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  1. #1
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    1st Ride With Clipless Pedals

    Got my pedals installed today, picked out shoes and spent some time in the trainer getting my bike fit and learning how to clip in and out of the pedals.

    So, tonight I decided to go for a 10 mile ride to work on getting in and out of the pedals (it is going to some getting used to). I got 5 miles into my ride and decided to push it out to 15 miles at the 7.5 mile mark (my turn around) I decided to just go for 20 miles. I can really tell the difference with the cleat on the few uphill climbs I have to make. Most of the time I was able to get back in the cleats after a stop fairly well but, I did have a few problems.

    FYI - I did not fall once but came close at my last stop before home, I did not get a great start at the light and I was in to high of gear, I stuck my non cleated foot on the pedal and immediately locked in. It was shear panic trying to get enough speed up to keep from falling over but, I managed to stay upright.

    My calves are sore and my right knee is a bit stiff from getting in and out of the pedals (I have had 3 surgeries on my right knee and it is stiff most of the time anyway).

    The LBS moved my seat a bit higher and rotated over a little to get my wrists into more of a neutral position. The setup was more comfortable.

  2. #2
    Senior Member h2oxtc's Avatar
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    What type of pedals / cleats did you go with? I have an older pair of SPD pedals that clip in and out so easily it seems a wonder that my feet even stay connected with the pedals, but they do. I also ride with SPD-SL pedals on another bike - not as easy to clip in, or out. I took a spill this spring, and I've been riding clipless for a number of years. I just wasn't thinking - came to a near stop behind a vehicle at a traffic light and before I knew it I was on the ground. Ooops. So if it hasn't happened yet, it will. Don't worry - it's only a bike. It's the body and in my case, the ego, that took the most bruises.

  3. #3
    Senior Member volosong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Planemaker View Post
    ..My calves are sore and my right knee is a bit stiff from getting in and out of the pedals (I have had 3 surgeries on my right knee and it is stiff most of the time anyway)...
    You do know that the clipless or not argument is a religion and people get upset?

    That doesn't sound right about your calves. They shouldn't be sore. If the soreness doesn't go away after four or five rides, check into getting an adjustment from a fitter, (if you use one). Your knee is understandable. You might consider uncliping on the left side instead. It will take some getting used to, but might eventually be more comfortable and easier on your right knee.
    Deut 6:5

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    "Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is 'never get involved in a land war in Asia'".
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  4. #4
    Free Velo Vol! Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by volosong View Post
    You do know that the clipless or not argument is a religion and people get upset?
    Pedals for atheists:



  5. #5
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    Clipless pedals on a tadpole trike is almost mandatory for safety. But there is no problem using them the first time or ever, since you never need to unclip when you stop, nor will you fall over.

  6. #6
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    Club Tombay strikes after a few rides, when your confidence grows. Practice clipping out hundreds of times on a small road, and clip out from different positions in the stroke.
    My Book: Drive, Ride, Repeat: The Mostly-True Account of a Cross-Country Car and Bicycle Adventure

  7. #7
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
    Clipless pedals on a tadpole trike is almost mandatory for safety. But there is no problem using them the first time or ever, since you never need to unclip when you stop, nor will you fall over.
    At 4:41

    My Book: Drive, Ride, Repeat: The Mostly-True Account of a Cross-Country Car and Bicycle Adventure

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by volosong View Post
    You do know that the clipless or not argument is a religion and people get upset?

    That doesn't sound right about your calves. They shouldn't be sore. If the soreness doesn't go away after four or five rides, check into getting an adjustment from a fitter, (if you use one). Your knee is understandable. You might consider uncliping on the left side instead. It will take some getting used to, but might eventually be more comfortable and easier on your right knee.
    The sore calves is because I was clenching my toes in the shoe. I just need to get comfortable and relax my foot when pedaling.

  9. #9
    Free Velo Vol! Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
    Clipless pedals on a tadpole trike is almost mandatory for safety. But there is no problem using them the first time or ever, since you never need to unclip when you stop, nor will you fall over.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Planemaker View Post
    The sore calves is because I was clenching my toes in the shoe. I just need to get comfortable and relax my foot when pedaling.
    If you haven't already or if your shop didn't, loosen the tension in your pedals for a while until you get the hang of it. On most pedals, it just requires a multi-tool or the appropriate Allen wrench key. If you don't plan on doing hills right away, having them a bit too loose isn't going to hurt.

