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  1. #1
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    I had my first clip-ins installed today and...

    I am riding my trainer to try to get used to the rascals
    clip-in,clip-out,clip-in, clip-out, etc..

    They are Shimano A520s with SPD cleats. I have Specialized
    Taho MTB shoes.

    The LBS put my bike on the fitting frame and I was surprised and terrified
    when I found out that I could not release the cleats

    The first few times I could not turn my heel out far enough
    to do the disengage.

    The tech greatly reduced the spring tension and after a
    few more tries I sorta go it going...

    I was surprised how far out the shoe could pivot before
    side pressure starts to mount. ( is this the 'float'?).

    It seems to me that a 'brisk' motion works much better than
    slowly increasing the angle, I think that sometimes my foot
    moves in the shoe rather than the whole shoe moving...

    Evidently the shoe clip is a lot tougher than the frame around
    the clip in mechanism, the frame is quicky 'scarifying'.

    Any (survival) suggestions for using the rascals will
    be appreciated...

    Jerry

  2. #2
    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
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    You won't notice it in a week's time ... and in two years time, you'll have your toe clips back on because you're fed up with needing stupid shoes everytime you go near the bike

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

  3. #3
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yrrej View Post
    I am riding my trainer to try to get used to the rascals
    clip-in,clip-out,clip-in, clip-out, etc..

    They are Shimano A520s with SPD cleats. I have Specialized
    Taho MTB shoes.

    The LBS put my bike on the fitting frame and I was surprised and terrified
    when I found out that I could not release the cleats

    The first few times I could not turn my heel out far enough
    to do the disengage.

    The tech greatly reduced the spring tension and after a
    few more tries I sorta go it going...

    I was surprised how far out the shoe could pivot before
    side pressure starts to mount. ( is this the 'float'?).

    It seems to me that a 'brisk' motion works much better than
    slowly increasing the angle, I think that sometimes my foot
    moves in the shoe rather than the whole shoe moving...

    Evidently the shoe clip is a lot tougher than the frame around
    the clip in mechanism, the frame is quicky 'scarifying'.

    Any (survival) suggestions for using the rascals will
    be appreciated...

    Jerry
    All I can say is that yes, a quick motion is the best, and I was using mine about 5 minutes after they were installed.

    Relax a bit, go for a ride, unclip one foot before you need to and have fun! Mine were SPD's also.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  4. #4
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    Practice unclipping BOTH feet. Don't make it a big deal when you fall. You can ride you bike in regular shoes if you want, but you won't want to.
    And they're called clipless.

  5. #5
    Senior Member tntyz's Avatar
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    Yep, practice unclipping either/both sides at will. Do this a lot under non-emergency situations.

    Coming to a complete stop while clipped in will likely cause you to tip over. Early on I was just used to mine clipless peds to be a bit overconfident. I coasted up to a stop sign expecting to blow right through it (yes, I know that's not legal) and didn't bother to unclip. Unlucky for me, a car was fast approaching so I jammed on the brakes. I shimmied and wiggled for what seemed like 10 seconds before I was able to unclip, all the time thinking "oh crap! oh crap! oh crap!". Finally did get free.

    Had I been thinking clearly, I could have executed a quick right turn or a u-turn and the whole thing would have been a non-issue.

  6. #6
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tntyz View Post
    Yep, practice unclipping either/both sides at will. Do this a lot under non-emergency situations.

    Coming to a complete stop while clipped in will likely cause you to tip over. Early on I was just used to mine clipless peds to be a bit overconfident. I coasted up to a stop sign expecting to blow right through it (yes, I know that's not legal) and didn't bother to unclip. Unlucky for me, a car was fast approaching so I jammed on the brakes. I shimmied and wiggled for what seemed like 10 seconds before I was able to unclip, all the time thinking "oh crap! oh crap! oh crap!". Finally did get free.

    Had I been thinking clearly, I could have executed a quick right turn or a u-turn and the whole thing would have been a non-issue.
    Or, you can do as I do, unclip one foot whenever you approach a stop sign (or other potential hazard). Then you don't need to panic.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  7. #7
    Senior Member tntyz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    Or, you can do as I do, unclip one foot whenever you approach a stop sign (or other potential hazard). Then you don't need to panic.

    Ha! Remember to unclip on the side that you lean toward.

    I had an "off" day this fall. I unclipped left but leaned right. Expected results followed. Of course, about 10 people saw me and are probably still laughing.

  8. #8
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    We all go through this. Experience will reduce instances of the Arte Johnson.

  9. #9
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tntyz View Post
    Ha! Remember to unclip on the side that you lean toward.

