Clipless pedals and shoes for newbie?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    James Adams
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    Clipless pedals and shoes for newbie?

    I ride a 1x9 29er and now I want to try going clipless. I'm seeking advice in order to not buy the wrong stuff.

    I'm thinking of going with CB Mallets for pedals -- are the huge cages on these pedals overkill (maybe Candys are a better choice?), and can I comfortably use them if I'm not wearing cleated shoes? Other pedal suggestions/recommendations are welcome, I probably won't buy for another week or two.

    Can you recommend a reasonably priced shoe, preferably one which doesn't look like it came from the 24th century? Are there any made which are pretty good when on the bike but which I could comfortably wear when I'm not riding, at least for a short while?

    Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

    --James

  2. #2
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    I went clipless last year. I made one good choice and one bad choice. Start with the bad choice. I got the six six one flight shoes and they literally tore within 3 or 4 rides. I was able to use them but they were banged up. It was not until 6 months later when I got my Sidi Dominator 5s I realized what I was missing. The Sidi are pricey but well worth it. I beat them up way more and they are holding tuff.

    The good choice I made was going with the Crank Bros eggbeater pedal, it works perfect. It is tough and I never had an issue a year later. They shed mud awesome and I ridden in some deep mud. Even snow did not stop this pedal.

    IMO, the Sidi dominator + Eggbeater = perfect combo.

    Side note, I ride EastCoast (NE section) with mud and rocks etc.... this combo works. period.
    1998 GT Palomar, 2009 Gary Fisher Paragon.

  3. #3
    Abby Normal
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    I started out with CB Candy's. Platform on those is just large enough to be usable - not much fun to ride around with regular shoes for extended periods, but good enough for beer runs.

    I ride in a pair of Louis Garneau shoes - not very high performance but very comfortable, good for hike-a-bike situations. Also fit wider feet fairly well. But there are a number of comfy shoes from Keen, Shimano, etc.

  4. #4
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    I second the Crank Brothers... Eggbeaters or whatever...
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  5. #5
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    Shimano MD76 shoes and 520 pedals. $125 or so for the combo, you'll love it and start looking at fancy pedals and shoes so when your low cost Shimano stuff dies you'll know what to buy. Several years later the Shimano stuff is still doing fine and you have no idea what other pedals and shoes you were even considering.

    Shimano makes a decent pedal with a platform on one side and SPD on the other, I made the mistake of buying them first and now they just lay around in the way. I can ride with regular shoes on the SPD only 520's as far as I could ever need to or I can slip the Shimano shoes on in seconds if I want.

  6. #6
    Aquaman
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    I used to ride SPDs, then switched to EggBeaters - I'll never go back to SPD. Anyway, if you want more than just the plain eggbeaters, I'd suggest you get a moderate platform version like the candies - the mallets are pretty bulky/heavy.

    As for shoes, try a bunch on, and get one that fits your foot and budget. I ride a cheap lace-up Shimano shoe - they've lasted almost 2 years of heavy riding, and their still go'n strong.

    just me $0.02

    - Jared

  7. #7
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    What type of riding will you be doing? Here in SoCal, the eggbeaters or any other CB pedal arent too well liked and I finally found out why yesterday. I was riding a pair of the Ti ones that friend has on his whip when I hit a rock on the side of the rut I had gotten myself into and it forced the pedal open and my foot caem out when i was on the up stroke. I asked about it and he said its a semi-common occurance. If there inst rock everywhere then I would go with the CB Candys any day but here in SoCal, Ill stick with SPDs or platforms. The shoe that I have now (which are now 3 years and 1000 miles old) are these. They are cheap but Ive been extremely impressed with how well they have held up.
    05 Spesh Rockhopper

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by FalloutMan
    What type of riding will you be doing? Here in SoCal, the eggbeaters or any other CB pedal arent too well liked and I finally found out why yesterday. I was riding a pair of the Ti ones that friend has on his whip when I hit a rock on the side of the rut I had gotten myself into and it forced the pedal open and my foot caem out when i was on the up stroke. I asked about it and he said its a semi-common occurance. If there inst rock everywhere then I would go with the CB Candys any day but here in SoCal, Ill stick with SPDs or platforms. The shoe that I have now (which are now 3 years and 1000 miles old) are these. They are cheap but Ive been extremely impressed with how well they have held up.


    This is why I have been using the mallets, I'm patiently waiting for my new candy 3s though.

  9. #9
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    Crank Brother pedals have well-deserved reputation as "disposable" pedals (do a search here on MTBR) since the spindles break easily/regularly, especially the cheaper models - the stainless Candys do seem to hold up better. Rider weight and power are factors, so if you are heavy, are more of a masher than a spinner, and/or do a lot of out-of-saddle riding, I'd steer clear. BTW, I have personal experience having broken three spindles on my entry-level Mallets in two years - while CB's customer service was great in fixing them for free, I had to walk several miles when the third one broke. I ended up flipping the repaired pedals on e-bay and went with Time ATACs - kinda pricey, but three years now and no problems.

