help me go clipless (gear recomendations)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Listen! help me go clipless (gear recomendations)

    ive made my decision to bolt myself in. funding is limited, since ive just bought the bike and more accessories/tools/gear to get started.

    from what i understand, i need pedals, shoes and cleats? how do i know what cleats to buy for the shoes?

    here are the pedals im looking at, which would you recommend for beginner?

    Crank Brothers Candy 1 LTD Edition Pedal at JensonUSA.com

    Shimano PD-M520 Pedal at JensonUSA.com


    what shoes are recommended for people on a budget?
    Gary Fisher HiFi Deluxe 29er

  2. #2
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    I've had good luck with the Shimanos that you linked to. You can se the tension as loose or as tight as you want. Set them as loose as you can for your first couple of rides, then tighten up as you go. They're very durable, Ive had a pair for 3 or 4 years that are still going strong.

  3. #3
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    those shimanos are good... i use them. the cleats come with the pedals.

    as far as shoes, try before you buy... get em locally.

  4. #4
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    +1 on the PD-M520.

    The cleats come with the pedals.

    Shop for shoes at your local stores so you can try them on. Get the ones that are comfortable. Most of them are made from synthetic materials and won't stretch like leather shoes.

  5. #5
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    so 3 thumbs up on the shimanos? they have AWESOME reviews for n00bs such as myself.

    im afraid to go to my LBS, the prices in the store are RIDICULOUS. maybe ill go try some on then shop online
    Gary Fisher HiFi Deluxe 29er

  6. #6
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    exustar ,diadora shoes, nashbar anyone familiar with those brands for shoes?

    these exustars would be SICK. color combo matches my bike (blk/yellow). they have good reviews and my size.

    i know im a geek.


    Exustar SM314 Mountain Shoes - Mountain Bike Shoes
    Gary Fisher HiFi Deluxe 29er

  7. #7
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    + one more on the Shimano M520's. What's your price point on shoes? Try a bunch on @ LBS, find a pair you like, and then search the internet retailers and Craigslist.
    2011 Stumpjumper FSR Comp 29'r
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  8. #8
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    the shoes is commonly the same they can mount all the cleats that you buy...
    But you must buy the pedal and the cleats with the same brand.

    I like the Shimano AM 51 and sidi shoes

  9. #9
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    Do you have kids or ever just ride around the neighborhood?

    I've had Time, SPDs and Crank Brothers.

    I really like the CB Mallets for the versatility they give you.

    If you do go Mallets 1, dont get the newer design without the pins. Not sure why CB ruined a perfectly good pedal
    Ripley LS v3
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  10. #10
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    thanks folks. i may take a shot in the dark on a well reviewed/good reviewed shoe. still pondering
    Gary Fisher HiFi Deluxe 29er

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Do you have kids or ever just ride around the neighborhood?
    im not worried about needing platforms just yet. i have another bike to ride for that. thanks though
    Gary Fisher HiFi Deluxe 29er

  12. #12
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    > But you must buy the pedal and the cleats with the same brand.

    Cleats typically come with the pedals. You don't buy them separately.

    > these exustars would be SICK. color combo matches my bike (blk/yellow). they have good reviews and my size.

    Don't bother about colour matching, go to an LBS and get shoes that fit for starters. Then worry about colour. Reviews rarely cover accurate sizing or what foot shape a shoe is designed for.

    +1 on the Shimanos. The cheaper Crank Brothers pedals have a terrible reputation for durability.

  13. #13
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    ill bet my next paycheck the LBS doesnt even have a shoe REMOTELY in the same price range though.

    my color comment was goofing around, i just thought it was cool that they matched. take it easy tiger
    Gary Fisher HiFi Deluxe 29er

  14. #14
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    I've had Time ATACs for the longest time.. I recommend them, lots of float, easy clip in and clip out, great in the wet and mud. I did the Wellgos and SPDs a while back, but they were too 'firm' for me. I haven't tried Eggbeaters yet.

  15. #15
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    I've been on my 1st clipless pedals for a couple of months now and went with the CB Candy 2. I have 2 friends who use the Candy 1 and Eggbeater. We all like them. Easy to clip out, especially now that the cleats have been broken in a little. And yes, they do come with the cleats.

