Author Topic: Anyone use clipless pedals?  (Read 25585 times)

Russ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2213
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Boulder, CO
Re: Anyone use clipless pedals?
« Reply #50 on: April 10, 2014, 10:03:14 AM »
Been getting some knee pain

where exactly... front/back, inside/outside, tendon/muscle/joint? does it bother you off the bike?

Which system would be the easiest to find inexpensive shoes with recessed cleats for normal walking? I'm guessing Shimano's SPD, yes?

Yes, but don't forget that Crank Bros pedals use the same shoes as SPD.

Crank Bros have rampant QC and durability issues. Shimano M520 all the way, if you're gonna go clipless (for commuter pedals at least).

somepissedoffman

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 128
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Mountain View
Re: Anyone use clipless pedals?
« Reply #51 on: April 10, 2014, 10:15:47 AM »
One side of the pedal is frozen on the crank (and yes I know they are left-handed thread), so I'd probably have to pay the LBS to get it off, since I don't have a heat gun at home. Any tips on that are appreciated as well :)

Take a big metal pipe and fit it over your 15mm wrench for leverage.  I got a bike on craigslist that was like that, took me half an hour to get the damn pedals off.

Russ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2213
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Boulder, CO
Re: Anyone use clipless pedals?
« Reply #52 on: April 10, 2014, 10:25:56 AM »
One side of the pedal is frozen on the crank (and yes I know they are left-handed thread), so I'd probably have to pay the LBS to get it off, since I don't have a heat gun at home. Any tips on that are appreciated as well :)

Penetrating oil such as Liquid Wrench/PB Blaster/Kroil or DIY 50/50 acetone and ATF. WD-40 doesn't count. I wouldn't use a cheater bar as anything but a last resort.

antiseize and pedal washers when reinstalling
« Last Edit: April 10, 2014, 10:28:59 AM by Russ »

mjs111

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 238
Re: Anyone use clipless pedals?
« Reply #53 on: April 10, 2014, 10:30:33 AM »
I use them and love 'em!  You get more power since you can pull up on the pedal in the upstroke and I actually think they are safer.  You might forget to clip out when you are first starting and fall over, but you won't be going very fast or will be stopped if this happens.  Much better than slipping off the pedal when going at speed.  After using clipless pedals for years I actually feel a bit unsafe when using a bike with regular pedals: feels like my feet aren't all that secure.

Also, you can adjust the spring tension on the clips.  When you're first starting out you can make them loose so it doesn't take much force at all to clip out, then tighten the tension when you get more sure of yourself.


Mike


rescuedog

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 47
Re: Anyone use clipless pedals?
« Reply #54 on: April 10, 2014, 10:31:52 AM »
Clipless pedals are excellent!

I switched a month ago and I haven't fallen as a result of them yet.

It's not really worth it to go one pedal clipless and the other one not because then you essentially lose the efficiency gained by going clipless. Another reason is, though you normally dismount with one foot it is very likely that you will need to dismount with your other leg once in a while.

Unclipping is not a problem, it's a simple quick rotation of the foot outwards (for SPD pedals).

The two best pieces of advice I can give you regarding going clipless is spend at least 15 mins just straddling the bike clipping in and out with each foot so you get the muscle memory down and go practice in a grassy area.

Also, you WILL fall at some point, it will be a slow but unavoidable fall but the only thing that will be bruised is your ego.

I use only clipless pedals for mountain biking. You can make the setting so loose that your foot will come out easily (sometimes intentionally if you're really cranking hard on a trail).  My first year with them I didn't trust it and I actually rode with my feet on top of the pedals, not even clipped in.  Then after one summer of riding, I would not go back.

Even different brands have different degrees of looseness.  My current mountain bike came with manufacturer pedals.  We had set them as loose at they went and they were still hard to get out of.  I had a major accident and cracked my sternum on my handle bars.  I bought a new brand of pedals and it was like night and day. 

Wolf_Stache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 921
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Portland
    • Flower's Fang
Re: Anyone use clipless pedals?
« Reply #55 on: April 10, 2014, 10:33:37 AM »
I tried clipless pedals, but it hurt my knees to get in and out of them. I went back to just regular flat pedals.

Thegoblinchief

  • Guest
Re: Anyone use clipless pedals?
« Reply #56 on: April 10, 2014, 10:34:27 AM »
Been getting some knee pain

where exactly... front/back, inside/outside, tendon/muscle/joint? does it bother you off the bike?

Inside, towards top. I think it's some muscle from groin, etc pulling down that side of the leg, but it does bother me (some) off the bike. Dull ache versus sharp. Knee has been "popping" too, if that is significant.

I'm a little weird, in that with my cerebral palsy, that side of my body has generally worse muscle tone and that leg is about 1/4" shorter than the other, so my stroke is probably slightly uneven.

