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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I got my second used bike with look pedals. I have a nice pair of shoes with the look clips from my previous bike...so I decided to try this kind of pedal again. I just can't do it reliably. How in the dickens do you lock in while you are trying to leave from a light in heavy traffic? I actually lost balance and fell against a car at a light...thank god it was stopped. Once I am in , I am fine. The other thing of course is just standing and walking in these shoes...definitely not user friendly. I am looking into another altenative. I saw these nice Crank bros. candy pedals which seem very easy to get into. Now I need advice on a shoe that will have the clips recessed, so you can actually walk in them without being too heavy and clutsy...not really a mountain shoe...something more of a cross...any advice?
 

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It might be easier if you either put your bike on a trainer, or find a quiet street, and practice clipping in.
If you want to walk in your cycling shoes, more than say to the bathroom or into a store, then you should get some mountain bike or touring shoes. The cleats they can use are more limited however.
 

· Still On Steel
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echelonphoto said:
How in the dickens do you lock in while you are trying to leave from a light in heavy traffic?
Practice. Probably sounds like a smart-assy answer, but, seriously, that's the key.

Try starting out with your one un-clipped shoe resting lightly on the pedal and use your other, clipped-in foot to get up to about five mph. That is, you'll be pedaling with both legs but favoring the one that's clipped in. When you're moving smoothly and have some momentum, pause your pedaling stroke and clip in with the other foot. In time you'll learn to flip the pedal right-way up with your toe and clip in on the first try. But there is a learning curve, and there will always be the odd clumsy misfire, now and then.

One trick that may help: always clip the same foot first, and always unclip the same foot first. It doesn't have to be the same foot for BOTH operations, but it should always be the same foot for EACH operation. For example, I always clip in with my right foot first, then the left; when unclipping, I reverse the order and always unclip the left first. Use whatever feels best to you; the key is to be consistent, to help the process become more automatic.
 

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The CB Candies look nice, though I use the Quattros. For me, having a pedal with a platform large enough to easily use without clipping in (for intersections) was a requirement. I think you'll need to go with a MTB shoe, though some (Sidi) have a minimum of tread on them.
 

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I have used Looks exclusively for years and clipping in and out becomes second nature, with practice. All Look pedals hang perpendicular to the ground when you are not clipped in. They have a lip on the front that mactches the small lip on the front of the cleat. As you push down with the shoe that is still locked in, practice catching the large opening in the offside pedal with the lip of the cleat and rolling it forward and down as you apply pressure. The lip of cleat and pedal should meet and you apply pressure to clip in the rear of the cleat.
As far as walking with Looks is concerned, buy a pair of "Kool Kovers" that fit your cleat, they make them specific to the Delta and Keo cleats and they are not interchangable. Keep them on your shoes when not in use and in your jersey pocket when riding. Put them on anytime you get off the bike. Your cleats will last a long time. Some of my friends who ride Speedplays have even started using them too as they were complaining about those metal cleats slipping on smooth surfaces.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the info...one of the contributing factors, now that I have my seat up to proper pedaling height...I can barely reach the ground with my free toe when stopped...so I tend to unclip the right foot so I can rest it on the curb at a light.
 

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Precisely....

where is the difficulty? Is it "finding" the pedal opening? Or are you experiencing difficulty pushing home the cleat? If its the latter then loosen off the tension of the pedal.
As per other posters - I don't know anyone who was able to use clipless pedfals without practise on a trainer / leaning against the wall and then practising on a quiet road / yard.
It then becomes second nature - I'm as clumsy as they come and I manage!
 

· Still On Steel
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echelonphoto said:
now that I have my seat up to proper pedaling height...I can barely reach the ground with my free toe when stopped...so I tend to unclip the right foot so I can rest it on the curb at a light.
Are you staying on the saddle when you're stopped? If so, you and the next guy I meet who does that will make two, total. :D

As you unclip one foot and come to a stop, slide forward off the saddle and stand over the top tube. Unless your frame is waaaay to big for you, you should have no trouble getting your unclipped foot flat on the pavement.
 

· Steaming piles of opinion
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Practice is one answer, and it will do the trick. The shoes still aren't floor-friendly, and Look cleats can be slippery.

I use Quattros rather than Candys, but the concept is the same. Good stuff, easy to use. As for walking, if you buy the Quattro cleats, they make any shoe 'walkable', because they come with a plastic cleat surround that keeps the metal from the floor.

If you really want new shoes, Sidi Dominators are recessed, but are relaitvely more 'road' than 'mountain' in appearance and are a good firm sole.
 

· "Cypress Gardens" Fl.
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It will all come to you in short order..........

echelonphoto said:
That's fine , allez,

But then I would have problems getting back in the saddle anyway...I am clutsy!

just dont try and overthink this. We have all went thru a learning curve on clipless, so you're not alone. Straddle the top tube, use toe of right foot to turn crank around until right pedal is at the top of stroke (or a few degrees past), then "clip in". Push off in forward motion by coming down on your power stroke until you're going, then "clip in" your left foot.

