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Pedal Float

What exactly is pedal float? Have you guys ridden different degrees of float and have you felt a difference? What float do you guys ride/recommend?
November 30, 2014 06:54 AM
From: Philadelphia, PA
103 posts
9 bikes
It's the lateral free play that your shoes have when clipped into the pedals. How the heel of the shoe can move left or right before it disengages.
The early shoe/pedal combos didn't have any. Like the white and red Look pedals from the eighties. Some still don't have any. Some models have more than others.
Some people like it, others don't.
If your cleats are set up correctly, there won't be any movement because your feet are already in the correct position. The ability to move is still there.
After pedaling hard your foot should be able to move either way a little bit. If not the cleat is not set up properly.
It's a case of playing around with your set up.
I'll try and find some links to pedal cleat set up.
I use Shimano SPDs and there is a small amount of movement. But when I'm pedaling I don't notice it.

November 30, 2014 09:34 AM
From: Gold Coast. Australia
179 posts
2 bikes
I ride eggbeaters on my track bike and I'm experiencing quite a bit of pedal float with them, which is a bit annoying but it's not the pedals' fault - they're built for mountainbiking... So i think as ^ said, you'll be able to find pedals with lesser float than others - i've heard the shimano DA pedals are quite nice and look's also worth checking out :)

Have a good one,
November 30, 2014 09:21 PM
From: Copenhagen, Denmark
289 posts
45 bikes
float is the side to side movement allowed by your cleat/pedal combo. most modern pedals have adjustable float, or varying degrees of float based on cleat selection. the purpose of float is to prevent repetitive motion injuries, and allow your foot to also rotate side to side as you pedal. Some like more than others, but if you're just starting out, more is better than none. I used to ride with 9 degree float cleats on my look keo, and now i have the shimano yellow cleats which have 6 degrees (i think, its definitely a little less than the keos).

as you dial in your pedal stroke, and if your physiology is more or less average than you'll notice a minimal need for a lot of float. but its definitely nice to have a little. Ive also noticed that the angle of my foot on the pedals changes when I'm out of the saddle, which the float helps to accommodate.

That being said, i do know a masters aged cyclist who hates float, and he's the fastest 50 something i know.
November 30, 2014 11:10 PM
From: San Diego, CA
780 posts
9 bikes
Nice juicy info here... I think the ones I have are 0 float, but I have no problem with it. Should I get different degrees to test out or should I remain at 0°?
December 1, 2014 11:00 PM
From: Philadelphia, PA
103 posts
9 bikes
If you ride Shimano pedals (in my case Shimano 105), you can adjust it and I have done so to where there's very minimum float when riding. however it does make it a bit harder to clip out/ unclip from the pedals. For my Time ATAC, I can definitely feel a lot of movement. I'm not too sure if it's due to them being really used, because I bought them used. Anyway, each type of pedal/ cleat combination should have their own amount of float, but this is just my input on float.
December 2, 2014 12:20 AM
From: Las Vegas, NV
372 posts
3 bikes

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