Which pedals to buy first time changing to cleats

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Which pedals to buy first time changing to cleats

Postby Jerryjan » Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:19 pm

Hi I am 59 yrs old will be buying a new bike soon and thought I would change from my toe clips to proper clip less pedals and cleats. I ride a road bike about 240 Kms a week. My neighbours suggest using mtb cleats I have know idea. Also shoe sizing can be difficult buying on line, it's suggested to buy your first shoes at the lbs to make sure of correct size that makes sense. When buying clip less pedals do the cleats come with the shoes or pedals ? In Perth can anybody recommend a particular shop for pedals and shoes. Or maybe I can buy the pedals on line.

Cheers Jerry
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by BNA » Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:26 pm

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Re: Which pedals to buy first time changing to cleats

Postby foo on patrol » Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:26 pm

Hi Jerry I started off with the SPDs, only because I got the shoes and cleats cheap and don't knock them Aldi and have been using them for 4yrs but am now going to the wider platform of SPD-SL road cleats. I only ever used the toe clip pedals before that.

Just remember you need to buy pedals to suit the type of cleat. :wink:

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Re: Which pedals to buy first time changing to cleats

Postby Venus62 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:35 pm

I also started off with SPDs (mountain bike cleats) as I like the way they are recessed into the shoe. Added advantage for me is that I can use them at the gym in spin classes. My pedals on my road bike are dual platform ones (flat on one side so you can use regular shoes if you want). They came with cleats, but my shoes didn't. I haven't regretted going this way. You can get shoes that look like road bike shoes if that's important to you.

Definitely look for pedals online. Got mine from Wiggle for a fraction of the price the LBS wanted.
Last edited by Venus62 on Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Which pedals to buy first time changing to cleats

Postby trailgumby » Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:19 pm

Id say Shimano mtb pedals for sure for a first timer. You can dial the tension right down, which makes unplanned clipouts a lot less risky. You'll still have a couple of clipstacks, just remember to turn them into a roll and you'll be fine.

The spin class compatibility is an excellent point :)

Cleats come with pedals, not the shoes. I'd recommend buying the shoes from a shop, as you really need to try them on as fit is super important. They need to be snug,and hold your heel well. Guessing a size off a webpage will not do.
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Re: Which pedals to buy first time changing to cleats

Postby Marty Moose » Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:21 pm

Speedplay zero, easiest too set up, very easy to get in and out of.

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Re: Which pedals to buy first time changing to cleats

Postby Nobody » Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:36 pm

Although MTB SPDs are what I currently use for everything, I agree with MM above that Speedplays should be better for you because at your age you are more likely to have greater sensitivity to poorly setup cleats and the SPD twist spring tension.
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Re: Which pedals to buy first time changing to cleats

Postby RonK » Sat Mar 09, 2013 6:04 pm

Speedplay pedals are over-rated. First-time users would be well-advised to stick with SPD, SPD-SL or Look.
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Re: Which pedals to buy first time changing to cleats

Postby JessicaAlba » Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:21 pm

The "first timer" thing is irrelevant.

Its like riding a bike, a couple tries and you'll have it nailed. My 2c is to go with SPD-SL (Speedplay are severely overpriced, imo), but each to their own. Work to a budget, practice a few times and you'll be fine.
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Re: Which pedals to buy first time changing to cleats

Postby Nobody » Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:59 pm

Cost is fairly irrelevant when your 59. He probably has more money than he knows what to do with.

RonK, why do you think they are overrated? Steve Hogg recommends them for their adjust-ability and there are many on these forums that have had trouble with others but finally found a good fit with them.
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Re: Which pedals to buy first time changing to cleats

Postby high_tea » Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:06 pm

Another +1 for SPD - a very sane default. As someone whose knees hate lateral loads, I like the fact that you can dial the release tension right down. Makes getting out easier too. Also, they're double-sided, which makes clipping in easier. The other system I've used is Look Keo2 (broadly comparable with Shimano SPD-SL, which some people seem to be recommending) and I wouldn't recommend it for general riding. I have these pedals on my road bike and track bike. They're harder to get in and out of and (ISTR) slightly more expensive. The only advantage is that these pedals make it harder to "pull a foot" (accidentally pull the cleat away from the pedal). This is a big problem in certain circumstances that don't seem relevant to you. The rest of the time it's no more than a minor irritation, one which I happily put up with to get low release tension and double-sided entry.

As far as getting started goes, here's my advice. Whatever system you spring for, dial the release tension down as far as possible. Now go somewhere it won't hurt to fall over. Now practice coming to a halt and then clipping out. People may tell you to just clip out in advance or something. I don't care for this approach: IMO you need to be able to get your foot down when the unexpected happens.
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Re: Which pedals to buy first time changing to cleats

Postby Nobody » Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:10 pm

high_tea wrote:Now practice coming to a halt and then clipping out. People may tell you to just clip out in advance or something. I don't care for this approach: IMO you need to be able to get your foot down when the unexpected happens.
Yeah, so he can practice clipping out before he stops to begin, then clip out as he stops when he knows he isn't going to crash.
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Re: Which pedals to buy first time changing to cleats

Postby TDC » Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:18 pm

You can get Shimano R540 for about $32 at Pro Bike Kit or Ribble. They come with cleats. This is a great price to see how you go with clipless pedals. Here is a review... http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/category/ ... s-12-10586

If you don't like them, then its not much coin to drop.

http://www.probikekit.com/au/shimano-r5 ... black.html
http://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/sp/road-t ... himpeda800
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Re: Which pedals to buy first time changing to cleats

Postby Jerryjan » Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:10 pm

Thanks everybody for the quick replies, after seeing a few riders fall over at the lights, I was a dubious. I think I will go with the spd style.
Cheers Jerry
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Re: Which pedals to buy first time changing to cleats

Postby RonK » Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:01 pm

Nobody wrote:Cost is fairly irrelevant when your 59. He probably has more money than he knows what to do with.

