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Old 08-28-04, 11:16 AM   #1
loriy29680
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New Road Chic in South Carolina

Hi guys,

I got roped into doing a charity ride and started cycling due to that. I'm loving it!! I've been training for the ride (metric century) for about 6 weeks now. I have a Specialized Allez bike and just got Speedplay clipless pedals yesterday. Tried them out for the first time this morning. Very discouraging. I know it takes practice and I will stay with it, but I fell 3 times in the first 20 minutes.

I'm sure I gave the locals at the park (and their dogs) a good chuckle on their morning walk.
Anyway, nice to see I'm not the only one. Great Forum from what I can tell so far.
Lori
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Old 08-28-04, 01:07 PM   #2
ctyler
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Everyone I know, myself included, has fallen at least once after switching to clipless pedals. I think it's your mindset. You have to remember they are there and when you stop you have to unclip. After my first ride, I coasted up to my car and stopped. Then I fell over. DUH! So keep at it. You'll never go back to the old way.
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Old 08-29-04, 10:56 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loriy29680
Hi guys,

I got roped into doing a charity ride and started cycling due to that. I'm loving it!! I've been training for the ride (metric century) for about 6 weeks now. I have a Specialized Allez bike and just got Speedplay clipless pedals yesterday. Tried them out for the first time this morning. Very discouraging. I know it takes practice and I will stay with it, but I fell 3 times in the first 20 minutes.

I'm sure I gave the locals at the park (and their dogs) a good chuckle on their morning walk.
Anyway, nice to see I'm not the only one. Great Forum from what I can tell so far.
Lori
Yup, you WILL FALL initially, but once you get used to it, you'll love the clipless set-up. Good luck, Lori!
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Old 08-29-04, 04:53 PM   #4
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Howdy. I'm new myself, just across the state line.
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Old 08-29-04, 05:11 PM   #5
loriy29680
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Thanks you guys for the encouragement!! I rode 25 miles today with a couple of friends up in Asheville (along the French Broad river... beautiful ride). Didn't fall a single time. I was so worried about it and warned them in advance to expect a few falls today but as long as I thought about stopping well in advance of when I needed to stop, I did ok.
I did notice a little numbness in the ball of my feet today, which I've never had before and a little knee pain around mile 20. I think maybe my seat needs to be raised... not sure? what do you guys think?
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Old 08-29-04, 05:22 PM   #6
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Asheville is a beautiful city, what of it I've seen. I tend to go up there on the weekends. Whereabouts is this you were riding? Is there some kind of bike path along the FB? Or just some road you were following?
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Old 08-29-04, 09:41 PM   #7
drebro
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Lori,
What part of SC are you in? I just introduced myself here, and I am from Columbia. Hope you figure out your pedals/saddle problem. I often have numbness in my toes when I ride, but I think it is because my shoes are too small. I try to release from my pedals and wiggle my toes when it comes on, and that usually helps.
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Old 08-29-04, 09:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loriy29680
Thanks you guys for the encouragement!! I rode 25 miles today with a couple of friends up in Asheville (along the French Broad river... beautiful ride). Didn't fall a single time. I was so worried about it and warned them in advance to expect a few falls today but as long as I thought about stopping well in advance of when I needed to stop, I did ok.
I'm glad you seem to have overcome your learning curve. Make no mistake. you will eventually fall again. I'm sorry to tell you that but it will happen. One thing that may be of comfort is that it will happen less often and using the clipless pedals will become easier as your foot develops the muscle memory needed and your cleats get broken in. The Speedplay cleats are initially quite stiff but will eventually break in and become smoother and easier to work.


Quote:
Originally Posted by loriy29680
I did notice a little numbness in the ball of my feet today, which I've never had before and a little knee pain around mile 20. I think maybe my seat needs to be raised... not sure? what do you guys think?
Have you had a proper fitting done? You may want to check your cleat position as well as your saddle height and it's fore/aft position. A proper fitting will help get all this straightened out. What kind of shoes do you have? Speedplay pedals typically require shoes with very stiff soles for optimal comfort and performance. Another thing to check is the tightness of your buckles/laces on your shoes. Remember that your feet expand during the ride. You might have to adjust for that. Also, check your socks. I was getting foot numbness for a while until I realised that I was wearing socks that were too small. Finally, try and concentrate on spinning as opposed to mashing. This will for one thing allow you to work what would have been unused muscles thus extending your endurance. Secondly, it relieves the heavy downwards pressure which can lead to premature foot numbness at the bottom of your feet.
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Old 08-30-04, 07:26 AM   #9
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I'd chime in with the suggestion of getting a professional fit, or at least check out the Wrench Science Sizing System and plug your dimensions in there.

