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Old 08-03-04, 10:01 AM   #1
bboseley
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A Little More Help - Before I Crash!

I can say this: There is little similarity in riding a 1960s style cruiser and a 2004 road bike. I need some hints before I do great bodily damage to myself.

I have done less than 5 miles on the new bike, so I know many issues will go away with time. However I do have a question or two.

How do you get the second foot into the toe clip? I can now manage to get the first foot in, shove off and get under way but I simply cannot get the other foot in. So I ride around with the strap scraping the pavement.

This will probably get better as I gain confidence, but I seem to have trouble riding a straight line particularly at slower speeds. Also I have the same problem when I grab the drops at any speed. Am I fighting the bike with my upper body?

One more while Im at it. Say I have to slow down approaching a side street. I then make the 90* (not literally of course) left turn. However there is danger lurking on the left side of the road. I seem to really have trouble controlling the bike trying to miss the offroad danger yet staying out of the middle of the street.

This is the first bike I have ridden where I cant reach the ground from the saddle, but Im getting the hang of that. I did manage to fall over on my very first start.

Hints, tips, etc. will be appreciated.

P.S. I love the ride!
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Old 08-03-04, 11:03 AM   #2
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To get the second foot in, place the ball of your foot on the backside (not the bottom) of the pedal and with slight pressure, draw your foot backwards. Your pedal will flip up to the upright position and you can slide your toe forward into the clip. It's a backward and then forward motion with your foot. It takes practice.
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Old 08-03-04, 11:36 AM   #3
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Getting the second foot in - The weight of the clip makes the front of the pedal hang down. Brush the toe of your shoe towards the rear across the back of the pedal to flip the pedal into the level position then slip your foot forwards into the clip. This assumes you dont have cleats on the bottom of the shoe. Dont do this until you have got some speed, after a bit of practice you will be able to do it immediately.

Wobbling - this has something to do with the steering geometry, increased stability means less manoeuvrability and vice-versa. However changing the handle bar position kight ease things a bit and keep the grip relaxed. When going fast down hills with my hands on the drops, the steering is more stable if I have the tops of the bars pressing against my forearms just behind the wrists.
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Old 08-04-04, 05:43 AM   #4
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Getting into clips takes some practice. The tips posted above are right on. It takes practice and patience. After you master it, it will become second nature. I rode with clips after getting my first road bike. I've never gone to clipless pedals and cleats since I've always enjoyed riding in street shoes. Just switched to a recumbent and had Power Grip straps intalled. They work similar to a toe clip, in fact I like them better, although they are a bit different to get into. You have to insert your foot at a very slight angle.

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Old 08-04-04, 06:44 AM   #5
RonH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bboseley
How do you get the second foot into the toe clip?
When I think of the days when I rode with toe clips it scares the hell out of me. I got my foot stuck in them too many times and couldn't get my foot loose.

My advice: Spend a few weeks becoming familiar with the bike and then upgrade to clipless. I've never had my foot/shoe stuck in any clipless pedal and they're MUCH easier to get into and out of.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bboseley
This will probably get better as I gain confidence, but I seem to have trouble riding a straight line particularly at slower speeds. Also I have the same problem when I grab the drops at any speed. Am I fighting the bike with my upper body?
It's tough for almost anyone to ride a straight line at slow speeds.
To ride well in the drops requires that your core muscles (lower back, abs, etc,) be in pretty decent shape. You don't want to just place all your weight on the drops. Your core muscles support your body so you use the drops to steer and to get into a more aero position.
Ride on the hoods with only occasional attempts at riding on the drops until you get these muscles developed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bboseley
Say I have to slow down approaching a side street. I then make the 90* (not literally of course) left turn. However there is danger lurking on the left side of the road. I seem to really have trouble controlling the bike trying to miss the offroad danger yet staying out of the middle of the street.
Can you explain what this danger is. I'm having trouble understanding your problem and the situation.

Good luck with the riding. You'll get the hang of it.
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Old 08-04-04, 11:52 AM   #6
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There is nothing wrong with toe clips if you use them correctly (with smoothe-soled shoes and a lose strap). You do need some bike handling skills before you should attempt toe clips.
I would suggest taking them off, and gaining some confidence in your new bike, esp in low-speed manouvres.
Every new bike feels different, and you will soon get used to the agile feel. Practice in an empty parking lot, with slaloms, emergency braking, track stands.
You dont have to ride in the drops very often. the usual cruising position is on the brake hoods. You then have the option of a lower hold for headwinds. I hardly ever use the drops.
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