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  1. #1
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    Have mercy on me, oh fearsome clipless gods!

    I had been thinking of changing my user status from "Clipless Noob" to something else. Then I went for a ride last night on my Jamis. I was speeding around, feeling very pleased with myself and my bike.

    Yes, I had another clipless fall. Going through a crowded intersection. In front of a left-turning bus.

    Lessons:
    - DO NOT tempt the clipless gods.
    - DO NOT EVER think you have any more natural riding ability than a circus bear.
    - The sound of a hundred-or-so people shouting "WAH!" is actually pretty funny.
    - If you have more than one bike, make sure you adjust the tension on your pedals to be roughly the same, so that you don't suddenly find your usual clipping-out twist completely inadequate.

    Have a nice bruise on the heel of my left hand now, and a slightly scratched knee and elbow. The bike is fine. Hopefully my small blood sacrifice will appease the gods for a while.

  2. #2
    Senior Member brew's Avatar
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    haha, this is what im scared off. im still on platforms now. i want to go clipless soon, but i dont want to make an ass out of myself.

  3. #3
    staring at the mountains superdex's Avatar
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    what clipless are you running? I know I have a bítch of a time with my spd knock-offs ....

  4. #4
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superdex View Post
    what clipless are you running? I know I have a bítch of a time with my spd knock-offs ....
    Shimano SPD MTB shoes, and Wellgo SPD/platform pedals... I haven't had many problems on my folder, where I keep the tension pretty low, but I had forgotten to loosen the ones on the Jamis. Unfortunately, I don't think I can blame the equipment for this one

  5. #5
    Senior Member mtnwalker's Avatar
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    I still have to take the plunge into clipless. But with all these stories about falling down on clipless pedals I think I will stay with my Powergrips for a while longer. Though Powergrips on a Litespeed is just not that appealing. Oh well, just call me Fred.
    "Of all the things I like bestos, I like asbestos." - A co-worker

  6. #6
    Junior Member Like2Ride's Avatar
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    Knock on wood... I've only had a clipless accident at the beginning of a biking season, but none for a few years now. Once you get used to it, it's second nature.

    Knock knock knock knock........

  7. #7
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnwalker View Post
    I still have to take the plunge into clipless. But with all these stories about falling down on clipless pedals I think I will stay with my Powergrips for a while longer. Though Powergrips on a Litespeed is just not that appealing. Oh well, just call me Fred.
    Ahhh, it's not that bad . I should add that the bus was pretty much stopped when I fell in front of it. And, despite my several falls, I have no desire to get rid of my clipless set up.

  8. #8
    This town needs an enema.
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    Just by clipping in you are tempting the clipless gods.
    ^this may or may not be useful information <--this not so much.

  9. #9
    Se˝ior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    I have a hell of a lot easier time getting out of SPDs than out of Powergrips.
    I've never fallen due to clipless, but a few years ago I had some plastic bags over my shoes due to riding in rain (this was before clipless, with sneakers and toe clips) and the bag over my right foot tangled around the pedal axle without me knowing it. I stopped to turn left into work, in the far left of the lane; it's common for people to buzz by on the right between the turner and the ditch in the wide shoulder.

    Due to the tangle, I damn near fell over to the right. Just as a semi was buzzing by about 3 feet away.

    That was one of the things that made me decide two things: clipless is safer, and it's better to get wet than to ride with improvised rain gear.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  10. #10
    Senior Member gear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnwalker View Post
    I still have to take the plunge into clipless. But with all these stories about falling down on clipless pedals I think I will stay with my Powergrips for a while longer. Though Powergrips on a Litespeed is just not that appealing. Oh well, just call me Fred.
    Everytime someone falls clipped into their pedals they post it in the forum then a bunch of well meaning people will try and make the person who just fell feel better by chiming in about their fall and some like to state "everyone using clipless pedals falls (or will eventually fall)". Despite the fact that several polls done in this forum, indicate that less than half of the people who use clipless end up falling but still the myth gets passed along and non clipless riders are intimidated away from trying clipless.

