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Basic understanding of Clipless pedals(6 posts)

Basic understanding of Clipless pedalsblakester
Mar 15, 2003 11:52 PM
It seems of all the things confusing me as a starting road-biker, pedals win top honors. I know the difference between toe clips (that have a strap) and "clipless" (That have a clip) and I've decided I want clipless. I will be riding a low-to-mid range bike on average about 50 miles a week, on good roads, and would like the ability to run inside stores/buildings during my ride, but if this is not possible, then that's ok. I want to spend the least amount possible, and just get some good pedals and shoes. Do all shoes work with all pedals? Are there certain "systems" that match up (SPD/Eggbeaters?) Finally, what are MTB clipless pedals, and what are the Road Clipless pedals? Thanks a lot for any help on clearing this all up, as well as recomendations. It seems a very product-saturated and complicated field for how simple it should be.

P.S. I saw a pedal at my LBS that had a clip-in thing on one side and a "normal" other side... is there a name for this type?
re: Basic understanding of Clipless pedalsSnakebit
Mar 16, 2003 6:22 AM
I'm sure you are looking at options at your LBS. From the way you describe your riding, I would advise you to get SPD pedals and one of the shoes with a recessed cleat. Shimano makes a very nice shoe that looks like a regular shoe. I don't know what they call them but mine has a tag that says SH-MO20. I think you will find something like this to your liking. My shoes were $55 and you can find pedals in that price range also. Welgo pedals can be found between $25 and $50 and they work well.
re: Basic understanding of Clipless pedalsKEN2
Mar 16, 2003 7:48 AM
The whole clipless terminology makes me crazy... and I've been riding since 1953 (started bike commuting that year, to kindergarten!) so I'm no Johnny-come-lately. I used toeclips and straps for over 20 years before switching over.

In the last few years, I've taken to calling so-called clipless pedals "clip-in" pedals. Everyone understands what I'm talking about, and a few even appreciate the ridiculousness of calling something with a clearly visible clip "clipless."
re: Basic understanding of Clipless pedalstimfire
Mar 16, 2003 8:10 AM
You're right that there a number of systems out there, that are not interchangable. With my limited knowledge I'll try and list them for you.

SPD- (Road/MTB) Probably the most commonly used pedal system, since it seems to be the standard for mountain bikes. Roadie-racers tend not to like them, though.

Look- (Road) I may be wrong, but I think Look-style pedals are the most popular road pedal.

Time- (Road) Don't know much about these pedals.

SPD-R- (Road)

Egg-beaters- (MTB) Very popular as of late, since they are easy to clip in and out of.

Speedplays- (MTB/Road) Speedplays make a couple of different kinds of pedals, I think for both road and mountain use, but I don't know much about them.

Time ATAC- (MTB) Also made by Time but for MTB use. These along with egg-beaters are said to be the easiest to clip in and out of.

There are more, but I think those are the most common. So what's the difference between road and MTB? This is a gross simplification, but road-specific pedals (Time, Look, SPD-R), tend to have larger cleats/pedal platforms for better power transfer. However, they are not as easy to get in and out of. Also, Road-shoes don't have any trend on them, so you can't really walk around in them.

MTB pedals tend to have smaller cleats, and tend to be easier to get in and out of. MTB pedals also tend to be double-sided (meaning they have a locking-mechanism on both the bottom and top of the pedal), while road pedals tend to be one-sided. MTB shoes also have trend.

So what should you get? I suggest SPD's with MTB shoes. It's what I use. SPD's tend to be the cheapest pedals around, and MTB shoes will let you walk around. Also, if you're worried about power-transfer, just find some shoes with stiff soles, and you'll be fine.

re: Basic understanding of Clipless pedalszooog
Mar 16, 2003 10:35 AM
I think performance or nashbar may have a package deal so that you can buythe pedals and shoes in a combo deal. I started off with a nashbar shoe and pedal. Not bad especially for the price. I prefer MTB shoes with the SPD cleats. Also have the Look pedals/shoes combo. May actually being trying the frogs as there are so many good words on them from this board.
re: Basic understanding of Clipless pedalsThe Walrus
Mar 16, 2003 2:46 PM
What you saw at your LBS was a Shimano PD-M323 or 324 (or a Taiwanese knockoff). I've used them for years on my touring and commuting bikes; since they use the recessed, MTB-type cleat, you'll be able to walk normally, and for those times when you find yourself riding with "normal" shoes, you can use the side of the pedal without the binding. The other great thing about these pedals is that you can stay on the platform side in traffic and bail out quickly if that ever becomes necessary. The only real "drawbacks" to these pedals are that they're maybe 200 grams heavier than a lot of other models, and they won't win you any style points--if that matters to you.