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MTB to road pedal convert... question(12 posts)

MTB to road pedal convert... questionNewDayNewWay
Sep 29, 2003 3:51 AM
Hey all,

Just switched from mountain to road pedals changing from Shimano 959s to the ultegra pedal. I'm glad I made the change and was at the point where the cash outlay for the new pedals and SIDI genius shoes was worth the investment.

However, I've made an idiot out of myself on more than one occassion in an intersection after stopping for a red light. Very entertaining to those in cars I'm sure. The problem is getting used to clipping in on one-side pedals. Part of the problem is that I thought that the bearing in the pedal would be much looser so that the pedal would always be in the same "upright" position whenever it comes across the top, but that's not always the case. The problem is that then I have to look down to see what position the pedal is in before I clip in, which is a real pain, takes a few seconds extra before I get going, and in many cases results in some idiotic looking attempts to get clipped in.

Any advice on this matter is appreciated.
semi-off topic question...Steve_0
Sep 29, 2003 3:58 AM
just wondering how exactly the pedals and shoes were worth the investment. thanks
semi-off topic question...NewDayNewWay
Sep 29, 2003 7:24 AM
Most importantly, with my MTB shoes (which are the SIDI MTB equivalent to the Genius), I would tend to feel a lot of unwanted pressure right in the middle of the front part of my foot (what some term a "hot spot"). I got in the habit of lifting my foot on every stroke to relieve the pressure, which did not lead to an optimal pedal stroke. This is no longer an issue.

My feet are somewhat more stable than on the MTB pedals (horizontal plane, left-to-right), but it was not as much of a change as I expected. However, I believe I am to the point in my riding where this will provide some benefit.

I used to think I wouldn't want road pedals to have the convenience of being able to more around well when off the bike, but then I realized that I spent all my time on the bike, so this didn't really matter!

Oh, I almost forgot... I can now do a 3 mile TT in record time! ;-)
another off topic questionlemmy999
Sep 29, 2003 4:16 AM
my wife has single sided SPD and has the same problem as you. She is the one that talked me out of getting single side pedals. I ended up going with BeBop pedals. Lower stack height, more float, and less weight than just about any other pedal and I get dual sided entry. Yes the pedal is smaller, but if the bottom of your shoe is stiff enough, the size of the pedal doesn't matter.
re: MTB to road pedal convert... questionTower
Sep 29, 2003 4:18 AM
I recently switched from MTB to road pedals as well, and almost the same switch as you. Shimano M515 to the Ultegra SPD-SL. What a great pedal!

I really don't have an answer for you because I've had the same trouble, ie looking down to clip in. I've slipped a few times, but haven't busted my arse YET. When first switching to the SPD 515's on my MTB I had to look down to clip in, but after a while I did it by feel. I'm sure getting used to the Ultegra's will be the same. Just another reason to ride more!!
I do group rides with 20-25 very experienced road riders...TFerguson
Sep 29, 2003 5:39 AM
They all use single sided road pedals and I use Time ATACS with MTB shoes. None of them have to look down and they know how to have the pedals right side up, but I still find I have to wait for them after most intersections after a stop. The biggest help is actually the tread on the MTB shoes guiding the cleat to the proper position. Road pedals/shoes are made to be light, to provide more clearance and to ride all day, but not to get into fast.

My normal procedure with road pedals is to clip out of the left at the bottom, stop with right foot remaining clipped, start off with right foot, engage left pedal at the top (upside down) and pedal to the bottom, release left pedal at the bottom, engage again when it gets to the top (right side up), and clip in.

Sep 29, 2003 5:44 AM
I haven't used the specific pedal but I have suggestion. The pedal is weighted to the rear so the front will stick up when you're not clipped in. If this isn't happening try lubing the spindle so it spin more freely.

OTOH, if you start from a stop with a quick pedal stroke, the free pedal may be spinning wildly as you step down on it. Try to put your foot on the pedal as you begin to move forward, before the pedal goes over the top of the stroke. You may not be clipped in but the shoe will keep the pedal from spinning. Once your start moving and have your balance push down to encage the cleat.

