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SPD disasters.....(14 posts)

SPD disasters.....-WIL
Jun 10, 2001 2:50 PM
I posted this below, but I'm posting it up top again because I'm interested in some advice on the topic.....

I'm a newbie, so new I haven't bought my bike yet. However, a good couple of wipeouts on my Mountain bike was because I couldn't clip out of my SPDs in time. Although roadbikeing isn't nearly as technical, has anyone come across this problem when avoiding traffic or going up steep hills, etc. Thanks, -Wil
re: SPD disasters.....Skip
Jun 10, 2001 3:26 PM
I never liked my SPD-R's. Some posters here like the SPD's though. I found that Speedplay X-2's work great for me - easy to click in & out, nice float that's easy on my knees, low profile & weight, easy to maintain, etc.
AdviceLen J
Jun 10, 2001 3:48 PM
Some SPD pedals come with an adjustment that allows for a reduction in the lock in tension. Using this until you are comfortable will help you develop confidence.

Practice getting in and out on a side street with no traffic until it becomes second nature. After a while it becomes a reflex.

Good luck
re: SPD disasters.....Von Zip
Jun 10, 2001 6:40 PM
As mentioned in a earlier thread the speedplays work great in release and retention. They do take some getting used to with the full float.
m2¢ goes to X2's...coonass
Jun 10, 2001 6:55 PM
I too spent many agrivating rides pulling-out when I didn't want to and not being able to pull-out when I wanted to..(I was riding 747's; double-sided pedals, which are a nightmare to adjust) I went to Speedplay X2s and NEVER regretted it....LOVE them.....lots of other riders prefer each his own.
not what he askedcoon
Jun 10, 2001 7:59 PM
he wanted to know whether people have ever had problems not being able to unclip when avoiding traffic or going up steep hills, etc... the answer is yes, the freds here do it all the time
not just "freds" please :)lonefrontranger
Jun 11, 2001 4:43 PM
I see would-be-cool racers do this quite frequently, from the newest Cat 5s all the way up to the elite / pro guys. For the discerning cognoscenti, this manouver is termed an "Arte" on behalf of Arte Johnson, the Laugh-In character who performed this gag on his tricycle several times per episode.

My personal fave is the smart@$$ who rolls around in circles behind the pack trying to get the jump on the field, but misjudges the whistle and does an Arte on the start line. Usually once is enough to teach them (like a skunked dog) but incredibly, I've also seen the same individual do this stunt repeatedly. It takes all kinds.

I did an Arte in front of God, the officials, my mother and a full set of bleachers at districts a number of years ago. The promoter saw fit to run an all ages/cats combined women's field concurrent with a large Cat 4 men's field on a short, technical narrow criterium course IN THE RAIN. The 4's crashed, harrassed, hooked, elbowed, cursed, intimidated, screamed at, etc... numerous members of our field, when the women were doing nothing less than the best to get out of the way and run their own daggoned race. One poor girl got put over the barricades, which broke her wrist and totaled her bike. Yes, I agree they should have pulled the lapped riders, but many of the lapped women were still in medal contention.

My teammate and I, as winners of our respective categories, went to report our grievances to the chief official on behalf of the rest of the field. To say we weren't in the most intelligent mindframe would be putting it mildly. Just as we were about to go out to the stage, someone screamed RIDERS COMING! (there weren't), and we both gracefully rolled over off the curb, in the same direction. Splat.

The official, wiping tears out of her eyes, apologized for laughing at us, but she said we looked for all the world like "Synchronized Bike Nerds" (did I mention we had matching skinsuits and team bikes?). It was a great icebreaker for handling the ensuing discussion calmly and with (some) perspective.

