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Old 04-24-08, 06:54 AM   #1
David in PA
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Clipless Pedal Story - Lesson Learned

Hello,

Here's a little story that taught me to check my gear daily.

On my high-racer, I was coasting down a hill about 17 mph on a straight road and then came to tight turn. I slowed somewhat, and as soon as I entered the turn my wheels fell into a sharp dip built-in to the the road. The dip wasn't large or deep, but it contained jagged rocks which my tires hit hard. My rear tire went flat in an instant, causing me to lose some control. I zig-zagged a bit on the road as I slowly gained control.

I unclipped my left foot, but was unable to unclip my right foot! (I'm moving at very slow speed at this point.) I turned my ankle outward as far as possible--but it still wouldn't unclip. Thankfully, I was leaning just a bit towards my left, unclipped foot; otherwise, I would have went down hard to my right on to the pavement and roadside curb. Finally, I twisted my ankle outward with one quick, hard motion, and my shoe finally unclipped.

My right clip-in pedal looked fine. I then checked my shoe's cleat, and it was "spun" about 45-degrees--one of the screws holding the cleat was gone! I had no idea the screw had even been loose because I hadn't checked it in a long time. I've learned my lesson almost the hard way.

The coincidence is kind of amazing I think: At the exact moment I hit a rock causing my tire to go flat around a curve, the screw decides to fall out of my shoe's cleat.

David in FL
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Old 04-24-08, 08:16 AM   #2
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Thank you for the lesson.

I have never had a cleat come loose, so now is the time to start checking.
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Old 04-24-08, 08:37 AM   #3
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Just when you don't check the oil in the car...it is too low and not a drop of oil in sight.. Yea there are things in any sport or life in general that need to be checked... it is called general maintenance. I have to admit I am not good at it either...SO +1 on the reminder
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Old 04-24-08, 09:49 AM   #4
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Sometimes, instead of stopping and getting out of the pedals in a hurry, you could keep pedaling with only one foot clipped in and gain some stability by maintaining or adding a little speed to maneuver yourself to a safe and stable location where you could position yourself without falling over.

Always remember you could push and pull with the foot that is clipped in.
Look and turn your head towards where you want to go, not where you don't want to go.. if you look down, most likely you will go down.
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Old 04-24-08, 01:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David in PA View Post
Hello,

Here's a little story that taught me to check my gear daily.... I unclipped my left foot, but was unable to unclip my right foot!... one of the screws holding the cleat was gone...
Speedplay Frogs won't do this. I don't know if there are others that won't, but I know that Frogs won't.
~
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Old 04-24-08, 06:33 PM   #6
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I always use locktite blue on my cleat screws.
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"It hurts so good..."
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Old 04-24-08, 07:51 PM   #7
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Uh, Frogs will do this. Got my shoe tossed off the pedal when the retention screw
came loose. Granted won't trap the shoe on the pedal, but can lose a screw. That
is why new cleats have screws coated with dry type locktite variants. Always use
loktite on a screw when you R&R and as the OP said check occasionally. ATB shoes
with recessed cleats are less likely to rotate a singly screwed cleat so far you can't
unclip as the recess limits motion. OTOH I recall a shoe trapped on an SPD single
sided pedal about 9 yrs ago by a loose screw that backed out enough to lock the
shoe in place.
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Old 04-25-08, 04:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sch View Post
Uh, Frogs will do this. Got my shoe tossed off the pedal when the retention screw
came loose. Granted won't trap the shoe on the pedal, but can lose a screw. ...
Well, yes the screws can loosen--but the bit in red is what most people find more annoying/dangerous.
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Old 05-04-08, 07:45 PM   #9
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Wow! Thanks for the little story! I'll be checking all the screws on my shoes now and trying some locktite!
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Old 05-05-08, 05:51 AM   #10
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Yep, I've seen it happen several times before to guys I ride with. Look, SPD, I guess any system where you twist to exit the pedal can do it if you lose screws. The moral should be, don't ride with a screw loose. Glad to hear you weren't hurt.
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Old 05-05-08, 05:09 PM   #11
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First crash tonight. Well, okay, not a crash..... but I still landed on my side.

Practising releasing from the pedals and of course I got stuck and off balance. I finally got them set loose enough that I can get out easily enough. But I'm still going to be careful for a few days.
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Old 05-05-08, 08:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
The moral should be, don't ride with a screw loose.
From what people have told me, I should never ride.
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Old 05-20-08, 10:40 PM   #13
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I was a pretty active speedy courier 30 years ago, making decent money with a small car, and it was surprising how often there would be one screwed up situation on the road that was dangerous by itself, but was mostly just a distraction for something else coming along to finish you off. The same old one two punch, with 2 things working together in perfect harmony to create a disaster.

It was only about 3 times in about a year and a half, but they were the kinds of things that had almost no odds at all of happening one after the other. It did set me up to be hyper alert when there was something wrong on the road. Don't rubber neck, watch out for something else going wrong.
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