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  1. #1
    Team Poseur Metric Man's Avatar
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    #@%$ DAD GUM Clipless pedals!

    I've had my clip-less Speed Play pedals for two weeks now...and fallen twice. Now, if my math skills are any good at all I figure that's once a week...and twice more than I care to. The first time was in my drive-way last week and I didn't hit the ground, my "cat-like" reflexes took over and I saved it. But today I did hit the ground. Oh sure I was almost stopped when it happened, but that doesn't take away the complete embarrassment of a 50 year old man in Lycra pants laying in the dirt.

    So, what's the "average" learning curve with these death pedals? Do you vets still have "senior moments" with the pedals? I'm to the point of being uncomfortable, that is, lack of confidence, so that when I'm riding I'm thinking about what it would be like skidding across the road with a bike attached to my feet! Which foot do you unclip first? I'm doing the left, thinking that I dismount on the left. Any other tips?
    The thoughts and opinions expressed by this poster are his own and should not be misconstrued as gospel. They are and were not meant to inflame, enrage or otherwise tick anyone off, usually.
    2012 Ti Motobecane with SRAM Red 2013~2008 Trek Madone with SRAM Force~2010 Specialized Hardrock 29er~2006 Trek 4300~Garmin 800 CTR
    Mark

  2. #2
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    Welcome to Club Tombay sir. You can clip out but you can never leave.............








    Most of the Rifraf has left by this point and you are well up the learning curve. There are secret society teachings that will be sent to you. (one of which is "the foot that is still clipped in should have been first")

  3. #3
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    I am keeping my toeclips and straps, thank you.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
    Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
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    Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069

  4. #4
    AAX
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    Platform pedals with the the little studs. Sneakers, rubberboots, sandals, whatever.
    You can even spin a little. Works for me ! Summer and winter.

  5. #5
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    Multi release clips to go on your shoes would help a bunch. I just changed pedals to PD-M 424 and with this combination and It's pretty easy for me anyway.
    George

  6. #6
    Senior Member Chaco's Avatar
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    You'll get used to them in a couple hundred miles.

  7. #7
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    I've been using speedplays for 12 years now. Never - and I mean never had them trap me. I took to them right away. I must admit I am very conservative - if I am going slow I am out of them. I love them, but I have never tried any others.
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
    If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

  8. #8
    Team Poseur Metric Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclinfool View Post
    I've been using speedplays for 12 years now. Never - and I mean never had them trap me. I took to them right away. I must admit I am very conservative - if I am going slow I am out of them. I love them, but I have never tried any others.
    These didn't trap me...I failed to get out in time. They un-clip easy enough, I just need to think a little more...perhaps like you, get out sooner when I'm going slow.

    Thanks
    The thoughts and opinions expressed by this poster are his own and should not be misconstrued as gospel. They are and were not meant to inflame, enrage or otherwise tick anyone off, usually.
    2012 Ti Motobecane with SRAM Red 2013~2008 Trek Madone with SRAM Force~2010 Specialized Hardrock 29er~2006 Trek 4300~Garmin 800 CTR
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  9. #9
    Senior Member jiminos's Avatar
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    just takes time to get used to a new habit. i use both speedplays and eggbeaters. love 'em both. i tend to "kick out" as my foot is coming to the top of the stroke, and i tend to kick out left foot first because i lean to the left when i stop.... but that is just me.... hang in there. you will get it figured out. i also have my cleats set up such that it only takes about 12 to 15 degrees of twist to get out.

    be,

    and be well,

    jim
    Be in this moment.
    Do not seek the truth. Accept it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Like cyclinfool, I get a foot out if I think I may have to stop or slow way down. I find it much easier to get clipped back in rather than have to get out in a hurry. Clipless pedals, on the road, are the only way to go, IMO.

  11. #11
    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
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    Yeah, takes a while to learn them, though I've never managed to fall. The closest I've come was when I went back to a bike with toe clips and straps - couldn't understand why my foot wouldn't go out sideways

    I ride with SPD pedals and multi release cleats set on a fairly loose setting, and that probably has a lot to do with it because I've proven I can wrench my foot out if I have to (but haven't had an accidental release while riding).

    Richard
    I had a good bike ... so I FIXED it

  12. #12
    Senior Member Leigh_caines's Avatar
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    I rode for years without them then got my first recumbent.
    First day got to the top of the "Big Hill" puffing and panting then stopped and fell over not even thinking about my feet. Lucky it was 6am and noone saw this old fool laying on his side with his feet clipped in.
    Next day in the middle of town with two dozen people watching I did it again, just forgot I was clipped in.
    In the next 7 years I've never fallen again and I don't even think about them anymore. I use them on all my bike now and hate riding with out been cliped in.
    So think you've had your falls and you'll be right from now on.

  13. #13
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Clipless falls can happen at any time- Thankfully- the ones that can be blamed on the pedals are always at slow speed. Cushions on the hips work but make for a wide(r) profile.

    After having my first Fall- I then thought about the pedals everytime I slowed down and unclipped one foot for about 3 months. Then it became natural. Then the next problem arose of unclipping left foot and bike going right. Then I learnt to track stand. No more Falls.

