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Old 05-04-08, 09:58 PM   #1
stringbreaker
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Dadburn clipless

I made the mistake of taking the 2006 Raleigh out today for a ride with the wife. The ride was great but just as I was thinking "Hey you are doing great with the clipless" BAM!!!!! down I went, right in beautiful downtown Orting at an intersection. I can just hear the people in the cars that were right there "hey did you see that old fart he fell right off his bike for no apparent reason: The light was red for traffic to our left and we were going to cross and I had clipped out on the right side and was putting weight on the left pedal to go and the light changed and I had to stop, only I was already commited to the left pedal and all I could do was go down. My left knee is skinned up and that was through the tights, at least there is no road crud in there but I can barely walk and I was supposed to commute to work on the bike tomorrow since it looked like the last nice day for a while. Thats it I'm going to put toe clips on that bike and get ride of the SPD's. I never have liked the dang things anyway. This way I can ride in my New Balance shoes which are ever so comfy. Ok thats my rant. Other than that it was a nice ride out with the wife for the day. Old school rules.
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Old 05-04-08, 11:37 PM   #2
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Don't rush to judgement stringbreaker. How much experience do you have with clipless? While I have MKS Touring pedals on the Panasonic so that I can wear street shoes during my commute, I wouldn't think of riding the other bikes without a good clipless system - Look for the road bikes and Time for my mountain bike. It does take getting used to and I've done the same thing you did more than once but the only way I'd go back would be temporarily if I have to use clips and straps to ride l'Eroica one of these days. I love the feeling of being connected to the pedals. I suppose you could get a similar feeling using clips if you used cleats and tightened the straps down but then you'd be in pretty much the same shape as with clipless, maybe worse.
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Old 05-05-08, 12:45 AM   #3
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Don't give up on the SPD's. The Performance Campus pedals have a platform on one side and SPD's on the other. Convenient for lots of stops or plenty of pedaling. Shimano makes a similar pedal -- I think it is the M324, but heavier and more expensive than the ones from Performance.
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Old 05-05-08, 01:08 AM   #4
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Speedplay?

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Old 05-05-08, 06:24 AM   #5
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Oh these have platform on one side and SPD on the other its just frustrating after 2 years with this bike and I keep doing the dumb guy fall at least once or twice each summer and I don't heal as fast as I used to. I can barely walk this morning and I'm still hacked when I think about it. Being a hard headed old fart I'll probably keep em just out of spite.
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Old 05-05-08, 07:56 AM   #6
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I too gave up on the clipless stuff after a year or so. I had SPD pedals and shoes. I could never get the things dialed in where they were comfotable. Hot spots, too cold in the winter etc. I found I spent alot of time thinking about my feet when riding. I only fell over once. I am now using cages and straps and am very happy. They are the SOMA double gate re-issue of the old Weinmann design. They are very easy to get in and out of, as the double gate helps to keep the strap from flopping down. I ride in regular shoes and love it. YMMV

http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...s.php?id=17088
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Old 05-05-08, 08:13 AM   #7
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It takes a bit of getting used to - as a matter of fact, I found myself unclipping incorrectly on the first few times I tried it.

This said though, I still prefer toe-straps. You can get a comfortable foot angle with them and adjust as you wish on the run, and you don't have to worry about the damn cleat slipping in the shoe. Straps, IMHO, are easier to get into, and definitely easier to get out - it took too much effort to clip out of the pedal for my liking (this was with the spring as soft as it could be, mind you).

Incidentally, I was using the old Shimano/Look pedal/cleat design.

-Kurt
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Old 05-05-08, 08:39 AM   #8
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I would reconsider. For one thing, if you get the right SPD setup, right tension, the right cleat for you (multi-release!), you can get your foot off the pedal faster than you can even from toe clips with the straps loose. If you ever ride for more fitness, and you will eventually like to go fast like anyone else does, there's a big difference. It's not really the idea of being able to "pull up" on the upstroke, but more that when you aren't clipped in or restrained, you expend part of your energy just trying to keep your foot on the pedal when going harder. But if it's just leisurely riding around the neighbourghood, then you don't need even the toe clips.

But you do have to be aware of what you are doing when you stop.
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Old 05-05-08, 09:26 AM   #9
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Well the clipless are taking some of the fun out of riding and thats wrong. I'm putting toe clips on my vintage rides and I'll probably leave these on the newer bike for now and try them again. I mean I've had this bike for almost 3 years so its not that I don't have a grasp on what I'm doing its that brain fart once in a while.
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Old 05-05-08, 10:12 AM   #10
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Have you considered working on balance at low speeds? I can easily keep my road bikes upright at a complete stop for a minimum of 30 seconds, much longer on mountain bikes with wide tires. I think most people just decide they are falling and start to panic. If you've made up your mind that you are falling its a safe bet you will.
Do you have any bikes with regular platforms and a safe place to practice? It's a pretty easy skill to perfect (as evidenced by hipsters everywhere) and it might safe you some nasty scrapes.
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Old 05-05-08, 10:56 AM   #11
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Sorry to read you got hurt, Stringbreaker. Hopefully not too bad, just a more bruised ego than body.