That particular promoter didn't hold many races after that.
Jun 11, 2001 5:25 PM
If you read the thread closer, you will (or should) notice the pro-
Speedplay comments and the con-SPD comments. Not mentioning 'traffic' or 'steep hills' is really irrelevant; releasing, not releasing and non-intentional releasing are really what he was asking.
Not I ...bianchi boy
Jun 10, 2001 8:41 PM
I use SPD mtn bike pedals on all my road bikes. I've never had trouble unclipping in time at a traffic light, hill, or whatever. However, I keep the tension fairly light so they are easy to unclip. Whenever I have installed a new set of SPD pedals, the tension has been fairly tight and I've had to loosen them up a bit. FWIW, I've never inadvertantly pulled out of my SPD pedals either.
re: SPD disasters.....BrianU
Jun 10, 2001 10:36 PM
My first experience with clippless pedals was on my mountain bike. I bought a set of Shimano 737's for my Stumpjumper at the urging of my friends. My first ride on our local trails and I was ready to throw them at the next person who tried to tell me how much better I would ride with them. I eventually got used to them and like most every other rider, I now couldn't imagine riding without them. I had been riding clippless off-road for a couple years, when I got my first road bike. The transition was pretty painless. The big reason being that almost all the things that caused me to fall over without getting unclipped on my mountain bike, were things not normally dealt with while road riding. Losing traction and spinning out while trying to clear a steep climb, getting hung up while trying to clear an obstacle, screwing up while trying to manuever a tight switchback, unexpected loose sand in a turn on the trail somewhere or (and this was a big one for the SPD's) coming to a stop and then not being able to unclip because of mud in your cleats. I'm not saying that someone who is used to clippless pedals will never fall over without getting unclipped, but it is pretty rare compared to mountain biking.
You did not mention how long you have been mountain biking, but if you are comfortable with your SPD's on singletrack, you will not have a problem going to a roadbike. If you decide to run road specific pedals though, you might want to look into the Speedplays mentioned above. My first roadbike had Look pedals and it took some getting used to pedals that had only single-sided entry. In fact, getting into those things while riding in traffic was more of a problem to me, than getting unclipped.
Consider Speedplay FrogsMeDotOrg
Jun 10, 2001 10:49 PM
...a mountain bike pedal that works great as for road bikes. The easiest pedal to clip and unclip. Unlike Looks, you don't need cleat covers, so walking around is fine.

I've got about 5k on mine. Just finished the California AIDS ride with no knee pain or pedal problems whatsoever.
re: SPD disasters.....JimF
Jun 10, 2001 11:24 PM
The only times I've had problems with SPDs are when I've tried using them with SPD-ready Sidi, Specialized, and Carnac shoes. I seem to miss stepping in more often, and occasionally get stuck-SO emabarrassing!
As a result, I now buy the Shimano company line and use only Shimano shoes with my SPDs. They work fine for my tourist needs.
Get Speedplay...tincanman99
Jun 10, 2001 11:44 PM
I bought a Klein Quantum last year and the shop threw in a set of Icon dual sided SPD pedals. I went and bought SPD shoes after that. Never ever liked the SPD pedals. I found them to be a hassle to get into and a hassle to get out of. Several weeks ago I swapped them out for the Speedplay Frogs as I did not want to have to go buy new shoes (I have Sidi's - got 'em because they are really a road shoe with with knobs on the bottom - very, very stiff)). All I can say is they are a 100x easier to get into/out of. I definitely recomend them. If I had to do it again I would have done the Speedplay X's or the Look's from the beginning. The SPD is just not worth the hassle..

Good luck...
re: SPD disasters.....Gary M
Jun 11, 2001 11:02 AM
Clipless are much easier on the road than on the trail since you normally have time on the road to anticipate your stops.

I only fell twice learning to use the road SPDs- once in the garage on my first ride, once when I slammed on the brakes and forgot to get out. I have fallen in my mtb SPDs far more. Since you already use clipless, you shouldn't have any problem.

That said, after 4 years on SPD I just switched to Look. Wow- I am not sure what took so long- very easy to get into, easy out, no more hot foot and unlike SPDs, really easy to mount on shoes.