I've been looking into clipless for a while, as platforms started hurting my feet and I put some thought into how inefficient it was. Plus it was something new to try
So, after cashing in some checks from relatives from my birthday, I had $150 dollars to put towards clipless pedals and riding shoes.
*Insert drive to local bike shop with good selection of pedals*
Got there, made an appointment for a wheel build and fork installation (that's a story for a later time ), and got into a chat about the cliplessness since I've never ridden em before.
*Insert dealer pointing me towards good beginners pedals and shoes*
After some discussion and instruction on how to set up and tweak the pedals and shoes, I bought the Shimano MA80 shoes and [also Shimano] PD-M424 pedals.
Got home, fiddled with the old pedals, got the new ones on, and set it up.
<Quick "How to Learn to Ride Clipless Tutorial">
1) Put your bike up against a wall, and somewhere where you have something to grab incase you fall (in my case, wall was on my right, desk was on my left). Insert shoes into both pedals, and play around with clipping in and out while your handlebar rests on the wall.
2) After you get comfortable with clipping in and out and you have it tweaked to your liking, push yourself lightly off the wall with your elbow and c atch yourself with your foot. If it gets stuck, catch yourself with your hand on the desk/table/whatever and try again. Get comfortable with that, switch the bike around and practice with the other foot.
3) Go out on a short ride clipping in and out whilst riding and coming to stops and intersections, yadda yadda.
4) Get comfortable with where it pulls. Practice bunnyhopping (which is completely different with clipless pedals, and alot easier) and pulling up only the back feet with your legs. do this on grass, so it won't hurt so bad if you fall.
5) Go for a medium length ride (say...to the local mall or theatre or something. Maybe a calm offroad trail, something gentle and easy to ride) and get more comfortable with the pedals.
So far, I've fallen twice. Once from misjudging a dirt mound I was trying to go up and over (too little speed, too high a gear. Stalled and fell to the side.
Second was going up a curb (and I'm not really sure why/how it happened) but I just fell over...heh..that was actually quite funny.
Anyways, this segways to anotehr piece of advice. don't be afraid to fall! It's a learning experience. Falling isn't very painful (unless you land on some rocks or something, or going at a high speed which you shouldn't be doing yet). Not sure why, but both times I fell my feet came unclipped by the time I hit the ground. I just need to be faster about getting em under me .
Even though it's kinda hard to learn, I'm going to stick with clipless because of the efficiency and power. Coming off a street corner after a stoplight, I put what I thought was enough power to get me going. Turns out, with the new pedals, the power got translated into the front tire coming two feet off the ground. I can do that without pulling the bars and just pedalling hard, but never with that little power.
I'll post more as the learning continues, but who else has stories or advice?