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Thread: Clipless 101

  1. #1
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    Clipless 101

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    I've survived the first rite of passage. I've decided I do better when I unclip on the right first. Is there any reason why I shouldn't?

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  2. #2
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    No. I would do what comes natural.

    I had people advise me to practice clipping and unclipping on both sides. It is extremely awkward for me to unclip on the right and put my right foot down, and then unclip on the left. So heck with it, I always unclip the left first, put my foot down, and then unclip the right. Now it is part of my muscle memory.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by thekarens View Post
    I've survived the first rite of passage. I've decided I do better when I unclip on the right first. Is there any reason why I shouldn't?

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    Hang in there, my first booboo learning to unclip was in gravel and in front of about 15 teenage males (; Yup, zoomed up to the cars and promptly fell over in the parking lot still stuck to my bike. Lucky for them, they didn't laugh immediately but helped me up and waited to crack up until I did (:

  4. #4
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    My first clipless fall looked a lot like that. I unclip with my right foot (I lack the range of motion in my left ankle to do it, so it stays until I get off the bike). It's a matter of personal preference.

    My boss likes to tell people buying their first set of clipless pedals about it his dad. His dad, despite years of riding bikes, seems to have an unusual talent for ending up on his back (completely unhurt) with both feet still attached to the pedals. No one has been able to figure out how he manages it.
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  5. #5
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    Ha (: good laugh for the day Owlie- I can picture someone on their back still clipped- but no way could I imagine how to do that if I tried!

  6. #6
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    Thanks for both the words of encouragement and the stories. I related my adventure to the club and one member described an event just like Owlie described. He said he came to a light, forgot to clip out, tipped over and rolled right onto his back with his bike still attached. He said he felt like a cockroach on it's back, lol.

    Another guy who is on the clubs race team said he fell just a couple weeks ago, so at least I'm in good company. Most people are glad there wasn't a camera involved I was mostly said about scraping my new bike! The neighbor kid ran over very concerned. I'm sure she was wondering about the old lady across the cul-de-sac who falls over after only going about 2 feet.
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  7. #7
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    It's good to be able to unclip with either foot (e.g. if you need to make a panic stop in the middle of a tight turn when you're leaned the opposite direction of the side you usually unclip. DAMHIK ).

    But that's an "intermediate" skill. Get to where you can reliably clip in and unclip with the foot you prefer, however long it takes you, THEN start practicing occasionally with the opposite foot. You'll develop better muscle memory and instinctual habits if you have a "go-to" foot, IMO.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  8. #8
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    Well you got your first fall out of the way. I think almost all have at least one, I have had a few myself.

    I also agree that learning to unclip with either foot is good, but I have not mastered it myself. To be honest however, my husband feels that unclipping with the right foot is best so if you stumble & by chance fall you are falling of the opposite side of traffic.
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  9. #9
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    I always say listen to the body...what feels natural is what you do. However, be aware that the road frequently dips down on the right as opposed to the left (assuming you're riding on the right side of the road!), so beware of that balance. If the dip is deeper than you thought you could just tip over. Most importantly, I find having clips that adjust is imperative. Mine are set light, meaning they won't release my foot on a steep climb, but if I need to unclip quickly I won't have to struggle.
    Good luck!
    M

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jo-n-NY View Post
    Well you got your first fall out of the way. I think almost all have at least one, I have had a few myself.

    I also agree that learning to unclip with either foot is good, but I have not mastered it myself. To be honest however, my husband feels that unclipping with the right foot is best so if you stumble & by chance fall you are falling of the opposite side of traffic.
    That's actually where I had MORE trouble. I tended to fall on the side of the foot I left clipped in - so if I unclip the right, I fall to the left (into traffic). I also tend to put my left foot down naturally, so I tend to do better unclipping the left foot first (actually, I just unclip both of them, but that's my newbie self talking).
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by luvmyguys View Post
    That's actually where I had MORE trouble. I tended to fall on the side of the foot I left clipped in - so if I unclip the right, I fall to the left (into traffic). I also tend to put my left foot down naturally, so I tend to do better unclipping the left foot first (actually, I just unclip both of them, but that's my newbie self talking).
    You are not inspiring confidence, LOL!
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  12. #12
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    That has everything to do with leaning before/during unclipping. We've talked about this before (where is the thread)???

    The sequence is, first turn the handlebars slightly AWAY from the direction you plan to unclip (e.g., if you unclip right, turn your handlebars slightly left). Turning the bars left induces a right handed lean, so your bike will begin to fall to the right. As the bike leans over, unclip the foot, so your foot is ready when it's time for it to hit the ground. As your toe hits the pavement, stand up off the saddle so you can support your weight.

    If you're falling to the wrong side, pay closer attention to which way you're leaning before you unclip.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  13. #13
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    Here was another clipping thread where I described how I routinely fell to my left. http://forums.teamestrogen.com/showt...ht=unclip+fall I'm glad I'm well versed now at unclipping on either side.
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  14. #14
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    Another tip to help make sure that you "fall" the correct direction is when you unclip your favored foot hang that foot out from the pedal a few inches. It helps lean the bike the correct side when you do stop. I unclip one foot when approaching intersections, watch for traffic with my foot out away from the pedal, and if none is coming bring my foot back in and clip in.

    It also helps prevent an accidental reclip, which happened a couple of days ago to a person I was riding with and he had his first clipless fall.
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  15. #15
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    I've always unclipped on the right -- just the way my brain is wired, I guess.
    Emily

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