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Pedals II(5 posts)

Pedals IIsblegolas
Sep 24, 2001 3:58 PM
Okay, okay. Forget that last question. Here is one that hopes to prove more fruitful. I have never purchased chipless pedals before. What kind of pedals and shoes do YOU think I should get?
Info: experienced recreational rider
A few more questionsCliff Oates
Sep 24, 2001 4:23 PM
Normally, we'd tell you to read the product reviews first, but they installed new software here recently and the overwhelming majority of the reviews are in never-never land. So...

FWIW, float generally refers to the freedom of the foot to rotate on a horizontal plane around the ball of the foot.

1. Do you want cleats that recess into your shoe soles so that you can walk easily, i.e.: MTB shoes? The trade off is that these shoes are usually not as stiff and supportive for extended periods as those where the cleats protrude from the soles, i.e.: road shoes.

2. You can get pedal/cleat systems with no float (think slot cleats), limited float, or virtually unlimited float. If you have a smooth and fluid pedal stroke, then you could get away with no float. If there is a lot of lateral movement to your knees during your pedal stroke, then float is your friend.

3. Do you want double-sided entry, or are you comfortable flipping the pedal over to get clipped into a single-sided system?

4. What sort of riding do you do? Centuries? Commuting? Errands? Mixed road and trail?

FWIW and for the record, I use Time ATAC MTB pedals on my all-rounder (commuter, fire trails, general bombing around). They have a recessed cleat, have limited float, are double sided and very easy to enter, and require no adjustment. I use Speedplays on my fun/century bike. They have a very durable road cleat, are double sided and very easy to enter, are very light weight, have huge amounts of float, and require no adjustment. I have also tried Shimano SPD-type MTB pedals and Campy Look-style pedals for extended periods with less than successful (for me) results.

A few more answerssblegolas
Sep 26, 2001 9:51 AM
Thanks for the info Cliff.
I don't use the bike to cummute, only long, fun rides, and only on the road. The road cleat doesn't bother me so much
but I think that float would be a must and double sided entry would be a plus too. I would appreciate any advice
not already given. My next course of action is to head down to the bike shop and utilize the knowledge of a
friendly salesperson.
My pragmatic recommendationsTrent in WA
Sep 25, 2001 9:52 PM
Cliff's excellent post covers most of the important questions to consider when choosing between pedal systems. Having just gone through the process of choosing pedals myself, here are my recommendations:

1) First, decide how important walking while off the bike is to you when you're out riding. It's possible to make cleated road shoes moderately walkable with rubber cleat covers, which are available for Time, Look, and Speedplay, so your choice here isn't between walking and not walking, but between being able to unclip and walk around with ease versus unclipping, putting on cleat covers, and walking with a slightly modified gait. This choice comes first, because it determines what kind of shoe you'll get, which determine in turn what kind of pedals you can use.

2) Having chosen between road and MTB shoes, find the cheapest pedal system you can that does what you think it needs to do. It's not too hard to find Look or SPD pedals in the sub-$50 price range new, and if you can find or borrow some used, so much the better.

3) Use the pedals for awhile and decide whether they suit your needs. If they don't, figure out what, specifically, you need for them to do, and if necessary get a different system.

I started out using a set of borrowed Time road pedals. While I liked their large platform and secure engagement, clipping into and out of them was a b*tch, and the limited shoe selection available for them was a drag. I thought about getting Speedplays, but was put off by the cost and was concerned about the fact that they cause hot spots for some people. So, on Dog's advice, I ordered a set of Look 206s on closeout from and have so far been happy with them. If I feel like I need more than nine degrees of float to keep my knees happy, I'll switch to Speedplays and deal with the hot spot issue some other way.

The bottom line: It's hard to go horribly wrong as long as your shoes fit and your cleats are properly set up, so start someplace and go from there.

Hope this helps,
My pragmatic recommendationssblegolas
Sep 26, 2001 9:54 AM
Thanks Trent.
Exactly the sort of encouraging starting place that I needed.
Keep ridin'