Clipless on Commuting bike?

JHG
JHG Posts: 24
edited July 2008 in Commuting chat
I have two bikes, an old MTB with flat pedals and Trek 5200 with Clipless. I have been using my road bike for commuting for few weeks now and I dont like to be stuck with the pedals in traffic (alwais stopping at red lights).

I was using my old MTB today and its just so much easier not to be connected to the pedals when you are stopping all the time.

Are people using cleats on commuting bikes (city driving) or are they just using them to go longer distances?

I will probably use my cleats at weekends when I am just practising.
Jon H. Gudjonsson
2012 Cube LTD Race
2006 Trek 5200
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Comments

  • DevUK
    DevUK Posts: 299
    I'm looking into going clipless on my commuter hybrid. I don't have too many traffic stops so I don't think it'll be a problem. It will be the first time I've used clipless though...
    FCN Daily commute = 11
    FCN Fixie commute = 5
  • will3
    will3 Posts: 2,173
    Clipless for me. SPD multirelease. Wind them loose. No probs at the lights
  • dazzawazza
    dazzawazza Posts: 462
    I use double sided SPDs for commuting with many stop / starts. Absolutely no problems.
    Actually, I recently installed some flat pedals on my MTB commuter so that my wife could use it whist hers was being repaired, and I found them very awkward. Flats are horrible.
    I quickly changed back as soon as her bike was repaired.
  • JHG
    JHG Posts: 24
    I have been uncliping near every stop but it takes me few seconds to clip again and sometimes I feel like I am slipping when I am unclipped. I have SPD-SL (I think, road shoes, not MTB shoes) and I have some Shimano shoes.

    Well, I will take a long ride tomorow, perhaps I will like the clipless system better that evening.
    Jon H. Gudjonsson
    2012 Cube LTD Race
    2006 Trek 5200
  • I think the best systems for commuting are compact mountain bike SPD pedals with racing style mountain bike shoes and Speedplay pedals with road shoes.

    Both are double-sided so getting in after a stop is quick and easy. That's the crucial feature.

    Mountain bike shoes are easier to walk in; road shoes and Speedplays are stiffer and more efficient, but probably not by enough to care about. Fortunately I can ride to the lift in my building, so walkability's not a consideration for me!
    John Stevenson
  • bedraggled
    bedraggled Posts: 140
    I use Shimano Combination Pedals with a mountain bike shoe, it is a flat pedal on one side and an SPD on the other, in traffic I unclip and use the flat side.
  • always_tyred
    always_tyred Posts: 4,965
    Clipless are perfectly practical for commuting use.

    However, everyone has a comedy "failing to clip out correctly" moment at some stage. Eventually you get to the point of being able to pull to a stop and then clip out and stop even thinking about it.

    The strategy of practicing at weekends is a good one.

    You could go with spd (or similar) pedals with platforms. That way you can clip out early and still pedal.
  • always_tyred
    always_tyred Posts: 4,965
    The types of locks used by motorcyclists - those huge chains - also get around this problem, becuase they are too large.

    Multiple locks definitely the way to go.

    Then all you have to worry about is someone nicking the pump, saddle bag, pedals, seat, computer, squewers, lights, etc. It will only take 20 minutes at the end of each day to dissassemble the bike.

    Am I being paranoid?
  • DevUK
    DevUK Posts: 299
    I'm planning to get Shimano MD520's and some cheap shimano mtb shoes, such as the MT21's, or mp66 if I can find them cheap.
    FCN Daily commute = 11
    FCN Fixie commute = 5
  • whyamihere
    whyamihere Posts: 7,708
    It's all about confidence really. If you're worried about not being able to unclip, then you probably need more experience with them. When you're used to the pedals, unclipping and clipping back in is as easy and natural as breathing.

    By the way, I would recommend Crank Brothers Eggbeaters for a commute. They're 4 sided, meaning that clipping in really is trivial, and the cleats allow you to set the amount of float you want.
  • dondare
    dondare Posts: 2,113
    I use Time Atac clipless pedals and they're ideal for commuting. I've never had a "clipless moment".
    This post contains traces of nuts.
  • ris
    ris Posts: 392
    i ride my commute with mtb clipless and flat combi pedals. it can get a bit wearing having to unclip for every light on a route but it is pretty rare that i hit every light and i much prefer to be attached than use flats now.
  • dondare
    dondare Posts: 2,113
    Remember that it's illegal to use your bike on the road after dark without the right sort of reflectors on the pedals. Most clipless pedals cannot be fitted with legally compliant reflectors.
    This post contains traces of nuts.
  • Is that enforced though? I've recently gone clipless and I really wouldn't want to be changing back come the end of October.
  • always_tyred
    always_tyred Posts: 4,965
    How do you overcome this problem then?

    It would be interesting to test if the reflectors on the back of my shoes achieved this. I would be happy to demonstrate to anyone how my "shoes" formed the same machanical unit as my "pedals" during use. I'm sure that cycling without shoes in the conventional sense is permissable, as is cycling with pedals that have taken the form of shoes.


