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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 01-07-09, 07:59 PM   #1
EasyEd
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I've finaly been converted...

I have resisted for a long time. Then my wife did it last year. Went clipless. I have these big plastic toe clips, without straps, on both my bikes and liked them just fine. I don't know why I did it, but I finaly gave in to peer pressure and bought some Shimano A520 SPD pedals and some Shimano MTB shoes. I figured with recessed cleats and shoes I can actualy walk around in (store and such) I might just learn to like it. I planned on spending quite a while getting used to them. Not so. Clipped in and out about three times to make sure it all worked, then took off for a ride. I stopped several times and practiced clipping out and putting a foot down, then taking off and clipping in again. By the time I made it a half mile or so, and two or three stops, I was in love. Pedaling is so much easier now. Don't tell my wife, but she was right. If any of you tell her I said that here, I will claim that you forged this post.
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Old 01-07-09, 08:19 PM   #2
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I too resisted going clipless...Now I can't imagine riding with clips/straps again, and it's only been a month or so since I "converted". I've not fallen over yet, but I'm very paranoid about it.
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Old 01-07-09, 08:34 PM   #3
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There you go. Not everything I say is evil.
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Old 01-07-09, 08:36 PM   #4
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Woo Hoo - I love it too though The Bee fell quite a bit in the beginning wayback in my youth..June 2008
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Old 01-07-09, 08:39 PM   #5
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Get behind me, Satan!
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Old 01-07-09, 08:51 PM   #6
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welcome to the dark side!
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Old 01-07-09, 08:56 PM   #7
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Those A520 pedals are great. I never think about unclipping when I stop - its just part of taking your foot off the pedal.
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Old 01-07-09, 09:48 PM   #8
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Shoot, I ride Fixed gear with clipless. I love it!
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Old 01-08-09, 04:16 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by EasyEd View Post
I was in love. Pedaling is so much easier now. :



Pretty cool huh?

I been riding clipless since the summer of 2000, starting with the old Welgo pedals. Its great, makes me feel all fuzzy inside.
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Old 01-08-09, 06:09 AM   #10
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welcome to the dark side!

Came here to say this ^^^

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Old 01-08-09, 06:12 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by cyclefreaksix View Post
I too resisted going clipless...Now I can't imagine riding with clips/straps again, and it's only been a month or so since I "converted". I've not fallen over yet, but I'm very paranoid about it.
Tip yourself over in your front lawn and get it over with

Just like motorcycles, everyone is in one of two categories: Those who have been down and those who are going down.
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Old 01-08-09, 07:48 AM   #12
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Tip yourself over in your front lawn and get it over with

Just like motorcycles, everyone is in one of two categories: Those who have been down and those who are going down.
Yup. I fell on the first long ride I went on in clipless pedals, and have been fine since. I got my mom into some last spring. "David, are you sure I can get out of these things? I don't want to fall"
"Well Mom, you'll only fall once."
"I don't want to fall at all."
"Well then don't forget to clip out and you won't have any problems."

Needless to say, Mom had no trouble the day I put the pedals on, but fell once about a month later. Now she has gotten it over with.

Welcome to the dark side Ed, in this case, it really is stronger

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Old 01-08-09, 11:32 PM   #13
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I've been riding SPD's for many years and never had any problems unclipping when I stop (feels natural to unclip) but I did have a problem once going up a steep hill and ran out of gas... before I could unclip I went over. I fell to my right, off the should of the road, down a small slope towards a barbed wire fence (did not slid into fence). Only thing going through my mind was to not scratch the bike and to get up before any cars came by to see me down! I popped up before any cars came by and then I laughed at myself.

If you're going to go down... falling over a 0.1 mph is a good way to do it!!!
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Old 01-09-09, 10:26 PM   #14
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ahhhhhhh, another convert. Everything is becoming right in the world.
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you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.
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Old 01-10-09, 01:28 AM   #15
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I got my mom into some last spring. "David, are you sure I can get out of these things? I don't want to fall"
"Well Mom, you'll only fall once."
"I don't want to fall at all."
"Well then don't forget to clip out and you won't have any problems."


Ahh..the good son!

Fer some reason I found that funny.

......getting your mom to ride clipless.
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Old 01-10-09, 03:26 AM   #16
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Oh you will fall. I've fallen twice. Both times on a busy road with plenty of witnesses.

The other day I bought a new mountain bike and finally went with SPD's on the mountain bike.

Put the clips on my new shoes and locked in.

I was outside my office climbing this short but steep hill and I got up to the top and went to twist my left foot and it was too tight. Then I tried the right and it was the same. I knew what was coming next and it didn't disappoint.

Worst part was some young US Marine came running over as fast as he could screaming and asking me if I was okay. Heck I just fell over on grass but I appreciated his concern.

You'll fall. Even when you think you have it down and have gone ages without falling. You'll fall.

