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  1. #1
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    Joining a club I wanted no part of

    Being a Clyde as well as over 50 I have been reluctant to go the clipless route for fear of falling having been through several orthopedic problems. I was finally talked into it by some friends. I was determined to do everything right and prevent a fall. Went to LBS and he set up pedals. He let practice their on a trainer for about an hour clipping in and out. Seemed to do okay. He gave trainer to take home for some additional practice which I did. Feeling confident I went to a deserted parking lot and practiced start and stops for quite awhile. I had my form down. Always unclipped left foot,( foot I usually put down first) whenever I thought I needed to stop.

    Went for first ride today confident that I would not become a member of Club Tombay. Halfway through ride with several stops and starts ride leader decides to turn into a Sonic to use the bathroom. Pull into parking lot and unclip left foot and begin coasting. Group decides to turn right and them somebody stop short and down I went. Left foot unclipped and leaning to right does not work. So there I am 6'4 and 275 lbs. floundering in driveway to get unclipped and up in front of a family that was parked there eating lunch.

    I gave everyone a good laugh and only sustained a skinned elbow. Hopefully this is my "not a matter of if you fall but when" moment.

  2. #2
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch16 View Post
    . . . confident that I would not become a member of Club Tombay . . . Left foot unclipped and leaning to right does not work . . . . floundering in driveway to get unclipped and up in front of a family that was parked there eating lunch.
    That has all the classic elements. I qualified in the same way except there was a steep rip-rapped bank on the all too immediate right. Your choice of a driveway was much superior.
    George
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    I know I'm already beating this concept to death on another thread, but why did you feel the need to go clipless? If you're afraid of falling and not being able to unclip, why not just use platform pedals?
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    I know I'm already beating this concept to death on another thread, but why did you feel the need to go clipless? If you're afraid of falling and not being able to unclip, why not just use platform pedals?
    I have large feet and they are always all over the pedals and slipping of. When I wasn't falling I liked idea of feet being in same spot all the time.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Frankfast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    I know I'm already beating this concept to death on another thread, but why did you feel the need to go clipless? If you're afraid of falling and not being able to unclip, why not just use platform pedals?
    I've fallen a lot trying to learn to ride clipless to the point that I was about to give up on them. Today I did a 35 mile ride using platforms and was surprised by the lack of power that I felt. There is definitely an advantage with clipless. Your feet are always in the optimum position and pulling the pedal up supplements pushing the other down. I still have problems getting in and out but if I ever overcome that problem I feel I'll be getting the most out of the bike.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    Hmmm. As I noted in my previous thread ("Pushing 50 & Scalin' it Back"), I haven't felt a whole lot of difference between riding with toe clips and riding on flat platform pedals. At first, I missed not having to think about positioning my feet, but now, this is far outweighed by the ease of taking my feet off the pedals and starting up again at traffic lights and other stops.

    I know what you guys mean about the "pulling up" idea, but, given that my speed and power are the same now as they were before, I kind of wonder whether the "pulling up" effect is all psychological.

    Anyway, sorry to invade your thread, Sasquatch. I hope you find a pedal solution that works for you!
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  7. #7
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch16 View Post
    I have large feet and they are always all over the pedals and slipping of. When I wasn't falling I liked idea of feet being in same spot all the time.
    Size 14 for me...These work with No Falls.

    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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  8. #8
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    If you ride for even a few weeks, the routines will become second nature with clipless.

    If the pedal is a Shimano one with adjustable tension, ensure it is as untight as reasonable (that is, without the adjusting screw coming out). That will help with a quick release, but it won't interfere with you staying in the pedal while riding.

    Think about it coming up to traffic light; that is, unclip your favoured foot 10 or 20 yards before you come to a stop. If you come to a slow-riding situation, unclip your favoured foot while riding through it.

    It's a learned routine and once you have it down pat, you won't have to think about it much into the future.

    One thing you might have to do, however, is watch out for the topple-over when entirely stationary. I find myself sometimes turning to talk to Machka at stops, with one foot still clipped in. I've had to shift balance quick-smart when feeling myself go off-balance.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  9. #9
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post

    I know what you guys mean about the "pulling up" idea, but, given that my speed and power are the same now as they were before, I kind of wonder whether the "pulling up" effect is all psychological.

    Anyway, sorry to invade your thread, Sasquatch. I hope you find a pedal solution that works for you!
    With platforms the effective range you can out power on in comparison to a clock is from 1 till 5:30 if you are accomplished. With clipless I start the power stroke from about 11:30 and it goes way past 6. Exaggerating? No. I have to have the tension screw up tight on the pedals now as if I don't- I find the foot coming off the pedals at around 9. That is without even thinking about it.

