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Old 06-28-07, 02:48 PM   #1
JimS_99
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Are clipless pedals that hard to get used to??

I have a question about clipless pedals…. First let me say that I'm 58 years old and been riding bikes for the past 52 years, no racing or anything competitive, just ride for fun & fitness. About 2 months ago I bought a new bike, a Specialized Carbon Epic, great bike, like it a lot, very different from anything I’ve ridden in the past.

Now comes my problem, I’ve ridden for 52 years with flat pedals, put flats on the new bike and no problems. Been hearing so much about clipless pedals that I figured it couldn’t hurt to switch so I put Crank Bros 4Ti’s on it, even bought my first pair of dedicated biking shoes. This is where my problems start.

I don’t think I’ve wiped out 5 times in the past year, since I put the clipless pedals on I’ve wiped out 5 times in one month, all slow speed crashes (more like tipping over) nothing major, just a bruised ego and some scraped up bike parts. I feel like I’m a stronger pedaler with the clipless stuff but I just can’t seem to get used to having my feet held in place. Lately I’ve started unclipping myself in advance when I think I may need a foot plant in the near future. This starts a whole new set of problems, like going down a technical section and trying to reclip or keep going without loosing momentum.

Any suggestions about clipless or is the problem that after 52 years of flats that I may never get used to clipless???? People tell me that I’m not giving them enough of a chance, but how many times do I have to crash and ruin bike parts?? I'm starting to get really disgusted with myself and the clipless stuff. Something just seems unnatural about having my feet attached to the pedals and having to always think about unclipping and reclipping. Also I like riding with a good pair of Montrail Hardrock sneakers, I like the flexibility of wearing normal shoes and not feel like I'm wearing ski boots when I'm walking. Hope someone has some words of advice!! Soon as I post this I'm going to remove the clipless pedals and put the flats back on.

Am I giving up too soon on the clipless? I sorta feel like a quitter.

Last edited by JimS_99; 06-30-07 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 06-28-07, 02:57 PM   #2
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Did you adjust the force needed to unclip? That could prevent falling, then again, I don't use clipless pedals, so IDK.
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Old 06-28-07, 03:05 PM   #3
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Did you adjust the force needed to unclip? That could prevent falling, then again, I don't use clipless pedals, so IDK.
you can't ajust unclip force on egg beaters. you can however adjust the angle that you unclip. if you read the manual with the eggies, it should tell you-you basically use one side of the cleat(thing you screwed onto the bottom of your shoe) to unclip at a certain degree, i think its like 22deg. and then you can flip the cleat over if you want 15degree disengage.

as for falling and losing hope, i'd keep them on and keep on riding. everyones fallen a million times with clipless pedals, it just takes a while to get used to. if it doesn't go away in a week, keep practicing, practice at your park, with lots of grass.


... Specialized Carbon Epic + Crank Bros 4Ti ...
wow, all that comes at a hefty price tag for a first pair of clipless and a "once in a while-new bike" for someone who doesn't race... congrats?
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Old 06-28-07, 03:29 PM   #4
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I have played around with the various clip release angles, I like it set where I have it set right now. The release angle isn't the problem, the problem seems to be me constantly forgetting to unclip when I'm coming to a stop. I just kinda slowly tip over while wondering my feet are stuck in place LOL!! I know I look like a comic book character LOL (at least I can laugh at myself). Last week I was being followed by 2 pretty hot females that I didn't know, I knew they wanted to stop & talk. As I came to a stop next to a tree I just tipped over... they laughed, asked if I was OK and kept on going.. Really hurt my pride on that one!! LOL LOL

The other problem is I'm used to sliding around in the woods and just dropping a foot to keep upright, with clipless I slide and my foot is stuck in place, next thing I know I'm on my back!! LOL

