Have just installed first ever clipless pedals... but...

Secteur
Secteur Posts: 1,971
edited May 2011 in Road beginners
...are they meant to be so "clunky" to get in and out of?

Shimano PD-R540 pedals.

There seems to be nothing refined about the process at all - to get out involves a hefty twist & pull with some force (far more than I had imagines), with a very loud "crack" when they come out - feels like something broke - every time - but everything seems ok.

Also, in the "resting position", the pedal hangs vertically (first photo below), but needs to be horizontal (second photo) to clip into - this makes it even more difficult...

IMG-20110513-00149.jpg

Bolton-20110513-00150.jpg

Comments

  • MaxwellBygraves
    MaxwellBygraves Posts: 1,353
    They are fine - once you start using them, they will soften up and become a bit more refined.

    Better like that though than to be unsure of whether you're unclipped or not!

    WRT to clipping in/out, it's just practice.
    "That's it! You people have stood in my way long enough. I'm going to clown college! " - Homer
  • RDB66
    RDB66 Posts: 492
    Hi Sec,

    First off, they are meant to hang vertical, so dont worry about that. Believe you me, if they were flat they would be harder to clip into.
    The idea is that the front of the cleat (the round bit) locates easier into the front of the pedal. It gets easier with practice.

    New spds are abit tight and clunky when new. Make sure you have them set on the weakest setting to start off with, but they willl loosen up once you've used them for a week or two.

    One tip...I put a little drop of GT85 in the springs of mine, keeps them nice.

    Hope this helps.

    Rich.
    A Brother of the Wheel. http://www.boxfordbikeclub.co.uk

    09 Canyon Ultimate CF for the Road.
    2011 Carbon Spesh Stumpy FSR.
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    Just remember - unclip first. Then stop !
  • jamm13dodger
    jamm13dodger Posts: 106
    Get on your bike next to a fence and practise clipping in and out while stationary.
  • father_jack
    father_jack Posts: 3,509
    SPD-SL don't seem to clip out with smoothness it is quite rough. SPD is a much smoother action.
    Say... That's a nice bike..
    Trax T700 with Lew Racing Pro VT-1 ;-)
  • JST
    JST Posts: 158
    Maybe the tension adjustment is set a bit tight? Or you need to twist your foot more when unclipping as they should just come straight out when twisted...
  • Buckled_Rims
    Buckled_Rims Posts: 1,648
    Yes, they do need a strong click. You have slackened the tension spring to it's soft setting, haven't you? Although, I think that's the default setting on new pedals.

    Also, yes, they are designed to hang vertical, it's so you can easily clip the front of the cleat into the pedal, and then stamp down to lock the cleat.

    I agree with father Jack, I'm now preferring just plain SPD pedals after a few years with SPD-SL.
    CAAD9
    Kona Jake the Snake
    Merlin Malt 4
  • Secteur
    Secteur Posts: 1,971
    Thanks for the reassurances!
  • Stone Glider
    Stone Glider Posts: 1,227
    Wot they said. BTW don't panic if you miss the first-time clip-in. Your other foot is clipped in, it should give you enough power to pick up your speed with the, as yet un-clipped foot, resting on the pedal. When you have reached a decent pace and are comfortable you can attend to clipping in the other foot. When I started I used to panic if I missed first time, 'calm down dear' as someone once said.
    The older I get the faster I was
  • cloggsy
    cloggsy Posts: 243
    Wot they said. BTW don't panic if you miss the first-time clip-in. Your other foot is clipped in, it should give you enough power to pick up your speed with the, as yet un-clipped foot, resting on the pedal. When you have reached a decent pace and are comfortable you can attend to clipping in the other foot. When I started I used to panic if I missed first time, 'calm down dear' as someone once said.

    +1
  • StevieDexter
    StevieDexter Posts: 142
    Buy Speedplay!
    Lead, Follow, or get out of the way...

