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looking for info on clipless pedal systems(9 posts)

looking for info on clipless pedal systemsJay18
May 24, 2002 12:56 PM
I'm getting ready to put my first clipless pedals on my first roadbike. I'd like to learn about the various systems that are available, including pros and cons. The guys at the LBS are friendly and helpful, but also pretty busy these days. Can someone point me to an article, book, or website that would have this info?

No such thingKerry
May 24, 2002 5:03 PM
You won't find the kind of information you're looking for in a book, because pedals change all the time. There's no "reviewing" web sites, except for ones like this one and What you do is state your price range, needs, and what brand(s) you're thinking about, and you'll get a bunch of feedback. Beyond that, pedals are somewhat like saddles in that there's a lot of personal preference involved.
OK, here's what I needJay18
May 25, 2002 1:35 AM
That's too bad. It probably adds to the amount of trial and error involved. Anyway, price range -- about $200 for pedals and shoes; needs -- easy to learn and use; brands -- that's what I'm hoping to find out about.

OK, here's what I needDrD
May 25, 2002 5:07 AM
Pedals and shoes are sort of a personal thing - for shoes, try before you buy - make sure they fit properly (you could purchase the most expensive, high-tech shoes out there, but if they are too narrow for your feet, you will always be in pain - Sidi's and Carnacs are nice shoes if they fit, but tend to be pricey) - for pedals, Look and Shimano make some nice, lower cost pedals - there are also other choices like Speedplay, Time, Campy, etc. - as far as ease of use, for me, once I got used to clipless in the general sense (i.e., rotate heel outward to release) I haven't had any troubles switching from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some pedals engage easier than others, some are double sided, etc. - there are alot of choices. As a new user, probably the best thing to do is pick up some pedals in your price range from a reputable manufacturer, and try them out (better yet - maybe your LBS has demos you can try) - get the one which you like best. Once you have ridden them for a while, you will have a better feel for what you really want, and be able to upgrade at that point if you need to.

Myself - I prefer Speedplay - very easy entry (stomp down and you are in), double sided (don't have to rotate pedal to correct side), lots of free float (3 or more times other pedals), easy to get out of, and hard to get an unintentional release - however, the Speedplays worth purchasing (X/2, X/1, or the Zero's) start at $165 or so, which is close to your total pedals+shoes budget... For shoes, I like Carnac's (currently have a pair of Ellipse's) - but those alone pretty much eat your entire budget...
re: looking for info on clipless pedal systemsMe Dot Org
May 25, 2002 8:26 AM
Unfortunately, you are right about one thing: pedals are an important part of the comfort/performance equation of a bicycle, but they are not something you can really "try before you buy". I started on Shimano SPDs, but decided they weren't for me.

If you are thinking you may change your mind, you might start with the shoes. How many types of adaptor plates will they use? Are they exclusively for Look or Shimano? If so, that will narrow your choices.

You say you are a mountain biker. I'm a road rider, but I ride a mountain pedal, Speedplay frogs. I have a knee injury, and the most important criteria for me are easy entry/exit and "float" (the amount of pedal "swivel" that lets your knee rotate to a comfortable position).

So if you bought Speedplay frogs you would have a pedal system you could use on Mountain bikes. In addition, they have recessed cleats, which means you can walk around on them with relative comfort.

If there is a downside to frogs, it's that the small surface area of the cleat makes them a little more prone to "hot spotting", but I ride Centuries and this is not a problem for me.

Please understand: I'm not knocking Look or Shimano or Time. A very large percentage of riders are just fine on those pedals.

Good luck with your search.
Pedals/shoe sizepaulj
May 25, 2002 8:54 AM
No one talks about shoe size when it come to pedals. I wear size 10 1/2(large) shoe and use look pedals. I sometime feel that the contact surface is too small for me in relation to my total foot size. Am considering trying time pedals. Has anyone else considered this relationship?
Pedals/shoe sizeDrD
May 26, 2002 6:02 AM
Pedal size does seem to come up quite a bit - I had issues with SPD's causing hot-spots when I used to use them, but since I dumped them, I don't have that problem any more (to be fair, I changed both shoes and pedals, so it could be the shoes) - but I have size 13 (euro size 48) feet, and no hot spots with my Speedplays (initially I had pain on the outside of one foot, but shifting the cleat position outboard on the shoe solved that in short order). Looks seem to be pretty big as pedals go - are the Times that much larger?
re: looking for info on clipless pedal systemsSim
May 26, 2002 6:45 AM
if you are looking for a great pedal, try Time. their pedals are a bit different from others. they use four bolts to fix the cleats( two cleats per shoe), and they offer the biggest contact area between shoe and pedal. these are really competition pedals. try Challenge Pro.
if you have a large foot I think it's a better choice because you can put your shoe at a great distance from crank arms. they are the only that offer both angular and lateral floating to your foot.
Look have great pedals with easy maintenance, but don't understand why they put so much play in pedal axle spindle.
Shimano simply don't want to see them.
In shortPhatMatt
May 27, 2002 6:28 AM
With shoes buy the most comfortable. I am starting my second season on the road and have just switched to Campys (similar to the Look's and the Time's) from Shimano 545 (I think). Any way on the road I really like the larger platforms If you are just learning to rind with clipless I think any of the double sided would be fine.