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  1. #1
    Junior Member joshcls's Avatar
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    First ride with clipless pedals. I fell.

    Yesterday I went out with the new to me (vintage) cannondale road bike.
    Has clipless pedals. First time using the whole set up.
    Got in and out a few times in the grass before heading out.

    Went on a leisurely ride around the neighborhood,
    testing out the new bike, and making sure my bum was ok (see other post)
    Clipped in and out at stop signs several times AOK..

    25 mins in, came to a stop sign and...
    got clipped out ok. Stopped and waiting for several cars to pass.
    Went to get started, and get my 2nd cleat clipped in, missed,
    and fell. Bike went straight up in the air.

    Gave the lady at the stop sign next to me a heart attack I think.
    She came running out asking if she needed to call an ambulance.
    Got a scraped knee and elbow, and a sore shoulder this morning,
    but it's kind of nice getting my first fall out of the way.
    I know I'll survive.

    Though it's funny how much worse scrapes look when you're sweating.

    Embarrassing more than anything.

  2. #2
    Texas Tornado copswithguns's Avatar
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    I have mine coming in the mail this week, along with the shoes. I'm hoping to avoid the falls but I know I can't. At least you didn't wipe out in front of a car full of college girls haha.
    "Speed never killed anyone. Suddenly becoming stationary...Now that's what gets you." -Jeremy Clarkson

  3. #3
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    Welcome to the club... falling with clipless pedals is lessons learned; we all fall... FYI... so you know, I assume you always keep whatever foot you are comfortable with clipped in and release with your dominant foot. For right handed people that's generally the right foot. When you take off from a stop, push off with the left, which is already clipped in, and don't worry about getting the other foot attached. Just ride on top of the pedal until you get some speed up... once your speed is up, you have all the time in the world to clip in. Most falls occur because the bike is moving too slowly (it's those panic clip in that cause falls). Just make sure your speed is adequate and then clip in. After awhile the whole clipping in process will be very fluid. Just give it time...

    BTW here's embarassing.... friends and i were meeting at the start of RAAM. The streets of Huntington Beach, CA were lined with people and television cameras. I am cruising the street and hear my name, I turned to see who called, I also turned the front wheel and =BAM= down on my side, still clipped in, in front of the world. I could not crawl away fast enough!
    Last edited by Pamestique; 09-18-13 at 05:08 PM.
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  4. #4
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Well, that's different.

    You understand that the USUAL mode of falling over involves not getting your foot OUT in time. Be alert for that one because it will get you! The best trick there is to remove one foot well before you think you need to and not at the last second. As Pam mentioned, you should be able to do some light pedaling with your foot not clipped in too, that might help.

    Until it's second nature though, you are nearly certainly encounter a situation where you forget you're stopping (or it's a fast/panic stop) and you won't think about unclipping until you're starting to fall over.

    Ride in tall grass until then.

  5. #5
    Senior Member JackoDandy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    Well, that's different.

    You understand that the USUAL mode of falling over involves not getting your foot OUT in time. Be alert for that one because it will get you! The best trick there is to remove one foot well before you think you need to and not at the last second. As Pam mentioned, you should be able to do some light pedaling with your foot not clipped in too, that might help.

    Until it's second nature though, you are nearly certainly encounter a situation where you forget you're stopping (or it's a fast/panic stop) and you won't think about unclipping until you're starting to fall over.

    Ride in tall grass until then.
    Great tip. Any intersection etc I apporach, I unclip well ahead of time. The problem is the unexpected. For example, I was clipped in when and riding approx 5 miles per hour as I rolled towards a red light. A dog ran out, I hit the brakes, and in slow-motion literally rolled over to my right. There is a 2 second time period of total fear when you know your going down and you yank away at that foot that wont come out

    Glad you are OK

  6. #6
    just pedal donalson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    Well, that's different.