  11. #11
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    You know, if you just have platform pedals and you stop for whatever reason but you don't take your foot off the pedal, you're going to fall. It's the same way with clipless pedals. It's not like you're riding along and all of a sudden you're stopped. If you do stop, you take your foot out, and you don't fall.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longfemur View Post
    You know, if you just have platform pedals and you stop for whatever reason but you don't take your foot off the pedal, you're going to fall. It's the same way with clipless pedals. It's not like you're riding along and all of a sudden you're stopped. If you do stop, you take your foot out, and you don't fall.
    Good point - the key to not falling is remembering to unclip a few seconds before you plan to actually stop. Another useful thing is trying to notice when the road is slanted perpendicular to the direction you're moving (ie, it slopes right to left) - you want to unclip the foot on the low side. Otherwise you might unclip, put your foot down, and tip over. I've almost done that a few times, but have always managed to unclip in time.

    I also keep the tension on my SPDs pretty low.

  13. #13
    Senior Member gear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longfemur View Post
    You know, if you just have platform pedals and you stop for whatever reason but you don't take your foot off the pedal, you're going to fall. It's the same way with clipless pedals. It's not like you're riding along and all of a sudden you're stopped. If you do stop, you take your foot out, and you don't fall.
    I can see it coming now. Riders who use platform pedals will begin posting about falls when they didn't remove their foot from the platform pedal and they just fell over. Riders who are considering the use of platform pedals will become intimidated by all the postings and will not switch to platform pedals.

  14. #14
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    We all have those times when our brain forgets we're on clipless pedals, then pretends to not know how to unclip. Even if you don't fall, you look kinda strange while frantically trying to pull out. Thankfully your brain chose to forget in front of a stopped bus.
    HHCMF - Take pride in your ability to amaze lesser mortals! - MikeR



    We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!

  15. #15
    Senior Member mtnwalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gear View Post
    I can see it coming now. Riders who use platform pedals will begin posting about falls when they didn't remove their foot from the platform pedal and they just fell over. Riders who are considering the use of platform pedals will become intimidated by all the postings and will not switch to platform pedals.
    LOL! Thats funny. I actually fell over using my Powergrips months ago. I removed my left foot from the pedal but the bike leaned to the right. Since my whole weight was on my right foot on the pedal I wasn't able to ungrip and CRASH down I went.
    "Of all the things I like bestos, I like asbestos." - A co-worker

  16. #16
    Senior Member freemti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbcb View Post
    Lessons:
    - DO NOT tempt the clipless gods.
    - DO NOT EVER think you have any more natural riding ability than a circus bear.
    - The sound of a hundred-or-so people shouting "WAH!" is actually pretty funny.
    - If you have more than one bike, make sure you adjust the tension on your pedals to be roughly the same, so that you don't suddenly find your usual clipping-out twist completely inadequate.

    or.........

    - buy a pair of Speedplay light actions, say hello to the world of a)easy clip out b)easy clip in w/double sided action
    Trek 7.6 FX
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    We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them - Albert Einstein.

  17. #17
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gear View Post
    Everytime someone falls clipped into their pedals they post it in the forum then a bunch of well meaning people will try and make the person who just fell feel better by chiming in about their fall and some like to state "everyone using clipless pedals falls (or will eventually fall)". Despite the fact that several polls done in this forum, indicate that less than half of the people who use clipless end up falling but still the myth gets passed along and non clipless riders are intimidated away from trying clipless.
    You've got a point there. Next time I fall, I'm keeping it to myself

  18. #18
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyossarian View Post
    We all have those times when our brain forgets we're on clipless pedals, then pretends to not know how to unclip. Even if you don't fall, you look kinda strange while frantically trying to pull out. Thankfully your brain chose to forget in front of a stopped bus.
    Sort of stopped... it was one of these Chinese intersection things where the left-turning cars form a slow-moving caravan that blocks off all oncoming traffic. I was slipping through between two very slow-moving busses (about the only way you can get through in such a situation) when I slowed down... I think I may have got a foot caught in my fender when doing some kind of track stand

  19. #19
    Retro-nerd georgiaboy's Avatar
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    I ride clipless and it's the only way to go. When the bike if moving it's pure heaven.

