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Easiest clipless release?

jpowerjpower Posts: 548
edited November 2016 in Road beginners
Long story... Tried clipless years ago and never got on wasn't so much not getting use to but more that I never felt confident. Back to flats for a couple of years and finally felt I need to make that move again.

Got some Bont Riots, love them really comfortable for my foot and some shim 105 SPD-SL being using them and only one embrassing moment thus far, however I just don't feel confident and am apprehensive about going out riding compared to I couldn't wait for my next ride, I'm sure I've even passed on some rides just because of the hang up I have with clipless. Sad I know.

I've made good speed gains and I'd like to keep them, I'm considering getting speedplay ultra light action mainly due to them being made out as easy to clip in and out. To be honest it's the clipping out that concerns me the most. Oh yes I do have the 105's set to the lowest tension.

Is there any truth that the UL are very easy to clip out? or is this just me wasting more money?
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  • lincolndavelincolndave Posts: 8,281
    I am sure when you get used to them they will be fine, I have only used spd sl and can only assume any type of clip and pedal will seem strange until you are used to clipping in and out,
    And I bet if the truth is known we have all had embarrassing moments when we have been unable to unclip.
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    Speedplay may be easy to clip into being two sided, so no messing about trying to turn the pedal the right way to try and clip in. But clipping out is exactly the same. No easier and no harder. Where Speedplay have the advantage is in how much float you can dial in or out.
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  • sungodsungod Posts: 12,705
    just practice

    find a quiet stretch of road, where you can go at low speed (and maybe wobble) without worrying about people trying to pass

    get up to speed, then coast and clip out/in/out again and again and again until you get bored, alternate sides every few batches, this'll start developing the 'muscle memory' to make it an automatic action, once you're really bored, go for a ride

    i use speedplay zero and like them, but imho the light action speedplay are best saved for people who don't weigh much and/or have trouble getting enough force to engage
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  • dyrlacdyrlac Posts: 735
    I run speedplay on my road bikes, and wouldn't use any other road pedal system, but I don't feel any difference between light action and regular speedplay and they have a pretty steep learning curve: both the cleat and your muscle memory need (conservatively) 100 clip-in/clip-outs to bed in. If you're really struggling, you should consider the click'r range of SPDs from shimano. Those are proper easy, and cheap.
  • SPD-SL come in three colours, indicating various degrees of float.

    Do you need to twist your leg the same amount to unclip for 'red' as you do for 'yellow'?
  • JaymeJayme Posts: 48
    I use shimano m520s with sh-56 multi-release cleats. Even on mid tension they are easy to clip and clip out of. I was riding through town the other day on a shared use path when a kid ran out in front of me. I was able to unclip and stop easily without endangering the child or falling off.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    jpower wrote:
    Is there any truth that the UL are very easy to clip out? or is this just me wasting more money?

    No offence mate, but I've seen 10 year-olds (and younger) routinely clipping in and out of SPD and SPD-SL/Keo/etc pedals without so much as batting an eyelid, let alone falling over. The pedals are not the problem here.
  • averroesaverroes Posts: 12
    Hi JPower as a total novice myself I can relate to your concerns a little. As much as it was a daunting a task with me. I initially practiced in a small culdesac to start with i.e. clipping in and out whilst in motion. Once you get used to it, it does pretty much become first nature. The more confident I become the easier it become.

    I also noticed as time went by and the pedals worn in a little the whole clipping in and out become easier.

    Also timing is important, sometimes approaching red lights Id coast in the hope they turn green so dont really need to clip out however even so coast slowly and eventually clip out. I tend to clip out my weaker foot.

    Ive only really had two incidences neither too dramatic. In one situation (I believe first week of riding with cleats) I totally forgot to clip out and come to a halt, luckily I was to the right of a friend who had already stop so tilted onto him :lol:

    The second time, for some bizarre reason my cleat felt jammed and I come to a halt. I did fall over luckily with no one in sight :oops:

    It is down to practice and getting used to as well as timing your stops.

    If any of the seasoned riders disagree to the above please do correct me

    p.s. I currently have some uber cheap Exustar pedals (Keo lookalikes). The only reason I purchased these was down to price and I feel they havent done too bad.
  • jpowerjpower Posts: 548
    Imposter wrote:
    jpower wrote:
    Is there any truth that the UL are very easy to clip out? or is this just me wasting more money?

