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  1. #1
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    SPD Multi-Release Cleats

    My wife's about ready to go clipless and she's worried about not being able to release quick enough. I know that will go away quickly. I already have a new pair of SPDs for her but I was advised that the Shimano Mult-Release cleats release a lot easier to the point where they'll release on their own if she dumps the bike. The kid at the LBS didn't really seem to know anything about them and was no help.

    Anybody with any advice for me? Are they a good thing for a timid clipless newbie or do they just release multiple $$s from my wallet?
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  2. #2
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    I've found that the SH 55 multi-release cleats release too easily and you end up cranking up the spring tension to compensate which defeats the purpose. Use the SH 51 single-release cleats and have your wife sit on her bike in a doorway then click out 100 times on each side. This will help develop the prerequisite muscle memory and eliminate any worries she has. Also make sure you start off with the tension at a fairly low setting.
    Quote Originally Posted by mbmojo
    My wife's about ready to go clipless and she's worried about not being able to release quick enough. I know that will go away quickly. I already have a new pair of SPDs for her but I was advised that the Shimano Mult-Release cleats release a lot easier to the point where they'll release on their own if she dumps the bike. The kid at the LBS didn't really seem to know anything about them and was no help.

    Anybody with any advice for me? Are they a good thing for a timid clipless newbie or do they just release multiple $$s from my wallet?

  3. #3
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    Worn-in cleats can help

    Quote Originally Posted by mbmojo
    My wife's about ready to go clipless and she's worried about not being able to release quick enough. I know that will go away quickly. I already have a new pair of SPDs for her but I was advised that the Shimano Mult-Release cleats release a lot easier to the point where they'll release on their own if she dumps the bike. The kid at the LBS didn't really seem to know anything about them and was no help.

    Anybody with any advice for me? Are they a good thing for a timid clipless newbie or do they just release multiple $$s from my wallet?
    FWIW

    Brand new cleats are very noticeably harder to engage and release. Women typically have weaker muscles, and what seems easy for you, may be hard for her.

    If you can give her a set of worn-in cleats, they will help considerably with easier engage and release. You can also clean the cleats up and give them a very light coating of lube, to reduce friction and help them engage-release easier.

    If you have been riding SPD clipless for some time, give her your worn-in cleats and take her new ones. It might sound opportunistic, but it could save her some falls and hurt.

    Once your wife gets more confident, and comfortable with clipless, she can go to newer cleats, forget the lube, and crank up the tension, to her feel, since she may find that they release too easily for her improved abilities.

    My $.02

    old_dude
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by lebikerboy
    I've found that the SH 55 multi-release cleats release too easily and you end up cranking up the spring tension to compensate which defeats the purpose. Use the SH 51 single-release cleats and have your wife sit on her bike in a doorway then click out 100 times on each side. This will help develop the prerequisite muscle memory and eliminate any worries she has. Also make sure you start off with the tension at a fairly low setting.
    I totally agree. Converting to clipless a couple years ago, I tried the SH-55s initially and quickly found I came out too easily. And have some nasty scars to prove it. Switched to SH51s and after practicing on my trainer getting in and out for a couple days and maybe after a few rides on familiar trails, I was good to go.

    I also think that even if she was initially satisfied w/ the 55s, she would probably want to switch to the 51s for less accidental releases later on as her riding moves to more challenging or technical terrain due to increased confidence or skill. Starting w/ 51s will avoid the frustration, scraps, etc. of having to reprogram her pedal release muscle memory to only recognize the single release only motion.

    Dave

  5. #5
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    Reputation: Hecubus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lebikerboy
    I've found that the SH 55 multi-release cleats release too easily and you end up cranking up the spring tension to compensate which defeats the purpose. Use the SH 51 single-release cleats and have your wife sit on her bike in a doorway then click out 100 times on each side. This will help develop the prerequisite muscle memory and eliminate any worries she has. Also make sure you start off with the tension at a fairly low setting.
    What he said. Have her sit between a doorway or with the bike on a trainer and just clip and unclip repeatedly. Set the tension all the way down to the minimum and they will release extremely easily. The problem with going with the SH-55 multi release is she will basically have to relearn clipless all over again once she switches to the 51's. Better to just bite the bullit and get used to the proper method from the start. Also try to use a used cleat that is broken in instead of a new one. I have found however that Shimano's newest generation pedals like the 540/959 don't seem to perform any differently with new cleats. The older models were somewhat more difficult to disengage with brand new cleats.

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