gbx), Friday, 2 October 2009 23:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

this crazy nut in pasadena was making these bizarre pedals that look like little discs for a while. i don't know if he's still in business, but he kept trying to sell them in the shop i worked at, and the owner refused.

i love crank brothers pedals- i have mallets on my commuting bike and acids on my mountain bike. i've ridden time pedals, but i find it easier to clip into crank bros, which to me is more important than the ease of clipping out. kinda intrigued by look's new mtb pedals, to be honest. might be worth checking out.

a terrible camera... with fangs and shit... (ytth), Saturday, 3 October 2009 02:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

4-way entry is SOOOOO convenient that whatever the disadvantages of eggbeaters, this one plus makes it the perfect city pedal.

Mark C, Sunday, 4 October 2009 20:49 (nine years ago) Permalink

4-way + bi-directional (forwards & backwards). love it.

this must be what FAIL is really like (ledge), Sunday, 4 October 2009 20:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Thanks for all the advice, didn't get a chance to post when there was all the discussion happening. Decided to ignore everyone and bought some Shimano PD-M520s, because they were cheap. After a trying session trying to fit them (managed to shear the cleat from the Lidl shoe and get the cleat stuck in the pedal without the shoe), I finally rode in on them today. Two moments of having to grab a parked car/bollard, and one moment of 'oh shit I'm actually going over oh wait my foot's there', and I'm starting to think I should've listened to whoever questioned whether it's actually worth it on a 3 mile commute. Maybe I'll get used to it but at the moment I'm actually fearing the ride home. Tonight I'll either adjust the tension on the springs and look for some better shoes or swap the pedals back.

j.o.n.a, Monday, 19 October 2009 13:59 (nine years ago) Permalink

Ah you'll get used to it. Didn't you feel the POWER increase?

surfing on hokusine waves (ledge), Monday, 19 October 2009 14:11 (nine years ago) Permalink

Not particularly, although I took it a lot easier than usual, and noticed I hardly got out of the saddle at all when riding, and it took no longer to get here, so there probably is something happening there. Maybe just really tightening up the cleats on the shoes would make me feel more confident that it's not going to stay in place again when I turn my ankle to release it.

j.o.n.a, Monday, 19 October 2009 14:29 (nine years ago) Permalink

Oh it's totally worth it. It becomes 2nd nature, it's way more comfy* and predictable.

*assuming you have the cleats in the right position, which can involve trial and error. Look up cleat positioning on google if you want advice.

Mark C, Monday, 19 October 2009 14:56 (nine years ago) Permalink

Thanks for that. Getting home was fine, no wobbly moments at least. Haven't quite worked out how to come to an elegant stop yet, or how to go about scooting. Also I have a feeling that these Lidl shoes are actually crap. Messed about with the cleat positioning now, and will take allen keys with me tomorrow to allow further fiddling.

j.o.n.a, Monday, 19 October 2009 18:32 (nine years ago) Permalink

"Check to make sure the toes are even (thus making sure the cleats are positioned equally)."

You would think this would be sensible but I definitely feel better with my left cleat a few mills behind the right.

surfing on hokusine waves (ledge), Tuesday, 20 October 2009 09:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

Yeah, unless your feet are exactly the same size, shape and angle why would the cleats be?

On the subject of pedals, I just need to brag for a second. Last night I did some PROPER fettling. I took apart my new MKS Sylvan track pedals (which, brand new, felt a bit grindy - as others did in the shop when I checked them yesterday), greased the bearings, and sealed, as best I could, the unsealed area with grease. It took FOUR spanners/wrenches, and some tricky and tough effort, but I managed it and now both pedals are much smoother and hopefully less open to the elements!

Mark C, Tuesday, 20 October 2009 10:04 (nine years ago) Permalink

WHY ARE THEY CALLED CLIPLESS WHEN YOU ARE CLIPPED IN I AM SO CONFUSED

still need to get a pair of these, might go w/the ones j.o.n.a. plumped for as well

coz (webinar), Tuesday, 20 October 2009 10:28 (nine years ago) Permalink

Because clips = toe clips.

Mark C, Tuesday, 20 October 2009 11:28 (nine years ago) Permalink

- the main mechanism of which is A STRAP. not A CLIP. it's madness.

surfing on hokusine waves (ledge), Tuesday, 20 October 2009 11:35 (nine years ago) Permalink

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/green-living-blog/2009/oct/19/shimano-clipless-pedals
Noticed this yesterday while I was explaining to my girlfriend that nearly falling off 3 times isn't that dangerous really, then spent ages looking at the pedal museum pages. Cycling this morning I thought about the Cinelli ones mentioned in that post with levers, and decided I was actually doing alright. Loosening the tension on the pedal helped a lot this morning. It'd be so much easier if you could adjust the cleat position while your actually on the pedal though.

coz, they're less than £20 at SJS Cycles at the moment.

