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Old 06-04-11, 10:58 PM   #1
othonleon
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Broke elbow and arm, need alternative pedals system

Hello there, this is the story: I wanted to ride again, after 30 something years and so I went and bought a road bicycle... I was (am) convinced I wanted to do it seriously since I've been feeling this the moment of "last chances" and bought myself my outfit and nice helmet and of course this new clipping pedal system with my shoes and everything... Well, two or three hours ago, got back from hospital where I just skipped surgery by a miracle, chances are I will almost miss summer this year and the reason is I couldn't liberate my foot from pedal, standing still and free fell on my side...

I'd like to take Dvantage of your experience and ask you if there exists out there an alternative pedal system other than clipping myself in my bike and risking my life?

Thanks in advance for your help on this one... I really want to get my bike repaired and ride back, ASAP...
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Old 06-04-11, 11:18 PM   #2
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Keep your clipless pedals for later. Get a set of platform pedals to use until you have had some practice and are much more comfortable riding.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...2SMC1BFWYXJDYM

Practice doing emergency stops. Do the practice on grass first, then in an empty parking lot.

Try to take a Road 1 (Traffic skills 101) cycling class.
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Old 06-04-11, 11:21 PM   #3
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You now have an official entry into "Club Tombay" and a good one too.

Clipless pedals are not the easiest of things to start using after 30 something years- but are the most efficient way for most of us to get power from the pedals to the rear wheel. Unfortuanately they are not for everyone but can be with practice.

Sounds as though you should go back to Platform pedals when you re-start your cycling. May not be as efficient but are far safer. Clip and strap systems cause just as many problems and the other systems of fixing your feet to the pedals could cause the same problem.

Hope you recover quicker than you think it is going to take but in the meantime you have a chance of crosstraining. Start walking to get fitness and strength up (Won't suggest jogging as that causes other problems)

Recover soon.
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Old 06-04-11, 11:27 PM   #4
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Thank you so much! I think I'll go for both of those... Great suggestions.
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Old 06-04-11, 11:29 PM   #5
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Thanks very much stapfam! very useful ideas and kind wishes of you... Best regards fro this side of the Atlantic.
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Old 06-04-11, 11:30 PM   #6
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You can get toe clips that don't require cleats on your shoes. They are easier to get in and out of.

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Old 06-05-11, 12:33 AM   #7
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Those "Half" toe clips suggested by ChadRider are good but are not the usual type of clip available in the shops. They are short and only the toe fits in them and are very easy to get out of. You may have to order then from a shop but the wife has them on her bike. I prefer these to the Full Clips and straps and they do work in keeping the foot in the right place on the pedal and aiding pedalling efficiency.
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Old 06-05-11, 05:42 AM   #8
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Ouch! Sorry to hear of your accident. I hope you recover quickly and get back out there.

This is the major reason why I wont switch to clipless. After using clips my whole life (well, not when I was on the tricycle and pedal tractor) they are a part of my riding experience that wont change. I watched a gentleman fall over when he came to a stop, just forgot to clip out. Nice bike, full kit, beautiful morning and flopped right over. That is when I said no to clipless.
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Old 06-05-11, 06:01 AM   #9
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Well, that is an unfortunate start to your comeback but you are in good company. Most people fall at least once when switching to clipless pedals. (practice, practice, practice) Don't give up om them, as stated above, they do provide a much better power transfer when used properly.

Whenever I introduce someone to clipless pedals, I set the bike up in a trainer and have them practice clipping in and out on both sides. I also encourage you to unclip well back from an intended stop until you get the hang of it and remember to do it. It gets much easier with experience and when the pedals loosen up a bit.

Heal up and get back out there. Better luck next time!
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Old 06-05-11, 06:07 AM   #10
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Sorry about your fall. WOW, that hurts.

Nothing wrong with old-fashioned platforms. There may be a bit of efficiency difference between platforms and clipless, but I haven't seen any significant figures. I have one bike with clipless, one with "loose" toe straps and one with platforms. They all go forward when I pedal.

