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  1. #1
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    Beginner pedal alternatives

    Hi Guys

    I had been riding platform pedals on a crappy bike for ten years before buying my new 29er with clipless pedals

    I have Shimano M530 on the new bike. They are set to most loose/easy setting.

    I find that it is still difficult to clip out (not due to habit) but due to stiffness in the pedal.

    I am not sure if its the shoes interfering (don't think it is), or maybe the mechanism is just too tight.

    What are my options? Is there a way to "break it in" or are there alternative pedals that are easier to clip out of?

  2. #2
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    practice, practice, practice. if they are set loose, that's as loose as they get.

  3. #3
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    Click the shoe in, then take your foot out of the shoe. Look at the shoe to pedal interface, and make sure there is no rubbing or other interference.

    I am so absolutley accustomed to clipless pedals I cannot even fathom having difficulty clipping out, especially at the loosest setting.
    That said, I am vaguely recalling a tip-over on my road bike during a group ride from not clipping out of my Look road pedals. It's a small learning curve, but you will get absolutely used to it. Once you do, you will have absolutely no issues at all clipping out.

  4. #4
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    I love the HT Flats on my AM bike. So much so that I am considering changing my carbon hardtail ride to flats. Good shoes make a big difference.

  5. #5
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    Really? OP is asking about issues with his/her clipless, and you suggest flats? C'mon.

    OP - you can also get multi release cleats for the shoes. You may want to check into those.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  6. #6
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    ^You are an idiot ... Lack if confidence on clipless makes a good pair of flats a great alternative. Last time I checked this was the beginners forum. Just offering an experienced based solution.

  7. #7
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    Beginner pedal alternatives

    OP--what shoes do you have and is the cleat centered in the slots so that no other part of the shoe is making contact with the pedal?

  8. #8
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    Hi Guys,

    I am open to all options. They were set to loosest setting and I did use them for an entire season. The memory to clip in and out is pretty much there and good. I make sure I clip out early and don't bother clipping in for very tight and slow turns (like turning on a path from a driveway). I have had a few spills and close calls.

    I don't think I have the Multi Release SPD. They're centered in the shoe and the shoe are Shimano M077's.

    I can check the rubber whether its causing it to get stuck.

  9. #9
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    If you're clipping out for technical sections of the trail, you may be happier with flats.

    I think clipless pedals mostly reward a rider who stays clipped in for almost everything.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  10. #10
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    This might have been overlooked. Did you loosen both sides of the pedal? One side may be set on the loosest setting, the other set as factory. Be sure to do both sides of each pedal.

    I will ignore the personal attack on me, and not waste my time getting into an argument with someone who obviously has reading comprehension issues.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  11. #11
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    Beginner pedal alternatives

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    I think clipless pedals mostly reward a rider who stays clipped in for almost everything.
    Couldn't agree more. But, I might unclip early too if the pedals I was using weren't releasing properly. Get 'em working predictably and it's a lil easier to trust 'em.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by TenSpeed View Post
    This might have been overlooked. Did you loosen both sides of the pedal? One side may be set on the loosest setting, the other set as factory. Be sure to do both sides of each pedal.

    I will ignore the personal attack on me, and not waste my time getting into an argument with someone who obviously has reading comprehension issues.
    Yes I did both sides per pedal, don't know if that was done last year but I did see it this time and adjusted it. I've only so far tested my pedals to do some clip practice while holding myself up in a squat rack

    I haven't really been clipping out for technical stuff (nothing too technical on my rides, yet). Only clipped out for crossing streets and turning on/off sidewalks where I am trying to do a quick 180 degree turn in a short span.

    I really want to make clipless work I'll check the rubber tonight and go from there

    Does it need some lubrication? Could that be causing the mechanism to be tight

  13. #13
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    How new are the cleats? They do take a little time to "break" in, or become easier to engage/disengage.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asimo5000 View Post

    What are my options? Is there a way to "break it in" or are there alternative pedals that are easier to clip out of?
    Using the same pedals, switching to SH-56 cleats should make it easier.

  15. #15
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    Check to see that the cleats are screwed on tight on the shoes. A loose cleat will cause you to have diffuculty clipping out.

    Cheers

  16. #16
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    Lube might help. Lots of folks simply use cooking spray for that purpose.

    But shoe tread interference is a big one. Gotta trim a lot of shoes with a utility knife to get good clearance. I've had the loose cleat problem, too.

    I am riding platforms exclusively this year (on both my mtb and my commuter). Still have my clipless pedals and shoes, but I want to mix things up and force myself to learn better technique for bunny hopping and such.

    My wife has absolutely no desire to learn clipless, so good platforms are perfect for her.

  17. #17
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    Get these cleats for your SPD's... I just went through exactly what you are going through, and this fixed it for me. Shimano SM-SH56 Multi Release SPD Cleat > Components > Pedals > Cleats | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop

    NO issues unclipping at all.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asimo5000 View Post
    They were set to loosest setting and I did use them for an entire season. The memory to clip in and out is pretty much there and good.

    I can check the rubber whether its causing it to get stuck.
    Wow - if you have had them for more than say 100 clip in/outs, then they are as good as they are going to get.

