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Thread: Cyclists! Do clipless pedals get easier?

  1. #1

    Cyclists! Do clipless pedals get easier?

    Iíve been fairly exclusively using a Trail e-bike with nice flat pedals on for both on and off-road entertainment. After a bit of a recent health scare Iíve upgraded myself to a road e-bike, with a view to daily riding.

    Having really struggled with the existing pedals (which have a flimsy plastic clip to keep your foot in), Iíve purchased some DHB shoes and some Shimano SPD clipless pedals. Iíve tried getting in and out of them and canít seem to reliable do so!? I canít seem to clip them in and when I do, I canít seem to disengage them easily.

    Is it just a case of practice? Will they loosen up over time?

  2. #2
    Craftsman
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    Shouldn't loosen up that much just practice twisting your foot.

  3. #3
    Master
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    There is usually a screw on them to adjust the resistance.

  4. #4

    Cyclists! Do clipless pedals get easier?

    Alternative to clipless are these

    https://www.bythlon.co.uk/?utm_term=...xoCPa0QAvD_BwE

    Iím a big fan of them and use them on my gravel bike
    Last edited by eagletower; 21st June 2021 at 17:40.

  5. #5
    Craftsman
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    As others have said above, they are adjustable.

    I don't have mine super tight, so that its easy to get off. I have only ever forgotten to unclip a couple of times in many years of road cycling. You will get into the habit of unclipping as you come up to a junction or somewhere you might need to stop.
    Best of luck to you, sounds like you are taking your life into the right direction.

    edit: One other thing you will notice with clips. You can pull the pedal up as well as push it down. Try it, it gives you a lot more power.

  6. #6
    Grand Master 100thmonkey's Avatar
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    Sounds like you have them too firm, back them off and as they wear in tighten them,

    Persoanlly i have mine at max so i donít unclip, youíll get used to doing a good firm twist
    "When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,
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  7. #7
    Master
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    The spd pedals will have either one or two small allen screws depending on the style. Ensure they are wound fully out anti clockwise. Also remember the cleat is close to the ball of your feet, so dont keep trying to push the middle of your foot into the pedal.

    In your opening post you ask does it get easier , 100% yes it does. I have three bikes with three different pedal combinations and I click in without thinking, it really does become muscle memory

  8. #8
    Iíll echo comments about it getting easier but there may be some hairy moments before it does. I wouldnít be without my spdís when blasting on or off-road on my hard tail.

  9. #9
    Craftsman SydR's Avatar
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    If you bought then new, and they are genuine Shimano SPD pedals, they should have been shipped at the minimum tension for release.

    I moved away from them, ho, as I found the release tension too variable and therefore unpredictable. I how use Time Atac pedals on my commuting bikes and Speedplay Zero pedals on my road / weekend bikes.

  10. #10
    Master
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    Use clips on my road bike and hybrid which I use on soft trails, could not use anything else to be honest. I would not be so keen on wet muddy mountain bike trails but each to their own. Over time you get used to them and as said they do loosen up and are quite easy to use.

  11. #11
    Craftsman
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    When I first installed SPD's it took a bit of getting used to. No problems now I have the resistance set correctly and falling over 3 times concentrates the mind somewhat.

  12. #12
    Craftsman
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    Cyclists! Do clipless pedals get easier?

    Give it a few weeks then you will never ever be able to use normal pedals again, and no one and I mean no one is immune to a comedy off at the lights or start line


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  13. #13
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    I use crank brothers candy pedals. Nothing to adjust. Come in different styles e.g. candy, mallet, etc. Find somewhere quiet e.g. a car park on a Sunday and ride around clipping and unclipping each leg separately. Then both. If you cant unclip one foot, dont focus on that unclip the other right away.

  14. #14
    Craftsman
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    THEY DO GET EASIER BUT AS MENTIONED THERE MAY BE THE ODD COMEDY MOMENT.

    turns off caps lock.........

    had one last year in the middle of Kingston; just got the balance wrong and went arse over in front of about 100 pedestrians; no graceful way to do that at 6'5"

    most recent was on a local backroad, went to push off and misjudged the camber; luckily my phone softened my fall!!

