Pedals - Flat or SPD

lmcamoes
lmcamoes Posts: 51
edited August 2015 in Commuting general
Hi,

I have SPD pedals and I am struggling with them...
Quite often on traffic lights I manage to detached them but when I need to to start riding, sometimes is quite difficult to clip the shoe to the pedal and I loose momentum.
I had one or two occasions when I felt over because in an emergency I can't detached them fast enough.

I am considering to get new Flat "normal" pedals for communing, what do you recommend?
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Comments

  • markhewitt1978
    markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    That shouldn't be the case. What pedals and shoes do you have exactly?

    Have you tried adjusting the tension?
  • lmcamoes
    lmcamoes Posts: 51
    The shoes are Shimano R065 Road Shoe and the pedals Look Keo Easy Road Pedals OE.

    I think that the adjustment are ok, It is just me that can't get used to it and getting frustrated and a bit scared actually... every time that I approach a traffic light or a junction it is a nightmare.

    When I start in a junction or a traffic light after I stopped, I use the right leg to get momentum but if I fail to attach left leg quick enough it is dangerous and I get stuck in the middle of a junction.
  • markhewitt1978
    markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    Ah so they aren't SPD at all.
  • lmcamoes
    lmcamoes Posts: 51
    I thought they were.
    They look like the Shimano R540 SPD SL Road Pedals for example.
  • imatfaal
    imatfaal Posts: 2,716
    edited June 2015
    lmcamoes wrote:
    I thought they were.
    They look like the Shimano R540 SPD SL Road Pedals for example.


    SPD SL and SPD are different!

    SPD are small metal cleats that are normally advertised as for mountain bike use. SPD SL are larger contraptions designed for road use.

    If you really want the easiest learner experience gets some Shimano SPD pedals with a nice solid surround (so you can easily pedal without clipping in) like the M424s. Get shoes with a decent grip and some flexibility so that walking, putting a foot down etc feels normal and easy - maybe a trail shoe like the MT34. And some multirelease SPD cleats the SH56 - these come out of the clips quicker and in more directions than any others.

    Before you start cycling find the release stiffness adjustment on the pedal and dial it right down. Your foot will still not come out forwards or sideways - but even a reflex/panicky twist will release. Don't try anything that requires strong attachment to the pedals in this configuration - but for commuting it will be fine. Sit on the bike inside and practice going in and out. Do some laps of a safe circuit with few/zero cars and again practice going in, out and starting from a full stop.

    Learn to click out as you approach any POSSIBLE stop (you can always go straight back in if the situation changes. The danger comes when you are happy enough that you forget you are clicked in - but not used to them enough to unclick without thinking; it is not long to get through this stage to the point that unclicking is second nature.
  • iPete
    iPete Posts: 6,076
    Change to SPD, you are using SPD-SL which are generally trickier to get into and not great for urban riding.
  • zanelad
    zanelad Posts: 269
    I use SPD and have a dual use pedal. Flat one side and clip- in the other.

    The way you can use normal shoes if just popping out for a few minutes without donning all the clobber.

    Much prefer riding clipped in though.
  • Pep
    Pep Posts: 501
    I rode 20yr with flats and another 20yr with spd.
    Spd safer and more comfortable in my opinion.
    Can't comment on spd dl.
  • lmcamoes
    lmcamoes Posts: 51
    Thank you all.

    It is just me that had this difficult at the beginning and felt a few times?
    Maybe I am just to clumsy :-(
  • lmcamoes
    lmcamoes Posts: 51
    Pep wrote:
    Spd safer and more comfortable in my opinion.

    Why do you say that SPD are safer?
  • Pep
    Pep Posts: 501
    lmcamoes wrote:
    Pep wrote:
    Spd safer and more comfortable in my opinion.

    Why do you say that SPD are safer?
    With flats, if they are wet or slippery the shoes could slip off the pedal surface, and the ankle bangs onto the pedal. It has happened to me few times, very painful. In addition, with spd you can apply force not only downward but also sideways or upward, this gives better equilibrium, less chance to fall off.

    I have never experienced spd not coming off when i intended, or coming off when i did not indent. With enough experience (not more than one day) it comes natural, like breathing, you do it without even realizing.

    Just my experience.
  • Pep
    Pep Posts: 501
    Did you set the tension at its loosest?
  • lmcamoes
    lmcamoes Posts: 51
    Pep wrote:
    Did you set the tension at its loosest?

    Maybe not :(
    I will have a look int that!
    thank you!
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    lmcamoes wrote:
    Thank you all.

    It is just me that had this difficult at the beginning and felt a few times?
    Maybe I am just to clumsy :-(

    I have both SPDs and SPD-SLs ... for clipping in and out the SPDs are way easier. Also, you can ride without being clipped in and the shoe doesn't slip off the pedal before you clip in quite so easily...

