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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, I am ready to try clipless, I as ready a few months ago but ran into a friend of mine that had been riding a few years that was rehabbing from a broken ankle due to a low speed fall where he was clipped in and couldn't get his foot clear, it freaked me out and I decided to stick with pinned platforms and sticky shoes, until now. I want the weight savings and better pedal efficiency but I'm skeptical of the slow speed falls and inability to get my foot off in a hurry.

I'm going to get a budget set-up, no more than about $100 invested, my LBS has some shoes good for a beginner in the $70 range and they'll hook me up with some cheaper pedals that'll keep it close to $100 for this experiment.

Any reason I wouldn't want to use some of the current model eggbeaters for this? They are cheap, light, etc. and hopefully less prone to breaking than the last year models that had issues.

Any recomendations on another reasonably priced pedal for a beginner?

I'm going to give it the "college try" for a couple weeks and see how I do, but if I have issues, slow speed falls, or wreck because of it then I'll go back to platforms and skateshoes forever ;)

Funny side story, I now know 2 people that have had slow speed, simple, mundane falls on their bikes clipped in that caused a broken ankle. Noth riders had been riding clipped in for years and both guys were shocked when it happened to them. While I was at a trailhead recently talking to a buddy about it another guy thats ridden for years was slowly approaching in the gravel path and got close to the edge while barely moving and fell over without getting unclipped on one side and just collapsed and busted his knee. I said to my friend, explain to me why I want to do this.
 

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R.I.P. DogFriend
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And I was on a ride with a friend that was on platforms and 5.10 shoes that had to go for a panic stop, went up on a nose wheelie. He kind of stopped just as he was pretty vertical and his grip on the platforms let go. He went straight down onto his 'stem'. . . . . and the bike's stem :eekster: As I came up on the scene, he was on all fours with his fingers dug into the ground screaming bloody murder.

Almost separated his 'nads from their attachment point. He was off the bike for a couple months and rides today with a BMX style pad on the bike's stem.

Today, we refer to that ride as the day/ride "When Johnson Met Thomson". So. . . . . . explain to me why you want to keep riding platform pedals. . . . . ;)

Lots of anecdotal hoopla on both sides of this dilemma.

If you want to ride clipless, I would go for some Shimano 520 spd pedals. JMHO.

http://www.jensonusa.com/store/product/PE703A07-Shimano+Pd-M520+Pedal.aspx
 

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Agree on the 520s, I personally dislike eggbeaters and there are plenty of people who disagree with me. The 520s are adjustable in tension and are great everywhere with the exception of thick clay mud. You should be able to get a 520 or clone for very cheap.

If you're afraid of hurting yourself on clipless, why bother? Clipless advantage is almost completely mental and if you're afraid of falling over on your bike you'll never push yourself to progress. But I'm biased, and the choice is yours!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys, I wouldn't be wanting to try it if all the guys I see on the trails and all the shop guys weren't telling me how much better clipless is and about how I'll never want to go back to platforms, etc.
I'm commited to learning etc I just want to make sure I don't buy something that'll make the experience bad and scare me away from it.

I assume the adjustable tension will control how easily the shoes stay clipped in?
 

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Get the Shimano ...Ensure the shoes are compatible with the SPD (Shimano pedal) a few shoes require the sole to shaved a bit to get the right release. Nothing wrong with Shimano shoes either.

Back the tension right off to minimum....

Remember push the heel out and down to unclip...

Wear gloves and take both feet out of the pedals really early till you get the hang of it...

I have never had a problem unclipping in a fall...after the first week.
 

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I agree with the Shimano 520's also. Clipless just takes a little practice and getting used to. Put them on and adjust them to them minimum that will keep your shoe in the pedal and ride around your neighborhood a practice clipping and unclipping. Once you feel okay with the basics of getting your foot in and out of the pedal start back on your local trail. After awhile it will be automatic. I've been using clipless for 7 years and dont think about it, my feet come out when I need them to, whether a fall, stopping or whatever.

My 10 year old went clipless after Christmas. He rode the neighborhood and practiced clipping and unclipping for a hour. Was on the trails the next day, no problems.

Oh, BTW. As you get used to your pedals tighten the fit until you feel there in a sweet spot so that you shoe doesn't pull out of the pedal on climbs.

Good Luck!!!
 

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madsedan said:
Thanks guys, I wouldn't be wanting to try it if all the guys I see on the trails and all the shop guys weren't telling me how much better clipless is and about how I'll never want to go back to platforms, etc.
I'm commited to learning etc I just want to make sure I don't buy something that'll make the experience bad and scare me away from it.

I assume the adjustable tension will control how easily the shoes stay clipped in?
Yes, the adjustable tension controls how easily the shoe is to unclip, or how tightly it is held clipped in.

