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Old 06-05-08, 12:55 PM   #1
Smallguy
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confidence clipped in

Hi everyone

besides the stop being a big baby remarks what else can I do to improve my confidence when clipped in

I ride time Attack pedals and have used wellgo pedals as well but when I'm riding tight single track I very hesitant to clip in because my balance is not the best and I've had a few nasty spills which I would have avoided if I could unclip in time.

the single track where I ride is very rocky and rooty so falling in it is not fun, since soft spots are not always there for falling on


any tips on improving ones confidence or riding single track in general ??
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Old 06-05-08, 01:06 PM   #2
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More seat time is the best cure all! Wish I could offer some hidden secret.
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Old 06-05-08, 01:26 PM   #3
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Visualize and execute.
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Old 06-05-08, 01:35 PM   #4
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Go somewhere with soft ground and practice clipping in and out, especially at different angles of "falling". Do track stands or other tricks that may cause you to quickly lose balance and need to clip out.
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Old 06-05-08, 01:54 PM   #5
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Go somewhere with soft ground and practice clipping in and out, especially at different angles of "falling". Do track stands or other tricks that may cause you to quickly lose balance and need to clip out.
Yeah, that is the best advice. And stop being such a wussy!

Seriously though, I find I am much less confident on platforms after being on clipless for quite some time now.
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Old 06-05-08, 02:18 PM   #6
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Go somewhere with soft ground and practice clipping in and out, especially at different angles of "falling". Do track stands or other tricks that may cause you to quickly lose balance and need to clip out.
How about doing it in a doorway so you don't have to actually fall?
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Old 06-05-08, 02:19 PM   #7
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Seriously though, I find I am much less confident on platforms after being on clipless for quite some time now.
Me too. Much less connected feel on platforms, plus I end up getting whacked by a pedal in the shins all too often. I can't ride platforms off-road anymore.
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Old 06-05-08, 02:47 PM   #8
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Here's what worked for me:

Last year, as an over-aged beginner with lousy balance, I tried clipless pedals. I fell during almost evey ride. Never at speed; always during slow, technical stuff (tight turns, rocks, roots, etc). I figured it wasn't worth it, so I took the clipless pedals off and rode the rest of the year w/platforms and stiff shoes and had a blast...no worries, just ride.

This spring, (year two!) I put the clipless pedals back on the bike, and guess what? It's easy! I don't fall, and I rarely even think about the pedals.
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Old 06-05-08, 03:07 PM   #9
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What worked for me when I was learning was to start out with the spring tension very loose, allowing for really easy clipouts. Then when I felt more confident I tightened it up a little bit.
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Old 06-05-08, 06:25 PM   #10
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The most important thing is to just keep doing it. Also, you need to accept that you are going to fall. More likely than not it won't be that bad and the pedals won't even be something you think about.

One thing that I found helped my confidence (and still does) is ride with people who are much faster than me. When I see them take a turn at speed or clean some section I know its possible, and I have some reference of how its done.
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Old 06-05-08, 06:31 PM   #11
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My mum just had her first "woops, didn't clip out!" crash the other day, now I can call her a real cyclist.

Chris F's doorway idea rocks so damn hard.
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Old 06-05-08, 06:38 PM   #12
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Chris F's doorway idea rocks so damn hard.
Wish I could take credit. The guy at the LBS gave me that advice when I bought my first set of clipless pedals/shoes from him. Gotta love the LBS, I doubt I'd have gotten that advice from a discount web page.
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Old 06-05-08, 06:50 PM   #13
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The door frame thing also works for rollers. I think in this case though, a grass yard is far superior to the doorframe or hallway. Why? I think you can simulate much more out there and really get better. In a door you are not moving so you have a better idea of when the fall is coming and can control it better. Go outside and ride as slow as you can while turning back and forth. This is what MTB riding is like . . . you will start to tip when your foot is in the worst spot on your weakest side when you are applying power . . . and it is a ***** to get out. Falling on grass does not hurt. Not even weenies like me. Also do track stands out there. Go faster and stop and try to stay up for 1 second then go. Then 5 seconds. Put out plastic cups that you have to slalom around and have someone yell out stop at random times. You have to grab both brakes full on when you hear that. Then try to bunny hop and do some of that stuff (sorry, do not know the name) where you stop and bounce and rock to get on and over something.
This is all stuff I am starting to do now to get better. And I road for 2 years clipless on the road. MTB clipless is a totally different beast.
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Old 06-05-08, 07:17 PM   #14
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Then try to bunny hop and do some of that stuff (sorry, do not know the name) where you stop and bounce and rock to get on and over something.
Trials.

