United Kingdom - Bike shoes with cleats
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08-26-07, 04:52 AM
This is the first of my wimpey questions: I have bought some bike shoes (spd's ?) with cleats. I have pedals with cleats on one side and normal on the other. I can get in and out of the cleats and I haven't had any accidents as yet, but it does worry me that getting in and out of the cleats is not as second nature as perhaps it needs to be in the event of an emergency. A friend of mine told me it takes practice, but I'm not sure how I get that practice without putting myself 'in harms way' so to speak. I ride to work more or less every day through putney and richmond park to kingston, and I am also taking up mountain biking (see next post !), and I am wearing these shoes in both situations. Obviously things in rush hour can be dangerous enough without this extra factor, so I wondered what your advice would be ?
08-26-07, 06:02 AM
Use the ordinary flat side of the pedals in situations where you aren't comfortable being locked in (like in stop and go traffic, etc.).
If you don't have a little set of allan keys, get one. There's a tension adjustment screw at the back of the pedal's clipless mechanism. Turn it counterclockwise until you have backed off on the tension almost the whole way. Once you have done that, it should be dead easy to clip out anytime. Swing your heel out and you're out in a flash.
08-26-07, 11:13 AM
Thank you ! That worked really well.
10-14-07, 12:20 PM
I know exactly what you mean.
Back in the mid 90's I got a pair of single sided spd's which I put on my commuter. The first day I rode with them I misjudged the stopping distance in front of me and ended up struggling to get my right foot out. Anyway a car pulled up along side me in the traffic. I still can't believe what I did next!! I only reached out with my left arm to rest against the car while a twisted my foot out of the pedal. Well quess what within about a second of stopping the car drove off. The driver would never have know I was using his roof a s prop anyway. So there I am with both feet locked in - no forawrd momentum and crash I left side it onto the road. Just as well the traffic behind was sitting still. The women in the car behind me nearly wet herself. I felt like such a berk. Anyway the landing unlocked my feet so I just got up and rode off hoping to just disappear.
Anyway I have always used spuds ever since, although I think I do prefer the big double sided ones that also have real pedals round them. I have used those on my MTBs for 10 years. Although I do use the type you have on my commuter.
I really find it difficult to ride without that locked on feeling. You get so much more power. If you look ahead enough you can normally get your foot free before you need to dab. I have even had to kick the odd dog when they race at me in the park.
Once you start riding off road you will see why they are so popular.
Stick with it. It will get easier as you ride more.
10-27-07, 10:19 AM
since i got my shimano sbd shoes with cleats and the matching pedals, ive keeled over sideways 4 times like that scene in only fools and horses where del boy is standing at the yuppie wine bar and goes over like a tree being felled. felt like a right berk i can tell you until i got a 2mm allen key from hardware shop and i aint fallen no more, to make it worse, the 3rd time i went a tumbling was right in front of a pack of young girls ..............cringe !!!!!!!!!!!LOL
im sure they were thinking "yoooooooooooooooou plonkah !!! "
10-31-07, 05:28 AM
Oh the humanity. I too have SPD-SL's and kissed tarmac three times, only one resulting in a trip to casaulty. First time at the bottom of my street, you know, dog walkers, lots of cars, me in nice BRIGHT clothing. My brain just forgot I was clipped in and I swear that time slowed down before I hit! Next time, humming around a corner only to find a herd of cows on the road. I tried to, casually, hold up against a car to slow and stop but only succeeded in falling down the back of the car. I think I told the driver "I'm fine, happens all the time." with the blood now streaming out of my knee, the same knee that had just recently healed from my last encounter with gravity. The third time actually wasn't my fault, got cut up and rammed a pot hole resulting in a classic face plant. Here are my lessons learned...
1.) take all the tension out of the pedals until you are used to the
2.) if anything off in the distance looks like a potential problem, click a foot out
3.) helmets are good thing
4.) relax when falling, keep knees/arms in and let the whole side of your body absorb the fall (less blood and broken bones)
Having said all that, I still love the things and it has improved my performance big time.
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