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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    45

    I went clipless today

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    So as a birthday present to myself I went down to the local LBS and had clipless pedals put on my Jamis. I spent about 45 min. just clipping and unclipping trying to get used to the feel of it. I even went out after dinner and rode up and down my street. I feel a little more comfortable, but still nervous. I think I'll take my first ride alone so I don't have to worry about being around/avoiding other riders. I'm eager to see how it feels going up hill, I'm told it helps with the hills. Any advice for this newbie? (besides, "don't fall over" lol)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    the dry side
    Posts
    4,367
    Is this a road bike or a mountain bike?
    2015 Liv Intrigue 2
    Pro Mongoose Titanium Singlespeed
    2012 Trek Madone 4.6 Compact SRAM

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    45
    A road bike

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    199
    MaKe sure to wear gloves, it helps cushion if you fall. Also, figure out which foot your better at clipping in and out of. That's the one youcan use at stop signs/lights.
    "There is nothing, absolutely nothing, quite so worthwhile as simply messing about on bicycles.” -Tom Kunich

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    When you come to a stop, which foot do you always put on the ground first?

    Are you sure?

    Before I went clipless, I never paid attention to which foot I put down first, and for some reason I thought it was the left foot. But I was wrong. So on my first clipless ride, at the first stop sign, I clipped out with my left foot. Then instinct took over and I tried to put my right foot down on the ground, and I fell over.

    Second -- when you're stopped and you're ready to start riding, have the other foot (not the one you put down first) clipped in and as close to the top of the pedal stroke as possible (about 2:00). Start to pedal with that foot. As you start moving, sit down on the saddle. Then clip in with the other foot. You'll be more stable when you're seated, which makes it easier to clip the second foot in, and also easier to keep pedaling a few revolutions with one foot if you have any trouble clipping in with the second foot.

    Good luck!!

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver 2003 aluminum road bike
    - Two awesome worn out Juliana saddles

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,301
    Ironically enough before I went clipless I always put my left foot down first and I still do with my mountain bike with spikes, but with clipless I never could make it work with the left foot, I kept falling. I switched to unclipping with the right foot and haven't had a problem since.
    2012 Jamis Quest Brooks B17 Blue
    2012 Jamis Dakar XC Comp SI Ldy Gel
    2013 Electra Verse

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Katy, Texas
    Posts
    1,811
    the mantra my bike shop made me memorize and practise was " sit up, unclip, then apply the brakes." Even so I still sometimes topple over (usually at a stop with loads of people watching, or if I try to turn in too tight a circle. It's always an adventure. Since I have SPD clips and walk around a bit in my shoes, I have also learned to check my clips and shoes for rocks etc. which can catch the shoe and prevent un clipping.
    marni
    Katy, Texas
    Trek Madone 6.5- "Red"
    Trek Pilot 5.2- " Bebe"


    "easily outrun by a chihuahua."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
    Posts
    1,226
    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfly5 View Post
    I'm eager to see how it feels going up hill, I'm told it helps with the hills.
    During climbing you can distribute the workload evenly between your quads and hamstrings using your hamstrings to lift through the back half of the pedal stroke and your quadriceps to push through the front half. That efficiency can also give you more power. You can also come off the saddle and stand for the power without worrying about your foot coming off a pedal.


    Unclipping is just a repetitive learning task and our instinct for self preservation usually makes it a faster learning experience.
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    45
    Oh thanks for that tip Marni. I also have SPD clips and didn't think about little rocks and dirt getting stuck in there. I've been on three rides and have done pretty well. My last ride I was with a friend and we got gabbing and I almost forgot to unclip once! I always put my left foot down and I knew that going in but the owner of my LBS tried telling me I was "right footed" and to put my right foot down first. I said "nope, this is what feels natural to me." My muscles are still getting used to pulling as well as pushing so I'm not sure I notice a difference on hills yet. Thanks everyone for the responses.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Croatia
    Posts
    113
    The trick that seems to work for finding your dominant leg is to stand with your feet together, relaxed, close your eyes and have someone stand behind you and gently push you forward. the leg that you use to step out and prevent yourself from tipping over is your dominant leg

    very simple and it works. you can try it several times to make sure the results are consistent.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Interior Alaska
    Posts
    21
    I practiced falling from my bike onto an inflatable mattress on the grass in my backyard.
    Then I took out the mattress and fell on the grass.
    When I actually did fall in the gravel, I didn't break any skin.
    Never catch yourself with your hands or elbows; try to land on your hip and roll to your back shoulder.
    My husband laughed at me, but when he fell three weeks ago, he stiffened his arm, caught himself with his hand, and now cant lift at the gym due to shoulder pain.
    Even if you never fall, you will have the confidence to know that it will not hurt if you need to cascade off the bike at zero miles an hour. So much more of an embarrassment then physical injury.

    I loosen my clip for the first year until I was very comfortable with clipping out.
    Good luck, and yes, it does help with going uphill, but it helps more with fatigue than anything else for me.
    commuter: a Giant Sedona '97
    road: Giant OCR c3 '08 | 105/Ultegra
    lusting a Sweet Pea A-line for when DH sweeps me out to sea

 

 

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