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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  1. #1
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    Crank Brothers Egg Beaters vs. SPD Single Release vs. SPD Multi-Release

    I'm looking into clipless pedals for the first time. What are the advantages/disadvantages between different styles of pedals and cleats?
    Last edited by intoflatlines; 04-12-2010 at 04:39 PM.

  2. #2
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    Single release cleats are designed to unclip when you turn your heal outwards. Multi release will unclip if you turn your heel inwards or outwards. I guess you could say that as such single release are more secure and harder to disengage by accident. Multi release are easier to get out of in a panic as no matter which way your foot rotates it will unclip. You can also get cleats in zero float and float options.

    Eggbeaters feature around 6 degrees of "float" whereby the cleat can move around to some degree before it starts to release. Some people like a bit of float as it's easier on their knees than a solid, no-float cleat. Also, Eggbeaters have an adjustable release angle - this is adjustable by swapping the cleats from one shoe to the other - they are not symmetrical in shape like SPD cleats. Eggbeaters are also of a "multi release" design.

    I've used both types and here's my take:

    The basic Eggbeaters are very light and very simple. Being compact and low profile they tend not to bash rocks as often as larger pedals. Being steel they also don't tend to show knocks like the softer cast alloy body of most SPD style pedals. Standard Eggbeaters are very hard to pedal on if you want to remain unclipped, for example in a very rocky section as there's next to nothing to put your shoe on and what is there is slick steel. There are of course the other Eggbeater options that feature varying size cages / platforms. I have found that Eggbeater cleats are fairly soft and wear fast. In addition, the cleat are more expensive and there is much less variety to choose from.

    SPD and SPD compatible - so many pedal manufacturers make pedals that use these cleats there is a huge variety of pedals types from double sided to single clip with cage on the other to floating cage double sided and so on. Cheaply priced to very expensive. Heavy to ultra light. You can get cleats anywhere, they are often very cheap and last for ages and are made by anyone who makes "SPD compatible" pedals. An SPD pedal body, though not ideal, is a little easier to ride on unclipped in a pinch if you really need to.
    My Cannondale Lefty keeps failing....

  3. #3
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    I can't tell you about Eggbeaters - I rode Times, which are a similar design, for 12 years until recently. Switched to Shimano 647s last year. At first, I rode with SH-56(Multi Release) cleats because I prefer to err on easy out with the drawback of the occasional unwanted disengagement. I found them stupid easy to get out of, even with the tension screws at the max. I switched to SH-51s with the tension mostly off and they're still pretty easy to get out, but a bit stickier than the SH-56s with the tension on full. M647 pedals have a substantial platform, which is great for getting going on technical or uphill sections where you need to pedal few revs before you manage to clip in. Time pedals are very good - but the release is not adjustable. You can however, take a file to the cleats to achieve the same effect, which I did when I was first learning to ride clipless. Times are impervious to mud and debris. The Shimano''s a little less so. I find the Shimano's a little easier to slip into.

    If you're just starting clipless, and you go with Shimano, SH-56 are a great way to learn. You'll have the SH-51s (they come standard with most Shimano models) for when and if you want a stickier attachment.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  4. #4
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    Been on SPD's and single release cleats for 15 years dont have any plans to go otherwise. My take is similar to Sideknob on the CB's Do not I repeat, Do not try to ride them with a flat shoe you will roll off and get hurt.
    The most important thing is what God thinks about it. He will have the final say.” – Joshua Stinebrink

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sideknob
    Single release cleats are designed to unclip when you turn your heal outwards. Multi release will unclip if you turn your heel inwards or outwards.
    Multi release will also release if you pull your heel up hard enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sideknob
    Eggbeaters feature around 6 degrees of "float" whereby the cleat can move around to some degree before it starts to release..
    Eggbeaters have either 15 or 20 degree release. Generally, it's Shimano pedals which have 6 degrees. One of the big things about Eggs is aside from the extra float, is the float is completely free without, without any force applied to the foot. This makes Eggs generally very easy on the knees.

  6. #6
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    Wow, lots of great responses.. It sounds like I'd be looking for an SPD single release system perhaps. Switching between SPD single and multi release is as simple as swapping out the cleats, right? I can just buy two sets of cleats and see if I like multi or single more..

    I wish I could try them out somehow. I'm a college student right now, so even $25 spent is a lot!

  7. #7
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    I was in the same boat as you a few years back, in college with no cash. I was almost tempted to tell you to save your money and not spend if you don’t have to, but I changed my mind. After graduating 5 years ago I STILL don't have money so you might as well have fun while you're young! By the way I ride eggbeaters and like them a lot. Just do what I did and search the internet for the best prices.

  8. #8
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    I have bad knees...in fact one of my knees is just junk and needs to be reconstructed, so I take it I should look for a pedals that allow me more float. Which would those be? Time, CB, Shimano?
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrayBeard Pirate
    I have bad knees...in fact one of my knees is just junk and needs to be reconstructed, so I take it I should look for a pedals that allow me more float. Which would those be? Time, CB, Shimano?

    for bad knees Time of crankbrothers would be your best clipless options. If really bad knees stick with platforms.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrayBeard Pirate
    I have bad knees...in fact one of my knees is just junk and needs to be reconstructed, so I take it I should look for a pedals that allow me more float. Which would those be? Time, CB, Shimano?
    Eggbeaters or Time. I prefer Eggbeaters as they offer the most float and are lighter.

  11. #11
    MTB skillz = NADA
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    Thanks for the info...that really helps me narrow down my search for new pedals.
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  12. #12
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    For Egg Beaters don't people say that you need to have pretty stiff soles on your shoes?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by intoflatlines
    For Egg Beaters don't people say that you need to have pretty stiff soles on your shoes?
    Most bike shoes have a stiff sole as to not wrap your foot around your pedal.
    The most important thing is what God thinks about it. He will have the final say.” – Joshua Stinebrink

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  14. #14
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    True, I was just asking because I have read reviews from people with Egg Beaters that say they need bike shoes that are very stiff, as opposed to softer ones used with larger pedals (SPD). I'm going to have to find a way to audition some of these pedals/shoes!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by intoflatlines
    True, I was just asking because I have read reviews from people with Egg Beaters that say they need bike shoes that are very stiff, as opposed to softer ones used with larger pedals (SPD). I'm going to have to find a way to audition some of these pedals/shoes!

    i've been pushing eggies for 5 or 6 years.....they work great IMHO.....BUT....i've always had pretty stiff soles on my riding shoes.....thought my SIDI doms were too flexy (currently i have carpet fiber soles)....

    i can see how a soft sole + eggies would cause a hotspot on your foot during long rides...pretty small platform..

    PS...eggbeaters can open beers....a fact that should be considered prior to pulling the trigger....
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