    No offence mate, but I've seen 10 year-olds (and younger) routinely clipping in and out of SPD and SPD-SL/Keo/etc pedals without so much as batting an eyelid, let alone falling over. The pedals are not the problem here.

    Spot on I do agree with what you say, like I said I have been using on rides I can clip in and out, have been down that quiet road just clipin in and out, I'm sure its just getting more miles and the confidence will build, alternatively I got week ankles and feel the clip out is quite a movement, the force I put down to twist out usually wobbles the bike and it just seems quite a lot to me, maybe it just needs more wearing in.

    I'm looking at this and thinking thats what i want: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxC3Yqa4dEs

    BTW maybe we are referring to the same thing, but after the light action, they made ultra lights which claims to 50% easier then the light action.
  • 964cup964cup Posts: 1,359
    Practice. If you have a turbo, practice on that. Otherwise, try holding yourself up against a wall or railing while you clip in and out. Hot tip: you'll find you have a preferred leg to clip out (usually your non-dominant leg); practice clipping out with the other one as well, or you'll find it hard to deal with filtering through traffic islands etc on the outside (or when cycling abroad) - when you want to have the kerbside foot unclipped to "paddle" your way past the cars. It also helps if you need to unclip in a hurry (e.g. if you lose tyre adhesion on a corner or have to emergency stop) to be equally comfortable on both sides.

    This is from the bitter experience of not having done this practice myself when starting out with clipless; I'm still working on fixing my aversion to unclipping on the right.
  • I switched from SPD (2 hole MTB style cleasts) to Speedplay Zero - and have found the Speedplay's EASIER to unclip. Even with the Shimano SPD set to as light as possible, the speedplay to me feels easier and can unclip easily at seemingly any position rather than always best to unclip at bottom of crank stroke.

    Clipping in to the Speedplay is fine too - they bed themselves in a bit after a few goes, and if anything a bit of side step in - ie like you're edging a ski or ice skate just as you start to clip in makes it even easier (along with the two sidedness of speedplay).

    BUT DO get the speedplay torque wrench if you go this route, as a lot of problems come down to the mounting bolts having been done up too tight... I've managed without but have one ordered and really should have had it to start with, eliminates any doubt.

    And yes I practised in the garden first and had a couple of turtle impressions onto the grass... the speedply is more a straight down clip in action, not toe in and then heel down like i understand other road clipless - but it is very good and the adjustabl e float is lovely.
  • jpowerjpower Posts: 548
    Call me a lady, so I totally relate to this article: http://www.sportsister.com/2016/06/02/t ... al-system/ other then so called being male, however she explained exactly how I feel about the SPD-SL

    Done, set of ultra's ordered, pretty decent tredz are doing some discount codes this weekend, pedals plus some dry lube for £90, which I will feel well spent if it gets me back to my joyous cycle days. The wait begins, might put my bike in for a service meantime, make the wait go quicker.
  • milemuncher1milemuncher1 Posts: 1,472
    Multi release SPD cleats ( they have a little M stamped on the hooks ) and double sided SPD pedals are my favoured choice. You can get out of the pedals by lifting your foot straight up, or twist out to the left, or twist out to the right. They are brilliant, unless you are racing, then the 'straight up release' can be a slight issue.
  • I think it's important to have at least 1 fall. I did on my first clipless ride (due to unclipping then inadvertently reclipping as I reach the junction)...since then self preservation has meant I'm super careful to plan ahead!

    As others have mentioned, practice and it'll become second nature.
  • dyrlacdyrlac Posts: 735
    jpower wrote:
    Call me a lady, so I totally relate to this article: http://www.sportsister.com/2016/06/02/t ... al-system/ other then so called being male, however she explained exactly how I feel about the SPD-SL

    Done, set of ultra's ordered, pretty decent tredz are doing some discount codes this weekend, pedals plus some dry lube for £90, which I will feel well spent if it gets me back to my joyous cycle days. The wait begins, might put my bike in for a service meantime, make the wait go quicker.

    Good man. Welcome to the club. Unless you have the new fancy ones with the cleat protector built in, you'll want to invest in a pair or 3 of (admittedly awfully named) "Keep on Kovers", which can be found from various merchants for between £10 - £20. Otherwise the speedplay cleat gets pretty horribly worn when used in normal commuting and is flattly diabolical to walk in.
    coops1967 wrote:
    ...And yes I practised in the garden first and had a couple of turtle impressions onto the grass...

