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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 07-07-07, 02:17 PM   #1
cooleric1234
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It could happen to you...

So I tried clipless pedals for the first time today. Being the obsessive/compulsive person that I am I read up on it plenty before hand. I saw the plethora of warnings and instructions and all the sites that said something to the effect, "you will fall." But since I was so prepared, it WASN'T going to happen to me. With the hubris of an invincible teenager but the body of a 30 year old clydesdale I embarked on the blissful state of riding clipless.

In all fairness, I was on a bike path, which had minimal stops. After about 25 miles I cam to a stop sign and decided that, rather than cross the street and risk falling because of my new clipless pedals, I would turn around. In my old hybrid with PowerGrips I would just go really slow and go over the grass. So I unclipped on the right side and began turning around very slowly. About half-way through I thought, "I shouldn't be riding on grass with these 23 inch tires holding a 230 pound person." That thought made me slow down to stop. The problem was that my right foot was unclipped but I was turning left. I swear I must have blacked out because between slowing down and hitting the ground I don't remember a thing. Okay, I didn't black out, it just happened so fast.

The brand new black beauty suffered little damage. I noticed some grass in the brake lever and I think that the lever is twisted inwards a little bit. It seemed to work fine, but now I've got to figure out how to adjust the brifters, which isn't hard, but will be a steady reminder of the effects of pride in my life. I rode home a little bit more cautiously, and a humbled quite a bit.

Of course, it happened on a busy street right by a MacDonalds frequented by bicyclists. I hereby propose a new Murphy's Law:

"When using clipless pedals you WILL fall at least once."

Corollary 1:

"...and it will always be with lots of people watching, and especially experienced cyclists."
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Old 07-07-07, 02:19 PM   #2
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and they are all chuckling, remembering when they did the same exact thing.
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Old 07-07-07, 02:24 PM   #3
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Sorry you fell....but how was it riding with clipless pedals? I'm still riding with the cage pedals abd I can never het my feet into the cage. So I just ride with my feet on top of the cage.
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Old 07-07-07, 03:21 PM   #4
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I actually really liked the feel of clipless pedals. I'm using the ones that came with the bike, supposedly they are VP Ultralight Clipless, but I don't like those specific pedals too much. They are designed to fit SPD two bolt shoes, so they are small, but they are only one sided. I guess it saves on weight but it isn't convenient. They are also new so they don't always rest with the back side down (the back isn't that much heavier anyway on such a small pedal). I'm not a racer or anything, so the weight doesn't mean much to me. More than likely I'll get some sort of double sided pedal.

But riding clipless was nice. As I said, I used to use PowerGrips, which were alright for keeping my foot on the pedal for safety purposes. But it was hard to really let up on the opposite pedal as the downstroke without lifting my foot out of the pedal. I found that much easier with clipless pedals. Of course, there is the falling issue :-)
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Old 07-07-07, 07:31 PM   #5
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Well, don't feel bad... I fell the other day using plain old clips*.

It was really early in the morning, and I had been riding on a state park road with only 2 cross streets in 10 miles, and it was before the park was officially open. So, I was just riding along in my own world. I get to the park entrance and a park maintainence truck was just pulling out to start its day. I wanted to go look at the map, so I signalled left (BTW: how do you brake and signal at the same time) and waved him past. Well he kind of stopped right in front of the drive I wanted to go down and began to roll his window down.

I was almost at a standstill by this time, because I had expected him to go through. I thought for a second I was in trouble for being there so early. I said, "hi!" and totally forgot about the toe clips, which were on tight for my isolated ride. Down I went with these guys just watching me.

They had the good manners not to laugh.
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Old 07-07-07, 07:42 PM   #6
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Do yourself a favour and get double-sided ones. You really just step down on them. They simply can't be in the wrong position. I think they are one of the most useful inventions in the history of cycling. And then, once you have them on your bike, back off the tension almost the whole way. Your feet will always stay clipped in when pedaling, but you can unclip almost as fast sideways as you can take your foot off a regular platform pedal.
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Old 07-07-07, 07:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cooleric1234
"When using clipless pedals you WILL fall at least once."

Corollary 1:

"...and it will always be with lots of people watching, and especially experienced cyclists."

