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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 03-18-10, 06:33 PM   #1
gitarzan
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Went Clipless today!

Went pretty well but for the first stop. We got on the bike and my buddy wanted to stop at the restroom, so I snapped into the clips, popped and back in a few times, and pedaled to the can.

Lesson 1. Clip out BEFORE you come to a full stop.

I stopped and immediately forgot the clips. Wheee! At least I found that when I fall over I curl up and tuck in instead of reaching out.

Got some scratches on the new bike however and scraped the new 105 SPD-SLs. Oh well gotta do it sooner or later.

After that learning lesson, they felt real good and I like 'em a lot. A fine ride, my calculator says I burned 600 calories. Seems like a lot for me. I need to check that out somewhere else.

Now I need to work on those hills.

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Old 03-18-10, 10:30 PM   #2
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Clipless pedals are wonderful. You will get the hang of them before long.
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Old 03-19-10, 07:27 AM   #3
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Kudos to you Gitarzan. I tried the clipless for a while but had to admit my ineptitude for the time being. I just kept falling down. That wasn't so bad really but it was always in front of a bunch of onlookers!! At least you've gotten the worst part out of the way at the start.
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Old 03-19-10, 08:25 AM   #4
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A couple of tips I worked out when I wanted to get used to some new and quite different clipless pedals (Speedplay Zeros) that came on my new road bike.

1) find a quite area to practice in e.g. a quiet empty car park. I'd like to suggest an empty grassed area, to make it softer if you fall over, however pedalling on grass would probably make getting used to clipless harder. A bowling green might do the job, but I doubt they'd be happy when you gouge their playing field when you fall over

2) Start by wearing a regular shoe (e.g. sneaker) on one foot, and your clipless shoe on the other. The best foot to start with for the clipless shoe is the foot that you don't normally put on the ground when you come to a stop on your bike e.g. I'm right handed, so when I come to a stop e.g. at a stop sign, I put my left foot on the ground and leave my right foot on the right pedal. That means I'd initially have the regular shoe on my left foot.

3) Practice riding with your clipless shoe in the pedal to get a feel for it. Practice putting your shoe into the pedal, and removing it. Do that just while riding, as well as when (i.e. before) you're coming to a stop. Be aware that while you're practising this side, it'll actually be less used - your normal shoe foot is the one you'll be clipping in and out with the most. The reason to pick this order first is that you're likely to automatically put that foot down at this point, without the habit of unclipping, which is why this foot has the normal shoe on it.

4) When you've put in a fair bit of practice with that order of normal show / clipless shoe, swap them and do the same again i.e. e.g. go from left-normal/right-clipless to left-clipless/right-normal. This time round it's closer to the way you'll normally ride, as your clipless foot is your favoured "ground" foot. Hopefully in step 3 you've got a lot more comfortable with how the clipless pedal/shoe works, and when you need to unclip before coming to a stop, so it'll make up for the fact that this time round you'll be either having to unclip when you stop, or trying to unnaturally use your unfavoured "ground" foot to stop you falling over. As before, practice clipping, unclipping and coming to a stop.

5) When you've practiced a fair bit on both sides, and are comfortable with the clipless action, and how to come to a stop, making sure you remove your favoured ground foot before you stop, you can then abandon the normal shoes and go fully clipless. Practice with both shoes in clipless, getting used to that. While you might be comfortable with each side being clipless you still need to then become comfortable with both sides being clipless.

At that point you should be able to go for a normal ride, fully clipless, and hopefully you won't fall over. Still be careful though, it can take a reasonable amount of time for dealing with clipless shoes/pedals to become habit. Up until that point, keep reminding yourself that as you're coming towards a stop (and nearly all of the time you know you're going to), that you'll need to get your shoe out of the pedal. It doesn't matter if you do it too early, it just means you're prepared to come to a stop a bit before you need to. The other way round though is a big problem ... leaving it too late is probably the definition of not getting your foot out of the pedal in time and falling over.
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Old 03-19-10, 05:57 PM   #5
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Great advice Mr Zippy! Seems simple that way.
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Old 03-21-10, 09:14 AM   #6
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A riding buddy also made an observation... Decide which foot you'd rather be the dominant un-clipper. Unclip that one each stop until it is total routine. Practice with the other one of course, but make one the primary foot, the expert at un-clipping. Ex: I prefer to push off with my left foot, so I un-clip my right each stop to avoid having to remount the left (efficiency) and to make it a decisionless procedure.
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Old 03-21-10, 09:36 AM   #7
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I love my clipless pedals and shoes. I got used to them on the trainer...well as used to them as you can sitting in one place not having to worry about falling. Luckily with the few rides ive had with the nice weather, I havent had any issues.
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Old 03-21-10, 09:47 AM   #8
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It starts to feel funny when I am not riding clipless. I put on platforms when Im riding to the store or dont have time to really get in a longer ride. It will become second nature to you clipping in and out.
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Old 03-21-10, 01:52 PM   #9
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Just tried some Look Quartz pedals...made my knee flare up in pain with repeated clip-outs. I have a set of Bebop pedals in the mail, hopefully those will do better!
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Old 03-21-10, 08:36 PM   #10
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I made it my goal, when going clipless, that I would NOT do the horizontal track stand.

I succeeded. Although I did pull a groin muscle at a light. At this point, there's no thought involved. Pretty much I don't unclip until I feel the bike rocking to the side.
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Old 03-21-10, 08:49 PM   #11
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Great advice from the folks above, which I've also benefited from.

Congrats on your decision--I just went through the same thing. So first of all, relax, you're in good company--we've all take a tumble.

I did it just the other day (red-faced), after heeding all the good advice here, I started out on my ride cutting across a little swath of grassy median in my own driveway--only to realize having rained the night before, the grass was more like bog--bike stopped moving forward, me and bike tumbled to the side before I could get my left foot out of the pedal!!

But once you're on your way, I gotta think you get the benefits of being clipped in right away! I love feeling both my legs working the cranks when I'm churning...
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Old 03-22-10, 06:23 PM   #12
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Good for you! I just started using clipless as well. They are scary at low speeds, but I managed not to eat pavement today. It's coming, though, I can feel it! I love the extra power and control they give though! I wish I hadn't been such a wimp about it last summer, I know I would have been better off.
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Old 03-22-10, 06:25 PM   #13
gitarzan
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I've put about 36 miles on them since. I love them.
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