    I got my dad a set of XT clipless for Christmas. His old pedals and cleats were 10 years old, and he was having difficulty staying in properly. He has a (healed) shattered ankle, and cannot twist very much. Road bike, he can barely clip out due to the ankle.
    He has absolutley no issues clipping out on the XT pedals, set on the loosest setting. Infact, he has been tightening them up, due to accidentally clipping out a few times from such a low setting.
    If you are having issues with the amount of FORCE needed, something is interfering.
    Honestly too, perhaps embarassingly - I have very, very, very rarely lubed the mechanism of any clipless Shimano pedal. If I did, it was because it was looking all sorts of nasty crappy.
    Sounds to me like something is not right with the shoe interface.

    Those pedals you have are the ones with the small platform around them, correct? That's where I'd be looking. Shoe to pedal interferance.

  19. #19
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    Hello guys checking back in:

    Here is a video of clipping in and popping out:
    VIDEO0011.mp4(1) - YouTube

    Here is a second video detailing the interface, looks like the shoe is rubbing against the extra platform of the pedal
    VIDEO0011.mp4(2) - YouTube (Vertical video syndrome! Cursed myself after)


    So for myself:

    1. Clean the gunk and lubricate
    2. Shave some rubber off the shoes to prevent gripping on the platform
    3. Look into getting the multi-release clips if still not happy

  20. #20
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    I would actually skip the lubricant unless you are using a dry product. Oil-based lubes will just collect more gunk. I just spray the pedals with automotive brake cleaner and let them dry.

    I just put a set of M520 pedals on my new bike but I also have the SH56 cleats, and I have no trouble clipping out to the point that I will need to increase the tension before any serious riding. I do know that the SH56 cleats make clipping out much easier than the standard cleats.

  21. #21
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    Just an FYI: Shimano PD-M520 and above will use the #56 cleat for multi-release, while the PD-M515 and below will use #55 cleat for multi-release applications. In this case, the OP would use the #56 cleats to be able to release in multiple directions. Not sure if #56 would work in PD-M515 and below and vice-versa, but it's what Shimano specifies.

  22. #22
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    SH56 cleats work just fine with my circa 2004 M505 pedals...

    I don't think SH55s are even available anymore and have been replaced by the SH56. I'm pretty sure the 56s work as a replacement for the 55s, but 55s will not work in new pedals designed for the 56s.

  23. #23
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    Thank you everyone for the useful info

  24. #24
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    Did you get your issue resolved?
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj View Post
    Just an FYI: Shimano PD-M520 and above will use the #56 cleat for multi-release, while the PD-M515 and below will use #55 cleat for multi-release applications. In this case, the OP would use the #56 cleats to be able to release in multiple directions. Not sure if #56 would work in PD-M515 and below and vice-versa, but it's what Shimano specifies.
    Per the Shimano web site, the M56 cleat is compatible with all but the PD-M858 pedal. It should work fine with the M515 and older pedals. If not, I'll let you know, as I will be getting a set for my 515's.

  26. #26
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    So on Sunday, I took out my Dremel and ground down the sides of rubber on either side of the cleat.

    It helped significantly now clipping out is much easier.

    Using a knife was not good enough because it was not able to cut easily unless it were to look like a hackjob.

  27. #27
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    Good to know. I'm thinking about removing some material from my new shoes, for a somewhat related reason.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  28. #28
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    The consequence is that now if I walk around the clip is what touches the ground. Which somewhat happened before anyways.

  29. #29
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    So glad I found this thread - I was going to initiate one of my own but this one addresses most everything I was wondering about.

    I've been riding about 10 months on platform pedals with 5-10 shoes on my Trek Superfly. I'm strictly a mid intermediate type rider so I like flowy, all mountain type trails with some technical stuff but nothing too intimidating. I've noticed recently that as my riding is getting a bit more confident and aggressive, my feet are sometimes coming off the pedals going through bumpy rocks and root sections. I've also started to feel the need for more power throughout the pedal stroke on the uphills.

    Obviously, this led me to trying to convert to clipless. Put some Shimano M530 pedals on and decided to go with a pair of 5-10 Stealth shoes. I liked the fact that these shoes have the recessed cleats to improve the walking around experience when I'm off the bike.

    Well, just like the OP, I'm having a difficult time mastering the unclip movement and gaining confidence. I've come REAL close to falling a couple times but always managed to get unclipped or grab a nearby tree. What are some techniques you've all learned? Is it better to unclip the foot at the top of the pedal stroke or the lower one? Or do you keep the pedals level and unclip both feet?

    After reading this thread, one thing I'm definitely going to investigate is whether the design of the Stealth shoes is actually causing the sole of the shoe (rubber part) to interfere with the unclipping process.

    Sorry for the long post - thanks for any and all advice or tips!

  30. #30
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    For me I have the most trouble unclipping with whichever pedal is up.

  31. #31
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Practice. I find it easier to unclip at the bottom too. It's not generally useful, but flying dismounts are kind of a fun skill, and they help me keep my flow going in competition, especially cyclocross.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  32. #32
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    If you set the release tension screw as low as it will go and keep the pedals clean and lubed it is much easier (and faster) to get out of them.

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