SH-56 SPD cleats good/bad/ugly ?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    SH-56 SPD cleats good/bad/ugly ?

    They are multi-release cleats, supposedly allow easier out. Anyone using them and can comment if they are worse/better then the standard SH-51s? In particular I'm interested to find out if they are prone to accidental release. Thanks.

    V.

  2. #2
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    They're for beginners... I even bought some for my wife so she'd be less terrified of being clipped in while she's learning. It clearly states in the papers that they are not meant to be used for jumping because the cleat has a greater chance of popping out of the pedal. If you plan to just sit and pedal, it's not an issue, but for aggressive riding, I'd suggest sticking with the stanard cleats.

  3. #3
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    They're not just for beginners. I've ridden SPDs for 15 years and I started with the 51s. I didn't move to using the multi-release ones (55s mainly, the 56 is the replacement for the 55) until after three or four years on the single-release cleats. I can jump with the bike fine with them. It just takes....whats the word...oh yeah SKILL. Ya know, the same skill people develop to jump a bike with non-clipless pedals.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeEight
    They're not just for beginners. I've ridden SPDs for 15 years and I started with the 51s. I didn't move to using the multi-release ones (55s mainly, the 56 is the replacement for the 55) until after three or four years on the single-release cleats. I can jump with the bike fine with them. It just takes....whats the word...oh yeah SKILL. Ya know, the same skill people develop to jump a bike with non-clipless pedals.
    Do you like them better? What's your assessment of the differences between the two types?

  5. #5
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    I've been using the sh55 for about 8 years with pdm747 pedals. Yep theose pedals are bullit proof. I purchased a set of sh56 cleats online and found them a little more difficult to release than the 55, but that may be the intended purpose of the new part number. I am certainly not a beginner and yes the cleats do pop out if I slap a high root or rock, but I find comfort in knowing I can get out easily.
    Hope that helps!

  6. #6
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    I have ligament issues...essentially my whole body is hyper-flexible... as a result its very hard to crack/break bones as my body essentially contorts around an impact (in 35 years I've cracked a single rib) but sprains on the other hand...dislocations...oh those I get quite easily. As such, I'd rather not be stuck into a pedal because the only direction it'd release is a flat heel twist to either side as depending on the time, my body might not be conveniently moving in that direction. There's still twisting involved to pop the cleat out, but you now get to twist your foot upwards (essentially rocking the cleat so the front pops out before the back does) away from the pedal as well as just to the side.
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    I recently moved from Time ATAC pedals to a pair of Shimano pedals (the new XT version - can't remember the exact model). I started out with the multi-release cleats and rode them for a few weeks, but then switched to the standard cleats. I was occasionally releasing from the pedals when pulling up on them (e.g. pulling the bike up over a small step or log). I like the regular cleats somewhat better - they are still very easy to release out when I want to but I don't have the inadvertent releases I was having with the multi-release cleats.

  8. #8
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    If you use the multi release cleats, you may as well use flat pedals.
    The whole idea, of being clipped in, is to be able to push and pull up steep grades and to add security in rough terrain.
    I never met anyone, that had a huge issue learning with standard release cleats.
    Just keep the tension as low as possible on the pedal and use standard cleats.
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  9. #9
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    Actually that's not the idea of being clipped in at all. Your pedal stroke should NOT involve any pulling at all. It should be pushing only, in one continuous CIRCULAR motion.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeEight
    Actually that's not the idea of being clipped in at all. Your pedal stroke should NOT involve any pulling at all. It should be pushing only, in one continuous CIRCULAR motion.
    Not really, upstroke is important as well, platform pedals do not allow you to apply any power during upstroke in about 45-degree sector.

  11. #11
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    ..not sure on 'ease of release'..

    Hi all - I have SH 51 on one shoe, SH 55 on t'other and some old VP knockoffs as well..

    Release is much more dependant on the tension to my mind. The VP and the SH51 are largely 'fixed' - not a lot of lateral movement while still secure..

    The SH55 gives me a lot of heel swing while still clamped, and easy to shift and fiddle.

    I know that float is part of pedal design, but I use the various cleats on different pedals, and same experience.

