1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
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    Clipless; Crank Bros. or Shimano

    I'm seriously considering going clipless given all of the positive things I've read on this site and others. I've only been riding about 8 months.

    After reading too many threads on the subject, I thought I'd add another. I'm reading a lot of conflicting opinions regarding which brand to go with. I'm sure it's a matter of preference, but can you all give what pros and cons you're aware of between the Crank Bros. and Shimano clipless pedals? If you've tried both, which do you prefer and why? Also, what considerations need to be made when purchasing a shoe? Are certain shoes only compatible w/ certain brand of pedals? Any other advice on the issue will be sincerely appreciated.

    Thanks
    [SIZE="4"]3M W0J8[/SIZE]

  2. #2
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    Egg Beaters are Greeeeaaatt!

    Haven't tried the Shimanos, but I love the Eggs. Easy to get into, feet stay locked in when pedaling hard, can corner really short because the pedals are small (Q-factor), Easy to get out of when you need to.

    The only negative that I can see, is that you probably want a good pair of shoes to compensate for the small pressure point of the pedals. I've got a pair of carbon soled Shimanos. Rode 100 miles on my road bike today with these pedals and my feet do not hurt one bit.

  3. #3
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    My Shimano SPDs always clog up, but I ride in mud a lot. I think if I didn't do some much mud riding, my cleats would be able to clip out easier.

  4. #4
    The Element Of Choice
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    Shimano 540 Pedals.

    I posted similar post in similar topic. I have had CronkBrothers Egg Beaters and I think whats people like is there very light and they should be theres not much there and also cool looking but hard to get in and out of. I really have to say that Shimano 540 is best in my view for a newb like me and they provide more room to stand on. You might want to check Pricepoint and Nashbar and so on because they have combos that come with pedals and shoes. Like I said Eggbeaters are light and cool looking just like Disc breaksa are cool and I have them but for confidance its Shimano 540. I got them on Ebay for about 15.00 less. Also there is a slightly cheaper but not much differance Shimano 520. If you try Eggbeaters you can always Ebay them because they are hot right now.
    A man looks into the abyss. Thereís nothing staring back at him. At that moment, a man finds his character. And thatís what keeps him out of the abyss.

  5. #5
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    I am pretty new to biking and when I got my bike recently it came with Shimano's (515's, I believe). I thought they were a little rough when it came to getting in and out and fell multiple times when practicing. It felt like I had to rip my foot out for it to work and my LBS said they had set the tension to the lightest setting. I really didn't like them and I heard bad things about their use in mud as well so I picked up a set of eggbeaters. So far, they've been amazing. I've found them to be incredibly easy to get into and out of, very smooth easy motion. I don't mind the size but they are really small so if you plan to ride without biking shoes, ever, it might be a problem. I would definitely recommend the eggbeaters if you're just getting started with clipless.

  6. #6
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    The Eggs have it!

    Chrome5 is right about the mud. I had a friend ride a 40 mile race in mud that was so thick and gooey, that whenever he would shift, the mud caked in this cassette through the chain everytime. He did not have problems with mud. I've ridden a lot of mud too, but no to the extreme of my friend, and I've not had any problems clicking in.

    Learning how to click in and out takes time and practice. I've ridden clipless pedals since 1990, and I recall at least 4 or 5 times where I've tipped over. You just need to stay with it. On planned stops, develop a process where you approach your stop point, unclip one foot, and then lean that way so that you can put your foot down.

    Unplanned dismounts, well, these just seem to happen after a while. I never had the time to think, "OK twist foot now!" in the midst of a crash. What has happened though, is that, lets say that the front wheel just stops cold from hitting something; I will be standing next to the bike holding the handlebars wondering how exactly I got off of the bike. Of course, sometimes, I'm laying on the ground with the bike on top of me, wondering how exactly did I get here. But that's just part of the ride!