    As far as shoes, I went with the Shimano M087. You can find them for around $90 or possibly less on sale. I think they're the cheapest decent quality shoe with a ratcheting buckle. And size-wise, the Shimanos were true to size, so no surprises when I ordered online.

  16. #16
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    going to shop around a bit and see what i find. i want to try clipless while im still relativley new to the game. might as well start somewhere
    Gary Fisher HiFi Deluxe 29er

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    Quote Originally Posted by Waltah View Post
    ill bet my next paycheck the LBS doesnt even have a shoe REMOTELY in the same price range though...
    However...if you try on Shimano shoes (just as an example) and find a size and fit that is good, there is a good chance that a less expensive model of Shimano's found online will be OK in the same size...etc...etc.

    Each brand's fit and sizing can be different than the another brand and your regular shoes.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmcttr View Post
    However...if you try on Shimano shoes (just as an example) and find a size and fit that is good, there is a good chance that a less expensive model of Shimano's found online will be OK in the same size...etc...etc.

    Each brand's fit and sizing can be different than the another brand and your regular shoes.
    roger that
    Gary Fisher HiFi Deluxe 29er

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waltah View Post
    going to shop around a bit and see what i find. i want to try clipless while im still relativley new to the game. might as well start somewhere
    What is your price range on shoes?

    Also like others have said M520 are great starter pedals and later on you can decide to go to another brand.
    I started on Shimanos years ago. Got back into to Mountain biking and bought a pair of M520 that I used for about 1.5 years before going over to Times ATAC pedals.

    M520 are great starter pedals and I strongly recommend them. Times design while great is far from being what I would call noob friendly. They are a lot less forgiving than Shimanos

  20. #20
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    as cheap as possible without going to walmart.

    i went over budget on my first bike and on top of that got some new gear and tools. id like to get an entry level clipless setup that i can try out. if i dont like it....no biggy. if i do......upgrade shoes later
    Gary Fisher HiFi Deluxe 29er

  21. #21
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    Pricepoint.com has some nice shoes+pedal combos

    I just bought their house brand "Sette Epic" Sette Epic Mountain Shoes w/ Wellgo WAM-M3 Pedals at Price Point

    was like $110 with shipping, shipped very fast.

    Only had them for a week, had 3 good rides with them. They are my first clipless, so its completely new to me, have adjusted the cleats a few times to find that magic spot.

    Worth checking out. They also have other brands like Five.Ten etc

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waltah View Post
    as cheap as possible without going to walmart.

    i went over budget on my first bike and on top of that got some new gear and tools. id like to get an entry level clipless setup that i can try out. if i dont like it....no biggy. if i do......upgrade shoes later
    Well you can take a gamble and try online and I will be honest for your first pair of clipless as long as you follow the sizing chart chances are you will be OK. Not perfect but close enough. I would expect to spend at least is 50-60 bucks no matter what for shoes. That would give you a season or so then you will get bit by the upgrade bug.

    My current shoes cost me I believe 200 bucks when I bought them from a bike shop and they do fit a hell of a lot better than my cheaper older pair. Mind you 200 is what I would had to pay online for them as well. Different brands fit differently.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waltah View Post
    ill bet my next paycheck the LBS doesnt even have a shoe REMOTELY in the same price range though.

    my color comment was goofing around, i just thought it was cool that they matched. take it easy tiger
    I too am going Clipless and I too will be taking a chance with buying the shoes online. My LBS doesnt have a single pair under $100 (shoes).

  24. #24
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    yea LBS was a joke, im in southern MS and there are 2 bike shops within 20 miles. both leave alot to be desired. thats all i will say.

    as luck would have it......hit the trails tonight and fast forwarded my need for pedals. ordering right now and gambling on shoes.

    not only broke, but cracked the entire pedal (cheapo plastic). i assume specialized assumes that is the first thing you customize....

    Gary Fisher HiFi Deluxe 29er

  25. #25
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    sorry for large picture, thought i resized it

    to put emphasis on my LBS's quality......i drove 64 miles to mobile alabama for my hardrock. HUGE props to eastern shore cycles.
    Gary Fisher HiFi Deluxe 29er

  26. #26
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    I just pulled the trigger on the Shimano Pedals. Now to find a shoe...

