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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    10

    Just got a sweet new road bike...trying to get used to clipless is killing me though!

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    Hey there! I am brand new here so first, hi!

    2nd, I have been doing longer rides (20-40 miles, with lots of elevation) for about 4 months now. I have been riding clip less on longer rides for about 2 months now...up until this weekend I was riding my old steel commuter bike (it has 2 sided pedals). This weekend I bought a very nice road bike with clipless only pedals and took it for my first ride. It was great. My main problem is the clipless pedals. Honestly I have laid the bike down one time each time I have used clipless. I think it is more a psychological fear that if I need to stop I won't be able to do so quickly enough and something bad will happen, but it seriously kind of ruined my enjoyment of what would have been a very awesome ride!! Any tips for getting used to it (besides setting low resistance...yes I have done that...)? I am thinking of getting some nicer 2 sided pedals for this bike and that way I can just clip in when I want to use the power for uphills, but not feel like I need to be clipped in all the time, and that will help me get used to it in a safe feeling manner. Anyone have any experience/tips for this problem? Or reccomendations for good pedals?

    I have read some other cycling forums where people just decide to forget about clipless and not care what other people think about their cycling cred (lol!), but I genuinely enjoy the increase in power on the uphills...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,301

    Re: Just got a sweet new road bike

    Maybe some confidence building rides to get used to the pedals. Some place you can practice, like an empty parking lot, or low traffic area.

    Personally being clipped in on hills scares me more than anywhere else. I imagine myself stalling out uphill and the bike starting to roll backwards while I'm still clipped :-)
    2012 Jamis Quest Brooks B17 Blue
    2012 Jamis Dakar XC Comp SI Ldy Gel
    2013 Electra Verse

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Rowland Hts, CA
    Posts
    461
    Quote Originally Posted by thekarens View Post
    Maybe some confidence building rides to get used to the pedals. Some place you can practice, like an empty parking lot, or low traffic area.

    Personally being clipped in on hills scares me more than anywhere else. I imagine myself stalling out uphill and the bike starting to roll backwards while I'm still clipped :-)
    My recommendation is to exchange pedals with your current road bike and your old steel commuter bike.

    This way, you can use the 2sided pedals on your current road bike because you have been using those for years. You can immediately enjoy riding the new road bike that you just bought because you are used to your old pedals.

    Ride the old steel commuter bike with the clipless only pedals so that you can practice on your old bike. If you fall and scratchup your old bike, not as big of a deal.

    When you are comfortable with the clipless only pedals on your steel commuter bike, THEN put them on the new road bike.

    VOILA!

    Congrats on your new road bike!
    2014 Liv Lust
    2013 Specialized Fate Expert with carbon wheelset (sold)
    2012 Specialized Amira Elite
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    2011 Specialized Ariel Sport,suspension post,Serfas Rx Women's Microfiber saddle (sold)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    93
    Advice I got when I went clipless for the first time was to take the bike to a park, and clip and out 10 times with each foot before I even started riding. The idea is to make it feel completely like second nature, and you can unclip in almost the time it takes you to take your feet off the pedals. Give it a try, even if you've been using the two-sided pedals for a while. It may help.

    Otherwise, use the 2-sided pedals. Whatever works.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,301

    Re: Just got a sweet new road bike

    Quote Originally Posted by TigerMom View Post
    My recommendation is to exchange pedals with your current road bike and your old steel commuter bike.

    This way, you can use the 2sided pedals on your current road bike because you have been using those for years. You can immediately enjoy riding the new road bike that you just bought because you are used to your old pedals.

    Ride the old steel commuter bike with the clipless only pedals so that you can practice on your old bike. If you fall and scratchup your old bike, not as big of a deal.

    When you are comfortable with the clipless only pedals on your steel commuter bike, THEN put them on the new road bike.

    VOILA!

    Congrats on your new road bike!
    Good idea! I almost cried the first time I fell after putting the clipless on the bike, not because I was hurt, but because of the scratches on my bike.
    2012 Jamis Quest Brooks B17 Blue
    2012 Jamis Dakar XC Comp SI Ldy Gel
    2013 Electra Verse

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    248
    Quote Originally Posted by TigerMom View Post
    My recommendation is to exchange pedals with your current road bike and your old steel commuter bike.

    This way, you can use the 2sided pedals on your current road bike because you have been using those for years. You can immediately enjoy riding the new road bike that you just bought because you are used to your old pedals.

    Ride the old steel commuter bike with the clipless only pedals so that you can practice on your old bike. If you fall and scratchup your old bike, not as big of a deal.

    When you are comfortable with the clipless only pedals on your steel commuter bike, THEN put them on the new road bike.

    VOILA!

    Congrats on your new road bike!
    +1

    I had a disastrous experience when I first went clipless. My gut instinct told me to get the double sided pedals, but I let the LBS guy talk me into a very nice set of clipless only pedals. After that first hideous ride, I ordered the double sided pedals, which allowed me to feel like I could enjoy the bike without worrying about taking my life into my own hands. It took me a few months before I was ready to conquer the clipless pedals again, but I felt like having the platform side was a good safety net. So yes, switch the pedals out. If you're going to plan on going back to the current pair of clipless pedals, though, I'd avoid wasting the money and just exchange the pedals on the two bikes, like TigerMom suggested.

