I'm new to clip less riding. I just purchased and installed Shimano R540 SPD SL Road Pedals for my bike. I also got Shimano R064 SPD SL Road Shoes.

I have been practising clipping in and out indoors in the hallway using the walls either side to balance myself whilst on the bike.

I can clip in without too much difficulty, but find it extremely tough to clip out (even with the tension set to the lowest setting). I found that I am twisting and then almost yanking the shoes out of the pedals. I'm pretty sure this isn't how it is meant to be. If I attempted this on the road, I would fall flat on my face.

I have sprayed some lubricant on the pedals in the hope that they loosen overnight. But other than that I've been stumped as to what else I could do.

Appreciate any tips, helpful suggestions and advice on the matter.


  • 1
    If you bought them at your LBS you could go and get assistance there. They look (pun intended) wider than any I've seen; perhaps they get a better grip. Have you tried pulling up while you twist?
    – andy256
    Commented Aug 27, 2014 at 23:11
  • Are you sure you're twisting out enough? Your shoe model may also have something to do with it, especially if you have a loose cleat.
    – Batman
    Commented Aug 28, 2014 at 3:24
  • The only "control" on them is the screw to adjust tension, which you've already found. Is there any play between cleat and shoe?
    – PeteH
    Commented Aug 28, 2014 at 8:20
  • Another thing is that you're using SPD-SL. SPD (especially mountain bike SPD pedals + shoes) are likely significantly easier to get in and out of. Plus, a lot of SPD shoes have recessed cleats, so you can walk in them if necessary.
    – Batman
    Commented Aug 29, 2014 at 16:39
  • How are these pedals now, as ive the same situation..
    – user15832
    Commented Dec 25, 2014 at 16:20

3 Answers 3


If you have the tension adjusted all the way down they should clip out easily. Two things to check:

  1. Is the cleat tight on the shoe? If it can rotate at all, you won't be able to clip out.
  2. Are you rotating your foot outwards to unclip? When I first got my clipless I tried to rotate in, and that doesn't work too well.
  • Yeah, there's a limit to how far you can rotate inward, and it may not be enough to unclip. But some people (like myself) have difficulty rotating outward. Slightly canting the cleat on the shoe may help, one way or the other. Commented Aug 30, 2014 at 2:47
  • 1
    I'd think for most people, rotating inward means hitting the bike before the unclip point (certainly for people who wear US 13 anyway).
    – Batman
    Commented Aug 30, 2014 at 14:23

I spent the last few days spraying lubricant on the pedals and clipping in and out of the pedals on a stationary bike whilst leaning against a wall.

The pedals did gradually become loose but were still too stiff for my liking. Nonetheless I ventured out to my local park wearing one normal trainer and one cycling shoe on the other foot. This allowed me to practice clipping in and out using one foot whilst the other foot wasn't clipped in which was very reassuring.

I did one lap of the park without any problems and then wore cycling shoes on both feet. I found that clipping out seemed easier on a slow moving bike than when I was clipping out on a stationary bike.

I also found that when my foot was at the bottom of the pedal stroke, it made it immensely easier to clip out.


SPD-SL is harder to clip out of than SPD (MTB style), it's just a fact of how it was designed.

It improves slightly with time but it will never be as easy as SPD.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.