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  1. #1
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    Making SPD pedals easier to use

    I'm not sure if this has been done or not. I'm not even sure if it's a good idea (I'll be testing it tomorrow). If anyone has done this, I'd be interested in their results.

    First, I just switched from platform to clipless pedals. I started with the Shimano MT50s. Shimano says these pedals are 60% easier to get in and out of than SPD pedals. I wanted to use a better pedal with more clearance, so I got a pair of XT trail pedals. But even on their lightest setting, they were too hard to get out of. I only narrowly averted disaster on a ride this morning.

    Upon inspection, it appears that the MT50 is easier to get out of simply due to using lighter springs on the part of the the pedal that rotates and releases the back part of the cleat. I notice that each of the rotating plates had two springs operating on them. So, this made me wonder, could I further reduce spring tension on my XT pedals simply by removing one of the springs. The answer is yes.

    The first thing I did was remove the three screws attaching the plate that holds the front of the cleat. Remove the plate and this relieves tension on the springs. There is a screw that the springs pivot about. Loosen this screw and carefully remove the screw just enough to drop one of the springs. Be careful not to pull the screw too much as the adjustment screw will drop out. This happened to me on one of the sides... but I got it back together with some effort. Once the spring is removed, I replace the pivot screw and replaced the plate.

    Now my pedals are VERY easy to get out of. I can still tighten the remaining springs to increase tension on the rotating plate. Now I don't fear falling over on my bike with my feet stuck in pedals. I can increase spring tension incrementally to train myself on proper use. But this only allows me to skip the scary learning period.

  2. #2
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    Making SPD pedals easier to use

    Which cleat are you using? SH51? You may want to change it to an SH56
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  3. #3
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    I am using SH56s. I understand the difference. I didn't really post this seeing advice. I just got tired of reading people's unhelpful advice telling new clipless riders that they should just try harder.

  4. #4
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    Making SPD pedals easier to use

    Since you did not mention which cleat you are using i just thought you were using an SH51 which usually comes stock and IS really, for me, hard to get out of..
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  5. #5
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    The only way to make SPD pedals easier......is practice.

    Probably not what you wanted to hear......but the bottom line is that it is not rocket science. There is a learning curve.

    THere are too many riders out there using them that figured it out.

    I would not start pulling parts off your pedals to try and make them easier.
    I crashed hard enough on my Tallboy to break my leg,
    The carbon is way more durable than most people.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbikej View Post
    The only way to make SPD pedals easier......is practice.

    Probably not what you wanted to hear......but the bottom line is that it is not rocket science. There is a learning curve.

    THere are too many riders out there using them that figured it out.

    I would not start pulling parts off your pedals to try and make them easier.
    ^^ This.

    Really.

    That is all.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbikej View Post
    The only way to make SPD pedals easier......is practice.

    Probably not what you wanted to hear......but the bottom line is that it is not rocket science. There is a learning curve.

    THere are too many riders out there using them that figured it out.

    I would not start pulling parts off your pedals to try and make them easier.
    Sorry... but you are simply wrong.

    Anyway, I posted this thread for people who are new to clipless. I didn't post it to be a troll feeding ground.

  8. #8
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    I used to have the 540 and I liked them, easy to get in and out. Then I bought the new trail XT and even on the lightest spring setting, it was harder to get out of than the 540. My guess is that the 540 springs are either softer or they are worn (bought them used), and the XT being new. Mind you I used the same cleats on both pedals. Then I got new cleats for the XT and it was still harder. But you do learn how to get out of them properly after many uses, pratice.

  9. #9
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    We were ALL new to clipless at one point. I've never known a rider to have a learning curve issue that has driven them to do such a thing to their pedal. This leads me to wonder how much side to side float do you have in your pedal before it unclips. Perhaps you have some interference between the sole of your shoe and the pedal frame that puts the float under too much tension. I just experienced that with a new pair of Shimano M162 shoes and the PD-M530 pedals (which I just bent and replaced with XT's today). I had to dremel the sole a slight amount to increase the ease of float because my knee was having grief.

  10. #10
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    Jimbo nice mod but after 10 hours of practicing you will have confidence in the pedals.

    Unfortunately yours are lacking the tension that allow for good riding. I suggest you put that spring back in.

    Depending on situation clipping out unwanted can be as bad (if not worse) as not being able to clip out when you desire.

    Stay on paved trails and you will be fine!
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  11. #11
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    Something else is wrong, because even with the 51 cleats, on the easiest setting, I can easily pop feet out...as in takes almost no effort and wasn't even really rideable. It doesn't make sense that you would have issues with even the lowest tension setting.

    As far as being a post to help new riders, it isn't. If it works for you for whatever reason, then fine, but this isn't a 'mod' that should be encouraged to new riders. There really is a learning curve for most people to learn to ride clipless pedals. They work a certain way for a reason.