    If I was constantly stopping/starting I wouldn't go for the SL type of cleat ...

    Btw - you can carry on riding with only one pedal clipped on on the SL type cleat - just lift up with the clipped in leg and apply light pressure with the non-clipped in one - yes, SPDs are MUCH easier.
  • dowtcha
    dowtcha Posts: 442
    lmcamoes wrote:
    Pep wrote:
    Did you set the tension at its loosest?

    Maybe not :(
    I will have a look int that!
    thank you!

    The keo easy pedals can not be adjusted, they are the same setting as the lowest setting on the keo classic which is 8nm I think.
  • awavey
    awavey Posts: 2,368
    Road.cc did a piece on SPDs today http://road.cc/content/feature/152926-clipless-pedals-how-get-started-easy-way

    Ive got the combination pedals,SPD one side,flat the other, and multi release cleats and love them, I spent first few rides actually only riding with one foot clipped in, the other still free on the flat side, just to get used to the feel, and try and build the muscle memory up to unclip in time and remember to lean to the side of the free foot :) only had a few panics where I totally forgot about it, but just kicking your heel outwards and your free quick enough

    Ive not found it a problem pulling away,yet, I always keep my weaker leg clipped in, stronger starting leg free and its no different to flat pedals really you just pedal up to speed, the clip always seems to have weighted the pedal to move round so youve got a flat pedal to start with but just tip it round, locate the mounting hole and push down and your in again.

    Im sure Ill have a comedy fall eventually,but SPDs seem the best way to go for clipless
  • lmcamoes
    lmcamoes Posts: 51
    awavey wrote:
    Road.cc did a piece on SPDs today http://road.cc/content/feature/152926-clipless-pedals-how-get-started-easy-way

    Ive got the combination pedals,SPD one side,flat the other, and multi release cleats and love them, I spent first few rides actually only riding with one foot clipped in, the other still free on the flat side, just to get used to the feel, and try and build the muscle memory up to unclip in time and remember to lean to the side of the free foot :) only had a few panics where I totally forgot about it, but just kicking your heel outwards and your free quick enough

    s

    What model do you use?
  • If you decide to go with flats, plastic half toeclips are good at stopping your feet slipping. You're not strapped into anything and it's quite easy to flick the pedal with your toe to slip your foot into the toeclip.
  • Personally if you're primarily commuting I'd just get some flat platform style MTB pedals (the ones with the pins) like DMR V8's/etc and use them with some decent MTB style shoes. I know the road bike fashion police will hunt you down but it's a lot safer in traffic IMO and you don't really lose much power or pedalling efficiency. I doubt the difference in speed would even be noticeable on a short commute by the time you take traffic lights and congestion into account.

    I've tried SPD's and Toe clips but still prefer platform pedals to both. Oddly I found platforms more comfortable than clipless and personally didn't suffer any loss of speed.

    I don't understand these people who say it's safer riding clipless? Cleary it's going to be more dangerous if you go down with the bike and aren't able to bail or jettision it in the case of an accident. Even if a fall doesn't hurt you there's a very serious risk of being run over by a car that doesn't see you before you have time to unclip!

    I really don't understand why anyone would want to ride clipless in a busy city centre :?
    When considering upgrading equipment to make you faster remember the words of Lance Armstrong...
    "It's NOT About The Bike"
  • roger_merriman
    roger_merriman Posts: 6,165
    Personally if you're primarily commuting I'd just get some flat platform style MTB pedals (the ones with the pins) like DMR V8's/etc and use them with some decent MTB style shoes. I know the road bike fashion police will hunt you down but it's a lot safer in traffic IMO and you don't really lose much power or pedalling efficiency. I doubt the difference in speed would even be noticeable on a short commute by the time you take traffic lights and congestion into account.

    I've tried SPD's and Toe clips but still prefer platform pedals to both. Oddly I found platforms more comfortable than clipless and personally didn't suffer any loss of speed.

    I don't understand these people who say it's safer riding clipless? Cleary it's going to be more dangerous if you go down with the bike and aren't able to bail or jettision it in the case of an accident. Even if a fall doesn't hurt you there's a very serious risk of being run over by a car that doesn't see you before you have time to unclip!

    I really don't understand why anyone would want to ride clipless in a busy city centre :?

    they are comparing clipless to road flat pedals which are terrifyingly ungrippy.

    I used to use SPD's for years to be honest they where fine, though I never found any improvement over MTB flats.

    flats (MTB) are more commonly used on FG/SS and CX bikes all of which generally have a higher bottom bracket and thus harder to get pedal strike, which is handy as MTB flats are bigger, if the OP has a road bike might want to exersive some caution if they fit MTB flats until they have got used to them.
  • [

    they are comparing clipless to road flat pedals which are terrifyingly ungrippy.