  11. #11
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Planemaker View Post
    The sore calves is because I was clenching my toes in the shoe. I just need to get comfortable and relax my foot when pedaling.
    Maybe. Maybe not. Typically, people experience tension in the calves because they have positioned the cleat too far forward on the soles of their shoes, and as a result are pedalling too much on their toes, thus transferring stress from quads to calves. Have a look at where you have positioned the cleats. If there is scope to move them back on the shoe, try that.

    You may also find that your knee responds to playing around with cleat position. In my own case, my right knee appreciates it if I adjust the cleat so that my toe is turned fractionally inwards when cleat and pedal are engaged. Your mileage will, of course, vary but it is worth a bit of experimentation to find what suits you best.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Steve Sawyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
    Pedals for atheists:
    Those are the pedals I have. The thing I like about them is that I can flip 'em over and forgo the clips when I'm going through a complicated intersection, or encounter a crowded section on a MUP, then flip 'em clips-up and clip in again.

  13. #13
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    I love the 324s. They are the nuts for running to the store in my sneakers......................... or sandals.

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


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  14. #14
    Senior Member mprelaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
    Pedals for atheists:


    I'd say agnostics. Can't make up their minds one way or the other.

  15. #15
    Free Velo Vol! Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Sawyer View Post
    Those are the pedals I have. The thing I like about them is that I can flip 'em over and forgo the clips when I'm going through a complicated intersection, or encounter a crowded section on a MUP, then flip 'em clips-up and clip in again.
    Yep. I also flip them when I'm going up a hill I have reason to believe will stall me out.

    I actually set the tension as tight as it will go, and it's still easy to clip out with the SH56 cleats. I wished I had used them when I was MTBing.

  16. #16
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnosis View Post
    Unfortunately, I’m 57 years old and I’m unwilling to risk falling over as virtually everyone does via clipless pedals at some point, so I’ll be sticking with regular platform pedals. I have a feeling it would be quite difficult to go back to platform pedals once the advantage of clipless pedals have been realized, so I’ll attempt to refrain from trying them so as not to get hooked on them. Even so, my curiosity is on the increase (ut-oh, me senses the potential devouring of ye own words some dayeth).
    Hi, Gnosis

    FYI, I started bicycling at 58yo on a mtn bike with loose clipins, and easily went to clipless that year when I bought the road bike. 14 years later I now have a road bike with clipless, a road bike with loose clips and a mtn bike with platforms, and I move easily between the three. But, I love the clipless for the road bike, and am really glad I got them. Yes, I fell 2 x's in the first month, but have not had a clipless-related fall for 13.5 years.

    Don't let age stop you if you would like to use them.
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 05-11-13 at 09:04 PM.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  17. #17
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I keep my tension as low as possible. In panic stops, I forget to twist out, and I pull straight up, and my shoes come out. Works for me. Not recommended for racing.
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

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  18. #18
    Senior Member volosong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    I keep my tension as low as possible. In panic stops, I forget to twist out, and I pull straight up, and my shoes come out. Works for me. Not recommended for racing.
    I also keep my tension as loose as possible. Maybe I can do that because I use the zero-float SPD-SL cleats, (the red ones), so my feet don't "wiggle" side-to-side throughout a pedal rotation. Then, when I want to unclip, it just takes a little twist, and I'm free. I tried the float cleats that normally come with a set of pedals, (the yellow ones), and just hated them right off. Didn't even get half-way down the block before I went back home and put on zero-float cleats. To be fair, maybe the reason I've never had problems with clipless is that I've been riding so long and started out with the old "rat trap", toe clip/strap system.
    Deut 6:5

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    "Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is 'never get involved in a land war in Asia'".
    - Vizzini during his "battle of wits" with the Man in Black

  19. #19
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Planemaker View Post
    Got my pedals installed today, picked out shoes and spent some time in the trainer getting my bike fit and learning how to clip in and out of the pedals.

