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  1. #1
    Senior Member CJ C's Avatar
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    Strangely Confused???

    So i went clipless and today was my first ride with them. I have many questions and pondering thoughts i hop you guys could help/solve.

    I really thought that once i clipped in and rode the first mile i would get the "ah ha" moment. you know birds would chirp, a rainbow would appear, a gospel choir would be singing in the background. none of that happened, but here is what did;

    1. i didnt ride any faster
    2. for the first time ever my left foot went numb
    3. cannot heel out unclip i need to heel in unclip
    4. spend too much time thinking about cliping in and clippiing out ahead of time
    5. checked the HR and it wasnt better so it seems it didnt make me more efficient
    6. dont like that i am stuck on the pedal in one position, i like to sit back in the saddle sometimes and pedal with my toes.
    7. its hard carrying my bike up/down three flights of stairs with the shoes

    there are positives;

    1. wow i really fly up "hills" now. For that reason i am staying with them
    2. my bouncing problem above 95rpm is gone i am smooth to 110 bounce a little till i crank like a coke'd out hamster at 120, above that i am somewhat smooth
    3. easily bunny hop bad spots in roads

    so could you guys help me on a few things?

    How come i cant twist out? its easier to twist in?

    why did my foot go numb?

    how do i adjust to fix this?

    i set the cleats at what i think is the ball of my foot. i put the 15degree cleat on the right shoe. these are the pedals and shoes i have

    http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...9_10000_202526

    http://www.amazon.com/Crank-Brothers...4464483&sr=1-2

  2. #2
    Senior Member Absenth's Avatar
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    * Heel out unclip: likely the angle of the cleat on the shoe.
    * At one point I had a cleat loosen up on me just enough that I couldn't angle my heel out far enough to clip out. A minor adjustment made all the difference..... of course getting professionally fit made an even bigger differeince.

    * Numb Feet: Try curling your toes (like making a fist with your feet) before strapping down the front two straps on your shoes. I found if they're tight when I start riding, they cut off circulation once I get going.

    * Riding Faster, better, smarter: Just changing your shoes and cleats isn't a silver bullet, however it is an improved weapon in your bicycling arsenal once you get into it. I found doing the following on the trainer at least once a week, (although on the road works too) really helped..
    * 5 minutes warmup
    * 2 minutes left leg only (unclip the right)
    * 2 minutes both legs (get the blood pumping in the right leg again)
    * 2 minutes right leg only (unclip the left)
    * 2 minutes both legs.
    * 2 minutes left only
    * 2 minutes both legs.
    * 2 minutes right only.
    * 2 minutes both legs
    * 2 minutes left only
    * 2 minutes both legs.
    * 2 minutes right only.
    * 5 minutes both legs cooldown.

    32 minutes once or twice a week on the trainer, and you'll be spinning like a pro with those clipless pedals.
    Also if you find it's harder with one leg than the other... increase to 3 minutes for that leg only to even yourself out
    Added bonus, you won't wear your trainer out as fast, and you will get a better workout than just doing 2 hours of moderate cycling.
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  3. #3
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    i agree, when i went clipless there was no aha moment either but hills are easier. you will get to a point where you don't have to think about clipping in and out, it will be natural. i can definately spin faster and easier too. not sure what your problems are with your shoes. I have road pedals, so if i don't put clieat covers on them, i wear through the cleat in no time and they are slippery as hell and a pita to walk in.

  4. #4
    Senior Member green427's Avatar
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    Agreed, there is only one big advantage of having clipless: The ability to pull the pedals upwards to gain more power going uphills. Much better than toe clips/straps.

    If you never feel the need to have more pedaling effectiveness, clipless pedals are not worth the trouble.

    As noted above, the clips need to be adjusted for ease of unclipping.

  5. #5
    DEK
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    Pretty much everything you mentioned were issues with me the first time I tried clipless. So, I gave up on it for a long time. When I got my new bike I decided it was the right time to try again and now I won't go back.

    Had the numb foot problem and its caused by my shoe being too tight so try loosening your straps.

    I also can't unclip out on my left foot. Need to unclip in. I'm going to try and re-position the cleat to see if that helps. But I don't find it to be a big issue as long as comes un-clipped.

    I also didn't like the "stuck" feeling but I've gotten so used to being clipped it doesn't bother me anymore. I believe you'll get used to it.

    Also, I understand wanting to move your position and I can even when clipped in. Of course I can't pedal with my toes but I wouldn't want to.

