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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    248

    Well THAT didn't go well (clipless pedals)

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    Oy.

    We won't talk about the number of scrapes, scratches, and various other abrasions and sore muscles I now have.

    I went back to spin for the first time since getting my bike last Friday, and I forgot how comfortable my spd shoes were. So I thought I was ready to tackle the clipless pedals.

    Not.

    (And where did I get that crazy idea that comfortable = ready for clipless anyway???)

    The tension on the pedals is adjusted to the loosest point possible (SPD pedals). I am obviously just not ready. I need to get to the point where I'm hopping out of the saddle on stops appropriately, and leaning as I need to after that. I was hopping out of the saddle okay (not great, but okay), but I wasn't leaning away from the clipped in side too well. I'd forget about the clipped in side and go tumbling.

    Now I just have to figure out how to switch out the pedals, with the appropriate tension (there was a recommended torque for the spd pedals).

    That, and go back and smack the guy at the LBS (not the one who put the pedals on) who said that most people wondered what all the worry was for wrt clipless pedals.

    No reason for this post other than to vent. Perhaps I'll be in a better mood in the morning.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    471
    Sorry. At least you have yours on your bike. I have mine in a box and I even have the cutest pair of shoes. I chickened out with the torn tendon at my 5th metatarsel. I'll never get out of the clips and I have psyched myself out.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    507
    Alternatively clip BOTH feet out before stopping. Put feet down. Reclip one foot before restarting. Then you can get used to clipping and unclipping. Then start only unclipping one foot after you have got the hang of things.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,889
    I made the mistake of trying to clip in before my muscle memory had really incorporated starting/stopping/etc. I failed the first time I tried which was about 2.5 months after starting riding. I tried again after 10 months of riding and I've not looked back. IMO it is vital that your muscle memory be comfortable with riding before adding clipless pedals on top of it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    30

    Re: Well THAT didn't go well (clipless pedals)

    Oh boy...i really didnt need to stumble across this thread. Im so nervous to try my new spd clipless shoes/pedals. Haha. Im nervous about spills from forgetting to clip out and spills at intersections from not being able to clip in when that light turns green!I got the shimano a530 which has 1 wide flat side in case i cant clip in quickly but hearing others' experiences....i dont know. Anyone have any inspiring success stories?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    Yes, I had no falls. Although this was a long time ago, I rode around for 3 weeks, with just one foot clipped in, practicing, until I felt silly and my second foot just clipped in, because it felt dumb not to.
    I can't imagine unclipping both feet first. As Catrin said, get your muscle memory for stopping, getting off the saddle down.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    329
    I am not sure if my story is inspiring or not- but I switched to clipless successfully at age 50 after only getting into mountain biking for a year. (So I have been using them for a year, riding about two years now....) I practiced on a grass field a few times and now I love clipless- would never switch back. I put spds on my road bike too. Good Luck and think positive (:

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,889
    To me, even after riding clipless for over 2,000 miles I think I would probably crash if I tried to unclip with both feet to stop, can't imagine how that would work.

    Think positive, and practice. For me practicing on grass didn't help because there was increased resistance from the grass with those skinnier tires and I felt more unstable on the uneven ground. I went to my favorite park with an isolated back road that looped and has no traffic outside of cyclists sprinting/etc. Sure, I crashed a lot during the 3 days of my failed first experiment...but 8 months later when I tried it again (after my muscle memory was quite comfortable with riding) the move was anticlimactic. I've only fallen twice in the over 2k miles since then - and one of those two falls was when I had a "Hey Vern, Watch THIS" moment"

    So take your time, there is no law that says you have to start clipping in "x" period of time after starting to ride. Heck, there isn't anything that says that you EVER have to start clipping in. Some say that "to be a cyclist you must clip in" (I know a few who say this), but that is just silliness. There are people who ride a gazillion miles without attaching themselves to their bike. I only do it because my knee doesn't like it if I do not. I've had 75 mile road rides without clipping in. I do not clip in on the mountain bike.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,501
    Quote Originally Posted by luvmyguys View Post
    I need to get to the point where I'm hopping out of the saddle on stops appropriately, and leaning as I need to after that.
    There's your issue. Lean first, put your foot down second.

    Really you'll find that leaning and putting your leg out are all one smooth movement, but if you want to break it down to learn it piece by piece, it's (1) unclip ONE side, (2) turn your handlebars slightly AWAY from the side you're unclipped, to induce your bike to lean toward that side, then (3) extend your leg and come out of the saddle to put your foot down.

    NEVER unclip both sides until the bike is FULLY stopped at a safe place for you to dismount. If both sides are unclipped you have very little control over the bike's lean or propulsion. It's a good way to get into trouble.

    I'm glad you're only bumped and scraped. Most people do go through that. There are people who get it right away, but most people tip over a couple of times while they're learning the motion of unclipping. I went through it twice, actually, when I first went clipless, and then again when I returned to riding after a 12-year hiatus.

    It'll come. Hope you feel better soon.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    248
    Quote Originally Posted by J9L View Post
    Oh boy...i really didnt need to stumble across this thread. Im so nervous to try my new spd clipless shoes/pedals. Haha. Im nervous about spills from forgetting to clip out and spills at intersections from not being able to clip in when that light turns green!I got the shimano a530 which has 1 wide flat side in case i cant clip in quickly but hearing others' experiences....i dont know. Anyone have any inspiring success stories?
    Well, you're ahead of where I was. My gut instinct told me to get the A530's, but I let the guy in the LBS talk me into another pedal, which admittedly will be good for long rides, as it has a shoe to pedal contact closer to that of a road pedal. Just the mental knowledge of knowing "Hey, I can go back, or transition more slowly, at any time" will probably help you relax. Which could very well make you more successful.

