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Noob wanting to go clipless...help!

Old 08-28-19, 02:22 PM
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wiscobadger
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Noob wanting to go clipless...help!

Hi All! I have a Trek 1.2 and I'm looking to go over to clipless shoes/pedals. I mostly use my bike for exercise, never really to go to the grocery store or commute. I see that REI has a sale going on but I'm not sure if it would make sense for me to go for a full road shoe with SPD-SL pedals or if I should go with a mountain shoe and A530-SPD pedals. Any recommendations?
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Old 08-28-19, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by wiscobadger View Post
Hi All! I have a Trek 1.2 and I'm looking to go over to clipless shoes/pedals. I mostly use my bike for exercise, never really to go to the grocery store or commute. I see that REI has a sale going on but I'm not sure if it would make sense for me to go for a full road shoe with SPD-SL pedals or if I should go with a mountain shoe and A530-SPD pedals. Any recommendations?
Standard answer is that spd is more walkable. It's all I use, but I commute. My Botranger SSR shoes are comfortable and discreet enough to wear all day at work if I forget my shoes. I like those shimano pedals, they may be my next ones, have a similar, but smaller, wellgo pedal now.

Speedplay look nice, but pricey. Might be a future choice if I do more, but I don't really find any lack with spd
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Old 08-28-19, 02:41 PM
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I like walk-ability. I tried the 530s cuz I wound up with them by accident or they came w a used bike or something like that. but I eventually switched to a wider MTB pedal w a bigger platform & I'm happy with my choice for myself. these are FUNN Mambas

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Old 08-28-19, 03:20 PM
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If you wanna go clipless and retain the ability to walk at least a little bit normal, forget the SL's. Plain ol' SPD is what you're looking for. Shimano 520's are about the best value in an SPD pedal, but there is zero platform on the pedal. Every time you want to ride, you'll have to have the correct shoes on. Yeah, you can pedal with regular shoes on a set of 520's but it's not comfortable or practical.

If you go with a single sided SPD platform type pedal you can ride with either kind of shoes, but every single time you put your foot to the pedal you have to have your foot on the correct side. Some single sided pedals are weighted to keep the pedal oriented in a consistent fashion, but most are just something you have to fiddle with.

Dual sided SPD's with a platform are another choice, and one I recommend. Having a little bit of platform surrounding the SPD retainer provides some stability to your foot and ankle. You won't have to fumble around, trying to feel with your foot for the correct side like with single sided pedals and there's usually sufficient platform for the occasional street shoe ride.

There are tons of knock-off SPD compatible pedals on the market, so your choices are many. I recommend no matter what brand of SPD compatible pedal you buy, buy a set of genuine Shimano brand cleats. Specifically the SH-56 Multi Directional Release design. The SH-56's will retain your foot very well, yet release in any direction with enough of a yank -- they're great for beginners as well as seasoned pros.

Chances are you'll fall over. At least once. If/when you do, don't put your hand out to break your fall, use your forearm. The bones in your wrist will be happier if you use your forearm.


-Kedosto
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Old 08-28-19, 03:49 PM
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Another vote for SPD. I use the single sided A520 and A600 on my road bike, but I think starting out you'll be more comfortable with double sided. Shimano SPD pedals usually come with a set of cleats. Plan ahead and be consistent with your pedal release. It soon becomes second nature.
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Old 08-28-19, 03:51 PM
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SPD with dual sided A520.

That way you can take a casual ride with sneakers if you like.
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Old 08-28-19, 03:56 PM
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Some valuable info Kedosto posted. I went thru the newb clipless exercise a few weeks ago at REI. Ended up with Shimano SPD ED500 with the SH56 cleats. Very pleased with the results and would do the same again.
I initially purchased Spd-SL pedals. By coincidence a friend was just starting out on these before I tried mine. That convinced me to exchange them for the SPD.
They all work. Good riding either path you decide to take.

edit: the ED500 pedal comes with the SH56 cleats so you do not have to buy those separately.

Last edited by Fendertele; 08-28-19 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 08-28-19, 04:14 PM
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I've been using Shimano SPD's for 20+ yrs. both on my Road and Mtb bikes with a pair of Lake Mtb shoes. Recently picked up a pair of Shimano Touring shoes that look like Road shoes but have enough rubber allowing limited walking.

I set up the spring tension for very light and quick release. I tried going back to cycling with platform pedals and running shoes (for casual rides) but after about 2 wks I developed a pain in the hip. The pain went away after going back to being "clipped-in"......
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Old 08-28-19, 04:22 PM
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Thanks all! So then on the shoes, go with a MTB shoe? Overall skip the A530 SPD and go with a double sided clipless? I should maybe go to REI and see, but it doesn't look like they have a good stock of pedals I'm looking at from online.
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Old 08-28-19, 04:36 PM
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Some road shoes will accept both cleat styles. I tried road and MTB shoes on in the store. Much easier to walk in the MTB shoes. Got the Shimano ME3 for reference.
There are pros and cons to both styles. Pick one out that fits you well and gives you confidence.
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Old 08-28-19, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Fendertele View Post
Some road shoes will accept both cleat styles. I tried road and MTB shoes on in the store. Much easier to walk in the MTB shoes. Got the Shimano ME3 for reference.
There are pros and cons to both styles. Pick one out that fits you well and gives you confidence.
That's what I was just looking at. Did yours come with the SH56 cleats then or did you buy those in addition? My store doesn't have the pedals or shoes in stock so I have to order online unfortunately.
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Old 08-28-19, 04:44 PM
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Question for the OP: what size shoe do you wear?
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Old 08-28-19, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by delbiker1 View Post
Question for the OP: what size shoe do you wear?
10.5-11 depending on the shoe. I have some 45 Shimanos home and need the 46.
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Old 08-28-19, 04:48 PM
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I have a pair of spd shoes I would have sent you for the cost of shipping, only size 9.
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Old 08-28-19, 05:37 PM
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Whatever pedals you buy, they will come with cleats. The cleats will NOT be SH-56ís. You will need to buy the 56ís separately (approx $12-15). I donít know how sensitive your budget, but IMO theyíre worth the extra cost.

