Easiest release SPD-style pedals? Easier than Shimano adjustable tension.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Easiest release SPD-style pedals? Easier than Shimano adjustable tension.

    Hello, I am learning SPD. I have m9020 XTR pedals. They work fine and I have the tension screw all the way out.

    I am wondering do any of the other manufacturers, for example HT Components, iSSi, Speedplay or Ritchey, have an even easier release pedal than shimano SPD paired with xtr pedals?

    Just curious.

  2. #2
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    Have you tried Shimano multi-release (silver) cleats?

    At a certain point, if the release is too easy, it's not going to hold your cleat in place when you need it. If you have the screws all the way out and they are still too tight, you probably ought to just learn to use them, or look into some platform pedals.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    Have you tried Shimano multi-release (silver) cleats?

    At a certain point, if the release is too easy, it's not going to hold your cleat in place when you need it. If you have the screws all the way out and they are still too tight, you probably ought to just learn to use them, or look into some platform pedals.
    Yeah I'm an avid flat pedal fan. That's how its always been. But lately I've had some very sketchy experiences at downhill bike parks where 5.10 + pinned pedals + heels down + lightening feet was not enough to keep me on the pedals through the larger, faster rock gardens. My other option is to just slow down, but that sucks when I see clipless downhillers fly through at full speed. I really want to learn clipless...

    I'm using the multi-release cleats with xtr pedals on loosest tension. I guess I'm just curious what other options there are to start with and sort of graduate from, even if it means spending more $$$ along the way. I like to take baby steps, I guess.

    thanks for the reply

  4. #4
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    Cleat position is important too. If they are too far forward, that will make you feel unstable and un-confident

  5. #5
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    keep practicing, youll clickout no worries after a while, and in a crash lve always been clicked out in the end
    always mad and usually drunk......

  6. #6
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    Agree, keep practicing. SPD pedals have a spring tension that is too low IMHO. Even on a higher setting, they can let your shoe/foot become unclipped far too frequently.

  7. #7
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    I'll suggest something nothing to do with pedals.

    Since your anecdote was very specific, feet popping off with flats in that type of situation is many times a symptom of needing some shock tuning. Do you feel your shock is fully the way you want it? Could some tuning? Or perhaps a service?

    I've run clipless pedals on my trail bikes since 94 or so but always flats on my dh bike. With the added capability of today's "trail" bikes I ride clipless pedals in close to dh situations but for legit dh riding on the dh bike I'll always be flats.

    But regarding the tension of clipless pedals, I have my xtr pedals almost all the way tight and almost find them too loose still. So even for learning I'm a bit surprised you still find them too tight.

  8. #8
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    Ran some cheaper Shimano pedals for a few months. Switched to Time pedals and have been happier for a few years now. Felt easier in and out.

  9. #9
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    i've always run SPDs for DH, full on DH at Keystone and all the double blacks there, as well as many other places across the US. If you are comfortable on SPDs, there's no reason not to. If you are not comfortable on SPDs, then don't attempt a section that you don't have the confidence for, that's a good way to crash.

    In the same vein, if you are learning SPDs, give yourself some time for the learning curve. Don't go out and ride the gnarliest rock garden DH right at first. I can tell you that if I tried to ride DH with the tension loose, I'd crash just as bad as if I was new to SPDs, because during technical stuff, jumps, landings, just some of the mid-course corrections you make DH, I'd pop out of the pedals, and that's damn scary.

    PD-MT50

    The XTRs may be higher tension than lower shimano models. The XTRs are after all, race pedals. For sure they are higher tension than the MT50, which intentionally has lower tension than the other shimano models. This may be a good learning pedal, for someone who has not used SPD before, but the same advice holds true, the pedal won't hold you in tight enough for high end aggressive riding. It's for your learning curve. Don't rush the learning curve.
    "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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  10. #10
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    I cannot recommend the HT pedals. I bought them as my first foray into clipless for the same reasons as you and I had so much trouble actually clipping in that they broke my shoe. Unclipping wasn't that difficult but clipping in was a nightmare. I had the cleat spaced down as far as it would go with my 510 shoes and the pedal adjusted as loose as possible yet still had to push down so hard to get them to actually engage. The cleats would also move around despite being tensioned properly. After about 5 rides total the thread on the shoe broke. Somehow I think the shoe I had and HT X2 pedals are just not compatible. After recommendation from friends I've bought crank brothers mallets and just waiting on new plates for my shoes to arrive.

  11. #11
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    I'd second what Jayem said. The XTR's are more of a bare bones race pedal. I find the spring tension on them higher and cleat release somewhat inconsistent. The latest gen XT's have a larger platform & the spring tension is very adjustable. If I run my XT's on the lightest spring tension, I can literally lift my foot straight up out of them, so the spring tension range is a non issue on them.

    Some other points...make sure you have the least float cleat. This will give you the fastest realease. Also, as mentioned, cleat position (angle) is a factor in when the cleat will release. One finale note keep the spings lubed. If you ride in sandy or dry conditions the grit can bind up the springs causing inconsistent or hard releases.
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  12. #12
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    I run Shimano SPD's on all my bikes. New XTR Trails on my FSR, XT Trails on my rigid SS, new XTR XC's on my road bike, and the cheaper M520 on our tandem. I don't see much of a difference in effort to clip in/out, it's just more crisp and positive on the release on the higher end pedals. Mine are set at or near minimal tension with maybe 2 clicks towards + tension at most. I don't come out on the gnar DH. With that said, I don't find it hard at all to release from any of the different models. Maybe because I've been running these since day 1 of my mtb days?

    You want the SH51 cleats. Those are the standard "one way" release. The SH56 are the multi-release and color doesn't make any difference anymore, I have seen them both in silver, gold, and now black. I got a free set of cleats sometime back so I chose the SH56 just to try them thinking they'd give me better bail-out options on the gnarly downhill should I need it. That lasted 2 rides. They're total POS if you have any clipless experience, IMO. Even at a higher tension setting, my feet continued flailing off the pedals due to their release options. I almost killed myself on that experiment. My wife uses those now as Stoker on our tandem. She's new to clipless...and really to bikes but as a stoker, she stays pretty stationary all the time but I wanted her to have the ability for easy dismount as she gets used to clipping in/out.

    Just keep trying and start with smaller steps in the gnar. That's a hell of a place to experiment with something new like that!

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