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Old 11-30-04, 08:14 AM   #1
austinman
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About to kill myself clipping in and out

I have now successfully clipped in and gone for a ride.....but clipping out i had another tumble. Any hints out there? (other than riding on a nice soft golf green)
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Old 11-30-04, 08:15 AM   #2
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What kind of pedals, and how experienced a rider are you? If you aren't very experienced, I suggest partial toe clips until you get a better feel for riding.
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Old 11-30-04, 08:19 AM   #3
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Depending on the type of pedal, try adjusting the tension to the minimum.
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Old 11-30-04, 08:50 AM   #4
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That was going to be my suggestion. You may also want to try changing the position of your cleats a bit on your shoes; maybe they aren't 100% straight or are far enough to the side that you have to over turn your heel to unclip?
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Old 11-30-04, 08:50 AM   #5
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also if using SPD system try the SH55 multi-release cleats instead of single release ones

I use these and adjusted the pedal tension to minimum and have never had any problems (yet)
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Old 11-30-04, 09:02 AM   #6
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My method for getting acclimated to clipless pedals was to leave them at the default tension and beat the hell out of my knees every time I tried to clip out. I don't recommend it.

BTW, I started out with Onza pedals. They utilized differing densities of elastomer to control cleat tension rather than metal springs. Don't think they make them any more, but I don't recommend them either.
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Old 11-30-04, 09:16 AM   #7
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Be sure to unclip before you need to - anticipate ahead of time.
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Old 11-30-04, 09:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by austinman
I have now successfully clipped in and gone for a ride.....but clipping out i had another tumble. Any hints out there? (other than riding on a nice soft golf green)
Find a trainer (if you can't, then just get on your bike in a hallway in which you can lean against either wall) and just practice clipping in and out. This way you can really get a grasp on what's going on rather than going through a panic exercise on a ride.

I've had my share of tumbles; it's par for the course. But it gets easier and easier.
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Old 11-30-04, 09:39 AM   #9
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When I got new shoes I also bought new SPD cleats because I still wanted to be able to use my old shoes. The new cleats release much better. The old ones may not be Shimano
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Old 11-30-04, 10:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by austinman
I have now successfully clipped in and gone for a ride.....but clipping out i had another tumble. Any hints out there? (other than riding on a nice soft golf green)
Clip out WELL in advance of needing to stop. At first, you also might want to reduce spring tension so that paniced attempts to free your feet from the pedals will work. And do it a lot. Bleieve me, in a few weeks you'll be wondering how you ever rode w/o them.

Anyone ever notice when they started with clipless, that the cleats & pedals held tight the whole time you were desperately trying to clip out, but when you were on your butt wondering what happened, the clips had somehow mysterously released as you fell? Gotta love that.
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Old 11-30-04, 10:53 AM   #11
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My first "fall" with clips on was a riot. I fell over after hitting the divider on the path (where grass becomes concrete) and went straight down. When I got on the ground I tried to move my foot and kicked my bike across the path because I was still clipped in!

Needless to say I loosened the tension a bit when I got home
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Old 11-30-04, 12:40 PM   #12
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One thing you will want to watch out for is worn cleats.

These will tend to slip out at the wrong moment and you could end up killing yourself that way. I nearly did this recently. So replace them at the first sign of them coming out too easily.
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Old 11-30-04, 01:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laika
Clip out WELL in advance of needing to stop. At first, you also might want to reduce spring tension so that paniced attempts to free your feet from the pedals will work. And do it a lot. Bleieve me, in a few weeks you'll be wondering how you ever rode w/o them.

Anyone ever notice when they started with clipless, that the cleats & pedals held tight the whole time you were desperately trying to clip out, but when you were on your butt wondering what happened, the clips had somehow mysterously released as you fell? Gotta love that.
Well I have a different opinion on that. Once you're comfortable, you can pretty much remain clipped in even if you're on the sidewalk riding behind someone who's walking. I like to stay clipped in all the way to the front of the line at the light, so if no cars are around or if it turns green, I'm ready to sprint off without clipping back in.
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Old 11-30-04, 01:06 PM   #14
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Practice, a lot, somewhere relatively "safe" to fall (the golf green you suggested, perhaps). Eventually you'll get used to it and it will become nearly automatic. As others have mentioned, anticipating (stops, obstacles, etc.) has a great deal to do with it. It's kind of like braking, I think . . . for a while you are very concious of it but after some time your body just bypasses the brain and does what needs to be done.