  15. #15
    I use crank bros Candy for road and MTB, they are practical and very easy to use

  16. #16
    I use SPDs and iclics. I use them at lowest tension so there is no knee stress unclipping.

    I never ever unclip accidentally so have never needed to tighten them up. Still had the odd comedy moment every few years, normally when filtering traffic and having to unexpectedly stop.

    As others have said, once it click (haha) you'll never want to go back.

  17. #17
    Master
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    Yes, it does get easier. New cleats and over-tight pedals can be a bit scary when approaching a junction or a queue of traffic, so make sure you avoid that combination if possible and adjust if necessary. They shouldn't need much effort to unclip while being adequately secure.

  18. #18
    Well, thanks for input folks.

    I've just completed my first ride and it went fairly well. Certainly much better once clipped in. I had a small hiccup at a set of lights trying to get clipped in, but otherwise they were quite revelatory!

    Looks like it's down to practice, I don't seem to have too much trouble unclipping, but more getting clipped in when starting from still.

  19. #19
    Master robcuk's Avatar
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    There are different SPD cleats, standard ones are quite limited in movement, but you can get ones that have a wider range of release goes, in short, they are easier to unclip on purpose, and also easier to unclip accidentally.

  20. #20
    Master Christian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robcuk View Post
    There are different SPD cleats, standard ones are quite limited in movement, but you can get ones that have a wider range of release goes, in short, they are easier to unclip on purpose, and also easier to unclip accidentally.
    Don't the SPD-SL cleats come in differing degrees of float (red=0, blue=2 degrees and red=6degrees) to accomodate different amounts of leg rotation (higher amount of rotation might be more comfortable but transfers less power) but the release tension is set by the adjustment on the pedal? That was the way I understood it, although I might be wrong.

  21. #21
    Master robcuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian View Post
    Don't the SPD-SL cleats come in differing degrees of float (red=0, blue=2 degrees and red=6degrees) to accomodate different amounts of leg rotation (higher amount of rotation might be more comfortable but transfers less power) but the release tension is set by the adjustment on the pedal? That was the way I understood it, although I might be wrong.
    You may be right, I havenít bought new SPDs in a long time._

  22. #22
    Craftsman
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    Once you start looking at float etc then you enter a wormhole that seems to never end


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  23. #23
    Master
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    In Look pedals there are fixed cleats (black, no float) and red which have float. Shimano has been mentioned. These are road pedals. Mtb are either adjustable in tension or like Candy pedals the tension is set. Then there are Speedplay which have a myriad of adjustment but this is only for those who have problem feet or know what they are doing. V.fiddly and expensive

  24. #24
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian View Post
    Don't the SPD-SL cleats come in differing degrees of float (red=0, blue=2 degrees and red=6degrees) to accomodate different amounts of leg rotation (higher amount of rotation might be more comfortable but transfers less power) but the release tension is set by the adjustment on the pedal? That was the way I understood it, although I might be wrong.
    Christian you have mentioned red twice, the 6 degree float is yellow, thats what I use
    Steve

  25. #25
    Master
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    I remember one time years ago, not long after Iíd started using clips, I was approaching traffic lights so I unclipped my right foot to put it down and the bike decided to lean to the left. I couldnít stop myself and I couldnít get my left foot out in time so over I went.
    The cars around me started honking their horns (laughter, not angry) so I did the only thing I could and that was give a big theatrical bow with a big grin on my face.
    I was dying inside though.

  26. #26
    Master Matt London's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaytip View Post
    I remember one time years ago, not long after Iíd started using clips, I was approaching traffic lights so I unclipped my right foot to put it down and the bike decided to lean to the left. I couldnít stop myself and I couldnít get my left foot out in time so over I went.
    The cars around me started honking their horns (laughter, not angry) so I did the only thing I could and that was give a big theatrical bow with a big grin on my face.
    I was dying inside though.
    I did the exact same thing on the junction of New North Road and Popham Road in Islington about 20 years ago.

    I only give the data as itís a fond memory of joining ĎThe Clubí. Itís a right of passage! 😊

  27. #27
    Master Christian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by higham5 View Post
    Christian you have mentioned red twice, the 6 degree float is yellow, thats what I use
    Steve
    Ah, yes, good spot.

