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  1. #1
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    Finally going clipless, now it's between two pedals. Time or Spd

    I've narrowed it down to the Shimano PD-M540 Pedal and the Time Atac Alum. Both can be purchased at my Lbs and the Shimano is only 15 or so bucks more.

    Does anyone have experience with either of them? and between the two which would be the best clipless for a beginner?

  2. #2
    Catholic MTBR
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    I personally use Speedplay Frogs but most people I think will recommend the Time's.
    Main Ride: Vassago Jabberwocky w/ODIS rigid fork. Rigid, SS, 29er.
    "Be not afraid." -Pope John Paul II

  3. #3
    mtnjam
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    go with the times....they seem to release a heck of a lot better than the Shimanos
    Just ride down there and jump off something for crying out loud...

  4. #4
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    I have the Time Aliums. I got them through Pricepoint. They are great pedals if you like float and solid engagement. They don't offer the best mud shedding ability. I also like the fact that you can't pull up to release like you can with the SPD's. They are heavy, but very solid. If you get them, run them with less float first. It takes a little bit of time to get use to the way they release. I have used clipless for years, and still find myself lying on the trail still attached to my bike. I do use the biggest float setting though.

  5. #5
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    I didn't know you can chose how much float you want with the Times, btw what is the float with the Times I tried looking for it.
    One salesperson recommended the Shimano's as they are fairly easy to release he said he tried the Times and found them difficult to release. Also, with the Times do you have to step in a certain way to get engaged or do you just step in like the Shimano's?

  6. #6
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    Changing the cleat direction changes the amount of float on the Time pedals. They do have a sorta toe in first application but it is so easy and consistent EVERY SINGLE TIME regardless of dust, mud or snow and ice. A former complaint was no adjust-ability in the tension but that now has been addressed.
    The same cannot be said of the spd variety. (I have used both extensively)

    Since changing to Time pedals, I have never not been able to clip in or out. The feeling is the same weather they are out of the box new or 5 years old and covered in mud.

    Downside...they are heavy compared to others by more than 100 grams on comparison to top of the range to top of the range models.
    I think that this critical body/bike interface area is not a place for skimping.

    I would say run the Time pedals, but whichever you choose keep them adjusted at the most loose setting. Gradually moving the tension upward as you become accustomed to the release.
    I always tell first time clip pedal users to tighten the tension once when you start having repeated inadvertent releases.
    This advise will save you many time over.

  7. #7
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    The Time Alun don't have tension adjust ability, at least the ones that I've seen

    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...um+Pedals.aspx

  8. #8
    Gigantic Hawk
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    There is no tension adjust on the Aliums. It's the the higher up models (ATAC) that come with it. The body is shaped differently too. This means that it doesn't shed mud as well as the other Time pedals. They are still great pedals though. They provide something like 17* and 13* of twisting float, and 5* of side to side float. The body is metal so they won't explode from rock strikes, but they weigh 410 grams because of this.

  9. #9
    Now wr rollin on a Boom!
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    +1 for Times from a 16-year Shimano user.

    the extra float is key, even though they're not as easy to get into-- spd's you just step on 'em, times you have to kind of toe, then heel.

    The extra float means (by difinition, really, when you think about it) you have to turn your foot a little farther to release, so prractice BEFORE you ride, and practice snapping out for no reason, just to surprise yourself.

    Spd's also seem to realease too easy when they get a year or two of wear on 'em, and the Times have taken a heavy beating and seem to still need a nice, positive click to release.
    "I think it's cool how the best line is also usually the most beautiful line" --Kurt F, Tamarancho, Safety Meeting

  10. #10
    Catholic MTBR
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    The reason I run the Speedplay Frogs is because they have about as much float as you can possibly have. Also, the fact that they have no mechanical parts is awfully nice from a maintenance perspective. Weight-wise, they seem pretty light to me, but I don't know how they compare, honestly.
    Main Ride: Vassago Jabberwocky w/ODIS rigid fork. Rigid, SS, 29er.
    "Be not afraid." -Pope John Paul II

  11. #11
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    Times.

    Been on 'em for 7 years. Tried shimano a couple years ago and didnt like the mechanism.

    Times are also the only pedal that I am aware of that has lateral float. Which means the cleat can move side to side on the pedal slightly. I cant feel it while riding, but I think it contributes to a wder entry zone for the cleat to hit.

    So reliable and easy. I have gotten a rock stuck in my pedal ONCE in 7 years. It was stupid muddy though. Other than that they have been perfect.

