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Old 03-18-10, 07:37 PM   #1
TromboneAl
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Giving Clipless Another Try

As I reported before, my wife and daughter got me some clipless pedals last Christmas, but when I fell into the freeway, I took them off and put back the toe clip pedals.

Well, I'm going to give them another try. The other day my foot almost slipped out of my toe clips during a gear shift, and I do notice that I sometimes fumble getting my feet into the clips.

So today I put the spd pedals back on, and I rode to a remote section of road, and stopped and started at least 200 times. I'm hoping that that will make it second nature to unclip.

I actually almost fell a few times. Here's my analysis of what happens:

Occasionally you intend to lean to one side as you stop, but something (bump in the road or an incorrect movement) causes you to fall to the other side.

As a beginner, you learn to clip out with your foot at the top of the stroke (that is, near 12:00). But when you start to fall to the wrong side, you've never unclipped with your foot at the bottom of the stroke, and you instinctively pull back or up. Then you fall.

So I practiced unclipping from any position, and intentionally sometimes leaned the wrong way, forcing an emergency unclip.

I sure hope that works.
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Old 03-18-10, 08:26 PM   #2
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My best advise, and it has kept me from falling since I implemented it, is to turn the wheel opposite of the foot that unclips. If you unclip the right foot turn the wheel to the left as you come to a stop. The bike will naturally fall to the right, or opposite direction you turn. Good luck.
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Old 03-18-10, 08:41 PM   #3
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It will work until it doesn't work one time. You'll fall, get up, chuckle at yourself, get back on the bike and ride.
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Old 03-18-10, 08:56 PM   #4
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And if you fall, keep the hands on the bike. If you tuck and roll with it, you wont break any bones. Please don't stick your hand out. Try practicing this one.
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Old 03-19-10, 04:12 AM   #5
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I have to say that I'm confused. I've never had a problem with clipless pedals. I just kick the heel out without thinking about it. Any actual issues have all been related to either poor initial setup of the system or worn mechanicals.
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Old 03-19-10, 04:32 AM   #6
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It will work until it doesn't work one time. You'll fall, get up, chuckle at yourself, get back on the bike and ride.
Usually
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Old 03-19-10, 08:10 AM   #7
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I'm also giving clipless a try. I've been on them about six months. I've fallen twice, both under 3 mph as I failed to unclip due to unforeseen circumstances. When I picked myself up both times, I didn't chuckle. I was mumbling something under my breath which I won't repeat here.
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Old 03-19-10, 08:19 AM   #8
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I also fell three times in the first month, but nothing in the 2+ years since. My biggest problem was I started on Speedplay pedals and the extra float on them makes it a little more of an effort to get out...at least for me. I switched over to the Shimano M520 last June and like them better than the Speedplays.
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Old 03-19-10, 08:24 AM   #9
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I think more people would benefit from the #56 cleat if one uses SPD. It's multi-release and will release with the typical knee-jerk reaction of falling. It holds well enough to do a bunny hop which is more than adequate. I've been using multi release since I started with clipless about a decade ago and just don't fall with them, so far anyhow.

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Old 03-19-10, 09:59 AM   #10
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My kids gave me a set of clipless pedals and shoes for Christmas and I put them on this week. Two rides under my belt so far and I haven't fallen ...Yet
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Old 03-19-10, 10:33 AM   #11
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My kids gave me a set of clipless pedals and shoes for Christmas and I put them on this week. Two rides under my belt so far and I haven't fallen ...Yet
Two rides???? Thats enough time to get confident with them. Another couple and you will get overconfident.

That is not the problem though as in about 3 months you will become complacent. Clipless do work- they keep the feet on the pedals and it is easy to unclip as you come to a stop. Then complacency steps in and you come to a stop and don't bother to move the feet. Well you can't as you are on your back and the bike is above you and every time you go to unclip- the bike keeps moving.

All the time you keep the brain engaged you will be OK. Unclip left and fall right is a problem but you only do this a dozen or so times before you learn to trackstand.
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Old 03-19-10, 02:32 PM   #12
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Sonner or later, your going to fall again, after which you will say "G** F***** D** IT, I fell again!" You'll be stopped, or pretty close, so the only thing hurt will be your pride, from all the laughter.
But in the mean time, do this;
Losen the release tension on the pedal all the way. You can tighten it later, when you feel more confidant.
Practice falling on some soft grass, DO NOT stick your arm out, tuck and roll. Do this while stopped.
Work on unclipping BOTH feet at the same time, it's not hard as it sounds, and you'll be prepared for the opposite lean. It's also good for "emergency" stops.
Don't think about unclipping, just do it.
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Old 03-19-10, 02:39 PM   #13
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For the life of me I don't understand having a problem getting out of clipless pedals....... did none of you ever use toe clips..... and if so, did you not tighten the straps...... clipless pedals are far easier to get out of than toe clips
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Old 03-19-10, 03:21 PM   #14
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The closest I've been to falling is when I clipped out coasting to a stop, then pedaled unclipped on top of the pedal. Of course, it silently clipped back in. I was falling past a 45 degree angle when I got the foot out. No fall, but I had a temporary muscle strain--ouch. I think this happened more than once.

That was a few years ago. Now it's second nature, I can clip in or out without having to think about it or plan how to handle a stop.
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Old 03-19-10, 03:21 PM   #15
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For the life of me I don't understand having a problem getting out of clipless pedals....... did none of you ever use toe clips..... and if so, did you not tighten the straps...... clipless pedals are far easier to get out of than toe clips
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Old 03-19-10, 05:56 PM   #16
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No, I rarely tightened the straps, and could always whip the foot out at the last second if I made a mistake.

Today I had a great 56 mile ride, no falls, and I have to admit, the clipless pedals were real nice. I did pull back and pull up a little more than I have in the past.
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Old 03-20-10, 03:51 PM   #17
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Practice falling on some soft grass, DO NOT stick your arm out, tuck and roll. Do this while stopped.
I like this kind of thinking, and I'd follow this advice right away if I were 25, but don't you think one could still do some damage even falling on grass?
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Old 03-20-10, 04:39 PM   #18
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I like this kind of thinking, and I'd follow this advice right away if I were 25, but don't you think one could still do some damage even falling on grass?
There is no need to practice falling- that will come naturally BUT what you do need is practice in landing.
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Old 03-20-10, 06:28 PM   #19
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don't you think one could still do some damage even falling on grass?
No, I wouldn't worry about the lawn at all. The usual mixes of Kentucky Blue, Perennial Rye and the various Fescues are all pretty tough.
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Old 03-20-10, 07:14 PM   #20
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No, I wouldn't worry about the lawn at all. The usual mixes of Kentucky Blue, Perennial Rye and the various Fescues are all pretty tough.
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Old 03-20-10, 07:20 PM   #21
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I have to say that I'm confused. I've never had a problem with clipless pedals. I just kick the heel out without thinking about it. Any actual issues have all been related to either poor initial setup of the system or worn mechanicals.
+1.....since I started using clipless pedals when Look first came out with them (in the early 80's???) I have never fallen down at a stop. It just seems natural to pull out my foot in advance, and it's always the right foot.
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