    You understand that the USUAL mode of falling over involves not getting your foot OUT in time.
    or you get your foot uncliped... but you weight transfer to the other side...

    welcome to the club... I'm thankful that it took me over 10 years to join the club and even then it was on the MTB trail (coming up to some friends at a rest point)...

    clipping in takes some time... with time it will become much quicker and easier... I am having to get used to single sided pedals these days, I'd always used two sided MTB pedals but recently moved to some SPD a520 for the extra platform support... get a good push off in the correct gear from a stop and you can usually get enough speed and stabilty in that push off to get clipped in... the worst for me has always been on an uphill start

    thankfully when you fall it tends to be very low speed so it's more of a hit to your pride than actually getting hurt
    mtbr clyd moderator

  7. #7
    Big Boned Biker IAMAMRA's Avatar
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    Welcome to the club...dues are paid in blood and embarrassment.
    www.BigBonedBiker.Wordpress.com

  8. #8
    Senior Member MVclyde's Avatar
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    been there..... done that.
    My stable:
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  9. #9
    Senior Member IBOHUNT's Avatar
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    I got that t-shirt as well...

    Clip out ok. Opps, wrong foot - donk
    Forget to clip out - donk

    Haven't yet gone down after starting out. I pedal 1 legged until I have enough speed where physics comes into play for me


    I did however find that when you encounter a sudden stop when you hit a vehicle that you magically become unclipped

  10. #10
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    BTDT as well...
    "I had this baby hand made in Tuscany, from titanium blessed by the pope. It weighs less than a fart, and costs more than a divorce..."

  11. #11
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IBOHUNT View Post
    Haven't yet gone down after starting out. I pedal 1 legged until I have enough speed where physics comes into play for me
    You know, one really fun trick I forgot to mention that I've done in the last few years... I got some gunk in my cleat and was having trouble clipping in (I generally lift up to make sure these days).

    I was standing and cranking to get across an intersection and my foot slipped clean off the pedal. I *almost* wiped out but the pain from landing on my unmentionables was pretty severe.

    Of course, slipping off the pedal can happen with any pedal system, got to watch out!

  12. #12
    Senior Member daihard's Avatar
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    I've been debating whether or not to switch to clipless pedals. I have a friend who is willing to give me her unused pair of SPD pedals (and cleats). Seeing how well they work, I really want to give them a try.

    OTOH, as my wife correctly points out, I'm incredibly clumsy. I wonder how many times I will fall before I get the hang of it...
    Badly-behaved cyclists are usually just cyclists with inadequate infrastructure. Or none at all. - Mikael Colville-Andersen

  13. #13
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Ah, rites of passage... and it only counts if someone saw you fall. OP, glad to hear you didn't hurt yourself, you're now officially clear to proceed for the next stage, whatever that is.

    --J
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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  14. #14
    Klaatu..Verata..Necktie? genejockey's Avatar
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    My favorite thing - starting off, headed uphill on a steep grade, over a painted crosswalk, after a rain. When you can do this and not fall, Grasshopper, you will have learned.

    BTW, my fall came the first time I used mine, way back in 1994. I clicked in the left foot, pushed off, gently rolling down my driveway in the cul-de-sac, and tried to get my right cleat in, when suddenly something loomed up in my field of vision - the curb on the opposite side of the street. Down I went. Luckily, nobody saw me!
    "Don’t take life so serious—it ain’t nohow permanent."

  15. #15
    Banned
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    I'm inspired to start a 'I slipped in the bathtub thread'

  16. #16
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by daihard View Post
    I've been debating whether or not to switch to clipless pedals.

    OTOH, as my wife correctly points out, I'm incredibly clumsy. I wonder how many times I will fall before I get the hang of it...

    Your wife pointed this out just before she called the Insurance Co. to make sure your life policy was all paid up.

    BTDT. Life policy still hasn't been collected. But the ~wife's cat~ tries to trip me on the stairs.

  17. #17
    Senior Member IBOHUNT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    You know, one really fun trick I forgot to mention that I've done in the last few years... I got some gunk in my cleat and was having trouble clipping in (I generally lift up to make sure these days).

    I was standing and cranking to get across an intersection and my foot slipped clean off the pedal. I *almost* wiped out but the pain from landing on my unmentionables was pretty severe.

    Of course, slipping off the pedal can happen with any pedal system, got to watch out!
    OUCH!

    Might want to read the thread 'Riding 'lighter' - joking

  18. #18
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    I'll make the switch to clipless next spring, that way my wife will have a good idea what to give me for xmas lol
    - Chris

  19. #19
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    So did I.

    In the garage.

    Before I even rode.

    While leaning against the car.

    5 minutes after installing the pedals.

    So you're way ahead of me! Keep up, it gets easier. And, oh, you WILL fall again. The guys that have never fallen are the exception.

    Good luck!