Bear in mind clipless systems should have some lateral 'float' to the mobility of the heel in order to avoid undue stress on the knee joint.

Welcome!

Dave
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Old 08-30-04, 07:49 AM   #10
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Woo hoo a new bike chic...

Ashville is a great place to ride, absolutely world class. I imagine it is a bit of a car ride for you though, but worth it. A bunch of my friends and I go there every year and do a metric up Mt Mitchell. It is a great ride starting at the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway to the top of Mitchell at 6300ft ???? or close to that, and then back. The way back is 90% down hill.

If you get a bike fit then it will be a good foundation to make any future adjustments to dial in the perfect fit for you. A friend of mine got one at our LBS and took good notes. We then had a bike fit party and fitted a bunch of us to our bikes with this particular method and it worked out great. But remember a fit is only a starting point, you may or may not have to make some adjustments from their.
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Old 08-30-04, 06:36 PM   #11
loriy29680
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RidgeRunner
Asheville is a beautiful city, what of it I've seen. I tend to go up there on the weekends. Whereabouts is this you were riding? Is there some kind of bike path along the FB? Or just some road you were following?

Well, we started at a place called Ledges Park. It was about 2 miles from the New Stock Road exit off of Hwy 19 &23. We biked about 12.5 miles up to a little town called Marshall. Spent a few minutes outside their old county courthouse (charming little town) and then made our way back. Lots of cyclists out. Paved flat roads a good part of the way, and lite traffic. Great weather just topped off the day.
It was awesome!
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Old 08-30-04, 06:40 PM   #12
loriy29680
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khuon
I'm glad you seem to have overcome your learning curve. Make no mistake. you will eventually fall again. I'm sorry to tell you that but it will happen. One thing that may be of comfort is that it will happen less often and using the clipless pedals will become easier as your foot develops the muscle memory needed and your cleats get broken in. The Speedplay cleats are initially quite stiff but will eventually break in and become smoother and easier to work.




Have you had a proper fitting done? You may want to check your cleat position as well as your saddle height and it's fore/aft position. A proper fitting will help get all this straightened out. What kind of shoes do you have? Speedplay pedals typically require shoes with very stiff soles for optimal comfort and performance. Another thing to check is the tightness of your buckles/laces on your shoes. Remember that your feet expand during the ride. You might have to adjust for that. Also, check your socks. I was getting foot numbness for a while until I realised that I was wearing socks that were too small. Finally, try and concentrate on spinning as opposed to mashing. This will for one thing allow you to work what would have been unused muscles thus extending your endurance. Secondly, it relieves the heavy downwards pressure which can lead to premature foot numbness at the bottom of your feet.
Thanks for the tips. I thought I had been professionally fitted, but maybe I don't really know what that entails. Before I bought the bike, the LBS put it on a trainer and had me ride for a while. They studied my form, and made adjustments, made me ride outside for a while, put it back on the trainer, made more adjustments. Since I bought it though, I haven't had any more adjustments done. I'm almost sure my seat is a little too low. I bought Shimano shoes and they do seem to have a very stiff sole, but I'll try loosening the straps a little. Didn't think about my feet expanding during the ride. That might help. I'm gonna run by my LBS tomorrow and see if they can put me back on the trainer to see if I'm right about the seat.
And yeah, I know I'll fall again. It's ok. I really did like the clipless. Felt safer going downhill for sure.
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Old 08-30-04, 06:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loriy29680
Thanks for the tips. I thought I had been professionally fitted, but maybe I don't really know what that entails. Before I bought the bike, the LBS put it on a trainer and had me ride for a while. They studied my form, and made adjustments, made me ride outside for a while, put it back on the trainer, made more adjustments. Since I bought it though, I haven't had any more adjustments done.
I've noticed that some bikeshop employees are a little reluctant to fit a beginning rider into a more "aggressive" position especially if they perceive the rider may end up complaining after a few shorts rides. They did this with a friend of mine. They got her to the point where she was comfortable but as we know, comfort levels can change. After a few rides, people's bodies will adapt and sometimes a new fitting needs to be done. As it turns out, her seat was too low and she eventually ended up raising it after a month of riding.
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Old 08-30-04, 06:59 PM   #14
loriy29680
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drebro
Lori,
What part of SC are you in? I just introduced myself here, and I am from Columbia. Hope you figure out your pedals/saddle problem. I often have numbness in my toes when I ride, but I think it is because my shoes are too small. I try to release from my pedals and wiggle my toes when it comes on, and that usually helps.
Hey there. I'm in Greenville. I used to live in Columbia during college though. Go Cocks!! Anyway, I'll try the unclipping/wiggling thing and see if it helps. Thanks for the tip.
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