j.o.n.a, Tuesday, 20 October 2009 12:39 (nine years ago) Permalink

the clip is what the strap goes into, man

cutty, Tuesday, 20 October 2009 13:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

some people used to ride with clips, no straps

cutty, Tuesday, 20 October 2009 13:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

Even that's hardly a clip, in the sense of "a device that grips and holds tightly." It's more of a housing. A socket. A sheath. Well anyway "clipless" is still fucking stupid GOD IT MAKES ME ANGRY

surfing on hokusine waves (ledge), Tuesday, 20 October 2009 14:16 (nine years ago) Permalink

are you still confused?

cutty, Tuesday, 20 October 2009 14:21 (nine years ago) Permalink

i was never confused. JUST ANGRY.

surfing on hokusine waves (ledge), Tuesday, 20 October 2009 14:23 (nine years ago) Permalink

considering clips+straps for the lolpollo. hold off on clipless until get proper road bike, i reckon.

lad: "et tu, lady?" (haitch), Tuesday, 20 October 2009 14:45 (nine years ago) Permalink

Fwiw, clipless is a lot easier to use than toeclips/straps, if that's a concern.

Mark C, Tuesday, 20 October 2009 15:07 (nine years ago) Permalink

^ Yep. The only benefit to using toeclips and 'traditional' pedals is that you can still ride the bike without wearing cycling shoes.

Teh Movable Object (Nasty, Brutish & Short), Tuesday, 20 October 2009 17:47 (nine years ago) Permalink

I am going to dissent and say that they're both about equally easy to use, I'm not particularly troubled by either. I don't know why folks are insinuating that toeclips are that difficult?

♪♫(●̲̲̅̅̅̅=̲̲̅̅̅̅●̲̅̅)♪♫ (Steve Shasta), Tuesday, 20 October 2009 17:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

the only thing fussy about clips and straps is actually cinching the strap once you're underway. actually flipping the pedal over is muscle memory thing that takes zero time to master

how rad bandit (gbx), Tuesday, 20 October 2009 18:03 (nine years ago) Permalink

imo

how rad bandit (gbx), Tuesday, 20 October 2009 18:03 (nine years ago) Permalink

btw has anyone used feetbelt style nu school straps that all those pesky hipster children are using? seem like a cheap alternative to GTX clipless boots in the winter

how rad bandit (gbx), Tuesday, 20 October 2009 18:05 (nine years ago) Permalink

i never cinch the strap fwiw, it's kinda like shoes with laces that you just slip on/off.

♪♫(●̲̲̅̅̅̅=̲̲̅̅̅̅●̲̅̅)♪♫ (Steve Shasta), Tuesday, 20 October 2009 18:07 (nine years ago) Permalink

is that a partial bashguard for trials type stuff?

honesty is not ordinary to the height of the bunny hop (Hunt3r), Tuesday, 20 October 2009 18:10 (nine years ago) Permalink

i think it's for grinding rails and stuff, actually! it's partial, i assume, because fixie grinds are always gonna have their crank arms in the same position

how rad bandit (gbx), Tuesday, 20 October 2009 18:12 (nine years ago) Permalink

i want lake winter boots so bad :(

how rad bandit (gbx), Tuesday, 20 October 2009 18:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

I'm w shasta, never cinch the straps on my clips unless my shoes are a lot larger/smaller than the ones I wore last time. Set them once per ride, leave them alone.

I would feel confident if I dated her because I am older than (Laurel), Tuesday, 20 October 2009 18:15 (nine years ago) Permalink

^kind of how i'm imaging it - this is more so i don't have to don bike shoes just to go up the shops or to the pub or whatever! i have no problem with clipless for impending purchase of serious bike, tho.

lad: "et tu, lady?" (haitch), Tuesday, 20 October 2009 23:40 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeah this^^^

for city/leisurely biking = clips
for RIDING = clipless

♪♫(●̲̲̅̅̅̅=̲̲̅̅̅̅●̲̅̅)♪♫ (Steve Shasta), Wednesday, 21 October 2009 00:02 (nine years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

Lidl shoes mentioned upthread have finally given up, culminating in a frantic 'I'm turning my ankle, why aren't I unclipping oh shi-' moment. I have to cycle home later, and I won't have a chance to buy new shoes. Bike has these pedals http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Models.aspx?ModelID=3759
Do I:
wear my work shoes and try not to slip off the pedals
take the cleats out of my SPD shoes, and try not to slip off the pedals/get the pedal stuck in the cleat-recess area
pretend what happened this morning didn't really happen
?

Map Ref 52°N 6°W (useless chamber), Tuesday, 23 October 2012 14:52 (six years ago) Permalink

a). I had to ride home with normal shoes on my fixie with eggbeaters recently. One worrying moment at the beginning where my feet flew off the pedals at speed, but after i slowed down a bit it was easy enough.

ledge, Tuesday, 23 October 2012 15:47 (six years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I'm not even riding fixed anymore, so it shouldn't be that much of a problem. I overthink things.

Map Ref 52°N 6°W (useless chamber), Tuesday, 23 October 2012 15:49 (six years ago) Permalink


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