    I would take the SH55 hands down. I also assume that a brand new cleat SH55 or the new SH56 would be 'stickier' for a while as the cleat wears in..but I also have my tension at the highest all the time.

    cheers

    dmc

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeEight
    Actually that's not the idea of being clipped in at all. Your pedal stroke should NOT involve any pulling at all. It should be pushing only, in one continuous CIRCULAR motion.
    You must not ride in technical terrain with ultra steep sections.
    There are places where I ride, that you can't pedal up, unless you are clipped in and can push and pull on the cranks. No granny gear in the world will get you up those spots without being clipped in.
    Those are also the spots, where multi release cleats will pull out when you don't want them to.

    BTW, how do you "push" in the upward direction of the pedal stroke?

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeEight
    Actually that's not the idea of being clipped in at all. Your pedal stroke should NOT involve any pulling at all. It should be pushing only, in one continuous CIRCULAR motion.
    No, absolutely not! The point is to pull up with the opposite foot you're pushing down with. It's referred to as pedalling in circles, as opposed to squares. I've trained myself for years to pedal with both legs simultaneously and have far more power than I ever would just pushing down with one foot at a time. It's also mandatory if you ever plan to out-sprint anyone. I'd like to see someone's leg flailing about as they try to pull up over a large log at speed using those multi-release cleats. The best thing to do is use standard cleats and minimum tension until you feel secure enough to turn the tension up a bit more.

  14. #14
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    Here is a good read about upstroke: http://www.fitness-concepts.com/CoachesCorner/May05.pdf

  15. #15
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    FYI: don't Google Image Search "up stroke" or you'll see things you really didn't want to.

    Thanks for the link, Vlad.

  16. #16
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    Just wondering if I can BUMP this thread.
    I have SH51s with SH545s, and I have to admit that I am still fairly new at them (coming from spiked platforms), but the release motion seems to be an issue - even at a very low setting. I understand that I will eventually become proficient at twisting out, but how many falls should it take (no answer necessary ;-])? We hit some difficult trails here in central Florida (Yes, We do have some here.), and I usually have to bail in a few spots here and there, so I do need to get out quickly. I'm sure that even the SH56s will be better than the platforms, but easier to release than my SH51s, so I'm thinking about going with them.
    My brother has the same set up, and he has gotten injured lately while stuck in his pedals during wheelies gone bad. He's a good rider, but new at the pedals also.
    Does anyone have any comments or tips?
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  17. #17
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    Wow...I wouldn't have anticipated so much controversy over 51/55/56 cleats. I totally disagree with the idea of 55/56 versions being only for beginners. I'm no neophyte to clipless shoes and pedals, and I always use the medium 55/56 cleats on all my shoes for all my bikes except for roadbiking. Whether it's Moab or other rocky technical venue, I've always found the medium release versions to be excellent. I'm not doing any Red Bull Rampage level stuff by any means, but I get air, launch ledges, and do lots of decently rough riding on my Nomad and Bullit. I haven't had any issue of dangerous release and unclipping in gnarly situations. As always cleat positioning on the shoe and pedal release adjustment are critical. Frankly I really like the cleat design when things go bad. I can't recall ever being really tangled up with my bike in a crash because of the 55/56 cleats.

    I don't see why there should be much controversy, as many riders perform all manner of crazy things on their bikes with flat pedals. The choice of 51's or 55/56 cleats should come down to preference. I think it's good advice to start on 55/56 cleats, but that is in no way mandatory. People are different.

  18. #18
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    I've been riding for 2.5 years using multi-release cleats. I'm especially thankful for them when I need to jump up and release both feet at the same time by twisting them. I've never had a problem with in-line releases through the pedaling range of motion. If you have sloppy pedaling habits, you may have different results than I have had.

  19. #19
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    The 56s are superior to the 55s in one important area...they're compatible with a wider selection of pedals than the 55s (which only worked well with shimano, and VP pedals...wellgo's they weren't so good with). It had to do with how the front edge of the cleat is shaped when you push into the pedal mechanism. The 55s have a different ramp profile and bind on some wellgo mechanisms. They also don't like a few of the XTR pedal versions that well (858s in particular).
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ericmopar
    If you use the multi release cleats, you may as well use flat pedals.

