SPD cleats - SH51 versus SH56

daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 8,314
edited June 2015 in Commuting chat
Hello all,

I need to pick up another set of cleats, and am thinking that as I have a spare pair of M520's I will put those on my MTB.

I noticed that the SH56 exists, that purports to be multi release, so thought that might be a perfect bedfellow for when out on the MTB.
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Anyone have experience of them?
Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
Scott CR1 SL 12
Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
Scott Foil 18

Posts

  • WindyGWindyG Posts: 1,099
    The SH-56 is a good option for road/commuting when you might need to unclip a little easier and more often but the SH-51 is better suited for off road.
  • When I was a cleat newbie I had a couple of near mishaps using the 51's go got some 56's. Used them for several months, slowly increasing the tension of the pedals, before moving back to the 51's (and backing tension off again).
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 8,314
    I had mishaps first starting out with my sh51 on my roadie, but am now fairly proficient.

    However I have always feared it on the mtb, sometimes I like to dab, especially with technical slow speed maneuovres and thats where the twist release 51 cleats concern me, hence I am wondering if the 56's are the answer for me.
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • WindyGWindyG Posts: 1,099
    It becomes second nature you will find yourself unclipping automatically with no thought at all, would be better to try an improve handling skills though so you don't need to dab.
  • mpdouglasmpdouglas Posts: 213
    I tried some SH56 cleats that I had in my spares drawer (they came with a set of pedals I bought for my son). I had previously been using SH51s. I ended up taking the 56 ones off just a couple of weeks after fitting them. I found them imprecise and on several occasions I thought they weren't going to release and I needed an extra big heave to get my foot out. This is with Shimano XTR pedals. I had a couple of scares on the commute in to central London and was not willing to put up with the 56s. As soon as I changed, I have had no recurrence. I may just have had a bad pair (they were genuine Shimano) but I didn't enjoy my experience with them. The 51s may require one specific movement to release but it's precise and predictable.
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  • redveeredvee Posts: 11,932
    I had SH51 cleats with my first set of SPDs back in 1990/91 and have stuck with that model ever since.

    shimano-pdm737-150x150.jpg
    I've added a signature to prove it is still possible.
  • dj58dj58 Posts: 2,053
    I also have used SH51 cleats since SPD's were available in the early 90's off road and on. Never had a problem unclipping off road even when the pedals and shoes are caked in mud. I suggest you stick with the SH51's, set the pedal tension to the minimum (-) and practice twisting out until you are confident with them. As WindyG says it will become second nature eventually.
  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 8,314
    Thanks chaps, oh SH51's it is then!

    I have seen some Exustar ones being sold by Rutland cycles for £3.99 with free P&P - are these as good as genuine Shimano SH51's does anyone know?

    $_12.JPG
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 19,319
    WindyG wrote:
    The SH-56 is a good option for road/commuting when you might need to unclip a little easier and more often but the SH-51 is better suited for off road.

    Exactly that. The multi release are good for normal quiet pedalling with the occasional panic stop, but are a bit too easy to release when throwing an MTB around under you
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  • Andy_S_TAndy_S_T Posts: 106
    I use 51s on my commuting bike and shoes. I use Look Keo cleats on my road bike so find the 51s really easy to unclip.
  • ddraver wrote:
    WindyG wrote:
    The SH-56 is a good option for road/commuting when you might need to unclip a little easier and more often but the SH-51 is better suited for off road.

    Exactly that. The multi release are good for normal quiet pedalling with the occasional panic stop, but are a bit too easy to release when throwing an MTB around under you

    +1

    SH-56s for me when I commute on London roads, I need that quick-release action to help me deal with the rush-hours.....
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  • bikeit65bikeit65 Posts: 863
    Guys which of these two cleats would be best for spinning in a gym?
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  • dhopedhope Posts: 6,698
    Guys which of these two cleats would be best for spinning in a gym?
    Whichever is cheaper. No difference.
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  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,602
    I've used both, I've never had the 56 unclip when on the MTB (when I didn't want it to) and prefer the more natural (for me) freedom of it, so both my shoes now run the 56.

    My oldest set of cleats is now 5 years old and are showing no obvious signs of wear at all.
  • PufftmwPufftmw Posts: 1,941
    I never knew there was a difference :oops:

    Goes to try & find out...
  • PufftmwPufftmw Posts: 1,941
    Ah - it appears that I have SH51s on my Specialised shoes, which I mainly use for commuting.

    Amazing what you learn on the internet :D
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