Russ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2213
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Boulder, CO
Re: Anyone use clipless pedals?
« Reply #57 on: April 10, 2014, 11:14:00 AM »
Been getting some knee pain

where exactly... front/back, inside/outside, tendon/muscle/joint? does it bother you off the bike?

Inside, towards top. I think it's some muscle from groin, etc pulling down that side of the leg, but it does bother me (some) off the bike. Dull ache versus sharp. Knee has been "popping" too, if that is significant.

I'm a little weird, in that with my cerebral palsy, that side of my body has generally worse muscle tone and that leg is about 1/4" shorter than the other, so my stroke is probably slightly uneven.

If that leg is shorter than the other, try lowering your saddle a smidge to accommodate. Usually this manifests itself in the hamstrings / back of the knee, but it could still be an overextension issue if you feel it all the way down the inside of your thigh.

Most of the other medial / lateral knee injuries have to do with foot and cleat position and so shouldn't be a problem on platforms, but if you notice it on a ride try rotating your feet or moving to a wider/narrower stance and see if that helps.

Popping could be indicative of connective tissue that hasn't caught up to increased muscle strength (they take a little longer to develop). Since you ramped up your mileage pretty quick over the winter it could just be an overuse / recovery issue. It isn't necessarily harmful to ride through it as your connective tissue catches up, but you will be more susceptible to serious injury so at least take it a little easy.

Even if you can't fix the problem on the bike, stretching regularly will help you be more resilient to this kind of stuff.

disclaimer: not a doctor or PT or anything like that, just been riding bikes for a very long time and have experienced a lot of this

Thegoblinchief

  • Guest
Re: Anyone use clipless pedals?
« Reply #58 on: April 10, 2014, 11:34:46 AM »
Cool. Thanks for all the advice, everyone :)

jfer_rose

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 455
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Urban Dweller
Re: Anyone use clipless pedals?
« Reply #59 on: April 10, 2014, 11:55:06 AM »
I used clipless pedals for years and stopped. Truth is, for my style of transportation bicycling they aren't that helpful. I would hop off my bike and go into a store for example, only to walk awkwardly with the cleats on the bottom of my shoes. Plus that meant I always had to carry a change of shoes around-- as a transportation bicyclist, I much prefer biking in the clothes I will wear the rest of the day. It isn't possible to do that all year round in my climate, but it works much of the year.

I MUCH prefer riding on flat pedals for transportation purposes.

Funny story, first time I rode with clipless pedals. I had just practiced on a bike trainer at the bike shop and was on my way home. At my first red light I was feeling pretty proud of myself for getting my feet out of the clips without any problem. But as I waited at that same red light, I forgot I was clipped in. I went from standing up at a complete stop to on the ground in seconds-- completely bewildering the bystanders nearby who could not figure out what had caused a stationary person to fall down!

MissPeach

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 185
Re: Anyone use clipless pedals?
« Reply #60 on: April 10, 2014, 01:39:56 PM »
I had tried using them for mountain biking. In an emergency, it was not my intuition to turn my foot like that so I several times I fell down a hill with a bike attached. On the other hand I know people who love them. IMO it's a personal preference.

niknak

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 27
Re: Anyone use clipless pedals?
« Reply #61 on: April 10, 2014, 08:03:36 PM »
Clipless pedals are anti-mustacshian. They serve no purpose to the average cyclist than to remove money from your bank account. Why would I care if my pedal stroke is more efficient if one of the benefits of getting around by bike is the exercise? One could argue that platform pedals provide a more efficient workout.

The safety argument is silly too. How many stories do you hear of cyclists who crash because they can't clip out in time? In fact, nearly every "serious" cyclist will warn you that you'll probably crash a few times as you're getting used to using the clipless system. That warning right there should indicate how "safe" the clipless system is.

This website is dedicated to living the good life by spending money wisely. There's nothing financially wise about replacing perfectly good platform pedals for an expensive clipless system.

This rant comes from a "serious" cyclist who's used Speedplay, Look, Shimano, and Crank Bros. clipless systems for the past 10 years. Keep your regular pedals and enjoy riding. Forget about the unnecessary upgrades.

Russ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2213
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Boulder, CO
Re: Anyone use clipless pedals?
« Reply #62 on: April 10, 2014, 08:57:14 PM »
Clipless pedals are anti-mustacshian. They serve no purpose to the average cyclist than to remove money from your bank account. Why would I care if my pedal stroke is more efficient if one of the benefits of getting around by bike is the exercise? One could argue that platform pedals provide a more efficient workout.

The safety argument is silly too. How many stories do you hear of cyclists who crash because they can't clip out in time? In fact, nearly every "serious" cyclist will warn you that you'll probably crash a few times as you're getting used to using the clipless system. That warning right there should indicate how "safe" the clipless system is.

