Welcome guest, is this your first visit? Click the "Create Account" button now to join.

To disable ads, please log-in.

Shop at TeamEstrogen.com for women's cycling apparel.

Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Cobar NSW Australia
    Posts
    69

    Having doubts about clipless!

    To disable ads, please log-in.

    Well lately on almost every ride I keep falling off the bike. Usually those slow falls where you forget to clip out etc - so many times I could have gone flying down hill (via the wrong method) dragging the bike with me.
    In my latest slow fall don't remember the exact detail or cause all I know is it wasn't a hard one and I ended up on my side with the foot still clipped in and difficult to unclip cos the bike was on top of me! Only got a slightly bruised palm out of that whole thing.

    I realize most of it is probably just confidence (or lack there of) and riding trails that are probably a tad too technical for my ability. (Steep, loose downhills are the scariest). As they say practice makes perfect. I'm just afraid that one day I'll have a big stack and do some real damage to my knees. I fell once on a slippery path going around a corner (going reasonable speed and didn't realize the path was mossy - like ice) anyway thought I broke both my legs untill the knee popped back into place. Boy that was scary - and it's because I fell over that quick that I din't have time to think let alone clip out. Due to that incident now I ride with knee pads.

    Oh the pedals are Candy C's! There has been alot of occasions where I've had a near fall and without thinking my foot has unclipped and saved the day.

    I love clipless pedals, particularly on bitumen uphills - or less technical trails, so that's why I'm just having doubts at this stage and not sure whether flats would be a good idea (then I'd be complaining of bruised shins instead - ouch).

    Really what's your opinion of clipless vs flat for xc and general trail riding - pretty much all round bike use. Having a 2nd bike isn't really an option (although woud be ideal) and I don't fancy changing pedals around every 2nd ride.

    Would you say stay with the Candy's and work on it?
    Recommend a different type of pedal?
    Or go flats?

    Cheers,

    Pebble

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    373
    Hi Pebble, I am a devoted SPD user, well Crank Bros Candys anyway, but have recently put a pair of flat pedals on my hardtail to "improve" my skills. I still run Candies on my Full-Suss so I can give you a bit of a comparison as I see it.

    Clipless pros: More power, more security, feet won't come flying off the pedals - not always a good thing in a fall but essential on a descent or technical climb. Can sit and spin, especially on a full suss. More efficient and less tiring over a few hours.


    Flats pros: requires (surprisingly I thought) a smooth pedalling style, easy to get off when falling, (unfortunately easy to fly off when descending or climbing). Can't just sit a spin all the time, especially on a hardtail, have to attack things and gives you a much harder workout. Teaches you good form when doing rear wheel lifts/bunny hops etc. Actually quite good fun and encourages a "play" mentality in me.

    Clipless cons: Attached to bike, allows you to be lazy (I never realised how much clipless lets me get away with by keeping my feet attached to the bike).

    Flats cons: Eat shins for breakfast as the several puncture wounds on mine will attest! Less secure feeling especially if used to clipless. Much more dificult to do technical climbs on, harder work generally. I find hill starts really difficult on them, especially if steep. Slower cadence for me, a few of the guys I ride with found the opposite but I tend to spin much more than them generally.


    Having ridden clipless for about 4 years off road I will admit that I threw all my toys out of the pram several times when I first started using flats (about a month ago), its was like going back to being a complete novice again and I can't remember the last time I rode that slowly or climbed so badly. I put them on as I did a skills training course doing things like bunnyhops, rear wheel lifts and the instructors said we should try it with flats as it would show us correct technique, so on they went. I am pleased to report that I have gotten more used to them and actually enjoy riding them (on rides of two hours or less) and I can bunny hop and lift the rear wheel. I will be keeping them on for a while yet as they are definitely improving a lot of things about my riding.


    But..... clipless still rules as far as I'm concerned, I was on my full-suss for the first time in a month at the weekend and it was nice to spin at my usual cadence and to absolutely hoon down stuff feeling part of the bike.

    If the technicality of the trail spooks you then there will be a tendency to worry about being attached to the pedals, when I first started I was exactly the same. Once my confidence and skill grew it improved. These days if I don't like the look of something it doesn't really matter what pedals I'm on I most likely won't ride it.

    I still have moments when I can't get out of the pedals, it happens to us all. Sometimes things happen so quickly it wouldn't matter what type of pedals you have on you will hit the deck.


    I would personally say that you stick with the clipless especially if you have been riding a while as you will have conditioned yourself to them. If you decide to change to flats I'd pick up a cheapie pair first and whatever you do, under absolutely no circumstances try to ride on them in standard cycling shoes especially if they have cleats on, you need a set of flat soft soled type shoes (I use an old pair of Vans I had) otherwise you won't stay on them. I would also be prepared for a bit of a tradeoff between ability to get off the pedals quickly and the ability to do anything else on the bike, at least until you get used to them! You'll also need to ride them for a while to give them a fair chance, the only snagette is that if you don't ride clipless for a while you could "forget" the unclipping movement. I have tried to haul my feet straight off my Candies a couple of times since getting flats luckily no harm done!
    Last edited by tattiefritter; 06-14-2006 at 05:17 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    555
    I'm a big fan of clipless on my mountain bike. I would be scared not to have it, for my feet sliding off, etc. It helps a lot on uphills, like you said, and makes my feet feel secure on downhills. I would say, just practice more. I really don't have situations anymore where I fall because of my cleats. For general XC and trail riding, I say keep with it. Your confidence will grow and you'll fall less and less. How long have you been using clipless?

