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Old 09-25-05, 12:47 PM   #1
chrali
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Clipless pedals. Dangerous?

I have been riding an old GT backwoods for a long time with regular flat pedals. I'm an OK rider. I like to ride technical trails and there are times every ride that i will have to take my foot off the pedals. I just got an 05 Epic with clipless pedals and I am trying to practice on them before i take it on any really tough trails. I have fallen off several times trying to put myself in situations I would encounter on trails which makes me a little nervouse. I have only had the bike for a few days. I am getting better with the pedals every day but still considering putting flat pedals back on for safety. Am I being paranoid? Does everyone go through this when the first try clipless pedals?
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Old 09-25-05, 12:54 PM   #2
TonyDanza
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I dont use clipless for trails, I just dont like them. Call me old fashioned but some quality flat pedals are top notch for me.
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Old 09-25-05, 12:55 PM   #3
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I'll be the first to tell you that clipless pedals are "supposed" to be safer because they keep your feet on the pedal. Even though i use them, i still am not sure i subscribe to the theory that they are "safer." Whatever..
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Old 09-25-05, 01:25 PM   #4
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Even when you get better with the pedals, are you still more likely to get hung up and fall hard? I get much more power out of them and I want to use them I just don't want to take the chance of getting really messed up on trails I can easily ride now. Anyone and everyones opinion is greatly appriciated!
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Old 09-25-05, 01:29 PM   #5
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Ride with what your the most comfortable with, just because clipless is the new black, doesnt mean they're for everyone, ya know? I'd rather drink milk from a goat dick then ride with spandex and clips..

I just realized that was kind of irrevelevant to what you asked, lol. I'm sure you'll get used to them, and you might even have to weigh out the pro's and con's of them, if the power you get is more satisfying then the comfort of the flats, then ya know what to do. I dont really know anything beyond my own personal expierence about it, though.
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Old 09-25-05, 01:59 PM   #6
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go with clipless.

i didnt want them either, in the begining . i bought my bike with spds because i knew i would get to them eventually, and i am using them now and it is practically second nature to unclip and clip into them. my feet dont fly off on the rock descents, i have more all around power, and i feel i get more out of one pedal stroke.

i dont think you will be disapointed, "no pain no gain." you will get used to them.
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Old 09-25-05, 02:22 PM   #7
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I just began using clipless pedals on my mountain bike and I do think there is definitely an advantage in using them. After having my foot slip and scraping my shin across the pedal a time or two I decided it was time to go clipless. Just go easy until you get accustomed to them.
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Old 09-25-05, 02:49 PM   #8
chrali
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I can already tell there is going to be tremendous advantages to using clipless. I think I am just looking for a little reasurance from others who were frustrated with them in the begining but have learned to love them.
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Old 09-25-05, 02:58 PM   #9
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I would give up my front suspension before I gave up my clipless pedals/shoes.
I do everything (technical, real basic free-ride stuff, up 4000 ft and then back down, XC, whatever..) and love having them in all of those situations.
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Old 09-25-05, 03:35 PM   #10
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I would never even consider it. I will sacrifice the up for the ride down. I would not feel secure connected to my bike on skinnies steeps. They would be handy in really techy stuff that bounces you around though. And of course the obvious, going up
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Old 09-25-05, 04:13 PM   #11
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yeah, i assume it's normal cause i had the same reactions at first. i just went right on out and fell down. alot. i would suggest slowing down until confidence is higher. practice sections that bother you at varing speeds and lines. feel free to unclip one foot for emergency use in advance until you feel more confident. set your screws to the lightest tension so awkward panic unclips are easier. realize if you biff at speed and don't unclip, it will hurt.i took the top bar to the knee once and due to my momentum bounced around the trail one legged, holding my smashed knee and shrieking curses for a good fifteen minutes before i was able to unfold my leg and actually put weight on it. wear a helmet. have fun learning to ride with clipless, it's worth it.
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Old 09-25-05, 04:30 PM   #12
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It is normal that you fall while you are learning. Do not fear. I've been using clipless pedals for a month or so and what I do when I approach those technical parts of the trail is that I twist my feet and partially unclip by letting the front part of the clip on the pedal, that way I get the almost the same efficient pedaling power but I can put my feet on the groun if I need to.

Bottom line: it is just a matter of practice.

