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Old 12-03-03, 09:25 AM   #1
Otherland
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My first clipless peddles today questions?

How many time will I fall trying to unclip when I try them later .... Doh ... Any hints, ideas or suggestions for a first time clipless rider. I'll check back here later, before I go out for my first adventure LOL.

What was everybody elses first experience like with clipless (i'll share mine after I give em a try )

Wish me luck.....

Ohh forgot to say... They are going on my GF Tassajara mountain bike that I mainly ride XC or on pavement. Dunno if that makes a difference.

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Old 12-03-03, 10:00 AM   #2
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Set the thing up inside you house on a trainer if you have one, or get someone to hold the handlebars, but practice getting in and out first before you start riding outside.

After you can clip in quickly at a standstill take the bike outside and ride around on the lawn or go to a level smooth field. Again, practice pushing off, clipping in, riding then clipping out BEFORE you come to a stop. You WILL fall over.

Once you are comfortable with that take er on the road around the neighbourhood on quiet streets that have alot of stops. Again practice, clipping in, riding, clipping out BEFORE you come to a stop. Again, you might fall over.

Make sure you do alot of road riding to get use to them before you tackle any trails, it gets harder on trails.

The first pair of clipless I bought back in 1990 I HATED them. Kept falling over, couldn't get in the damn things and I was gonna toss em away. What a waste of money.

Week later I decided it was the best purchase of my life. Never looked back at clips and straps (which I now hate).

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Old 12-03-03, 10:14 AM   #3
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I fell once and that was a few years after i started.I've read to ride in the grass at parks so if you fall its not to bad.I just set my up as loose/free as i could and unclipped very early before i needed to.I think you'll find getting out is easier then getting in.Sounds like sex but last longer.LOL
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Old 12-03-03, 10:27 AM   #4
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I never fell until I wore out my first pair of shoes. The spd clips on the shoes were worn out too and I put new ones on the new shoes -- they didn't clip out as easily as I had become used to because they weren't worn out.

Later, I bought a second pair, but not the shimanos, just a cheap knock off. That pair has always had more sticking problems.
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Old 12-03-03, 10:28 AM   #5
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I use the SPD system, which makes a 'multi-release' cleat that allows you to get out from different angles (i.e. you don't have to turn your foot to an exact point to get the cleat to release. I have used clipless pedals since I began riding (against the advice of others), and use the multi release cleats. The only fall I have had was in my living room while trying the cleats for the first time. I have had some close calls while on the road, but was able to yank my foot out just in time.

Like the others have stated, be sure to clip out BEFORE you stop. I generally clip out when I start braking. Good luck!
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Old 12-03-03, 10:41 AM   #6
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Its almost a cert you will take a fall or three!

I used a pair for the first time last year and "I think" I came to grief about 3 times in the first month, Each time was riding up to a Road junction. Lack of concentration was the most likely culprit, so try to remember you are clipped in well before you need to come to a halt, after a while it becomes a natural reaction, but those first few rides can be quite painfull....
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Old 12-03-03, 10:50 AM   #7
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Be very careful at road junctions whilst looking at attractive members of the species. It can be painful to both body and dignity!
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Old 12-03-03, 10:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timothym
Be very careful at road junctions whilst looking at attractive members of the species. It can be painful to both body and dignity!
who cares about dignity if the attractive member of the species offers sympathy and a helping hand.
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Old 12-03-03, 11:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erraticrider
who cares about dignity if the attractive member of the species offers sympathy and a helping hand.
I know that it is said that laughter is the basis of a succesful relationship. But being laughed at is not a good start! Well maybe ....
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Old 12-03-03, 12:00 PM   #10
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Experience with clipless peddles

I've been riding occasionally for over 20 years, look peddles, mostly. I started falling when I bought my last bike. A Trek 5200 with Look 5.1s and new shoes to boot. I got it home, and on my maiden early morning ride, the right foot wouldn't break out easy, so I tried adjusting the peddle, that didn't really solve it, and it just kept getting worse. As I'd ride, I'd try to break it out, and pretty soon, I was physically yanking my leg off the peddle. It was really weird, I'd adjusted the knob on the back of the peddle, and the set screw in the peddle, I fell three times that day. I set it up so loose that while I was riding my foot would actually slide back and forth on the peddle, I had about 3/4 inch of play, from side to side, and front to back.


