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Setting UP SPD's / Cleats

diddyfunkdiddyfunk Posts: 252
edited February 2009 in MTB general
Hi All

I am making the move from flats to SPD's.
I am using the Shimano 505's that came with my scott scale and a pair of Specialized Taho MTB shoes: -
http://www.evanscycles.com/products/specialized/bg-taho-mtb-shoes-ec011619

Can anyone advise how the SPD's should be setup?
foot position etc?

What are the differences between say the 505's and crank brothers egg beaters?

Thanks
2011 Specialized Stumpjumper Expert Evo
08 Scott Scale 60 - http://i797.photobucket.com/albums/yy25 ... CF2299.jpg

Posts

  • eggbeaters dont have adjustable tension, you simply foot in and ride, they are a bit stiff to start with but loosen nicely, they also have the advantage of 4 individual sections to clip into and are great in the mud,
    i cant say naything about the shimano's as i have only used the crank brothers ones, sorry.
    Timmo.
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  • I move my SPD cleats to allow my feet as far away from the bottom bracket as possible to avoid ankle-rub on the cranks. Then just turn my feet so that they're parallel to each other.
    AT MY AGE, I SHOULD KNOW BETTER !!!
  • llamafarmerllamafarmer Posts: 1,893
    I haven't found the secret of the setup yet, but my shimano SPDs have been causing me knee pain recently and I've just ordered a set of Time pedals on the premise that they're better for my precious joints.
  • toastytoasty Posts: 2,598
    The 505s are a slightly older design than the Shimano pedals you get aftermarket nowadays, in all honest I much prefer the newer design for ease of getting in and out (such as the PD-M520s and PD-M540s). What you've got is definitely good enough to get you going and have a try on though. If you do like it and want to try some newer Shimano ones the M520s are only £20 with another set of cleats (worth about £15 alone).

    I'd loosen the retention springs off almost completely to start with, if you rely on heaving the bike around you can tighten them up a bit later. I'd stick the cleats around the middle of the ball of your feet, pointing forward on it's rails and go from there, you'll be able to tell quickly if it's too far forward or back once your weight is on it. The pedals will have a bit of float so the angle doesn't always have to be 100% bang on. It's as much a comfort thing as a right/wrong thing. Keep an eye out for knee pain, it can mean you pedals/seat position needs a slight adjustment, riding through the pain will just make it worse.

    After the first ride keep a mental note if clipping in one side is ever tighter/looser than the others and balance them up with the retention screws after, you'll feel a lot safer knowing exactly how much strength you need to release them, regardless of which side it happens to have landed on.
  • toastytoasty Posts: 2,598
    I haven't found the secret of the setup yet, but my shimano SPDs have been causing me knee pain recently and I've just ordered a set of Time pedals on the premise that they're better for my precious joints.

    Ride with flats on and see how your feet want to sit naturally, the Times are better due to having more float but it could end up a seating position thing. Do you normally ride with the ball of your feet similar to with SPDs or are you used to riding more with the middle?
  • llamafarmerllamafarmer Posts: 1,893
    Toasty wrote:
    Ride with flats on and see how your feet want to sit naturally, the Times are better due to having more float but it could end up a seating position thing. Do you normally ride with the ball of your feet similar to with SPDs or are you used to riding more with the middle?

    I'm used to riding with the ball of my feet, so wouldn't expect it to be a big problem. I really think the lack of float is the main problem because my right knee has been worse and that's the side i had tensioned harder. I think the right exercise will help too, recently I've done censored all during the week and then hit the trail at the weekend for a long ride, probably puts a lot of stress on my knees.
  • If it's knee, could your saddle be too low?
    AT MY AGE, I SHOULD KNOW BETTER !!!
  • _Ferret__Ferret_ Posts: 660
    Been riding SPDs so long I've nearly forgot how I set them up...

    I placed the cleat onto the shoe - roughly where the ball of my foot is and kept it central in the cleat space provided - tighten slightly
    Loosen off the spring tension to minimum and click the shoe into the pedal (without your foot) then rotate the shoe in the pedal and see where the float is. Your can rotate the shoe left and right and find where the limit of the float is and then "guess" where the centre of this is, adjust the cleat so your foot is parrallell to the crank arm. Tighten the cleats down and go out for a ride.
    Try to get the position of the cleat pretty good first before playing with the spring tension.
    When you are happy with the position then tighten the spring tension but only a little each time until you are happy with it.
    You have to do a lot of test rides to get the right position, so take your tools and get out there.
    BTW - the hardest part of SPDs is getting out of them. Start clicking your heels like Dorothy in "the wizard of Oz" and you'll get the required movement. :wink:
    Not really active
  • It is extremely important that you get your cleats angled right otherwise you'll ruin your knees.

    Put on your cycling shoes and sit on the edge of a high table and allow your legs to dangle down. Take note of the angle of your feet and don't be surprised if the don't hang at the same angle.

    If your toes point inwards or outwards make sure you mount the cleats at the opposite angle on the shoe. This will make sure that when you fasten in to the pedal your foot will still be pointing in it's naturally comfortable position.
    You'll know if it's right because you'll be able to twist your heel both in and out slightly without pushing on the release mechanism of the pedal.

    As for the fore and aft position, I get this right by trial and error but try to get it on the ball of your foot as a starting point and see how it feels.

    Don't be tempted to put the cleats on your shoe with slack screws to allow them to centre themselves. This won't work and you'll just twist the cleat when you try to release and will not be able to release.

    As has been said, slacken off the springs to start with and gradually increase the tension as your confidence grows.
  • I've got dodgy knees and have always found Time pedals to be much better than Shimano ones. They have a "softer" clip in and out action plus a bit more float which really helps. I also find a decent set of stiff soled race type shoes help massively as well rather than more trainer styled shoes... gives you a much more stable platform to put the power down.
  • llamafarmerllamafarmer Posts: 1,893
    Just got my Time Z Controls in the post this morning, so I'll have a play with them later. I think I probably didn't position my cleats well enough when I first got my SPDs either, so I'll have to be more careful this time around.
  • llamafarmerllamafarmer Posts: 1,893
    First impressions of the Time pedals are really good, they definitely have more float and are easier to clip in and out than my Shimanos. The pull out feels a lot more natural, as it's up and out, rather than just out, which means a lot less sharp twisting.

    The colours match my bike perfectly too and they come with nice shiny zinc coated cleats :D sweeeeet!
  • I started using spd's for the first time earlier this year, I set mine up by having the cleat slightly loose around the ball of my foot. then have the pedals set to the loosest setting possible. I have a narrow-ish hallway in my flat so jumped on the bike holding onto the walls and played about clipping in and out, making a few adjustments until things felt
    comfortable. Then went for a ride round the local park/ canal path for some practice. I wished I had used them 15 years ago instead of toeclips and flatties.
    If you fall off try again !

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