    As for shoes, take a look at the Lake shoes - they have several models that are way cheaper than the Sidis.

    Good luck.

  10. #10
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    Non-futuristic, comfortable shoes? I got ya.

    I use SPD, but my dad uses Candy's and said he likes them better than SPDs. As for the shoes I wear, I think these would suit your needs as not looking like they are from the future and they are comfortable enough to walk in ( wear them when I commute on my bikes to classes so I wear them all day) and the tread is deep enough that you don't get cleat strikeage except on really rough surfaces.

    EDIT: I forgot to mention (in case you didn't know) that CRank Bros. cleats will fit the same bolt pattern as SPDs so both would work ith these shoes.

    Here is the link for the shoes.
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    Last edited by LilJr; 07-24-2010 at 10:18 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by forkboy
    And don't be scared to walk. Walking is one of the mystical 3 gears of Single Speed.

    Sit
    Stand
    Walk.

  11. #11
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    I have the Crank bros Mallet pedals on both my bikes and love them, great with cleat shoes or flip flops around old town. I ride Specialized team shoes and love them, affordable and super comfy. Just make sure you practice a lot before you get on a real trail and have to be able to release fast.

  12. #12
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    Shimano M-647's with SH-56 Cleats!!

    This is by far the easiest pedal to enter and exit from!! The SH-56 cleat is a multi release cleat that can be used on any Shimano pedal. It allows for easier clipping out. You could get this cleat and the 520 Shimano pedal which I saw on sale the other day for only $40, and have a very durable setup.

    I like the extra platform of the 647 pedal, as it is nice to have it in case you miss the sweet spot when clipping in. It gives you a good platform to take a couple strokes on until you can reposition your foot to get in. Which usually just take moving it back an inch, and in it goes.

    As for Crackbrothers, they don't get much love around here with all of our rocks. My girlfriend tried the Candy C pedals after years on a beat up pair of Shimano's, and started having awkward falls, unable to release. Then she would hit a rock on the bottom and they would spit her foot out. After not even a month of use they looked like you took an eggbeater off your mixer and beat it with a hammer. The bars were bending and deforming. Pure junk!!

    We have put 2 years of rock abuse on the M-647 pedals, without any problems. I was a clipless holdout for years, having ridden toe clips/straps since 1985. Every clipless pedal I tried(numerous models) did not release to my liking. But if you use the Sh-56 cleat, you will not have to learn anything, or take any adjustment time whatsoever.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by twowheelsdown2002
    This is by far the easiest pedal to enter and exit from!! The SH-56 cleat is a multi release cleat that can be used on any Shimano pedal. It allows for easier clipping out.
    +1 on the SH-56 cleats!
    Quote Originally Posted by forkboy
    And don't be scared to walk. Walking is one of the mystical 3 gears of Single Speed.

    Sit
    Stand
    Walk.

  14. #14
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    Shimano 520 pedals basically same as 540 your choice with Shimano SH-M0861 great shoe and pedal to start with good quality i have beat the hell out of mine and they still work as good as the day i got them, plus inexpensive+++++

  15. #15
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by twowheelsdown2002
    This is by far the easiest pedal to enter and exit from!! The SH-56 cleat is a multi release cleat that can be used on any Shimano pedal. It allows for easier clipping out. You could get this cleat and the 520 Shimano pedal which I saw on sale the other day for only $40, and have a very durable setup.

    I like the extra platform of the 647 pedal, as it is nice to have it in case you miss the sweet spot when clipping in. It gives you a good platform to take a couple strokes on until you can reposition your foot to get in. Which usually just take moving it back an inch, and in it goes.

    As for Crackbrothers, they don't get much love around here with all of our rocks. My girlfriend tried the Candy C pedals after years on a beat up pair of Shimano's, and started having awkward falls, unable to release. Then she would hit a rock on the bottom and they would spit her foot out. After not even a month of use they looked like you took an eggbeater off your mixer and beat it with a hammer. The bars were bending and deforming. Pure junk!!

    We have put 2 years of rock abuse on the M-647 pedals, without any problems. I was a clipless holdout for years, having ridden toe clips/straps since 1985. Every clipless pedal I tried(numerous models) did not release to my liking. But if you use the Sh-56 cleat, you will not have to learn anything, or take any adjustment time whatsoever.
    This is one of the best options. I have these pedals. Despite being "downhill" pedals, they are perfect for beginners. You just place your foot on the pedal and it easily "finds" the mechanism and you clip in. With the crank brothers mallets sometimes my foot would find the cleat, and sometimes it would "roll" forward, which gets annoying. The cleats wear down fast, making exits unpredicatable. The other important aspect of shimano pedals is that they rely on spring-tension and if you pull hard enough, they release. Crank brothers pedals require you to "twist" your foot, and if you don't twist it enough, you won't release, no matter how hard you pull. This can (and has for me) cause dangerous slow-speed falls.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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