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Thread: safety/clipless

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    safety/clipless

    Is it really more dangerous to ride clipless in a city or I am just paranoid?

    Does anyone use normal shoes with clipless pedals (clipless on both sides) for short rides up to 5 miles?

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    Hey guyz? Guyz? Wait up!! Siu Blue Wind's Avatar
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    I'm a little afraid of clipless. I understand it's not that bad because it becomes second nature to unclip. One day I'll be brave enough to buy shoes. I got the pedals that are half clipless and half platform for when I do.



    If you ride regular shoes with clipless it's more dangerous because your foot might slip off.
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    When I vas a n00b at clipless, I did have one close call: I forgot to unclip at traffic light (classic) and fell over, partially blocking the lane next to me (they had green light). Fortunately drivers in that lane had time to react and stop instead of driving over my frantically twitching self. Unclipping while laying down proved much more difficult than unclipping when upright.

    Since then, no problems. I remember to unclip nowadays. I ride past that intersection every day on my commute, and every time I remember that incident. Practice stopping and unclipping at home before you ride clipless in traffic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ukie View Post
    Is it really more dangerous to ride clipless in a city or I am just paranoid?

    Does anyone use normal shoes with clipless pedals (clipless on both sides) for short rides up to 5 miles?
    The amount of danger varies inversely with rider skill. The ultimate is to only clip in once when you leave, and unclip once when you get to your destination.

    Having a fixed gear makes the above much more easy.
    Last edited by operator; 08-06-07 at 11:26 AM.
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    You are just paranoid. I ride everywhere with clipless but I do use mountain bike shoes so that I can walk around. Unclipping before you stop becomes second nature. I often find myself unclipped before I even think about it when I have to stop. Or I just trackstand at lights.

    I wouldn't ride any distance without out clipless shoes on clipless pedals however. Those are pretty tiny platforms to try and keep from falling off of.
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    No, it's no more dangerous than riding a bike in traffic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ukie View Post
    Is it really more dangerous to ride clipless in a city or I am just paranoid?
    Everyone who rides clipless in the city will eventually die...

    Usually not from anything that has to do with pedals or biking though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ukie View Post
    Is it really more dangerous to ride clipless in a city or I am just paranoid?

    Does anyone use normal shoes with clipless pedals (clipless on both sides) for short rides up to 5 miles?
    I think what you are asking is in the city there are several ways to get in an accident in bike/auto traffic. And that there are more of these incidents or conditions than suburb or rural areas. Is that correct?

    Then there are the choices between platform pedals and clip (cage) and clipless (non-cage). So I think what you are saying is that the platform pedals allow a rider to get in and out of the pedal quicker than the other two. Therfore its safer somehow.

    But what we are missing is very important. The types of "accidents" and its relation to the pedal type. The most common would be falling off the bike at a stand still while being clipped in. But I don't think that's what you're asking, right?

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    I've had a couple of the unclip on the left, fall over right issues. I almost had one after I switched to panniers for commuting and only had one mounted on the right side. I just lean a bit more to the left now and it's no big deal.

    I'll second the MTB shoe recommendation, thought. My first pair of shoes was a road shoe. The worked great until I unclipped at my first light and realized that they had about as much traction as ball bearings on a frozen lake, so down I went. MTB shoes at least have some rubber grippes so you can get better traction at lights and it's far easier to walk around. I think that the real advantage of road shoes is weight (if you're into that, I'll need to lose more around my middle before I start counting grams) and many of them have better ventilation than MTB shoes.
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    Since 1 month after going clipless 12 years or so ago- I have felt insecure on a bike that has platforms. Especially in traffic where you have to react to other road users. Being clipped in-I have instant response- not only on pedalling but also on bike controll and Movement.
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    After fooling around with cages and straps for 4 months I went clipless two years ago and have never looked back. INHO they are much SAFER than rat traps. I had a number of occassions where i fell of because i couldnt get my foot out of the cages in time. The problem with cages is that to make them tight enough to be useful to spin, you can't get out in a hurry. On the other hand, if they are loose enough to provide a safe exit, they are vitually wortheless for spinning. If you don't care about spinning and are just mashing anyways, you dont need any form of foot retention system.

    I use SPDs with a road shoe. I like them because you can tension them to adjust how much force you must apply to unclip. Also, most people who dont use them dont realize that because you unclip by turning your ankle, if you start to tip over, you will more than likely unclip just from gravity. Sure, I fell once or twice when i first got them, but it doesnt take very long before clipping and unclipping become second nature and you dont even think about it.

    I would not tell anyone to get cages and straps.

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    don't worry, clipless pedals are pretty safe in the city. I've rode in them for a while and can say they are safer because it keeps your foot from sliding off the pedal when you shift gears or something.

    One thing I found out though... I keep tipping over to the left even when the panier is on the right. Everytime I go down clipped in... 100% left side. I've yet to tip on my right side, lol.
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    There is absolutely no reason to use clipless pedals if you don't feel safe with them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ukie View Post
    Is it really more dangerous to ride clipless in a city or I am just paranoid?
    I don't think it's dangerous. In fact, I agree with Stapfam that it feels much more secure.

    Does anyone use normal shoes with clipless pedals (clipless on both sides) for short rides up to 5 miles?
    I've used normal shoes with clipless pedals for short rides. It's no big deal, especially on a road pedal like an Ultegra pedal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ttopaz View Post
    There is absolutely no reason to use clipless pedals if you don't feel safe with them.
    Ahh, but the rub is one does not feel safe with them unless one uses them

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
    I think what you are asking is in the city there are several ways to get in an accident in bike/auto traffic. And that there are more of these incidents or conditions than suburb or rural areas. Is that correct?

    Then there are the choices between platform pedals and clip (cage) and clipless (non-cage). So I think what you are saying is that the platform pedals allow a rider to get in and out of the pedal quicker than the other two. Therfore its safer somehow.

    But what we are missing is very important. The types of "accidents" and its relation to the pedal type. The most common would be falling off the bike at a stand still while being clipped in. But I don't think that's what you're asking, right?
    Thanks for replies,
    I went clipless already. I got speedplay frogs. I really like those pedals although they are a little bit pricey.
    I also had my first fall, I stalled, right in front my house (after a 3 mile ride), uncliped my left foot but bike tiltlted to the right. Result - sprained right ankle (grade 2 sprain). It realy hurt.

    I am afraid of not being able to unclip fast in crirtical situations. But I agree under normal conditions clipless is safer. You "feel" the bike much better.

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    You just have to practice clipping and unclipping somehwere were there is a less liekly chance of injury--e.g. on grass BEFORE you go on a long ride and tire yourself out.

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