    Have fun with your new ride!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    1
    Hang in there. It will get better, I promise.
    It's worth learning.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    10

    Just got a sweet new road bike...trying to get used to clipless is killing me t

    Thanks for the ideas everyone! I didn't think about putting my old pedals on the new bike. That's a great idea. My plan is to spend 15 minutes or so every night this week clipping in and out on my old bike, alternating both feet in my driveway. Did it tonight and didn't fall over (only almost did once!) lol. Thanks for your encouragement.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Bellingham, WA
    Posts
    10
    When I first got clipless I crashed several times and each time I did my fear and anxiety levels would rise. I even got to the point of having panic attacks that would force me to turn back home after a couple miles. I searched every "how to" every "tutorial" read everything I could on the "right way" to unclip...but still I would fall. So I started thinking about how I used to bring my bike to a stop before I put on the clipless and I realized that I would always stand up with one foot and place the opposite foot on the ground. When I switched to clipless I spent so much time thinking about my foot that I forgot to focus on the rest of my body. From then on I started using this technique; See a stop ahead, unclip one foot at the top of the pedal stroke, stand with the foot still clipped in, balance the bike with your body and gently place your unclipped foot on the ground. At first this was the mental checklist I would run through but now it's muscle memory and I just do it without thinking and haven't had a clipless crash since. Good luck.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,259
    These wouldn't happen to be Shimano SPD-SL pedals, would they...?
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    10

    Just got a sweet new road bike...trying to get used to clipless is killing me t

    No, they are shimano but just SPD. Not SL.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    4
    Seems like everyone falls at some time. Mostly when you are stopping or starting. My wife and I just bought new road bikes. Hers is a Trek Domane 4.3. Mine a Trek Madone 4.5. First ride - she gets on the bike and rolls about 3 feet and falls to the right on the derailleur side. Derailleur hanger is now bent/cracked/whatever. OK, so we don't know this at the time. Everything seems OK and we start riding. Go about 50 yards and she says, "Why don't you ride it, it feels funny". I get on, clip one pedal and push off, go about 12 feet this time. The derailleur breaks off, gets in the spokes, locks up the wheel, and I fall to the left side. This horse/bike obviously needs to be broken. OK, so now we have to go back to the bike store and carry our wounded brand new bike in and tell them to fix it. They're real busy but they replace the derailleur hanger the next day and only charge me for the part. Nice guys! I get home and give the bike a real close inspection and see that the lower jockey pulley is missing some teeth. OK - I have a spare. I changed it. Next day we go for a nice long ride (55 miles) and we notice her drivetrain is really noisy mechanical sounding. Got home and took the cassette off. Found several bent cassette teeth. Have to replace the cassette. So this little fall is getting expensive and yes the emotional damage from taking your newly purchased carbon road bike and slamming it to the ground does take a psychological toll. I can't really blame the clipless pedals we use but just the unfamiliarity with the new bikes. I understand your fears. We have the pedals set on the lowest tension setting. I even took them apart to check for rough edges and lubed them really good. Another thing we do is to spray some aerosol wax (Dupont at Lowes) on the pedal and cleat for smoother clipping and unclipping. It's a learning experience. We've been riding clipless for about five years now also. By the way, I fell down on our 55 miler too. While waiting at a stop light, I clipped my left foot and started to go. Next thing I knew I was looking straight up with the bike on top of me. I'll heal. You'll get better.
    Last edited by jsjcat; 07-25-2013 at 07:14 AM.
    2013 Trek Madone 4.5
    2010 Trek FX 7.6

    2013 Trek Domane 4.3 WSD - Wife's
    2012 Trek FX 7.6 - Wife's

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,259
    Quote Originally Posted by zoom-zoom View Post
    These wouldn't happen to be Shimano SPD-SL pedals, would they...?
    Ooh, here's the thing with those...they tend to start tight, even in the lowest setting, but will loosen-up pretty fast with use. Don't give up...you may just need to give them more time. If they were the SPD-SL road pedals I'd advise to maybe try something else. I am one of at least 4 women I know who all had issues with the SPD-SLs -- and none of use are small, dainty, featherweight gals, either.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,301

    Re: Just got a sweet new road

    She said they were just spd, not the sl. Not sure what the difference is, but I didn't find the SLs hard to learn.

    Once I learned I was an oddball and had to unclip from the right foot first my life became infinitely easier.
    2012 Jamis Quest Brooks B17 Blue
    2012 Jamis Dakar XC Comp SI Ldy Gel
    2013 Electra Verse

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    10

    Just got a sweet new road bike...trying to get used to clipless is killing me t

    Wow @thekarens I think that is part of my problem! Getting clipless made me realize that I am only comfortable stepping off with my right foot. I have been trying to train myself to be able to do both but the muscle memory is deeply engrained. I think I just have to accept that I'm a right first unclipper too.

 

 

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