    The whole idea, of being clipped in, is to be able to push and pull up steep grades and to add security in rough terrain.
    I have to say that this statement is absolute [email protected]#$%!!!!

    I have been using the M647 pedals with the multi-release cleat for about 8 months now. I was previously on platforms with 5/10 shoes.

    I run the tension in about the middle of the range. Started with it all the way light, and kept upping it a couple clicks at a time. I did ok on downhills with flats, where you are standing and have weight on the pedal pushing the shoe against the pins. Never lost footing on downhills. But on uphills I lunged my feet off the flats all the time. Especially when agressively powering up a rocky step up.

    On the 647's using the multi release cleat I only lose a foot off when I smack a rock against my toe really hard, which would knock it off a flat pedal too. I can power over the top of the stroke with lots more power than flats without losing the pedal, and ride down any nasty hill I did with flats and keep my feet on. I could see how if you like to really kick the bike sideways when jumping, you could possibly release, so Red Bull Rampage riders might not like those cleats.

    But for rough, rocky trail riding, I like these pedals and cleats way more than flats. I can dab just about as easy, and I can lunge and power up stuff that would have had my feet flailing off if using flats. With flats I can barely bunny hop, but I can do a pretty decent one with my clipless. I can pull the bike up off the ground underneath me very hard, and have to really yank to get my foot to come out if kept straight. If you turn the foot while doing this it comes out easy, but not if it is straight.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4slomo
    I've been riding for 2.5 years using multi-release cleats. I'm especially thankful for them when I need to jump up and release both feet at the same time by twisting them. I've never had a problem with in-line releases through the pedaling range of motion. If you have sloppy pedaling habits, you may have different results than I have had.
    I agree completely with what you and TNC says above!!!

    You can ride very rough trails with the multi-release cleat. If you throw your heels wildy around, then maybe you will have a problem, or if the position of the cleat is not right. But otherwise, you can power the whole pedal stroke with much more power than flats.

  22. #22
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    Not much differance.

    I have two XC bikes,one has 56's and the other 51's and can't really tell a difference.
    I must admit though,i'm a stay seated xc guy for sure and as expected have never came unclipped during a ride.

  23. #23
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    Everyone,
    Thanks for the responses. I bought the Silver 56s over the weekend, and played with them on “trails” around the neighborhood. I actually like the feel better. They seem to have a bit more float, and definitely release easier than my 51s, but I cannot seem to find those multiple (upwards) release positions. I seem to twist out to release (learned response?), but I feel much more comfortable releasing. On one trail, I quickly lost up hill traction in the loose sand, and as I was falling over, my feet came out like magic. Yep. I like these 56s.
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  24. #24
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    Just an update. I LOVE my new Shimano 545 pedals with my Specialized Taho Mtb shoes and my silver shimano 56 cleats. Awesome combination!
    Sorry that I am posting this comment in a few threads.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonyi
    Just an update. I LOVE my new Shimano 545 pedals with my Specialized Taho Mtb shoes and my silver shimano 56 cleats. Awesome combination!
    Sorry that I am posting this comment in a few threads.

    I'm glad they're working out for you. Have fun with them!
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonyi
    Just an update. I LOVE my new Shimano 545 pedals with my Specialized Taho Mtb shoes and my silver shimano 56 cleats. Awesome combination!
    Sorry that I am posting this comment in a few threads.

    Did you notice any difference between 51 and 56?
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swthrtsuzy
    I'm glad they're working out for you. Have fun with them!
    Thanks for the tip!!!
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heylerds
    Did you notice any difference between 51 and 56?
    Yes. I have noticed a bit more float, and a much smoother release. They don't "snap" out when they release. It is more of a smooth transition. Of course, my technique has improved also, but the difference is quite noticeable.
    One other thing that I noticed is the claimed multi-release method. I can't seem to get them to release with any other motion than the twist out. You can pull straight up as hard as necessary without releasing (maybe short of log jumping or bunny hopping), but during a fall, your feet just seem to drop out. Needless to say that I am impressed. With the tension adjustment on the 545's, they make a perfect combination as you get better at releasing.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeanMan
    I have been using multidirectional cleats for two years now. I have never had an issue with them coming out when I didn't want them to. They are easier to get out of and that counts for a lot when you are 50 years old and don't heal as quickly as the younger studs do.

