Cycle shoes

im looking into buying a road bike for tri, i know that triathletes use clipless shoes and pedals, but what are these and how do they work, where does the cleats? come into this etc, what sort is best for begineer and how would i set this up


  • it's just a special pedal that locks onto a lug that you screw to the bottom of your shoe. you need to buy shoes + cleats + pedals. it's quite easy really, any decent bike shop will sell them. the main type are "SPD" which are mainly for mountain bikes but can be used for road bikes, or "Look" which are for road bikes. i'd go for Look.
  • The pedals come with cleats, then you just buy some shoes that are compatible. Most shoes will take spd or look cleats.

    With look, the cleats are triangular shaped plates that you screw onto the bottom of your shoe. There is then a lip on the front and back of the pedal so that you push the front bit in and then put pressure on the back until it clicks into place. Then to unclip you rotate your foot sideways until it disengages.
  • thanks that helps alot guys
  • you can walk around eaiser (less like a duck) in mountain bike pedals. I'm a big fan of teh crank bros pedals - eggbeater & candy chromes
  • Daniel, having only finally gone clipless a couple of weeks back, they make a _HUGE_ (positive) difference to your speed & pickup. Setting up the cleat position on the bottom of the shoe seems to be a trial and error exercise, with dozens of theories to choose from :)
  • I'm also looking to get my first set of clipless, would something like this or even this be suitable for a beginner?
  • yes and yes Debstir.
  • They work great for a beginner.

    Just remember to practice uncliping leaning against a wall!

    cos tipping over, clipped in makes you look thick :-0
  • is that voice of experience then Tri?! believe me, it's the sort of thing I will undoubtetly do!
  • Only the once!

    Now I clip and unclip so gracefuly you would think im pro :-0
  • Try speedplays look like lollipop sticks are very light and have higher degree of float than looks are very good if your knees are knackered from something like hockey and rugby like mine.

    For shoes the important thing is really a nice bright colour if you are a chap get a gay friend to choose them and you wont go far wrong ! Also remember to think about what they will look like once you have you legs waxed!

    Obviously I fell over loads in my first clipped excursions less than 2 yrs ago once almost under a 199.
  • popsiderpopsider ✭✭✭
    I use Look Keos - you can choose no float/semi float or full float cleats. Time road pedals also get good write ups as do the top end Shimano ones.

    Some modern pedals use only an allen key to fit to the cranks, others a traditional pedal spanner and others either so make sure you've got the necessary tool when you buy - they should come with the right cleats but make sure your shoes are compatible with the cleats/pedals you buy.

    I never found a problem clipping in, never fell over because of it, unlike the old fashioned clips and straps that I came a cropper with a couple of times.
  • think about what they will look like once you have you legs waxed!
    bloody good advice that............
  • what is the best way to set up clipless,

    I hvae shimano SH51 cleats, an allan key, holes on the bottom of my lake cycking shoes and no instructions!! should the nuts be flush or slightly below the height of the cleats, do I tighten it up so they do not move forward and backwards?

     sorry for the really numpty questions!

  • No one has mentioned the clipping/unclipping dilemmas image

    If you get Shimano SPD's then consider the multi-directional/multi release cleats. Your foot comes out whichever way you pull if you forget and panic. They are great for panicing beginners. In fact for MTB I stayed with them as they are easier to get out of if its muddy, not a problem on a road bike....usually.

  • popsiderpopsider ✭✭✭
    Sprinting for a road sign on the A6 this morning a mate pulled his foot out and came very close to going head first into a  bus going in the other direction - we probably shouldn't be sprinting for road signs on main roads but I'm still a bit wary of systems that make a point of being very easy to unclip from - rather have a cleat/pedal I knew was secure than one that was easy to get out of.    His was due to a worn cleat - so don't try and eke every last mile out of them either.
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