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Old 01-10-09, 08:03 AM   #17
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Other than "so much easier to pedal" and "feel all fuzzy inside", can anyone really describe in some detail the objective/scientific nature of the benefits of these strange devices? Or direct me to a post that does? Or... what is the subjective or perceived benefit? It appears to be fairly well established that they inveitably cause one to fall a little more often at low speed. (I still use toe clips myself.)
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Old 01-10-09, 08:06 AM   #18
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Don't tell my wife, but she was right.
ummmmm..... Wifes already know they are right, we won't need to tell her.
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Old 01-10-09, 11:03 AM   #19
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I went clippless a long time ago. I remember telling my wife that once you get used to it, it is great. We went on a longer ride and she had toe clips. For some reason that day, she just had a really hard time getting into the toe clips after a stop light. She had on biking shoes as well. I think that is what it was. She was so mad because the rest of us just clipped in right away every time. After that ride she went clippless and has never looked back. I do not think she has ever fallen. I fell after a 100k as I was riding up to the car to put my bike away. I was so tired that I forgot to unclip.
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Old 01-10-09, 11:20 AM   #20
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Billydonn-

I do not know if I can do it justice, but here I go. The reason for toe clips in the first place to lock your pedal onto the pedal. The idea is that not only are you transversing power on the down stoke of the pedal but also on the way back up as well. To do this, they invented toe clips. The biking shoes that were to be used with toe clips had cleats as well, kind of like a slot going across the pedal. Once your "slot" was on the pedal, then you would tighten the toe clip tight to lock your foot on the pedal. So when you had to stop, you have to reach down and loosen the strap on the toe clip so you could get your foot out of the pedal. You had to loosen it alot because you had to get the cleat out of the pedal.

If you are using toe clips but do not tighten them down, then the toe clips are only there to help you not slip off the pedal. It does not help at all the the full stroke of the pedal as when your foot is locked into the pedal. There are many spinning DVD's (training) that work on the down stroke as well as the up stroke. They are both important. If you want to try clipless, I would suggest trying it on a trainer to practice clipping in and getting out. If you do some hard efforts on the trainer with the clips, you will see what I mean about getting out of them, you will have to think about it.

Once you use them, you will get used to it and remember. I can't recommend which pedal system will be best for you because I like the Look (which is hard to walk in) and my wife really likes the spd type. I actually have a harder time getting into these than the look because it is hard for me to judge where to put the cleat.

The only other thing I will say is that when you get bike shoes, they are stiff. Think of ski boots, but they do not go over the ankle. This means that your foot will not flex. It can initally make your foot cramp up because it is not used to not flexing. Your feel adjust pretty quickly.

I lied, another thing about clippless pedals is how useful they fell when you are climbing hills or going really hard. You do not have to worry about your feet coming out (well you could if you have not adjusted the tension enough) of the pedal. Of course the down side of this is if you are going hard and have to stop on a hill, it can be hard to get your foot out of the pedal. Do not take your foot out at the top of the pedal stoke, because it is very hard to twist your foot! Also, when you first get the clippless pedals, adjust the release tension so that it is real easy to get out. As you get more comfortable with the system, then you can start tightening up the release tension. Of, if you stop on a hill, you might have to cost back down a little or go across the road to clip back in before contuining. It should be the same for toe clips as well.

Ron
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Old 01-10-09, 12:40 PM   #21
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Still sounds scary to me....
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Old 01-10-09, 07:57 PM   #22
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billydonn, now you made me go and think about it. Can't I just enjoy my new pedals without all this justification stuff? Ok, here are my initial thoughts as a newbie to clipless... With the shoe being attatched to the pedal, and the shoe having a very stiff sole, I don't feel like i'm only using the ball of my foot to pedal with, but my whole foot. Also, when I'm realy cranking on the pedals, my feet never move. I would always get my shoes to slide around at least a little on every ride. Having the feet stay in exactly the same place, with the pressure of pedaling spread out over the whole foot, not just the ball, makes it feel, well, "easier to pedal". I hope that helps a little. I'm sure the more high performance type riders around here have even more to say. I'm not a speedy guy, a racer, or a climber of huge hills. Just a commuter and recreational rider, hopefully graduating to touring rider this year. Oh yeah, I did set the tension realy low on the pedals before I started out. I wanted to be able to get un hooked in a hurry if the need arose. So far, so good.
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Old 01-10-09, 08:20 PM   #23
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Congrats on the accomplishment and I hate to say it but you are going to fall eventually, and it's usually at the worst possible time. Like when a car load of hot girls are checking you out in your spandex and then it happens, Your laying on the ground thinking what the h$%& just happened!
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Old 01-10-09, 08:55 PM   #24
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I enjoy not having to reach down and loosen my strap prior to stopping...Almost as much as I enjoy not having to reach down and tighten the strap once under way. My commute has a lot of stop and go and I ended up just leaving the straps loose a lot of the time, which negated much of the benefit of using toe clips in the first place.

Clips probably aren't for everybody but they sure work for me!
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Old 01-10-09, 11:07 PM   #25
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After switching, I found clipless to be a more reliable exit than toe straps, but I made the switch when I was 15. (now 31) I do not fall because I forget to clip out anymore, but I did fall a few times within a couple months of going to clipless. What I CANNOT do under any circumstances is ride the clips anymore. I would totally bust my ass as twisting my foot to exit is now instinct. I use mountain spd on my road and mountain bikes with no complaints.
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