    LOL. But were the kids watching when you were showing off your new best bike? :oops:
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,824
    Just get used to unclipping before you actually need to. Freewheel some way before you need to stop, then you've got plenty of time to twist your foot and unclip. Then put your foot down.
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  • larkimlarkim Posts: 2,299
    My only problem with unclipping SPDs is when I suddenly need to unclip, such as just over a week ago when I came up behind a concrete mixer parked by the side of the road. My first glance told me I was clear to pass, but my second glance saw a car nipping through so I braked heavily, then remembered about the clips (I was at about 30deg by this point) and contacted the tarmac with my elbow just as the wrong side came released. With a hearty curse, I quickly pretended there was "nothing to see here" as the local tourists (I was in Morzine) started staring. Elbow still feels sore today.

    Upside is that now I know what it feels like, I know it doesn't hurt too much. And if I come across a similar situation again I'll unclip before checking out the road ahead. I wonder how much of the "feeling comfortable" with clipless that people report is actually about that foreward thinking to unclip before a stationary moment happens, rather than the craft of being able to unclip when stationary?

    I know from trying to use SPDs on a MTB my biggest problem was unexpectedly needing to unclip, which I was clearly unprepared for, often falling to the "wrong" side. Still, falls were generally softer then - I have though abandonded SPDs on the MTB and only use them on the road now.
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  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Been using clipless since the first Look came out - so thats close on 30 years now. Never had a clipless moment.

    As above practice clipping and unclipping up and down a quiet road or somewhere.

    Or get a turbo and practice on there.

    Or practice holding onto a wall.

    Its really easy. SPD/Look/Time/Speedplay = they're all about the same in my experience.

    Unclip BEFORE you stop. Never after. Speed is your friend.
  • dyrlac wrote:
    coops1967 wrote:
    ...And yes I practised in the garden first and had a couple of turtle impressions onto the grass...

    LOL. But were the kids watching when you were showing off your new best bike? :oops:

    well, it was a lot more pleasant than the time it happened on a road at a junction... the old classic roll up to a junction/stop and forget your feet are clipped into pedals classic :D

    Fortunately I'd by design or fluke got the hbait of being leaning towards the pavement away from traffic...


    I'd also very, very highly recommend the walkable Speedplay cleats - which do what the name says on the tin... and prevent the worn out bolt problem when you've left changing old cleats too long and the screw heads are all worn down.
  • stevie63stevie63 Posts: 481
    I used to have Shimano R540 pedals and switched over to Time Xpresso. Much easier to clip in and out of. However the bearings are made of cheese and so the pedals normally only last a few thousand miles before this becomes an issue. Having said that they cost less than a set of Speedplay cleats.
  • lostboysaintlostboysaint Posts: 4,369
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  • jpowerjpower Posts: 548
    UPDATE - They are not dispatching till Monday, oh I hate waiting.

    So I will buy covers, I would assume they will be v2 which claims it comes with walkable rubber, have to wait and see on that.

    Also I see the other problem I have mentioned above. So I consider myself pretty road aware, and during my days on flats I would stay on pedals till the last, braking probably quite late, generally trying to stop as little as possible. Obviously this doesn't translate very well to a new clipless rider and doing things in advance, I must admit whilst driving I noticed clipless riders stopping and unclipping early, things that do not come naturally to me.
  • g00seg00se Posts: 2,220
    jpower wrote:
    I must admit whilst driving I noticed clipless riders stopping and unclipping early, things that do not come naturally to me.

    Just flick your heel out as you come to the stop. It'll disengage the cleat, but if you need to carry on, just pushing back down will clip you back in. This works for all systems. You don't take you foot off (or you shouldn't do), keep it in place and it'll be half engaged already. But you'll work out your own method.

    Personally, I find the Speedplays a little harder to clip in and out of compared to Looks (in terms of actually engaging the cleat and the pedal). But that's outweighed by their double-sidedness: I'd occasionally hit the wrong side of the Looks when starting off - or stall if setting off on a steep hill and not engaging the cleat quick enough. All down to bad technique but couldn't get it sorted.
  • jpowerjpower Posts: 548
    g00se wrote:
    jpower wrote:
    I must admit whilst driving I noticed clipless riders stopping and unclipping early, things that do not come naturally to me.