    They are cheap enough for you to try a pair and decide for yourself.
    I hear ya! I'm 46 this month.
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  30. #30
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    I have been using multidirectional cleats for two years now. I have never had an issue with them coming out when I didn't want them to. They are easier to get out of and that counts for a lot when you are 50 years old and don't heal as quickly as the younger studs do.

    They are cheap enough for you to try a pair and decide for yourself.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by f3rg
    They're for beginners...

    Bzzzt! Not.


    Although I would agree they can come loose while you are in the air if you are twisting
    and jocking around.
    Nobody cares...........

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by chas_martel
    Bzzzt! Not.


    Although I would agree they can come loose while you are in the air if you are twisting
    and jocking around.
    Yep. Probably if you are jumping and twisting to land straight, but my brother and I can bunny hop with them on loose settings, and he gets over 12" of air.
    Last edited by anthonyi; 06-24-2009 at 05:28 AM.
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  33. #33
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    I'm another satisfied user of multi-release cleats for the past 2-3 years. I've been known to jump out of them when I'm about to bail. Otherwise, I'm not a jumper, like to keep the rubber on the trail. The two release motions I am aware of are the foot twisting sideways, and the foot rolling outward at the ankle. I think I remember the cleat packages have an illustration showing the release motions for both models.

  34. #34
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    I have a pair of M540's with SH51 cleat and I have been having issues unclipping during a stall on rocks (and log piles). I was advized to try the SH56 cleat....

    Thanks for the input here. For what it's worth, I'll post back after I try them out.
    Last edited by herrhaus; 07-31-2009 at 12:26 PM.
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  35. #35
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    I never used to ride clipless pedals and just got a set of used ones this season, used to roll old school with toe clips. Anyways, on my rides this season I couldn't figure out why my foot would come undone when pulling up on the pedals when climbing or jumping even after almost maxing out the release tension on the pedals. Looks like I was probably given these multi-release cleats with the pedals. I'll have to look for the regular cleats on my next trip to the LBS.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bird
    I have two XC bikes,one has 56's and the other 51's and can't really tell a difference.
    Bikes don't have cleats. Shoes do.

  37. #37
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    Thought I'd report back. I've had a few weeks and 150-200 miles on my new cleats (56's). I can say that I'm absolutely happy with them. I have not had accidental unclipping. I have been able to get out of the pedals when I needed to.

    I strongly recommend them for those of you who are like me (10 years with baskets then switch to clipless).
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  38. #38
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    Recently switched from the 51's to 56's. I've been riding for a couple years and began on the 51's. The only time I lay the bike over has been due to not being to get out in time. The 56 has changed that. I'm almost convinced it is somewhat mental as well. In the beginning (of 56 use) I came out a couple of times hammering up hills I never came out on, so I tightened the tension screw and have had no problems since. I had originally set the tension the same, but have found that tightening it gets rid of the float (yes, there is a bit more thanthe 51 IMO), and doesn't affect the release.

  39. #39
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    going sh56

    Nice Discussion. I've been riding with Crank bros for 3 years. First eggbeaters and last year moved to mallets to help with uphill starts. I certainly learned the hard way with several falls early on, but seemed to really find my comfort with them over time. However, technical steep sections were still intimidating b/c of difficulty coming out of the pedals after a sudden stop and given the angle toward back of the bike -- that sideways heel release just doesn't come as easy when at that angle. After an injury, I'm switching to SPDs with SH56 cleats. Info here is helping with that decision. I'll post up after I'm able to ride again post-injury.

  40. #40
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    Interesting you're switching from CB to SPDs, i did exactly the opposite, riding with eggbeaters for a couple of years now and find them much more forgiving than the SPDs, they saved my ass on multiple occasions since the switch. Having said that I haven't tried the multi-release ones being discussed here because many suggested they were prone to accidental release, which is in my opinion even worse than difficult release. Did you know that CB cleats allow for different release angle depending how they are installed?

