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Old 08-05-07, 12:54 PM   #1
jp173
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Got Rid of the !*#@%^ Clipless Pedals

What a relief. After 1200 miles of unhappy riding, I got rid of the !*#@%^ things and put plain old flat pedals back on my Trek Pilot 1.2.

Did a 72 mile ride yesterday. Haven't enjoyed my riding that much since I first put the damned clipless things on my bike.

First there's the feeling of comfort. My feet could move around -- and my feet did NOT go numb like they did with every ride with the clipless (and which didn't go away after four different fittings, including one $$$ fitting by an "expert"). And with my feet moving, my knees and calfs were free to relax and not cramp up. For the first time in months, my left leg didn't crumple the first time I put weight on it after a ride.

Then there's the serenity. I can react instantly to anything that happens because I'm not in bondage to the bike. Somebody stops suddenly in front of me. No problem -- hit the brakes and hop off at the same time. A pedestrian scoots out in front of you suddenly -- no problem. A car suddenly swerves in front of you -- no problem. Plus, no more resistance to making tight turns -- my feet are always there in case I make the turn too tight.

And the security. Knowing that my left foot isn't going to slip off the pedal while I'm trying to get started from a standing stop because I'm busy trying to get the cleat in AND also pump the pedal. Not having to worry about doing uphill starts (I have power from both legs right at the start). Not having to worry about doing uphill starts across a busy road (same reason). Not having to walk my bike to the top of an uphill to get started (same reason). Hell, not having to worry about starts across a busy intersection.

And more comfort. The ability to stand with both feet flat on the ground at a light and then just hop onto the pedals as the light turns green without having to spend time with the left tippy toe on the ground and hip/thigh draped uncomfortably over the seat. Ahhhhh.

My chiropractor will be VERY unhappy. He's been making a lot of money from all the sprains, strains, and cramps I was getting. Looks like he's not going to get that vacation in the Caribbean that we was so looking forward to.

As far as speed -- this was a totally new route and I can't compare it to previous runs of this route. However, my uphill speeds seemed right in line with my experience on hills of similar grade. My flat speeds seemed in line with my normal flat speeds. My downhill was just as fast, but I usually coast those. AND, my fleet stayed glued to the pedals on rough downhills.

Relief. Happiness. A new-found enjoyment of riding.
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Old 08-05-07, 01:53 PM   #2
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Thanks for posting your experienced perspective on "clipless". (Of course, I come solidly from the retrogrouch camp, but...) all the things you cited about why you like platforms are exactly the reasons why I have been dawdling about getting clipless. I like being able to move my feet around. I like being able to start on hills where I must cross traffic lanes without hasseling with getting my feet positioned "just so". Still, there are so many advocates for the advantages of clipless that I must confess to continued curiosity if it really would enhance my riding experience. Someday I probably will try them out, but meanwhile, just give me a pair of rattraps and I am good to go.
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Old 08-05-07, 02:21 PM   #3
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Funnily enough-Every reason for reverting back to platforms- is the same reason that I will never revert back.

You either like Clipless or you don't. It is as simple as that.
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Old 08-05-07, 02:24 PM   #4
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Guess clipless isn't for everyone. I tried them (and may yet again), but didn't care for them either. I've been riding what most here refer to as BMX (platforms with traction pins) for years on my mtn.bike. When I got a road bike, I tried clipless, but wasn't for me and now it has "BMX" style pedals on it also. Gotta go with what feels right to you.
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Old 08-05-07, 02:28 PM   #5
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Funnily enough-Every reason for reverting back to platforms- is the same reason that I will never revert back.

You either like Clipless or you don't. It is as simple as that.
+1
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Old 08-05-07, 02:39 PM   #6
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Let me guess here....you didn't like clipless???? Just being a smartass. To each his own. I finally went clipless and love 'em. Got on my mountain bike with toe baskets today and damn near killed myself since I am so used to the twist out for clipless I felt totally restricted. Glad it's sorted out for you and feels good. That's the point. Finding what works for you.
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Old 08-05-07, 02:50 PM   #7
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Most if not all beach cruisers are flat pedals. Maybe all cruisers are flat pedals. So there's a ton of people out there who are like you.

Today I rode my road bike and coming back it was a headwind. I was glad that I didn't have to rely on the quads to do all the work. I still have to concentrate on the upstroke but today, I felt relieved that I had this wonderful clipless system.
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Old 08-05-07, 03:39 PM   #8
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Only 1200 miles? That's hardly a fair trial.

I loved clipless from the first mile and will never go back. Diff'rent strokes...enjoy.
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Old 08-05-07, 03:42 PM   #9
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I loved clipless from the first mile and will never go back. Diff'rent strokes...enjoy.
+1
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Old 08-05-07, 04:32 PM   #10
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Can I have them? Or better yet, can you give them away in a contest?
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Old 08-05-07, 04:35 PM   #11
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I have some MKS-GR9 pedals specifically made for toe clips, and I love 'em. I also have an old set of "box" pedals on my old 10-speed converted to toe clips. The big difference is that the MKS pedals have a littl trapezoidal tab on the backk of the pedal that make flipping the pedal over to insert the toe so much easier.

As far as I can tell, the only down side to riding toe clips is, when you first start out and have only one foot in the clip, the other pedal hangs upside-down, and the toe clip drags on the ground.

