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SPD Pedals

Trev71Trev71 Posts: 46
edited July 2009 in The workshop
I was after some advice on SPD pedals. My bike is currently fitted with some cheap flats but these are ontheir last legs and I was considering buying some SPD pedals to replace them. My daily commute is a round trip of about 12 miles and a mix of roads and cycle paths. In particular, I was wondering:

What are they like off road?

How easy can you unclip your feet?

If I crash, what happens? Will I still be attached to the bike?

Any feedback would be appreciated.



  • nationnation Posts: 609
    I ride offroad (for fun, I also use them on the commute) with SPDs, plenty of people do. Unless you're the kind of rider that feels the urge to stick your inside foot out in fast corners the upsides and downsides are the same as for road riding.

    Clipping in and out takes a bit of getting used to, but once you get into the habit it's just second nature. You don't have to think about clipping in and out, if you see what I mean. Practice for a bit first before taking to the roads and run the tension quite loose and you'll be fine.

    I've only crashed a couple of times. The first time I slid wide in a corner and high-sided, I unclipped just as a reaction to falling over. The other time my front wheel dropped through a gap between the planks of a bridge and I went over the bars. That time I stayed clipped in.
  • El GordoEl Gordo Posts: 394
    I think most people who switch to clipless never look back. It is just so much more effiicient than flats.

    If you crash your feet will almost always come out without you noticing. I suppose there are exceptions but if you set the tension quite loose any sort of twist will disengage the cleat.

    The only downside is that you have to go through the clipless-moment phase where you will almost certainly forget to unclip until it's too late and keel over sideways at some traffic lights. Since you're virtually stationary on these occasions it's mostly your pride that is hurt. Don't let that put you off though - it's a sort of rite-of-passage that you have to go through.
  • andy83andy83 Posts: 1,557
    i have just converted to spds and will never look back

    what i found best was go out on the bike the first few times when your in no rush to get anywhere and just have a leisurly ride to get used to clipping in and out.

    cant believe the difference they make

    also comes second nature to release after a while
  • izthewizizthewiz Posts: 154
    It certainly makes you think ahead a bit more about when you're gonna need to un-clip (traffic lights, junctions, etc).
    Two comedy falls for me at exactly the same place (I've learnt my lesson now!). One narrow trail I ride has an overhanging tree one side, and a fence the other. I slowed to duck under the tree, caught my brake lever on the fence, stopped dead and before I could unclip, I keeled over into a forest of stingers!
    The following week at the same spot, I thought I'd be clever and hang on to the fence to scoot past, but the fence post had rotted through at its base, so I went over the other way, into more stingers, tangled in the fence as well!. My mate following on, saw me disappear, then fell of his bike laughing so much!
    Moral of the story: be prepared to unclip at the tricky bits!

    Don't let this put you off, they really make a positive difference.
    The only bad view from the saddle is of the point of impact rising rapidly to meet you.
  • FyPunKFyPunK Posts: 160
    I use the shimano A530, SPD one side, flat the other, best of both worlds. I ventured into going clipless at the end of march. I cannot believe the difference between the two, my knees are better and generally feel more comfortable when clipped in, I have thus far only had one nearly moment but with the help of a van was able to stop myself falling over. Def recommend going SPD. Cycling Manchester to Blackpool. Look out for number 1691
  • SnudgeSnudge Posts: 40
    Those A530s seem better to me than the rat-trap/SPD PD-M324 pedals which are my first foray into SPD technology - one's feet seem to be attached by switch-offable electromagnets in SPD mode. A world of difference!
  • Levi_501Levi_501 Posts: 1,105
    I bought and started with cleats this week. Shamino SPD's.

    Yes, it can be a little annoying at say London bridge, but realisticly, I would not want to go back to trainers.
  • stuaffstuaff Posts: 1,735
    +1 for the A530s. Great bit of kit, got them on both my bikes- going to work (when I want regular shoes, and it's only a couple of miles anyway) I can go flat. At the weekend, SPD shoes with all the advantages of clipping in. Practice for a while- leaning against a wall, etc, then find an empty car park for actually learning to launch- and you'll be fine. I'm a bit clumsy and I was OK!
    Dahon Speed Pro TT; Trek Portland
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  • LDN-FlyerLDN-Flyer Posts: 97
    This may be a silly question so have some patience.

    I had an incident on the way home yesterday where my pedal made contact with the pavement and is now, well fooked. So i borrowed some egg beaters from a mate and set about fitting them. Left side, no problem, a few twists with the alen key and its off. On the Chainside i have a problem, I know the thread is reversed but no matter how hard i try in both directions i can't get it to budge.

    So... which way should i turn it ?
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • LDN-FlyerLDN-Flyer Posts: 97
    Merci !

    Fetches hammer.
  • WooliferkinsWooliferkins Posts: 2,060
    Have a look a Speedplay Frogs. Much easier than SPDs to get in and out of and no moving parts to seize.
    Help I'm Being Oppressed
  • BunnehBunneh Posts: 1,329
    Just make sure when you get your Spuds, tighten the cleats enough. I kinda didn't, couldn't get my foot out and fell over at the traffic lights. It's painful to both body and ego.
  • Shimano SPD's (any model, XTR are best) are the best pedals you could but, you can adjust the tension to suit how easily you want to be able to get in and out and are also comfy and lightweight.

    If you were to fall off, naturally your feet unclip, vary rarely would you still be attached to the bike.
  • Trev71Trev71 Posts: 46
    Well, I took the plunge and have been using my new SPD pedals and shoes for a few weeks now. Damn! what a difference. Absolutely no regrets and haven't fallen off yet. Of course, now that I've written that, I've tempted fate.....
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