    I had an "off" day this fall. I unclipped left but leaned right. Expected results followed. Of course, about 10 people saw me and are probably still laughing.
    Haven't fallen since 1999 - the year I got my clipless. Knock on wood!
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  10. #10
    Yen
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    Train yourself to think: Slow, unclip, stop .... slow, unclip, stop ... slow, unclip, stop. Pretty soon (sooner than you think right now), you'll automatically unclip every time you think you may need to stop. Unclip way before you need to stop, so your foot will be disengaged when you actually do stop. Practice this away from traffic until you feel comfortable. It will become so automatic that you'll turn your ankle as if to unclip even in regular shoes (don't worry if you don't believe me now.... trust me, you'll see what I mean later).

    I have SPD pedals (A520s on one bike, different on the other) and both are set to the lowest tension. I use quick-release cleats which I highly recommend if you're not using them, as they allow you to unclip from multiple directions. Even set at the lowest tension, I have never unclipped when I didn't want to, even on a hill.

    Another thing to give you hope: When I first went clipless I fell twice, both times as a result of just not being accustomed to the idea of having to remove my foot before stopping, and also due to just not thinking and plain carelessness. For a few weeks after that, I dreaded each ride.......... HOWEVER, I went out anyway. I did not let that fear stop me. (I'm getting to the hopeful part now.) After a few more weeks, I completely overcame the apprehension! And now, I LOVE riding clipless and have no plans to go back. I love having my feet attached to the pedals, a thought that seemed incomprehensible at first.

    Practice, practice, practice. If you're really apprehensive then don't ride in traffic until you feel comfortable. Sooner than you think, you will start to automatically unclip without thinking, like putting on your seatbelt in the car without thinking.

    You can do it!
    Specialized Roubaix Expert
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  11. #11
    Senior Member RedC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yen View Post
    Train yourself to think: Slow, unclip, stop .... slow, unclip, stop ... slow, unclip, stop. Pretty soon (sooner than you think right now), you'll automatically unclip every time you think you may need to stop. Unclip way before you need to stop, so your foot will be disengaged when you actually do stop. Practice this away from traffic until you feel comfortable. It will become so automatic that you'll turn your ankle as if to unclip even in regular shoes (don't worry if you don't believe me now.... trust me, you'll see what I mean later).

    I have SPD pedals (A520s on one bike, different on the other) and both are set to the lowest tension. I use quick-release cleats which I highly recommend if you're not using them, as they allow you to unclip from multiple directions. Even set at the lowest tension, I have never unclipped when I didn't want to, even on a hill.

    Another thing to give you hope: When I first went clipless I fell twice, both times as a result of just not being accustomed to the idea of having to remove my foot before stopping, and also due to just not thinking and plain carelessness. For a few weeks after that, I dreaded each ride.......... HOWEVER, I went out anyway. I did not let that fear stop me. (I'm getting to the hopeful part now.) After a few more weeks, I completely overcame the apprehension! And now, I LOVE riding clipless and have no plans to go back. I love having my feet attached to the pedals, a thought that seemed incomprehensible at first.

    Practice, practice, practice. If you're really apprehensive then don't ride in traffic until you feel comfortable. Sooner than you think, you will start to automatically unclip without thinking, like putting on your seatbelt in the car without thinking.

    You can do it!
    Tell me about these quick release cleats. I'm using spd shoes and pedals but I'm having trouble clipping out by turning my heel away from the bike like I'm supposed to. Turn my heel into the bike is not a problem on my Navigator but I hit the tires on my road bike and I'm going to have to make some kind of change.
    Red, like the color my hair used to be.

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  12. #12
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    They are called "clipless pedals" because before they existed "serious cyclists" used "toe clips" to keep their feet in place. "Clipless pedals" don't have "clips". "I love apostrophes."

  13. #13
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
    They are called "clipless pedals" because before they existed "serious cyclists" used "toe clips" to keep their feet in place. "Clipless pedals" don't have "clips". "I love apostrophes."
    Apostrophes?
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
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    I suggest getting out there and falling over a few times, just to get it out of the way. Then everything will be OK.

  15. #15
    Senior Member wrobertdavis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedC View Post
    Tell me about these quick release cleats. I'm using spd shoes and pedals but I'm having trouble clipping out by turning my heel away from the bike like I'm supposed to. Turn my heel into the bike is not a problem on my Navigator but I hit the tires on my road bike and I'm going to have to make some kind of change.
    It sure sounds like your cleat/pedal combination is more cranky than it ought to be. Try spraying some lubricant on the pedals, then wiping the excess off. I use Boeshield T-9 on my keo pedals to make them easy and also to keep them from clicking/squeaking.

    Bob
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  16. #16
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    Apostrophes?
    "Oops!" Quotation marks. But, I do appreciate ill-placed apostrophe's.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedC View Post
    Tell me about these quick release cleats.
    Shimano SH-51 Lateral Release Cleat (black)

    Shimano SH-56 Multi Release Cleat (gold)

    The former is the default cleat. The latter releases in multiple directions, but also may release when you don't want it to release.

