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What are the advantages/disadvantages of using clip-ins from people who use them? Thinking about switching to a two sided pedal, one block or flat, the other clipped. What say ya'll?

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for me nothing beats a good double strap

I dig clipless. My feet are so unholy f'ed up, that when I used to run toeclips, I'd often get sore and tingling areas on my po' feet. I just got back from a vacation where I rented a bike with toeclips, and that was an eloquent reminder of how much I like clipless pedals! I can pretty exactly position the cleat's fore/aft position, as well as its lateral movement, to arrive at a fixed position that both my feet and knees like.

I've never tried the 2-sided pedals, however. But my drunken British riding buddy says he likes them a lot.

All that being said, I definitely appreciate being able to hop on a bike with toeclips and jet off without having to get "suited up" at all.
I would hold off a little bit until you get clips/straps or go clipless. Let your body get used to the bike, to riding etc then consider an upgrade. The advantage of clipless systems is efficiency and reducing "hot-spots" on your foot. Basically, when you clip in or use toe straps you decide to not only push down on the pedals but to pull up (right foot pushes down, left foot pulls up---the basic concept of spinning) and are therefore being a more efficient rider. The other nice thing about clipless systems is that they require a shoe with a hard sole. The hard sole does 2 things: 1) helps to channel as much energy as possible into your pedal stroke (running shoes are not good biking shoes because they flex and absorb energy that would otherwise be transfered to your pedal-->crank-->chain-->rear wheel) 2) it also serves to distribute the force over the entire surface of your foot in order to prevent "hot spots". If this doesn't make sense try this experiment: have someone step on your foot with running shoes on then have the same person step on your foot with the heel of a pair of stilettos. Which one hurts more? Now consider that while you might be expanding the surface area by 4x for cleats you'll have that amount of force applied to the balls of your feet for a while. A small burning sensation will develop and you might even bruise your lil' piggies.



If you're set on binding your feet to your pedals (and are willing to rock the short but sometimes steep learning curve--by steep I mean that I've seen more than one person take a nasty fall at a stop light when they forget that they can't just put their feet on the ground) go for it. I'm pro-SPD (Shimano Pedaling Dynamics). I've tried SpeedPlay, BeeBop, SPD (there are various versions), Time ATAC and a few others and always been happy with my Shimano 858s (yes, I realize they're not made anymore but the 969s or whatever they are are even more bettererer than the 858s which were a step up from the 747s....on a side note, I wonder what Shimano will call their new pedals....)

You should consider float... Do you have bad knees? Do you walk funny (pidgeon toed, bow legged, etc). Most clipless pedals have 8 degrees of float which is fine for most people but there are some people that require more float so as not to hurt them there knees. Speedplay and BeeeeeeBop offer something like 20 degrees.

I think those eggbeater pedals are really popular now. I've never used them. They offer 4 different ways to get into them. Sounds good to me.

I hate straps. I think they're more dangerous. They don't offer float (when used properly), they're more of a PITA to get in and out of AND they're usually rocked by the same people that find it necessary to buy $80 Rapha bandannas. (Incidentally, Rapha is the bike world's equiv. of Hummer and therefore my mortal enemy!).
---

All that said, it's more important to get a good pair of shoes than a good pair of pedals. Pedals hold your shoes, shoes hold your feet---feet feel more pain than shoes or pedals. SOOOOOO go to a bike store after you've been on your feet for at least half a day--your feet will swell and you'll get more accurate sizing. Keep 1/2 - 3/4" space between your big toe and the tip of the shoe (your feet will slide forward while riding and the spacing will keep you from ruining painted toenails or even better, keep you from getting bloody toes). Different brands are made differently. Northwave tends to be 1/2-1 size bigger than Sidi and a bit wider. Carnac has a big toe box. Synthetic shoes don't stretch (cheaper Northwave and Sidi) leather shoes do (Carnac uses Kangaroooooooo!).

Whoa apologies for the rambling. I'm trying to rock drum scans while responding to this stuff.

Ask questions if this didnt make sense.
i get the same thing with my feet when using junky clip/strap setups. it can hurt like hell at times.

but with a soma XX four gate toe clip (below), and quality double strap (above), you get a lot more distribution of the pressure across your shoe. i find that my pedals feel more like a leather glove now, and far from painful.

Absolutely recommend. They're far easier to get in and out of than straps. I have double sided on 2/3 bikes and it's nice to be able to just go in reg. shoes as well.
They let you push a lot harder without getting as tired muscles because you can now use more of your leg muscles, not just your quads. I primarily use a mountain type shoes with spds which lets me walk around to run errands, etc.
btw when you mentioned the two-sided pedal, were you referring to the M324 SPD? I was seriously considering getting them but ended up with the toe clips. i still think they would be fun to have for my old road bike though.
Clipless / Clip-in? Same thing?
Do you know if spin classes require the clipped shoes?