  12. #12
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    I believe Crank Bros also have lateral float

  13. #13
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    I have always ridden SPD and like the definitive click in/click out. Float isn't as much as some of these mentioned..but I don't like lots of float b/c it is harder to get out of. I have 535s and they have lasted for over 10 years..still clickin'. I have never had issues with mud.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  14. #14
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    Times!!!!

  15. #15
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    Go for the Time pedals! I have still been able to clip in, even after wading through ankle deep mud and ice. I used to run SPD's and constantly had trouble. Although heavy, think of the time you will save by actually being able to clip in rather than fighting with muddy pedals.

  16. #16
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    Time.

  17. #17
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    well mud isn't an issue as I live in SoCal and a lot of the trails close down when it's too muddy anyway. My main concern when getting a clipless is easy learning curve and how they feel.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by CollegeCatholic
    I personally use Speedplay Frogs but most people I think will recommend the Time's.
    That's one that I overlooked, actually the first time I seen them was at one of my local trails when I asked a rider what type of pedal it was. She said that she swears by them. They are little pricey however, a good pedal is crucial to the riding experience and I may have to step up and pay a little more.

  19. #19
    nothing to see here
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    I have the Crank Bros Eggbeaters, and I love them, but those Frogs look like a good design.

  20. #20
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    Shimano is the easiest learning curve because they're the easiest of all pedals to get into: you just put your foot on 'em and ride and it clicks in. Still the leader for entry, IMO.

    But for exit, (what really matters if you need to not crash) all the different designs are about equal, and other factors make up for having to use just a leetle more technique for entry.

    I wouldn't worry too much about the learning curve; you'll get used to whatever you get.

    The main thing is to practice exiting until you do it WITHOUT thinking about it. I like the old "snap out and dab your foot on the high side of the trail" method: just ride along and put a foot down at random times like you're really helping yourself with a tricky technical section. Looks a little odd, but who's watching, really?
    "I think it's cool how the best line is also usually the most beautiful line" --Kurt F, Tamarancho, Safety Meeting

  21. #21
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    I've seen the Shimano 520's as low as 35 bucks so I may give them a try and if I find that there's not enough float as I have a bum knee, I may get the Times Alum

  22. #22
    V-Shaped Rut
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    I've only ever tried SPDs (various types) and eggbeaters. Of the two I greatly prefer SPD's. The eggbeaters have no tension adjustment. I've never had any issues getting out of SPD's, I'm kind of shocked to hear someone say they have.

    In 99% of the situations where I have to get out of them its to put a foot down. Since you're stepping to the side anyway in this case its pretty natural to move the foot sideways and out it clicks.

    As for weight, don't forget that rotating weight is more important than static weight on the bike.

    Never tried time's.

  23. #23
    Gigantic Hawk
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    Quote Originally Posted by djembe975
    I've seen the Shimano 520's as low as 35 bucks so I may give them a try and if I find that there's not enough float as I have a bum knee, I may get the Times Alum
    Having bad knees also, I run my Times at max float when twisting my heel away from my bike. I like having less float toward the bike since it is often easier for me to twist toward the bike to release. This is a nice feature on the Times. All you have to do is swap the cleats from left to right. The downside to having a lot of float and bad knees is that you have to twist your knees even farther. This doesn't bother me unless I'm putting in an all day ride.

  24. #24
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    I once considered the Crank Bros but I feel that the times have enough float and seem more durable along with being more affordable.

  25. #25
    My other ride is your mom
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    I started out on SPD's....then read that more float was better for my knees (I have IT band issues). I switched to Time ATAC's and have not looked back.

    The SPD's were easier to get into....but they sometimes had accidental pre-release....I've never had a pre-release on the Time's.

    The Times have far more float....as do the Speedplays....but I can't speak for the Speedplay experience wise.

    Lastly, the Times are easier to get out of in a hurry and are less likely to get gummed up with fine dust (Sedona type dust) which makes exit difficult. I had numerous instances using the SPD's where I could not get out in rapid situations....I've never had that happen to me with the Time ATAC's....counter-intuitive that they are easier to get out of, but have never pre-released, huh?

    For someone starting out on clipless....I would much prefer the ability to get out of them in a hurry than ease of entry....it's the rapid exit from the pedals that makes you feel good about them...not how easy it is to get in. Besides....after a few days of getting used to any pedal....they're all easy to get into....it just takes practice.

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