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Old 08-27-08, 07:36 AM   #1
lord1234
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how to practice clipping in/out

So I put on my clipless pedals yesterday, donned my shoes today, brought the bike out, clipped in...and fell on my face about 2 minutes later...scraped up my knee, but my pride is more hurt then anything.

Any suggestions how to practice clipping in/out without causing myself to look like a jackass?
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Old 08-27-08, 07:40 AM   #2
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I practiced with the bike in a trainer.

Also, while balancing in a doorway is supposed to work.

In a grass field if your tires are wide enough to allow it.

Also, in a parking lot where you can practice while at a higher speed is probably good. Since with speed comes stability on a bike. Just go in a straight line and clip in and out...

Clipless falls happen to everybody.

Were there witnesses? There usually are.
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Old 08-27-08, 07:43 AM   #3
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thankfully...not. A neighbor MIGHT have seen it, but i don't think so.
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Old 08-27-08, 09:14 AM   #4
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Spin class
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Old 08-27-08, 11:25 AM   #5
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I'm not sure if pedals are different these days because I see a lot of this on this forum... not being a smart-ass, just wondering. My clipless pedals are a bit old, Shimano PD-1056, from about 15 years ago. They're a bit heavy but they work nice (I have them set up pretty tight). For me to release my foot I just twist my foot ~15° and the pedal fires my foot out the side 8" - 10", do modern designs work the same? I never had much of an issue getting used to them as I used cleats with toe straps before which is the most dangerous setup IMO. Stopping would usually involve flailing my foot around while trying to stop controllably, and lean over at the same time to loosen the strap. I took quite a few spills with those but at least all at very low speed. When I went clipless it was a dream and haven't fallen since. I guess it's all dependent on what you're used to.

I was told when I got mine to relax your foot and pull to the side with your heel so your foot will naturally twist and kick out. I found that technique didn't work well for me as just twisting my foot but maybe it will for you? A sidewalk might be a good place to practice. In a door way might be okay to get used to the motions but I think it's a different story when you're out on the road and about to fall and panic sets it. At least on a sidewalk you have grass on either side to cushion a fall.
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Old 08-27-08, 11:37 AM   #6
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I equate it to learning to drive a manual transmission car- Everyone stalls the engine a few times as they are learning but after a couple days of practice and you don't even have to think about what you are doing. Just keep at it and you'll be unclipping like a pro in no time. Until then I agree with the above recomendations of a doorway or in the grass.

Once you get comfortable with clipless you'll never want to ride platforms or toe clips again!
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Old 08-27-08, 12:48 PM   #7
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I finally learned in a place called Crip's Hole near the Gemini Bridges Trail outside of Moab.

#1. It was in the middle of nowhere so there was nobody around to see me screw up.

#2. The sand traps were endless, so you stalled again and again and had to clip out at the last minute.

#3. It was like riding through a sandbox. When I screwed up, I fell over and it didn't hurt.

#4. After laughing my ***** off a few times lying there in the sand, I really got the hang of it.

#5. As a bonus, my skills riding through sand traps improved 100% in a single afternoon.

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Old 08-27-08, 12:53 PM   #8
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A friend of mine rides a road bike with clipless pedals. He offered to let me try it out since we have the same shoe size. He even held the bike up while I fumbled around learning to clip and unclip for a few minutes. Once I felt comfortable with getting one foot to release quickly, I was off, and fell. My friend told me even after mastering his clipless pedals he once fell right on the ground after coming to a stop when he forgot he was clipped in with rush hour traffic looking on.
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Old 08-27-08, 12:54 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by joe_5700 View Post
A friend of mine rides a road bike with clipless pedals. He offered to let me try it out since we have the same shoe size. He even held the bike up while I fumbled around learning to clip and unclip for a few minutes. Once I felt comfortable with getting one foot to release quickly, I was off, and fell. My friend told me even after mastering his clipless pedals he once fell right on the ground after coming to a stop when he forgot he was clipped in with rush hour traffic looking on.
Correction...never fell.
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Old 08-27-08, 02:57 PM   #10
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While stopped stand over the bike and clip and unclip one foot at a time while keeping your other foot on the ground to hold and balance you and the bike. Do this for awhile until you can clip in and out without struggling. You might also want to ride with only one foot clipped in and practice clipping in and out the other foot while coasting and coming to stop signs. Just be certain to not lean toward the side of the bike that you are clipped in. I have been riding for a long time and occasionally almost lose my balance while stopped and clipped in to only one pedal.

Remember, clipping and unclipping should be done at the absolute bottom of the pedal stroke which is where you have the most power because of leverage and can achieve the maximum bending of your ankle/leg.
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Old 08-27-08, 07:14 PM   #11
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I just leaned in the doorway of my garage, did about 20 or 30 per foot to loosten things up and off I went. Then I rode for a while, did great... then I fell over at the park. hehehehe
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Old 08-27-08, 07:37 PM   #12
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I practiced clipping in and out in the doorway from the living room to the kitchen, holding onto the door frame. Then I moved over to the couch, putting one foot on the couch (as a leverage) while clipping out and leaning over to the other side (to put my foot on the floor) while my hands were in the drops. Did both sides, about 15 minutes each side.

Went outside to the lawn, and practiced clipping out and leaning, clipping out and leaning.

No issues after that.
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Old 08-27-08, 10:38 PM   #13
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I just bought some speedplay pedals, and I figured out that when I think about it, I can't get out of them. Panic un-clips have been no problem so far. I am pretty competent at track stands, and thus I can ride really, really slow, so I have been setting myself up for that as I approach a stop.

I can see falling because of forgetting that I'm clipped in with these pedals, the amount of rotation they allow makes it feel like you aren't clipped in at all.
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