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They vary in price to say the least,anywhere from $20 "nashbar brand" to over $200.
I have always used shimano's but the most popular right now would be egg beaters.
If you ride in alot of mud your best bet would be egg beaters,otherwise shimano's are pretty much bomb proof as are times.
If your looking for help in choosing,then i would reccommend shimano 520's,affordable and reliable.
 

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Hoodoo Voodoo?
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Shimano 520's are very well priced around 50$. Shimano's are a lot of the time standard pedals, although a lot of people run Crank Brothers but you are looking at a little more for those.
 

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Five is right out
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Eggbeaters if you want lightweight and fashionable. Times if you want to go a little heavier and want more durability. Both give you good performance in mud, have lots of float and are mechanically very simple.

I can't comment on Shimano as I ditched them years ago for their shoddy mud performance. Maybe they have gotten a lot better since then. Actually, it would be great if someone could chime in to say whether Shimano has improved their pedals for mud much in the last 3-4 years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
i just found a great post on pedals:


Differences between pedals boil down to these catagories:

1: float

2: release/engage tension

3: entry

4: platform

There are some other minor ones, like weight, depth and ground clearence, but we won't worry about those.

1: FLOAT

Float is how much you can move your foot around while the pedal is still engaged. Imagine being able to swing your heel out like you do to unclip, but stay clipped in for a longer time. Pedals will either have no float (SPD's), spring float (LOOK), or free float (Speedplay X, Eggbeaters). No float pedals keep your foot locked into a straight line and your foot position can only be adjusted by moving the cleat. Some say this increases efficiency, so say it hurts their knees. Spring float pedals are adjustable and as you start to float, it is countered by spring tension trying to recenter your foot. Counter that spring tension enough, and you unclip. Free float is more like riding on ice. Nothing keeps your foot straight and your heel is free to swing in and out. A lot of people say it's easier on their knees this way. Another nice thing about free float is that there is no spring tension to hold you in, meaning that you won't ever pop loose from simply pulling up too hard and since it's a mechanincal engagment holding you in, very little force is require to unclip once you rotate your foot past the float zone. Free float is one of those things that some people swear by and other people swear at.

2: TENSION

Release tension is determined by the type of pedal. In a standard spring tension retainer, like SPD and LOOK, the higher you set the tension, the more difficult it is to both clip in/out and accidentally clip out. The amount of tension is adjustable, so you can set it loose while training, and crank it down for racing. Other pedals, like speedplay and eggbeaters don't use spring tension to hold the cleat down, so engagment and release is easy. Pedals that use spring tension are going to be floatless or adjustable spring float, while the low tension pedals will be free float. Altho, speedplay is now making a free float pedal with adjustable float that still has the low tension of the origional.

3: ENTRY

Entry is how easy it is to engage the pedal. Look pedals are traditionally one sided. Meaning that you have to flip the pedal over to get it aligned right to clip in. With practice, this is a nonissue and shouldn't be a huge point of comparison, but for someone who isn't experienced, it will cost some time getting up and going. Other pedals, like SPDs and speedplays are double sided, meaning that pedal orientation is not important. Step down and you clip in. This can be easier depending on the design. Speedplay's small circular pedal make it self level no matter how you step on it, but other pedals, like the mountain SPDs still need to be oriented correctly to clip in. Egg beater pedals are 4 sided, and take ease of entry to the extreme.

4: PLATFORM

This is how much surface area the pedal has in contact with your shoe. This can be dependant on the pedal and the cleat. For instance SPD cleats are tiny, but the pedal can make contact with the shoe, increasing the platform, while Speedplays have a tiny pedal and a monster cleat, effectivly giving a large platform. On non-carbon soled shoes, a bigger platform means better power transfer while mashing the pedals, as there will be less flex. Larger platforms also tend to eliminate sore spots on the bottom of the foot caused by focusing pressure at one spot.

that's a basic rundown of the pedals. If you are happy with yours, then by all means keep using them. If you are having issues, then it's time to start looking for new ones (or new shoes).
 

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local trails rider
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Everybody has their preferences.