  27. #27
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    same here ordered m520's and exustars. good times
    Gary Fisher HiFi Deluxe 29er

  28. #28
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    I'm new to mountain biking and I just went clipless a few weeks ago. Coming from someone that just try clipless all I can say is that on the first ride you are going to fall. I can't tell you how many times I fell the first ride and I'm still falling, but hey its worth it. Anyways right now I got the shimano pedals you mention and they work great, so I recommend them. As for shoes if you got a budget of less than 100 bucks I recommend the shimano sh-m077, they are great on the trails and feel really comfortable while walking and riding!

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  29. #29
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    yea, im not looking forward to falling. i counted today and i would have gone down 3 times. 1 of them wouldnt have been pleasant either
    Gary Fisher HiFi Deluxe 29er

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMTbiker89 View Post
    I'm new to mountain biking and I just went clipless a few weeks ago. Coming from someone that just try clipless all I can say is that on the first ride you are going to fall. I can't tell you how many times I fell the first ride and I'm still falling, but hey its worth it. Anyways right now I got the shimano pedals you mention and they work great, so I recommend them. As for shoes if you got a budget of less than 100 bucks I recommend the shimano sh-m077, they are great on the trails and feel really comfortable while walking and riding!

    Sent from my Droid

    Ah the joys of dummy falls.
    Yeah we should of told you that. Everyone falls when they first go clipless. It takes some time to get used to it but after a little while it becomes 2nd nature to you. Heck now days I have trouble riding with out my feet being locked in when ever I go for more heavy pedaling.

    I had quite a few when I first started riding them 13-14 years ago and had many falls in the yard. Now days I can get off them with out an issue. Flats or clipless I can get off my pedal in plenty of time.

    Just keep at it and you will get over the learning curve. It is a confidences thing. I think for me I got there when I had to go crashed and ended up going supermaning over the bars. I landed a good 5-10 ft in front of my bike. That lock in that I could unclip by pure mussel memory.

  31. #31
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    im hoping being clipped in will allow me to shift and pedal while standing up. i cant do it on platforms because my feet will slip off. should be a nice advantage on the trail as well.
    Gary Fisher HiFi Deluxe 29er

  32. #32
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    My sensor came with the 520's and I don't think it came with cleats? Does that mean I will have to buy some or will they come with the shoes?
    2010 GT Sensor 2.0

  33. #33
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    I recently went to CB Candy 3 and find them a bit harder to clip in then the Shimanos on my other bike. Ive never had to tweak my Shimanos, but Ive been playing with the CBs trying to make them a little more user friendly.

    Quote Originally Posted by sgtcurry View Post
    My sensor came with the 520's and I don't think it came with cleats? Does that mean I will have to buy some or will they come with the shoes?
    I doubt your shoes will come with cleats. Cleats vary by manufacturer, so no way the shoe could accommodate everyone, unless maybe the pedal and shoe came from the same mfr

  34. #34
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    when i ordered the pedals it said it came with cleats.
    Gary Fisher HiFi Deluxe 29er

  35. #35
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    I just put Forte Carve pedals on my SS/tool around neighborhood bike. I didn't practice, put it on Mid-Low tension and just rode. It was OK, but I could feel a fall coming if I don't focus on twisting my ankle to get out.

    The Forte pedals are about $30-$40, it comes with cleats as most pedals do. You just need shoes. I have some cheap shoes I bought a while back on sale. They are multi-purpose for platforms with a space for a cleat. I think they were about $30 at the time I bought them. I can't remember the brand, but they were cheap.

    Pricepoint also has shoes, I use the Sette Enduro shoes for my platforms for my main bikes. They are $45+tax+shipping from pricepoint.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waltah View Post
    when i ordered the pedals it said it came with cleats.
    I didnt order my 520's it came with my bike. Also came with the crappy platform converter. But I didn't get any cleats when I picked up my bike.
    2010 GT Sensor 2.0

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgtcurry View Post
    I didnt order my 520's it came with my bike. Also came with the crappy platform converter. But I didn't get any cleats when I picked up my bike.
    you will have to buy some...

