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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Doing some research this week and then of this weekend to my LBS to get some pedals and shoes.

What's some of the things I should look out for? Are most shoes/cleats compatible with most of the pedals?
etc.

Never used clipless pedals before so any info will be usefull :D
 

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phazer said:
Doing some research this week and then of this weekend to my LBS to get some pedals and shoes.

What's some of the things I should look out for? Are most shoes/cleats compatible with most of the pedals?
etc.

Never used clipless pedals before so any info will be usefull :D
The cleats will come with your pedals, so buy whatever shoes you feel most comfortable in. (I think most shoes will be compatible, but I'm a newb myself, so don't take what I say as carved in stone.) Be sure not to get the slick road shoes. You're going to want something with a little traction so you can handle walking on the trail if/when you come off your bike.

My husband and I have only been 'clipless' a few weeks. We went the shimano route and bought the 520's. We bought them in case we didn't do well with clipless, there's an extra cleat set you can buy seperately that makes it easier to get out in emergencies. Neither of us needed it, though. I found I worried over the whole thing more than I actually hurt myself learning. I've actually had a few falls where I wish I wouldn't have clipped out to avoid the massive calf bruise I got from my pedal. It's been so much fun though and I've noticed my confidence and skills are improving. Go clipless and you won't go back!

Atty
 

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I just got my Crank Bros. Candy's in this weekend. I've never ridden clipless before, but love it already. I haven't had any of the usual problems I hear people talking about with falls due to not being able to clip out in time (nice suprise, I was expecting some war wounds :D )

As far as your questions, most cleats are SPD pattern (2 holes), as are most shoes. As long as you check that, and for tread clearance between the shoe and the pedal, you should be fine.
 

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phazer said:
Doing some research this week and then of this weekend to my LBS to get some pedals and shoes.

What's some of the things I should look out for? Are most shoes/cleats compatible with most of the pedals?
etc.

Never used clipless pedals before so any info will be usefull :D
When picking your shoes consider how or if you will be wearing them off the bike. For example, I run Adventure Races. We frequently have to dismount during the biking legs to complete various tasks, search for a checkpoint, or "bushwhack" our bikes through a section of overgrown brush. Once we had to climb a 90 foot high firetower! Many traditional bike shoes can be difficult to walk in because they are very stiff and have slippery soles. We use a hybrid shoe that looks and acts like a hiking shoe. In theory you may sacrifice some pedaling efficiency due to the flex in the shoe but, in my mind, that's off-set by the comfort and versatility of the hybrid.

Even if you're not running adventure races, they are more comfortable when walking into a local wateriing hole that you may stumble across mid-ride!
 

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I've been clipless for nearly 10 years, IMO best cycling development ever!

I personally use Shiman.o MO37 Shoes, (now MO38's) and M540 pedals, works great for my style of XC.

Things to look out for depend on the terrain you ride and your riding style.

For example;-

> If you ride deep sticky mud you probably want open pedals like 'eggbeater.s' and a hard skin shoe to repel the muck, with a deep tread / studs.
> If its more regular trail work / general purpose then pedals similar to the M540's and a soft breathable shoe like the 38's but still with some tread.
> If its more freestyle / DH then perhaps a single sided pedal with the binding on one-side only and a soft sole shoe.
> For racing small light pedal with a solid sole shoe, probably hard uppers

Things to look out for;-

Shoes

> First make sure they are SPD compatible!
> Hard or soft uppers... I prefer soft breathable trainer style, very comfortable with a more relaxed look, go hard skin if you always ride in the mud or wet.
> Sole... All SPD shoes have a harder sole than you will be previously used to in nearly any other form of footwear. However some, like race shoes have a 'solid sole' ... really weird to walk in and just forget about it on wet rocks.... ouch I know. IMO go for shoes with some flex when you walk.
> Bindings... IMO laces are not enough, you do not want your heel moving, remember you can now pull up as well as push down when you pedal. Ideally laces plus a velcro strap.
> Fit... Shoes should be a snug but not tight fit, some shoes (soft skin) give a little, others like (hard skins) may not give at all. Ask yourself, would these be comfortable for 2-3 hours of riding... take your time this is important, watch out for pressure points.