  41. #41
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    Did you know that CB cleats allow for different release angle depending how they are installed?

    Yep, I believe I set the cleats for the smaller, thus easier to release angle. That's interesting that you went the other direction. I've been reading this and a few other threads about both the SPD (PD-M970 to be exact) and multi-release cleats. Some of the posts in this thread seem to give me hope that the sh56 cleats might help me in a "panic" release. I too worry about accidental release but posts here seem to indicate otherwise. I'll definitely share my experiences. But a broken ankle that happened when I couldn't release has me making a switch -- hopefully not out of the fry'n pan . . .

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by f3rg
    They're for beginners... .
    I disagree. I've been using clip-less pedals for ~ 30 years and I think the SH-56's are great.

    Can they come lose jumping sure. But it seldom happens, and not everyone spends a significant amount of time in the air. Other than that they are great, IMO.
    Nobody cares...........

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ericmopar
    If you use the multi release cleats, you may as well use flat pedals.
    The whole idea, of being clipped in, is to be able to push and pull up steep grades and to add security in rough terrain.
    I never met anyone, that had a huge issue learning with standard release cleats.
    Just keep the tension as low as possible on the pedal and use standard cleats.

    If you can't pull up with SH-56's then you are doing it wrong. In fact, I'd submit that they train you to pull up with your foot more parallel to the ground than other cleats. And that is a good thing.


    And I'd say to keep the tension as tight as possible with the multi-release cleats.

    Hell, that only cost $20 just try 'em if you don't like 'em you've spent very little.
    Nobody cares...........

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bird
    I have two XC bikes,one has 56's and the other 51's and can't really tell a difference.
    I must admit though,i'm a stay seated xc guy for sure and as expected have never came unclipped during a ride.
    Are you using the same pair of shoes?
    Nobody cares...........

  45. #45
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    As a newbee to Clip less I really like the 56s after using the 51s for a few weeks.

    I cranked on some inclines to see I would pop out but have had no issues.

    Highly recommend based upon my limited experience so far

  46. #46
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    I think the general consensus is that your choice of pedals, and their adjustment, can make just as much difference in how your pedals engage/disengage as your choice of 51's vs 56's. Cheap pedals can be very hard to disengage, but you can adjust a pair of XTR's so that they'll hold securely, but disengage very easily with the 51's sideways twist.

    I've always used 51's, but found this thread after accidentaly picking up some 56's (because I was so stoked about the Giro Gauges I'd just bought), and was wondering how big a mistake I'd made. After reading the comments, I decided to test them (without adjusting my pedals) on a twisty, rocky s/t, which involves some fairly rigorous (XC) climbing/descending.

    Although the 56's did release more easily with the conventional lateral twist (compensated for later by tightening the pedal), the only time I think the additional release directions might be a disadvantage, even in aggressive XC riding, is when using some unusual body english to maintain balance/control. But they'd also probably make it easier to "run out of" an endo (not tested today).

    I doubt I'll mind using the 56's, but I don't think that, having mastered the 51's, that there's any real advantage to the 56's that can't be achieved by just loosening a good pedal. Is it possible that some folks who prefer the 56's are comparing them with 51's that were worn out and not releasing properly? Also, unless it's the case of a low-end pedal that doesn't release smoothly, I'm not even sure what advantage the 56's offer someone who is just learning to ride clipless, since those additional release directions are so unusual, the only time you're likely to use them is when you're past the point of no return. The buttery smooth release of a high-end pedal, on the other hand, can make an enormous difference to anyone.

  47. #47
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    Works for me. I prefer tightened up SPD with 56, then loosened up with 51.

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    Some people obviously love the way the 56's perform. I'm reporting my experience over the last several weeks for the benefit of others. I've used the 51's since I started riding clipless, and only bought the 56's by mistake with a new pair of shoes.

    First of all, if you're ever going up a steep hill, and for whatever reason, get hung up, with your forefoot already nearly bottomed out, and you apply a forceful upward movement with your rearfoot to get you through the dead spot of the stroke, your foot is going to come out of the pedal - every single time. And I got sick of it.