Yahh, you guessed it, My cleat was loose.
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Old 12-03-03, 06:59 PM   #11
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Yep I blew off work and went to the bike shop and got the peddles. They installed them and even put the cleats on the shoes. I went to a local park and practiced with them (stop unclip, clip go... repeat LOL). Everything went real well (KNOCK ON WOOD) didn't fall over at all while practicing. I know the real test will be the emergency stop but so far so good. I did get Shimano multi release cleats. I had no trouble releasing but found it was harder to get my left foot clipped. I dont think it was the peddles or the shoes, I think it was because i'm right handed (and footed) and I dont have as much coordination in my left foot//leg LOL. After I got done practicing I went to a nearby paved trail to see how I liked em on a longer ride. (24 miles) I"M HOOKED literally and figuratively. Lately I have been pushing myself a bit more and was getting some muscle pain where your thigh muscle meets your knee ( i dunno how to describe it). Now I know why, it was not so much I was pushing myself to hard. I think it was because my feet were not straight on the peddles and was somehow causing the pain. Today being clipped in kept my legs and feet straight and I didn't have any pain... woooo hooooo I'm just hoping I stay pain free Ohhh and love being clipped in on the hill climbs.... OHHHHH NO Falls yet.... knock on wood

thanks for all the input everybody.
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Old 12-03-03, 08:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otherland
Yep I blew off work and went to the bike shop and got the peddles. They installed them and even put the cleats on the shoes. I went to a local park and practiced with them (stop unclip, clip go... repeat LOL). Everything went real well (KNOCK ON WOOD) didn't fall over at all while practicing. I know the real test will be the emergency stop but so far so good. I did get Shimano multi release cleats. I had no trouble releasing but found it was harder to get my left foot clipped. I dont think it was the peddles or the shoes, I think it was because i'm right handed (and footed) and I dont have as much coordination in my left foot//leg LOL. After I got done practicing I went to a nearby paved trail to see how I liked em on a longer ride. (24 miles) I"M HOOKED literally and figuratively. Lately I have been pushing myself a bit more and was getting some muscle pain where your thigh muscle meets your knee ( i dunno how to describe it). Now I know why, it was not so much I was pushing myself to hard. I think it was because my feet were not straight on the peddles and was somehow causing the pain. Today being clipped in kept my legs and feet straight and I didn't have any pain... woooo hooooo I'm just hoping I stay pain free Ohhh and love being clipped in on the hill climbs.... OHHHHH NO Falls yet.... knock on wood

thanks for all the input everybody.
It will soon just be a habit.
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Old 12-03-03, 08:54 PM   #13
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Otherland - glad your first experience with clipless went smoothly. As others have said, soon it will just be second nature - the clipping in/out. I just started riding clipless in October myself and didn't have much trouble at all. After reading a lot of threads on this and other sites I though I'd be falling all over the place. As long as you remember you're clipped in, though, and be sure to unclip before stopping, all is fine. I've come close to falling a couple times on trails - both in "emergency stop" situations. Still, I managed to get the foot unclipped just in time and stayed (relatively) upright. Continued good luck with your new pedals/shoes...
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Old 12-03-03, 08:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otherland
How many time will I fall trying to unclip when I try them later .... Doh ... Any hints, ideas or suggestions for a first time clipless rider. I'll check back here later, before I go out for my first adventure LOL.

What was everybody elses first experience like with clipless (i'll share mine after I give em a try )
Fell 2 x's in 1st 2 months, never since using older style Look pedals.

Be sure to plan ahead. I unclip right foot when approaching peds (especially kids), sand, any dangerous-seeming spot, then clip back in after passing potential danger area. This has served me well in several near-emergencies.
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Old 12-04-03, 01:37 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erraticrider
who cares about dignity if the attractive member of the species offers sympathy and a helping hand.
Been there. And the crash is really slow-motion, so I had plenty of time to start laughing before I hit the ground. She seemed a bit worried at first, but then figured I was apparently ok and started laughing too. When I was picking myself up and explaining that this was not the first time and probably would not be the last either, she asked "Why do you use those things?!" At the time it seemed like a very good question...

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Old 12-04-03, 09:10 AM   #16
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I remember when I first got the clipless, I was living down in Tallahassee Fl and I had just put them on the road bike that I had for a few months, down there, there is a rail trail that I would ride sometimes, since it was flat I thought that would be a good place to test the clipless for the first time...I had practised the motion of getting in and out at the bike shop I bought them from, so had that down..So I set out and did the normal ride down that trail that I did, went down to the 9 mile mark and then turned around..The first time I got down there I was telling myself, remember to clip out befor you come to a stop, well then I got to that point and I had forgotten to clip out, and so down I went, kind of in slow motion, and skined my left knee..Nobody was around, so it wasen't to bad, but I just racked it up to inexpierence and went on..Well call me crazy, but for the next 2 times that I went back to that point, I always forgot to clip out, and time and time again I crashed at the same point on the same scar that I had created the first time!! ...Finally I had crashed 3 times, each time when I got to that point, that I finally remembered to take the foot out so I wouldn't crash again, and the wound healed up!!..Never crashed again untill 3 years later on a new bike in a parking lot, but that wasen't bad, and since then, I haven't crashed because I forgot to take my foot out of the pedal....

So sorry it's soo long here, but don't feel bad if you crash a few times befor you get the hang of it, that's just normal, but as others here say and I echo, eventually it becomes habit and you don't have to think about it..


Strange thing here also, I would ride my bike with the clipless on other rides down there in florida and not crash, but for some reason, when i got to that point on the trail and had to stop, I would forget those 3 times and always crash, strange!!!