I am a big fan of Time ATAC pedals: reliable, easy, durable. They are not cheap but they work.
 

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I love my Speedplay Frogs. Price is not to bad, work very well, and are probably the easiest to get in and out of I have found. I have used various SPD versions in the past and find the Frogs to be the most instinctual to clip in to as you just slide your foot in and the basically self align really easily. Getting out is quick and easy, especially coming from SPDs.
 

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Student
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womble said:
Eggbeaters if you want lightweight and fashionable. Times if you want to go a little heavier and want more durability. Both give you good performance in mud, have lots of float and are mechanically very simple.

I can't comment on Shimano as I ditched them years ago for their shoddy mud performance. Maybe they have gotten a lot better since then. Actually, it would be great if someone could chime in to say whether Shimano has improved their pedals for mud much in the last 3-4 years.
I have the Shimano SPD pedals and I ride in some heavy, sticky mud. I don't know what the pedals were like before mine, but I bought them last year and they hold up well to mud. I don't clip out because of the mud.
 

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local trails rider
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[CrazyRick_11] said:
I have the Shimano SPD pedals and I ride in some heavy, sticky mud. I don't know what the pedals were like before mine, but I bought them last year and they hold up well to mud. I don't clip out because of the mud.
Can you also clip in in the mud?
 

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I ride in mud most of the time. I tried Shimanos, and they got clogged up too easily. I switched to Crank Brothers Candy C's (basically Egg Beaters but with a small plastic platform around them) and haven't looked back. No clogging, and 100% reliable.
 

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BadBoyRipper said:
What happens if you crash while locked in to clipless pedals? Is it easy to come out?

I've never used clipless before.
You can get out of them quicker than you can toe clips once you get used to them. I to the the point now where I rarely hit the ground because I can bail and land on my feet with out even thinking about it. Of course I did have an old set of Bontrager clipless that were not wanting to release half the time, figured it was time to get a new set of pedals then, but those lasted for 6 years with out any issues up until that point.
 

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BadBoyRipper said:
What happens if you crash while locked in to clipless pedals? Is it easy to come out?

I've never used clipless before.
Unfortunately it took me quite awhile to get use to them.
So.....to answer your question,your knees hit the ground first and everything else follows.Not pretty.
I'm use to them now and won't go back to clips.
 

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I have the Shimano 724's I think???? They are the one's with clip-ins on one side and platforms on the other. I ride in my sandals to the beach all the time so I need the flexibility. Do not buy the Nashbar knock-offs of this pedal. They SUCK!

I do have a pair of little Shimano clippers... I think they are the 500-series... also very good. Hardly every use them.
 

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Self Appointed Judge&Jury
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Don't listen to all the hype. Clipless pedals are all a matter of personal preferance. Everybody who is anybody prefers Time ATAC.:D No moving parts to worry about great float and smooth as butter to get in and out of. The only other ones I would consider would be Egg Beaters or Frogs. But why even go there when Time are so good.
 

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perttime said:
Can you also clip in in the mud?
Ya I don't recall to much of a problem, I don't often need to clip out on the trails I ride around home, because I know them so well. If I were always some where new it may be a different story.
 

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BadBoyRipper said:
What happens if you crash while locked in to clipless pedals? Is it easy to come out?

I've never used clipless before.
It just takes time to learn. Unfortunately the learnig curve involves a number of crashes. During the time you are learning you sometimes stay attached to the bike and sometimes you manage to unclip. But once you learn them it becomes second nature for your brain to make you unclip, during a crash or to avoid a crash. You may get discouraged during the learning phase and want to give up on them. But you have to fight that urge and stick with it. Because once you learn them you will never want to go back. Oh and by the way choose what ever kind you want as long as they are Time ATAC.
 

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Retrograde Customs
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I'm personally a spd kinda guy. Real big on shimano 540s, only 4g heavier than the 959 at about half the price. Tried some eggbeaters once and hated them. didnt feel like i was actually clipped in with them, couldnt tell where the float ended and the mechanism released and i just ended up coming out of them. your experiance may differ from mine. just my$.02
 
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