Author Topic: Not really getting on with SPDs  (Read 4058 times)

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #25 on: November 02, 2020, 12:54:17 pm »

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.

Fewer bashed shins and inadvertent loss of bike control.  This is mostly an off-road thing, thobut, and plenty of off-road riders prefer flats for speed of putting your foot down.  YMMV.

It's much more important on a cycle where you can run over your own ankle if your foot slips off the pedals.

(On a trike there are almost no downsides to foot retention, as you don't need to put a foot down to stop.  Completely unskilled users can safely use SPDs on a trike.)


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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?

Oh, sure.  Not that that's relevant to the OP.  TBH the main issue with flats if you're out of practice is forgetting to reset the pedals and faffing around when you start off at traffic lights.


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

That won't keep your knee aligned just-so, which was the main benefit (apart from reduced shoe wear) I got from SPDs when I first used them.  It doesn't seem to matter as much these days, as I have stronger quads, but I probably wouldn't have got there without them.

My preferred approach to correcting leg-length mismatch is crank length.  Mainly because I want to be able to use clipless sandals for touring, which precludes orthotics or shimming the cleat.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

SoreTween

  • Most of me survived the Pennine Bridleway.
Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #26 on: November 02, 2020, 12:58:25 pm »
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.
Edge case I know but I'll add when the rider has motor control and/or joint issues.  My left calf & shin were a constant scene of scrapes and cuts from the day I learned to ride up to I gave it up having learned to drive.  When I returned to riding after the PSO years it happened again but by then SPDs were available and I took a chance.  Yes there were clipless moments (a lot of clipless moments1) and they still happen a few times a year but I wouldn't be without them.  Even my Brompton has SPD pedals on it.  I did try rat traps as a kid but never got on with them.

Stick with it, it is worth it.  Once it is instinctive you'll feel oddly disconnected without them (which of course you are).

1I can see what you are thinking, it was a lot more than that.  Much, more.  More!  Keep going.  Now you are getting close.
2020 targets: None
There is only one infinite resource in this universe; human stupidity.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #27 on: November 02, 2020, 01:03:44 pm »
I'm not sure ten rides is enough to get used to them. I'd say:
Practice just clipping in and out with each foot while stationary with the other foot on the ground.
Make a conscious effort to unclip in advance of junctions, red lights, etc.
Consider using the multi-release cleats, which allow unclipping from a variety of angles.
Give it a couple of months and if you don't get on with it, there's no scandal in going back to whatever you had before.
Let's go for a ride to the Old Sawmill, Valentina, Buzz and you.

Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #28 on: November 02, 2020, 01:46:34 pm »
I must confess that I am mostly with Frank  & Quixotic on this and was largely using toe clips before. Though I have now moved onto flat pedals with pins, which are better still.

When I  first started out in the late 70s  toe clips where exotic pieces of equipment mostly used by racing cyclists. The latter were a rare and elusive breed who wore cleats. And if you look at the pictures in Rough Stuff Fellowship archive or the CTC Cycling Special video then few of them use toe clips and not many are wearing what we then called cycling shoes.

However, one of the reasons I finally shifted to "clipless" was because it's hard to get decent cycling shoes that aren't designed for SPD use only. This being one of the reasons I tried using SPDS  them on my new bike.

It may well have to do with confidence , and as some of you have suggested, I may need a different cleat. I have, I believe, kept the springs at their lowest tension. Also wondering if a pair with a platform, eg the 530s of the M324 might be a better choice.

So let's persevere for a while yet.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #29 on: November 02, 2020, 01:51:46 pm »
Also wondering if a pair with a platform, eg the 530s of the M324 might be a better choice.

Having a platform like that is handy if  a) you want to be able to nip to the shops without bike shoes  or  b) you regularly find yourself wanting to ride in the unclipped state for ease of stopping (eg. on busy shared-use paths).

They'll also help you get the bike up to speed without successfully clipping in, if you're finding that an issue, but I'd expect that to get easier with practice.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #30 on: November 02, 2020, 01:55:34 pm »
However, one of the reasons I finally shifted to "clipless" was because it's hard to get decent cycling shoes that aren't designed for SPD use only. This being one of the reasons I tried using SPDS  them on my new bike.
Lots of MTB shoes are designed with trainer-type soles. And most SPD shoes can be used on flat pedals by simply not removing the little piece of plastic or rubber that covers the cleat bolts.

They'll also help you get the bike up to speed without successfully clipping in, if you're finding that an issue, but I'd expect that to get easier with practice.
Useful IMO on hill starts.
Let's go for a ride to the Old Sawmill, Valentina, Buzz and you.

Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #31 on: November 02, 2020, 01:58:59 pm »
Thanks,  but good MTB  shoes that can be used without cleats are, I find, getting rarer.  I do have the Exustars  but their toe box is far too small for my wide feet.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #32 on: November 02, 2020, 02:16:49 pm »
They'll also help you get the bike up to speed without successfully clipping in, if you're finding that an issue, but I'd expect that to get easier with practice.
Useful IMO on hill starts.

