Been considering this an option for my Muni I’m building up due to the lightness of the pedals such as crank brothers egg beaters. But I think due to so much body movement on a unicycle, it could be hard to stay clipped in.
It’s not hard to stay clipped in; it’s somewhat hard to get clipped out, harder than on a bike because you can’t stop pedaling to do it. In general, we don’t have nearly as much pedal torque as bikes, because if you put as much pressure on the pedal as a bike rider does, you won’t stay on.
The first half of that sentence should have been your answer. If you’re having “a few high speed crashes,” esp. near 20 mph, you will definitely be injured in a clipped-in crash. Believe me, I broke a collar bone at about 15 mph by having my shoelace wrap up.
My advice: wait at least a year and see how you feel about it then.
I have been using spd’s for about a month now. I am still on the fence about using them full time. I use them on a Nimbus 36er. I have the hardest time free mounting. Free mounting with platform pedals is not a problem. I have the double sided spd’s. I had a some single sided spd’s on my bike that I tried. It was harder for me to lock in. I am using the multi release cleats. They release with inboard and outboard heel kick. I think the normal cleats only release with outboard heel kick. When my backpack is over 16 pounds I put platform pedals on. I usually wear gloves with wrist guards and knee pads. If you usually don’t ride with them I would suggest using at least wrist guards with any type of locking pedal. I have only had 2 incidents with the spd’s. The first was when I stopped to normally dismount I had a brain fart and failed to release my feet and I fell backwards and destroyed my new Hillbilly gloves. It shattered the palm guard on the left glove. I received no injuries. The gloves did their job. The second I had to stop real fast at a red traffic light and my left foot did not release and I twisted my knee. I failed to kick my heel.
I think I will get more used to them with more mileage. The rain never stops around here and I think the spd’s will be better than platforms. Last winter my feet kept slipping off the pedals.
I am far from an expert on this matter. There are certain situations where I will switch back to platforms.
I usually ride in traffic and feel just as comfortable with the spd’s as platforms. I think that with more practice with mounts and dismounts the spd’s will become permanent. With my worn out knees I am unable to run at all. So I am unable to outrun any type of upd. I have gone off at 15 mph last year with a 20 pound backpack. I have to tuck and roll. For me regardless of what type of pedals I have when I have an upd I hit the ground.
Wow, that’s a hard fall, those guards are very thick nylon.
I tried SPD’s on my muni and found that I had less control due to the float, but pull up power was exceptional.
I use nylon pedals and sticky soled shoes, really don’t have any friction problems even in the wet, so the only benefit of SPD’s for me was pull up power. The dilemna for is that I mostly have foot-pedal traction issues when it’s wet, but when it’s wet I have more tire-ground traction issues which means more UPD’s. So adding SPD’s will make my UPD’s more hazardous
The downside is when you fall in SPD’s, you fall harder and with less oportunity to escape unscathed. I rode bikes with SPD’s for twenty years, had some pretty awesome crashes where I failed to release, both on road and trail. I have found SPD’s to be dangerous enough that my teenage kids and wife are now on platform pedals, even on the full suspension bikes.
It’s a fun thing to play around with, but all it takes is one full clip in fall at speed and those knees are gonna take a big hit. I’d get some hard shell knee pads and keep wearing the Hillbillys
I am currently using the Kris Holm precusion leg armor. They have serious road rash. I’m waiting on some 661 knee pads with d3o foam. One problem I have with the platform pedals is I can’t find good shoes that fit my feet. I usually wear a size 49. Most shoes only go to size 48. When I ride platform pedals I wear my Echo loafers. I tried my combat boots but quickly found the ground. The tread on the boots is too deep for the pins on the pedals.
The true test of the spd’s will come when my Schlumpf hub returns from Switzerland. I want to try my 110 cranks with the spd’s. I can shift pretty well. I only had the hub in service for about a month before I broke the shift shaft. I was using 150 cranks. Florian said that was the first hub returned for a broken shift shaft. I have been averaging 15mph with the 110 cranks. I 'm getting better at slow speed maneuvering clipped in. I have to people slalom at the airport every work night. I have unclipped & walked several times when the people get real thick. For my muni adventures I will stick to platform pedals with my loafers. I don’t have a lot of muni experience.
Distance and hill rides could be made easier because you can pull/push in multiple directions giving a bit more power and able to vary muscles used.
I don’t think it’d be safe to do speed runs clipped in.
I would get REALLY comfortable releasing on a b*ke before trying on a uni. When you do, get the SPD cleats that can realease w/ an upward pull.
Practice getting in and out w/ both feet in your yard untill its routine, then take it to the road (or easy trails). When you can always release whenever you want consider switching to the non-upward release cleats and repeat the prossess.
A guy hear did it this way and after a few weeks he could ride just as technical trails as he previously could w/ platforms.
That’s some pretty big feet. I knew a guy who had ~ the same size and he could usually get sizes not normally sold by ordering directly from the factory.
Think possible help with distance vs. increased chance of not finishing the ride (with possible permanent effects). I don’t recommend it for a 30-mile ride if it’s only a few weeks away, unless you have lots of time to get used to the pedals.
Less about pulling up, and more about using less energy to keep your feet on the pedals. Especially when riding fast, there isn’t much time to pull up, but for uphill riding you can definitely use that.
Not the knees, the wrists. If not the wrists, than the shoulders or face. Those will come before knees, especially on a 36".
For great grip in the web (or anytime), I recommend 5-10 Freeride shoes (like these) and metal-pinned pedals. Many people have described that combination as “too grippy”, but I don’t think that’s possible.