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Clip Shoes - Help

I am a newbie but want to ride with clip pedals and shoes. My birthday is coming up, so will ask for some shoes and pedals. I have seen some nice flatish Shimano SPD Pedals and have found shoes. Do i need to by the cleats on their own, do i need fixed our floats.....please help.


  • TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    cleats will come with the pedals, they will be floats, giving you a small degree of movement. This is what you want, fixed cleats can really damage your knees badly if they are fixed even a mm out of place and cause your leg to track abnormally. If you get shimano I think they will be orange, and grey if you get looks.
  • BlinkybazBlinkybaz Posts: 1,144
    Hey JasonCull

    All good questions!

    Try searching for Cycle shoes and Pedals..Pedals...pedals on this forum. Loads of info in there.
  • TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    sort of yes moonshine, but they are easily clipped out by flicking your heel out. It takes a bit of getting used to though!
  • scuse the ignorance but are your feet actually stuck to the pedals

    Yes. There's a metal lump on the bottom of the shoe - the "cleat" - and this fits into a mechanism in the pedal, with a kind of catch (with a spring).

    To engage, you just push the cleat down into the mechanism. The catch then holds it in place so the pedal is firmly fastened to the shoe. At first it can take a bit of practice since you can't see the top of the pedal or the underside of your foot whilst you're doing it; but it very soon becomes second nature - just put your shoe down on the pedal, and it'll lock in place.

    To disengage, you rotate your foot sideways in a particular way. Again, it'll take a bit of practice, but it'll soon become second nature.

    When I first moved to SPDs, donkeys years ago, I went to a park to practice clipping & unclipping. The park was great; lots of open smooth paths to practice on, no risk of being mown down by a car whilst wobbling or failing to stop, and of course there's soft grass to fall on. However, when at first I couldn't unclip, I made the mistake of trying to prop myself against a spiky old iron railing...

    so you can't easily stick a foot down whislt doing the novice cycler wobble?

    After a couple of rides it'll be really easy for you to put your foot down.
  • Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    If you can find a proper cycle shop, they will set the shoes up for you. Even easier for them if you have the bike/pedals with you.

    There is a certain amount of adjustment that can be done - they key one being how firmly they grip/how it it is to release.

    When you are starting out, it is important to be able to release them as easily as possible.

    You've probably seen a 3 metre area ruled off from cars at every set of traffic lights? This is usually painted with a bicycle on its side. This is the special zone for SPD users to fall over in when they stop at the lights.

    Seriously, _everyone_ who has used SPD pedals has fallen over, at least once, when they come to a stop, having forgotten to release. This is particularly true when trying really hard so not concentrating - say, after a steep hill. You will need to practice, so that it becomes second nature - it is a bit like a little dance move - flicking your heels out. Of course, if you have red shoes, you'll probably end up in Kansas. Or something.

    Although a bit tricky to start with, SPD shoes are one of the great innovations of the last 20 years (that and the various "indexed" type gear change mechanisms). They have the additional advantage of making your bike less attractive to the local recidivists. They think it doesn't have pedals. In use, you become securely linked to the machine, greating a much more efficient "single" unit - it feels more responsive and you get a better transfer of power.
  • TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    yes Jack and that area happens to sit right infront of the cars! Luckily I've never done it myself. Don't worry, you will get used to them pretty quick, helps if you have a turbo, or some grass!
  • Well, i have decided to go with a set of SPD Pedals (Flat Bed) with Float cleats and shimano spd shoes.
  • starcherstarcher Posts: 126
    Hey Jason

    I'd definitely go and practice clipping in and out mate also work on your balancing so you can track stand at traffic lights etc to avoid having to unclip.


  • julesojuleso Posts: 279
    Er - I'd disagree with starcher - at this early stage I wouldn't be messing with track stands. You either unclip or don't. What you don't want to do is be indecisive, and mess about, because (in my opinion) that's when you're likely to fall off. I haven't fallen off yet (apart from while practising in a car park) but the times when I've been about to fall off have invariably been because I was dithering about whether to unclip at a junction.

    I'd always recommend that if you can get a cyclist to show you how they do it, it's invaluable.
  • starcherstarcher Posts: 126
    I must admit I very rarely track stand when cycling around busy towns I find it far more fun to hang on the mirror of the nearest lorry or bus so that they know your there which generally ends in me getting a mouthful of abuse, but then in my experience they do give you more room.

    Being a lorry driver myself I hate them bloody stroppy cyclists when i'm working and when riding i hate the ignorant self important truckers!!!


  • md6md6 Posts: 969
    I fall off all the time, so much so i have changed from SPD's down to an easier touring pedal (with different cleats) funny i ONLY fall over in traffic, i was fine in the park and on the empty paths away from trafic - in traffic i fall over. I must have the self presevation gene missing.

    Seriously, practice and make sure you are comfortable and easily able to get your feet out before venturing into busy roads. I was lucky that i fell pavement side when i first fell as there was a lorry going past just a few feet from me on the other side.
  • try to get floating cleats, there is varieytng amounts of movement like tommitri said and it will help your knees while you get used to them..

    you MUST practice before you go out on a busy raod in them as they take some getting used to un clipping them in a rush, i found it easier to un clip well before i get to a junction/traffic light when i first got going.

    take the bike when you go to get the shoes and ask them to set you up, it may need some tools you dont have to do the job ( it's not as easy as it looks ) a good shop will put your bike on the turbo trainer with you on top and do all the adjustments you need for effective pedalling, may change the seat position (most cyclists have this too low i see loads all the time)

    welcome to a faster way of cycleing.........
  • I am a competent rider so can track stand anyways not that i tend to do it in traffic. I have to agree with the majority and i will go practive with them. I just want to ensure i get the most out of me and the bike
  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    I still can't ride no handed...
  • bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    I'm sure you can ........ [:D]
  • (Sorry - newbie here on the forum but doing tri for 4 years now... did 4 olympics last year and coming up on the my first big 'I' in July...)

    The best fun is when you are clipped in, after a big hill, and you bonk and your legs cramp and you can't twist your heel enough to get loose. That's the most fun... even more fun that getting laughed at by teenagers when you start off using clips when you fall over after stopping but forgetting to twist your heel.

    But it is worth it. The clips will allow you to get power in your cycling stroke both at the push and the pull sides - you add a lot more power to your stroke with both feet. if you don't use clips you're only getting half the stroke powered for each foot.
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