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Clipless pedals advice please

markiegrimmarkiegrim Posts: 133
edited January 2014 in Road beginners
Appreciate similar must have been asked thousands of times, but my specific Q are as follows:

I want to make the move to clipless. Can I expect discomfort after riding with feet being constrained in this way? My guess is that plenty of fine adjustment is possible

LBS has Time, Shimano Ultegra and Keo Classics. They recommend Time on basis of "have been very popular in the last 12 months" (at their shop). They also say Time pedals easier to clip into and out of than the others. They point out that Time pedals have no tensioning adjustor, but say not required as so easy to clip into and out of

Basically I'm looking for an expert second opinion. Does what they say make sense?

...or would I be better going with Shimano or Keo where tension adjustment is possible

Thanks
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  • markiegrim wrote:
    I want to make the move to clipless. Can I expect discomfort after riding with feet being constrained in this way? My guess is that plenty of fine adjustment is possible

    No you shouldn't do, if you do then it's set up wrong.
    LBS has Time, Shimano Ultegra and Keo Classics. They recommend Time on basis of "have been very popular in the last 12 months" (at their shop). They also say Time pedals easier to clip into and out of than the others. They point out that Time pedals have no tensioning adjustor, but say not required as so easy to clip into and out of
    Basically I'm looking for an expert second opinion. Does what they say make sense?
    ...or would I be better going with Shimano or Keo where tension adjustment is possible

    I would back up a little bit and think about what system you want in the first place. i.e. SPD (often referred to as mountain bike) two cleat system with shoes you can walk in. Or SPD-SL / Time etc with shoes which are difficult to walk in, although potentially faster (open to debate)
  • Thanks Mark
    The latter - SPD-SL
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    edited January 2014
    Yep, back up to which shoe type first. A lot of people have MTB shoes with a road bike.

    Re discomfort.

    If you get MTB shoes make sure they are fairly stiff (you can get some trainer like ones), especially if you use small pedals like 'bare' Shimano 520/40's or Crank Brothers egg beaters. Both of these come in versions with a platform around the pedal for a bigger area to push down on.
    If you get soft/bendy soled shoes and small pedals your foot will ache where you are pushing down on a small area.

    Make sure the shoe fits well and not too tight/small.

    If you go down the road shoe option I think Keo Easy pedals are the easiest to get out of.

    Just practice a bit when you get them. Its much better clipping in and should become second nature.

    No experience of the time ones but they sound a good way to go. Tensioning device is probably going to be pointless for you.
    Just get some cheap ones and see how you get on.
  • markiegrim wrote:
    They also say Time pedals easier to clip into and out of than the others. They point out that Time pedals have no tensioning adjustor, but say not required as so easy to clip into and out of

    I don't know whether Time pedals are easier to clip in and out of than the other brands, as I've never used them, but your LBS's reasoning doesn't sound very convincing. The reason other brands have tensioning adjusters is that different people have different preferences as to how easy it is to clip in and out of pedals. Some might like it easier, but accept the risk that they might accidentally unclip. Others may want to avoid that, but accept that it will be harder to clip in and out. Unless the Time pedals are exactly right for you (which might be hard to tell without riding with them for a while), then surely the inability to adjust is a disadvantage.

    Also, if you're just starting out with clipless pedals, you might want to start with them a bit looser util you get used to them - so that you can feel more confident that you can unclip easily - and then tighten them up a bit.

    Personally I use Shimano M520s and M540s on different bikes and they are great.
    Shut up, knees!

    Various Boardmans, a Focus, a Cannondale and an ancient Trek.
  • wandsworth wrote:
    Personally I use Shimano M520s and M540s on different bikes and they are great.

    It's also worth saying that the likes of the M520 are double sided, unlike the SPD-SLs, this means that the pedal is always the right way up and you can just stamp into it.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    eggbeaters are quad sided :D
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    wandsworth wrote:
    markiegrim wrote:
    They also say Time pedals easier to clip into and out of than the others. They point out that Time pedals have no tensioning adjustor, but say not required as so easy to clip into and out of

    I don't know whether Time pedals are easier to clip in and out of than the other brands, as I've never used them, but your LBS's reasoning doesn't sound very convincing. The reason other brands have tensioning adjusters is that different people have different preferences as to how easy it is to clip in and out of pedals. Some might like it easier, but accept the risk that they might accidentally unclip. Others may want to avoid that, but accept that it will be harder to clip in and out. Unless the Time pedals are exactly right for you (which might be hard to tell without riding with them for a while), then surely the inability to adjust is a disadvantage.

    Also, if you're just starting out with clipless pedals, you might want to start with them a bit looser util you get used to them - so that you can feel more confident that you can unclip easily - and then tighten them up a bit.

    Personally I use Shimano M520s and M540s on different bikes and they are great.