Pedals

> Purpose... Go for an open pedal design (Eggbeate.r's) for mud work (helps stops clogging) or more closed design for general purpose (540's).
> Float... Some pedals have greater range of float (left and right heel movement before they disengage). I like a more locked in feel so the 540's suit me and you can ensure maximum comfort by adjusting the angle / position of the shoe cleat. This really is a personal preference thing...

Other

> Not all brands of pedal / cleat are compatible, if you ride with friends and occasionally swap bikes this is really important.
> You generally get compatible cleats when you buy pedal sets.
> When you first fit the cleat to the shoe apply copper grease to the bolt threads and do NOT fully tighten them until you are happy with the shoe / pedal feel. Otherwise this may make minor changes difficult, as ridges will have formed within the shoe where the cleat clamps on. Also do not apply the waterproof tape until you have finished adjusting the cleat.

Good luck with whatever choice you make, you'll never look back :)
 

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phazer said:
Doing some research this week and then of this weekend to my LBS to get some pedals and shoes.

What's some of the things I should look out for? Are most shoes/cleats compatible with most of the pedals?
etc.

Never used clipless pedals before so any info will be usefull :D
Here are a few factors to consider when going clipless:

Float (Free Float): Float is measurement how much you can rotate your foot before you have before you engage the retention system. Float is an important if you have bad knees. The more float you have the more your need is allow to move around thus preventing you from locking it into a possibly a painful position. Note: Shimano does not use this definition for float, what the call float is actually the release angle.

Release Angle: This is the angle that you are release from the pedals. The greater the release angle the less likely you will experience an accidentally release. The down side to a large release angle is there a larger learning curve. Note: Speed play frogs do not have a release angle; it all free floats on those pedals. Some pedals like the Eggs and ATAC have multiple release angles depending on how you mount the cleats.

Mud Shedding Ability: If you tend ride in a lot wet conditions, there is a good chance that mud can jam up the retention system of the pedal and prevent you from clipping in. The good news is most pedals are designed to shed mud as you clip in with the exception of low end Shimano. The high end Shimano PD-M959 is designed to shed mud.

Platforms: Some clipless pedals have platforms that allow you ride for shot period of times with out actually clipping into the pedal. You might consider these types of pedals if you ride very technical trails or downhill where you might need to bail something. Now, even with platforms these pedals are designed to be ridden with regular shoes because the retention mechanism protrudes above the platform.

Weight: If you're a weight weenie this might be important to you.

Now on to shoes:

Fit: The most important thing about shoe is fit. Bike shoes should be very snug with just nuff room to wiggle your toes. Loose shoes will reduce your pedaling efficiency and defeat the purpose of having clipless pedals.

Stiffness: Now depending on terrain you ride might want more a flexible sole or stiffer sole. If you ride in terrain where you do a lot of hike a bike, you might want more flexiable/walkable shoes. Now on the other hand, if you a lot of XC, you might want to go with a stiffer soles and get better pedaling efficiency.

Toe Spike: Some of the higher end shoe come with toe spike to assist in hike bike.

Strap vs. Lace: This really comes down to personally preferences. Some people like laces other like me like straps. If lace person, I do suggest you look for shoes that have a least one strap to prevent you shoe lace from coming loose and getting caught in the drivetrain.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Great! Thanks for all the info.

I do pretty much just XC riding, on dry-ish, sand-ish like trials with one or two river crossings now and again. Very little mud on the trials..
Off on friday to go buy the pedals and shoes, cannot wait!
 

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What about the shoes?

Hi all,
I don't want to steal the thread, but there are already alot on the clipless.

I went on a ride with a local group and out of more than a dozen people, I was the only one not clipless. As I don't like to stand out, I'm going to take the plunge.

I've read alot of the threads about the pedals and releasing, but I'm still trying to figure out the shoe. Some are advertised with more aggressive bottoms for when you have to hike. Does'nt the clip get in the way when walking or is it recessed up into the shoe? Could I wear the shoes into the store after a ride to pick up a soda without sounding like I'm wearing tap dancing shoes or are these strictly where only when riding?