Corollary 2:

At least 3 of those people will be your friends, and they'll

A) laugh and point at you
B) then they'll check if your bike is OK
C) finally they'll ask if you're OK
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Old 07-07-07, 07:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Longfemur
Do yourself a favour and get double-sided ones. You really just step down on them. They simply can't be in the wrong position. I think they are one of the most useful inventions in the history of cycling. And then, once you have them on your bike, back off the tension almost the whole way. Your feet will always stay clipped in when pedaling, but you can unclip almost as fast sideways as you can take your foot off a regular platform pedal.

Love the 2 sided SPD pedals. I really wish they could figure out a way to build road pedals that way.
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Old 07-07-07, 08:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Longfemur
Do yourself a favour and get double-sided ones. You really just step down on them. They simply can't be in the wrong position. I think they are one of the most useful inventions in the history of cycling. And then, once you have them on your bike, back off the tension almost the whole way. Your feet will always stay clipped in when pedaling, but you can unclip almost as fast sideways as you can take your foot off a regular platform pedal.
Advice taken. I just ordered a pair of Shimano M520L pedals. I was sorely tempted by the $20 and $30 Nashbar pedals, but as long as I'm trying to get "better" pedals than I currently own I thought I'd get something that I know is reliable.
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Old 07-07-07, 08:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CliftonGK1
Corollary 2:

At least 3 of those people will be your friends, and they'll

A) laugh and point at you
B) then they'll check if your bike is OK
C) finally they'll ask if you're OK
My body has this natural method of healing itself when injured, my bike doesn't (it relies solely on money in order to be healed). Seems like good friends to me (excepting A, of course).
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Old 07-07-07, 08:05 PM   #11
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I've been riding clipless for about a week. Had my obligatory fall last night while riding with my wife. Fortunately for a 'bent rider, the falling distance is less. A relative broke his elbow falling on a conventional frame.

I bought cheap double-sided SPD style "Pyramid" brand from the LBS. They're good enough for me, offer plenty of float, and I have them adjusted loose enough to get out from any position PROVIDED I'm not already falling and panic-reacting...
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Old 07-07-07, 08:25 PM   #12
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After awhile, you'll find that you can stop with one foot down, and lift the bike with your other clipped-in foot, and complete a U-turn rather quickly, and without falling.

Then, after that, comes track-stands at red lights...
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Old 07-07-07, 08:25 PM   #13
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PS: Glad you're okay.
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Old 07-07-07, 08:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaxgtr
Love the 2 sided SPD pedals. I really wish they could figure out a way to build road pedals that way.
Me too. Just changed from double sided SPDs to Shimano road pedals. Sure is taking some time getting used to clipping in to them.
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Old 07-07-07, 09:44 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
and they are all chuckling, remembering when they did the same exact thing.
Yeah, usually there's a lot of empathy... either "you okay?" or "sucks to do that in front of everybody. you okay?" since we've all been there done that.
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Old 07-07-07, 11:01 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pupsocket
I've been riding clipless for about a week. Had my obligatory fall last night while riding with my wife. Fortunately for a 'bent rider, the falling distance is less. A relative broke his elbow falling on a conventional frame.
I had my obligatory fall about a week after getting my clipless. It was during peak hour traffic, at a red light. I also broke my elbow. The real problem was continuing my commute to work with a sore arm while NOT clipping in. I also fell off at another red light trying to trackstand. I had the right foot free so that when I lost balance I could put a foot down. Of course I lost balance to the left...
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Old 07-07-07, 11:51 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by cooleric1234
So I tried clipless pedals for the first time today. Being the obsessive/compulsive person that I am I read up on it plenty before hand. I saw the plethora of warnings and instructions and all the sites that said something to the effect, "you will fall." But since I was so prepared, it WASN'T going to happen to me. With the hubris of an invincible teenager but the body of a 30 year old clydesdale I embarked on the blissful state of riding clipless.