    Second of all, I was convinced that I was experiencing some subtle difference caused by the difference in the tread pattern on the bottom of my new Giro's and my previous BG Pro's, because I couldn't get the new shoes to clip in the way I was accustomed. I was having a helluva time, whether it was race starts or dabs or whatever the situation.

    Finally, I got fed up with inadvertantly clipping out, and put the old 51's on my new shoes, and shazam, I clip in just like I always have.

    Bottom line, if you like 'em, fine, use 'em. If you're accustomed to 51's, and the way they perform, I suggest you don't bother with the 56's. In the time that I used them, I found them to be nothing more than a nuisance.

  49. #49
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    Sorry to resurrect this old thread but its subject is the most relevant I could find.
    Decided after two years riding on flats (DMR Vault & 5.10s), due to torn ACL (no surgery yet), to try again SPD pedals.
    I am mostly riding aggressive AM/Enduro, with emphasis on speed, cornering and flow but less on jumping, though I don't shy away from the occasional 3-4 footer drop to flat.
    I was wondering if any of you have used the Shimano multi-directional release SH56 cleats for AM riding?
    And what is your view of them for such riding, on rocky, rooty trails?
    I am thinking this will be a good middle ground for my tired knee, instead of going straight back again to the normal SH51 cleats, and will allow me to avoid falling and injuring even more my already hurt knee, while still clipped in.
    What do you think? Should I give the SH56 a go, or stick to flats for AM?
    Last edited by tp806; 07-31-2013 at 02:42 AM.

  50. #50
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    Those pedals aren't going to offer any advantages for your knees or your style of riding. If you get the right flats and the right shoes, you'll be much better off. The only difference 56's make vs 51's is more release angles. How that's easier on someone's knees is beyond me, when 99.9% of the time, you're still clipped in. The only pedals that offer any real advantage to your knees are the original Speedplays. But they're not appropriate for off-road riding, since you have to turn your foot so far to get them to release. Plus they're not easy to clip into, and the cleat is bulky. I know 2 guys that switched to flats with little pegs on them for racing XC. I wouldn't do it, but they swear by them.

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    Thanks for the info Garson, I will try to test them on my LBS's demo bike before purchasing, for sure.
    You are probably right in your reasoning and my worry is also the quite small contact patch of the shoe/feet on the XT M785 pedals in comparison to my wide DMR Vaults, which I may or may not like.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by tp806 View Post
    Sorry to resurrect this old thread but its subject is the most relevant I could find.
    Decided after two years riding on flats (DMR Vault & 5.10s), due to torn ACL (no surgery yet), to try again SPD pedals.
    I am mostly riding aggressive AM/Enduro, with emphasis on speed, cornering and flow but less on jumping, though I don't shy away from the occasional 3-4 footer drop to flat.
    I was wondering if any of you have used the Shimano multi-directional release SH56 cleats for AM riding?
    And what is your view of them for such riding, on rocky, rooty trails?
    I am thinking this will be a good middle ground for my tired knee, instead of going straight back again to the normal SH51 cleats, and will allow me to avoid falling and injuring even more my already hurt knee, while still clipped in.
    What do you think? Should I give the SH56 a go, or stick to flats for AM?
    I use the Shimano SH-56 cleat with the M-647 pedals, and I love this combo! I live in Tucson, and I ride a Pivot Firebird converted to 650B, and I love really rocky, chunky trails. I am not a big jumper, but I ride some extremely rocky trails.

    I rode toe clips ever since 1985, and tried all kinds of clipless pedals(I worked at a bike shop for 10 years) I never felt totally confident with any clipless pedals when attacking really technical obstacles, and would end up falling and going back to toe clips and straps. Then about 5 years ago I tried 5/10 shoes on flats. I liked them on the downhills, but they sucked for me on technical climbs. I am a very good technical climber, but I kept loosing my feet when lunging up onto rocky ledges with the flats.