    Offroad- I often fall. Believe it or not- You have more control of the bike, even at slow speeds over rocks and tree roots, if clipped in. Onroad is where the track stand skills come in. Had a few moments of course but In 16 months of roading- Have yet to find the hard Black stuff (Or Tarmac as we call it over here)

    Just started offering gifts to the Gods to save the Inevitable after saying that.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  14. #14
    Team Poseur Metric Man's Avatar
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    I'm glad to see that it's not just me. Thanks for the encouragement!
    The thoughts and opinions expressed by this poster are his own and should not be misconstrued as gospel. They are and were not meant to inflame, enrage or otherwise tick anyone off, usually.
    2012 Ti Motobecane with SRAM Red 2013~2008 Trek Madone with SRAM Force~2010 Specialized Hardrock 29er~2006 Trek 4300~Garmin 800 CTR
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  15. #15
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    I think it took about a month for me to get fully trained. The critical day was the first day of a week long ride. Every time I came to a new town and had to stop, I slowed to a stop and fell right over. After 3 times, one of my riding buddies assigned himself the task to remind me at every stoop that I needed to click out. Halfway through the second day, he stopped warning me and I had no more incidents.
    Hang in there. It's not the pedals. You can teach an old dog new tricks, but sometimes it takes a little longer than you think it should.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
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    You're not a real Metric Man until you take a pedal fall. Just slow down, and fall over - just like that. After you try it a few times, you'll get used to it. The falling part, not the pedals.

  17. #17
    Hanging On
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    My cycling days go so far back that I had my "zero mph" falls in the days of cleated shoes that went with clips and toe straps. You'd buy a pair of shoes (anyone remember brands like Detto Pietro?), ride them for 50 miles to see where to mount the cleat, nail the cleats in to the sole where the impression from the pedal was and bend the ends of the nails so they didn't poke into your feet. The cleats engaged the edge of the pedal and if you tightened the toe straps, it was not possible to pull your foot out. I learned to quickly reach down to loosen the toe straps. You started from a stop and pulled the straps tight so you got full benefit from being strapped in. Going from there to clipless was a breeze - you didn't even have to reach down! What a concept!

    -soma5

  18. #18
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    Notice the commonalities of the replies here? Falling happens at slow speeds or stops. Solution: Go fast and don't stop.
    Hang in there MM, you'll get used to them and not fall (as much) and they really do enhance your ride.

  19. #19
    Erect member since 1953 cccorlew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soma5 View Post
    My cycling days go so far back that I had my "zero mph" falls in the days of cleated shoes that went with clips and toe straps. You'd buy a pair of shoes (anyone remember brands like Detto Pietro?), ride them for 50 miles to see where to mount the cleat, nail the cleats in to the sole where the impression from the pedal was and bend the ends of the nails so they didn't poke into your feet. The cleats engaged the edge of the pedal and if you tightened the toe straps, it was not possible to pull your foot out. I learned to quickly reach down to loosen the toe straps. You started from a stop and pulled the straps tight so you got full benefit from being strapped in. Going from there to clipless was a breeze - you didn't even have to reach down! What a concept!

    -soma5
    This is exactly my experience, right down to the Dettos and nails, including a "whoops, didn't loosen the straps enough"
    I remember getting 1st generation Mavic (look type pedals) and being in love! The only thing better was when they came out with the floating cleat.
    WANTED: Not a darn thing. I've got it all. Life is good.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member freemti's Avatar
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    That's about how many times I fell during my first couple of weeks going clipless and with speedplays too. First time was in my living room (right after I has mostly incorrectly installed them on my brandy new shoes). Second time was a mistake on my part - I started in a gear combo that said "no forward movement for you!" and over I went. Third time was a week or so later after I was more experienced - me and a patch of deep gravel had a misunderstanding and over I went again.

    Now, some 6 months later, clipping out is so natural I barely think about it. Most times when I clip in after a stop I can get it on the first rotation of the crank, something I just couldn't imagine when I first started. I am in the clipless camp now, not saying that going with platforms is out of the question though. I am seriously contemplating changing my pedals once winter gets here and I need to commute in the rain or on wet roads. Wet feet suck! I have a pair of power grips that I may put on my commuter bike but I will stay with clipless (Speedplays) on my new bike.
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  21. #21
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    I've only fallen once, and it was years after I switched to clipless. Just lucky, I guess.

    All I can recommend is always unclip the same foot, do it as soon as you realize you are going to stop -- not as you are actually coming to a stop -- and lean the bike over to the unclipped side as you slow, so a gust of wind or a pothole is much less likely to throw you over to the still-clipped-in side, causing you to crash.
    Last edited by Big Paulie; 09-22-07 at 10:54 AM.

  22. #22
    bac
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    As with most things, practice makes perfect. Some of us are not very coordinated, which doesn't help the process.

    ... Brad

  23. #23
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    Several clipless riders tell me it takes 5 or 6 falls before you "remember". I use Speedplay Drillium platforms and they work just fine. bk

  24. #24
    Senior Member trackhub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John E View Post
    I am keeping my toeclips and straps, thank you.
    Ditto. Some time ago, I went to my LBS during the off-season, and stocked up.

    One of the things I love about being a member of the 50-plus set, is that I don't have to care if the "cool crowd" is impressed or not.
    I thought I was suffering from depression once. Turned out, I was simply surrounded by idiots.

  25. #25
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    I think I bragged about my clipless pedals to soon. Whatever I'm doing wrong, but I just got back from riding and my right knee is hurting again. I don't have any problem with flats, so guess where I'm going.
    George

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