Best first set of clipless pedals?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Best first set of clipless pedals?

    All I know are Shimano XT/XTR traditional MTB pedals. Like a PDM9100

    So the question is:

    Are the hybrid platform/spd pedals easier for a kid to learn on? Like a PDM9120 or a Crank Bros Double Shot. For example.

    Or would it be easier to just switch to a traditional clipless pedal?

    Maybe I'm out of date with my knowledge (well, I KNOW I AM) but these shoes that look like sneakers but have mounts for cleats, well, they sort of confuse me. They don't work on "flats" with no clip mount. And they seem like a waste to use on a traditional SPD pedal. I guess the advantage is, they are easier to walk or push the bike?

    Right now my kids are on FiveTens with flats. They work well. But I may move them towards clipless soon.

    Help an old timer out!

    If you were going to start your kid on clipless, which way would you go?

  2. #2
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    It's been almost 10 years since I briefly experimented with clipless, but at the time I went with Speedplay because they had more float than anything else out there and I figured it would be easier on my knees.

    For a kid, I'd imagine that it'd feel a little less foreign / rigidly locked in place to use something like that with more float.

    I'd think that the combo pedals would make it harder instead of easier to learn, since something with 2 sided entry (or 4 sided entry for Egg Beaters) would mean less need to rotate the pedal into position to clip in.

    I thought the only real advantage of hybrids was being able to ride in regular shoes if you happen to not have shoes with cleats with you at the time.

  3. #3
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    I have always liked Time pedals.

    https://www.time-sport.com/int-en/

    Why do you want to move them to clipless, if flats are working? What is the advantage you or they trying to gain?

  4. #4
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    This sounds like the perfect setup for kids--what makes you want to switch!

    Quote Originally Posted by SactoGeoff View Post

    Right now my kids are on FiveTens with flats. They work well. But I may move them towards clipless soon.


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  5. #5
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    I can’t really answer your question but can give you my experience thus far....

    We tried crank bros, as that’s what I run (currently have mallets, double shot, and candy) but she had trouble getting a perfect engagement every time due to her low weight. We shelved them at the time, now a year later (almost 11 now) and she can get in no problem.

    The handful of girls that ran clipless in her class used Shimano style with adjustable engagement for ease of entry.

    We’re going to keep on with the candy 3’s for the off season and decide where to go in the spring. If she has no issues with it we’ll likely go egg beaters for next season, and if she still has issues maybe an Xpedo.

    As to the “should” of kids running clipless...I’d say whatever makes them comfortable and confident. If it’s all for fun, flats are great, if they’re racing, clipless have advantages.

  6. #6
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    Entry level shimano pedals with multi directional release cleats.

  7. #7
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    The hybrid pedals are much more difficult than decent standard SPD's. I run A520's on my CX bike so I can ride it with regular shoes when needed and they work well, but having to flip them to the clip side is really common as has been my experience with the double shots.

    But IMO, get some current XT M8000's and the multi-release cleats and you won't really ever have to buy pedals again.
    WTB: Med Bontrager Ti Lite, PM Me...

  8. #8
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    I think the intent behind a larger platform pedal with clipless shoes is the firm feel under-foot.

    From what I've read on the internet, the shoe/pedal interface can be problematic, in that sometimes the shoe has a thicker or thinner sole than other shoes and makes it difficult to engage. Maybe they have to press down harder to have the cleat meet the clip of the pedal.

    If they are learning clipless, this may deter them if they struggle to find the mating parts. However, the larger platform may allow them to feel confident as it's what they are familiar with.

    Probably good to go straight to clipless and a normal clipless shoe for ease of engagement. Buy something cheap so you don't lost much of the investment when it's time to try another option as they progress. Like above, entertain the idea of Shimano multi-release.

    I have no experience with any of that, but those are things I've read on the internet and complaints of others on this forum using flat pedals that are clipless having interface issues.

    Lastly, there are pedals with flats on one side, clips on the other. Sounds like a good idea but in practice, doesn't seem they are very preferred. The heavy side prevents the clip from always being up, or the user has to always adjust the pedal position, or at least look, to know if they are on the preferred side.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by silvascape View Post
    Entry level shimano pedals with multi directional release cleats.
    This, to the T.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jestep View Post
    The hybrid pedals are much more difficult than decent standard SPD's. I run A520's on my CX bike so I can ride it with regular shoes when needed and they work well, but having to flip them to the clip side is really common as has been my experience with the double shots.

    But IMO, get some current XT M8000's and the multi-release cleats and you won't really ever have to buy pedals again.



    This is the insight I was after. Thank you!

  11. #11
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    Definitely don't get hybrids, worst of both worlds. I run Times, but I'd also recommend SPDs since the tension is adjustable. Times (and CB) can be tough to clip into when the cleats are new even at adult weights.

  12. #12
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    Shimano makes a system called Click'r. Its a very easy step-in and click-out system. I found a cheap pair of these pedals when my youngest was learning the system. Were an SPD family, so I wanted him to learn on Shimano pedals. The Click'r system allowed him to develop the muscle memory of clipless pretty easily and then he transitioned to standard SPD's with zero issues.
    https://bike.shimano.com/en-US/techn...no-clickr.html

    Cheers,
    CJB

  13. #13
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    I'd add that I really feel that running on flats for several years greatly improves overall technique.

    However it will hammer the crap out of shins and I don't want my pretty young daughter to have shins like mine and look like she went through a meat grinder.

    I just ordered my 7 year old girl some G-form shin-knee pads as I'll keep her on flats for years. She also takes after her dad in the coordination department, not good!

  14. #14
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    My 5 and 6yo have been running clipless for BMX racing for a while. We have only tried Shimano SPD, Wellgo SPD and Times, all without cages/platforms.

    The Wellgo can be set to the lowest clipping in and out tension, but the max is not as high as the SPD (I use the SPD almost at max tension, but for BMX racing).

    The Time pedals that we have do not have adjustment and are somewhere in the middle to upper end of the shimano range.

    My 6 yo can clip in and out of all of them, but the Times have been the most reliable for him as far as not clipping out accidentally and making sure he is really clipped in on the gate. My 5 yo is still on the Wellgo's and they are working pretty well for him.

    HT's are supposedly the latest and greatest, and they have different cleats for different levels of float, etc. but we have not tried them. My 6yo really wants them, but he will be banned from clipless pedals in 2021 so I really don't want to put a lot more money into it.

  15. #15
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    Overall, I think this is where knowing your child will play a big factor into how they travel along through their pedal/shoe evolution. My guy is just 10 and he's been riding clipless for close to 2.5 yrs. Many people who see him running SPD so young frequently comment on how that can be building bad habits and that he's not learning fundamentals, etc.. But what they really don't know is that he rides BMX/DJ also, he can comfortably move back and forth at will and that we did 2 days of lift-serve (on flats) without as much as a flinch from him.

    I usually don't reply with much retort when they make these statements. Its just that they simply don't know the broad capabilities of my kiddo.

    Later,
    CJB

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