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  1. #1
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    Clipless riding! (Not so exciting as the title lends it to be..)

    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.

    </Quick tut.>

    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.

    GG Clipless.

    I'll post more as the learning continues, but who else has stories or advice?

  2. #2
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    Great post! I've been thinking strongly about going clipless. I already have a set of hand-me-down pedals, I just need to get some shoes.

  3. #3
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    Sweet, and thanks. If the shoes I have are any indication, get a size that is 1/2 size or one size below you're regular street shoe, and try em on in the shop first.

    Loose shoes make for hard unclipping.

  4. #4
    I can't find my pants mirona's Avatar
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    Hey, at least you didn't try clipless pedals offroad for the first time on a 20% + grade. Yea, I flipped over and landed on my back with the bike still attached What's funny is that I've been riding clipless on a road bike for years.

  5. #5
    Uh oh... JagdNeun's Avatar
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    Dang Mirona, I hope you made an adjustment on those pedals. Thats got to smart. I guess the captain has to go down with the ship/bike, but thats taking it a bit too far. The pucker factor kicks in on my clipless setup whenever I'm riding over really rocky areas, or steep grades. Rocks hurt this old guy, and healing takes just a bit longer than it did in my younger days. Every week though I get a bit more used to the different terrain. I road a rock invested trail the other day and I felt like I'd been beat up when I finished. I get a better upper body workout during those kinds of rides though.
    Last edited by JagdNeun; 06-17-06 at 09:16 PM.

  6. #6
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    I'm not sure if this is what you guys are talking about, but yeah I can really feel bumps on clipless as apposed to platforms. But then again, my feet don't slip off riding down stairs anymore which is awesome.

    @mirona: That's got to hurt. 'Couple years ago, I was riding my bike around a corner a bit too fast and hit a parked car. I went ass over teakettle and landed straight on my back. I don't know if it was adrenaline, but I didn't feel an ounce of pain. I was a little freaked out though...
    Last edited by Defiance; 06-17-06 at 10:55 PM.

  7. #7
    To be continued Dannihilator's Avatar
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    Clipless riding is exciting???
    Strike like an eagle and sacrifice the dove.
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  8. #8
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    No, not so much. Just the exclamation point might make the title sound exciting. The post wasn't so much.

    Just fell 3 more times...

    Ah well, practice makes perfect.

  9. #9
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    Defiance, I've just started using clipless as well. I've taken two rides with the new pedals. While I'm still getting comfortable with clipping in and out, I 've found clipless really increased my power, especially climbing power. The difference is substantial. Did you find an improvement in power?
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  10. #10
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    Oh yes. I was talking about it near the end of the original post. Coming off a curb I got the front tire in the air with much less power then I normally needed to do so.

    Climbing is definetly easier, I can go up a hill much faster with the same energy use, meaning faster trips around town.

    The only complaint about clipless is a cursed placebo. Whenever you need to get both feet off...you can only get one off. That caused me to fall a bunch, but when I'm just riding around or sitting still (not on the brink of actually crashing) I can get both feet out fairly easy. But when I actually need it... my left foot just sticks in. I'm tweaking the pedal as we speak.

    The only other bad thing about clipless is the silly shoes For short commutes I'm just going to use regular shoes, but if you're going a long ways to a park or something, you're stuck with those shoes and the possibility of mud in the cleats.

    Always carry a tiny allen wrench or something toothpick like to clean those things out
    Last edited by Defiance; 06-17-06 at 11:34 PM.

  11. #11
    ...all of 'em? NuclearParanoid's Avatar
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    I have same shoes, they got quite unconfortable after 4-5 month of riding. I'll be looking for some new ones soon.

  12. #12
    Team Katana 古強者死神's Avatar
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    I dont know about everybody but for me yes the clipless made riding more exciting and more fun. Maybe because its just a new thing, and unlike my new tires, or a new shifter or somthing its really somthing you can feel. Its a totally new biking platform that lets you into a new part of the bicycling world. I went for 3 rides my first day with them and since them have had to ride daily or I cant sleep!

    As for my practice for clipless it went like this:

    1.) Take old pedals off
    2.) Put clipless pedals on
    3.) Put cleats on spd shoes
    4.) Go riding!

    Thats it! I didnt do a dang thing for practice and have done just fine, I love my stuff.

    Crank Brothers Mallet C's
    and Diadora spd shoes.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by NuclearParanoid
    I have same shoes, they got quite unconfortable after 4-5 month of riding. I'll be looking for some new ones soon.
    Could your feet be growing out of them?

  14. #14
    Bad Company dminor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Defiance
    Could your feet be growing out of them?
    That's funny, with the people I've known who've gone clipless, the more they do so the more snobby they tend to get about it . . . to the point where they outgrow their helmet

  15. #15
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    Haha. I didn't mean to be snobby, I just thought that if you're still growing then the reason they're getting uncomfortable might be growth.

    I would think that over time they would become more comfrtable, breaking them in and all.

    But hey, nothing to stop you from looking for another pair.

  16. #16
    Bad Company dminor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Defiance
    Haha. I didn't mean to be snobby, I just thought that . . .
    Just pullin' your leg . I'm still a platform pedal clod for the most part; I still can't get the hang of racing DH clipped in. But for XC, I much prefer clipless.

