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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm an ex-runner recovering from knee surgery. I decided to fulfill a long-ago desire and get in to biking. After an enjoyable evaluation, I chose a Litespeed Ti. My LBS recommended a set of Speedplay X2 pedals to ensure a lot of float to favor my recovering knee. It all made sense to me at the time.
So I've been out riding for a few weeks and have more than once fallen over while coming to a halt because of the difficulty in unclipping from the pedals. Now I understand that much of this can be chalked up to rookie errors. But I was wondering whether the 15 degree of float on the X2's fundamentally makes the unclipping process more difficult. Having no other reference it seems to me that I have to swing out a lot further (almost unnaturally) to remove myself from the clip.
I assume that no-float pedals require only a bit of swing from center to exit?
I don't mind hitting the ground now and then - a constructive learning experience. :) I just wanted to know if I'm making it unduly difficult on myself.
Thanks
 

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They are a bit more work to get out of. But I am a true believer in their knee-saving properties. I'd stick with 'em.
 

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t32bt32b said:
But I was wondering whether the 15 degree of float on the X2's fundamentally makes the unclipping process more difficult.
Nah, you have to turn your ankle a little farther, but you don't have to use as much effort as spring-resisted float. It's just as easy, but takes getting used to.

FWIW, as far as "knee savings" go, many doctors and sports-medicine types think that the free-floating X's probably have more float than is healthy, and recommend more like 8-10 degrees for most people. If you're trying to address medical issues you may want to consult a professional about it.
 

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I assume that no-float pedals require only a bit of swing from center to exit?
With no-float pedals (or no-float cleats) you're out instantly..

I can confirm Argentius' statement about lots of float not being the unfailing knee-saver. I went from clips and straps to floating pedals/cleats and promptly developed knee problems. After going to no float whatsoever, my knee problems disappeared within days and have not reappeared in 12 years. That's my experience and yours may vary. My point is that the slogan float = knee saver is more marketing hype than sound medical knowledge.
 

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Check your cleats!

Your Speedplay X pedals are a good system. I rode the X series for 3 years before I switched to Zeros. Once you get used to the clip-in/clip-out procedure, it will become second nature. To clip-out of the X series, don't try to twist your ankle out. Instead, simply and decisively roll your foot to the outside. Practice this several times on both pedals either in a trainer or while holding onto a fence/post/wall. Also, if it does seem the release force is excessive, check your cleats. Ensure that the cleat mounting screws are not overly tight. I think the instructions tell you to screw them in until they become tight then an addtional 1/4 turn. All four screws should be tightened uniformly. If you have tightened them too tight or they're not uniform, the cleat will bind and be difficult to release.
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
All very helpful tips and perspectives. Thanks all. I'll try the 'foot roll' thing tomorrow. From the mixed comments seems like the other Speedplays that have the adjustable float would have been more interesting. But for now, I'll just ride and occasionally ask for more advice.

Thanks again.
 

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Irony, logic, and comprehension.

wim said:
The hype is that lots of float is a good thing for everyone. For some riders (like rcnute) it's a knee-saver, for others it does nothing bad or good, and for others yet (like wim) it's a knee-wrecker.
On the same topic, some older riders argue that float can actually be bad: many of them are used to the old-school zero-float cleats, and were trouble-free for many years until they started trying the newer cleats. Some people love the black LOOK cleats, which have zero float.

So to each his/her own, like Wim and Argentius said.

Ironically, these clipless pedals were originally invented as a safety device, called "Pedales automatique". They release automatically in the event of a crash, unlike the preceding designs which literally bind your feet onto the pedals. Hinault claims that they saved him from worse injuries when he crashed in the 85 Tour, since he fell so suddenly that he will not have time to loosen his feet from the old-style cleats.

I wonder if some people are better off with using toe-clips and hard-soled shoes. There are still cycling shoes for toe-clips, I think.

Now somebody's going to post that a more upright position is more comfortable for everybody -- unconditionally -- and we're going to have to start all over again. We can all use a refresher in logic and comprehension ;-).
 

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Ironically, these clipless pedals were originally invented as a safety device, called "Pedales automatique". They release automatically in the event of a crash, unlike the preceding designs which literally bind your feet onto the pedals. Hinault claims that they saved him from worse injuries when he crashed in the 85 Tour, since he fell so suddenly that he will not have time to loosen his feet from the old-style cleats.

I wonder if some people are better off with using toe-clips and hard-soled shoes. There are still cycling shoes for toe-clips, I think.
Yes, I remember Look stressing the safety aspect of their clipless pedals when they introduced them. But quite a few riders thought that in a major crash it made precious little difference if your feet remained attached to the pedals or not. Sooner or later, everyone went clipless not for safety reasons, but for reasons of comfort and convenience.

Toe clips and straps worked OK if you knew how to use them. The trick was to alter the tightness of the strap according to what was going on on your ride or in your race. Just rolling along, you'd keep the strap loose for an instant-out if you needed one. Before a sprint or jump, you'd tighten the strap hard to keep from pulling out. Cinching down the strap would often cut the blood circulation off to your toes. That problem, plus the need to reach down there and fiddle with the strap periodically, caused the demise of the clip-and-strap system. For me, clipless was love at first sight: there was no need to even think about the tightness of your shoe-to-pedal connection. Clipless was wonderfully simple: you were either in or out.

There was one slight advantage to the old clips and straps. Because the tight leather strap took all the forces you could dish out, cycling shoes could be kept extremely light. With clipless pedals, the shoe itself has to withstand large forces transfered from the pedal through the cleat—so it has to be strong, massive and heavier. But that bit of added shoe weight was obviously a small price riders gladly paid for the gain in comfort and convenience offered by clipless pedals.

I did grow up with clips and straps, but would never go back to them. Today I ride with black no-float cleats clipped into Look pedals set to zero degrees float and my knees are very happy. But as I said in my earlier posts, this no-float position may not be a good thing to do to someone else's knees.
 

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I also started before clipless pedals. I got the first blocky white LOOKS and I'd never ever go back. I have tried it and don't like float for road riding but it's ok for mountain biking.

Lots of float proponents tout float as the cure for all knee problems. But it only helps if your pedalling motion causes you to rotate your feet. I'd argue that in that case you should fix the biomechanical issues that cause you to have a bad pedalling motion.
 

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ericm979 said:
Lots of float proponents tout float as the cure for all knee problems. But it only helps if your pedalling motion causes you to rotate your feet. I'd argue that in that case you should fix the biomechanical issues that cause you to have a bad pedalling motion.
That'd be a bad argument to make, then, because just because someone's feet might want float or their knees might need float DOESN"T mean they have a biomechanical issue. It just means they're different than, say, you.

There is no one fit solution for everyone when it comes to anything on a bike.
 
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