    That I'd agree with. I found flat road pedals seriously lacking in grip. Even when you add toe clips it doesn't really improve things much as you can still struggle to get a decent foot position and grip on the pedal plus it's just as awkward as clip less in traffic.

    Mountain Bike platform pedals coupled with mountain bike shoes are by far the best option for commuting I've found.

    YMMV but that's what I'd recommend after a decades experience of commuting. Personally I use these pedals on my commuter :-

    http://www.edinburghbicycle.com/products/revolution-contact-flat-pedals

    I'm struggling to see they exact kind of shoes I have but they're Specialized ones with lots of small circular cut-outs in the soles for the pins in the platform pedals to grip into. Offers fantastic grip even in the wet.
    When considering upgrading equipment to make you faster remember the words of Lance Armstrong...
    "It's NOT About The Bike"
  • seajays
    seajays Posts: 331
    I got these - Shimano PD-T420, as when I was first looking I was a bit unsure. Actually having double sided (flat one side, clipless the other), means that if I don't have my cycling shoes I can still hop on and pedal in comfort. However in reality that hardly ever happens.

    I love the clipped in pedals! I've not really experienced any clippless moments (occasionally my foot has come out when it shouldn't have - but that was due to tension slackening with age - adjusted tighter and back to like new!), and clipping in and out with the "Click'r" system is so easy, it's completely second nature and happens without a second thought. Wouldn't be without them.
    Cannondale CAADX Tiagra 2017
    Revolution Courier Race Disc '14
    My Strava
  • wolfsbane2k
    wolfsbane2k Posts: 3,056
    I got these - Shimano PD-T420, as when I was first looking I was a bit unsure. Actually having double sided (flat one side, clipless the other), means that if I don't have my cycling shoes I can still hop on and pedal in comfort. However in reality that hardly ever happens.

    I love the clipped in pedals! I've not really experienced any clippless moments (occasionally my foot has come out when it shouldn't have - but that was due to tension slackening with age - adjusted tighter and back to like new!), and clipping in and out with the "Click'r" system is so easy, it's completely second nature and happens without a second thought. Wouldn't be without them.


    Interesting, I s just looking at these myself..thanks for the info
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • I've never used spd as I don't like the idea of being attached if I need to get off quickly. I use some ebay wellgo v8 platform pedals(pretty sure they are fake as the pin is moulded into it and isn't replaceable) with five ten shoes. The shoes grip pretty well, but still slip a little in the wet.
    However, I recently put a few strips of grip tape (can get it in skateboard shops or DIY centres) on the pedals and what a difference that made. To say the strips I put on probably covered an area less than 1" squared each side of the pedal, they have improved the grip immensely. I didn't even bother cleaning the pedals properly first either, as it was just an experiment.
  • Why not go for dual-service pedals like the shimano 324 (http://goo.gl/WvOBd9) or 530 (http://goo.gl/PFdEzI). Yo can clip-in in light traffic and clip-out in heavy traffic sections or in roads with frequent traffic lights.
  • DeVlaeminck
    DeVlaeminck Posts: 8,787
    I normally ride with clipless as most of my riding is on a road bike - what you might loosely call "training" !

    However for commuting or just general riding about I prefer flats simply because I can wear my normal shoes and I don't find much difference in terms of power transfer. I also find loose fitting clipless pedals worse than not being clipped in in terms of being annoying but that may just be me.

    As far as safety goes I reckon flats edge it slightly simply because in an accident you are more likely to be thrown clear at which point the natural reaction of the body is to curl up into a protective ball.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • I use SPD and have a dual use pedal. Flat one side and clip- in the other.

    The way you can use normal shoes if just popping out for a few minutes without donning all the clobber.

    Much prefer riding clipped in though.

    I use the Shimano M324. Great idea as you can ride flat for going to the shops or stop-start traffic and SPD for longer rides.

    personally I have used Shimano SPD with M088 MTB shoes for a few years and wouldn't change. The big advantage is that you can walk in the shoes when needed as the cleat is tucked up in the sole of the shoe.

    I've heard a few people complain the SPD SL is difficult to get out of.
  • I am physically unable to ride with anything but flats, so cannot comment fairly, however I like the ability to move freely off the pedals in a urban environment.
  • Rykard
    Rykard Posts: 582
    I am physically unable to ride with anything but flats, so cannot comment fairly, however I like the ability to move freely off the pedals in a urban environment.
    i've had to switch to flats on both my bikes, the twisting out of the spds was killing my ankles. Don't have any probs with wide flats with pegs though
    Cheers
    Rich

    A Vision of a Champion is someone who is bent over, drenched with sweat, at the point of exhaustion, when no one else is watching.
  • I tried the M324 for my first clipless but for that they were a bad choice. Although you can pedal on the flat side, you're also constantly flipping the pedals over searching for the correct side!

    The big advantage of SPD is the double sided pedals, you're never on the wrong side!