Very, very simplified trials.
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Old 06-05-08, 08:07 PM   #15
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My first ride with time Atac's ended up with me popping a wheelie off balance and 3rd degree seperating my rt shoulder. So everything after that was easy! I don't recommend learning that way, although Vicodin is a good buzz.
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Old 06-05-08, 08:41 PM   #16
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Learn to trackstand. Ride around in your yard and slow down as much as possible, just before you lose your balance pedal off. Repeat for awhile and you will learn to stop for a few seconds without unclipping. It does woders for your confidence in technical sections.
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Old 06-06-08, 06:36 AM   #17
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Doorway gives you muscle memory then you go outside to simulate riding. Just going outside is going to end up with more falls. More about safety and confidence than being a wuss.
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Old 06-06-08, 06:47 AM   #18
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More time in the saddle with your clipless setup is the cure for sure. We all had to go through this learning stage. Before long, it will all be instinct!

Oh yeah - quit being such a wuss! (joking - of course!)

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Old 06-06-08, 11:14 AM   #19
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I haven't used Time pedals, but if possible, set them up with loose spring tension.
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Old 06-06-08, 11:38 AM   #20
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I've been using SPD-type pedals for years. I've taken a number of spills on the trail but I always come out of the clips. The trick is to set the clip tension as loose as you can without accidentally pulling out. Unfortunately I don't think you can do this with the Times, they don't have a tension adjustment.
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Old 06-06-08, 01:10 PM   #21
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Before you know it you won't even think about it. It didn't take me that long to get used to it, now I would feel completely uncomfortable not clipped in. You might want to set yourself up against a tree or wall and just clip/unclip over and over again. That helped me quite a bit.
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Old 06-06-08, 08:26 PM   #22
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i'm in the same situation. i used to ride with straps, and upgraded to clipless. the transition was nothing for riding on my road bike - i was used to the idea. i've been riding recently for the first time off road and clipless.

struggling in tight areas too - i'm used to twisting my ankles for leans when moving slow. i clip out at the most inconvenient times... either that or i DON'T clip out, but can't get the right lean (it's a habit i'll break).

to solve my problem i'm going to drop the tension on the pedals (running Shimano M520's) so it's easy to clip in and out. i can clip out and still balance, but i find it a hassle to clip back in 'cause the tricky bits last a while - i just don't have the time to pull a revolution or two - gotta be in in maybe half a crank!

maybe you can drop tension too? if not, just ride and get used to it. takes time, for sure.
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Old 06-06-08, 09:13 PM   #23
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i'm in the same situation. i used to ride with straps, and upgraded to clipless. the transition was nothing for riding on my road bike - i was used to the idea. i've been riding recently for the first time off road and clipless.

struggling in tight areas too - i'm used to twisting my ankles for leans when moving slow. i clip out at the most inconvenient times... either that or i DON'T clip out, but can't get the right lean (it's a habit i'll break).

to solve my problem i'm going to drop the tension on the pedals (running Shimano M520's) so it's easy to clip in and out. i can clip out and still balance, but i find it a hassle to clip back in 'cause the tricky bits last a while - i just don't have the time to pull a revolution or two - gotta be in in maybe half a crank!

maybe you can drop tension too? if not, just ride and get used to it. takes time, for sure.
Don't drop the tension on the pedals. Shifting your weight will work better.
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Old 06-07-08, 03:30 PM   #24
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Don't drop the tension on the pedals. Shifting your weight will work better.
i dropped the tension down to min for today's ride with the guys. i find it a lot easier to clip in and out - i prefer it this way. takes almost no effort to clip out... i felt a lot better and didn't mind attacking the hard/tricky bits as much - i did better than i normally do! (psyche thing, i'm sure)

i don't like plats 'cause i slip off the front or back and shred my shins/calves. i like the clipless for this reason - i don't really use the "pull up" advantage for my trail riding, only for roads.
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Old 06-07-08, 04:02 PM   #25
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Just remember that you can have the tension tight for road/non-technical riding, then when the riding gets technical just re-loosen them.
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