    For the loose downhills, I find just going down them without hitting the brakes too much is the best option. Of course, unless there is a swtichback at the bottom, then you need the brakes! It's sort of like sand, just float through it, don't touch the brakes, and for flat surfaces, shift down and spin.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Utah, Gateway to Nevada, not to be confused with Idaho
    Posts
    1,872
    I ride clipless exclusively. Wouldn't dream of anything else at this point. And I fall at least once on almost every ride. The way I look at it, it means that I am pushing myself to get better. I will usually back off after a fall, but not always. I walk stuff if I'm either experiencing a moment of insecurity or simply don't have the skills to even attempt it without threat of major bodily injury. Sure, I get miffed about it all and occasionally draw blood on my falls, but I am getting better.

    Stick with it. You are an athlete! Attack, attack, attack!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Firenze, Italia
    Posts
    61
    Ok - here's an embarrassing question...what do 'clipless' and 'flats' mean?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    North Central Florida
    Posts
    3,387
    Clipless- pedals without toe clips/cages/straps. Connect the pedals to your shoes directly with cleats.

    Flats- platform pedals without any sort of attachment to the shoe, but may have spiky things for traction.

    Personally, I'd be _scared_ to ride a MTB clipless! And I believe I'd fall just as much- for me it's practically never pedal-related. And I like my bike to have a nice soft landing on top of me! :-)

    Nanci
    ***********
    "...I'm like the cycling version of the guy in Flowers for Algernon." Mike Magnuson

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Ventura County CA
    Posts
    605
    I went clipless and never looked back. My Shimano pedals are pretty big so if I want to unclip a foot (never both) for a section I can position my arch over the mount. I have my tension set as low as I can for quick escapes. I agree- if it looks too technical, I walk. I too like to be "one with the bike". Better sense of control. You can buy "campus" pedals which are platform on one side, clipless on the other. I think there is also a gizmo that can clip into an spd and turn it into a platform- saw it online somewhere.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    3,099
    <---rank beginner MTB here and I use the double sided Shimano SPDs on my MTB. One side is clipless, the other side is flat with a cute little spot for my cleat to fit. I Love them on my MTB coz when I'm cruising along feeling very good and comfortable, I can be clipped in. If I see something coming that looks scary to me, I can unclip, flip the pedal over and ride on the flats (coz I promise you I'll fall!)

    currently my falls to rides ratio is 2:1!
    Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, champagne in one hand, strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming: "Yeah Baby! What a Ride!"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    2,201
    i love my clipless. granted now and again i still somehow just stop for no reason and fall over. i ride around to work without being cliped in and don't like it. i feel safter with the clipless than without.
    i have shimanos and for me they are easy to clip in and out of (when i'm actually paying attention). i still get frustrated with forgetting to clip out once in a while, but it just makes me get up and do better the next time.
    good luck! you will get the hang of it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Memphis, TN
    Posts
    1,935
    Aftr looking to see what the Candy were, my suggestion is to do what I do. I have shimano 545's (spd's w/ a platform) I unlcip and ride them as Flat pedals when I get into a situation where I don't wnat to be clipped in.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Cobar NSW Australia
    Posts
    69
    Thanks for all the great input here. At times I do unclip through certain sections - the Candy's are pretty good for that, providing enough platform to still ride unclipped for short sections. But yes I've noticed in a way that it just doesn't seem right to be riding unclipped - it's just a strange feeling I get that I have to clip back in asap, or I guess more the fact that the shoe could easily clip back in without me realizing

    Does anyone know or have an opinion of Candy's vs Mallets? I really like the float that the crank bros provice, nice and friendly for my knees. A thought I had was that the Mallets would provide that bit more of a platform for unclipped riding - but can they be ridden with regular soft soled shoes?

    I've only been riding clipless for almost a year now.

    Good point about "flying off" on platforms downhill, it's easy to forget what it was like with flats & being bumped off the pedals.

    I have a feeling that it would be best to stick with it, and build confidence and ability. I have been trying bunny hops when my kids are out riding in the street (just sneakers on and unclipped) and I agree that it's good to develop those sort of skills on platforms. Trying the same thing clipped and out on the trail feels so good though!

    I love dual suspension now - I don't think there will be any turning back - well only if I could have more than one bike

    tattiefritter your post was really good to read!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    373

    Candys v Mallets

    Pebble,

    I've wondered about that myself as I am debating whether or not to buy some for my biking holiday in September as things have the potential to get quite tricky (body armour compulsory - gulp). Riding unclipped on the Candys for any length of time feels very very bad. I'm not sure the Mallets are designed to be ridden with flat soled shoes like Vans as I would have thought the eggbeater mechanism would stick up too much too allow good grip ?

    I've not really looked really closely at them in the flesh so to speak but I will do next time I'm in the LBS, they were selling the Mallet Cs quite cheap last time I was in, probably full price now though.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Cobar NSW Australia
    Posts
    69
    At least the full body armour will give you a bit of security and probably a tad more confidence. I wouldn't know though, never worn it.

    I've pretty much decided to stick with what I've got and just work on my confidince / skills.

    I can see the mallets would be useful - people have said that larger platforms get caught on rocks more etc.

    But yes if you're used to the candy's probably be a bad idea to look at say shimano alternatives just for the holiday, can't imagine it would be too great getting used to a different type of clip in mechanism at the same time as doing the "tricky" riding

    So anyone Candy's vs Mallets?

    If you post on the mtbr forum you should get your question answered pretty quick there. (www.mtbr.com)

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    La Crescenta, CA
    Posts
    39

    Mallets

    Didn't really care for them, found them hard to clip in and out of-just my 2 cents.

    d

 

 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •