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Can you pedal while not clipped in using SPD-SLs?

class5700class5700 Posts: 65
edited August 2016 in Road beginners
I am a long-time user of SPD pedals and cleats and am thinking about switching to SPD-SL (mostly as there are more shoe options available).

Using SPDs it is perfectly possible to turn the pedals over gently while not clipped in on one side (for example if in needing to move along slowly in a crowded area or traffic).

Can you do this with SPD-SL, or will your foot slip off the pedal?

I ask because of all the headaches I've read about concerning clipping in quickly, for example on hills or where you need to move away from a junction quickly.

Posts

  • Garry HGarry H Posts: 6,614
    Yes, it's possible. Unless you have bad coordination.
  • I moved to spl-sl recently after nearly 4 years of spds.... Hated them and moved back. Should be fine for longer rides where you're not clipping in or out much, but my rides (especially the commute) have a lot of stop/start riding at least for part of it and I just couldn't clip in quickly without my foot slipping badly half the time. Always wondered why so many roadies in London took half an hour to clip in before moving off...now I know ;)

    Speed plays are double sided so maybe I'll consider them in the future
  • frisbeefrisbee Posts: 691
    Single sided pedals are fine for setting off, they are weighted so they hang at the right angle. With a bit of practice I reckon you get a far more reliable first time engagement.
  • iPeteiPete Posts: 6,076
    Depends on the shoes, my Bont SPD-SL slip-off if you c**k up, where as with SPD you can't go wrong as you usually have rubber/grip for walking.
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 2,592
    As above, depending on the shoes it can be extremely slippy. My old combination of SPD SLS and Shimano shoes was like treading on ice.

    Using Speedplays now.
  • ForumNewbieForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    class5700 wrote:
    I am a long-time user of SPD pedals and cleats and am thinking about switching to SPD-SL (mostly as there are more shoe options available).

    Using SPDs it is perfectly possible to turn the pedals over gently while not clipped in on one side (for example if in needing to move along slowly in a crowded area or traffic).
    I continue to use SPDs as it is easy to turn the pedals hard as I like, even when one foot is not clipped-in.
  • thanks for the replies.

    I'm now strongly leaning towards sticking with my SPD setup. I was thinking about it while out riding today and I don't think I ever put enough power out to actually bend my RT82 shoes, so stiffness really isn't an issue, and I've never had any problem with hot spots or discomfort.

    I guess part of me really wonders what the point of SPD-SL (and other non-walk-friendly, one sided pedal variants) is. I'm sure that if I was competing, or if I rarely had to clip in and out on a ride, then they would offer some marginal benefit. But tbh I've never heard anyone convincingly describe their value, apart from some vague unquantifiable "more efficient power transfer".

    wherever I've seen topics like this on forums there are always tons of people strongly recommending SPDs but apparently very few doing the same for SPL-SL (and their like).

    unless someone wants to give it a go? :)
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    I use Time Atacs on my winter bike - i do pretty long rides on it and even with cheap MTB shoes I've not noticed any pain or loss of power. I'm sure my CF road shoes and Speedplays are more efficient in energy transfer but its very very small. Unless you're racing - I'd not bother,

    There is a lt to be said for being able to walk in your bike shoes.

    (Speedplay could also be an option - but if you're happy with SPD - I'd stay with them)
  • Hi just wondering what pedals you are using with your rt82?
  • Firemac71 wrote:
    Hi just wondering what pedals you are using with your rt82?

    I use Shimano M540s
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,026
    Honestly if bothers everyone that much just learn to TRACK STAND end of stupid meanderings.
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,422
    I use SL's with "normal" road shoes(carbon soles) and all I can say is, don't plan on pedaling with ANY kind of force on the un-clipped foot. Slick as deer guts on a mountainside.
  • balthazarbalthazar Posts: 1,567
    class5700 wrote:
    thanks for the replies.

    I'm now strongly leaning towards sticking with my SPD setup. I was thinking about it while out riding today and I don't think I ever put enough power out to actually bend my RT82 shoes, so stiffness really isn't an issue, and I've never had any problem with hot spots or discomfort.

    I guess part of me really wonders what the point of SPD-SL (and other non-walk-friendly, one sided pedal variants) is. I'm sure that if I was competing, or if I rarely had to clip in and out on a ride, then they would offer some marginal benefit. But tbh I've never heard anyone convincingly describe their value, apart from some vague unquantifiable "more efficient power transfer".

    wherever I've seen topics like this on forums there are always tons of people strongly recommending SPDs but apparently very few doing the same for SPL-SL (and their like).

    unless someone wants to give it a go? :)

    I pretty much agree with you, though I ride SPD SL now. Not because of anything to do with power transfer and so on, but because of familiarity: I like the feel of broad-based single-sided pedals, having ridden LOOK (delta) for gawd knows how long.

    I think Shimano SPD (original MTB version) is one of the very few great modern developments in bikes, and it's not been bettered yet. Nonetheless, we all use other systems for a panoply of reasons: despite my mention of riding "feel", I suspect that "pros use them and I want a bit of that glitter" is the main one. At least partially, mine too.

    Whatever: you can ride single-sided systems upside down fine, if you have to. In the days before SPD we all rode LOOK on our way-overbuilt Muddy Fox and Marin MTB's, offroad and walking in the mud and we had a fine time. Yesterday I ended up going down a 25% sketchy rubble bridleway descent for a mile on my road bike (25mm slicks) because google maps lied and I'm stubborn about turning back. I spent half of it on the back of one pedal. A few spicy moments, but no blood to report.
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