    Just flick your heel out as you come to the stop. It'll disengage the cleat, but if you need to carry on, just pushing back down will clip you back in. This works for all systems. You don't take you foot off (or you shouldn't do), keep it in place and it'll be half engaged already. But you'll work out your own method.

    Personally, I find the Speedplays a little harder to clip in and out of compared to Looks (in terms of actually engaging the cleat and the pedal). But that's outweighed by their double-sidedness: I'd occasionally hit the wrong side of the Looks when starting off - or stall if setting off on a steep hill and not engaging the cleat quick enough. All down to bad technique but couldn't get it sorted.

    Makes so much sense, you'd think it was common knowledge, will be trying that for sure.
  • jpowerjpower Posts: 548
    Pedals came in, but bike service not complete (which is unbelievable). Took my time and got those cleats on, bigger its not the walkable's so I'll be needing to order some covers quick.

    Then in my over eagerness to try them out, I put one pedal onto my mountain bike just to get a feel. Now this was just stationary but was pretty easy clipping in and as the box says no need to look down or position medal, just put foot roughly in the right place and push, which comes naturally as you spin the crank.

    Now the big one, getting out... So tried different angles etc and it stayed in place, however just easing the heel out unclimbed, no real force was required just seems you need to twist past the float. I was pretty impressed as it was a far smoother natural action to release.

    I'd say if I can't use these then there abs no hope for me, very impressed out the box and stationary, now to get my bike bike so I can see what happens in the real world.

    NOTE: These are the ultra light actions.
  • I use Crank Brothers Candy and Egg Beaters on my road bikes because they have a very light unclip action, they also allow plenty of lateral float. These pedals are designed for mountain bikes but there are plenty of two hole shoes to suit road or touring use.
  • royalmile wrote:
    I use Crank Brothers Candy and Egg Beaters on my road bikes because they have a very light unclip action, they also allow plenty of lateral float. These pedals are designed for mountain bikes but there are plenty of two hole shoes to suit road or touring use.

    +1
    and you can use road shoes if you use the Crank Brother Quattro cleat
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    Grahamsjz wrote:
    SPD-SL come in three colours, indicating various degrees of float.

    Do you need to twist your leg the same amount to unclip for 'red' as you do for 'yellow'?

    You might have less movement for red I guess, but its still the same effort to unclip.

    Float is float and nothing to do with ease of unclipping anyway.
    If you can't unclip then you really, really need yellow cleats!

    I would (as others have said) get Egg Beaters or even better, Candy 1's if its really that hard for people.
  • G00Se said Just flick your heel out as you come to the stop. It'll disengage the cleat, but if you need to carry on, just pushing back down will clip you back in. This works for all systems. You don't take you foot off (or you shouldn't do), keep it in place and it'll be half engaged already. But you'll work out your own method.



    That's a really good tip from G00se and one I now do. Top tip, check your cleat screws every once in a while; one time, I had to wrench my 'stopping' shoe out with the force of a Titan every time, only to find I had a screw missing (joke there).
  • Alex99Alex99 Posts: 1,436
    jpower wrote:
    Long story... Tried clipless years ago and never got on wasn't so much not getting use to but more that I never felt confident. Back to flats for a couple of years and finally felt I need to make that move again.

    Got some Bont Riots, love them really comfortable for my foot and some shim 105 SPD-SL being using them and only one embrassing moment thus far, however I just don't feel confident and am apprehensive about going out riding compared to I couldn't wait for my next ride, I'm sure I've even passed on some rides just because of the hang up I have with clipless. Sad I know.

    I've made good speed gains and I'd like to keep them, I'm considering getting speedplay ultra light action mainly due to them being made out as easy to clip in and out. To be honest it's the clipping out that concerns me the most. Oh yes I do have the 105's set to the lowest tension.

    Is there any truth that the UL are very easy to clip out? or is this just me wasting more money?

    I've seen a few people that just struggle with the heel outward flick move. Not sure why, but some just do. 105 SPD-SLs aren't bad for getting out of... I have some myself. Have you slackened the release spring adjuster off? That might help. Apart from that, just practice. Do it constantly until your leg remembers for you.
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