Looking for first set of Clip-ins- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. Looking for first set of Clip-ins

    I've been riding for about two years and I want to move to the clip-in pedals that I see lots of people using on the trails. Are there different styles of clip-ins that I should be aware or any model in particular that are good for beginners? Recommendations are encouraged and thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    I started with Shimanos in the late 1990's and still use their pedals. Never had any issues getting out of the pedals. You may want to start with multi-release cleats and then switch to the stock cleats after you get used to getting out of the pedals quickly. You can also adjust the tension on the release, it's very easy. Just keep it consistent on all of the sides.

  3. #3
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    Awesome. I ended up getting the Shimano PD-M520's from my LBS today. Can't wait to get them on. Thanks!

  4. #4
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    Let us know how they work for you. I've been considering switching to clips too. I have a friend I ride with a lot that switched to clips and he literally crashed/fell over about 10-12 times per ride for several rides before he got the hang of it. Watching him crash over and over kinda put me off trying them lol

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hollis Prince View Post
    Let us know how they work for you. I've been considering switching to clips too. I have a friend I ride with a lot that switched to clips and he literally crashed/fell over about 10-12 times per ride for several rides before he got the hang of it. Watching him crash over and over kinda put me off trying them lol
    There is a bit of a learning curve, but once your through that they are pretty awesome, I'm still nervous in really techy sections, so I'll unclip one side and just move the pedal back on my foot to keep it from clipping back in. I run specialized 2fo shoes and Shimano XT trail pedals.

    Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hollis Prince View Post
    Let us know how they work for you. I've been considering switching to clips too. I have a friend I ride with a lot that switched to clips and he literally crashed/fell over about 10-12 times per ride for several rides before he got the hang of it. Watching him crash over and over kinda put me off trying them lol
    I know this is confusing and all, but a "clip" on a pedal in the parlance of our times is short for "toe clip." this is a toe clip:

    Looking for first set of Clip-ins-565513a2e4b0c7636148ab6a.jpg

    if you go into a bike shop and ask for a pedal with clips, this is what they will try to sell you.

    when the cycling industry found a way to start making pedals that attach to your feet without the use of a toe clip, they called them "clipless pedals" because they do the same thing but with a cleat on the shoe and a spring-loaded mechanism on the pedal instead of the toe clip. that term is counter-intuitive to someone without that background knowledge, but it is permanently part of cycling vocabulary. get to know it so you don't confuse everyone and they don't confuse you.

  7. #7
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    there are lots of resources about learning to ride with clipless pedals (cleated, clip-in, whatever you want to call them.) I will mention two things:

    1. learn to snap in and out quickly for a while before you get on the trail. you can loosen the pedal so it disengages more easily or get the silver Shimano cleats, which are the multi-directional cleats. (the more secure ones are black.) practice coming to a sudden stop and putting a foot down in an open area with a soft landing pad for a while. train yourself to clip out BEFORE you stop at first, so you're not struggling and tipping over as you fall.

    2. cleat and saddle position is vital. if you only ride a short distance on easy trail while snapped in, you might no notice, but if you put in some significant miles with your saddle height not adjusted for the new pedals or the cleats in the wrong position, you will feel it. the fore/aft position, side-to-side position and angle of the cleats are all adjustable. you will need to experiment and research that a bit. start with them dead-center and explore from there.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    there are lots of resources about learning to ride with clipless pedals (cleated, clip-in, whatever you want to call them.) I will mention two things:

    1. learn to snap in and out quickly for a while before you get on the trail. you can loosen the pedal so it disengages more easily or get the silver Shimano cleats, which are the multi-directional cleats. (the more secure ones are black.) practice coming to a sudden stop and putting a foot down in an open area with a soft landing pad for a while. train yourself to clip out BEFORE you stop at first, so you're not struggling and tipping over as you fall.