In all fairness, I was on a bike path, which had minimal stops. After about 25 miles I cam to a stop sign and decided that, rather than cross the street and risk falling because of my new clipless pedals, I would turn around. In my old hybrid with PowerGrips I would just go really slow and go over the grass. So I unclipped on the right side and began turning around very slowly. About half-way through I thought, "I shouldn't be riding on grass with these 23 inch tires holding a 230 pound person." That thought made me slow down to stop. The problem was that my right foot was unclipped but I was turning left. I swear I must have blacked out because between slowing down and hitting the ground I don't remember a thing. Okay, I didn't black out, it just happened so fast.

The brand new black beauty suffered little damage. I noticed some grass in the brake lever and I think that the lever is twisted inwards a little bit. It seemed to work fine, but now I've got to figure out how to adjust the brifters, which isn't hard, but will be a steady reminder of the effects of pride in my life. I rode home a little bit more cautiously, and a humbled quite a bit.

Of course, it happened on a busy street right by a MacDonalds frequented by bicyclists. I hereby propose a new Murphy's Law:

"When using clipless pedals you WILL fall at least once."

Corollary 1:

"...and it will always be with lots of people watching, and especially experienced cyclists."
My clipless fall was in front of a Bike Forums poster. The full account can be read here:

http://historian2wheels.blogspot.com...l-21-2007.html

A trimmed down account is below. "Henry" is Bike Forum's "freemti":

The Schuylkill Trail between Norristown and Conshohocken has an odd dip and circle that requires the rider to travel for about a hundred feet on a limited access road. The road has an enormous sewer grate in the middle of the 'outbound' bike lane. I saw the grate, and rather than try to pass it on the right hand side, as I should have, I crossed into the opposite lane to go around it. I thought I was clear; I didn't see the road bike with kid trailer coming at me. When I did, I stopped, and failed to unclip in time. Down went bike and rider on my left knee, simultaneously giving me my first clipless fall and my first road rash. Once I realized that nothing was broken, I got up and picked up my bike. Meanwhile the roadie with the trailer had disappeared.

"Hmm, nice of that guy to see if I was OK."

"I think leaving the scene of an accident is traditional," said Henry.

After cleaning the scraped area with my water bottle, we walked my bike a few feet to make sure it was working, and then resumed riding. A few hundred feet showed that my front brakes had been knocked out of alignment. Henry's son adjusted the brakes to stop them from rubbing against the wheel, but this rendered them next to useless for braking. So I cautiously limped onward through Norristown to Valley Forge with my companions as escort. The constant motion helped prevent the knee from swelling and stiffening. Once back, I said goodbye to my friends.

"This has turned out to be an eventful day," said Henry. "We had drama and fine dining."

"We didn't have women or song," I replied, "but for the past six miles I've provided a lot of whine."
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Old 07-08-07, 01:40 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScrubJ
Me too. Just changed from double sided SPDs to Shimano road pedals. Sure is taking some time getting used to clipping in to them.
I just ride with a set of SPD mountain pedals on my road bike.
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Old 07-08-07, 05:39 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CliftonGK1
Corollary 2:

At least 3 of those people will be your friends, and they'll

A) laugh and point at you
B) then they'll check if your bike is OK
C) finally they'll ask if you're OK
and
D) Whip out camera phone for picture...
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Old 07-08-07, 05:41 PM   #20
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and
D) Whip out camera phone for picture...
Someone at my gym did that because he thought my scoliosis exercises were funny looking.
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Old 07-08-07, 06:13 PM   #21
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Someone at my gym did that because he thought my scoliosis exercises were funny looking.
Did you proceed to slap him upside the head? You should have.
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Old 07-08-07, 06:21 PM   #22
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Did you proceed to slap him upside the head? You should have.
I couldn't hit him because my elevated right shoulder got in the way. :-) Besides, it was my riding buddy Dennis. He busts on me as a form of acceptance. For instance, here's what he said about my riding form:
**********

While drafting me, Dennis shared some observations on my scoliosis. "Your right shoulder is all scrunched up and forward of your left. I've never seen anything like it. What's that bulge? Is that a bone sticking out? Neil, that squeak isn't coming from your bike, it's coming from you!"

*********
Of course, I get good shots in too:

*******

On the way back we were discussing my non-existent love life. "Perhaps you should try a new approach. Come up with a new line."

"Ok. Dennis, you know right now I'm not wearing any underwear? Why did you ring your bell?"

"That was a rim shot."
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