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Old 06-18-05, 11:56 AM   #1
HelenHeart
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new to clip-less pedals

I'm about to take my first journey on clip-less, and I am wondering if any one has a piece of advise they wish they had received on their first day. Or any other words of wisdom they can throw my way. It's something I know I have to move on to, I just wish I was not so nervous.
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Old 06-18-05, 12:07 PM   #2
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Big hint- practice first. You want to get the "unclipping" motion into your muscle memory. Just ride slow (or put your bike on a trainer if you have one) and do it. Ride a couple of yards, clip out...ride, unclip.
The trick is to get it "down" so that you don't have to think about it.

Dunno what kind you have, but a little lube (silicon works well)) on your cleats helps.

I went through the same thing with my first pair, neatly falling over like Artie Johnson in my driveway. Fortunately, no one was looking!
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Old 06-18-05, 01:10 PM   #3
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Practice practice practice. You don't necessairly need to lube it, just take an allen wrench or a multitool with an allen wrench and turn teh tension on your pedals all the way to the minimum so you don't get stuck.
Practice clipping in and out in a narrow hallway or between a door frame to get used to that feeling of engagement and clipping in. Then practice unclipping.
Unclip way before you think you'll need to stop so you don't end up toppling over.
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Old 06-18-05, 01:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HelenHeart
I'm about to take my first journey on clip-less, and I am wondering if any one has a piece of advise they wish they had received on their first day. Or any other words of wisdom they can throw my way. It's something I know I have to move on to, I just wish I was not so nervous.
can you get someone (preferaably an experenced friend) to go with you to a wide open flat parking lot, hold up the bike while you practice stationary clipping in and out?

clip in your strong foot with the pedal at the bottom... clip out with the pedal at the top and step forward...

using clipless pedals the first time feels so awkward its like the first time you rode a bike, but it gets better and more natural every time you ride...
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Old 06-18-05, 01:26 PM   #5
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It will become so natural, you'll unclip from the gas pedal and brake pedal while driving.
I also unclip when I'm mountain biking and I ride with plats.
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Old 06-18-05, 02:09 PM   #6
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I thought I knew how I dismount but found out (after my fall) that I actually keep my right foot on the pedal in the down position and remove my left foot to put on the ground. I thought I did it the other way and I unclipped on the right side, not the left.

So that's my tip. Somehow, I didn't quite figure this out when I practiced. Guess I didn't practice enough.
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Old 06-18-05, 02:45 PM   #7
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The advice I wish I'd received when I first got my clipless pedals was "don't!" As in "don't use clipless." I use platform pedals with any shoes I happen to have on. I can ride anytime-anywhere, not have to worry about falling, and I spin just as fast as riders who have pedals and shoes clipped together. I'm a minority of one on this issue, so take my advice as the "minority report." Just try your pedals without clips and see. You may like platform pedals as much as I do!
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Old 06-18-05, 03:10 PM   #8
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practice is the key here. If your planning to go offroad, do not until you are much more confident. Just practice clipping out any time you can, you might even want to wear elbow pads at first because you will fall. Im sure just about everybody here who uses clipless pedals will tell you of an experience they had falling.
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Old 06-18-05, 03:11 PM   #9
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Oh and practice on grass if you can, grass is much more friendly on the body than tar
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Old 06-18-05, 03:38 PM   #10
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Don't feel bad if you fall a time or two. Everyone has.
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Old 06-18-05, 06:06 PM   #11
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I use clipless pedals on my homebuilt recumbent; they are rather interesting to get into....
Recumbents in general are absolute pigs at low speed.
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Old 06-19-05, 07:02 PM   #12
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Fall you will! Be prepared to laugh at your self, everyone else will be! I have 200 miles and 3 falls. I'm not counting the two today when my daughter fell on me, against the side that was unclipped so my clipped in foot couldn't hold me up.

I guess that's another piece of advice, unlip the foot opposite of other riders, so if they fall on you, you can brace yourself.
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Old 06-19-05, 07:05 PM   #13
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My advice would be to unclip both feet well in advance of a planned stop, and to keep them unclipped (pedalling with the middle of your foot) while crossing an intersection. Nothing is more nervewracking when you are starting out than a busy intersection and clipless!

For an emergency/unplanned stop, just be sure your setting is really loose. If it is, it's almost nothing to unclip your feet. Sometimes it's just a matter of the type of pedals you have. I had a Performance brand pair that made me fall several times, and now I have shimano that are a breeze to use.

Don't get discouraged!
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Old 06-19-05, 07:40 PM   #14
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Everything here is good advice (except "don't get them" that I disagree with) I'll reinforce the this one - always unclip both feet at intersections as a matter of safety.

The only other advice is to find new riding buddies that are faster than your current ones because you will leave the current ones behind When I went clipless I recruited muscles into my pedalling that were previously just along for the ride. You'll enjoy it.
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Old 06-19-05, 09:09 PM   #15
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You will fall.

If you're like me, it won't be during the learning stages. I was way to afraid of forgetting to unclip when I first went clipless. I've now logged around 1200km with my crank brothers pedals. I've fallen over 4 times.

My first fall was at a stop light after abour 400km with the pedals... forgot to unclip. The last 3 were all within 2 weeks. Fall 2: circled at a stop light, going to slow, lost balance & didn't unclip quick enoug (stupid move) Fall 3: Bike trailer wheel snagged a post, stopped me short. Fall 4: slowed down at intersection, thinking I wouldn't have to stop.. saw a car @ last minute... to late to unclip.
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Old 06-22-05, 01:51 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HelenHeart
I'm about to take my first journey on clip-less, and I am wondering if any one has a piece of advise they wish they had received on their first day. Or any other words of wisdom they can throw my way. It's something I know I have to move on to, I just wish I was not so nervous.
Helen, I would really reccomend using them "only" on long country rides. It's just a little too dangerous and uneccessary in town.
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Old 06-22-05, 02:55 PM   #17
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I practiced on my Fluid 2 trainer. Be sure to get the unclipping before coming to a stop down pat. Otherwise you'll tip over like a cow. Not that you or anyone else is a cow.
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