    2. cleat and saddle position is vital. if you only ride a short distance on easy trail while snapped in, you might no notice, but if you put in some significant miles with your saddle height not adjusted for the new pedals or the cleats in the wrong position, you will feel it. the fore/aft position, side-to-side position and angle of the cleats are all adjustable. you will need to experiment and research that a bit. start with them dead-center and explore from there.
    Agree 100%. Took several rides to realize natural position on the pedals for me isn't dead straight but feet slightly angled out. Had some knee pain is the only reason I even decided to experiment.

    Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk

  9. #9
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    I have my shoved all the way in to put my feet as far away from the bike as possible, and angled in to accommodate my duck-footed stance. I had months of painful after-ride recovery days before I figured that out.

  10. #10
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    So I've been on a few rides with the clipless pedals now. Each ride was only about 5 miles or so and I love them. One thing I notice is that I feel it in my knees a lot more during the ride. It doesn't hurt but I definitely feel like my knees are being worked more. Could this have something to do with saddle position or is it normal? As far as clipping in and out goes it's pretty easy with the tension all the way out. I'll tighten them more as I get more comfy with the pedals. Haven't fell yet but I'm sure I will at some point.

  11. #11
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    Some other things to consider. There are two types of mountain "clipless" (i.e. SPD compatible) shoes. Well, two extremes, let's say. There are the type with a very stiff sole that runs the length of the shoe, like these: Carbide? R - Dirt - Shoes - Men's - Cycling
    The sole material tends to be a hard plastic type that works well in dirt, if you're off your bike. A problem is that if you are on something like slickrock a lot, they tend to be slippery if you have to put a foot down. In that case, a shoe more like this Review: Five Ten Maltese Falcon LT clipless shoes - Mtbr.com tends to be more slip resistant. It still has a rigid sole, but is more flexible forward of the ball of the foot and the sole material is a softer, grippier rubber for use on rock. They also have a more natural feel when walking. If you don't have "alignment issues", i.e. major heel in or out, Shimano pedals are great. If you do, Eggbeaters or even Speedplay may be better options as they have considerably more side to side "float"...also consider fore/aft placement. There's a bit of discussion on this as well regarding pedalling efficiency. Many, especially road bikers coming to mountain biking, prefer mounting forward to get the calves involved (no doubt from years of prancing around in spandex and high heels ... ) some, more flat pedal oriented mount them as far aft as possible to mimic the position on flats. All kidding aside, it's personal preference, but it will be slightly easier to twist out if the cleats are far forward as you have more leverage and it's less likely that the front of your shoe will impact the crank arm at the 3 o'clock position.

  12. #12
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    I recently converted to clips and really don't care for them, they hurt my feet super bad and I think at times I like to ride with my feet at different angles depending on what I'm riding.Am I crazy? Everyone I ride with has clipless.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by andersonsmog View Post
    I recently converted to clips and really don't care for them, they hurt my feet super bad and I think at times I like to ride with my feet at different angles depending on what I'm riding.Am I crazy? Everyone I ride with has clipless.
    You need to learn how to position your cleats correctly on your shoe. Sounds like yours are in an awkward position for you anatomy. Do a search for "how to position spd cleats."

    I went down the same road when I started mtbing. I was riding flats and because the muscles on the outside of my legs were much stronger, I would favor them and cock my heels out while climbing. the result was that I started to drag my kneecap at an angle across the soft tissue under it, which was very painful. the result was three months off the bike with biweekly physical therapy sessions, lots of icing and general misery.

    if you are riding with your feet at "different angles," that sounds like you are doing the same thing. proper form and technique are the answer but riding flat pedal might be enabling that bad form in ways that you will not fully appreciate until you can't walk. because your knees hurt so badly.

    I am not a medical professional, but based on my experience, my recommendation is- learn to get your cleat position correct and ride clipped in for a while. set your pedals loose and put in some non-trail miles so you can focus on pedaling smoothly. you can also limber up your legs and learn some exercises that will strengthen muscles on the inside of your leg, which you are currently avoiding.

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