    Now when I do concentrate on powering on the upstroke to use a different set of muscles-The power starts at 5 and comes off at around 12. As I say- that is to use a different set of muscles and I cannot do it for long but it does give the usual muscles a rest for a while.

    Classic Tombay incident here and sorry that all your training did not save you from the inevitable---But you were doing the wrong training. You should not have trained for the fall.


    It is the landing you need practice on.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Frankfast's Avatar
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    After trying Look Keo Classics for the last few weeks and having trouble clipping in and out, today I went back to Nashbars take-off on the Shimanos A530, platform one side clipless the other. I tried them out with the bike stationary and with a pair of mountain bike shoes that recess the clips. They seem so much easier clipping in and out. Can't wait to give them a go tomorrow.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Bikey Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    Size 14 for me...These work with No Falls.

    10wheels! If that is truly a picture of you, the black socks are priceless!

  12. #12
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Think this is a clear case of an application for Club Tombay that is suitable and meets the main criteria for acceptance. I attach your certificate of membership but we still await pics of the damage to yourself and the bike.

    Last edited by stapfam; 10-22-12 at 01:02 AM.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  13. #13
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    Graciously accept membership. Fortunately no damage to bike but will attempt to post picture of minor scratch on elbow. I was lucky it was a cold morning and had multiple layers on. It is amasing that there is any scrape at all with nothing torn on clothes.

  14. #14
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    Graciously accept membership. Fortunately no damage to bike but will attempt to post picture of minor scratch on elbow. I was lucky it was a cold morning and had multiple layers on. It is amasing that there is any scrape at all with nothing torn on clothes.
    I don't get that either. When I went down a month back due to dog trying to eat me my clothes were perfect yet I still had road rash. If its sharp enough to damage skin surely its sharp enough to cut through the clothes.

  15. #15
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    Classic Tombay incident here and sorry that all your training did not save you from the inevitable---But you were doing the wrong training. You should not have trained for the fall.

    It is the landing you need practice on.
    Thanks Stapfam -- that may be true, but it also got a hearty chuckle out of me

    But, I think Stapfam has a another, unspoken point as well: From what I read here, the falls do not come because you failed to unclip properly, the falls happen because of the unexpected forcing you to clip-out (or fall) unexpectidly. Or, in your case, forcing you to unclip unexpectidly on the other side...
    ... A trainer cannot teach you how to deal with the unexpected...

    And, so far, that is one of the two reasons why I am still using platforms:
    1) Riding on Rails-to-Trails with baby's, kids, dogs, wild animals, ruts, etc. etc. etc.... constantly popping up in front of you, I need to expect the unexpected.
    2) I value my safety more than I value my power. To me, a successful ride is one where I don't fall off, I don't run into to anything and nobody runs into me... I will happily give up 25% of my power because, well, the only person I am trying to beat is me...
    --------------------------------------
    bikes: 1992 Cannondale R500, 2012 Trek DS 8.5, 2008 LeMond Poprad

  16. #16
    Semper Fi, A way of life. qcpmsame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeBMac View Post
    snip... A trainer cannot teach you how to deal with the unexpected...snip
    Ah, but you can and some people do train for the unexpected and how to react without a recognizable thought process, just by instinct or muscle memory. This is why pilots spend so many hours in simulators and in training syllabus that the instructor throws scenarios at them "Unexpectedly" so that the proper reaction becomes an automatic reflex when it happens. Throw enough scenarios and variables at someone repeatedly they will have the proper reaction ingrained from the repetition of like instances. That is why we tell the people going to a clip-less pedal/cleat system to practise the clipping in and out until it becomes second nature. You may still encounter things that can throw you or come so fast you couldn't react but you cut down on the number of times the unexpected throws you.

    And besides, No One Expects The Spanish Inquisition.................
    Attachment 279858
    Bill
    Last edited by qcpmsame; 10-22-12 at 05:43 AM.
    "I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me" Philippians 4:13

  17. #17
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    OK, here's my editorial.... (And, to reiterate and expand what I posted in Papa Tom's thread):

    It seems there are 3 benefits to clipless:
    1) Feet stay positioned better
    2) Feet don't slip off the pedals (especially at a bad moment)
    3) Increased power from a wider power stroke

    Now my own experience:
    In nearly 2,000 miles using regular tennis shoes on alloy platform pedals with serrations around the edges of the pedal i have had NO problems with either positioning or my feet slipping off of the pedal.