Clipless vs flats has numerous pointless debate threads that all end in vitriol, everyone seems to have a strong opinion on it these days. I rode clipless for 10 years, I recently started riding flats for (nearly) everything and I don't see myself ever going back to clipless. It is much harder to learn technical trail skills while clipped in, and it's damn near impossible to learn proper bunny hop technique while clipped in. The days of clipless being seen as superior are over now that flat pedal and shoe technology are advancing and there's research coming out saying that the widely held belief that you are supposed to be pedaling in "circles" could be leading to injury.

/rant, if you don't mind spending a bit of money then it doesn't hurt to try. I tend to believe that as far as someone who is interested in technical riding will be using clipless as more of an intermediate riding tool and switching back to platforms at some point. For rides just interested in the cruise or putting miles on, then clipless certainly isn't a bad choice. But you don't know until you try; just remember that you're not less of a rider if you decide you don't like clipless pedals.
 

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madsedan said:
...I'm going to give it the "college try" for a couple weeks and see how I do, but if I have issues, slow speed falls, or wreck because of it then I'll go back to platforms and skateshoes forever ;)...
If this is the case you should save your money and stick with platforms. The vast majority of us required much more than a couple of rides to get comfortable with clipless. If you want to spend the money then give it 15 rides or so before you make up your mind. It might take that long to move from hating clipless to loving them.

I switched to clipless after my foot came off the pedal on a jump and my large chain ring sliced a 29 stitch gash in my right calf.

Platforms and clipless both have their unique advantages and disadvantages that's why you see great riders using both styles. Its a personal choice. My opinion is the closer you are to XC riding the more you likely you will be to love clipless. I ride AM and I really like them except on some technical sections where I feel unsafe clipped in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks guys, great info, I'm ridding 5 days a week, at least 8 miles at a time, 15 miles a run on the weekends, if I can't get into it after a couple weeks than I'll never like it.

I've never had an issue or complaint about my feet coming off the pedal once I got decent pinned platforms, I was wanting to try clipless for the weight and pedal efficiency.
 

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With that much riding you will know if you like them or not within two weeks.

Weight isn't a big deal unless you are racing and you are at your ideal body weight.

Pedaling efficiency and climbing are much better with clipless in that you can transfer some of the work you do with your quads to your hamstrings and hip flexors IF you pedal correctly. That's a big "if" because most don't pedal "circles" unless they train themselves to do so. If you do then your quads will last longer for a given ride.

Also, several brands of clipless have a disengage angle that's higher one way than the other. I set mine to clip out with "heals out" at the lower angle and "heals in" at the higher angle. Its more natural to clip out "heals out" and if you set the clips to the higher angle heals out it will be very hard to get out. That will be explained in the instructions.

Good luck. I have a feeling you are giong to end up liking them. Just give it the full 10 rides you mentioned before you make a decision.
 

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My best buddy had an awful time with the crank bothers candies. They were his first (and last) set of clipless pedals. Seems that the candy/eggbeater's can have QC issues that can make them downright impossible to unclip from. The fact that they have no tension adjustment doesn't help either. I've never seen someone crash so frequently trying to get the heck out of those pedals.

All of the advice about getting pedals with adjustable tension is spot on.

Me, I'm 51 and old school. I've been riding with toe clips since 1988. They keep my feet locked in on the rough stuff so I've got no reason to change.

Best of luck with the transition!!
 

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I forgot to mention... Crank Brothers Mallet II pedals are down right dangerous. The spindle on mine broke in two. If you look at pedal reviews, many of the Crank Brothers offerings get a LOT of negative comments. SPD and Time seem to be the preferred brands.

I did see a SPD pedal spring break after about 5 rides. It was one of the cheaper models. Could have been a fluke... I don't know. I've never heard any other complaints about SPD and a lot of praises.
 

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OP- I'm riding 520's set almost stupid loose and with multi release cleats for just a few months now. I get many many more premature ejections :p than stucks:eek: , but I think that makes me concentrate a lot more (on weighting the pedals, where my feet are and what I'm attempting) And that is good.
(Candies- IMO,yuk)
 

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Another vote for 520 it provide positive audible click in and out good for training. Light tension should be used for during training and fireroad, when you get the idea of in/out and get your anticipation down you should tighten up the tension to about 1/3rd or 1/2 way. Riding on a rougher condition with very light tension is not a good idea. I like high tension but it's not good in a few situation especially when you get a little air.

OP, it's another tool to help you improve and become a better rider, I don't know how much more efficient it is when you are comparing to flats but to a lot of people it's not much, but it provide a better way to control your bike. Doing both would make you a better rider.
 

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Another for +1 on the 520's with multi-release cleats. You can practice unclipping in the street or backyard but it really takes a couple of trips to the trail to get it down. It took me two embarrasing trips to nail it. My advice to you is ride a nice soft pine grove for your first coupla trips--stay away from the rock gardens at the beginning. .02
 

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JRA
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BTW, I wanted to add-- if you want an extra-easy release, spray the pedals down with silicone spray. You'll have a harder time staying in them than getting out of them. :thumbsup:
 
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