Cinelli M71 Cli­p­less Ped­als

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - VINTAGE VELO -

“There were cli­p­less ped­als even back to the turn of the cen­tury. But noth­ing ever caught on. Ev­ery­body had clips and straps,” said Mike Barry Sr. re­cently. Barry was in the shop where his Mari­posa bikes are built and where he has many vintage bikes and com­po­nents. He held one Cinelli M71 cli­p­less pedal. He has a set of the fourth­gen­er­a­tion M71s, in­clud­ing plastic cleats and a tool for re­mov­ing the dust caps cov­er­ing the out­side ends of the ped­als.

The first gen­er­a­tion of the Cinelli cli­p­less ped­als came out in 1970, pre­dat­ing the Look pedal (which would be more suc­cess­ful com­mer­cially) by more than 10 years. The fourth-gen­er­a­tion pedal, out in 1974, fea­tured more plastic than its pre­de­ces­sor: the later model has plastic cleats and dust caps. The pedal body is mostly alu­minum.

“You nailed the cleats onto leather shoes,” Barry said. It was a com­mon prac­tice as cy­clists at the time at­tached clips onto the bot­tom of their shoes in a sim­i­lar way to work in con­junc­tion with straps. The edges of the cleat slide into chan­nels at the sides of the pedal body. You then push in a black plastic slider. “A lit­tle pin comes up, and you’re locked in,” Barry said.

“Should you fall, you push that in, and then you can get your foot out,” Barry joked. To un­clip, you had to reach down and pull the slider out. There was no twist­ing your shoe, as you do with con­tem­po­rary cli­p­less sys­tems. Barry pointed out that the ac­tions re­quired for en­gag­ing and dis­en­gag­ing the M71 cleats weren’t too dis­sim­i­lar to clips and straps.— Matthew­pi­oro

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