    (Ahh, I wondred where my padlock post had got to...)
  • dazzawazza
    dazzawazza Posts: 462
    I'm sure the clipless riders with multiple 1W leds and other reflectors are hardly a concern to the police.
    Pedal reflectors are at least something for all the m0rons riding on the pavement without lights.
    I still admit it's the law, but until it's enforced I'll still ride clipless (I don't break any of the other rules).
  • dondare
    dondare Posts: 2,113
    edited July 2008
    There is no good answer. I like the law because pedal reflectors probably really do prevent accidents; they show up like jumping catseyes. But at the moment so many cyclists don't obey it or even know it there is no demand for a good pedal (or pedal/shoe combination) that complies with the law. It would be possible, it just hasn't been done.
    The only way to create a demand would be to enforce the law and that would cause a lot of grief. The only thing that would be fair to cyclists as well as allowing a sensible law to remain on the statute books would be to require bike shops to sell bikes with legal pedals fitted which were to a decent standard. At the moment shops sell bikes without pedals or with cheap plastic ones which have the reflector but will be immediately replaced by the owner for better ones which don't.
    This post contains traces of nuts.
  • snooks
    snooks Posts: 1,521
    I just use these ankle reflectors:

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Mode ... elID=23571

    Bigger reflectors than pedals, and visible in 360º. OK they aren'r orange, but I'll go for size over colour any day :)
    .
    FCN:5, 8 & 9
    If I'm not riding I'm shooting http://grahamsnook.com
    THE Game
    Watch out for HGVs
  • dondare
    dondare Posts: 2,113
    snooks wrote:
    I just use these ankle reflectors:

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Mode ... elID=23571

    Bigger reflectors than pedals, and visible in 360º. OK they aren'r orange, but I'll go for size over colour any day :)
    .

    Still illegal - sorry.
    This post contains traces of nuts.
  • dazzawazza
    dazzawazza Posts: 462
    Ankle reflectors also make good trouser clips for all us plebs wearing jeans instead of lycra. :wink:
  • dazzawazza
    dazzawazza Posts: 462
    Dondare, do you use clipless pedals without reflectors?
  • dondare
    dondare Posts: 2,113
    edited July 2008
    See below.
    This post contains traces of nuts.
  • dondare
    dondare Posts: 2,113
    dazzawazza wrote:
    Dondare, do you use clipless pedals without reflectors?

    My bike is pre-1985, so is exempt. But since the law makes sense and the exemption doesn't, (or I might want to buy myself a new bike one day) I'd rather be able to use a good, legal pedal.
    This post contains traces of nuts.
  • OrbitRider
    OrbitRider Posts: 78
    Check out the Shimano M324s. I've got the earlier version of these: ideal for commuting. In traffic, you can ride on the cage, but when it's free flowing you can clip in. It takes a little practice to flip the pedal over, but you soon get used to it. The other advantage is that you can fit legal pedal reflectors.
    FCN 7 (4 weekdays)
    FCN 11 (1 weekday)

    There is an old cyclist called Leigh (not me!)
    Who's pedalling's a blur to see
    So fast is his action
    The Lorenz Contraction
    Shortens his bike to a "T"
  • dazzawazza
    dazzawazza Posts: 462
    I tried similar for a few months, but even after becoming an expert at flipping I still had moments where I didn't clip in and had to look down or adjust. In the long run probably more dangerous than not having the reflectors.
    Double sided SPDs are definitely the way to go.
    Perhaps some reflective tape on the leading edge is an option??
  • snooks
    snooks Posts: 1,521
    dondare wrote:
    snooks wrote:
    I just use these ankle reflectors:

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Mode ... elID=23571

    Bigger reflectors than pedals, and visible in 360º. OK they aren'r orange, but I'll go for size over colour any day :)
    .

    Still illegal - sorry.

    Don't be sorry, it's not your fault :wink:

    At least I can be seen (legal or not), and it would be a pretty brave policeman to stop the embankment peloton in full swing and start handing out fixed penalties for lack of pedal reflectors. :roll:
    FCN:5, 8 & 9
    If I'm not riding I'm shooting http://grahamsnook.com
    THE Game
    Watch out for HGVs
  • dondare
    dondare Posts: 2,113
    dazzawazza wrote:
    I tried similar for a few months, but even after becoming an expert at flipping I still had moments where I didn't clip in and had to look down or adjust. In the long run probably more dangerous than not having the reflectors.
    Double sided SPDs are definitely the way to go.
    Perhaps some reflective tape on the leading edge is an option??

    This pedal http://www.evanscycles.com/product.jsp?style=13930 has removable plastic strips. It would be straightforward to have a reflective strip that complied with the standard, and then you'd have a supurb pedal that was 100% legal at night.
    This post contains traces of nuts.
  • dondare
    dondare Posts: 2,113
    snooks wrote:

    At least I can be seen (legal or not), and it would be a pretty brave policeman to stop the embankment peloton in full swing and start handing out fixed penalties for lack of pedal reflectors. :roll:

    Brave is not the word that I'd use.
    This post contains traces of nuts.
  • meanwhile
    meanwhile Posts: 392
    dondare wrote:
    Remember that it's illegal to use your bike on the road after dark without the right sort of reflectors on the pedals. Most clipless pedals cannot be fitted with legally compliant reflectors.

    Bloody hell! Has anyone ever SEEN pedal reflectors at night? I was going to suggest that people glue SOLAS tape on to their illegal pedals, but that might not work - the DOT requires that the reflector match BS 6102-2...
  • dondare
    dondare Posts: 2,113
    Ignorance is no excuse.
    This post contains traces of nuts.