I've used clipless for 12 years now on the road bike and never had a problem, but also ride the platforms without problems. All-in-all, I prefer the feel of cliples, but if not releasing from them caused your accident, I sure would stay away from them for a bit.

I am a very "defensive" unclipper, anticipating and unclipping one foot far ahead for stops, road gravel, kids playing, etc.

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Old 06-05-11, 06:12 AM   #11
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Not all clipless pedals are equal. Some are easier to get out of than others. Some have adjustable tension. I haven't tried enough different types to give you any opinions on the different types, but I'm sure someone here has. I use crank bros candy C's FWIW
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Old 06-05-11, 06:12 AM   #12
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Wow! Tough start for re-entry into the sport. Hope you heal quickly. Hope you don't have to use this, but should you go over like that again, it's probably better to go down with both arms tucked tightly against your sides. When ever you go over, fast or slow, and your arms move away from your body, you really risk additional injury. Many a broken collar bone has come about from a hand being stuck out to try and fend off the impact. In your case think about where your arms were when you went down. I'm guessing they were jutted out a bit so the elbow was one of the body parts that took most of the impact. I know it may be hard to do this, but as CB HI suggested practice in soft grass first. I've put on a heavy winter coat, pedaled into my back lawn come to a stop and let myself simply fall over on my side with both arms tucked in. It can take your breath away for a second or two, but it keeps your ribs, elbows, collarbone and other body parts relatively safe.
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Old 06-05-11, 06:32 AM   #13
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The Halfclips Chadrider suggest are exactly what you need.
The clipless clips are fine - IF YOU NEED TO EXTRACT EVERY BIT OF ENERGY FROM YOUR PEDALING MOTION.
However you are doing it for fun/exercise- so the clipless clips are pointless-and dangerous to a new user.
The half clips are cheap- maybe $10 delivered
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Old 06-05-11, 06:43 AM   #14
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Sorry to hear about your accident.

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Old 06-05-11, 06:53 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by othonleon View Post
Hello there, this is the story: I wanted to ride again, after 30 something years and so I went and bought a road bicycle... I was (am) convinced I wanted to do it seriously since I've been feeling this the moment of "last chances" and bought myself my outfit and nice helmet and of course this new clipping pedal system with my shoes and everything... Well, two or three hours ago, got back from hospital where I just skipped surgery by a miracle, chances are I will almost miss summer this year and the reason is I couldn't liberate my foot from pedal, standing still and free fell on my side...

I'd like to take Dvantage of your experience and ask you if there exists out there an alternative pedal system other than clipping myself in my bike and risking my life?

Thanks in advance for your help on this one... I really want to get my bike repaired and ride back, ASAP...
At age 65 the last year I rode:

A metric century surrounded by youngsters with full gear. I came in around the middle of the pack.

A true century just cruising around the streets of Austin. 100 miles PLUS another 12 miles group ride with my friends that evening.

The 73 mile Fort Davis, Texas "Scenic Loop" twice. The first 14 miles you climb from about 4500 to about 6100 feet.

I have never been comfortable with anything but steel-toed worked boots and platform pedals.

Maybe I am missing something, but to me I am only missing the opportunity to fall over if I have to stop suddenly.

Why don't you just go with platforms? If you really feel you are missing something you can reconsider.

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Old 06-05-11, 07:07 AM   #16
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Very sorry to learn of your accident. I have never made "the switch" to clipless pedals. I just stuck with toe clips and straps, and it works fine for me.
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Old 06-05-11, 09:23 AM   #17
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Don't be afraid to reconsider using clipless pedals in the future.
Quite possible to effectively ride a bike with plain pedals, pedals with mini-toe clips, pedals with toe clips and straps, or clipless pedal systems.
Quite possible to fall over for any number of reasons.
Can't remember ever falling over because of clipless pedals, pedals with toe clips, or PowerGrip straps. But, then again, I have a middle-aged man's memory.