    I, however, am an inherent clutz, and I obviously forgot that when I started trying it out. You'll probably be fine. I usually hear stories of falling once or twice, not the frequency that happened to me yesterday. I had about as many time where I was able to stay upright - and semi-gracefully, at that - but I don't think a 50% success rate is good for me or the pretty new bike.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Columbus, IN
    Posts
    216
    I'm there with you. I have spd pedals on my 'comfort bike' and I pretty much had it down. I broke my leg in June, and now I'm just getting back into riding. the spd pedals aren't bad on that bike, but I have a lovely new road bike I'd love to ride with one-sided road pedals. I'm finding that I have more trouble clipping in than clipping out (and I'm scared to fall on the not-quite-completely-healed left leg so I find myself clipping out of both because I'm afraid I'll lean the wrong way so I know I'm likely developing bad habits). So far I've not fallen, but it just still feels uncomfortable. Luckily, even if I'm not clipped in there is enough pedal to make me go (and for some reason I can clip in no problem with my bad leg, the other just takes a lot of effort and this is the one I'm leaning on anyway so I better figure it out), and I'm getting it down with practice and hopefully I'll be more confident soon. I'm sure with both of us, its just a matter of practicing and developing muscle memory.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Beautiful NW or Left Coast
    Posts
    5,619
    whoa! being sufficiently timid to wait 3 years to try, i went for a test ride and crashed almost immediately. SO I paid a professional to give me a lesson. this is what she did.
    she took me on a very manicured grass field. she told me to ride WITHOUT clipping in. after a while she allowed me to clip in JUST ONE FOOT. clip in clip out. I did that constantly. THen we practiced the correct sequences for stopping. THen we tried the other foot. then all together.

    take it slow.
    good luck. I never fell because of pedals again.
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Rowland Hts, CA
    Posts
    461
    Quote Originally Posted by luvmyguys View Post
    Well, you're ahead of where I was. My gut instinct told me to get the A530's, but I let the guy in the LBS talk me into another pedal, which admittedly will be good for long rides, as it has a shoe to pedal contact closer to that of a road pedal. Just the mental knowledge of knowing "Hey, I can go back, or transition more slowly, at any time" will probably help you relax. Which could very well make you more successful.

    I, however, am an inherent clutz, and I obviously forgot that when I started trying it out. You'll probably be fine. I usually hear stories of falling once or twice, not the frequency that happened to me yesterday. I had about as many time where I was able to stay upright - and semi-gracefully, at that - but I don't think a 50% success rate is good for me or the pretty new bike.
    I'm clumsy too. I definitely am NOT going clipless on my mountain bike because there are too many sudden unexpected trail changes while mountain biking.

    As for my road bike, I fell about 20 times. Yes, my poor bike was scratched from day 1. Luckily, I have hard bones.

    I wanted to learn unclipping right foot first because it's safer to fall away from traffic. Unfortunately, I found out that I strongly fall left.

    Figure out which side you tend to fall towards and pick that foot to unclip first and only for now. You can wear sneakers on both feet and practice "unclipping". Once you start building up muscle memory, wear one biking shoe on the side that you unclip out first and wear a sneaker on the other foot (the foot that you prefer to unclip second) until you are comfortable.
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    30

    Re: Well THAT didn't go well (clipless pedals)

    Quote Originally Posted by luvmyguys View Post
    Well, you're ahead of where I was. My gut instinct told me to get the A530's, but I let the guy in the LBS talk me into another pedal, which admittedly will be good for long rides, as it has a shoe to pedal contact closer to that of a road pedal. Just the mental knowledge of knowing "Hey, I can go back, or transition more slowly, at any time" will probably help you relax. Which could very well make you more successful.

    I, however, am an inherent clutz, and I obviously forgot that when I started trying it out. You'll probably be fine. I usually hear stories of falling once or twice, not the frequency that happened to me yesterday. I had about as many time where I was able to stay upright - and semi-gracefully, at that - but I don't think a 50% success rate is good for me or the pretty new bike.
    U r prob right. Its comforting to know i have a flat side and luckily my lbs knows how i am so they didnt steer me otherwise. I practiced on the trainer at the shop. I will go out around a parking lot on saturday and see how it goes. Maybe u can switch ur pedals to the a530's. Goodluck. I hear u on not wanting to ruin the new bike. Im in the same situation and also dont want to ruin myself haha. Thx to the other posters for the advice and encouragement!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    248
    Quote Originally Posted by J9L View Post
    U r prob right. Its comforting to know i have a flat side and luckily my lbs knows how i am so they didnt steer me otherwise. I practiced on the trainer at the shop. I will go out around a parking lot on saturday and see how it goes. Maybe u can switch ur pedals to the a530's. Goodluck. I hear u on not wanting to ruin the new bike. Im in the same situation and also dont want to ruin myself haha. Thx to the other posters for the advice and encouragement!
    Ordered 'em last night on Amazon (and they went up $10 in price from the time I ordered them last night to this morning!). I'll keep the A600's for when I'm really good at the clipless and need the extra pedal width.

    Good luck!

 

 

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