    Ribble Gran Fondo
    Shimano 105
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    Speedplay X2
    Met SineThesis
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  • Secteur
    Secteur Posts: 1,971
    Well, I did a 35 miler this morning (my longest ride yet), out at 0600hrs so no traffic etc.

    Clipless pedals performed flawlessly.

    I paused at a junction and clipped out both pedals - I hadn't considered that an uphill start from there, in the wrong gear, might not end well! Fell off twice and ended up having to manually hand-spin the pedals and change down!! Thankfully there was no-one there to see (unless someone in the nearby houses was watching, in case they must have thought I looked a right fool!!)

    Some "awareness" on the outside of my right knee, but not a pain - just a "sensation" there - early on, but this settled, so I dont think I need to re-adjust my cleats yet (I just randomly fastened them on)
  • Rich Hcp
    Rich Hcp Posts: 1,355
    Loosen the adjustment, that'll help.

    Practise, practise and more practise is the key
    Richard

    Giving it Large
  • skdotcom
    skdotcom Posts: 56
    Just to add my pennies worth, I recently moved from using SPDs on a hybrid to SPD-SLs on a road bike, and really can't get on with them. Gonna give it a few more miles, but my feeling is that I'll be buying SPDs for my road bike.
    Specialized Sequoia Expert Gravel Bike
    Ribble CGR SL di2 12spd Gravel Bike
    Planet X Spitfire Titanium Road Bike
    Dawes Super Galaxy Tandem
    Boardman Hybrid Team
    Raleigh Equipe Fixie
    Kona Dew Drop
  • father_jack
    father_jack Posts: 3,509
    SPD-SL are harder to get in & out of, but on longer rides feel more comfy. For commuting I wouldn't use SPD-SL, for one thing can't walk also being harder constantly clipping/unclipping.
    Say... That's a nice bike..
    Trax T700 with Lew Racing Pro VT-1 ;-)
  • antfly
    antfly Posts: 3,276
    Shimano PD-R540 are cheap pedals, pay more for a better model and you get a smoother action.
    Smarter than the average bear.
  • Secteur
    Secteur Posts: 1,971
    I have learned to anticipate traffic lights & obstacles far more effectively and to hold on to railings where available at lights, so I can sometimes do my 35miler and not need to unclip once!

    I find getting the second foot clipped in a real nightmare.
  • P_Tucker
    P_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    antfly wrote:
    Shimano PD-R540 are cheap pedals, pay more for a better model and you get a smoother action.

    Really? As someone who owns practically every level of SPD-SLs, I can't say I've noticed a difference.
  • BelgianBeerGeek
    BelgianBeerGeek Posts: 5,226
    Watch some of the pro riders on a tour stop/start and watch some of them occasionally balls up clipping in. You'd think they would be used to it...As the man said, "calm down dear", sometimes you're in easy and sometimes you need to spin it round again. Practice makes (nearly) perfect. Happinness is going for a ride/doing the commute and getting home and thinking "I didn't unclip once"
    Ecrasez l’infame
  • skdotcom
    skdotcom Posts: 56
    skdotcom wrote:
    Just to add my pennies worth, I recently moved from using SPDs on a hybrid to SPD-SLs on a road bike, and really can't get on with them. Gonna give it a few more miles, but my feeling is that I'll be buying SPDs for my road bike.

    Just back from a 40 odd mile ride to the coast, with the mindset that if I didn't get on with the SPD-SLs today, they were coming off. Funnily enough, I got on really well with them today. I'm now finally converted. Still hate the shoes though, just how are you supposed to walk in them without looking like an idiot?
    Specialized Sequoia Expert Gravel Bike
    Ribble CGR SL di2 12spd Gravel Bike
    Planet X Spitfire Titanium Road Bike
    Dawes Super Galaxy Tandem
    Boardman Hybrid Team
    Raleigh Equipe Fixie
    Kona Dew Drop
  • BelgianBeerGeek
    BelgianBeerGeek Posts: 5,226
    Don't walk in them. It's nice to be be barefoot one in a while (careful in the lavs) :lol:
    Ecrasez l’infame