When you're coming to a stop (like at a traffic light) you have to drop your landing gear, so to speak. Start slowing down, and just before you come to a stop, with your left pedal at 12 o'clock, "un-clip" your left foot. Slide off the saddle when you stop, simultaneously planting your freed left foot onto the ground to balance yourself. I usually stay clipped in on my right foot at traffic lights though, so I can start off easy.

You'll get used to it, so ride around in front of your house a little to practise if you want.
 

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Go with Crank Brothers Quattro Pedals. They are easy to get into (takes a little practice) and the easiest to get out of. They feel solid under foot. and the cleat has a surround that makes it easy to walk. Plus they look great and are pretty lightweight. All in all a great pedal.
 

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I use Crank Brothers on all my bikes (Candy for my mountain bikes and Quattro for the road). These pedals are made to be used with recessed cleats and in fact the Quattro comes with 2 plastic "thingies" to recess the cleat on a road shoe. Makes walking easier and increases/stabilizes the shoe/pedal interface.

If after some more practice the Looks don't work out, give CB a try. But I have to warn you that practice is probably the answer. Eventually uncliping becomes second nature. After all, us mountain bikers ride in some hairy terrain and the ability to unclip needs to be nearly sub-conscious.
 

· huvia ja hyötyä
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If you want to be able to walk in your riding shoes, put on mountain pedals and get a pair of mountain shoes. Time ATACs are pretty nice pedals, unless you want to be able to ride in any shoes.
 

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I was never able to quite master the Look clip-in to the point where I felt confident in traffic. I switched to Speedplay X/5's and have been much happier (though I have been thinking of getting some mountain pedals and Dominator 5's for my new cross bike for walkability)

Getting the Speedplays to engage can be tricky sometimes, but even if they don't clip in right away, it's still fairly easy to pedal on them (this is probably true of most double-sided entry systems). With Looks, it's possible to pedal unclipped if you have your toe positioned just right, but most of the time your foot will be sliding all over the place. Also I found Looks to be a bit harder to clip into when wearing shoe covers. My theory is that the extra material over the toe area gets in the way of the kick-slide entry maneuver, causing the shoe and cleat to sort of ride up and over the engagement area. Since the cleat is riding higher, there is a smaller window where it can hook into the pedal (hard to explain if you aren't familiar with Looks).
 

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Points made here are all good ones. In my opinion Look type engagements are not as user-friendly as two and four-sided engagement systems such as respectively Speedplay and Crank Brothers. I have had both brands on my road bikes, using the same mountain bike shoes. The cleats are recessed so walking is easy. So easy, in fact, that I can wear my mountain bike shoes all day.

Engagement in double and quatro sided pedals are easier for me. On rides in the city with people using their Look pedals, I was on crank brothers I always was clipped in faster than they were. It is because the window of engagement is wider.

A lot of people get it. Even some racers now use mountain bike shoes with their pedals. There is no real performance difference between mountain and road shoes. Shoes, though, having to fit on feet of all sizes can be problematical for some and this is why some swear by road shoes (because they fit and feel better to them).

In my opinion you would do better to change pedals, even as an experiment to try a different system.
 

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Switch to Frog Pedals

My hubby & I switched to Frog Pedals (usually used on MTN bikes) and Shimano RT50 Touring Shoes. These shoes have rubbery soles that are easy to walk in, and allow for the recessed cleat of the Frog pedal. They're super easy to clip in/out. We use them for touring in Europe, US. Believe me, I've tried Looks, Speedplay, and Time, and these are by far the most comfortable. Less stiff than most road shoes, so they won't give you that extra 'power' boost if you're a racer, but I haven't noticed any difference in my average speed on climbs. Not the 'coolest' combo:cool: , but who cares about that when you're riding 300 miles in 5 days?

:thumbsup:
 

· XXL Clydesdale
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I feel your pain with the Look pedals! I used to use Shimano SPD-R then switched to SPD (SPDs are ridiculously easy to clip into!). Lately, I've decided to switch back to road pedals and bought Keo Sprints. Of course, I always have one pedal locked in, but getting that second shoe clipped in is a b!tch! I seem to constantly be attempting to clip the bottom of the pedal. I guess I still need to get used to pushing my foot forward to rotate the damn pedal first... You would think they could make the pedals more horizontal than they are. I guess that would make them heavier.

Anyway, I'm hoping practice will make perfect! Usually I end up just pedaling with one foot accross the intersection, then worrying about clipping in after it's safer. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for all your contributions. I just ordered a pair of Crank bros candies and a pair of adidas mtn. bike shoes. The shoes just came and they are much better for walking. After all, I am not a racer...just recreational rider and I also like to stop and site see, so this will work out better. The main problem with the looks was not getting out, but getting in the second foot as you took off...I always seem to be slipping on the bottom of the pedal for a while...not very confidence inspiring in heavy traffic...which unforntunately is the case in my immediate area.
 
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