    Have you tightened up your 520's/540's since you first got them? Tell the truth lol :wink:

    I use eggbeaters mainly and never feel the need for them to be tighter (which is good because you have no option to).

    I would have thought a lot of people that use Shimanos never tighten them anyway and I always feel the whole tightening mechanism is a bit pointless.
    Having a two bolt cleat means that it will turn if it is not tightened properly and this could make it impossible to unclip from, which is not great on the road :shock:

    Guessing road shoes might be better to have the option to tighten but I would say it boiled down to cost for the OP.
    Shimanos can be picked up cheaply and would probably get a basic set of those unless the Time ones are really cheap.
  • gethincerigethinceri Posts: 1,124
    M520 is a good start point, and cheap,
  • diamonddogdiamonddog Posts: 3,397
    Keo Easy pedals don't have tension adjustment and are easy to use IME.
  • Or SPD-SL / Time etc with shoes which are difficult to walk in, although potentially faster (open to debate)

    Utter rubbish.

    The only reason why there is a less race-oriented option for recessed cleats is that exposed cleats aren't good for walking no matter how flexible the soles may be.

    If you want pedals that are easy to get in and out of, get double-sided SPDs.
  • Which is what I said. Not sure what is "utter rubbish"?
  • wandsworth wrote:
    markiegrim wrote:
    The reason other brands have tensioning adjusters is that different people have different preferences as to how easy it is to clip in and out of pedals. Some might like it easier, but accept the risk that they might accidentally unclip. Others may want to avoid that, but accept that it will be harder to clip in and out. Unless the Time pedals are exactly right for you (which might be hard to tell without riding with them for a while), then surely the inability to adjust is a disadvantage.
    Seems convincing

    Why would people ride a road bike with MTB pedals. Also the M20 pedals seem to be around £16! v cheap. pedals I was looking at were around £50-100 depending on components
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    markiegrim wrote:

    Why would people ride a road bike with MTB pedals. Also the M20 pedals seem to be around £16! v cheap. pedals I was looking at were around £50-100 depending on components

    Mainly because they are easier to walk in. Possibly they may have already had decent MTB shoes.
    They are just generally easier and less hassle. Cleats do not wear out.

    Could also be because they do not want to ride so fast :lol:
  • w00dsterw00dster Posts: 879
    Im guesing Markie is relatively new to road cycling, so thought I would point him in the direction of the rules (someone was going to and I like being a smart @rse!!)

    http://www.velominati.com/the-rules/

    Rulea 34 and Rule no 1 apply in this case.....

    Thats all tongue in cheek, I have mtb shoes for my commuter. I still dont like walking in them though. And for the weight weenies out there, there's a good couple of grams difference between the two. Having just checked out of interest, my look keo's weigh 260g and for my m530 spd they weigh 450g.
    And in response to an early quote, I did tighten my SPD's once I got to used to them. Lasted three rides then loosened them again. One fall after not being able to get out in time was enough.
    I dont really find any comfort difference between the two. I like my Look pedals, but I think thats from an aesthietic point of view, ive done lots of long rides with my mtb pedals, no discomfort at all. I also probably have the ugliest mtb pedals it was possible to buy, so thats probably another reason for prefering the Looks. Again in terms of comfort, the only discomfort I've ever felt is when my ego was severely bruised after i've fallen in them. It doesn't happen to everyone, but it happens.
  • I've used spd and look pedals in the past, but would definitely recommend the Time ones now.

    They're easier to get into than the look ones, particularly on the move or when you're pulling away from a junction, and they come out easy as pie too. You've also got a nice bit of float, which is handy for people with dodgy knees like me.

    Only downsides I've noticed are that the cleats do wear pretty quick and they can tangle with your overshoes.
  • I've used spd and look pedals in the past, but would definitely recommend the Time ones now.

    They're easier to get into than the look ones, particularly on the move or when you're pulling away from a junction, and they come out easy as pie too. You've also got a nice bit of float, which is handy for people with dodgy knees like me.

    Kind of what my LBS said the...so encouraging. My knees are also not great
  • markiegrim wrote:
    wandsworth wrote:
    markiegrim wrote:
    The reason other brands have tensioning adjusters is that different people have different preferences as to how easy it is to clip in and out of pedals. Some might like it easier, but accept the risk that they might accidentally unclip. Others may want to avoid that, but accept that it will be harder to clip in and out. Unless the Time pedals are exactly right for you (which might be hard to tell without riding with them for a while), then surely the inability to adjust is a disadvantage.
    Seems convincing

    Why would people ride a road bike with MTB pedals. Also the M20 pedals seem to be around £16! v cheap. pedals I was looking at were around £50-100 depending on components

    Range of double-sided pedals (there aren't many road ones) and cleat life (road cleats might last a few months; SPD cleats will last years, if not outlasting the shoes) are my favourite reasons, but being able to walk is a nice bonus.

