Posts Tagged ‘cleats’

Thinking about clipless pedals?

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Thinking of getting “a little more serious” with your cycling? You’ve got the shorts, got the gloves. You’ve considered “clipless” pedals but feel a little apprehensive about being “clipped in”? Then check out Shimano’s Click’R system.

ClickRNothing makes you feel more connected and in control of your bicycle than riding with clipless pedals and shoes. Your pedaling efficiency and foot comfort will also improve.

But many riders are concerned that their feet will be locked in and the inevitable tumble will occur. Actually, this happens far less than you think it might, but in case you are nervous about it Shimano have developed a new pedal/shoe interface called Click’R to introduce clipless pedals to first-time users, but is also suitable for regular leisure riders and tourists.

The Click'R cleat - locates but does not engage

The Click’R cleat – locates but does not engage

The Click’R system introduces a new plastic cleat on the bottom of the shoe which locates on the Click’R pedal, but does not engage, so your foot is free and there is no sense of being clamped onto the bike.

Click'R pedals can also be ridden as regular platform pedals

Click’R pedals can also be ridden as regular platform pedals

The pedals are an adaption of Shimano’s SPD system but with a modification which enables first the use of the plastic Click’R cleat, and then, when you’re ready, substituting a regular silver cleat which lightly engages on the pedal.

The pedal is adjustable down to a very low securing tension so it’s easy to extract your shoe. Release pressure is 60% less than regular SPD pedals.

Click'R shoes have a more casual style

Click’R shoes have a more casual style

The pedal also has a device which resists accidentally pulling your foot off the pedal when the shoe is spinning normally.

When you're ready switch to a regular Shimano cleat

When you’re ready switch to a regular Shimano cleat

Our guy, Alan – That British Bloke – has trialed a pair of these shoes and reports that, unlike previous “casual style shoes” this new generation of Shimano shoes really can be walked in all day, so would also make an excellent touring shoe for riders who like to get off the bike and explore.

Ready to take the next step?

Halter’s carries Shimano Click’R shoes and pedals. Also, call the shop ahead and bring in your bike and experience Click’R to see if it’s right for you.

If you’re seeking information on other topics click on any item in Halter’s Tag Cloud in the right hand column of this blog …


Alan That British Bloke


Pedals … and shoes

Sunday, March 17th, 2013
Basic plastic pedal and quality quill pedal

Basic plastic pedal and quality quill pedal

Most lower priced bicycles come with pedals, but most higher end bikes don’t have pedals at all out of the box.

Most customers buying a higher end bike will already have a favorite pedaling system and new riders are best advised by their bike shop, so the bike manufacturers don’t guess what you might like. It’s up to you.

Anyone who has ever ridden a bike will be familiar with the basic platform pedal. Usually made from tough plastic and/or metal all you need to do is plant your sneakers on the pedals and cycle off.

In the past, people have made these pedals more secure by attaching straps and cages which wrap around the shoe. Indeed, some still prefer this method of locating their feet on the pedal.

These days anyone other than the most casual cyclist can make a choice from a number of clipless pedaling systems. That is where pedal and shoe locate and engage together to make a secure and efficient interface between your foot and the bike.

All clipless systems depend on a metal or plastic fixture known as a cleat, which is bolted onto the sole of the shoe. This cleat locates and engages into a mechanism on the pedal. The pedal holds the shoe firmly until the rider decides to disengage, usually by a deliberate twisting motion of the foot.

Although there are several manufacturers, each with their own system, clipless pedals fall into two categories.

Mountain bike pedals - some brands adjust release tension by means of a small screw

Mountain bike pedals – some brands adjust release tension by means of a small screw

Mountain bike pedals : This type of pedal/shoe combination is marked by a small metal cleat which is retained within the sole of the shoe and a double-sided pedal. This means that the shoe is easy to walk in and it’s easier to locate the cleat onto the pedal.

Even the most advanced mountain bike shoe with a carbon fiber sole is designed to flex to facilitate walking, so although this type of system was designed specifically for mountain bikes, many of its characteristics make it a favorite for many road and touring cyclists too, so the name is a bit of a misnomer.

Mountain bike shoe - Easier to walk in

Mountain bike shoe – Easier to walk in

We frequently sell “spinning” shoes to customers attending local gyms. A spinning shoe is a mountain bike cycling shoe.

So if you spin and become familiar with engaging and disengaging from the spin-bike pedals, consider having clipless pedals fitted to your regular bike.

The cleat is recessed into the sole of the shoe

In a mountain bike shoe the cleat is recessed into the sole of the shoe

A basic mountain bike shoe with velcro type fasteners, suitable for spinning too, will cost from around $100, and a high end shoe with light-weight carbon fiber sole and ratchet type fixings will be $200+.

Cleats cost around $22, depending on the brand, but are usually included with new pedals.

Road pedals - usually single-sided - also have adjustable release tension

Road pedals – usually single-sided – also have adjustable release tension

It’s worth noting that for Shimano pedals there are two types of cleat; black, which just hold your foot in one position, and silver which allow a little float so your foot can move around to a small degree on the pedal.

Some other brands also allow float by various means.

Road pedals : Usually consist of a large single-sided platform which engages with a plastic cleat which is bolted on the bottom of the sole of the shoe.

This means the cleat stands proud of the sole of the shoe which makes walking awkward and requires a little more attention to engage. At first you’ll only get it right 50% of the time.

Road cleats protrude from the sole of the shoe making walking uncomfortable

Road cleats protrude from the sole of the shoe making walking uncomfortable

The shoes usually have a smooth sole which is designed to be very stiff, making walking more difficult still.

So, why would anyone ever want to use road shoes and pedals when mountain bike systems are much more user friendly?

Road cleats are large and project from the sole of the shoe. Carbon fiber enables a very stiff foot-bed.

Road cleats are large and project from the sole of the shoe. Carbon fiber enables a very stiff foot-bed.

Well, road shoes are designed to give the maximum support to your foot and enable the most efficient transfer of power from your legs to the drive chain of the bike. They do this by providing an extremely stiff sole and comparatively large cleat to minimize flex in the shoe and pedal.

Imagine just sitting at home flexing a cycling shoe a few millimetres 120 times a minute as a pair of shoes might on a bicycle. Then consider the energy you’ve used to do this. That’s the amount of energy which could have been pushed out your back wheel.

Also, if you have foot issues, numbness, hot foot, pins and needles, etc, these can be alleviated by using a road shoe which will provide more support than a mountain bike shoe. If your left/right shoe size is radically different then we might still be able to help you.

Expect to pay $100-$120 for a basic road shoes. If you’re looking for a carbon sole, then expect to pay $200+. A high end road shoe will be up to $500.

Halter’s sell cycle shoes by Giro, Sidi, Shimano and other good makers.

We sell pedals by Crank Brothers, Look, Shimano and SpeedPlay as well as specialist pedals for downhill, BMX and other genres of cycling.

Cleat wedges may help align your knees

Cleat wedges may help align your knees

We stock shoe accessories such as adaptive insoles, arch extenders and cleat wedges to align your pedal stroke.

Consider buying appropriate shoes and pedals as part of a complete bike fit. This is free with the purchase of a road bike from Halter’s or available via appointment.

And don’t forget socks …

If you’re seeking information on other topics click on any item in Halter’s Tag Cloud in the right hand column of this blog …


Alan That British Bloke


 
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