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Roadbike SPDs, WTF?

Stu 74Stu 74 Posts: 463
edited July 2010 in MTB general
My girlfirend just got herself a roadbike on the CTW scheme. She has had some Shimano PD-R540 pedals fitted to it. The cleats (which are plastic :shock: ) that came with the pedals have been fitted to some new Specialized road shoes that she also bought.

I said I would teach her how to clip in and out but, to cut a long story short, even with the pedals set at the lowest tension they are incredibly tight to get in and out of (my feet are small so I managed to squeeze into her shoes :oops: ). In fact I would say that they are harder to clip in and out of than my mountain bike SPDs at the tighest tension :shock:

There is no way I would go out on it nevermind my girlfirend who has never used SPDs.

What's going on? Is this just how roadbike SPDs are or have we got a duff set of pedals and / or cleats or am I missing something?

Cheers

Stu

Posts

  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 50,675 Lives Here
    sounds about right.

    roadies dont need to take their feet out of the pedals.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • Stu 74Stu 74 Posts: 463
    What, ever? :)
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    no, they just take the shoes off their feet.
  • floatfloat Posts: 16
    thats how theyre supposed to be
  • Stu 74Stu 74 Posts: 463
    Well in that case looks like we are going to be selling the pedals and shoes on ebay. She doesn't have the strength to clip in or unclip :cry:
  • Chaz.HardingChaz.Harding Posts: 3,144
    Hmmm...

    Maybe see who they feel against another set in the shop you bought them from...?

    If they still seem too tight, swap them?
    Boo-yah mofo
    Sick to the power of rad
    Fix it 'till it's broke
  • trtimothytrtimothy Posts: 117
    there meant to be hard to get in and out of..although they do ease up after some riding. For learning to use them could you not put your mountain bike pedals on the bike?? also don't sell the shoes, just put some mountain bike cleats on them and then once she's used to riding she can always upgrade to road pedals and still have the good shoes. My sister still rides her road bike with SPD mountain pedals and road shoes and shes fine with it.

    Just to show how hard road pedal tension are to get out of Look actually make road pedals without springs to practise with as proper road pedals are not fun to learn on when your approaching a junction and struggling to get your foot out.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    I have to ask, WHY are road pedals that stiff to unclip from? :?
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 50,675 Lives Here
    involuntary unclippings on a road bike hurt.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    they hurt anyway?!?
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 50,675 Lives Here
    on an MTB? is it not the not being able to get out that hurts more.

    but the head down sprint on the road bike unclip is a killer.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • Dick ScruttockDick Scruttock Posts: 2,533
    I have my road bike pedals set so to clip in and unclip is far tighter than my MTB. On a MTB any trail might call for a urgent dab where as on my road bike the need is far less. My MTB shoes flex a little and the road ones do not, they are far less compliant and dur to that more efficient imho.
  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    Look do some with lower release tensions if you want to stick with road pedals, the cleats don't last very well though, and I don't actually think they're as user friendly as SPD-SLs.

    The trouble with fitting MTB cleats to a road shoe is that there's nothing to walk on, so they're very unstable, and there's nothing to 'guide' the cleat into the pedal, so there's a high chance of skating off. It's not an ideal combination.

    Unless she's very weak they shouldn't be so tight you physically can't clip in though, are you sure you backed the tension off!?
  • t0pc4tt0pc4t Posts: 947
    are they like a different type of cleat to what you normally use? I ask as I use these ones on my road and MTB alike

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Mode ... elID=17267

    although mine are shimano own brand. Unless they actually look different to your cleats.

    And no, on the road I don't run cleats any tighter than off, if a decent set of metal cleats won't go in either I'd raise it with the bike shop that supplied the bike and pedals

    It seems like you've taken reasonable steps to make sure it's not a set up issue.

    plastic cleats sounds :? though
    Whether you're a king or a little street sweeper, sooner or later you'll dance with the reaper.

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    Giant Anthem X4

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  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    28895.jpg

    Not the same as MTB cleats at all. Much bigger utilising 3 holes on the shoes in a triangular pattern, metal ones would weigh a ton, plastic last perfectly well in the case of Shimano, Look ones aren't so great on that front.
  • Is it a technique rather than a strength problem ? Is the release method for SPDs the same as that for SPD-SLs - I've never ridden SPDs so can't say. From what I remember, initially, it does take more a bit more force than you expect and you have to be sure to twist them free by moving the ankle outwards while keeping the rest of the foot in the same position; imagine pivoting the foot around the cleat.
  • JDALY46JDALY46 Posts: 21
    Have had SPD's on my road and MTB bikes since I bought them as didn't want to buy 2 pairs of shoes. Bought a pair of road shoes and SPDSL's a few months back - after one commuting ride they went back in the box and the SPD's are back on. Just so much easier on the stop start commute to clip in and out in SPD's and '1/2 pedal' resting on top of the SPD.

    The 2011 XTR 'mini-platform' SPD's look a good light weight compromise even for full on road rides - no prices yet though...(?)

    http://www.bikeradar.com/news/article/s ... 2011-25295
    Approach every problem in life like a dog - if you can't eat it or hump it, p**s on it and walk away...
    **********************************
    Trek EX8 2011
    Trek 6300
    Trek 1.2
  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    Just so much easier on the stop start commute to clip in and out in SPD's and '1/2 pedal' resting on top of the SPD.

    Learn to track stand :-)
  • JDALY46JDALY46 Posts: 21
    njee20 wrote:
    Just so much easier on the stop start commute to clip in and out in SPD's and '1/2 pedal' resting on top of the SPD.

    Learn to track stand :-)


    thats a WIP ! :oops:
    Approach every problem in life like a dog - if you can't eat it or hump it, p**s on it and walk away...
    **********************************
    Trek EX8 2011
    Trek 6300
    Trek 1.2
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    Ask the roadies is anyone has some worn cleats they wouldn't mind letting go for the price of postage. Usually as they wear a bit they get a little easier to clip in and out of.
  • mea00csfmea00csf Posts: 558
    road clipless are MUCH tighter than mtb clipless pedals. I guess the theory is that you won't need to get out of them in an emergency (or at least not so often) as when on a mountain bike. I do seem to remeber that they made women specific pedals, which to start with sounded ridiculous, but actually, whe you consider you turn your heel outwards, men are always going to have a mechanical advantage with bigger feet.

    tbh, if she's planning on being ultra competitive and is really nervous of the pedals, i'd consider going with mtb clipless system. I have it on my bike and have no problems. It wasn't so much a decision, just that i had mtb clipless before i bought my road bike, the choice was £25 for a new set of pedals or over £100 for new shoes and pedals. No brainer really, except i look a bit of a dufus with my shiny clean road bike, road biking kit, then caked in mud mtb shoes :roll:
  • Stu 74Stu 74 Posts: 463
    Thanks for the replies everyone. Looks like mountain bike shoes and pedals are the best solution. Just need to persuade her to part with her nice white shoes :)
  • If her shoes have more than the three bolt holes needed for road SPDs you might be able to use MTB SPDs with them, though walking in road shoes that are so equipped will be a pain.
    John Stevenson
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    She could ride flat as well you know.
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