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Old 07-13-11, 05:05 PM   #1
Lexi01
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So I went on my first clipless ride this morning...

...and I was fine!

I'd spent a few months thinking about the change and more I read the more I was scaring myself into thinking it was too dangerous. Or reading stories about "clipstacks" - where you come to a stop and topple over because you forget you're clipped in.

I actually got to a point where reading all the articles scared me out of doing it!

But I bought some pedals (Shimano M530s - below) and some shoes (Shimano M087s - below) yesterday and took the bike up to the car park last night and had a ride around - it was fine. Then I woke up this morning and went for a 20km ride around town...again perfectly fine in traffic, etc...

I think MOST of my own fear was about not being able to get my feet (foot) back in when I'd stopped at some lights...not so much about my foot getting stuck when trying to get it out.

But what I never realised (and never read) was that you can actually pedal quite fine with your feet resting on the pedal until you find the cleat position. When I realised this the fear disappeared and the fun began!

As far as the difference between clipless and platforms...I think its far too early for me to tell for sure, but:
1. The most noticeable difference to me was taking off. I could really pull up on the pedals and rocket away from a standing start - thats the biggest difference so far.
2. Hills. I was hoping for more of a difference here. Although I think is more of a technique thing at this stage. I'm hoping this improves with time.
3. Cadence. I did find it easier to maintain a quicker cadence in an easier gear (which I think will be good for my knees).
4. Foot movement. I'd read that your foot is anchored into one position with no movement at all. But you actually do get a little slack...which again is good for my knees.

So for all those people (like me) who are trawling the internet looking for stories to talk them into buying/trying clipless...I hope this does the trick.

I love 'em!

(By the way, I'm trying some offroad on Saturday so I'm thinking the dirt/mud and slip sliding around will bring some dicey moments where I'll want to swing my legs out and some fear may come back...but one thing at a time right?)


Last edited by Lexi01; 07-14-11 at 01:14 AM.
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Old 07-13-11, 06:24 PM   #2
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I swore that I would never clip-in when riding a bike because of the fear of falling over with the bike. That was until I bought my road bike and had a computerized bike fitting done on it. I was basically told that I could get the fitting without the clipless pedals but I would be throwing my money away. I tried them because all the articles I read on riding with clipless pedals said that everyone falls at one time or another. I instantly saw a great improvement in the way I was riding. Yep, I fell a time or two when I first got them and only once since then. I even put a pair on my hybrid and ride clipless on both bikes, unless I know that I am going to be riding in heavy traffic for most of my ride. Now I swear that you would never catch me riding without them.
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Old 07-13-11, 08:16 PM   #3
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Good to hear you like them. I love mine too, fell a couple times as expected, one time only while road riding, a few times while on the MTB.
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Old 07-13-11, 10:02 PM   #4
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A nice point is the shoes won't slip off the pedal if you encounter a bump.
You'll fall some time, but it will be at a slow speed. Hopefully not in traffic.

I'm not sure about always unclipping one side first. I always unclipped the right side first. But then I pulled up to a drinking fountain that was on my left and kerpow!
But now it's ingrained in my subconscious to unclip the appropriate side. (touch wood)

Last edited by AChristie; 07-14-11 at 05:25 AM. Reason: clarity
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Old 07-14-11, 01:08 AM   #5
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I'm not sure about always unclipping one side first. I always unclipped the right side first. But then I pulled up to a drinking fountain that was on my left and kerpow!
But now it's ingrained in my subconscious. (touch wood)
I'm finding that part quite natural...on the platforms I'd always stop at the lights come off the seat and put my left foot on the ground (leaving the right foot on the pedal).