    I don't think you will ever reach a point where falling is out of the question. Just one momentary lapse of concentration and wham!

    But it is true, everytime I fell over the bike never got a scratch and I got all of them.
    Would you like a dream with that?

  20. #20
    On my TARDIScycle! KingTermite's Avatar
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    WAH!! WAH!!

    Ok...I feel better goobchoob.
    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
    - it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.

  21. #21
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingTermite View Post
    WAH!! WAH!!

    Ok...I feel better goobchoob.

    Glad to be of service.

  22. #22
    Senior Member acroy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gear View Post
    Everytime someone falls clipped into their pedals they post it in the forum then a bunch of well meaning people will try and make the person who just fell feel better by chiming in about their fall and some like to state "everyone using clipless pedals falls (or will eventually fall)". Despite the fact that several polls done in this forum, indicate that less than half of the people who use clipless end up falling but still the myth gets passed along and non clipless riders are intimidated away from trying clipless.
    That said, the OP should stick with clipless, but keep in mind there are 2 kinds of clipless users: those who have fallen, and those who will
    beer-bottle target

  23. #23
    Senior Member freemti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbcb View Post
    Sort of stopped... it was one of these Chinese intersection things where the left-turning cars form a slow-moving caravan that blocks off all oncoming traffic. I was slipping through between two very slow-moving busses (about the only way you can get through in such a situation) when I slowed down... I think I may have got a foot caught in my fender when doing some kind of track stand
    Is it just me, or does this sound like a somewhat foolish maneuver? I don't ride in a truly urban setting like it sounds like the OP does, but I've done my share of weaving through traffic at stoplights and the such. If I think I stand even a possible chance of a)having to slow below the "threshold" point (no track standing for me I'm afraid) or b) the gap is a little narrow for comfort and I may decide to bail and just wait (I.E. stop) I always, always clip out my right foot (I'm a right footer clipper outer). To me it is a small price to pay for that extra level of safety should either a) or b) apply. Yes, it is slightly annoying to clip back in again, but if one positions the clipped out foot just so, it only takes a modicum of pressure to clip right back in again (at least it does with Speedplays )
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  24. #24
    Senior Member lil brown bat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acroy View Post
    That said, the OP should stick with clipless, but keep in mind there are 2 kinds of clipless users: those who have fallen, and those who will
    There are two kinds of cyclists: those who have fallen, and those who will. Duh, duh, duh. If you don't want to fall, stay on the couch, ya know?

  25. #25
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freemti View Post
    Is it just me, or does this sound like a somewhat foolish maneuver? I don't ride in a truly urban setting like it sounds like the OP does, but I've done my share of weaving through traffic at stoplights and the such. If I think I stand even a possible chance of a)having to slow below the "threshold" point (no track standing for me I'm afraid) or b) the gap is a little narrow for comfort and I may decide to bail and just wait (I.E. stop) I always, always clip out my right foot (I'm a right footer clipper outer). To me it is a small price to pay for that extra level of safety should either a) or b) apply. Yes, it is slightly annoying to clip back in again, but if one positions the clipped out foot just so, it only takes a modicum of pressure to clip right back in again (at least it does with Speedplays )
    Yup, it was a foolish maneuver. Actually, there were many parts of the maneuver that were foolish, and being clipped in was only one of them. Unfortunately, traffic patterns here sometimes put me in situations in which foolish maneuvers are difficult to avoid. In this case, not clipping out before entering the intersection was not a conscious choice, and it made further foolish maneuvers almost inevitable

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