  7. #7
    Your bike is incorrigible
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    I have SPDs on my two hard tails and CB Mallets on my full suspension. You are most definitely correct when you say that it comes down to preference. There are some differences, however. SPDs have very little float (you can't move your heel around too much without popping out). The eggbeaters have about twice as much float (you can move your heel around quite a bit without coming disengaged). This can be scary either way. You might feel that you are popping out of SPDs when you don't want to, or you might feel that you can't pop out of eggbeaters when you need to. Also, SPDs have adjustable tension settings, while eggbeaters have none. You can set your SPDs so that the slightest twist will disengage your foot, or you can set them so that it takes a lot of effort to disengage. Having said that, I have never had any trouble getting in or out of the eggbeaters. Plus, I have never had any trouble coming disengaged when I didn't want to. Finally, as someone else pointed out, eggbeaters work in mud and SPDs don't. If you ride where there is a lot of mud, this is a consideration. It can be frustrating to have to reach down and clean your cleat off to get it to engage in the pedal. The same goes for snow: snow will stick to cleats, freeze over and not allow you to be able to get into the pedal.

  8. #8
    The Element Of Choice
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    I agree with Guyecha on the mud although I still say Shimano is my choice but little advice as for mud rides and that is maybe egg beaters are better but make sure your trails you ride on dont have rules about muddy conditions as some trail parks and people who keep them up will get pissed if you ride when its muddy. Some trails here I heard will ask you to leave if your on them although there public parks and also muddy condition is bad for the trail.
    A man looks into the abyss. Thereís nothing staring back at him. At that moment, a man finds his character. And thatís what keeps him out of the abyss.

  9. #9
    bi-winning
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockymountainelement50
    I agree with Guyecha on the mud although I still say Shimano is my choice but little advice as for mud rides and that is maybe egg beaters are better but make sure your trails you ride on dont have rules about muddy conditions as some trail parks and people who keep them up will get pissed if you ride when its muddy. Some trails here I heard will ask you to leave if your on them although there public parks and also muddy condition is bad for the trail.
    The older SPD design, such as the 515s were not so good in mud apparently, but the newer pedals (520,540,XTR) shed mud pretty well. When you are walking around in muck, it does take a second to scrape the mud away to unburry the cleat at the bottom of your shoe (just via shoe on pedal contact) , but once your pedal can find your cleat through all the mud, you're good to go. No unexpected releases for me. However, it still holds true that eggs are the best for mud, just look at 'em.

    I highly reccomend the SPD M520/540 based mainly on the fact that they have adjustable tension. It really is great for learning. When you set them real loose, and panic because your about to crash, you can rip your feet out pretty easily, even without the definative heel-out motion.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.


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  10. #10
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    clarification...

    need some clarification....(forgive me, new to the sport and completely ignorant about clipless)

    ..is SPD synonymous w/ Shimano clipless pedals? or is this a different brand.
    [SIZE="4"]3M W0J8[/SIZE]

  11. #11
    ride hard take risks
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    Apperantly SPD comes from Shimanos huge dictionary meaning Shimano Pedaling Dynamics. It does get used as a generic word instead of clipless.

  12. #12
    The Element Of Choice
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    A man looks into the abyss. Thereís nothing staring back at him. At that moment, a man finds his character. And thatís what keeps him out of the abyss.

  13. #13
    Vaginatarian
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    Time atacs

  14. #14
    ride hard take risks
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan0
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  15. #15
    ~I Ride In Circles ~
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    I just started riding clipless this year.. Egg's all the way. I love them and in such a small amount of time i'm already used to them!
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  16. #16
    Riding a Rig.
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    This is one of those things that is up to preference. I started out with Crank Bros Candies, but now use Shimano M540s. The Candies worked okay, but the M540s are sooo much better in my opinion.

    Basicly by comparison, the 540s provide very very solid feeling interface while the candies never did. The candies always seemed to have a sloppy feeling connection and no matter what I did I could not elimitate the annoying clicking feeling in the cleat/pedal interface when I was really hammering. The 540s have no cleance issues with shoes like the candies did. I do have to say that Crank Bros provides awesoem customer support, they sent me out some extra screws for the cleats when I was having trouble with them stripping.

    Based on my experience I have to say the Shimano pedals are superior.
    "Physics is timeless. Marketing and bs never lasts. Thats been proven time and time again."
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  17. #17
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    Went w/ the 540's and Specialized Sport shoes. took them out earlier, didn't crash....but I'm sure that will happen just as soon as I'm in front of a large group of people...preferably really hot ladies.
    [SIZE="4"]3M W0J8[/SIZE]

  18. #18
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan0
    Time atacs
    Why limit yourself to Shimano and CB?

    I have Time ATACs as my first clipless pedals and they have been easy and reliable. They do not seem to collect mud and have survived some rock strikes.