  17. #17
    Flatland hack Flak's Avatar
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    Im being sucked into the darkside of clipless. Going to put some candys on my work bike till i get comfortable with them, then transfer them to my dirt bike.

    Its hard to ignore the almost 100% positive rating ppl give clipless riding.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Crono's Avatar
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    I'm seriously SO SO torn about going to clipless. On one hand, I know they're super efficient, and allow you to become one with the bike. On the other hand, I'm able to maintain better form with bunnyhopping and spinning with platforms.

    Plus, last time I rode Tamarancho and I had to put a foot down so many times (damn switchbacks). It almost seems necessary since my BB clearance is pretty crappy. I'll be going at a quick pace over loose rocks and all of a sudden *BONK*

    Anyway, my proudest riding moment recently was when climbing around the Diablo foothills and I passed some bikers who were pushing their bikes up the incline. One biker said to the other "That guy is doing that without clipless!?"

    I hollered back "Word son, platforms all the way!"

  19. #19
    ...all of 'em? NuclearParanoid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Defiance
    Could your feet be growing out of them?
    No my feet didn't grow as much for the past 5-6 months. I tried Nike shoes at LBS the other day, and those were aaawesome.... I found that they have a better pedaling angle. Although not as confortable to stand or walk in them. And very pricey too. 235$ CAD

    EDIT: For some out there mentionning about snobby behavior. I totally agree with you, but snobby isn't a right vocabulary for it. See, the more you advance in performance, the more you will be bothered because of small details.
    Last edited by NuclearParanoid; 06-19-06 at 06:26 PM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flak
    Im being sucked into the darkside of clipless. Going to put some candys on my work bike till i get comfortable with them, then transfer them to my dirt bike.

    Its hard to ignore the almost 100% positive rating ppl give clipless riding.
    That 100% rating only comes after you've mastered getting your feet out quickly.

    Until then...

    Quote Originally Posted by NuclearParanoid
    No my feet didn't grow as much for the past 5-6 months. I tried Nike shoes at LBS the other day, and those were aaawesome.... I found that they have a better pedaling angle. Although not as confortable to stand or walk in them. And very pricey too. 235$ CAD
    Glad that's cleared up. About the new shoes, I guess if you're willing to pay the price?

  21. #21
    Flatland hack Flak's Avatar
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    Yeah but we all went through the same hard knocks learing to ride in general. That was worth it, so im guessing clipless would be worth it too.

    I had someone comment to me on a recent ride "you rode that without clipless?" like it was strange. Then again, most of the guys i was riding with had team kits etc. Im wearing board shorts and an old t-shirt.

  22. #22
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    I loved going to clipless....aside from about 4-5 embarassing moments in front of cute women (pretty much all of them related to paying too much attention to said cute women...), and one incident from a ******** old man who wouldn't move when I couldn't unclip, it was a good experience.

    Seriously, adjust the spring tension as low as you can go and pedla confidently when starting out....then increase tension slowly until you feel it's about right. That way you don't go through my old man incident..where I just could not unclip.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member iamthetas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crono
    I'm seriously SO SO torn about going to clipless. On one hand, I know they're super efficient, and allow you to become one with the bike. On the other hand, I'm able to maintain better form with bunnyhopping and spinning with platforms.

    Plus, last time I rode Tamarancho and I had to put a foot down so many times (damn switchbacks). It almost seems necessary since my BB clearance is pretty crappy. I'll be going at a quick pace over loose rocks and all of a sudden *BONK*

    Anyway, my proudest riding moment recently was when climbing around the Diablo foothills and I passed some bikers who were pushing their bikes up the incline. One biker said to the other "That guy is doing that without clipless!?"

    I hollered back "Word son, platforms all the way!"
    point 1) once you get used to clipless you will wonder how you ever did the moves you are now doing so clumsily due to the extra balance of being one with the bike will make and being able to spin the WHOLE rotation
    point 2) I ride a lot of skinny and twisty single track and have no problem moving in and out of the clipped position. dabbig in corners is no biggie with Time pedals, again once you are used to them. I can be out and back in as quick as you can put your foot back on the platform after taking it off.
    I dont say this to brag. I say this because I was the worlds biggest hater of clipless, especially after making the switch for the first few months. I was one who was able to spin on bmx pedals too so the power increase was nominal.
    going clipless is like roller skating for the first time if you are a skateboarder. you want to be able to bail quickly but cant. it takes time to learn to bail differently but its worth it
    for the creation was subjected to futility,not willingly , but because of Him who subjected it in hope...that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8:20-29
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  24. #24
    The Banker
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    I am going to get some egg beaters (chrome) tomorrow and a pair of Specialized BG sport Mountain shoes. Any comments on this setup? This will be my first set of non-stock pedals. Rockhopper 06 stock setup. $130 for both.
    Specialized Rockhopper 06'
    Upgrades: eggbeaters C 06' / Front Shimano Disc

  25. #25
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    The shoes look ok, and those are some good pedals.

    I'm not sure about the learning though. I heard that eggbeaters are harder to learn on then on something like Shimano pedals.

    Who knows... but have fun

    Also, something I learned yesterday after falling is KEEP PEDALLING. DO NOT STOP. Especially with clipless, it is then when and why of falling. Do not stop pedalling and do not lose momentum! You can't (atleast not with as much ease) put your foot down and push, you must keep pedaling!

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