    Then I tried the M-647 with the 56 cleat. Total perfection for my style of riding! The way the mechanism flips up, makes them the absolute easiest pedal to clip into. Great for restarting in the middle of a techy climb for a retry. Dabbing is just as easy. In fact it is about the same as a platform pedal. You do not have to think about it. When you go to put your foot down, it just happens. You don't have to train yourself to do an exaggerated twist. It is totally intuitive, and I attack technical obstacles with zero fear that I won't be able to dab. But I also get the power to lunge up obstacles much better than I could with flats, and my foot never comes off on a rocky descent.

    The only downside I could see, is if you are a hucker that jumps and pitches the bike way sideways. That might clip you out.

    As to what Garson said about your knee, I disagree. It sounds like you are not so much needing lots of pedal float, but needing to not fall while still being clipped in. I found that flats with 5/10 shoes don't give you any float because they are so sticky that your foot does not float at all. You would get more float from a clipless pedal. With the multi release cleat, I guarantee, that right from the first ride you will not have any awkward falls.

    I have used that cleat with Shimano 520 pedals, and they work ok with those, releasing just fine. But the M-647 pedal is so much better for me on technical trails because I can dab and reclip so much faster. So hard to miss the sweet spot with these. I don't have to think about putting my foot on them, or putting my foot down. For trail riding chunky trails they are awesome. Also, the platform on them gives you much more support.

    Do not get the M-624 pedals! Those are junk, and will break on rocks. I have beat my 647 pedals for 3 years on some horribly rocky trails, and they work great.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by twowheelsdown2002 View Post
    I use the Shimano SH-56 cleat with the M-647 pedals, and I love this combo! I live in Tucson, and I ride a Pivot Firebird converted to 650B, and I love really rocky, chunky trails. I am not a big jumper, but I ride some extremely rocky trails.

    I rode toe clips ever since 1985, and tried all kinds of clipless pedals(I worked at a bike shop for 10 years) I never felt totally confident with any clipless pedals when attacking really technical obstacles, and would end up falling and going back to toe clips and straps. Then about 5 years ago I tried 5/10 shoes on flats. I liked them on the downhills, but they sucked for me on technical climbs. I am a very good technical climber, but I kept loosing my feet when lunging up onto rocky ledges with the flats.

    Then I tried the M-647 with the 56 cleat. Total perfection for my style of riding! The way the mechanism flips up, makes them the absolute easiest pedal to clip into. Great for restarting in the middle of a techy climb for a retry. Dabbing is just as easy. In fact it is about the same as a platform pedal. You do not have to think about it. When you go to put your foot down, it just happens. You don't have to train yourself to do an exaggerated twist. It is totally intuitive, and I attack technical obstacles with zero fear that I won't be able to dab. But I also get the power to lunge up obstacles much better than I could with flats, and my foot never comes off on a rocky descent.

    The only downside I could see, is if you are a hucker that jumps and pitches the bike way sideways. That might clip you out.

    As to what Garson said about your knee, I disagree. It sounds like you are not so much needing lots of pedal float, but needing to not fall while still being clipped in. I found that flats with 5/10 shoes don't give you any float because they are so sticky that your foot does not float at all. You would get more float from a clipless pedal. With the multi release cleat, I guarantee, that right from the first ride you will not have any awkward falls.

    I have used that cleat with Shimano 520 pedals, and they work ok with those, releasing just fine. But the M-647 pedal is so much better for me on technical trails because I can dab and reclip so much faster. So hard to miss the sweet spot with these. I don't have to think about putting my foot on them, or putting my foot down. For trail riding chunky trails they are awesome. Also, the platform on them gives you much more support.

    Do not get the M-624 pedals! Those are junk, and will break on rocks. I have beat my 647 pedals for 3 years on some horribly rocky trails, and they work great.
    +1

    I've ridden with SH-56's for years now. I like to ride technical terrain clipped in for better control of the bike (both up and down). The SH-56's allow me to safely bail in an emergency without thinking or if I have to dab. If I endo, I'm able to bail and land on my feet (there's no way I could do that with SH-51's). The only times I have inadvertently unclipped has been when I have hit my foot hard on something, which hasn't been often at all. I've never unclipped when jumping. I use XTR pedals for all of my bikes. XT's are just as good. Also, Shimano cleats wear over time and become sloppy (as most cleats do), so getting new ones on a regular basis will keep things tight and working at an optimal level.