    Then, yesterday I switched to a pair of hiking shoes with treaded, Vibram soles and it was quite uncomfortable. My feet kept slipping out of position and I frequently found myself mashing with the arch of my foot rather than the ball. Plus my feet kept wanting to slip off the pedals. (They didn't, but there were a couple close calls)... In short, my feet were 'all over the place'.

    Perhaps, someone could design some effective combination of shoe and pedal that could provide at least the first two benefits I mentioned without physically attaching the shoe to the pedal?

    True, the real high performance / racers would still want the power. But, I think many people would gladly take 2 out of 3.
    --------------------------------------
    bikes: 1992 Cannondale R500, 2012 Trek DS 8.5, 2008 LeMond Poprad

  18. #18
    Senior Member John_V's Avatar
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    What Bill said.

    My last two falls riding with clipless pedals turned out to be an "Oh s**t!" moment. Both times I was moving at some pretty decent speeds and neither gave me the opportunity to react any different than what I did. I can honestly say, I would have landed on the ground, with or without being clipped in. Not being clipped in does not guarantee you won't fall.
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  19. #19
    Must... ride... more... Phil_gretz's Avatar
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    I just don't understand all of the debate. All you have to do is get up out of the saddle and sprint up a hill, and you can tell that the clipless pedals give a more positive connection, especially in the rain or when "wagging" the bike back and forth in balance to your stroke. No way that can be done with confidence with platform pedals. Toeclips (with the straps snugged down), yes. Platforms, no.

    Unclipping with either foot is a necessity. You never know what will happen. After some number of clipping/unclipping cycles, the motion becomes quick and nearly involuntary. At that point, you no longer have to worry about it. But it's the same for learning any skill, from serving a volleyball to tuning a piano. Practice, practice, practice. Perform. Practice some more...

  20. #20
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John_V View Post
    .... Not being clipped in does not guarantee you won't fall.
    Well, no, of course there are no guarantees. But, I think the consensus is that falls are less likely to happen with platforms.

    But, conversely, the falls that are blamed on clipless are usually at low or no speed and typically / hopefully the ego is damaged more than than the body or the bike...

    I look at it the same as taking a medication to fix a problem -- but that medication that has potential side effects:
    1) You want the benefit of the medication
    2) You may never experience the side-effect
    3) If you do, you view the benefit of the medication as being greater than the cost of the side-effect

    But, some people elect to put up with the problem in order to avoid the potential side effect... Or, for THEM, the side effect does more harm than the medication does good...

    ... And, by the way, EVERY medication has potential side effects. So, pretty much everybody over 50 is facing that same kind of decision -- and not just with clipless vs platforms...
    --------------------------------------
    bikes: 1992 Cannondale R500, 2012 Trek DS 8.5, 2008 LeMond Poprad

  21. #21
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    Well you made it a lot longer than I did before falling while clipped in, I fell about 10 seconds after hooking up the first time. I was in the garage leaning against the car and got a case of the stupids. I too need the clipless pedals because my feet are all over the place. They definitely help while in the hills too.

    I got a pair of these combo platform / SPD : https://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Produc...mmaryOnly=true

    They seem to be the ticket. I also loosened them up to the loosest setting and thankfully have had only one more fall since then - again a case of the stupids attacked.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    Think this is a clear case of an application for Club Tombay that is suitable and meets the main criteria for acceptance.
    Meets the main criteria? What criteria could he possibly not be meeting? He fell over in front of a car that had a family with little kids in it.

  23. #23
    Carpe Velo Yo Spiff's Avatar
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    I keep my left foot unclipped in stop and go situations or when I think I may need to put a foot out. I came close to going down yesterday when getting up onto a street across some rocky terrain. Had the left foot unclipped, but almost fell to the right. I recovered, but lesson learned. In such situations keep both feet on the platform side of the pedals. (I wouldn't have even been in such a spot with the skinny tired road bike.)
    2000 Bianchi Veloce, '88 Schwinn Prologue, '88 Trek 900, '92 Trek T100, 2000 Rans Tailwind

  24. #24
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    You know, I don't even think about it. It's automatic to twist my foot to move it off the pedal. I've never understood this issue with clipless contributing to falls and never had an issue with it.

    Now, going to be the real toe clips and cleated shoes that predated clipless - now THAT took some thought since you had to reach down and undow the toeclip strap. You foot was locked in otherwise.

    Maybe that's why it's not an issue with me. After years of riding old school toe clips and cleats, anything seems easy.

    J.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch16 View Post
    Hopefully this is my "not a matter of if you fall but when" moment.
    BINGO!

    Not that you got it out of the way, you don't have to worry about it.

    Practice unclipping both feet, and set the tension on the pedals to the minimum.

    They are worth the (painful) learning curve.
    If you don't know the way, you shouldn't be going there.

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