  38. #38
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    You might want to consider getting the Shimano SH56 multidirectional release cleats with the 520s. I switched to clipless a few years ago, originally with single release cleats for the 520s. Multi's are way easier to get out of, but I rarely ever (maybe 1x per ride, if that) come out of the pedal unintentionally, and I have my tension way down. You can always increase the tension if you do come out of them unintentionally. I think I reduced the # of dummy falls by 99% by switching to the multi release, and find riding way more enjoyable with them. I've been able to clear things I never would have even tried with the original single release cleats. $21 is the standard cost, but you can probably find them cheaper.

  39. #39
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    520's installed, and tried out my exustars that were only $39. love it so far. rode 10 road/urban miles clipping in and out to get a feel. i wont know if i really like them until i hit the trail tomorrow night. wish me luck.

    clipping in and out is really not hard at all, not sure what everyone fusses about. maybe ill find out the hard way when im off road tomorrow.

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  40. #40
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    one thing, im a bit disappointed in how little side to side movement you have with your foot. i may look into the crank brother candy pedals. bunch of people say you have more movement on those.

    i have them set to the tightest clip in setting as well.

    ill see how it goes on the trail though.
    Gary Fisher HiFi Deluxe 29er

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waltah View Post
    clipping in and out is really not hard at all, not sure what everyone fusses about. maybe ill find out the hard way when im off road tomorrow.
    it's not hard when you are anticipating unclipping... wait until you hit a rock/root/whatever and need to bail...

  42. #42
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    im going to remain optimistic
    Gary Fisher HiFi Deluxe 29er

  43. #43
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    last night went great, did 15 miles on the trail, 8 of which were in the dark. i fell twice, first one was hilarious... we had a group ride and one guy got some twigs in his spokes and slowed to a stop, we all gathered near him and i completely forgot i was attached to the bike, slowed to a stop........slow motion fell right over on my side. , everyone clapped and we had a good laugh. fast forward to the last 2 miles of the night, small downhill then a sharp right turn but there was really soft sand, front tire slid out from under me and i went down with the bike.

    in both cases no harm done, i kept my hands on the handlebars and tucked my leading elbow and fell with the bike. no injuries
    Gary Fisher HiFi Deluxe 29er

  44. #44
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    Awesome!! Glad it went well for u! Keep me posted onur progress.
    Im actually at home today waiting for the UPS driver to drop off my SPDs

    Don't get shoes delivered till monday though

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waltah View Post
    last night went great, did 15 miles on the trail, 8 of which were in the dark. i fell twice, first one was hilarious... we had a group ride and one guy got some twigs in his spokes and slowed to a stop, we all gathered near him and i completely forgot i was attached to the bike, slowed to a stop........slow motion fell right over on my side. , everyone clapped and we had a good laugh. fast forward to the last 2 miles of the night, small downhill then a sharp right turn but there was really soft sand, front tire slid out from under me and i went down with the bike.

    in both cases no harm done, i kept my hands on the handlebars and tucked my leading elbow and fell with the bike. no injuries
    This is a bit of a confidence boost for me.

    I'm probably going clipless this weekend, kinda nervous about bailing hard.

  46. #46
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    i thought about my feet being attached for the first 4 miles or so. then i fell and realized it wasnt so bad. no issues after that aside from falling again.

    hold onto your bike, dont throw your arms out, and tuck in when you fall. no biggy.
    Gary Fisher HiFi Deluxe 29er

  47. #47
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    So do you feel an improvement at all? Power transfer? More confidence?

  48. #48
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    confidence? not yet. in fact it is in the back of my head that im clipped in. confidence will come i assume...

    power transfer is unreal. im a car guy so forgive my terms but i was losing traction pedaling in certain areas...i was actually spinning my back tire. my average MPH went up .7mph on the trail and 1.5mph on the road for 2 common routes i take. keep in mind that is with me taking it easy knowing im clipped in. once i get comfortable im going to be outright flying IMO.

    main improvements:
    -power transfer is immediate and responsive
    -balanced muscle use being able to pedal "up" not just down
    -balanced energy use with the above mentioned
    -no foot adjustments when things get rough or during shifts

    no way im going back to platforms.
    Gary Fisher HiFi Deluxe 29er

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waltah View Post
    confidence? not yet. in fact it is in the back of my head that im clipped in. confidence will come i assume...

    power transfer is unreal. im a car guy so forgive my terms but i was losing traction pedaling in certain areas...i was actually spinning my back tire. my average MPH went up .7mph on the trail and 1.5mph on the road for 2 common routes i take. keep in mind that is with me taking it easy knowing im clipped in. once i get comfortable im going to be outright flying IMO.

    main improvements:
    -power transfer is immediate and responsive
    -balanced muscle use being able to pedal "up" not just down
    -balanced energy use with the above mentioned
    -no foot adjustments when things get rough or during shifts

    no way im going back to platforms.
    Thanks for saying the improvements. I'm trying to get myself to go clipless, but in no way does it fit into my riding schedule. ( Going to a friends real quick, into town, hanging with friends after riding the bike). I can't be walking around in spd shoes.

