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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    portland oregon
    Posts
    250

    stopping technique

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    hello. i am BRAND NEW to cycling and love it so much. i just bought my first road bike and am learning to use clipless pedals and lock in shoes. i am having a hard time learning how to un-cleat and slow down to stop. i have been practicing moving from pavement onto a grassy surface so i have a safe place to fall. does any one have any hints on how to stop safely and techniques for doing so? i have been practicing my little heart out, and i have only fallen twice. i want to go on the road, but i know i am not ready yet. any advice?

    thank you,
    goddess1222

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    719

    clipless pedals

    clipless pedals add amazing power to your pedal stroke. They aren't very fun to learn with though

    i suggest to my students, practicing with each foot. and keep clipping in and out with one foot on the ground. then switch. i don't know what kind of pedals you have but there should be some kind of adjustment to loosen them so your foot comes out of them easier.

    good luck and safe riding

    Han

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    portland oregon
    Posts
    250
    thank you for your suggestions. i have "look" brand pedals and they are extremely tight, and a little tough to unclip. i will check to see if they can be adjusted.


    thank you, thank you,
    goddess1222

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    texas
    Posts
    26

    Smile

    Hi goddess1222,

    I'm fairly new to cycling too. I got my road bike in May. I have found my new sport. I started using clipless pedals last month. I love them. What I did to get used to them was pedal up and down my road and constantly clip in clip out until it felt comfortable and seemed second nature. I rode in a road ride a few days later and felt very comfortable with them. I do still tell myself to clip out when I get ready to stop. Don't wait till the last minute to clip out. I like to clip out with my left foot as I am coasting to a stop. I put that foot down then I clip out with my right foot. I have seen some people clip out with both feet as they are coming to a stop. I tried it that way but it didn't feel right for me.

    I am not yet brave enough to have clipless pedals on my mt. bike yet. I put my feet down way to much when I'm riding. Someday maybe.

    Have you rode in an organized road ride yet?
    I am hooked. They are so much fun.

    Have fun riding
    Vicki

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    indiana
    Posts
    26
    Try putting a little White Lightning, a bike lubricant, on your pedals and cleats. This really helped me out. Trust me, it will get easier!

    Liner

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    4

    Unhappy LOOK clip-less

    Thanks for this entire thread! I rode 10 extra miles last summer b/c I was afraid to stop and HOPE TO UNCLIP. I would always FALL! Not only did I look for grass, but I would try and pedal through the small, grassy area to search for a higher spot to rest my LEFT clip-less foot. I finally got my own tools, and made the Look tension as loose as possible. My new goal is to learn to unclip and DISMOUNT QUICKLY to the RIGHT, so that I lean away from any traffic. I train on back country roads to avoid traffic, so that I can concentrate on technique. I finally figured out that stopping and then hoping to unclip defies the laws of physics.
    Good luck!
    QUESTION: would WD40 work like White Lightening?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    719

    lube

    aaah!
    don't put WD40 on your bike. it isn't made for your bike. it's messy and it isn't made for your bike. Buy proper chain lube.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    4
    YIKES!!!!!! i see WD40 all around the bike shops, and i just took matters into my own hands... this is for me >> << b/c i didn't take time to inquire re: clipless. i have never put it on my chain, but not b/c i knew better...unfortunately, i have used the spray liberally on my clipless, and probably have inadvertently given chain a good soaking....you have stopped a disaster in the making...thank you, han grrl, thank you!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    719

    Pam for your pedals

    if you ar e looking to lube up your pedals a tad...try a little PAM! yep. this little tip was given to me by a retired racer. spray a touch on and wipe off with a rag. I haven't tried it myself but i know a few people that claim it helped with SPD pedals working a little smoother.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    portland oregon
    Posts
    250

    Talking

    thanks han grrl, i will keep the pam in mind. i am slowly doing better on the stopping technique. slowly, slowly. i want so badly to get out on the road and ride, but i know i am not ready yet. i guess i will just have to practice having patience also.

    goddess1222

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    122

    getting used to clipless pedals...

    My LBS had this piece of advice for me when I got SPD pedals: Stay in one spot (i.e. one foot on the ground) and just clip in and out about 20 times, repeat on the other side! It helped me a lot (no, I don't have the GUTS to use on the MTB yet either, but I do like them for road riding!)

    Another tip I read in a mountain biking book was regarding stopping: unclip one foot a little early, once that foot is out, turn the front wheel toward that foot when you stop. That way, if you end up stopping before the other foot is out, the bike will naturally want to lean toward the foot that's already out!