This website is dedicated to living the good life by spending money wisely. There's nothing financially wise about replacing perfectly good platform pedals for an expensive clipless system.

This rant comes from a "serious" cyclist who's used Speedplay, Look, Shimano, and Crank Bros. clipless systems for the past 10 years. Keep your regular pedals and enjoy riding. Forget about the unnecessary upgrades.

well that's pretty hyperbolic and ignores the entire first page of this thread...

PantsOnFire

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 141
  • Location: PA
Re: Anyone use clipless pedals?
« Reply #63 on: April 11, 2014, 07:32:29 AM »
For me, clipless is the preferred way to go, but I would only recommend it for people who know how to ride a bike well/properly.  Many people know how to ride a bike well enough to get around, but never really learn proper technique or hone their handling skills. 

If you can do a 30-second trackstand, and can signal, brake to a stop, and downshift simultaneously, clipless is going to be a cinch.  If you can only mount a bike by running alongside it and then hopping on, stick to platforms.  Most people are somewhere in between. 

FWIW I can comfortably ride my MTB/errand bike (which has Eggbeater Candy C clipless pedals) in regular tennis shoes, so it's not like you have to fully commit to being clipped in all the time.  Don't jump right into road pedals if you think you'll be wearing street shoes or just wanting to skip the clip-in for some rides.  Start with MTB/Commuter hybrids and see how you like them. 

jflo

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 53
Re: Anyone use clipless pedals?
« Reply #64 on: April 11, 2014, 07:54:01 AM »
+1 for eggbeaters. Once you're used to clips (no idea why we call them clipless) you'll have no trouble getting out on the fly. The near misses I've had on unclipping were when I was getting used to them and at extremely slow speeds - you do get some weird looks if you randomly tip over while stopped.
True, if your rides are all short might not be worth it, but when I had a long hilly ride I found that riding 9 miles each way with clips was more mustachian than not riding. Get some used. Get some cheap touring shoes from nashbar and you might even get away without changing  your shoes at work.
And while not exactly comfy, I've ridden them in heels too.

Melody

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1089
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Australia
Re: Anyone use clipless pedals?
« Reply #65 on: April 13, 2014, 05:32:40 AM »
I found these strapless toe clips to be good for commuting
http://www.fawkes-cycles.co.uk/1546464/products/zefal-toe-clip-strapless-in-black.aspx?origin=pla?kwd=&gclid=CLqbpoSu3b0CFdSCvQodpoYAFw

You can use any old shoe and flat pedal, and they're easy to pull in and out of, but give you more "pull" up the hill. Obviously not the same performance as actual cleats, but none of the safety concerns as they are rubber and will give.

FunkyStickman

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 523
  • Age: 45
  • Location: Louisiana
    • Living Outside the Box
Re: Anyone use clipless pedals?
« Reply #66 on: April 13, 2014, 06:45:51 AM »
they'll change your life.

Add more power to your stroke and make you feel more secure. 

I will say though that I wouldn't use them for a go getter bike b/c of the shoes.  Maybe a combo platform and clipless setup.

No... I'm afraid they won't. Mostly the change in "feel" depends on your riding style, etc.

They cannot add "more power" to your stroke. All they do is force you to pedal with correct form, nothing more.

I've ridden platforms, clipless, and with toe clips. For my purposes, clipless isn't worth the cost or inconvenience at all. I'm currently using toe clips, very happy with them, and they cost $20 as opposed to $200.

Not trying to be a killjoy, but advantages of clipless pedals tend to be greatly exaggerated.

grantmeaname

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4830
  • Age: 27
  • Location: NYC
  • Cast me away from yesterday's things
Re: Anyone use clipless pedals?
« Reply #67 on: April 13, 2014, 07:11:03 AM »
If you can't get into clipless pedals for less than $200 you're doing it very wrong.

FunkyStickman

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 523
  • Age: 45
  • Location: Louisiana
    • Living Outside the Box
Re: Anyone use clipless pedals?
« Reply #68 on: April 13, 2014, 07:46:53 AM »
If you can't get into clipless pedals for less than $200 you're doing it very wrong.

Yes, you can get bottom-of-the-line pedals for $35, and shoes... depends on what they have that fits, more often than not they will run you $100+.

As for me, I had been using toe straps for 20 years, so switching to clipless made no difference whatsoever. I was already used to the pedal retention, smoothing my pedal stroke, etc. so it was a waste of time and money. If you were only used to platforms, they will help, but no more than toe straps would. I still don't think they're worth the money.

grantmeaname

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4830
  • Age: 27
  • Location: NYC
  • Cast me away from yesterday's things
Re: Anyone use clipless pedals?
« Reply #69 on: April 13, 2014, 03:06:48 PM »
Bottom-line name brand pedals are $30, though mine were free with the bike. You can figure out your shoe size and then wait to buy another day if the salesman tells you the only shoes that fit are $130. And cleats are dirt cheap.

