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Old 04-17-02, 04:56 PM   #1
SSonnentag
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What are clipless pedals?

I feel really silly asking this question, but I'm new to cycling. I just picked up my bike yesterday. I have Shimano M424 Clipless pedals. How do I use them? Do I need special shoes? Why are they called clipless? They seem to have spring loaded clip thingys on them. Should I even bother using them for basic trail riding?

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Shawn
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Old 04-17-02, 05:19 PM   #2
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Clipless pedals are those that require special shoes. If you bought the bike at a shop they should have explained it to you and given you the option of other pedals.

Pedals with toe clips and straps that hold your feet on the pedal are the kind that used to be the standard for serious riders. Now it is the ones like you have.

If you are a new rider, you might want to get some of the toeclip type because clipless takes some getting used to. Not to mention the expense of special shoes which can get very expensive.
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Old 04-17-02, 11:40 PM   #3
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What Ijbike says is true, but you have the M424 which should have a wide plastic shell around the 'clip' part of the pedal. I've never tried them but the shell looks as if it could be possible to rest a normal shoe on it without having to use a proper cycling shoe with cleats (small metal plates that fit onto the bottom of your cycling shoes to enable you to 'clip' into your pedals mechanism).

It depends how much basic trail riding you want to do I suppose. If you just want to get out and about and go for the odd tour down the trails, why not think about getting a trail shoe (they look a bit like a hiking boot but not as big). At least then you can wear them with normal casual baggy-type gear and they wouldn't look out of place as opposed to a flashy race-type shoe. Shimano and Northwave have various types of trail shoe.

See the Clipless Pedals Good or Bad thread on the MTB board. If you do get some, remember to set the pedal tension to low (normally done with a small hex key on the side of your pedals, your bike shop should tell you how). This makes it easier to get your foot out quick! It feels wierd at first having your feet 'strapped' onto your bike, but once you get the hang of it, it will become second nature. Remember to take your foot out with plenty of time when you have to stop (traffic lights, junctions etc), because if you stop and you are still clipped in you will lose the battle against gravity. And yes, we've all done it.
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Old 04-18-02, 02:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by SSonnentag
I feel really silly asking this question, but I'm new to cycling. I just picked up my bike yesterday. I have Shimano M424 Clipless pedals. How do I use them? Do I need special shoes? Why are they called clipless? They seem to have spring loaded clip thingys on them. Should I even bother using them for basic trail riding?

Thanks.
Shawn
get those cycling shoes and ride!
clipless pedals were a geat revolution in the sport and they're not the standard for nothing. They will make your pedaling more natural, smooth and effcient. Toe clips suck balls.
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Old 04-19-02, 06:50 AM   #5
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I'd buy a second pair of platform pedals, you can get some for under $20.00. Save the clipless. Learn to ride with the platforms and learn to bunny-hop (jumping bike w/o any ramp!).

Once you've learn basic bike handling skills and feel comfortable on the bike, then go with the clipless shoes.

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Old 04-19-02, 07:08 AM   #6
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I STILL can't bunny hop.
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Old 04-19-02, 07:18 AM   #7
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Watch a cat jump!

He'll squat down and then push back and spring up! Hard to explain:

1) Move weight back and down
2) Pull up hard on the bars, while simultaneously pushing down and back on the pedals
3) Throw your weight forward and up!
4) Crash Hard
5) Find First-Aid kit
6) Grab a cold beer and turn on TV!

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Old 04-19-02, 07:24 AM   #8
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PEDALS WITHOUT CLIPS
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Old 04-19-02, 10:17 AM   #9
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If you are new to cycling, you should get some confidence in your bike handling ability before going clipless.
Many riders have a "failure-to-unclip" fall the first few times, and when they have to take emergency action. Experienced riders can unclip in good time, but they are cycling on autopilot, changing gears , braking and balancing without much effort, so can think ahead more effectively.
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Old 04-22-02, 02:13 PM   #10
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well it might be just me, but i put my feet down alot when i ride, not just at stops. so the idea of being "clipped" into my bike doesn't sit well with me. but another bothers me more... what if i crash or go over the bars? i don't know how the experienced riders do it, but the idea of dragging a bike down on top of me is enough to stay away from clipless pedals. just my $.02.

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Old 04-22-02, 02:35 PM   #11
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Well, as you get used to being "clipped-in" you also get really good at "clipping-out".

I ride with my dog usually leading the way. We we up in NC go down a sweet technical singletrack when she (for whatever reason) decided to stop right in front of me. I slammed the brakes and was going over the top! I was able to unclip both feet, hurdle the handlebars AND my dog!

You'll get to the point where it's second nature! You don't even think about unclipping, it just happens. Plus, there are too many times where I've ridden through sections that I would've dabbed my foot if I were on platforms or regular clipped pedals.

The advantages far outweigh the disadvantages!

I'd say go for it, but only after you're comfortable with your bike handling skills. Too much stimuli at once leads to overload!

L8R
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Old 04-22-02, 05:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by a2psyklnut
I'd buy a second pair of platform pedals, you can get some for under $20.00. Save the clipless. Learn to ride with the platforms and learn to bunny-hop (jumping bike w/o any ramp!).

Once you've learn basic bike handling skills and feel comfortable on the bike, then go with the clipless shoes.

I agree. Completely. It's important to first build up your skills while on platforms. This will give you more confidence to try "tricks" such as wheelies and trackstands with the knowledge that if you start to fall, you can just put a foot down. I'm in the process of refining and building up my skills right now. I was riding clipless pedals right when I got my first serious mtb, but after a recent accident that was quite bad, I've decided to get a pair of platforms, build up on balance, technique, and confidence and then switch back over to clipless.
Hope an opinion of a fellow beginner helps some...

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