Author Topic: Not really getting on with SPDs  (Read 4056 times)

Not really getting on with SPDs
« on: November 01, 2020, 08:59:52 pm »
I have , at last, started to ride using a clipless system.

However, I  after 10 or so rides I can't say that I feel relaxed when  riding them, especially in traffic and I ve yet to develop the twist and clip out instinct. The pedals used are SPD 520s.

Is this normal?  The release is, I think, set at it's lowest. Might I be  better off with another model of pedal or  should I just preserve?

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2020, 09:17:47 pm »
I have , at last, started to ride using a clipless system.

However, I  after 10 or so rides I can't say that I feel relaxed when  riding them, especially in traffic and I ve yet to develop the twist and clip out instinct. The pedals used are SPD 520s.

Is this normal?  The release is, I think, set at it's lowest. Might I be  better off with another model of pedal or  should I just preserve?

Unless you're sprinting in races, I'm not sure what the argument is in favour of clipping in for normal riding...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

PaulF

  • "World's Scariest Barman"
  • It's only impossible if you stop to think about it
Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2020, 09:25:05 pm »
I’d persevere. Find a quiet road and ride for 20 yards or so and stop, unclip and set off again. Repeat ad tedium.  Soon it will become second nature.

Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2020, 09:30:50 pm »
as suggested practice makes perfect.

Also note that

a) click'r type SPDs use an even lower retaining force and
b) SM-SH56 'Multi-release' cleats have an easier release than the standard SM-SH51 cleats

In theory most forms of frantic tugging will cause SM-SH56 cleats to release, unlike SM-SH51 cleats.

cheers

Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2020, 09:34:58 pm »
I ve yet to develop the twist and clip out instinct. The pedals used are SPD 520s.

I think that's completely normal. Takes a couple of months at least.

One tip is when you see traffic or a junction ahead is to unclip early and deliberately lean the bike very slightly to that side. That avoids having to do it all suddenly when you have to come to a stop. It's ok to pedal using the arch of your shoe when unclipped.

In time it will all become second nature.

Snakehips

  • Twixt London and leafy Surrey
    • Snakehips' Bikes
Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2020, 09:39:04 pm »
Stick with it.
I had problems and grazed knees to prove it.
These days I couldn't do without them (slight exaggeration)
Mustn't grumble in the circumstances .

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2020, 09:42:31 pm »
Yes, I'd say the 'instinct' thing is normal.

I'd persevere with it; there does come a point where *not* being clipped in feels odd, and shin-whackingly uncomfortable.

MikeFromLFE

  • Previously known as Millimole
Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2020, 09:52:47 pm »
I rode for lots of years (maybe 20) with toeclips and enthusiasticly took to SPDs sometime in the late 80s.
I can only remember two 'oh sh! t' moments - one where an Audax bunch had stopped to read an info control and I forgot to unclip and just fell over to riotous laughter.
For reasons best known to myself, and now completely forgotten, I decided this spring that I wanted to put toeclips onto my 'summer' bike - and they are uncomfortable, inconvenient and just plain annoying!

The moral? I think that it's a combination of frame of mind, and familiarity with the system.
Too many angry people - breathe & relax.

Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2020, 10:12:13 pm »
I have , at last, started to ride using a clipless system.

However, I  after 10 or so rides I can't say that I feel relaxed when  riding them, especially in traffic and I ve yet to develop the twist and clip out instinct. The pedals used are SPD 520s.

Is this normal?  The release is, I think, set at it's lowest. Might I be  better off with another model of pedal or  should I just preserve?

Why do you want to use them?   

I use them if I am racing, riding in a fast group, certainly for sprinting, and if I want to ride at high cadence off-road.  But otherwise, there isn't a reason to use them if you are not comfortable with them - other than fashion and that the 'click' is a pleasing sensation. 


Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2020, 11:08:46 pm »
10 rides is about the worst time as there is a developing battle between conscious and unconscious actions. It's a typical learning curve scenario. Just keep riding with them and all will become well. But be aware, this is also the time you are most likely to make a Pratt of yourself by stopping without uncoupling. It would be unusual if you didn't have one or two such incidents. The key trick it to unclip then stop not vice versa.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2020, 11:28:31 pm »
Unless you're sprinting in races, I'm not sure what the argument is in favour of clipping in for normal riding...