I feel different systems for a given bike for a given occasion. I happen to like the LOOK set up on my road bike, coming from Suntour Sprints, clips and straps, and cleated road shoes. I agree with others, that toe clips can be easier to mount, but can get clumsy with certain cleated road shoes. It did take some practice to use the clipless, but once acclimated, it's very fast and safer. But one thing left out, is a level of flexibility is needed to release them easily. And that ankle flexibility can be reduced as we get older, or have an old injury. Clipless systems have made my riding a bit more enjoyable. And that's what most important. If it is hampering your fun, then switch them out. You'd get no grief from me about it.
Toe clips and straps will provide the same level of connection to the bike as clipless. And offer some flexibility in shoe choice for trade-off of hands-free operation of clipless. That's why I've retained or returned certain bikes of mine to toe clips. I'm no racer, just recreation rider. And there are times when walking on cleats with kids to supervise is a PITA.
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Old 05-05-08, 11:02 AM   #12
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I was also out for a ride this weekend with my wife....my bike is clipless, hers not....I was remarking to her (after having ridden hers for a while) how much better I feel clipped in than not- the side by side comparison was very telling. And perhaps not having ridden toe clips for a while puts me in the opposite position to you....I felt like I was unable to get out easily. Clipless was, literally, a snap!

Like you though, I'm a "little past my prime"....last time I pulled a really "dumb" move was on my mountain bike - fully clipped in, trying to one-wheel down the road while son and wife were catching up....went completely over backwards, landed on my back (air completely knocked out of me), gasping for breath while still clipped in and bike in the air above me.....the passersby that came rushing over to help the old guy were very kind, but I felt like it would have been better to NOT get my breath back.... Worst of it was I couldn't unclip until I dropped the bike down beside me......

I'm still sold on clipless though....not their fault I'm an idiot....

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Old 05-05-08, 12:40 PM   #13
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You were in Orting yesterday?

When? I was there riding in the May Day Metric, you bum !

You could have met BengeBoy, as well...

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Old 05-05-08, 01:02 PM   #14
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We didn't start until noon. I looked for you but never saw you anywhere. what time did you were you there. I read Brian adjusted your RD is it ok now?
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Old 05-05-08, 01:35 PM   #15
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We didn't start until noon. I looked for you but never saw you anywhere. what time did you were you there. I read Brian adjusted your RD is it ok now?
I was already half way back to Federal Way by noon, darn it!

Brian did a great job of fixing the RD--you must thank him again for me .

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Old 05-05-08, 01:52 PM   #16
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Will do. Brian is aces and his shop is in a perfect location being right across from the park and trail. I have learned a great deal from him thats for sure.
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Old 05-05-08, 07:46 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
... This said though, I still prefer toe-straps. You can get a comfortable foot angle with them and adjust as you wish on the run, and you don't have to worry about the damn cleat slipping in the shoe. Straps, IMHO, are easier to get into, and definitely easier to get out - it took too much effort to clip out of the pedal for my liking (this was with the spring as soft as it could be, mind you). ...
I concur. I have no plans to give up my old school toeclips and straps.
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Old 05-05-08, 09:29 PM   #18
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you just need to plan for the requisite 13 falls...kind of like paying your dues to the pedal gods. If you like you can hurry the process by riding demanding trails while clipped into your mountain bike. Some people can pay their dues this way in one single ride!

I'm with JT, btw. Speedplay!
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Old 05-05-08, 09:55 PM   #19
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I hate pain I don't heal nearly as fast as I used to. 13 falls there won't be any paint on the left side of my bike if I fall that many times seems like I always fall on the left side. Oh and the toughest part of the whole deal is when I fell it took a gouge out of the side of my honey color B-17 now that really hurt The knee got much better as the day went on and I was up moving about but it has stiffened a bit this evening after sitting in the recliner watching COPS with the cat on my lap. I shall not be deterred! I will live to clip in another day.
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Old 05-05-08, 10:29 PM   #20
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I used to only unclip one side, until I was about to stop and a side wind pushed me to the clipped in side. Of course I went down. Now as I am about to stop, I always take both feet out. Well, almost always, some times I play Russian Roulette with it.

Also practice doing it fast. As you are riding around, just unclip as fast as you can. This might sound strange, but your body gets used to doing something, it will do it automatically. The other day, I was at my LBS. The parking area is at the bottom of a hill. It is only about 4 feet high, but kind of steep. I started off on a gear way too high and couldn't pedal, I started to turn and fall down the hill. I thought for sure I was going to bite it but my reflexes took over and popped my foot out just in time. It also helps if you have a dog that loves squirrels, you'd be amazed how fast you can get your foot out when your dog is pulling you sideways.
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