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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    3

    New to cycling - clipless pedal dilemma

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    Hi, my boyfriend bought me a road bike. I've been using the trainer for the last few weeks trying to get adjusted as I've been a runner for the last decade. I went to get out on the bike yesterday for the first time and fell off just trying to get clipped in. Needless to say, I didn't go for a ride. I just practiced clipping in and out and figuring out which foot is going to be the one I use to clip in and out when needing to stop/ start. Any advice on how to overcome using the clipless pedals?
    Last edited by jlh; 09-02-2014 at 09:54 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,448
    You could get regular platform pedals until developing some handling and traffic skills. There is no rule that says you must use clipless.

    One of my backup bikes has pedals that are platform on one side, clipless spd on the other. I really like them. Makes that bike easy to ride for a greater variety of purposes.

    Here they are. Do you know what kind of cleats you use?
    Last edited by Muirenn; 09-02-2014 at 10:12 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    3
    Thank you so much! That sounds perfect! I have no idea what kind of cleats I have but will check when I get home. When using platform pedals, what kind of shoe do I use? I'm eager to get out and ride

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,448
    Stiff-soled shoes tend to be the most comfortable.

    If they are not SPD cleats, you can just get some good quality platforms, and forego the cleats for now, though the pedals I linked to do not require cleats.

    There are many threads here on pedals.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 09-02-2014 at 11:17 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    Stiff-soled shoes tend to be the most comfortable.

    If they are not SPD cleats, you can just get some good quality platforms, and forego the cleats for now, though the pedals I linked to do not require cleats.

    There are many threads here on pedals.
    Thank you so much for all the information I am going to put on the platform pedals and get on the road!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    23
    Right now I'm keeping the regular pedals on my bike though I do have a set of SpeedPlay Light Action clipless pedals and cleats that I am waiting to have mounted. I need to get a pair of shoes as well. My strategy is to get really comfy with the bike itself, since it's new and I'm new to it and to cycling, after not being on a bike for 25 years. Then, once I'm comfortable with the bike, the handling, etc, I will have my LBS install the pedals and I will spend an afternoon on a trainer in their shop practicing clipping in and out, in and out. Developing muscle memory is the key, I'm told. The shop told me the SpeedPlay Light pedals were among the very easiest ones for noob riders. We shall find out, eventually, maybe in a month or so.
    Last edited by estronat; 09-06-2014 at 07:56 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    1
    I just wanted to add (because I experienced this myself) not to just get used to clipping out with one foot. Make sure you can do both. Depending on how you are turning into a curve or in my case manuveruing through gates, you might need to unclip your left foot instead of your right foot. It completely freaked me out the first time I had to think about doing it with the other foot.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    south georgia
    Posts
    953
    Practice one legged pedaling. It sounds odd but if you have one pedal clipped in, and can't get the other right away pedaling a few times with the one will give you momentum to keep from falling over. You will love the clips.
    2009 Specialized Roubaix pro/SMP lite 209
    2010 Trek 4300/Specialized ariel 155

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    199
    Dont be afraid of clips! It took me a while to get the hang of it. For me, it was a world of difference when I changed from traditional road bike clips to spd. You can also adjust the tension I the clip to change how hard or easy is is to clil in and out. Make sure you have your cleats I the correct llace o the botto of your shoe because it can cause problems I knee ir foot numbness.
    Ride like the wind!
    "There is nothing, absolutely nothing, quite so worthwhile as simply messing about on bicycles. -Tom Kunich

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    32
    jlh, you've probably already solved your problem, but just for fun, go to http://www.bikejames.com/strength/th...h-flat-pedals/. He calls it the Flat Pedal Manifesto. It's a very interesting article on why you might not have to apologize to anyone if you decide to stay with flat pedals. I have two artificial hips and an artificial knee, so really can't take a chance on falling, even if it's only for the short time to get used to clipless. I keep up with my speed demon husband on 50+mile rides just fine with my flat Teva bike shoes. Good luck!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Saskatoon, Sask.
    Posts
    345
    A good alternative to clipless pedals, especially for urban riders, is the kind of platform pedal that has little metal studs screwed in to stick into the soles of shoes. It requires a shoe with at least 1/4" of soft rubbery material, but that covers a wide range of choices, including many dressy shoes. You don't get quite as much grip as a cleat and clipless pedal system, but enough for most practical purposes.
    Queen of the sea beasts

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,952
    Quote Originally Posted by nuliajuk View Post
    A good alternative to clipless pedals, especially for urban riders, is the kind of platform pedal that has little metal studs screwed in to stick into the soles of shoes. It requires a shoe with at least 1/4" of soft rubbery material, but that covers a wide range of choices, including many dressy shoes. You don't get quite as much grip as a cleat and clipless pedal system, but enough for most practical purposes.
    From my experience, I would say that while BMX pedals (which is what you describe) are certainly different from clipless systems, I preferred them and felt more confident climbing hills with them. I didn't find a need for a specific depth of soft rubbery material, I found they grabbed onto most surfaces that wasn't hard plastic. For me, it was more important that the shoes be stiff enough to not cause hot spots, or collapse around the pedals, AND that the sole was relatively uniform (flat) so the cleats wouldn't fall into contours of the sole (for lack of a better term). Personally for warm weather riding I preferred my Keens cycling sandals - I found them much too soft for use with cleats (I tried), but found them pretty much perfect for my BMX pedals. Thankfully there are lots of options out there since we all have different needs.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    86
    Clips. Well, they are just lessons in humility. I rode in very low traffic areas and it was literally a couple of years before I rode in a group. It always seems like one foot is easier to unclip than the other and always there is the foot we'd rather land on (at a stop sign etc). I just unclipped absurdly early at first. Falling mostly bruises the ego.
    2011 Trek Madone 4.5 WSD

    2011 Trek FX7.2--What can I say? It was on sale!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    44
    Troubleshooting Your New Clipless Pedals

    1. Pedals properly installed by your friendly LBS
    2. Cleats correctly installed on shoes (road or MTB) by same
    3. Install bike on road or path, rubber side down, rider side up

    Step 3: Well, there's your problem!

    (I fell right over when I clipped in at the park. Nothing injured other than my dignity)

 

 

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