    I like the increased power and the stability on bumpy sections. My big hit bike (a Yeti AS-X in progress) will have flat pedals, at least to start with. I have not yet decided if I will stay with clipless for the rest of my life.

  19. #19
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    i went clipless just recently. go with time ATAC Z pedals. they rock! have a definate load click whrn they lock in and shead mud well. you can also reverse the cleats to adjust release (easyer or harder.) i Love em wont think of rideing with out them ever again.
    IBEX Ignition, 05 Marzocchi DJ1 Outlaw wheels 2.3 tires Saint Crank ATACzPedals LX Drive Train w11-34 185mm BB7&SD5 30lbs

  20. #20
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    I've used both. I've used abuot 4 different models of shi(t)mano pedals, and candys and eggbeaters. The Crankbros pedals win everything hands down. Ease of clipping in and out, mud shedding ability, rebuildability, and the 4 sided entry is awesome. They have a little longer of a learning curve than shimanos, but they are better in just about every way.

    I'll never EVER run shimanos offroad again. They are too prone to clogging with mud and just feeling in general crappy.

    The ONE thing shimano has that CB doesn't....flat sides to use a pedal wrench on.

  21. #21
    Wizard of the Trail
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    If you like falling, definetly get the time atacs. I even shaved the cleats for less float. I fell so much with them, it wasn't funny. I tried cheap nashbar knock offs, eggs, mallets and shimano 540s. I gotta say, FOR A NEWBIE, the 540/520s are the best. Also, I ride in muddy conditions, I never have a problem unclipping and clipping in. They have an open and raised design so they don't fill with mud like the old ones did. If you panic alot, they come out easy. They have adjustable tension as well. I think the eggbeaters come in second, but no adjustable tension and so much float, when panicing, you will fall. Like someone else said, it does come to preference. You might be a cool rider that doesn't panic when they are in situations like falling. I am not. One time I was cresting a hill with the mallets, tried turning my heels till I hit the ground. Gotta say, that fall took forever. IMHO, newbies should start with a low float pedal untill they get that natural automatic heel twist down.
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  22. #22
    EDR
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    I ran Crank Bro's...Mallet C's and EB's for the first year I rode clipless. All xc type riding. I was never quite happy with how unclipping felt. I even sent the cleats to Crank Bro's and they grounded down the edges so they would unclip quicker, it was of little help. I then bought Shimano 520's brand new on ebay for $35. They were great. Adj. tension is a BIG plus for beginners. Easy to clip in and can be as easy or difficult as you want to clip out of. I have recently bought a set of 540's. They are basically the same pedal and they are great.

    If mud is a huge issue for you then EB's are the way to go. If not, I suggest 520's or 540's. But none of these opinions really matter. You need just spend the money and see what works for you.

  23. #23
    Bike Geek
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    Another vote for option C: Time ATACs.

    I got a set of Zs after a couple months of trying the crappy Wellgo SPDs my bike came with. It's one of the best upgrade choices I've made. No more issues clipping in/out, much happier knees with the wider float range, good platform for general riding.

  24. #24
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    I have been riding CB egg beaters for 3yrs now and I will never go back to any other pedal. I love the four side entry, mud shedding and durability. I liked the pedals so much that I run Mallet Cs on my FR rig, Candy Cs on my All Mountain and Egg Beater Ss on my SS and XC rig (yeah, I have a couple of bikes ). Incidentally, CB's customer service is great. I broke one of the bars on the Egg beater and they switched it out no questions asked. I have tried ATACS and the piece of s*@% Kore GASS and the EBs were and are by far the best of the bunch.

  25. #25
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    I have used both the eggbeaters, and shimano.

    When I was new to riding, I switched from platforms to shimanos. I really liked the shimanos as you could adjust the tension of the release. After a while I tried a set of the times (similar to eggeaters) as I was looking for better mud sheding. The times had no tension adjustment, and i hated them. Ater 3 rides I switched back to the shimanos.

    three years later, I decided to try the eggbeaters for weight savings. I was leary as I heard they released similar to times, and had no tension adjustment. I HAVE LOVED THE EGGBEATERS.

    not sure if it was the pedals, or I am a more comfortable rider now, but I have ditched the shimanos.

    See if you cant get a loaner set from a friend. try both types out.

    I use a set of shimano shoes for both sets ofpedals without modifications needed.

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