    Another tip from a really good cycling buddy was (duh!! ) unclip before you get to the light!
    All who joy would win must share it -- happiness was born a twin. (Byron)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    New Orleans/ South Louisiana
    Posts
    386

    Greetings, Goddess :)

    Two neat secrets from the hot guys who wrench at Adams Bicycle World-

    1. WD40 is not a lubricant. It's a solvent. You see it all over bike shops because they need it to break joints that have rusted together because most of the work is done on crappy bikes that aren't maintained properly. WD 40 has no place in a properly maintained bikes life because we all put Park graese or W Lightning on any threads before we put stuff back together, right? Seriously, spray some WD40 on a rag and give it twenty minutes- it evaporates. You want it to disapear so you can pile on lube and make it right.
    Incidently, don't ever try to use this stuff in a lock of any kind. It'll just seize worse. My ex husband loved to ruin things with WD 40.
    2. Goddess, there is nothing wrong with using SPD pedals on your road bike. I bet you have the shoes for spin class, huh? the little snap of the ankle you use to pop the cleat out is the same movement as for Look road, but putting a road shoe with a Look cleat down is like ice skating. Theres little pads on the toe and heel of the shoe to touch down with, but it's a trick and I can't do it well either. Adam laughs at me- he says Looks aren't made for stopping and get over it. Using MT bike shoes will let you put your foot down easier since they're more sneaker like, and separarte the click out - put your foot down in a weird slippery shoe motion into two sections to learn and may be easier to deal with.
    You don't learn sports in your head, but in your body. Your leg isn't real bright and needs to learn combinations of movements by rote in little sections. Once it learns, it never forgets though and will react immediatly instead of having to take the huge amount of time to process through the prefrontal cortex. This can save your *** in a bad moment. Am I making sense? This is how gymnists and dancers learn complex movements, a bit at a time. You need the prefrontal cortex for other things in a bad moment anyway, like raising the finger and yelling Dorothy Parkeresque remarks.
    Hope this helps.

    missliz

    Oh, and don't go to Time ATAC spds if you do this, they're the state of the art but have a special trick of their own to learn. And You don't need to douse cleats with lube constantly- just use a more aggressive snap of the foot to make it pop out. After a while you get a little wear on the cleat too, and this helps.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    New Orleans/ South Louisiana
    Posts
    386

    Running on and on and on...

    Road Bike Giant brought up an interesting point- Don't stop and then hope to unclip. This is asking to fall, since your foot should be out yards before you stop. Look up the road, you need to be watching at close and far distances at once and know where you're going to stop. My foot is out and off the pedal as I'm scrubbing off speed with the brakes so it's ready to dab when I stop. Even in a maybe situation the foot comes out- slower speed means more reaction and decision making time. Slapping it back into the binding is the easiest part of clipless, so when in doubt pop your foot out. You do this with the brakes in your car all the time without realizing it
    A drill you can do toodleing around the neighborhood is to blow both bindings at once, then slap the feet back into the binding WITHOUT LOOKING. Don't stop. just go in and out. The leg learns where the pedal/ binding is at all times really quickly. And yeah, you can alternate one foot at a time or whatever keeps you from getting bored. two or three sessions should do it. The learning curve isn't very steep, it's just that nobody tells women how to learn this stuff. My ex Soviet fencing coach actually came up with this exercise when he saw I was burnt and changing sports for real. He doesn't ride, but he understands how the body learns combinations of movements.
    Observe other riders in traffic. You can tell who does it right 'cos it looks easy. You can learn a lot this way.

    miss liz

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    On my bike
    Posts
    2,505
    If I anticipate stopping, I unclip & let my foot rest on the pedal in case I need to clip back in. BUT - be sure that you don't inadvertently let your foot clip back in because you'll do the Laugh-In-Old-Man-Tricycle stunt. Very hard on the ego!

    And Mizz Liz is right - your muscles will learn where the pedal is and how to click in & out automatically. It takes a bit of time, but it will happen without you realizing it. All of a sudden you'll realize that it has become second nature.

    Kim
    To train a dog, you must be more interesting than dirt.

    Trek Project One
    Trek FX 7.4 Hybrid

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, CANADA
    Posts
    40

    My Clips are like my seatbelt

    I can't even think about heading on the road/trail without my clips on! Just ain't right! (but I must admit, learning how to use them... now that was just funny!)
    I have been riding for as long as I can remember and trail riding for just 4 years, but man... once you get the technique of clipless pedals, you'll never go back to platforms (or worse yet, traps! eekk!!)

 

 

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