    As far a pedal float is concerned, increased pedal float is simply a band-aide approach to dealing with poor mechanics throughout the lower leg, principally originating with the feet. A shoe with greater toe spring (and not laced too tightly) will provide greater mechanical efficiency and less torsionally stress on the knee.

    i1dry?
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  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ericmopar View Post
    If you use the multi release cleats, you may as well use flat pedals.
    The whole idea, of being clipped in, is to be able to push and pull up steep grades and to add security in rough terrain.
    I never met anyone, that had a huge issue learning with standard release cleats.
    Just keep the tension as low as possible on the pedal and use standard cleats.
    I totally disagree! I love technical climbing, and people tell me I am exceptionally good at it. I have climbed hills that others said they never saw anyone else climb.

    I tried flats, and had trouble with my feet coming off when lunging up stair steps. I tried regular cleats and had times I could not dab fast enough. But with the 647 pedal, and 56 cleat, I climb better than flats, without losing my feet off the pedal, and I dab just as fast.

    You do need to up the tension on the 56 cleat. But no, a loosened up 51 does not function the same as a 56 cleat. You still have to rotate to a certain degree with a 51 even if it is loose. There is less resistance to rotate that far with it loose, but you still have to rotate the same distance.

    The 56 releases totally different. And when pushing forward across the top of the stroke, and when pulling backward across the bottom, I can still push and pull as hard as I want without my foot coming off. That is a big difference compared to flats.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonyi View Post
    On one trail, I quickly lost up hill traction in the loose sand, and as I was falling over, my feet came out like magic. Yep. I like these 56s.
    That to me is the key to the 56. The release is very intuitive. You don't have to think about any special machinations. Need to put a foot down? It just happens.

  56. #56
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    Reviving this thread because it helped me decide if I should get the 56. I'm a newbie. Got m520s and single release. Loosest setting and fell a few times. The sh56 is real easy to unclip and never fell once this weekend. But you can't have them on the loosest setting because it will unclip on its own over some terrain. They worked great for me. As I got more confident with them I increased the tension without any issues getting out.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by biker_soldier101 View Post
    Reviving this thread because it helped me decide if I should get the 56. I'm a newbie. Got m520s and single release. Loosest setting and fell a few times. The sh56 is real easy to unclip and never fell once this weekend. But you can't have them on the loosest setting because it will unclip on its own over some terrain. They worked great for me. As I got more confident with them I increased the tension without any issues getting out.
    been riding clipless since 2006. Have used the SH 56 the whole time. No issues with inadvertent unclipping. In panic situations they work fine. Feet pop out.

  58. #58
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    I stumbled on this thread and second the report on the 56 with PD-M647 pedals. Easy in, easy out, no release when pulling straight up. My guess is that the extra platform on the pedals prevents the heal from tipping forward to the point where it releases. I'm using keen pedal sandals.

  59. #59
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    Always liked the lightly clipped feel of the SH-56, esp when bailing, but recently I picked up some Mavic Mantra shoes on close-out & they make the SH-56 virtually unusable. I can clip out by rolling the shoe slightly outwards, without a twist, which, when the bike is sideways in the air, is somewhat annoying. Tried winding the tension right up, and put the thicker sole protection plate between the SPD and the shoe to create a slight gap between shoe sole and pedal body, but it's not much better. I think super-stiff carbon soled shoes like these are not the best with multi-release cleats - they work much better with a soft-soled shoe like the Tahoe... Gonna try the 51 cleats or sell the shoes...

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeEight View Post
    Actually that's not the idea of being clipped in at all. Your pedal stroke should NOT involve any pulling at all. It should be pushing only, in one continuous CIRCULAR motion.
    Uh, what?

    That is some gooood misinformation, there.

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  61. #61
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    SH-56 SPD cleats good/bad/ugly ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte View Post
    Uh, what?

    That is some gooood misinformation, there.

    ?
    Why do you think it is a misinformation?

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