Shoe/ cleat/ pedal advice

Lordmooch Posts: 23
edited September 2010 in MTB beginners
I'm looking to buy some new pedals for my hardtail and am probably going to go for something budget ie Shimano SPDs as I'll be riding this bike for the next 6 months before investing in something new.

I've never ridden using cleats before (so am sure I'll fall off a few times :? ) but was just seeking advice or rather direction as to whether anyone had come across some reasonable priced, 'nice' shoes that fit SPDs and also anything I should bear in mind while making the change from using my normal trainers to cleats.

Any help/ links appreciated


  • njee20
    njee20 Posts: 9,613
    Specialized shoes are hard to beat, not the cheapest, but well worth the money IMO.
  • Shimano SPD M520 ~ 20 quid
    Shimano MP66 ~ 50 quid

    Best VFM combo known.
  • +1 for the SPD 520's.
    Bit of advice, mine came with a flat pedal on one side which I removed. Make sure you slacken off the little allen nut thing that makes them easy to get in and out of. I didn't, my shoe got stuck and I had a painful and embarrassing accident! Takes a bit of getting used to but great when you get used to them. You can always try for a bit on some grass, easier to worry about grass stains than head injuries! Slam on the brakes and try to get your foot out quick before you stack it. :D
  • Chris`I
    Chris`I Posts: 206
    I have Specialized Taho's and find them very comfortable while also looking much like a normal trail walking shoe or trainer.

    As suggested above, make sure you slacken off the spring tension as you get used to them, it will make it much easier to get out of them in a hurry. Also just sit on the bike and clip in and out loads of times to get used to the sensation and develop a bit of mucle memory. Although its very easy to clip in and out, you will forget to do it as you quickly get used to being clipped in, which can lead to embarassing mishaps. Just sit and get used to clipping in and out before you set off :wink:
    2010 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp
    2010 Specialized Tricross Sport (commuter)
    2012 Boardman Road Team
  • If your new to SPD's and are getting Shimano pedals, my advice would also to invest into some multi directional release cleats for the shoes especially for mountain biking. You don't have to learn to click your heels out, and you can just lift your heal and you click out (as long as then tension on the springs on the pedal is slack enough)
  • bails87
    bails87 Posts: 12,998
    I changed from MG1 flats and 'trail' shoes to SPDs (M540s and DHB M1 shoes) recently and have done fine. I really prefer them to flats now. YMMV, of course.

    I'd recommend the DHB M1s, but they are quite well ventilated, so I'm glad I've got sealskinz socks to wear underneath them, to keep the wind/water off my toes.

    As far as advice for a newbie goes, just slacken the tension right off (make sure you do both sides of the pedal, two bolts on each one!), get the cleats in a sensible position, then go riding. When you need to stop, unclip nice and early and make sure you lean the right way. After a while it will become second nature.

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • i woud say the m520's if you want that style spd, but id highly recommend the caged pedal versions (m424 for the budget) if you want something more substantial. also, you can't go wrong with specialized shoes, the mtb sport is £60- 70 and will last you as long as any other, with a good stiff sole.

    Oh and dont worry about falling off, first time i went out i couldnt unclip at a gate and ended up on my arse, all my mates (on flats) falling about laughing. but as soon as we got to the first climb, that shut them up... :)
    Specialized Stumpjumper HT
    Giant Defy
  • The first time I fell of was on the lane outside my house.

    Every evening one of the local farmers leads his cows back into the shed (I live in the middle of the countryside) , and I got stuck in the middle of them on my bike. I had a real zen like, "ah, isn't this peaceful' moment as I relaxed in the atmosphere, forgot to unclip and ended up on my side in the middle of around 200 cows on the lane.

    The cows took fright and started a mini stampede for about 20 yards and then stopped and looked around at me with what seemed to be a 'you idiot' look on their faces.

    Fortunately, nobody (except the cows) saw me ! :oops:
  • CraigXXL
    CraigXXL Posts: 1,852
    Spesh Taho +1

    Shimano 520 are great for the price and second hand are a worry free purchase as they are so reliable if heavier than their XT/XTR cousins.

    Unwind the adjuster to make it easier to release to begin with and gradually tighten as you become more confident and stronger in the leg.
  • Bar Shaker
    Bar Shaker Posts: 2,313
    M063 are cheap and reasonably stiff. There are still most sizes about and can be had for approx £45.

    The trainer style shoes are better if you need to do some walking too as these have a certain amount of flex. If not, go for the stiffest sole you can get. This will spread the load of your foot and make for much more comfortable riding, for much longer than you thought possible.
    Boardman Elite SLR 9.2S
    Boardman FS Pro
  • Paul 8v
    Paul 8v Posts: 5,458
    I just started with the normal cleats, I can't really see the point of the multi release ones as you can't pull up on them (Part of the "afterburner" effect you can get with SPD's)
    The M520's are a great pedal, I'd definitely reccomend them and they're cheap as chips too. Take the rank plastic flat pedal bit off. To be honest you will have the aformentioned SPD moment at some point but it's always at about 1/2 a mph so don't worry, they're easy to get use to and you'll wonder why you bothered with flats before once your use to them.
  • Northwave Lizzards are tough, light, look nice and have a great fit if you have wide feet. The cost about £90 but last a lot longer than Shimano's
    I had to beat them to death with their own shoes...
    HiFi Pro Carbon '09

    LTS DH '96

    The Mighty Dyna-Sore - The 90's?
  • Shimano DX shoes are great and not silly money and can be used for flats too without the cleat unless you grind off the middle pegs like I have.