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23

First up, I'd strongly recommend switching to clipless pedals. I had the same discomfort issues you're describing with normal shoes and toeclips and find clipless pedal so much more comfortable and secure (therefore safer). When comparing and evaluating clipless pedal systems, some of the more important attributes are: Float - This is the property where ...


15

Make sure the tension is low at first (should be a little screwn on face of pedal). Generally you will get to a point of looseness where you are popping out unintentionally, go just tigher than that. Cleat placement also can be a factor. The closer to the toe it is, the easier it tends to be to get out. Be careful about moving too far from the balls of ...


10

Don't worry about things that haven't happened. Most people new to clipless are worried about the exact opposite. "Will I be able to unclip if things go south in a turn?" Eventually you will get to the point where clipping in/out is completely unconscious. Having said all that, if unclipping when you don't want to really becomes a problem, look into ...


10

I wear a pair of Austin Pedal shoes by Keen to work at my government office every day. They're a fine shoe—they look decent and accept SPD's. They aren't anything special. There is no gore-tex liner (I think it'd be overkill for my commute most days). There is no reflective tab, though that would be nice. There is no carbon-reinforced toe-box—also ...


10

Practice, practice, practice... You need to move the physical motions of getting out of the pedals from your conscious muscle memory to your unconscious muscle memory. Once it becomes an instinctual unconscious reaction, you'll have far fewer problems. A flat grassy space is good for this. Try doing track stands and un-clip to catch your balance. Or you ...


9

Sidi make a wide fitting version of their shoes. I have a pair of Sidi's and they have been the best fitting, most comfortable shoes I've ever found. From their website: Mega sizes are cut with more material throughout, and a larger-volume heelcup. Mega sizes roughly correspond to a EE/EEE width on the Brannock sizing scale. Possibly still not wide ...


9

Your best option is to practice a lot on how to unclip your foot, so you get accustomed to it. I suppose you have already done this. So you must now adjust the spring tension on your pedals. Refer to the instruction manual on how to adjust it. Aside from that, I have found that dirt, grime and other pollution in the cleats makes it extra hard to get the ...


9

Yes, all SPD pedals are compatible with both of these cleats. The multi-directional release SH-56 will allow you to pull out of the pedal vertically if it is required. They are designed for spin bikes. (Exercise use.) The difference is a preference only, because it depends what you intend to use them for. I will not use the SH-56 on the road because I have ...


9

There are three main settings on your cleat: Fore-aft position, which should let you pedal with the metatarsal heads over the pedal axle, more or less; Lateral position, which should let a few free milimeters between the inner part of the shoe sole and the crank arm; The most important for you, which is the ANGLE between the longitudinal line of the cleat ...


8

If your bike is set up with a proper fit to your body, and your pedal's cleat position is set up for your body, soreness in your knees like you describe is not normal. Whether the discomfort you are experiencing is simply muscle soreness, as in "I exercised heavily and my body noticed" or whether it requires corrective action, is harder to decide. If the ...


7

Stay clipped in at all times, especially during tricky spots because that is when you need the most control and the most power. When you say that 'you're able to bail when you know you're going to crash', you are describing a situation that has the luxury of time to decide. You would have time to unclip too. Whatever happens it is OK to wipe out while ...


6

The "neutral" position places the ball of your foot over the pedal spindle, which I assume is where you're at. Conventional wisdom has it that sprinters and high-cadence riders will want the cleat positioned a little forward of that, LSD riders a little aft of that. But as with most positioning questions, the right answer is "whatever works for you."


6

You aren't likely to damage anything that way. However, you may wish to adjust the tension of the cleat retention mechanism on the pedal to be a bit looser, especially since you're not yet practiced at clipping and unclipping. There is likely to be a small screw on each pedal that adjusts the tension of the spring...loosening it will make clipping in and ...


6

A cobbler (i.e. a shoe repairman) can glue a new layer of sole (e.g a non-slip rubber sole that's suitable for winter) onto a pair of shoes' existing soles: so perhaps ask a cobbler.


6

These guys make some nice shoes with SPD pedals (MTB style) : http://www.alwaysriding.co.uk/footwear-148/cycling-shoes-218/ An example :


6

My preference is to start with the pedals wound right back so your feet fall out if you even think about unclipping. But from my experience of novices most people will fall off at least once due to being clipped in. Regardless of how loose the pedals are. After a week or so, or when the learner starts complaining that they're unclipping unexpectedly, I ...