Safety.  But that only really applies if you're on three or more wheels or you've got enough clipless pedal experience that you're a liability without them.  Even on fixed or an ankle-eating recumbent, the safety advantage of foot retention is cancelled out if you're just going to have a clipless moment.

Other than that, it's mostly about being able to fudge around your biomechanical oddities with cleat adjustment, which is only beneficial if you have some.


The key trick it to unclip then stop not vice versa.

^ This.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2020, 02:52:37 am »
as suggested practice makes perfect.

Also note that

a) click'r type SPDs use an even lower retaining force and
b) SM-SH56 'Multi-release' cleats have an easier release than the standard SM-SH51 cleats

In theory most forms of frantic tugging will cause SM-SH56 cleats to release, unlike SM-SH51 cleats.

cheers

Brucey is 100% on the money here (again)

The A520 are not the best option though as they are single sided (I think) and an added pain for extra seconds of fiddling while trying to clip-in. A better option is the PD-ED500, much the same shape but double sided and 1000% easier. Also the PD-T400 which is from the "ClickR" range, double sided and the platform gives a bit more support/stability, clip-in/out both easier at all spring tension levels.

Well worth continuing, you WILL get it and it's very worthwhile, the SH-56 cleats are almost fool proof, release almost unconsciously when an emergency clip-out is needed and I have never experienced an unwanted clip-out, frankly I feel quite uncomfortable without them these days. Good luck

Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2020, 07:05:22 am »
I simply wanted to add my support to those sugesting you give it more time. I switched to SPDs about15 years ago and now cannot contemplate not having clipless pedals.

Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2020, 08:07:14 am »
Agree that double-sided pedals are twice as easy (if not more). Also back the tension right down while you get used to them so you can unclip with minimum force.

Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk


Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2020, 08:07:53 am »
Good advice above about the two types of cleat.
When the Wattbike studio I was involved in was open we found that if people started using them on those they developed the instinctive clip out action in a safe situation.
Maybe if you have a turbo or similar you could ride that for a bit, clipping in and out every few minutes.

T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2020, 08:17:08 am »
What Brucey said, and back off the retaining springs to a minimum.  I've been on SPDs for well over 20 years, and the only times I've fallen off because of them - after the initial obligatory spill when I first tried them - was when I stopped on a 10% climb and couldn't get the bike moving fast enough to clip in again before I fell over.  That's when I switched to double-sided SPDs like you have.

Don't worry about the bike staying attached to your feet if you have a spill, either.  I've had a few over the last 20 years and never once have the pedals not released.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2020, 08:52:48 am »
PS Just to clarify, the A520 are single sided (bad) but the M520 are double (good) and IMO the ClickR types like the T400 are best

Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2020, 09:28:52 am »
I tend to side with those who advocate sticking with them.  My solo bikes all have either Look style or SPD clipless pedals and I would not want to go back to using ordinary pedals.

My tandem has normal pedals and it feels very odd not to be properly 'connected' with the bike.  I'm a novice tandem rider and not yet good enough at starting off from rest to be confident in using clipless, but I'll fit them in due course as I gain experience/ confidence.

Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2020, 09:42:18 am »

Safety.  But that only really applies if you're on three or more wheels or you've got enough clipless pedal experience that you're a liability without them.  Even on fixed or an ankle-eating recumbent, the safety advantage of foot retention is cancelled out if you're just going to have a clipless moment.

Other than that, it's mostly about being able to fudge around your biomechanical oddities with cleat adjustment, which is only beneficial if you have some.

I can't speak about trikes or recumbents but what is the safety argument for being clipped in on a DF / safety bicycle?  Even on fixed, foot slipping off has never been a problem.  And probably much easier for an ingrained cleat user to adjust to not using cleats than for a non-user to adjust to them, no?

Also you can do biomechanical stuff without cleats: I have 4mm of plastic under the insole of my left shoe!

Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2020, 09:55:21 am »
FWIW I have been riding occasionally with a friend who did a lot of riding BITD using clips and straps and has ridden for utility purposes since (mostly using flat pedals) but  is now more 'getting back into it'.   Over the past few months various changes to equipment, riding position etc have been made by him as deemed necessary.    The current state of play is that cycling shoes (which would accept SPD cleats) are being used on flat pedals, pending fitment of clips and straps or SPD pedals.