Universal Cycles ó- SH56 $12.99


-Kedosto

Last edited by Kedosto; 08-28-19 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 08-28-19, 05:42 PM
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Mtb shoes usually hide the cleat in the sole for walkability. If you aren't getting off the bike, road shoes are lighter and sometimes better ventilated, but you'll wear or the cleats worn walking unless though cover them.
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Old 08-29-19, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by wiscobadger View Post
Thanks all! So then on the shoes, go with a MTB shoe? Overall skip the A530 SPD and go with a double sided clipless? I should maybe go to REI and see, but it doesn't look like they have a good stock of pedals I'm looking at from online.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...QM2IX6RR&psc=1

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Old 08-29-19, 08:47 AM
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w/ recessed cleats in MTB shoes & cuz my Mambas are so big, even if I don't clip in right away, there's enough platform to pedal until I get connected. & it doesn't matter what side is up when I started cuz of the pedal size. also it's pretty easy to find the cleat &/or flip the pedal over to the cleated side after I get going
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Old 08-29-19, 08:51 AM
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$169 wow, hope you like them!

fwiw I like my Giro Chamber MTB shoes. they're not handsome, but they're comfortable w a generous toe box (& not expensive)

Last edited by rumrunn6; 08-29-19 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 08-29-19, 02:35 PM
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I was in the same boat recently, and after considering other's experiences and my own wants, I went with Look Keo 2 Max. So far I really like them.

Did I fall? Yes, at a stop light, and it was no big deal.

Are they hard to walk in? Frankly, that issue is overblown, imo. They aren't that bad. Just today, I had a flat and walked down the block a ways, carrying my bike to a park so I could sit and repair the flat. I didn't have a problem doing that.

The difference in feel is really eye opening. Whatever system you choose, and I don't think you can go wrong with any of the common options, the connection to the bike is different in a very good way. At least I think so.
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Old 08-29-19, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
$169 wow, hope you like them!
I do!

I learned not to "cheap out" when it comes to certain passions and/or hobbies. Get what you want and be done with it. In a week or two, you won't notice the monetary difference. What usually happens when you try to take the least expensive approach is, you blow your money on something you really don't want, then turn right around and buy what you did want in the first place, ultimately wasting money on the first purchase.

It's okay to be frugal ...to a certain point. But get what you really want, even if it means a bit more $$$.
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Old 08-29-19, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by wiscobadger View Post
Hi All! I have a Trek 1.2 and I'm looking to go over to clipless shoes/pedals. I mostly use my bike for exercise, never really to go to the grocery store or commute. I see that REI has a sale going on but I'm not sure if it would make sense for me to go for a full road shoe with SPD-SL pedals or if I should go with a mountain shoe and A530-SPD pedals. Any recommendations?
Ok....I found the model #'s.
I'm using Shimano PD-M520 SPD pedals($60) with Shimano RT82 SPD Touring shoes($90). Prices in CDN $$.
The springs on the pedals are set Low for quick release and the shoes have enough sole so the cleats are recessed for walking. The shoes look like Road shoes without the bulky lugs and weight of MTB shoes.
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Old 08-30-19, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by one4smoke View Post
I do!I learned not to "cheap out" when it comes to certain passions and/or hobbies. Get what you want and be done with it. In a week or two, you won't notice the monetary difference. What usually happens when you try to take the least expensive approach is, you blow your money on something you really don't want, then turn right around and buy what you did want in the first place, ultimately wasting money on the first purchase.It's okay to be frugal ...to a certain point. But get what you really want, even if it means a bit more $$$.
so true. when I got into "cycling" as an adult, I went thru a long painful used cr*p phase, also trying to cheat, using clothing that wasn't cycling specific. it's a long hard expensive lesson to learn ...now I shop for cycling specific stuff but try to be frugal where possible. but I never regret buying quality
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Old 08-30-19, 08:37 AM
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If you do choose SPD, keep in mind that there are two different styles of cleats.




SH51 single release cleats are designed for aggressive riding and racing.

SH56 multi release cleats are designed for more casual riding and touring. These are easier to unclip.

Sometimes racers and aggressive riders get the SH56 cleats and pull out from the pedals when riding hard and decided that the pedals suck. Sometimes people who tour or ride casually mistakenly get the SH521 cleats, have difficulty unclipping and also decide that the pedals suck. In both cases they simply have the wrong cleats.

I know a guy who does pub crawls and prefers the 56 cleats because he can unclip easier when drunk.


-Tim-
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Old 08-30-19, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
I know a guy who does pub crawls and prefers the 56 cleats because he can unclip easier when drunk.
that's hysterical. but also kinda how I ride. meaning I use the multi release cleats & set the tension low. it's kinda like almost riding with w/ 1/2 clips aka mini clips. meaning even if I forget to uncleat they still come out when my leg & foot want to get off
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