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    Sounds like a few people that don't need clipless; they're not for everybody. Just go back to flats, sell the pedals/cleats on eBay, and keep the shoes.

    As far as the "A-HA!" moment, I remember mine well; still feel it every time I clip in, too. Now, the bike and I "communicate." (Before, I was just "on" the bike; now, I'm PART of it........)

  7. #7
    Senior Member etofhb's Avatar
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    For me the climbing was the the "ah ha" moment! But I feel your pain though, I just switched from MTB pedals to Road pedals and I'm having a hard time learning to clip in after a stop light.
    I was having issues with numbness too. I had two solutions

    1. Loosen my shoes. This took care of about 75% of the numbness.

    2. When I'm on a flat I just pull up with my legs for a minute and wiggle my toes, this allows blood to flow back into the nerves in my feet. I do this about every 5 miles or so. Just like you have to get out of the saddle once in a while to get blood back in that area or move your hands around your feet are your third point of contact with the bike and they need a break too.

    Stick with them, in a couple weeks you'll wonder why you waited so long to go clip-less!

    Good luck!!!

  8. #8
    Senior Member nkfrench's Avatar
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    I had problems with numb feet around 35 miles with my old shoes. The shoes were too tight and the cleat was too far towards the toes. I got some SPD bike sandals and just need to wiggle my toes around a bit and softpedal a few strokes now and then.

    Many of my rides are in-town with frequent stops and once a week I'll do a breakfast ride. The sandals have a recessed cleat and while the forefoot is very stiff, the back of the shoe has a little flex and good traction on the sole. The bike also has 2-sided MTB pedals.

    The LBS set my pedal clips to allow a lot of float. I've never seen the need to tighten them up.
    Last edited by nkfrench; 08-29-11 at 08:12 PM.

  9. #9
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    My understanding of the Crank Brothers' cleats is thatthey are not symmetrical - they perform differently depending on which cleat is on the left and which is on the right. If you can clip out to the inside and not to the outside I would try switching the cleats to the other respective shoes.

  10. #10
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    i love my clipless system! there are a lot of tweaks you can do. Try loosening the clips. Try to reposition the cleats (or even better yet, get a profressional fit done... worked for me).

    To practise clipping out, go to the bike shop and have them hook your bike onto the trainer and practise clipping out a lot. Works great.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
    Try loosening the clips.
    Maybe I am reading this wrong... but if you mean loosening the bolts holding the cleats to the shoe then this is winner of the 'Worst Advice of the Day' award. CLeats must be rigidly attached to the shoe with no movement. Loose cleats will actually cause the rider to become trapped - it turns your pedals into roach motels "Your feet clip in and the can't clip out!"

  12. #12
    Senior Member green427's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarDasse74 View Post
    Maybe I am reading this wrong... but if you mean loosening the bolts holding the cleats to the shoe then this is winner of the 'Worst Advice of the Day' award. CLeats must be rigidly attached to the shoe with no movement. Loose cleats will actually cause the rider to become trapped - it turns your pedals into roach motels "Your feet clip in and the can't clip out!"
    I am pretty sure he means to loosen the clips' tight grip on the cleats.

    Another piece of advice: Use blue threadlocker on all your screws holding the cleats on the shoes, especially if you do a lot of walking/climbing.

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    I have used them for 4 years, My feet hurt sometime, I can't always get rite into them but I think it helps with my performance. ECB1

  14. #14
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    LAr: Sorry. Green is right. Loosen the pedals clip grip .

  15. #15
    Senior Member CJ C's Avatar
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    i am mostly clueless but i really dont think there is pedal clip adjustment. the shimano's that i should have got has this feature, mine doent seam too.

    i have the cleats at the furthest back (closest spot to toward the heal), should i move them up?

    I did have the laces as tight as the could go, thought that tight was right? i should have gone with my first choice of shoes which had the three strap velcro so i could loosen while riding. my fault for trying to save $20. tomorrow i will try looser shoes.

    NkFrench mentioned setting the cleat with alot of "float", how would i go about doing this? would adding a cleat shim on each shoe do this?

    lardasse74, you are correct with crank bro's it depends on which cleat you put on which foot. one is a 20degree heel out and the other is a 15 degree turn out. i have the cleats set as a 15 degree turn out. (well i think i will check that again)

    I would like to say thank you again guys for all your help. this is the best forum on the this site, no attitudes, no smart remarks, all love, and all help.