    I'm a complete novice and have only just got a road bike last week. I just went middle ground and got the blue. Seem ok, but I've not really got any frame of reference.

  28. #28
    Master
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    Float is not to do with how easy they are to release, which is all to do with the adjustment on the pedal itself.

    Float is about how much lateral movement in the pedal your foot gets. When you are starting a bit of float is good. As you get more experienced and are more sure about the best cleat position for you, you might want to be more locked in, but bear in mind at times in cycling you are putting a lot of torque through your knees so if you are clamped into your pedals in a bad position for you it can be bad for them...

  29. #29
    Master
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    I tried spuds and crank bros a while back but just could not get in with either. In the end I tried some bmx pedals with vicious pegs that worked well enough.
    I do have weird hips though and my feet turn out making it almost impossible for me to turn my foot to unclip.


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  30. #30
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by SimonH View Post
    Float is not to do with how easy they are to release, which is all to do with the adjustment on the pedal itself.

    Float is about how much lateral movement in the pedal your foot gets. When you are starting a bit of float is good. As you get more experienced and are more sure about the best cleat position for you, you might want to be more locked in, but bear in mind at times in cycling you are putting a lot of torque through your knees so if you are clamped into your pedals in a bad position for you it can be bad for them...
    Many experienced riders and pros still operate with pedal float, itís not a matter of experience but more preference.

    The answer to the OP is itís just like anything else, practice makes perfect. Back the tension off and keep going.

  31. #31
    Craftsman andymonkey's Avatar
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    To echo everyone else, it will get easier!
    Iíve got spd pedals on my hybrid and my road bike and Iíve learnt to constantly be aware of upcoming hazards, junctions etc and will unclip just one foot just in case.
    At the start I forgot to unclip coming up to a stop and just gently keeled over. Itís strange to fall off and not be able to put your foot down. I soon learnt!!


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  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by westberks View Post
    THEY DO GET EASIER BUT AS MENTIONED THERE MAY BE THE ODD COMEDY MOMENT.

    turns off caps lock.........

    had one last year in the middle of Kingston; just got the balance wrong and went arse over in front of about 100 pedestrians; no graceful way to do that at 6'5"

    most recent was on a local backroad, went to push off and misjudged the camber; luckily my phone softened my fall!!
    Can be comedy, but my next door neighbour and massive cyclist couldnít unclip at the light, went over and did so much damage she has never cycled again

  33. #33
    Master Christian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andymonkey View Post
    To echo everyone else, it will get easier!
    I’ve got spd pedals on my hybrid and my road bike and I’ve learnt to constantly be aware of upcoming hazards, junctions etc and will unclip just one foot just in case.
    At the start I forgot to unclip coming up to a stop and just gently keeled over. It’s strange to fall off and not be able to put your foot down. I soon learnt!!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I went out for my first ride using SPDs last week...my experience was exactly the same. I've done a fair amount of cycling without being clipped in and am pretty confident on a push bike. I found I had to fight the temptation to slow to a stop at lights with both feet on the pedals and unclip earlier just in case.

  34. #34
    I use shimano MTB shoes with SPDs on my road bike, rubber soles give a better platform for pedalling when not clipped in.

    I also think MTB shoes look nicer than Roadie ones, and they're much nicer to walk in as the cleat is recessed in the sole. I prefer flat pedals on my mountain bike and don't have any issues swapping between the two styles of bike or pedal.

  35. #35
    Craftsman Lazydonkey's Avatar
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    As others have said it's a right of passage, although i do find the two bolt SPD (ie mountain bike / gravel bike) much easier than the road SPD-SLs (three bolt). At the end of the day it's just muscle memory, i jump between flats, spd and spd-sl and the brain just copes.

    When i was commuting i ended up just put flat pedals with pins on as i found they gave me 75% of the "locked in" feeling but was easier at the constant lights i had on my commute. Tried the pedals with spd on one side and flat on the other and found they always spun to the side i didn't want.

    So if you're struggling i'd recommend trying something like this with flat skate type trainers (vans, converse etc)
    https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/.../rp-prod156082

    I run them on the commuter and the version up on the mountain bike and they're fab.

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