Probably too late for this suggestion since you already have pedals, but someone may find this useful: I have found the crankbrothers' pedals (based on the "eggbeater" idea) to be *really* easy to use. Release depends upon the angle of twist, NOT tension. You just twist your heel and out you come, simple. I found this much easier than the usual fiddling with the tension setting. They also have 4 points of entry so they're pretty easy to get into as well. I had it down pretty well after only a few rides. I've only fallen once and it was primarily due to inattention on my part, not inability to unclip from the pedals (they did release upon the fall, though!).
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Old 11-30-04, 01:08 PM   #15
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You get used to clipping in and out surprisingly fast. Just stick at it. Everyone has at least one clipping-in-and-out fall when they're learning. Soon your legs will learn the movement so it'll be automatic. Courage, mon brave!
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Old 11-30-04, 01:16 PM   #16
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I find myself trying to unclip on my platforms on my Schwinn. It's become the way I get off the pedals... Twist the ankle and all...
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Old 11-30-04, 01:48 PM   #17
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If you're just learning clipless practice is the only solution. I'd recommend unclipping early when approaching a stop, eventually as you become accustomed to the movement "early" gets closer and closer to the stop and in the end your muscle memory is set and you only clip out when you need to if at all.

Everyone that rides clipped falls at least once due to brain farts in the first few months, almost always a slowspeed/standing still sort of fall, the embarrassing kind. (cruise non-chalantly up to light, try to put foot down the way it'ss been all your life, listen to your brain shreik in horror as you slowly keel over like a nimrod)
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Old 11-30-04, 06:37 PM   #18
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I have just bought my first rode bike, and am now wondering what kinda pedals should I get? I have three brands in mind, Eggbeaters, SPD, and Speedplay. I have never tried any of them. What is the easiest to get used to, and get out of in emergency, and then, what are the most comfortable? Thanks for any help.
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Old 11-30-04, 06:48 PM   #19
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i found eggbeaters super easy as my first clipless pedals. i practiced on a trainer in the bike shop for a while, then i promptly fell over as soon as i hit the road. i'd practiced unclipping the wrong foot first!
the only other time i've tumbled was when my chain came off going uphill and i forgot to unclip when i slowed down to a standstill.
i practiced on a quiet street at first - so i never *needed* to unclip. if i didn't manage to unclip, i just went around the corner.
at first i unclipped ridiculously way in advance (especially when riding in traffic), but now i'm fine (and also try to unclip when i'm not using clipless pedals)
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Old 11-30-04, 07:08 PM   #20
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Another suggestion. Make sure you can clip out with either foot. I always take my right foot out, and nearly crashed one day when I got my shoelaces caught up in the right pedal -- it took serious concentration to work out how to get my left foot out and on the ground without making a complete fool of mysef.
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Old 11-30-04, 07:14 PM   #21
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Good advice on all the above posts. It took about 1 day for me to acclimate to my SPD's. After that though, I've increased the tension a little for a tighter fit. Once you know how much to twist your ankle, it's pretty easy.

If I were buying new pedals now though, Eggbeaters would be my choice.
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Old 11-30-04, 07:15 PM   #22
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austinman never said what type of pedals he has, or maybe im crazy

any way, I have speedplay frogs right now and i ride road, good starter pedals considering that there is like 30% or something like that of float. But i hopefully soon am getting Zeros and my cousin told me that they are hard to get out of for the first week.
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Old 11-30-04, 10:29 PM   #23
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thank you all for your comments and advice.........i am gonna keep on learning how to get in and out.......you know this is all easier in a spinning class....more later!austinman
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Old 12-01-04, 07:51 AM   #24
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Practice on a trainer while watching TV and concentrate on the TV so clipping/uinclipping becomes second nature. If you don't have a trainer, hang on to something and do the same by pedaling backward, though it's a bit more akward.
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Old 12-02-04, 10:59 AM   #25
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They're not THAT hard to get used to, Erick! Just ride. Your legs will learn. Vincenzosi's legs have learned, thats why he "clips out" of his flat-pedal Schwinn.

Necessity is the mother of pretty much everything. My bet is that "training" clipping out means you'll take way longer, like riding on training wheels, because you don't NEED to clip out, now, RIGHT NOW, before- Agh!
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