As is the advanced SPD skill of being able to pedal one-footed.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #33 on: November 02, 2020, 02:20:41 pm »
I like clip-ins when I'm spinning fast - less danger of foot slipping.  Also, when I'm waiting at traffic lights, I can move the RH pedal to the right height for pushing off again.  And, having legs of different lengths, when I'm standing on the pedals my left foot is pointing down at around 30° to the vertical, and the pedal stops it slipping off forwards.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #34 on: November 02, 2020, 03:21:06 pm »
One thing I can never do even with about 20+ years of spds is to twist my foot outwards. I can only ever unclip by twisting onwards and knocking my heel on the seat tube. My older bikes have paint wear on both sides to testify this. The newer ones get taped here.

I don’t know if it’s an anatomical thing or it’s just what I’m now used to.

Might be worth seeing if you unclip better the wrong way like I do.

Oh and a friend I ride with claims he’s never had a ‘whoops’ moment forgetting to unclip and toppling over even when learning. I don’t believe him.
Duct tape is magic and should be worshipped

Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #35 on: November 02, 2020, 03:27:33 pm »
While I can see there are flexibility benefits to beartrap type pedals, I don't see any advantage to clips and straps over clipless pedals (excepting track sprinting I guess). If you are used to pulling your feet back to get out of clips and straps, then making the transition to twisting to unclip might take a little while (definitely more than 10 rides), but once you get used to it it is much easier. I had at least 1 "clipless moment" when learning clips and straps (with trainers on a MTB) :)

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #36 on: November 02, 2020, 04:00:23 pm »
I actually now feel safer on fixed with flats.

My fixed gear bike is the one I use for mostly utility riding, and it currently has flat pedals fitted. I find the convenience of being able to hop on without needing special footwear outweighs any other considerations. I certainly don't feel unsafe riding it - although I would say that spinning furiously downhill when your feet are not attached to the pedals is a good way to sharpen your focus on your pedalling technique!  ;D

I'm not sure ten rides is enough to get used to them.

Absolutely. Nowhere near long enough to properly get used to them.

When I first went clipless, I got on fine with them from the start, and didn't have my first proper 'clipless moment' until I'd been using them for a few weeks, which was probably down to getting complacent. But I wouldn't say I properly 'got used to them' until after a few months of regular use.

I never got on with toeclips.
"The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles."

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #37 on: November 02, 2020, 04:03:49 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.

I took a few rides to get the hang of it; they were amusing MTB easy-XC rides for the guys with me.
Probably the better environment to get the hang of SPD in IMO

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #38 on: November 02, 2020, 05:06:48 pm »
One thing I can never do even with about 20+ years of spds is to twist my foot outwards. I can only ever unclip by twisting onwards and knocking my heel on the seat tube. My older bikes have paint wear on both sides to testify this. The newer ones get taped here.

I don’t know if it’s an anatomical thing or it’s just what I’m now used to.
I used to find the same and for me, the multi-release cleats helped a lot. I think it's (for me) because the SH51 you have to twist your foot in a flat plane, my ankle was automatically twisting up at the same time as the outward motion. Also possible I had my saddle too high.
Let's go for a ride to the Old Sawmill, Valentina, Buzz and you.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #39 on: November 02, 2020, 05:08:10 pm »
While I can see there are flexibility benefits to beartrap type pedals, I don't see any advantage to clips and straps over clipless pedals (excepting track sprinting I guess). If you are used to pulling your feet back to get out of clips and straps, then making the transition to twisting to unclip might take a little while (definitely more than 10 rides), but once you get used to it it is much easier. I had at least 1 "clipless moment" when learning clips and straps (with trainers on a MTB) :)
You can wear whatever you want and still easily position your pedals at the preferred angle while stopped.
Let's go for a ride to the Old Sawmill, Valentina, Buzz and you.

T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #40 on: November 02, 2020, 05:17:19 pm »
While I can see there are flexibility benefits to beartrap type pedals, I don't see any advantage to clips and straps over clipless pedals (excepting track sprinting I guess). If you are used to pulling your feet back to get out of clips and straps, then making the transition to twisting to unclip might take a little while (definitely more than 10 rides), but once you get used to it it is much easier. I had at least 1 "clipless moment" when learning clips and straps (with trainers on a MTB) :)
You can wear whatever you want and still easily position your pedals at the preferred angle while stopped.

Sure, but I feel like a fool when I'm on a bike with flats, lift my foot and find the pedal doesn't come with.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #41 on: November 02, 2020, 07:29:07 pm »
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.