My total cost to go clipless was a little under $100, and that's with an all-Shimano system.

bikebum

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 562
  • Location: Nor Cal
Re: Anyone use clipless pedals?
« Reply #70 on: April 13, 2014, 03:34:04 PM »
My bike came with clip-less and snap-in regular pedals. I had to cut a little piece off the pedals with a knife so I could snap them in and remove them with a bike-tool, so I don't have to adjust the clip-less every time. So if I'm just doing a quick ride in town, I can use the snap-ins with my regular shoes.

scottydog

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 132
  • Location: Montreal
Re: Anyone use clipless pedals?
« Reply #71 on: April 14, 2014, 07:13:43 AM »
I used clipless pedals for years and stopped. Truth is, for my style of transportation bicycling they aren't that helpful. I would hop off my bike and go into a store for example, only to walk awkwardly with the cleats on the bottom of my shoes. Plus that meant I always had to carry a change of shoes around-- as a transportation bicyclist, I much prefer biking in the clothes I will wear the rest of the day. It isn't possible to do that all year round in my climate, but it works much of the year.

I MUCH prefer riding on flat pedals for transportation purposes.

+1

I switched to metal-studded BMX pedals based on advice from my LBS, and they're great!  I can wear whatever sandals, shoes or boots I want and my feet never slip off the pedals.  The only downside (aside from a lack of toe straps, but that's my choice) is that the studs on the BMX pedals have torn up my calves and shins a bit when I'm walking the bike.  I've learned to walk a wee bit farther from the bike than I used to.

Matt K

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 332
  • Location: Canada
    • Krull Photography
Re: Anyone use clipless pedals?
« Reply #72 on: April 14, 2014, 09:41:12 AM »
Look for studded BMX pedals like this:


Those little cleats make your feet stick to them like superglue no matter how rainy/snowy it gets.  Most bike shops will have something similar for about 20$.

Do not get BMX pedals, as they have a different axle size & threading that mountain/road/hybrid bikes.

You want the mountabike version of these (called "flat" or "freeride" pedals). Wellgo makes a great $40 version. They make a good $20 version. And in Canada, MEC carries a decent $8 version (so probably available at REI in the states).

4alpacas

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1896
Re: Anyone use clipless pedals?
« Reply #73 on: April 14, 2014, 10:02:14 AM »
Been looking into how these work, I'm kind of afraid to try them and from what I can tell, since I stop often (I ride in the city). I looked at how you unclip yourself and it looks like it's almost painful to do it often.

Just wondering if it is worth doing it clipless on my right leg (dominant leg) and normal pedal on left side so I can put down that leg to stop so I don't fall. Would there be any benefit to doing it on just one leg; or should I stick to normal pedals instead?
Just jump in!  I made the switch, and the improvement in my cycling has been huge.  I will admit that I fell over a few times (nothing hurt except my pride).

I use them for city riding.  Long rides.  I love my clipless pedals. 

Thegoblinchief

  • Guest
Re: Anyone use clipless pedals?
« Reply #74 on: May 01, 2014, 07:18:43 PM »
Ended up with these studded platform pedals from Nashbar:

http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_549650_-1___

Only taken one ride so far, but it was quite wet. HUGE difference in grip versus the one-sided platforms (resin/metal cleats) that were on my bike before. Really impressed with them initially.

Thanks to GuitarStv and others for bringing them up in the first place!

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 14206
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Anyone use clipless pedals?
« Reply #75 on: May 02, 2014, 06:07:31 AM »
Look for studded BMX pedals like this:


Those little cleats make your feet stick to them like superglue no matter how rainy/snowy it gets.  Most bike shops will have something similar for about 20$.

Do not get BMX pedals, as they have a different axle size & threading that mountain/road/hybrid bikes.

You want the mountabike version of these (called "flat" or "freeride" pedals). Wellgo makes a great $40 version. They make a good $20 version. And in Canada, MEC carries a decent $8 version (so probably available at REI in the states).

Thanks for the tip!  The guy at my local bike shop called them 'BMX' or 'Downhill' pedals, so that's what I thought they were.

peppermint

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 154
Re: Anyone use clipless pedals?
« Reply #76 on: May 04, 2014, 09:18:11 PM »
The two best pieces of advice I can give you regarding going clipless is spend at least 15 mins just straddling the bike clipping in and out with each foot so you get the muscle memory down and go practice in a grassy area.

+1 on this advice. I used it this weekend to get used to my clipless pedals. I took about five falls getting the hang of clipping in and out, but on the grass it's no big deal, and after practicing enough I was able to bike down a rec trail and bike home (with some light traffic) just fine.