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Old 06-28-07, 03:38 PM   #5
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That is, post pics.
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Old 06-28-07, 03:43 PM   #6
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Pics of what?
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Old 06-28-07, 03:54 PM   #7
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Pics of what?
The bike.
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Old 06-28-07, 04:02 PM   #8
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After 52 years of riding platforms, you need to break the habit of simply pulling your foot up to get out of the pedal quickly and retrain yourself to twist your foot to get the cleat to disengage. Practice, practice, practice. Eventually, it becomes second nature.
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Old 06-28-07, 04:26 PM   #9
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After 52 years of riding platforms, you need to break the habit of simply pulling your foot up to get out of the pedal quickly and retrain yourself to twist your foot to get the cleat to disengage. Practice, practice, practice. Eventually, it becomes second nature.
yepp, thats the number one reason leading to falls. wanting to pull up, and then panicing. instead, erase the idea of pulling up, and replace with twist outward.
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Old 06-28-07, 04:42 PM   #10
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Pics!!!
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Old 06-28-07, 04:49 PM   #11
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and don't tell us you don't have a camera...
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Old 06-28-07, 07:16 PM   #12
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Thanks for al lthe replies! I guess all I have to do is put in the time with the clipless and it should start coming together. Guess I was looking for miracles too fast, too soon.

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Old 06-28-07, 07:18 PM   #13
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High price doesn't guarantee easier learning. Why don't you start with something like Shimano pd-m520 with multi-release cleats. They may release too easily, but this exactly what you need now - enjoying the benefits of clipless without the fear of falling.
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Old 06-28-07, 08:14 PM   #14
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High price doesn't guarantee easier learning. Why don't you start with something like Shimano pd-m520 with multi-release cleats. They may release too easily, but this exactly what you need now - enjoying the benefits of clipless without the fear of falling.
I disagree. Learn with the pedals you will be using. It's a matter of muscle memory, not tension in the pedal.
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Old 06-28-07, 09:01 PM   #15
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'muscle memory'? I don't think this is a good advice for rider with 52 years of flat pedals. It will be much easier for him to just give up.
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Old 06-28-07, 09:12 PM   #16
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pics or die
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Old 06-28-07, 09:27 PM   #17
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High price doesn't guarantee easier learning. Why don't you start with something like Shimano pd-m520 with multi-release cleats.
Hey are the multi-release cleats worth the extra money? I use the 520's with the original cleats and I have the same problem as the OP...just not really feelin' the love yet...
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Old 06-28-07, 09:38 PM   #18
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They are not considered for 'competitive' usage. Shimano even includes warning about them releasing too easily. But for learning clipless they are great.
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Old 06-29-07, 03:03 AM   #19
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Ive never ridden clipless until this afternoon.
My stepdad has a hybrid Malvern Star sitting in the garage, its a brand new 06 model...riden it twice (Dont we know that story? Haha)...
Before he got home today i took it for a spin, just got back inside. Now bearing in mind ive neve ridden clipless before, i was expecting to just crash and burn miserably..
I loved it!
I picked it up really easily (Or maybe i wasnt riding them for long enough to balls it up lol).
They are shimano pedals, not sure what model, same with the shoes.
Are there any decent Platform/Clipless combo pedals on the market apart from the Shimano 424's, that arent more than say, 95 aussie dollars?
Id also like to be able to use the Shimano shoes, to save buying a whole new pair..
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Old 06-29-07, 06:48 AM   #20
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Quote:
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'muscle memory'? I don't think this is a good advice for rider with 52 years of flat pedals. It will be much easier for him to just give up.
Please explain why it is not good advice. Please explain why you feel that a rider cannot adapt to new equipment.
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Old 06-29-07, 09:14 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alumrock12
you can't ajust unclip force on egg beaters. you can however adjust the angle that you unclip. if you read the manual with the eggies, it should tell you-you basically use one side of the cleat(thing you screwed onto the bottom of your shoe) to unclip at a certain degree, i think its like 22deg. and then you can flip the cleat over if you want 15degree disengage.
You can adjust them even more. If you point the cleat towards your big toe it will release you a few degrees sooner.

I'd suggest that the OP adjust his cleat and keep practicing. Everybody has falls as you described when you start clipless. After a while the clip out motion will become automatic.
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Old 06-29-07, 04:25 PM   #22
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I'm going out for a couple hour ride right now. Hopefully my muscle memory wil start kicking in sometime soon!
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Old 06-29-07, 04:28 PM   #23
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I'm going out for a couple hour ride right now. Hopefully my muscle memory wil start kicking in sometime soon!
attaboy. stick with it, you'll get it in no time.
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Old 06-29-07, 05:56 PM   #24
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I don't know how others feel about this, but I won't ride out of the saddle unless I'm on clipless. It took me several rides to get used to them, but now, I won't go back.
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