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Riding Clipled in...

By Mr Lights - Posted on 10 November 2008

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.

This has probably been talked about before but I am trying to get as much info about being cliped in as possible. I am considering making the switch from flats to being cliped in when I ride. I have been looking around for a while and have found that most shoes are closely related to the road style of shoe except with the MTB cleat. They do not look like they are very comfortable to walk around in when not riding, especially with a solid sole. I have been looking at the Shimano SH MP66. Any of you guys recommend a shoe that I should have a look at? I am not into cross country racing, just trail riding around the northern beaches. Also, what type of pedals are the most popular, the simple ones such as the Shimano PD M520 or something along the lines of the Crankbrothers acid with a semi platform as well? I suppose that this is just personal preference but are there any advantages of one type over another?

Any help would be appreciated.


Mr Lights, you'll find a wealth of info on this very topic from the thread below.

I reckon, the most important thing is to get a pedal that has the right amount of float for your style.

Shimano tend to float a bit, which is good if you have dicky joints that need a side stretch every so often, but means you need to twist more to unclip. Crank Bros. are supposedly more 'clipped in' than shimano, and have less float. I've yet to try Crank Bros. though.

With platforms etc, decide if you are ever likely to want to ride to the shops in normal shoes or not. I had clip in platforms on my Shimanos, which are now gone. They were more hassle than help, and I only ride clipped in now.

Just remember, ride alone on the road or in a park for a while so you get used to dismounting without the fear of laughter.


The 66 or DX shoe is pretty good and is a very popular choice for clipped in bmx and dh (Or at least was before the switched to white)

With a cycling shoe you want the sole to be stiff and the heal tight. That's the area were you transfer your power.

I yet to find a clipless show that feel natural to walk in. the cleats alway touch the grond a bit and the soles are stiff. But they are design for riding and you get used to walking in them when you need to.

As for practice. Hold onto a wall or close line and spend 10 to 15min just clipping in and out. At first getting in is the hard bit as you need to learn where you cleat is.

Getting out is natural in an emergency and i can get my foot off the pedal quicker with clipless than I can with say a five10 shimano dh pedal combo.

I think that i will just have to try a number of different shoes before i buy and jump in and pick some pedals.

It is mostly personal preference with regards to pedals so i will just have to try a set.

Thanks for the info.

If you're doing general trail riding, you really don't want a stiff soled XC/road style race shoes. It doesn't matter how good the power transfer etc is when they're impossible to walk and climb over rocks in. When I used to wear stiff soled shoes, all my injuries came from walking and not from riding. Shoes like the Tahos are essentially light weight hiking shoes with a cleat on the bottom. When I used to ride to work, I'd wear them like normal shoes for the entire day.

I spent a few years in the road style MTB show, but i now (for 1.5 years) use specialized Taho's. They are comfortable enough to walk in (or drive) - the cleat is slightly inset into the base of the shoe, so you're not walking on your heels. They look pretty good, and do have a stiff enough sole to get the benefit of a proper mtb shoe.

In terms of pedals. SPD's are my choice, but there are many others just as good if not better. I used the SPDM545 for many years until i killed them. very good pedal. strong cage. double sided cleat bit heavy, but you won't damage the cleat if you hit a rock.
I now use the PD M324, which is cleated one side and flat on the other. I sometimes (although rarely) use the flat side for steep, scary terrain where super-quick bail-outs might be required. Also a solid pedal and cheaper than the M545.

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