I'm looking into the shoes and how often I can wear them depends on the amount I'll spend on them.

One more item, from the little bit I've looked (on-line), it seems the largest standard size is a 47, I wear a size 13 (US) shoe, could go with 12.5 probaly. Would the 47 work or should I try to find a 48.

Thanks,
Tommy
 

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The cleat is recessed within the sole of the shoe, you may get the odd tap when you walk but its nothing really.

As far as size goes the Euro 47 is equivalent to a US 13, but as in my earlier post correct fit is really important. You absolutely need to try before you buy and find a shoe that works for you, (snug and comfortable as apposed to tight). If you need to go bigger than a 47/13 there are many makes that have standard sizes up to 49 / US 14.5. For example I know Nike do the 'Kato' up to 49!

Happy shopping :D
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Got the Shimano PD-M520 pedals with Olempic shoes.
Works like a charm, turned, the tension down on the pedals, and no problems un-clipping etc.
 

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I'm so glad that you like them. My hubby and I started riding in April and went clipless with the 520's and the transition was much easier than I had anticipated. We both love our pedals!
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Atty said:
I'm so glad that you like them. My hubby and I started riding in April and went clipless with the 520's and the transition was much easier than I had anticipated. We both love our pedals!
Like them? That's a understatement, I LOVE this pedals! :D
Cannot believe I used platforms for as long as I did. My hill climbing improved massivly, I can go faster for longer, etc. etc. Loving this pedals.
My riding buddy that used to be just ahead of me, when we both had platforms cannot keep up with me now :p So offcourse I convinced him know to go clipless aswell!!
 

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I'm about convinced,but...

I've been paying more attention to the way I pedal, as I debate weather to take the plunge and go clipless. I have stopped putting one foot down while going around fast turns (yah for me :D ).

I noticed I switch between pedaling with the balls of my feet and the heel. I "think" I do it to change the muscles that are doing the work. Anybody run into a problem with muscle fatigue as not being able to swith the position of you feet? Is it something you get used to or is it just bad form on my part to use the heet anyway?

Thanks,
Tommy
 

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I did the almost the same as you, Tommy. Before I went clipless, I would pedal with the middle of my foot more than anything. To prepare myself for clipless, I'd start trying to stay on the balls of my feet more and it didn't feel right. I may have been too far up on my pedal with my foot when I was just 'practicing' though. Once I got my shoes and my 520's on the bike, it was completely different. For me, it just felt right. It only took a few slow motion spills in my yard before I had the confidence to hit the trails with my new pedals.
I wouldn't say it's bad on your part to use your heels to pedal. I can understand wanting to shift around a little after being on the bike for a while. It's just not the most efficient way to pedal. I know others have said it, but being a newbie myself I want to express that I agree: Going clipless allows you to become the motor of your bike. You're actually attatched to your bike in a very good way. The only thing I wonder about is if I should have mastered trackstands first, but my pedals have enough of a surface area to let me practice in regular shoes anyhow.

Atty

PS. I'm glad that you LOVE your pedals, phazer!
 

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phazer said:
Doing some research this week and then of this weekend to my LBS to get some pedals and shoes.
What's some of the things I should look out for? Are most shoes/cleats compatible with most of the pedals?
etc.
Never used clipless pedals before so any info will be usefull :D
Yep read my two FAQs on pedals.
 

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OMG, Someone should have told me!

If your thinking of going clipless, just do it.

Took the plunge and picked up a set of 520's and some shoes Sunday. Played with them in the front yard for a while ( this included skinning of knee's and elbows).

Phazer is completely right in the power that you gain. I took them out last night for a first run on a trail that I had frequented before. It has one hill that I could never make it up. Well this time with the clipless I went straight up. Too Cool. Almost felt like I was cheating.

The power and control you gain from using these things is amazing. The little time you spend getting used to un-clipping is well worth the gains you get back.

See yall,
Tommy
 
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