  I reckon his feet usually slip on the pedals a couple of times in a typical 25 mile ride.   How much of this is due to his older habits (which can't have disappeared entirely) and how much is due to the fact that the shoes are probably slippier on the pedals than (say) training shoes would be, I'm not sure.   But it certainly isn't what I'd call 'safe'.

cheers

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2020, 09:57:17 am »
Having pulled a foot at high revs on a fixed a long time ago, it was only luck that kept me off the deck. Worn cleats get replaced a bit earlier since then.

HK has a 5mm spacer under her Keo cleat to help adjust for a leg length difference. Her SPD bikes have different crank lengths to achieve a similar effect. Both Keo and SPD shoes also have 5mm built up insoles to accommodate the remaining difference.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2020, 09:58:06 am »

Safety.  But that only really applies if you're on three or more wheels or you've got enough clipless pedal experience that you're a liability without them.  Even on fixed or an ankle-eating recumbent, the safety advantage of foot retention is cancelled out if you're just going to have a clipless moment.

Other than that, it's mostly about being able to fudge around your biomechanical oddities with cleat adjustment, which is only beneficial if you have some.

I can't speak about trikes or recumbents but what is the safety argument for being clipped in on a DF / safety bicycle?  Even on fixed, foot slipping off has never been a problem.  And probably much easier for an ingrained cleat user to adjust to not using cleats than for a non-user to adjust to them, no?

Also you can do biomechanical stuff without cleats: I have 4mm of plastic under the insole of my left shoe!

IME, feet slipping off happen when:

Shoes are covered in mud/snow.
Rider is extremely exhausted.
Shoes are hard/smooth and pedals don't have much bite.

Both of those happen often enough that I think clips are worthwhile.

The sort of flat pedals that prevent shoes from slipping do this by having surfaces akin to shark teeth; plenty of times I've had these maul my shins! Even a tentative bump is enough to draw blood from a bare shin!

I find that they make a real difference riding uphill.

Also, for me, a major advantage is that i can have my shoe laced up loosely, giving my foot plenty of room to swell, move, wriggle toes; and I'm still secure on the pedal.

Would never go back to toeclips after using SPDs.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2020, 10:36:23 am »
FWIW I have been riding occasionally with a friend who did a lot of riding BITD using clips and straps and has ridden for utility purposes since (mostly using flat pedals) but  is now more 'getting back into it'.   Over the past few months various changes to equipment, riding position etc have been made by him as deemed necessary.    The current state of play is that cycling shoes (which would accept SPD cleats) are being used on flat pedals, pending fitment of clips and straps or SPD pedals.

  I reckon his feet usually slip on the pedals a couple of times in a typical 25 mile ride.   How much of this is due to his older habits (which can't have disappeared entirely) and how much is due to the fact that the shoes are probably slippier on the pedals than (say) training shoes would be, I'm not sure.   But it certainly isn't what I'd call 'safe'.

cheers

He is using the wrong type of shoes!  Needs shoes designed for the purpose, like FiveTens, or other shoes with softer soles - basically skate shoes or trainers.  Cycling shoe soles are too stiff for flat pedals. 

I've ridden thousands of miles since I stopped using foot retention when I don't need it and foot slipping off has not been a problem.  It would be a problem if I tried to do the things that I mentioned, like sprinting or high cadence offroad. 

High cadence on a turbo is not a problem - I've done 150+ rpm withouth having a foot come off.

Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #23 on: November 02, 2020, 10:47:59 am »
Having pulled a foot at high revs on a fixed a long time ago, it was only luck that kept me off the deck. Worn cleats get replaced a bit earlier since then.

HK has a 5mm spacer under her Keo cleat to help adjust for a leg length difference. Her SPD bikes have different crank lengths to achieve a similar effect. Both Keo and SPD shoes also have 5mm built up insoles to accommodate the remaining difference.

I actually now feel safer on fixed with flats.   For example, I lost a foot on fixed the other week when sprinting downhill for the lights (on the A40 coming into Denham by the turnoff for Ruislip where the BP garage is).  I made the green light but the tarmac in the junction was churned up, so a foot came off. 

I got both feet clear immediately and coasted through until my speed had fallen so I could get my feet back on the pedals.  Took half way to the M25 roundabout!

Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #24 on: November 02, 2020, 10:51:02 am »
Stick at it. With clipless I feel attached to the bike and as a result significantly more in control. Using flats now feels weird.
Rust never sleeps