    So, tonight I decided to go for a 10 mile ride to work on getting in and out of the pedals (it is going to some getting used to). I got 5 miles into my ride and decided to push it out to 15 miles at the 7.5 mile mark (my turn around) I decided to just go for 20 miles. I can really tell the difference with the cleat on the few uphill climbs I have to make. Most of the time I was able to get back in the cleats after a stop fairly well but, I did have a few problems.

    FYI - I did not fall once but came close at my last stop before home, I did not get a great start at the light and I was in to high of gear, I stuck my non cleated foot on the pedal and immediately locked in. It was shear panic trying to get enough speed up to keep from falling over but, I managed to stay upright.

    My calves are sore and my right knee is a bit stiff from getting in and out of the pedals (I have had 3 surgeries on my right knee and it is stiff most of the time anyway).

    The LBS moved my seat a bit higher and rotated over a little to get my wrists into more of a neutral position. The setup was more comfortable.
    Why on earth would you risk further damage to an already weak knee by using clipless that lock your leg in a rigid position??

    With platform pedals you get 100% range of movement and motion to allow your leg to float during each and every pedal stroke.

    I think you need to rethink this and leave the clipless to the racer boys.
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

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  20. #20
    Senior Member Bikey Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
    Why on earth would you risk further damage to an already weak knee by using clipless that lock your leg in a rigid position??

    With platform pedals you get 100% range of movement and motion to allow your leg to float during each and every pedal stroke.

    I think you need to rethink this and leave the clipless to the racer boys.

    I ride with toe clips but I do not have them cinched tight, but with the ridges on the pedal and where my shoe's toe box are in the clips, I'm don't think my foot rotates/floats much. I would think if I did use clipless with float, my foot wouldn't be any more restricted, or at least to any more significant amount. Now, if you mean by platform pedals that you have no toeclips or(and) a true flat surface, then you could have a lot more float, and/or slippage on the pedal. I don't think you need to be a "racer boy" to want to use clipless. I'm actually considering going clipless as the compression of the toe clip, I believe, is contributing to my toe issues.
    Please support diabetics like myself, a red rider, by supporting the American Diabetes Association.
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  21. #21
    Randomhead
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    you just reminded me that I'm going out on SPD for the first time today and I'll probably fall over. Not good

  22. #22
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    I have a bad knee, and spd clips actually help keep my knee stable, and connected. As opposed to being prone to failure/buckling, and/or slipping off the pedal.

    Sometimes, what sounds like a bad idea, can be good.

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


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  23. #23
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    Timely thread.

    I just put some Shimano 105 pedals on my old Team Fuji last weekend, after a lifetime of toeclips and straps. I've ridden 65 miles since and I haven't fallen over yet, but I came close on the first ride when I tried to pull my foot back out of my toeclips, and my foot didn't pull out.

    I think I'm going to try the non floating cleats, since I find it a bit awkward twisting out outward with the floating cleats. Inward is fine, but I'd like to be comfortable twisting out both ways.

    Other than that, I wish I hadn't waited so long to go clipless.

  24. #24
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    Did you consider speedplays, lots of float and super easy to get in and out of.
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
    If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Winnershcyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Planemaker View Post
    Got my pedals installed today, picked out shoes and spent some time in the trainer getting my bike fit and learning how to clip in and out of the pedals.

    So, tonight I decided to go for a 10 mile ride to work on getting in and out of the pedals (it is going to some getting used to). I got 5 miles into my ride and decided to push it out to 15 miles at the 7.5 mile mark (my turn around) I decided to just go for 20 miles. I can really tell the difference with the cleat on the few uphill climbs I have to make. Most of the time I was able to get back in the cleats after a stop fairly well but, I did have a few problems.

    FYI - I did not fall once but came close at my last stop before home, I did not get a great start at the light and I was in to high of gear, I stuck my non cleated foot on the pedal and immediately locked in. It was shear panic trying to get enough speed up to keep from falling over but, I managed to stay upright.

    My calves are sore and my right knee is a bit stiff from getting in and out of the pedals (I have had 3 surgeries on my right knee and it is stiff most of the time anyway).

    The LBS moved my seat a bit higher and rotated over a little to get my wrists into more of a neutral position. The setup was more comfortable.
    I started with spd and my knee would ache and did fall over once plus couldnt get in the left without serious looking, since moving to Look KEO Max no pain and also much easier for me to clip in and out as the

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