  12. #12
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    I agree with above statements. I'm glad you found a happy medium but I would not encourage anyone to make the mods you have done. Clipless pedals are a tool which needs to be learned how to use. You will fail at times! I am sure everyone here riding clipless will tell you they have crashes of varying degrees due to their pedals. That's the way it is...period. They make strapless toe cages that may be more to your liking.

  13. #13
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    Also spd is not the only game in town, their are other options from time, crank Bros etc. Personally I don't have an issue with spd but I prefer the feel of the time atac setup. So I would maybe try some other brands before trying to Frankenstein a set of pedals just from a safety pov.
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  14. #14
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    I'm pretty new to clipless (1 yr.) and I would have never thought of doing something like this. Within the first couple of rides I was cranking the tension up. Mine are xt. On the lightest setting I was popping my foot out at the worst possible moments.

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    Last edited by hey_poolboy; 3 Weeks Ago at 06:48 PM.

  15. #15
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    Great write up. Ive been usung SPDs for 14 yrs and still get "stuck" in them every once in a while. I have the scars and bruises to prove it..lol.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim_bo View Post
    Sorry... but you are simply wrong.

    Anyway, I posted this thread for people who are new to clipless. I didn't post it to be a troll feeding ground.
    Doubt I am the one who is wrong.....since I have been running clipless since '96, when pedals were not nearly as nice as they are now....I think I have some experience.

    BTW....my pedal tension is cranked up to the max, and I have zero issued getting in and out of them. And I didn't even have to modify mine.
    I crashed hard enough on my Tallboy to break my leg,
    The carbon is way more durable than most people.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim_bo View Post
    I am using SH56s. I understand the difference. I didn't really post this seeing advice. I just got tired of reading people's unhelpful advice telling new clipless riders that they should just try harder.
    You may not have intended this post for seeking advice, but as with any post in a discussion forum, thats what youll get. If you just wanted to put it out there without any feedback, you should start a blog or something.

    SPD user here, and when I was using the 56 cleats, tension in the lightest setting was way too loose for my liking.. as others as said, this mostly seems like a beginner mod.
    Put a mountain biker in a room with 2 bowling balls and we'll break one and lose the other - GelatiCruiser

  18. #18
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    Interesting mod. If it works for you do it. I wonder if perhaps it is not spring tension but shoe sole friction on the pedal? I had one version of Shimano shoes M240 that fit tightly against the pedal body which because of of the friction made the pedal tougher to release from. I was fine with that though and liked the more stable connection.

  19. #19
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    I'm really disappointed by the condescending posts here. The only thing I have done is to extend the adjustability range of the SPD pedals such that they are similar to the Shimano Click'r pedals. I rode with the "Frankenstein pedals" today and they were great. No problem with unwanted releases, but I could ride technical terrain without the anxiety of maybe not getting out.

    It seems to me that the first thing that the "experts" here do when anyone talks about starting clipless is that they should reduce the tension as much as possible. So, the "experts" recognize that reducing tension is a valid training tool. Well, I did that... and then some. And it worked great.

    As much as the "experts" don't want to admit it... there are a lot of people that don't do clipless because they don't want to go through the bruise filled training period. Shimano recognized this... that's why they came out with the MT50 Click'r pedals. Well, this gives those people a training option without having to buy an extra set of pedals. I was really expecting a different reaction. Something other than clipless snobs.

  20. #20
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    You're new to the Internet aren't you?

  21. #21
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    Best way to make SPD easier is to switch back to flats............

  22. #22
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    Making SPD pedals easier to use

    Just switch to crank bros. egg beaters are stupid easy to get out of and so are the candys.


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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    You're new to the Internet aren't you?
    Amen

    Quote Originally Posted by 006_007 View Post
    Best way to make SPD easier is to switch back to flats............
    No joke. Not everyone needs to ride clipless pedals. I rode them for 14yrs because there wasn't a better alternative for a long time. But now there are solid alternatives in one of the MANY dozens of models of pinned platforms. For any budget. Now I have pinned platforms on even my commute bike, because they just fit the way I ride better.

    Yes, the Clickr pedals have lower spring tension for beginners. Explain again why you bought the XT Trail pedals and then modified them to be more like the Clickr pedals? That thought process just isn't registering for me.

  24. #24
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    Why would I want to switch to egg beaters??? My XTs work great!

    Are you guys really so scared of modifying anything on your bike? I'm amazed not only at the fear factor of trying something new, but the condescension aimed at that which is feared.

    I'll tell you what... those who are interested in a modified XT pedal should post here. Those who think that it is unsafe, irresponsible or heresy to the Shimano Gods should just find a different thread. I really have no interest in the opinions of trolls.

  25. #25
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    A ingenious solution to a non-existent problem.

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