    Don't be a marketing victim. By all means choose SPD-SL or Look or Time if that's what you want, but there is very little that separates the two categories. If I went out in search of new cycling shoes tomorrow, I would choose the shoes first and worry about the pedals later. Having an exposed cleat allows for a different design, but if SPDs didn't work, no-one would use them. On MTB racing shoes, there isn't even a lot of tread on the soles anyway, and they look pretty much the same as their 'road' counterparts. If they're good enough for Andy Wilkinson and Graeme Obree, they are good enough for the rest of us. For what it's worth, before similar equipment started to be marketed as 'MTB', it was 'Touring'.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    Touring shoes (a niche market) seem to offer the best of both worlds, but personally I would avoid them.

    Also avoid duel (as opposed to double) sided pedals unless you intend to ride the bike with different shoes. i.e. clip in some days and normal shoes at other times.
  • They aren't faster.

    Cool, which is why I said "potentially" and "open to debate", so "utter rubbish" was a little over the top no?
  • . For what it's worth, before similar equipment started to be marketed as 'MTB', it was 'Touring'.

    Shimano at least still do market shoes and pedals under the 'touring' label. Which means they are simply SPD shoes and pedals specifically designed for road use.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    They aren't faster.

    Cool, which is why I said "potentially" and "open to debate", so "utter rubbish" was a little over the top no?

    They are faster anyway :wink: Maybe not whooooosh faster, but faster all the same :P
  • I guess it all depends who's using them? For me putting on the best SPD-SL pedals and shoes will make no noticeable difference whatsoever. However if you asked Froome to use SPD MTB pedals and shoes instead it might slow him down - a tiny bit.
  • buzzwoldbuzzwold Posts: 197
    To go back to answering the original question.

    1. you should not be experiencing any discomfort if you're set up correctly (the exception might be some foot cramp over long distances)
    2. if you are using the road bike as a recreational road/race bike where stopping is limited to junctions and resting, then you won't really need to worry about walking around and a road cleat will be better.
    3. Buy the cheapest road clipless pedals you can to start with - but suggest you stick to Shimano, Look or Time. Will cost anywhere from £20 to £40. In about a year's time or more you'll have formed your own opinion based on personal experience. You're really unlikely to be so far wrong to make a difference.

    Personal preference is for some adjustment and some reasonable float. I love my entry level Shimano pedals, but having hung a full Campy groupset on my bike, I suspect I have will have to change them.

    4.
    Someone's just passed me again
  • Time also do a double sided system which I use for cyclocross. As some have said the first question is how much walking will you likely be doing in the shoes? This will then dictate the type of shoe and then the pedal. I use the double sided time due to knackered knees and their extra float and ease of release. This isn't to say they feel loose when clipped in though. A lot of it will be personal preference but decide what type of riding you want to do first and as others have said don't spend a fortune straight away.
  • I would say that if you're racing or all you're doing is club runs where you never stop then SPD-SL is the way to go. But personally I quite like to ride to a cafe, meet up with the wife and child, have a little walk, then cycle home, even that limited amount of walking would be an issue with 'SL'.
  • gethinceri wrote:
    M520 is a good start point, and cheap,
    + 1
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    markiegrim wrote:
    I've used spd and look pedals in the past, but would definitely recommend the Time ones now.

    They're easier to get into than the look ones, particularly on the move or when you're pulling away from a junction, and they come out easy as pie too. You've also got a nice bit of float, which is handy for people with dodgy knees like me.

    Kind of what my LBS said the...so encouraging. My knees are also not great
    I would highly recommend Speedplay Zero pedals, especially if you have problems with your knees. However they are more expensive than most. I started out with Shimano SPD-SL. I quite liked them although I did have some knee problems (was never sure if the shoe/pedal setup was responsible). I changed to the Speedplays about a year later and instantly found them much more comfortable. They're double sided. Entry and exit tension has no bearing on the retention. You have lots of resistance-free float which you can fine tune or eliminate if you wish. Very low stack height and easy entry and exit. There are two down sides. They're a bit pricey and they're not good for walking in (although keep-on covers help a lot with the later).
  • I guess it all depends who's using them? For me putting on the best SPD-SL pedals and shoes will make no noticeable difference whatsoever. However if you asked Froome to use SPD MTB pedals and shoes instead it might slow him down - a tiny bit.

    Do you have a genuine reason to believe this, or some evidence, or are you just assuming that 'road' branded kit must always produce better performance?
  • If the pro peloton thought MTB SPD were better then they would be using those. Fact is that SPD-SL is more efficient for racing. However I reiterate that if you aren't a pro level rider you won't notice any difference.
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