Only difference was I'd then use the top of my right foot to wind the pedal back up so I'd be at the top of a stroke to take off again. Now I can pull up!
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Old 07-14-11, 01:20 AM   #6
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I'm not sure about always unclipping one side first. I always unclipped the right side first. But then I pulled up to a drinking fountain that was on my left and kerpow!
But now it's ingrained in my subconscious. (touch wood)
It's interesting, I started using clipless pedals about a month ago, and I *always* unclip my left whenever I get below X speed when coming to a stop, and put that foot down. It's interesting because I almost always put my *right* foot down when stopping on a motorcycle. There's good reasons for both - my right foot is my "starting" foot, and on a motorcycle it's convenient to be able to shift in/out of neutral with your left foot - but I'm surprised my subconscious didn't put up a bigger fight about it.

KeS
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Old 07-14-11, 10:45 AM   #7
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You will feel strange when riding bikes with no clipless - believe me.
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Old 07-14-11, 11:41 AM   #8
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I just got back into cycling after a 4+ year layoff and decided that since I'm riding again I'd do it the right way and go clipless. I'd tried a long time ago and didn't like it but now that was then. Now I love it. My old Moto has toe clips and on the rare occasion I ride that, I can really tell the difference in lack of efficiency. Yes, javal, it does feel strange going back to toe clips.
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Old 07-14-11, 12:55 PM   #9
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saw a woman fall over a couple weeks back bc she was clipped in. this is why i dont like them. i know similar things can happen with toe clips (i've used toeclips on all my most recently owned bikes) and not once have i come close to falling over. i keep the straps very loose so my foot just slides in and out.

anyway, good to hear that you had a nice, first maiden run w/ the clipless shoes/pedals.
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Old 07-14-11, 03:34 PM   #10
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I'm not sure about always unclipping one side first. I always unclipped the right side first.
I tried doing the one foot unclipped routine but always felt awkward, regardless of which foot was unclipped. I started unclipping both and dismounting at stops with both feet on the ground and that is a much better method for me. I can kick off with whichever pedal is the highest so I normally don't have to kick a pedal back to get started. I have clipless pedals (Shimano SPD-M520) on both bikes and I love them.
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Old 07-15-11, 06:40 AM   #11
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saw a woman fall over a couple weeks back bc she was clipped in. this is why i dont like them.
That's a dumb reason for not wanting try them. I fell over when I first went clipless on my mtn bike years ago, but I just got up, dusted myself off and got back on. I'm surprised that you even ride a bike, I bet you fell over the first time riding your bike.
I saw my friend fall over 5 times when we rode a century, I didn't stop riding clipless because of it.
I think I actually dislike my hybrid because I don't have clipless pedals on it. Only reasons being is I sometime ride in flip flops and it's my go to bike when I just need to get on and go short distances, I don't need my special shoes.
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Old 07-15-11, 07:09 AM   #12
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Thanks for posting this. I have been procrastinating for awhile about changing over from my toe clips. I have actually taken a couple spills because if I have my toe clips cinched too tight I can not get out when needing to stop quickly. Also, the bike shop says I have worn out the current pedals so I need to replace them. How did you decide on that particular pedal?
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Old 07-17-11, 10:28 PM   #13
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How did you decide on that particular pedal?
I wanted pedals with clips on both sides. I.e. I didn't want the added task of making sure the pedal was facing the right way before I clipped in.

Also chose these pedals cos (i) they look good - in my opinion and (ii) they were pretty inexpensive ($40). They look exactly like the XTs for $111 or the XTRs for $192. For my sort of riding (usually 30kms...sometimes 80kms...) I couldn't really justify the added cost of XT or XTR.

Incidentally, I chose those shoes as they are some of the few that come in sizes above 48.

By the way...I went on two more rides on the weekend. One was 25km the other 55. Only at the end of the 55km did I have a "forgetful moment". I pulled up to some lights and unclipped the left foot but I must have been a little too centred or too far right and nearly toppled over but managed to get my right foot out in time.

So I faked like a meant it and reached down to "scratch my ankle".

Anyway, still "so far so good".

Last edited by Lexi01; 07-17-11 at 10:46 PM.
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