Some Stupid Questions About Clipless Pedals- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Some Stupid Questions About Clipless Pedals

    So, I'm sure these have been asked before...but...forgive me for rehashing. I have a few stupid questions about clipless pedals.

    Right now, I'm thinking of going clipless on one of my rides (Hardtail, mainly use it for XC style riding). I have flats on my FS bike, but I digress. I'm looking at the Shimano M424's as I've heard SPD is a pretty easy in an out. Main reason for needing the easier release isn't being afraid of a learning curve, but rather I had surgery over the summer and have some limited range of motion in my left ankle. Now, that's not to say I have a glass ankle or anything, just limited motion. So, I want something clipless, but it needs to be fairly easy to slip out of due to two factors:

    1 - I don't have full range of motion

    and

    2 - I'd like to have a sort of "break away" to the clipping if I decide to see how my bike handles with the wheels pointing skywards so I don't risk furthur damage (twisting it, something like that). Everything I've heard about the SPD is that you can get out pretty easy by pulling upwards.

    So my question are: How are the SPD's and those pedals in particular if anyone is familiar with em? Shoe wise, I'm probably going to pick up a set of the 5-10s that are on clearance on 5-10's website (probably the maltese falcon). Will the cleats fit on those? Do certain cleats go on certain shoes?

    Thanks for any help guys, I appreciate it.
    "Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." Winston Churchill

  2. #2
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    First, if a shoe is designed for clipless cleats, then any brands cleats should fit without issue.

    Second, no brands pedal is designed to release by pulling upwards. This is a complete contradiction to the purpose of a pedal. They must all be twisted either inside or outside to release.

    Third, what you need to be focused on is actually float. Or how many degrees/range of motion a pedal has side to side. This may actually be better for your knee than being clipped in. Spd's typically have less float than other brands. Crank brother's egg beaters have more float and if you can find them, Speed Play Frog's have the most.
    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

  3. #3
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    As far as the cleat to shoe relationship as long as you get a "trail" or mountain shoe the cleat bolt pattern will work with spd's, or any other popular mtb cleat setup. Shoes and cleats are primarily a road vs mtb thing rather than a spd vs (insert brand here) thing.

    Personally, I would be rather unhappy if I came un-clipped by simply pulling up. Spd's are pretty easy to exit. They also make a multi-directional cleat. It allows you to come un-clipped by turning in directions other than heel out. I would not normally recommend them, but in your case it may be beneficial. You may even buy two sets of cleats. Normal one for the leg with full range, and the multi release ones for the other.
    All of my bikes wear xt pedals, and I have no experience with the pedals you are looking at, but a friend of mine has had one ankle fused and has similar range of motion issues. He has learned to always release the "good leg" first. That allows him to turn his hips to release the other foot with greater ease.

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    Thanks for the quick reply guys.

    Let me ask you this, if you're familiar, how are the CrankBrother Candy's? As far as ease of clipping, etc?
    "Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." Winston Churchill

  5. #5
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    Shimano makes an SH56 SPD cleat that is "Multi release". It's silver and has an M on it. These will release if pulled up hard enough and are easier to release in general.
    Do the math.

  6. #6
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    I'm pretty happy with the feel and float of the Mavic pedals I have.

    But I have to ask, why the switch? There is no rule saying you have to race XC with clips. Do you feel the need to be able to pull the pedals up?

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    It's not a "need" to switch. I just want to give it a go and I think it could (potentially) make me a better rider, since I'll have to rely a bit more on balance and keeping my feet on, etc.
    "Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." Winston Churchill

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocVudu View Post
    It's not a "need" to switch. I just want to give it a go and I think it could (potentially) make me a better rider, since I'll have to rely a bit more on balance and keeping my feet on, etc.
    Personal opinion only...

    Clips don't make you better. You can get lazy clipping in as you can start getting sloppy in your form and technique. Flats force you to use proper form.

    My trail bike has flats, everything else (XC, CX, TT, etc) I clip in. I clip in on XC so I can produce power on a full 360 when needed, especially for technical sections.

  9. #9
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    I have a dodgy ankle and have tried many different types of clipless systems.
    I use shimano for bmx racing as I only want to clip out at the end of the track so clip out the good ankle first to prevent any accidental fall overs.
    For mountain biking I highly recommend Speedplay Frog pedals.
    *Chain Reaction Cycles | MTB | Road | TRI | Run
    They take a bit of getting used to if you are used to other brands of clipless pedals as there is no resistance when clipping out. I have never had any problem clipping out of these but dont like them as much for bmx as they do not feel as secure when you are pedalling out of the saddle. Love them for mountain biking though as when mountain biking I tend to be in the saddle except when going down hill/over obstacles and then I am not usually trying to accelerate standing up.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocVudu View Post
    So, I'm sure these have been asked before...but...forgive me for rehashing. I have a few stupid questions about clipless pedals.

    Right now, I'm thinking of going clipless on one of my rides (Hardtail, mainly use it for XC style riding). I have flats on my FS bike, but I digress. I'm looking at the Shimano M424's as I've heard SPD is a pretty easy in an out. Main reason for needing the easier release isn't being afraid of a learning curve, but rather I had surgery over the summer and have some limited range of motion in my left ankle. Now, that's not to say I have a glass ankle or anything, just limited motion. So, I want something clipless, but it needs to be fairly easy to slip out of due to two factors:

    1 - I don't have full range of motion

    and

    2 - I'd like to have a sort of "break away" to the clipping if I decide to see how my bike handles with the wheels pointing skywards so I don't risk furthur damage (twisting it, something like that). Everything I've heard about the SPD is that you can get out pretty easy by pulling upwards.

    So my question are: How are the SPD's and those pedals in particular if anyone is familiar with em? Shoe wise, I'm probably going to pick up a set of the 5-10s that are on clearance on 5-10's website (probably the maltese falcon). Will the cleats fit on those? Do certain cleats go on certain shoes?

    Thanks for any help guys, I appreciate it.
    The secret to getting out of clipless pedals is to pull your leg outwards, with your ankle limp or loose or however you want to put it. If you learn that, and it becomes ingrained, you'll never have a problem. If you don't allow your ankle to twist, without multi-release cleats, you will remain locked in.

    As far as your range of motion goes, you're probably going to have to experiment with that with a friend's shoes and pedals/bike or maybe with a very accommodating LBS. There are people that have lost the range of motion necessary to use clipless, you may be one of them.

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