  50. #50
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    understandable, in defense of the mtb clipless shoes....you can walk around in them better than road clipless shoes. not much, but better.

    not something you walk around in casually though
    Gary Fisher HiFi Deluxe 29er

  51. #51
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    Makes me angry. lol

  52. #52
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    Beat Dem Eggs

    Eggbeaters with new cleats and stiff shoes. Even the cheap ones clip in every time and save ton of grams. Easy to rebuild. They suck with flimsy soles though.

  53. #53
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    Last night was my first off-road SPD experience.
    I fell once, but the bad thing is I lost a cleat screw which made it wobbly, barely got it out of the pedal.
    Then I tried to tight the cleat with one screw and broke the plate from the shoes, thanks god there are 4 holes on each plate, I was able to screw it in tight enough to get home.
    Now I'm looking for spare parts, don't want to get new cleats just for a screw and that plate.

  54. #54
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    Pedals arrived yesterday. Shoes arrive either today or Monday.

    I have a race next Sunday. Im hoping to be confident enough by then to use them. I know I probably shouldnt even be considering it, but its mostly a sprint race, lots of double trac. I think I may be able to handle it clipped in.

    We will see how well im doing with them by next Friday.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonDany21 View Post
    Last night was my first off-road SPD experience.
    I fell once, but the bad thing is I lost a cleat screw which made it wobbly, barely got it out of the pedal.
    Then I tried to tight the cleat with one screw and broke the plate from the shoes, thanks god there are 4 holes on each plate, I was able to screw it in tight enough to get home.
    Now I'm looking for spare parts, don't want to get new cleats just for a screw and that plate.
    When I was first starting off with clipless I wrecked HARD and stripped the threads off my cleat screws. I went to the lbs to see if I had to buy new cleats to get the screws and they had a sh*t ton spd cleat screws laying around and gave me 8 of them for free. Check with the lbs and see what they can do for you. You'd be suprised what they will do for just a simple "thank you".

  56. #56
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    Took the plunge today.

    Bontrager Race Mountain Shoes
    Shimano M520 + SH56 cleats.

    Almost fell in my driveway as my wife stood there laughing. Luckily they're multi-release cleats and I set them soft.

    Other than that, rode around the neighbourhood, seems way easier to peddle. I'll likely hit the trails on Monday.

  57. #57
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    My first plunge into clippless was on Candies. Clipping in and out reflexively was sketchy early on.
    Maybe 10 hours later I got 520 with multis, set them loose and love it. Don't know what more I'd like, except they do goo- up with mud and I guess are heavyish. I'm slowly tightening them, too.

  58. #58
    mtbr member
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    I've set mine as tight as they go, otherwise I unclip a bit too easily
    Gary Fisher HiFi Deluxe 29er

  59. #59
    mtbr member
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    Took my first Clipless ride today. Had no problems installing my Shimano pedals:

    Shimano PD-M520 Pedal at JensonUSA.com

    or setting up my Sette Element shoes:

    Sette Element MTB Shoes at Price Point

    I took one ride around the parking lot to get used to clipping and unclipping and then I did 7+ miles of double trac. Had no problems whatsoever. I absolutely love the feel of being clipped in and the added power and control it gives me.

    Now I didnt come close to falling and tomorrow will be my first real test when I hit the single trac, so I know theres gonna be bumps and bruises.

    But theres no doubt im never going back.

    By the way the Sette shoes for $55 (with shipping) are amazing. My LBS helped me find the right size (44) and I bought online. I couldnt be happier with the shoes. The pedals rock too by the way.
    Last edited by pattongb; 08-23-2011 at 07:25 PM.

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