Tommie said:
I would hold off a little bit until you get clips/straps or go clipless. Let your body get used to the bike, to riding etc then consider an upgrade. The advantage of clipless systems is efficiency and reducing "hot-spots" on your foot. Basically, when you clip in or use toe straps you decide to not only push down on the pedals but to pull up (right foot pushes down, left foot pulls up---the basic concept of spinning) and are therefore being a more efficient rider. The other nice thing about clipless systems is that they require a shoe with a hard sole. The hard sole does 2 things: 1) helps to channel as much energy as possible into your pedal stroke (running shoes are not good biking shoes because they flex and absorb energy that would otherwise be transfered to your pedal-->crank-->chain-->rear wheel) 2) it also serves to distribute the force over the entire surface of your foot in order to prevent "hot spots". If this doesn't make sense try this experiment: have someone step on your foot with running shoes on then have the same person step on your foot with the heel of a pair of stilettos. Which one hurts more? Now consider that while you might be expanding the surface area by 4x for cleats you'll have that amount of force applied to the balls of your feet for a while. A small burning sensation will develop and you might even bruise your lil' piggies.



If you're set on binding your feet to your pedals (and are willing to rock the short but sometimes steep learning curve--by steep I mean that I've seen more than one person take a nasty fall at a stop light when they forget that they can't just put their feet on the ground) go for it. I'm pro-SPD (Shimano Pedaling Dynamics). I've tried SpeedPlay, BeeBop, SPD (there are various versions), Time ATAC and a few others and always been happy with my Shimano 858s (yes, I realize they're not made anymore but the 969s or whatever they are are even more bettererer than the 858s which were a step up from the 747s....on a side note, I wonder what Shimano will call their new pedals....)

You should consider float... Do you have bad knees? Do you walk funny (pidgeon toed, bow legged, etc). Most clipless pedals have 8 degrees of float which is fine for most people but there are some people that require more float so as not to hurt them there knees. Speedplay and BeeeeeeBop offer something like 20 degrees.

I think those eggbeater pedals are really popular now. I've never used them. They offer 4 different ways to get into them. Sounds good to me.

I hate straps. I think they're more dangerous. They don't offer float (when used properly), they're more of a PITA to get in and out of AND they're usually rocked by the same people that find it necessary to buy $80 Rapha bandannas. (Incidentally, Rapha is the bike world's equiv. of Hummer and therefore my mortal enemy!).
---

All that said, it's more important to get a good pair of shoes than a good pair of pedals. Pedals hold your shoes, shoes hold your feet---feet feel more pain than shoes or pedals. SOOOOOO go to a bike store after you've been on your feet for at least half a day--your feet will swell and you'll get more accurate sizing. Keep 1/2 - 3/4" space between your big toe and the tip of the shoe (your feet will slide forward while riding and the spacing will keep you from ruining painted toenails or even better, keep you from getting bloody toes). Different brands are made differently. Northwave tends to be 1/2-1 size bigger than Sidi and a bit wider. Carnac has a big toe box. Synthetic shoes don't stretch (cheaper Northwave and Sidi) leather shoes do (Carnac uses Kangaroooooooo!).

Whoa apologies for the rambling. I'm trying to rock drum scans while responding to this stuff.

Ask questions if this didnt make sense.
just for the record, i never have adjust my toe clips anymore. they are literally the shape of my shoes and hold me in for the beefiest skids and such without ever having to tighten them down

i realize this isn't for everyone, but i'm just hopping around town - not going 100km
I use either MKS Sylvan pedals/MKS steel cages/MKS double straps or Time ATACs clipless pedals. Clipless pedals are nice in winter and for very long rides since you usually have an inflexible sole which transfers energy from the foot to the pedal more efficiently. But having something more walkable when just making local rides is also good.

Do you like chocolate or vanilla? That's what you're asking us.

Time ATACS are the best. Thank you bike messenger for cluing me into them. So much better than SPD IMHO.

I used single-sided SPD on my road bike (other side Platform, no straps), but those pedals are now on my fixie, and I have double-sided SPD on my road bike. I like single-sided SPD for a bike that is more around town [I also was happy enough with straps on my fixie for short trips], but for my "good" bike I don't see why I would ever want to ride with regular shoes.

That being said, I have MTB shoes so I can walk around no prob while not riding. The cleats are getting scuffed, but they're cheap enough to replace.

Also, with SPD, it is easy enough to adjust the tension so that it is super easy to get out of them. The drawback is that you sometimes slip out when you're not expecting it.

Finally: I have fallen b/c of SPDs at least two, maybe three times, and once was after a couple of years of using them. I typically prepare a foot well in advance of when I need to stop; I'm also pretty good at balancing if I need to.

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