And BMXers can turn 150+ rpm while jumping over doubles but I have some leg nerve damage (and dubious coordination) and pedal lumpy at the best of times. Foot retention is the only way I can reliably keep my feet on the pedals in difficult situations. SPDs are a decent compromise for me.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #42 on: November 02, 2020, 07:48:59 pm »
Anyway, the "Is foot retention worth it?" question is a bit like the "Should I spin or mash?" one:  Like pedalling at higher cadence, you can only really determine whether clipless pedals (or straps or whatever) are worthwhile for you once you've persevered enough to become reasonably competent at using them.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #43 on: November 02, 2020, 08:14:12 pm »
To  return to flat  pedals.  Frank , thanks for the advice on shoes and flat pedals.   Should they be at all stiff ? I am wondering if stiff road shoes and flat pedals might have been the cause of the tendonitis in my ankle.   What about walking shoes from  Decathlon?

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #44 on: November 02, 2020, 08:22:46 pm »
To  return to flat  pedals.  Frank , thanks for the advice on shoes and flat pedals.   Should they be at all stiff ? I am wondering if stiff road shoes and flat pedals might have been the cause of the tendonitis in my ankle.   What about walking shoes from  Decathlon?

I use walking trainers with shimano M324 pedals. I have two pairs of specialized MTB shoes. But only one pair has cleats fitted. I very very rarely use the proper MTB shoes, i just can't find any benefit from them. I don't put enough power down to worry.

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

Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #45 on: November 02, 2020, 08:37:28 pm »
I'd counter that slightly, for my experience only, but when I first got our exercise bike I just used my normal trainers and found afterwards my whole foot hurt.

I eventually figured out the sole of the trainers was too soft and my foot was flexing too much. Using by spare cycling shoes, albeit without cleats fitted, and I've not had a problem since.

Then again, I'm sure if I'd stuck with it my foot would have toughened up and gotten used to it.
Miles cycled 2014 = 3551.5 (Target 7300 :()
Miles cycled 2013 = 6141.4
Miles cycled 2012 = 4038.1

Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #46 on: November 03, 2020, 05:47:02 am »
a couple of years ago for a cross country ride that potentially involved a lot of carrying I used trainers with homemade stiff insoles that I could remove if extended walking was required. The fibre glass resin cured to a very pink colour so they looked like two rashers of bacon,

Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #47 on: November 03, 2020, 12:48:05 pm »
To  return to flat  pedals.  Frank , thanks for the advice on shoes and flat pedals.   Should they be at all stiff ? I am wondering if stiff road shoes and flat pedals might have been the cause of the tendonitis in my ankle.   What about walking shoes from  Decathlon?

It does depend on your pedals a bit but, as long as they are decent-sized, you want flexible shoes as they will grip better.  The one thing above all that you do not want is SPD shoes without cleats, as they won't grip as too stiff. Stiff shoes are only a thing if you have a really small contact point - ie cleats.

You can add more support for your foot with insoles.  I use Specialized blue and Superfeet.  The latter are carbon so very stiff and give great foot support without comprimising grip. 

The leading flat pedal cycling shoe brand is Five-Ten (owned by Addidas).
https://www.adidas.co.uk/five_ten

But loads of other brands make cycling-specific shoes for flat pedals, including Shimano, Specialized, NorthWave, etc.
Here's a guide:
http://hub.chainreactioncycles.com/buying-guides/footwear/going-flat-years-top-flat-shoes-mtb/

Lots of people use trail running shoes. The classics are Salomon, but there are others.  I did a long ride last summer in Innov8 shoes and they were fine.  I would be happy to ride all day in any comfortable pair of trainers, and Decathlon walking shoes look fine.  Ideally they would have a flat sole (heel not that much higher than sole - called zero heel drop in trail running shoe circles) with no instep, but not a dealbreaker.

Finally, here's a link to a guy who has thought about pedals a lot:
https://www.bikejames.com/strength/how-clipless-pedals-really-work-why-they-are-just-like-a-weight-belt-for-your-feet-and-why-you-shouldnt-rely-on-them-every-time-you-ride/


Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #48 on: November 03, 2020, 12:53:07 pm »
There's a lot to be said for a nice chunky set of BMX pedals if you're going to use flats.  Pins are good at improving grip, but aren't kind to either shoes or shins.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Not really getting on with SPDs
« Reply #49 on: November 03, 2020, 01:05:32 pm »
There's a lot to be said for a nice chunky set of BMX pedals if you're going to use flats.  Pins are good at improving grip, but aren't kind to either shoes or shins.

I was pretty wary of pins when I started using flats again about three years ago, both for my shins and shoes, but those fears have not been borne out by experience:

- I've never had more than a tiny scratch from them.  OTOH I have really hurt my shin a few times when I've not clipped in properly and the pedal has swung round hard. 

- And I'm still using my first pair of Five Tens after several thousands of miles.  The inner has worn some holes and may well wear out before the sole!