SPD Pedals

Georgeb Posts: 315
edited July 2008 in Road beginners
I currently ride using flat pedals, and in the future would like to start using clipless pedals. Could you tell me what its like to use clipless pedals and the advantages (and disadvantages) of clipless pedals? How easy is it to unclip?


  • bryan71
    bryan71 Posts: 89
    I am at present trying to get use to clipless pedals.You will get use to them just practice.You will fall off.But stick at it.Most pedals have adjustment so they are easy for the shoe to be taken out
  • ris
    ris Posts: 392
    they're great, once you use them you won't want to go back.

    they give you a better connection to the bike. you may fall off a bit to start with but soon get used to them when coming to a stop and unclipping becomes second nature.

    you will need some specific shoes, but there are plenty out there that allow the cleat to be recessed so you can walk around normally.
  • gtr mart
    gtr mart Posts: 176
    they are great but divide opinion. generally loved by those that actually used them and hated by those that havent. Go figure.

    As a side, there is loads of info on exactly your question in current threads about spds at the moment. So shame on you for not even bothering to search or look through the pages!
  • Diogenes
    Diogenes Posts: 1,628
    I rode for years with toeclips and always shied away from clipless. I took the plunge about 2 years ago and within a couple of weeks I had converted my 3 bikes to clipless.
    The are comfortable, give good connection with the bike and are more efficient for pedaling.

    Don't worry about falling off, just concentrate on the pedals for the first few rides, unclipping as you slow down for junctions etc. Within a short space of time it will become second nature.

    D :D
  • julietp
    julietp Posts: 67
    They are excellent. I got some for my road bike 4 weeks ago, I've put in quite a few miles training and commuting and have not fallen off and, whilst I may be tempting fate, I can't see myself falling off or forgetting to unclip. I think using toe clips previously means that I automatically unclip (just as I used to take a foot out) when coming up to a junction. I do have mine on a low setting however so it is easy to unclip. I do not find that the low setting means that I come out of the pedals on hills. I have shimano M520 pedals which I can recommend - my boyfriend initially wanted to get SPD-SL pedals but seeing my SPD ones ended up going for the same as me - he too loves them and has not fallen off having done about 100miles on them so far.
  • babyshambles
    babyshambles Posts: 149
    my girlfriend and I also have the above M520's which are great value for about £25 or you can get from ebay for bit less.

    take your time choosing shoes, try loads on some come up smaller or larger than standard sizes so dont buy online unless you have tried them on or can exchange. look at around £60 plus.

    They are easy to use and in fact, easier than toe clips
  • Hornetto
    Hornetto Posts: 141
    my girlfriend and I also have the above M520's which are great value for about £25 or you can get from ebay for bit less.
    Got my M520s on ebay just recently for £16.90 including postage (ordered 3pm last thursday and they arrived on friday!). Got them from an ebay shop called "High on Bikes".

    Haven't got the shoes yet as I've also been warned about different brands having slightly different sizing (e.g. apparently Shimano shoes need a size up from what you would normally take) so shall be calling in at a LBS this weekend to try a few on.

    Really looking forward to my first clipless experience when I get the shoes!
    Never argue with an idiot - they drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience
  • julietp
    julietp Posts: 67
    You have definitely been correct informed. I am a size 5 or 6 normally and my shimao shoes are size 40 (UK 7!!!)

    My boyfriend has specialzed shoes (which look great) and he too takes a size bigger than normal in those. He tried on some adidas ones which he liked the look of and they were very narrow. I suppose my point is you really must try a few pairs before you buy. Good luck at the LBS.
  • I thought about it for ages and finally got some SPDs, made a massive difference to me. The first time I got out of the saddle going up a hill all this clipless stuff suddenly made perfect sense, a huge revelation, I really would not be without them.

    Everyone told me I would fall off, but 6 months in and I haven't yet and I commute through central and SW London, stop-start-stop-start. I was worried about it though so went for multi-direction release cleats and set the release mechanism to it's weakest setting (turned an allen key).

    You just have to remember at first that you're connected to the bike and also when in traffic anticipate having to possibly stop sharply and clipping out accordingly.
  • markos1963
    markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    The advantages to going clipless are many fold. Your climbing ability will improve as you can pull up on the pedal to give extra drive. In the wet you don't have to worry about slipping on the pedal. Your pedal action and poise on the bike will be helped as well. Of course you will gain respect of non bikers as they think you are a total bikey :wink:

    I found the best way to get started was to buy SPD's with a platform on one side. Then I clipped in on one side and not the other, I then rode around for a while clipping in and out of that side until I was comfortable and then changed sides. I still use these pedals on my commuter as they are easier to get in and out of on a regular basis. I am now using SPD-SL's on my racer as they offer a broader platform for sports use but are not so easy for town use.

    Now converted I won't be going back, in fact I would rather ride without a helmet than without my SPD's!
  • Georgeb
    Georgeb Posts: 315
    Ok, so I'm pretty much convinced that I should make the change to clipless pedals for my road riding. But what pedals/shoes should i get, bearing in mind the less i spend the better. It doesnt have to be the best, but it needs to work.

    Pedals- I would preferebly like a cage on them so I can quickly go to the shops, however these look quite good and dont have a cage- http://tinyurl.co.uk/hk7v
    Could you tell me what brand to get and what different brands offer and which are good?

    Shoes- I'm just planning on trying loads of pairs on. As long as I find a pair that fit well performence wont matter to much. Road shoes or mtb shoes?
  • julietp
    julietp Posts: 67
    I like the fit of shimano shoes and these mens ones are good for the money: http://www.evanscycles.com/products/spe ... e-ec011618

    As you say though, trying loads on is the best way. My boyfriend quickly uppped his £50-£60 budget looking at shimanos for a pair of specialized ones at £100 when he tried on lots of pairs. Everyone is different.

    As for going for a cage - I wouldn't. If you really want to be able to have the option not to clip in then go for single sided pedals such as shimano A530 although in my opinion single sided are more trouble than they're worth with flipping the pedal over etc.
  • Georgeb
    Georgeb Posts: 315
    I dont want single side pedals with a cage. It will just be annoying to flip it over every time you unclip.
  • alfablue
    alfablue Posts: 8,497
    Georgeb wrote:
    I dont want single side pedals with a cage. It will just be annoying to flip it over every time you unclip.
    that's exactly what I found! I mistakenly thought they would be better for a beginner - not so.
  • ris
    ris Posts: 392
    i've got the half-and-half (shimano m324 i think they were) and i think i've used them with normal shoes fewer times than i can count on one hand, in over 6months.