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Old 09-21-07, 07:32 PM   #1
Metric Man
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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?
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Old 09-21-07, 08:03 PM   #2
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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")
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Old 09-21-07, 08:05 PM   #3
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I am keeping my toeclips and straps, thank you.
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Old 09-21-07, 08:23 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 09-21-07, 08:25 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 09-21-07, 08:31 PM   #6
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You'll get used to them in a couple hundred miles.
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Old 09-21-07, 08:38 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 09-21-07, 08:52 PM   #8
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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.
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
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Old 09-21-07, 09:14 PM   #9
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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
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Old 09-21-07, 09:19 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 09-21-07, 10:58 PM   #11
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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
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Old 09-21-07, 11:20 PM   #12
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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.
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Old 09-22-07, 12:54 AM   #13
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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.
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Old 09-22-07, 04:44 AM   #14
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I'm glad to see that it's not just me. Thanks for the encouragement!
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Old 09-22-07, 04:55 AM   #15
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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.
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Old 09-22-07, 06:13 AM   #16
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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.
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Old 09-22-07, 08:20 AM   #17
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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
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Old 09-22-07, 08:37 AM   #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.
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Old 09-22-07, 09:54 AM   #19
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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
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.
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Old 09-22-07, 10:16 AM   #20
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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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Old 09-22-07, 10:39 AM   #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.
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Old 09-22-07, 10:49 AM   #22
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As with most things, practice makes perfect. Some of us are not very coordinated, which doesn't help the process.

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Old 09-22-07, 11:25 AM   #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
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Old 09-22-07, 12:04 PM   #24
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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.
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Old 09-22-07, 12:20 PM   #25
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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.
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