Once I had ridden up to the top of a long hill (dead-end), and coasting down I totally forgot to get into the clip on the right pedal. I had the pedals "leveled", so there was no scrape, but afterwords I wondered what would have happened if I had decided to pedal and the right clip had dug in at high speed. Probably nothing, but if something were to happen, I bet it would happen fast!
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Old 08-05-07, 04:48 PM   #12
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Yeah? Well Speedplay Drillium platforms are an outrageously nice pedal. Who needs clipless? Maybe some young uns that think they need to go fast. bk
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Old 08-05-07, 04:49 PM   #13
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"Relief. Happiness. A new-found enjoyment of riding."

I'm with you jp. Only rode about 500 miles with clipless in May. I never felt there was any advantage for me. Actually rode faster after I went back to just platforms. Also not getting the odd pain in left knee any more. Just a recreational biker out for some fun and exercise. Will probably hang on to the shoes and pedals for another year, just in case I really find or see a need for them. But I'm not looking.
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Old 08-05-07, 04:56 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
Funnily enough-Every reason for reverting back to platforms- is the same reason that I will never revert back.

You either like Clipless or you don't. It is as simple as that.
+1 too!
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Old 08-05-07, 05:23 PM   #15
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Because of the scary prospect of having one's foot slide forward or sideways off the pedal, I would want some sort of retention system. In my case, the retention system of choice is old-fashioned toeclilps, which I keep just loose enough to permit me to yank my foot out, if necessary.
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Old 08-05-07, 05:30 PM   #16
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I should chime in here, with my opinion. Right?
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Old 08-05-07, 05:37 PM   #17
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Because of the scary prospect of having one's foot slide forward or sideways off the pedal, I would want some sort of retention system. In my case, the retention system of choice is old-fashioned toeclilps, which I keep just loose enough to permit me to yank my foot out, if necessary.
Over many years of riding everything from pure platforms, to toe clips, and now clipless. There is just no way I'd ever want to go back to platforms or toe clips. I don't like platforms for the above reasons, but toe clips are a real pain. You have to reach down to cinch them up tight enough, and I find it a whole lot easier to just slightly rotate my foot to disconnect instead of pulling out backwards, especially in some peddle positions. Nope, clipless is (I think) the only way to go. They do take a little getting used to, and they need to be properly adjusted and maintained. I just wonder if those who don't like them need some adjustment. It baffles me...
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Old 08-05-07, 05:38 PM   #18
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I should chime in here, with my opinion. Right?
My understanding is that you're aggressively indifferent on the subject.
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Old 08-05-07, 06:52 PM   #19
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In November when I got a road bike I went clipless from the start and loved them. I had been using hard plastic toe clips on my mountain bike and thought they were the greatest. We just took a short vacation in the motor home and we only took our mountain bikes. As we were riding up a hill my foot almost slipped off of the pedal as I was pulling up while pedalling hard with the toe clips. My wife rides her mountain bike and road bike with plain old plastic pedals on both and wouldn't have it any other way. I guess I said all of that to say this. Just ride with what you feel good with.
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Old 08-05-07, 06:57 PM   #20
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For me, the only excuse for platforms is a "casual" bike that you can just jump on with whatever you're wearing.
For any sort of serious riding, I long ago decided clipless was the only way to go, either on or off road.
I've never experienced any sort of discomfort from mine, with several different pairs of shoes so far and several different brands of pedal. Currently using an old pair of Lake light-duty "mountain" shoes and spuds.
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Old 08-05-07, 07:07 PM   #21
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These pedal threads and the ones about Brooks saddles (just to name a couple) tend to drive home a point. What works for some people may not work for others. Just because something makes my riding experience wonderful doesn't mean that it won't make someone else's dreadful. And conversely, if a product does not work well for me doesn't mean that it is not a good product that might transform the life of another person. That is one reason there are so many options. Different people prefer different things, and that is OK.
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Old 08-05-07, 07:10 PM   #22
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Platforms on 2 bikes when I'm just riding a couple of blocks for groceries, or to the post office. I've been clipless since Looks came out in the mid - late 80s.
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Old 08-05-07, 08:13 PM   #23
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These pedal threads and the ones about Brooks saddles (just to name a couple) tend to drive home a point. What works for some people may not work for others. Just because something makes my riding experience wonderful doesn't mean that it won't make someone else's dreadful. And conversely, if a product does not work well for me doesn't mean that it is not a good product that might transform the life of another person. That is one reason there are so many options. Different people prefer different things, and that is OK.
+1 and +1 It is like going on vacation. Some folks like the mountains, some the beach, some Las Vegas, some Italy, some cruises, some Europe, some India, etc. So we can tell others what we liked about our vacation, not why they should go there or why their vacation choice was the wrong one.

What I don't get is why some folks who do or don't like Brooks, clipless, MUPs, roads, kick stands, headphones, cycle computers, riding shorts, etc. often feel so compelled to savage the other point of view. It sometimes seems like a desperate need for validation....as if we didn't trust our own decisions. IMHO
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Old 08-06-07, 03:45 AM   #24
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What type of shoe were you using (road or MBT)? What type of pedal/cleat were you using?
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Old 08-06-07, 06:18 PM   #25
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Clipless pedals take a little getting use to, but they are worth it. In the early 80's when I switched to looks, I probably fell over half a dozen times. But I have to say that I can't imagine riding without them now. I ride looks on my racing bike and spd's on my tandem and fixed gear. If drafting is worth 25%, then clipless pedals are worth at least 15%.
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