  18. #18
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    PS they don't unclip if the cleats get loose

    HI,
    The 2 bolt patterns become rather sticky if the bolt or screw gets loose on the cleat no amount of twisting will free the clip I once had to hop on one foot and release the tie downs on the shoe and slide my foot out.
    I now monitor the ease I unclip and clip if one shoe seems dicey I stop the bike take off the shoe and check the bolts on the clips, to be sure they are tight. tighter the better Most LBS have a wrench for putting a little more pressure on those clips the tighter they are the easier they release. ANd some clips need a little spacer between the clip and the shoe a we bit rubber washer like thing that can make a big difference on clearance.
    I now have applied locktight blue to all screw/bolts on my shoes to prevent the losening of the clips while ridding it is a bit unerving when it first happens do this after your sure if you like the set up I ve tried the forward clip and the back setup and seem to like the forward for spinning for me it prevents knee pain too.
    PSPS while you new to clipless always unlip the right foot first that way if there's a problem you will most likely go down to the right that way you may avoid being in front of a car as the event occurs
    as your pullin on the clip you start to lean toward the foot your tugging on and thats the way you fall so unclip right first you should fall to the right if your stuck.
    I have fallen seven times this year all were slow motion due to unclipping prior to stopping , you could say I am real slow learner.DUH, please post any bloody arms,legs or knee's pictures so you can join the ranks of the fallen ones...
    Doug
    I ve tried a few and prefer the crank brother beater pedals they seem to release much easier than many other's I ve tried , to each their own. I have two pairs of Looks that i dont use..
    Last edited by djnzlab1; 12-30-08 at 08:09 PM.

  19. #19
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    1. Set the tension of the A520 to the minimum. I think they're harder to clip out of than the M520s.

    2. Polish the cleats with Armor-all.

    3. Keep the pedals well-lubed.

    4. Click out 50 feet before you think you need to.

    5. I wanted five numbers but have only four suggestions.

  20. #20
    Elmira>Taiwan>Elmira flatlander_48's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    Or, you can do as I do, unclip one foot whenever you approach a stop sign (or other potential hazard). Then you don't need to panic.
    And put the instep of that foot on the pedal as an intermediate step (You may stop, but you're not sure). That way, it you take a stroke with the other foot the pedal won't wack you in the back of the leg.

    Also, due to arthritic ankles, it is easier for me to unclip by rotating my feet inward. Several years ago I mentioned this in a message to Sheldon Brown. He said that he felt more comfortable rotating inwards also. Just be sure to not rotate too far and catch a spoke on you shoe!
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  21. #21
    Senior Member referee54's Avatar
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    I teach, so what I did was go up to the school over a break when nobody was there...I rode my bike around the hallways and practiced clipping in and out---I would, at times support myself if need be by using the lockers---then I went outside and pedaled around the parking lot...again,and again,and again.

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  22. #22
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tntyz View Post
    Ha! Remember to unclip on the side that you lean toward.

    I had an "off" day this fall. I unclipped left but leaned right. Expected results followed. Of course, about 10 people saw me and are probably still laughing.
    When I plant my left foot on the ground I end up leaning to the left. When I plant my right foot on the ground I end up leaning to the right. Whichever foot I click out of automatically or instinctively determines which way I end up leaning.
    Last edited by roadfix; 12-30-08 at 09:03 PM.
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  23. #23
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    I have Shimano SPD clipless on all my bikes. I keep the tension at the minimum level on all the pedals. I've NEVER had a problem slipping out of the pedals on a road bike. I never fell over when clipped into SPD pedals on a road bike. I recommend you keep the tension at the lowest level so you can exit easier.
    I did fall over once on a road bike when I made the mistake of using Wellgo "SPD compatible" pedals and could not get the cleat out (had to take the shoe off to get out of the pedal). Advice, don't use "Wellgo" SPD compatible pedals.
    We won't talk about how many times I fell over using SPD's on my mountain bikes.
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  24. #24
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    It does take some practice- but the most recent "Near" fall I had was last year. Bought some new shoes and fitted new cleats. I have my pedals pretty tight- otherwise I pull the feet off the pedals- but did not realise that old cleats wear out. New cleat and went to stop and the foot did not quite release in time. Luckily I learnt to track stand many years ago.

    And on the cleats. Once they are in the right position- tighten them up with force. Then leave for 5 minutes to get the energy back and tighten them again but tight this time.

    And it does feel awkward to me but when coming to a stop keep the clipped in foot high. That makes you want to only put down the loose foot.
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  25. #25
    Senior Member tntyz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadfix View Post
    When I plant my left foot on the ground I end up leaning to the left. When I plant my right foot on the ground I end up leaning to the right. Whichever foot I click out of automatically or instinctively determines which way I end up leaning.
    I know, I know!

    Like I said, I was having an "off" day when I took a tumble. I was starting to bonk and was believing the route instructions on my 305 more than my directional instincts. I was starting to make stupid little mistakes. Took a wrong turn and made a quick u-turn. Came up to a stop sign, unclipped my left foot, caught a big gust of wind, and immediately went down on the right side.

    Please tell me I'm not the only person who this happens to . . .

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