My wife is quite content with loose toe clips/straps on her hybrid and with mini-clips on the tandem.
Different pedal strokes for different folks.
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Old 06-05-11, 09:26 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoebeisis View Post
clipless clips
This is even more confusing than 'clipless pedals'.
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Old 06-05-11, 11:51 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by othonleon View Post
Hello there, this is the story: I wanted to ride again, after 30 something years and so I went and bought a road bicycle... I was (am) convinced I wanted to do it seriously since I've been feeling this the moment of "last chances" and bought myself my outfit and nice helmet and of course this new clipping pedal system with my shoes and everything... Well, two or three hours ago, got back from hospital where I just skipped surgery by a miracle, chances are I will almost miss summer this year and the reason is I couldn't liberate my foot from pedal, standing still and free fell on my side...

I'd like to take Dvantage of your experience and ask you if there exists out there an alternative pedal system other than clipping myself in my bike and risking my life?

Thanks in advance for your help on this one... I really want to get my bike repaired and ride back, ASAP...
Hi,

A lot of great advice above on alternative pedal systems and you may want to try some of them as you learn the ins and outs of road cycling. However, if you statement is still how you feel then if you want "to do it seriously" then you will have to learn how to use clipless pedals. (BTW, they are called clipless pedals because in the old days -- pre-1985 -- we used toe clips and straps to lock your shoes to the pedals. You had to reach down and loosen the strap to get your shoe out of the pedal when you needed to stop.)

Your pedaling efficiency is much greater with cycling shoes and clipless pedals. You can ride enjoyably with some of the toe clip systems that others have shown and platform pedals certainly allow you to ride your bike with much less worry, but you won't be able to ride to your fullest potential with those kinds of pedals.

Learning how to ride a road bike effectively and safely from scratch and learning how to use clipless pedals at the same time is probably a bit much though. Get back on the horse and don't worry about rushing into sport. Take it easy a be safe.
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Old 06-05-11, 12:15 PM   #20
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Many, Many thanks to all! Considering here all of your kind suggestions... The fact of The matter is I just can't wait to ride again...
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Old 06-05-11, 12:18 PM   #21
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Many, Many thanks to all! Considering here all of your kind suggestions... The fact of The matter is I just can't wait to ride again...
Keep in mind that Cleave is a podium level racer - meaning he wins silvers and golds.
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Old 06-05-11, 12:48 PM   #22
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Thanks very much DnvrFox for pointing that out...
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Old 06-05-11, 01:17 PM   #23
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Don't abandon clipless pedals. Instead, choose a pedal that has a platform on one side and a "click-in" device on the other. If you are riding in town or you know you are going to stop a few metres down the road, use the platform side. Otherwise when riding down the road use the "click-in" side.
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Old 06-05-11, 01:20 PM   #24
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othonleon,

I am sorry to hear about your crash and injuries. Get well soon.

I am in much the same situation as you. I am in my mid-50's and getting back into cycling after 30+ years. I bought a new road bike in April and have been learning to use clipless pedals. I have crashed twice due to the pedals, but fortunately the worst injury I sustained were minor abrasions on my elbow and knee.

Due to my inexperience with the bike and the pedals, I have limited my riding to a paved bike trail near my home. I've been trying to build my miles and confidence. It is getting easier, but slowly.

Quote:
I am a very "defensive" unclipper, anticipating and unclipping one foot far ahead for stops, road gravel, kids playing, etc.
I definitely am in the "defensive" unclipper camp, unclipping my "plant" foot at the first sign of anything I feel may disrupt my ride and force me to come to a stop. As time goes by and I gain more confidence, I am sure I will be able to decrease my "defensive leeway" a bit and not have to unclip as much, but for now, I prefer to play it safe and overreact.

I suggest you replace your clipless pedals with platform pedals for the remainder of this bicycling season and just concentrate on building your miles and confidence. Perhaps sometime in the future you may feel confident enough to try the clipless pedals again.
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Old 06-05-11, 01:27 PM   #25
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Thanks so much for your help!
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