In the end, you'll get used to this over time. It may ocaasionally happen but it will be less entertaining for motorists. :-)
Another on your track standTWD
Sep 29, 2003 8:10 AM
After almost a decade of using mtb shoes/pedals on the road, I fanally switched over to some road shoes and Sidis this year.

Clipping a pedal and almost going down at 30 mph on the last lap of a crit was enough to make me convert to road stuff with more clearance.

It has made my commute a little more interesting though, since the Sidis are double sided, but really small. If you miss your clip in, you miss it hard, especially since the bottom of the Sidis are so smooth and slippery.

I've been commuting to work for the last 5 years, and my route includes 15 intersections each way. So, I've had 30 chances a day to practice my track stand. I've gotten pretty good at it now, and can outlast all but the longest lights.

Practice in your driveway when no one is watching, otherwise you will be even more entertainment for motorists when you are out riding.

Once you get good at it, you won't need to clip in or out nearly as often. Just don't fall over in traffic.
I'm ADDICTED to trackstandingJFR
Sep 30, 2003 1:59 PM
Although trackstanding will reduce the number of times one may need to face clipping in, it does not really address the problem of clipping in.

With THAT said... I simply must admit that I'm addicted to trackstanding. I get annoyed if all my commute lights are green and I don't get to trackstand on my route.

Sometimes when I get home from a ride, I'll give in to the urge to just hang out and trackstand for a few minutes before going in.

I've even got a mean no-handed trackstand that seems to remind people of uni-cycles and circus acts ;-) It's quite the crowd pleaser, auto passengers give thumbs up or just smiling looks of disbelief.

Trackstanding is sooo fun.

Unsolicited "how-to" for anybody who needs help with their trackstand...
Practice on a slight hill, the crest in most streets works or a lot of driveways have an incline to them. If straight uphill is 12 o'clock, position the bike so it's facing 3 o'clock and turn the bars left into the incline (on most streets this just means stopping at the stoplight and turning the bars left). Now balance by using more pressure (on your forward pedal) to roll the front wheel into the incline and less pressure to allow the front wheel to roll back as you find and hold your center of balance. Try not to use your brakes, just pressure on your forward pedal to roll the front wheel back and forth, up and down the incline to maintain your balance. It seems kinda similar to how unicyclists keep their balance by rolling back and forth, but with practice and balance, a bicyclist can remain virtually stationary. Have fun!

P.S. Trackstanding on flat ground is much more difficult and requires a technique that inlcludes leaning the bike and positioning rider weight to generate force against the front wheel like an incline would provide.
re: MTB to road pedal convert... questionKEN2
Sep 29, 2003 8:22 AM
No other poster has mentioned it specifically, but there is a technique to getting into most one-sided pedals. Since the rear of the pedal is the heaviest, it should hang down with the front of the pedal pointed upwards. Since I assume you only unclip one side to stop, once you give the inital stroke with your clipped-in side, you sweep the other foot over the top of the pedal spindle, catching the top of the pedal as you go and clipping in. With practice you'll hit it right 90% of the time, and it's easier if you don't look down at the pedal, than if you do.
re: MTB to road pedal convert... questionMShaw
Sep 29, 2003 9:23 AM
As a follow on, don't just stomp down on the road pedals. Ya gotta feel for them, make sure that your cleat's engaged, then click in.

My little brother was doing that (trying to just stomp) to my SPDRs when he was out this summer. It was painful to watch him flail about on my shoes/pedals...

Practice. You'll figure out where the sweet spot is soon enough.

Pedal w/o clipping in firstMisJG
Sep 29, 2003 12:54 PM
From a stop, pedal without clipping in until you get some momentum going. This will give you a chance to clip in while you are moving and you won't fall over. My general rule of thumb is, "Don't try to clip in while in the intersection". I will give it one try as I pull away from the curb. If I miss, then I pedal across the intersection w/o clipping in and find the pedal on the other side of the intersection.