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Pedal Float?(5 posts)

Pedal Float?pomole
Oct 17, 2003 10:43 AM
i Hope i am posting to the correct location.

Im a newbie to clipless pedals and I recently (3 weeks?) got some clipless pedals & shoes on my road bike (brand new 'Look' brand with red cleats, with Specialized shoes.)

While i really like the advantage and comfort of clipless, i am having a somewhat difficult time getting out of them. As per instructions i can pop out of the pedals by twisting my foot out, but i find it somewhat difficult -- and slightly painful in my knees, to twist my leg that far to dismount. Furthermore i find that it takes quite a bit of strength to disconnect.

I was told it would take some time to get used to them, but is is supposed to be so difficult? i set my pedals to minimum tension and still find it difficult to swing my foot all the way around to get undo the cleat. When i move my foot it pivots freely but i have a hard time disloging.

Is there anything i can do about this? i know Look sells some black cleats that supposedly have less float, would this help? Would another type of pedal fit me better (ie spd)? are there any other suggestions to improve this situation?

thanks in advance.

re: Pedal Float?Bike Fool
Oct 17, 2003 11:01 AM
Something doesn't sound right. I can pop out of my Look cleats with barely a twist on both right and left pedals (red cleats). Are your cleats tight on the shoes? Do you have steep toe-in (toes pointed inward)? I ride SPDs on my mountain bike and they take much more effort to unclip than the Looks, in my opinion. Take your bike and shoes to your LBS and have them check you out.
May need to adjust cleat angle on shoe.bimini
Oct 17, 2003 11:38 AM
Try rotating you foot in towards the bike. You should have about equal float both in towards the bike and out away from the bike. If not, loosen the mounting screws on the cleat and rotate the cleat slightly so you end up with about equal float either dirrection from your foots natural position on the pedals. It may be that the cleat is positioned so that all the float is out away from the bike which requires you to rotate further than if the cleat were centered.

I need float with my feet, if not, I get ankle problems. So I use the red cleat. Everyones foot is different, cleat selection is whatever is comfortable for you.
re: Pedal Float?No_sprint
Oct 17, 2003 12:48 PM
Having to rotate your foot a little further when using the red cleat as compared to the black cleat with no float is no cause for alarm. Feeling pain when unclipping is. Something doesn't sound right.

Secondly, if you've got Look pedals, or even other pedals for that matter, release tension can vary drastically. I used to use the DA pedals Lance used, by the time they had 7 years on them, they released like butter. I now use Look 396. They took some big time getting used to. Even on the easiest tension, man, they were tough in the beginning. I decided to give the Look website a go and check out the specs. They use a number scale and though I don't remember the #s, to boil it down, the easiest 396 release tension was darn near that of the very hardest release tension of the 357. So, pedals differ. If you've got 396 and you're not a racer, I don't recommend them unless you're a Clydesdale. I love them for my use with black cleats only.

Good luck.
re: Pedal Float?pomole
Oct 17, 2003 4:34 PM
thanks for the feedback, fellow bikers. i will try and adjust the cleats a bit more. the pain i feel isnt a persistent pain, just some discomfort from twisting so much.

just to follow up, i adjusted my pedals to the most lose setting ( i think it says 8, wahtever that means) and i still have to give it a good whack to unclip my shoe. perhaps with a bit more break-in this will loosen up. ...Or Maybe i will improve my technique too over time, i would not discount lack of experience.

I remember when researching the different kinds of pedals, reading complaints about unclipping pedals. i find this amazing. :P

i will post the results of my adjustments. hopefully the weather will improve this weekend so i can get some riding over here in NJ -- i have monday off from work! :)