Benjamin
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Old 12-04-03, 07:43 PM   #17
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LOL,

I have a pair of nashbar clipless on my GT,too.
I can still visalize my first fall...First of all, it took me about 2 to 3 minutes to get my right foot secured...I was coasting down the street with my head down trying to get my freakin' foot locked in.

i was nervous about stopping at traffic lights so i'd ride up on the sidewalk and hang on to a pole until the light changed.

I fell when i became indecisive about crossing before traffic approached..I made a sharp right turn before i was ready...couldn't get the feet out...splat, ass-first on the sidewalk..Thank goodness i had my helmet and backpack on...softened the blow...
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Old 12-04-03, 08:44 PM   #18
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Ahhhh that is kind of weird about falling in the same place like that caadman You moved from Florida to Michigan? I grew up in Michigan (waterford, pontiac, whitelake areas) and moved to Florida. I don't miss the snow but I do miss Michigan sometimes...
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Old 12-05-03, 08:10 AM   #19
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Yeah I'm kind of strange arn't I Otherland, see I grew up here in Mi, actually pretty close to your area, and I'm back here now, it's the royal oak beverly hills birmingham area, moved down south cause my brother and sister were there also, and I wanted to live out my dream of living and working in florida at least once in my life...Then got tired of the scean in tallahassee, (except for the Noles!! still love that football team!!) and moved back up here where my parents were and still are....I'm really glad that I moved back because my cycling has really taken off up here with the club I joined, so that is good...I also miss florida in the winter up here, and love coming down there in the winter months, but I don't miss the summer riding at all!!....Yeah the snow's a pain, but I've taken up snowshoeing, and want to learn to downhill ski this winter..Plus I get on the bike indoors starting in february, so it's not to bad..

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Old 12-05-03, 07:13 PM   #20
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Well today I got uncliped in an emergency stop, actually didn't even think about unclipping.... just did it :-) I was on st rd 206 and just getting ready to go under I-95 (St. Augistine FL) They are working under the overpass and its really tight with barely enough room for 2 cars. That wasn't the problem though. An 18 wheeler had just come off of I-95 and was getting ready to turn under the overpass. Would have been nice if he had seen me before starting his turn. I went off the side of the road (just b4 the underpass) and stopped, he never did see me just keep making his turn and kept going. Anyway I got uncliped when I hit the brakes hard and got off the road....

ohhhh Caadman.... All my friends used to downhill skii when I was younger. It was kind of funny they would all say how much fun it was and go on and on about it. And then they would tell me about there first time skiing and how they crashed and broke this, sprained that or bruised whatever... LOL. I never went skiing.
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Old 12-06-03, 10:10 PM   #21
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I just bought a new road bike last week. First bike I've ridden in a decade ( I was 12 then). At first I did great with the pedals, and I thought the guys at the LBS were nuts because they kept telling me I was going to fall over at least once. 5 days later, I come up to an intersection, and totally forgot to unclip, and over I go in the middle of the street. Unfortunately, at the time, I thought it would be a really good idea to break my fall with my knee cap and wrist, both of which still have embedded gravel. But I think being female helps, because you've got the extra inch of hip padding. I am hoping I won't need to re-experience the humiliation in order to learn my lesson.
BTW: I just did my first 60 mile ride today!!
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Old 12-07-03, 12:33 AM   #22
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Congrats on your 60 mile ride Veganese It took me over a year and a half to ride my first and only (so far) 60 mile ride On a mountain bike (saving pennies for a road bike now).....
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Old 12-08-03, 09:31 AM   #23
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Oh man Otherland, that is pretty funny that you never went skiing also, after what your friends did to themselves..Crazy thing is, that I to have a good riding buddy that I see fairly often, and something like a year or 2 ago, he crashed into a tree while skiing, and did some major damage to himself!! Broken ribes and all that, messed up shoulder and everything, he rehabed and now is riding the bike and looking forward to skiing again!! ..I guess I'm just going to take an approach of excidness and caution, I know of the risks, just like cycling is also, but I still would like to try it and see what it's like..So we'll see, hope I don't wreck to bad or at all...Such it goes!!..


Good job on the unclipping without even thinking about it, that's what we talk about, when we say pretty soon it just becomes automatic!!..


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Old 12-11-03, 08:25 AM   #24
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Benjamin/Caadman, I was at a cycling class at Bally's in Novi on Tuesday. This one fellow is quite strong, and stands even more than what the instructor requires. I talked to him before class. He is a Wolverine. Asked him if he knew you. He said yes, he knew you and your mom Pat. I rode with the Northville Wolverines two times last year. The guys were quite friendly and didn't leave me stranded at Whitmore Lake. Oh well, just saw your name and thought I mention it.

Oops, forgot to mention his name. Mark.
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Old 12-11-03, 01:39 PM   #25
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Otherland,
Try practiceing with a platform pedal on one side and the clippless on the other. It gives you a good safety net.
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