Advocacy & Safety - Check your gear
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05-17-01, 01:03 PM
I had an interesting experience coming home from work yesterday.
I was stopping on the highway, prior to making a left hand turn onto an intersecting road. As I pulled up behind a limo which was also stopped waiting, I unclipped from the left pedal, and while attempting to unclip the right, the bike of course went in that direction, and I couldn't get unclipped. As I fell over a semi went whizzing by in the next lane. I could feel the rush of air as it went by, I don't know how close.
When I got up again and rode off, I couldn't clip in again on the right pedal at all. I checked the cleat on that shoe and discovered one of the screws had come out. When I attempted to unclip, the cleat just twisted in the pedal and stayed put.
Another lesson learned. My shoes were the last thing I thought about checking before a ride, but I will from now on!
05-17-01, 01:37 PM
Originally posted by aerobat
As I fell over a semi went whizzing by in the next lane. I could feel the rush of air as it went by, I don't know how close.
Very glad to know you're o.k., Dave!
05-17-01, 03:55 PM
This has also happened to me. The screws holding the cleat have gotten loose which kept me from being able to unclip. Of course, this occurred right in front of a large number of people. Talk about embarrassing...:blush:
Glad to hear you are okay.
05-17-01, 05:48 PM
Wow, I'm glad you're doing okay and nothing bad happened. Shoot, man, I'm such a fraidy cat that I still haven't bought those clipless-thingamajiggers.
My friend told me a similar story about his cyclist friend turning left, and couldn't unclip himself from his pedals and fell over to the left into the car coming up. He was ran over by a car, and broke his back. He survived, but it was a painful recovery back, to say the least.
05-18-01, 04:47 AM
Let me get this right.
Clipless pedals fail in a dangerous mode where they trap you in the pedals and you fall over into oncomming traffic.
But people strongly recomend them for cycling in traffic.
Have I missed something ?
05-18-01, 05:22 AM
Clipless presents no less danger than toeclips or shoes with laces or any part of your equipment. I've seen guys snap frames, have their headset freez up while riding, lose crankarms, have their stem come free of the steerer tube, bend seatposts in half, and a myriad other equipment failures. I made damn sure that when I went clipless for the first time on the road, I had practiced in private until I was completely comfortable with them and then I STILL adjusted the release tension all the way loose for the first few rides. I would not recommend clipless for the unintiated beginner in traffic, but with practice, yes I would. Better to know your equipment limits before barrelling out into the world.
Aerobat, our Hero in this tale, learned a very important lesson that we should all follow: make sure that you do preventative maintenance, checks, and services on your ride prior to leaving the house. Leave no stone unturned, now screw untightened. The life you save may very well be your own.
05-18-01, 09:43 AM
You're right, Ranger. My point in starting the thread was to help out anyone else who might not have thought of the possiblity of something like that happening, even after using the system for a couple of years.
Equipment failures happen, and in this case a brain failure for not checking. It could have been brakes, chain or anything else. It's not the equipment's fault, but how it is used.
With many thousands of miles of clipless-pedal (SPD) city traffic use behind me, I can say, for myself, that I find SPD clipless pedals just as safe as clips and straps, and far easier to get in and out of.
However--it is essential to "check your gear," as the well-chosen title of this thread puts it. I have found screws slightly loosened in the cleats and tightened them. Only once or twice, though, out of all those thousands of miles of use.
I would be using the clipless pedals now, except that I simply don't want to be limited to one pair of shoes.
I like clips and straps but am always having to reach down to adjust something, or wiggle my foot because the strap is slightly askew. And pedaling is not as good as with clipless.
05-18-01, 12:25 PM
Great advice given in this post. Always check all of your equipment before heading out on your ride and that includes the cleats.
Like Ranger said, SPDs are no more dangerous than straps, but they do have to be maintained like every other piece of equipment.
This thread came at a perfect time, I got my first set of clipless pedals on my new 7600 trek hybrid. I fell over a lil once. I've gotten used to them now though. They've taken a while to adjust properly but they're really awesome to use. I feel at one with the bicycle. the way a samurai is at one with his sword.
Thanks for the info:)
05-20-01, 11:48 AM
Heya Chris! Havent seen ya on the forums lately, welcome to the wonderfull world of clipless :)
Dave, thanks for the reminder, i usualy just check my shoes once a week. But really dont go over them much, i'll make sure i check every screw from now on. Im glad your ok! Another thing i do, is clip out before i come to a stop, that way if i cant clipout, i can still ride, or plan ahead for my fall.
05-21-01, 08:38 AM
Thanks for the caution. You can bet I went to check mine right away. Guess I will add that to the list of things to do when I clean my chain every week or two. Can anyone think of a reason not to put a drop of blue Loctite (the removable kind) on the screws?
Nobody's mentioned PowerGrips. I've even bought the shoes (for clipless), but I can't bring myself to give up my PowerGrips. They hold your foot tight, they're comfortable, they're safe-easy on and off, and they're only about 20 bucks a pair!
When you put your foot through them, it's at about 45 degree angle to the bike. When you straighten your foot, it locks it in. The problem with toe clips is you can't get them tight enough, and that fraction of an inch that your foot moves back and forth on the peddle creates enough friction to start your shoe on fire after about a mile.
06-03-01, 03:22 PM
Power grips are a great upgrade from standard toe clips. I put some power grips on my little sisters bike, and she loves them, theres no way she could afford the $150 for clipless peddle's and shoes.
Forum member JRamsey also has commented on how much he likes Power Grips.
I tried them but never could like them. For me it was difficult getting into them.
I don't find regular clips and straps uncomfortable though of course they're inefficient compared to clipless pedals. I can keep my clips and straps pretty tight and they still are easy enough to get out of.
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