6

Setting the release higher than your comfort level is asking for trouble.The risk of not being able to unclip while in traffic is just too great.As you get to the point that you are popping out more times than you forget to unclip increase the tension in 1/8 turn increments until you are not unclipping unless you want to.If at any point you feel that you are ...


6

You pedal with the ball of your foot and this should placed directly above the pedal axle. However, because you move your foot in a ~170mm radius circle altering the angle of your foot, 'directly above' moves back and fore through the pedal stroke. Getting the ball of the foot behind the axle is not desirable as you are then using the toes rather than the ...


6

You can adjust the tension on the pedal release, but you should also check your cleats. Shimano has two different SPD cleat models: SH51 - unidirectional release SH56 - multidirectional release The SH56 is marked with a large 'M' on the pedal facing side of the cleat, and will allow you to click-out more easily than will the SH51.


6

My girlfriend used to use SPD pedals on her mountain bike, but switched to eggbeaters after a head-first meeting with what she nicknamed "The Bog of Eternal Stench", and a very long, smelly, damp ride home. She's found that they're easier to get into and out of quickly, that they are less prone to getting clogged with mud, grass, and other debris, and are ...


5

Shimano make several models of pedals with SPD one side, and flat on the other. So they can be used with SPD shoes or normal shoes. Options include: PD-A530 These are designed for road/touring bikes, so are fairly slim, with a small metal platform. (Not to be confused with the PD-A520, which are one-sided SPD pedals, without a flat platform). Personally ...


5

Fixed position cleats, or 0 degree float cleats, require far greater precision about cleat setup on the shoe. Failure to get the setup right will mean pain, and can mean injury. That is also true of floating cleats. Most pedals come with cleats that have between 4.5 and 9 degrees of float built in. I don't know of any pedal which has a 0 degree cleat, ...


5

Just two bits of advice from me. First, make sure that the cleat is tight on the shoe. If you twist your ankle, and the cleat rotates in the shoe, that will not end well. Second, and I'm the only one I know who does this, I find it much easier to rotate my ankle in (towards the bike) than out. Maybe it's the way my leg and/or hips are built. Who knows? I do ...


5

They sell cleat covers you can use to protect the cleats, and the floors you walk on. Most of them are for SPD-SL but (i think) the ones I linked to are for SPD.


5

I did that myself once :-) Cut a hole in the sole of some leather shoes and inserted the nylon foot plate from old SPDs. If you do decide to DIY, I recommend a slightly larger upper so your toes don't get cramped and reasonably stiff leather.


4

I would pay a visit to your local skateboard shop and get some 'skateboard grip tape'. This should be inexpensive and it can be applied in such a way that your pedals are not permanently damaged. The glue on the stuff is pretty good and it is pretty much totally designed for keeping feet in place. Your pedals might look a bit naff with bits of tape wrapped ...


4

Some people have modded the pedals to add set-screws which provide better grip. Typically this involves drilling a hole, tapping it for threads, and adding a set screw of the desired length. For example, here's an a530 with 2x set screws added:


4

Does an SPD/SPD-SL pedal exist? No, the cleat and retention is mutually exclusive. SPD is a two screw setup, while SPD-SL is a three screw setup... Does an SPD/SPD-SL shoe exist? Yes - these exist. The Shimano SH-R087G, for example. You'll find these lean towards road rather than offroad -- a more rigid sole, and small rubber spots to minimize the ...


4

Maybe a better option than an SPD-SL pedal would be something like the PD-M324 from Shimano. It's a dual sided pedal, one side flat, with no cleat required, and one side SPD. They don't make an SPD-SL version of it, though. An SPD-SL pedal, because of the depth of the cleat retention area of the pedal doesn't really offer good, safe traction in trainers. ...


4

Although you have opted for a 'proper' road bike, you may want to consider the mountain bike style SPDs. Some of the MTB shoes come close to racing shoes in terms of stiffness, and there are certainly a range of good quality pedals on the market. There are disadvantages (the power from your foot is not spread over as large a pedal area) but the advantage is ...



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