RonK, why do you think they are overrated? Steve Hogg recommends them for their adjust-ability and there are many on these forums that have had trouble with others but finally found a good fit with them.

There is a myth that some seem keen to perpetuate that only Speedplay have lateral float - it's hogwash (sorry Steve) of course but there you go. Take away that myth and what do you have left? Apparently they are easier to engage, but cleat engagement is not an issue for me and most other riders. New Speedplay cleats however can be very difficult to engage, and this may bluff new riders - they are several threads here from posters who have attested to that.

My wife uses Speedplay Zeros so I get to perform the constant maintenance and to pay for the expensive cleats. Meanwhile the SPD's on my tourer and Keos on my road bike have plenty of float with the correct cleats (and I have quite bad knees from years of trekking), are almost maintenance free and replacement cleats are half the price of Speedplays.

So yes, they are overrated. Seriously overrated.
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Re: Which pedals to buy first time changing to cleats

Postby RonK » Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:07 pm

Jerryjan wrote:Thanks everybody for the quick replies, after seeing a few riders fall over at the lights, I was a dubious. I think I will go with the spd style.
Cheers Jerry

You will almost inevitably fall over! Expect it! Be prepared for it!

On my blog you'll find a little article I wrote several years back. You might find it helpful. A few other have, as you'll see from the comments.
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Re: Which pedals to buy first time changing to cleats

Postby Dan » Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:36 pm

Touring shoes with recessed spd are an alternative to mtb shoes, if you want something that may be a little stiffer than the mtb offerings, but more 'walkable' than a true road shoe.
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Re: Which pedals to buy first time changing to cleats

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:42 pm

Look on the front page of BNA and you'll see my review of Shimano Click'R pedals. Get them.
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Re: Which pedals to buy first time changing to cleats

Postby jacks1071 » Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:40 am

Speedplay for me, I can't see myself ever using anything else.
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Re: Which pedals to buy first time changing to cleats

Postby twizzle » Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:57 am

RonK wrote:There is a myth that some seem keen to perpetuate that only Speedplay have lateral float - it's hogwash (sorry Steve) of course but there you go.


No, only speedplay have LARGE amounts of float. Next after that would be CrankBros then SPD, but they are not as durable (small bearings).

Anyway... I would also recommend SPD's for a first timer.

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Re: Which pedals to buy first time changing to cleats

Postby Nobody » Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:34 am

RonK wrote:There is a myth that some seem keen to perpetuate that only Speedplay have lateral float - it's hogwash (sorry Steve) of course but there you go.
I don't know if anyone mentioned lateral float, but I thought Time were the ones that had more of that. The angular float that most people talk about is yaw (although I haven't heard the term used for cleats that I can remember.)
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Re: Which pedals to buy first time changing to cleats

Postby JessicaAlba » Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:44 am

Nobody wrote:
RonK wrote:There is a myth that some seem keen to perpetuate that only Speedplay have lateral float - it's hogwash (sorry Steve) of course but there you go.
I don't know if anyone mentioned lateral float, but I thought Time were the ones that had more of that. The angular float that most people talk about is yaw (although I haven't heard the term used for cleats that I can remember.)


I would suggest yaw is contextually incorrect. Lateral float is the correct term in this case.

imo.
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Re: Which pedals to buy first time changing to cleats

Postby Nobody » Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:47 pm

Please elaborate. How do you separate yaw float from lateral float if you call them both the same?
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Re: Which pedals to buy first time changing to cleats

Postby eeksll » Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:21 pm

If you know this already ignore this.

There are 2 types of setups, Each have their own type of shoe and the shoes are generally not interchangeable. ie if you buy MTB shoes and later want to go to a road setup you will need to buy new shoes (and vice versa)

MTB style (spd/crank brothers/..)
this style has recessed cleats so you can walk in your shoes quite well, I do this alot.
All the ones i have seen, these are double sided and easy cleat engagement, i.e you can pretty much stomp on the pedal and your in.
The small cleat means that there can be little to alot of play between the pedal and shoe.

Road Style (SPD-SL/speedplay/look/...)
The cleats are MUCH bigger and they stick out at the bottom of the shoe, walking is not comfortable.
Harder to engage cleats to pedals due to pedals being single sided. Speedplay are double sided but they are just not as easy to engage as SPD's.
The bigger cleat holds the pedal with a much more solid grip and there is less to no play between the shoe and pedal.

For me, the first thing I would consider is how much you walk in your shoes, e.g do you ride your bike as a form of transport to work/shops/... if so I'd go the mtb variety as they have a recessed cleat so you can walk in your cycling shoes quite well.

If you ride alot in traffic, start/stop alot, lots of hill starts then I'd seriously consider the MTB style due to ease of engagement.

The stronger interface (no play) of the road pedals is just a nicer feeling. Apart from what I said above, i wouldn't worry too much about ease/hardness of cleat engagement, if you ride 240km a week you'll get used to whichever you choose pretty quickly.
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Re: Which pedals to buy first time changing to cleats

Postby Jerryjan » Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:35 am

Hi I have just ordered the click r pedals and shoes

Cheers Jerry
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Re: Which pedals to buy first time changing to cleats

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:13 am

Jerryjan wrote:Hi I have just ordered the click r pedals and shoes

Cheers Jerry


Make sure you report back on them. A mate of mine just bought some as well and he's loving them. He's never ridden a road bike before, nor clipless pedals, and he was wondering what all the fuss was about. He knows now.
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