Hope this helps,

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Old 09-25-05, 04:38 PM   #13
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I had clipless on my old GF but after too many times of not being able to unclip I ditched them when I got the new Surly. I feel much more comfortable with flats than I ever did with SPD's. Like everyone else said, ride with what you are more comfortable with.
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Old 09-25-05, 04:40 PM   #14
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My clipless pedals are the Shimano 545 (I think) and they have a cage. I clip in when I'm comfortable feeling locked to the bike, and just put my foot on top of the cage part of the pedal when I'm not. It works great. Being clipped in definitely helps with better power efficiency over the length of the ride!
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Old 09-25-05, 06:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrali
I can already tell there is going to be tremendous advantages to using clipless. I think I am just looking for a little reasurance from others who were frustrated with them in the begining but have learned to love them.
Yes I can reassure you the advantages. After break-in period it will be much easier to engage and disengage. Also it'll become your second nature to disengage quickly whenever necessary.
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Old 09-25-05, 06:46 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrali
I have been riding an old GT backwoods for a long time with regular flat pedals. I'm an OK rider. I like to ride technical trails and there are times every ride that i will have to take my foot off the pedals. I just got an 05 Epic with clipless pedals and I am trying to practice on them before i take it on any really tough trails. I have fallen off several times trying to put myself in situations I would encounter on trails which makes me a little nervouse. I have only had the bike for a few days. I am getting better with the pedals every day but still considering putting flat pedals back on for safety. Am I being paranoid? Does everyone go through this when the first try clipless pedals?
my pedals aren't clipless, I use toestraps, but you didn't use anything to hold you to your bike with "regular" platform pedals. I have a set of platforms that i've used, just to try something different (with and without the pegs) But you'll probably be a better rider if you learn that your actually controlling your bike with your feet. If you jump your bike is gonna jump with you. Keep riding your bike with the clipless pedals. if you crash and you feel it caused by the pedals, don't worry, it's all part of the game. you can crash because of lack of attention to many things your doing while riding. You said you've noticed it's getting easier to use them, now concentrate on the performance and manuevering advantages it can give you when your trying to do a "technical" on a trail or other obstacle. or just doing a fast sprint.
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Old 09-25-05, 06:59 PM   #17
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Get some clipless pedals with platforms if you're uncomfortable. I know Crank Brothers, Shimano, and Time all make them. When you get to stuff where you don't feel safe, just unclip and ride on the platform. Then you get the best of both worlds.
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Old 09-25-05, 08:08 PM   #18
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im actually just a few days ahead of you in the clipless initiation race thingy i got mine last saturday, have ridden with them every day sence. You will get used to them, im already pretty confident with mine so i say tuff it out man, my average speed has gone up a few mph and i jus like them!!
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Old 09-25-05, 08:27 PM   #19
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I'm going through the same thing that you are man. My Rogue has clipless and I don't trust my self yet to go where I did with my previous bike. That said I'm getting more confident with every ride and I bet you'll do the same.
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Old 09-25-05, 08:36 PM   #20
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i cant stand the thought of going over the handlebars to run something out, but finding out that i am still stuck on the bike. besides, it would be way too difficult to 'ghost ride' your bike if you couldnt bail off the back.
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Old 09-25-05, 10:30 PM   #21
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Just keep practicing, you will get the hang of them...and once you do, you will really appreciate their advantages. Once you're used to them, unclipping will be a natural action when getting off or falling off.
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Old 09-26-05, 05:46 AM   #22
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I have to say say i personnally use both. Considering Im at a moderate but not great level of MTBing I use clips on easy to moderate stuff and go platform on the hard stuff. All I have to say is fell ONE time at Gambrill state park going down some uber steep rock steps and couldn't unclip fast enough and the bike came with me. Nearly broke my right wrist and forearm cause of it.
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Old 09-26-05, 07:19 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floatingchoner
i cant stand the thought of going over the handlebars to run something out, but finding out that i am still stuck on the bike. besides, it would be way too difficult to 'ghost ride' your bike if you couldnt bail off the back.
Just recently I was moving at a pretty good clip, then I brushed a tree with a handlebar and before I could recover slammed the next tree. I dont remember unclipping, in fact I only had two images from that wreck. One was me looking down at the handlebars as I was flying over and the other was that explosive air sound you get when you hit the ground real hard and it forces all the air in your lungs out, instantly.

I have only had my clipless pedals for a few months. You rarely have to worry about unclipping, 95% of the time in a wreck it will just happen, you will not have to worry about it.

I have also had a lot fewer injuries to my lower legs. I like being conected to the bike, in those hairy situations like stunts or bridges I occasionally wish I had a pedal with a cage so I could unclip and still have good contact but as I use them more I wish for this less.

Just my experiences.
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Old 09-26-05, 07:23 AM   #24
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I LOVE clipless! I have been riding them for about 10 years now. They are fantastic - don't know what i would do without 'em. You get used to them quick and then you can alwasy unclick in a second. The only time I won't use them is when I am practicing wheelies (don't wanna fall of the back of the bike otherwise I use them everwhere> I have even endo'd with clipless pedals and been fine clicking out and getting over the handlebars on my feet.

I have Onza's by the way which are pretty much ancient. I herad the Crank bros. ones are real easy in - out

IT takes a month or so to really get used to it. I just like feeling attached to the bike, I can really throw it around. Plus I can hop over stuff much easier.
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Old 09-26-05, 08:50 AM   #25
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When I first went clipless I was completely miserable. I fell over constantly, I even have scars from them. I wanted to take them off of the bike and throw them into the deepest lake I could find. I stuck with them though. Little by little I started getting used to them. Now I could not imagine riding a bike without them. To me clipless pedals are the most important upgrade I have ever made.

Now, if I rode terrain like Maelstrom does I would be on platforms. You always need to pick the right tool for the job.
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