  16. #16
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    The proper fore/aft position of any cleat is wherever it needs to be in order for the ball of your foot to be over the pedal axle. Some folks stray from this a bit in one direction or the other, but that's the rule of thumb, so compare that to where you are now.

    As far as float goes, I'm not familiar with your pedal/cleat system, but the ones I have experience with either have a particular amount of float or they don't, depending on which cleat and/or pedal you buy. It's not a user-adjustable thing, other than maybe being able to lock it out completely. But, like I said, I don't know Crank Bros. Maybe you can do it with theirs.
    Craig in Indy

  17. #17
    Senior Member Absenth's Avatar
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    to set float on Crank Brothers pedals, you mount the cleat with the dot on the right or left shoe. (consult the manual, or website for float levels/instructions)

    I use Crank Brothers pedals, with Shimano lace up MTB shoes (MT22 iirc) on my Surly Long Haul Trucker. To keep my toes from going numb, as I mentioned in my first post, curl your toes (like making a fist) and then lace the shoes tight. then relax your toes.

    If you have the same shoes I do, make sure you used the short bolts to mount the cleats on the shoes. the long screws go through the sole, and press into the shoe liner (applying a lot of pressure to two VERY small points on the foot)

    Finally I found moving the cleat about 2/3 of the way forward, and adjusted to the inside (towards the crank) of each shoe was the magic sauce needed to make them comfortable.

    Good luck!
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    i have Look Pedals and they allow a great amount of float all around. I switched from shamanos to looks because the shamanos didnt allow me to float.

  19. #19
    Senior Member CJ C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigB View Post
    The proper fore/aft position of any cleat is wherever it needs to be in order for the ball of your foot to be over the pedal axle. Some folks stray from this a bit in one direction or the other, but that's the rule of thumb, so compare that to where you are now.
    So here is what i did, i checked to see if i had the correct cleat on the right foot. i did but decided to turn the cleats 180 degrees then move them up just above the ball of my foot.
    I can now unclip out easily, but still getting the numb left foot and right foot got close to numb.

    Absenth,
    i used the short bolts and tried the toe curl thing, thanks for the tip but i still went numb 5 miles in. what i also tried yesterday in on long flat sections i unclipped one foot and left the other clipped in and alternated, it seemed to work as a temporary fix.

    any other ideas are welcome.

  20. #20
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    your seat raised up enough I wonder. You might consider a pedal that has more surface area like the Look or Speedplay pedals. Also, you might try better insoles. I had to wear mine on my right foot to make it stop being numb.

  21. #21
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by green427 View Post

    If you never feel the need to have more pedaling effectiveness, clipless pedals are not worth the trouble.
    Clipless is oversold IMO. If there is a gain, it's in inches, or perhaps milimeters, not yards or meters.

    Also, for an alternate view:

    http://www.rivbike.com/article/clothing/the_shoes_ruse

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil_B View Post
    Clipless is oversold IMO. If there is a gain, it's in inches, or perhaps milimeters, not yards or meters.

    Also, for an alternate view:

    http://www.rivbike.com/article/clothing/the_shoes_ruse
    not going up hills. I was able to crush a hill climb last week because ijust purposely pulled up on the pedals for a good stretch and recharged the other muscles. huge difference. I do agree that on the flats their benefit is exaggerated. but i suppose if your a racer and you can get a 1% performance improvement from pedals, 1% from lightening your bike, 1% from swapping wheels, etc, you cumulatively get a useful effect. most of us in this forum aren't racing so it's a non issue.

  23. #23
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    For me it's become primarily a security issue. I can't stand the feeling of not being connected to the bike. Even rubber platform pedals with sneakers give me the willies, even with all the traction that setup implies. I even liked being attached back when that meant slotted cleats, toe clips and straps.

    That, and I do pull up when I stand on hills.
    Craig in Indy

  24. #24
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    I doubt that I will go to clipless. I'm a klutz. But I do like my powergrips. The keep my feet from slipping off the pedals when I spin yet they are easy to get in and out of. For the time being, I am happy.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Bendico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DX-MAN View Post
    As far as the "A-HA!" moment, I remember mine well; still feel it every time I clip in, too. Now, the bike and I "communicate." (Before, I was just "on" the bike; now, I'm PART of it........)
    I have to agree with DX-MAN totally and the whole more power is the best part of going clipless IMHO. I think most people look for this magic moment and don't realize that it happens every time they get on their bike..

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