  20. #20
    That guy from the Chi Chitown_Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donalson View Post
    or you get your foot uncliped... but you weight transfer to the other side...

    welcome to the club... I'm thankful that it took me over 10 years to join the club and even then it was on the MTB trail (coming up to some friends at a rest point)...

    clipping in takes some time... with time it will become much quicker and easier... I am having to get used to single sided pedals these days, I'd always used two sided MTB pedals but recently moved to some SPD a520 for the extra platform support... get a good push off in the correct gear from a stop and you can usually get enough speed and stabilty in that push off to get clipped in... the worst for me has always been on an uphill start

    thankfully when you fall it tends to be very low speed so it's more of a hit to your pride than actually getting hurt
    @donalson what MTB pedals did you use? Since I currently have only 1 bike I use it for short trips where clips would be silly to use, and then use it for long rides where I want them. I do have clips and straps on them now but would love the feel of clipless to allow me to use different muscles on long rides.
    Looking forward to my winter commuting adventure.....

  21. #21
    just pedal donalson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chitown_Mike View Post
    @donalson what MTB pedals did you use? Since I currently have only 1 bike I use it for short trips where clips would be silly to use, and then use it for long rides where I want them. I do have clips and straps on them now but would love the feel of clipless to allow me to use different muscles on long rides.
    i've always been an SPD guy... the trails I rode I never worried about the pedals packing up with dirt/mud... they where whatever shimano had the cheapest first time around, then I bought a bike that had some old ritchy/wellgo knock offs that I really liked (but looks like after nearly 20 years nashbar doesn't sell them now my last pair was a pair my LBS bud gave to me...

    the biggest thing is finding good shoes that fit well... SPD touring or MTB shoes let you walk around a bit if/when needed... I recently got the shimano sandals and am deciding if I like them or not lol sure is weird riding in sandals
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  22. #22
    Senior Member Jarrett2's Avatar
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    I wiped out yesterday morning on my 6th ride with clip in pedals. Pulled up to the busiest intersection in town, clipped out my right foot, slowed down, bike leaned left and bam! The upshot is on this morning's ride I was clipping out faster than a mofo

  23. #23
    That guy from the Chi Chitown_Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donalson View Post
    i've always been an SPD guy... the trails I rode I never worried about the pedals packing up with dirt/mud... they where whatever shimano had the cheapest first time around, then I bought a bike that had some old ritchy/wellgo knock offs that I really liked (but looks like after nearly 20 years nashbar doesn't sell them now my last pair was a pair my LBS bud gave to me...

    the biggest thing is finding good shoes that fit well... SPD touring or MTB shoes let you walk around a bit if/when needed... I recently got the shimano sandals and am deciding if I like them or not lol sure is weird riding in sandals
    A buddy of mine has a pair that he can ride in regular shoes and then he has a pair of winter shoes with clips on them and these sandal like things that also have clips. But the clips are recessed so he doesn't click as he walks. Which is what I am interested in, I'll have to check out the SPD pedals and ask him what he uses.
    Looking forward to my winter commuting adventure.....

  24. #24
    just pedal donalson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chitown_Mike View Post
    A buddy of mine has a pair that he can ride in regular shoes and then he has a pair of winter shoes with clips on them and these sandal like things that also have clips. But the clips are recessed so he doesn't click as he walks. Which is what I am interested in, I'll have to check out the SPD pedals and ask him what he uses.

    for shoes he prob has something along these lines http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...62_-1___202530 they have a platform around the SPD pedal so you could use a normal shoe on them... there are other ones that have the SPD on one side and a traditional bike pedal cage on the other.

    for shoes he is using a typical SPD mtn/touring shoe the cleat is recessed so you can walk on them vs a road shoe that is just flat and the cleat sticks out the bottom



    as far as sandals... these are what I'm using
    http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...2_507313_-1___ there aren't a ton of options out these days... I'm still trying to figure out if I like them or not... a few more rides on them and we'll see
    mtbr clyd moderator

  25. #25
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chitown_Mike View Post
    A buddy of mine has a pair that he can ride in regular shoes and then he has a pair of winter shoes with clips on them and these sandal like things that also have clips. But the clips are recessed so he doesn't click as he walks. Which is what I am interested in, I'll have to check out the SPD pedals and ask him what he uses.
    I have a pair of these (got 'em with a used bike, I don't use them) - they have a SPD clip on one side and a flat platform on the other, so they might work well for you.

    http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...2_197360_-1___

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