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Thread: Clip technique

  1. #1
    King of the Hipsters
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    Clip technique

    I have the world's most physically fit human being for a middle son.
    He uses clips on his geared training bike because he wants to ride in his running shoes.

    When I ride with him I notice he reaches down and tightens his straps so that he can't pull out; and, when he comes to a situation where he mignt need to pull out, he reaches down and loosens his straps.
    I doubt whether any fixie riders would do that because it seems too hard to do, if a rider can't coast for a second while tightening or loosening the straps.

    I assume, then, that most fixie riders who use clips adjust their straps and then leave them at a tightness that lets them slip in and pull out and yet lets them use the whole circle of the spin, or at least enough of it.
    Perhaps, though, different riders do different things with their clips and straps.
    For example, in my early geared bike riding days, I used rather substantial clips without any straps, and this let me use more of the circle, but nowhere near as much as I use now riding clipless.

    Now that I ride fixed, I think sometimes I might like to get a set of pedals with clips and ride with them just for the learning experience.
    So, comments?

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    I have the world's most physically fit human being for a middle son.
    Can you substatiate this claim?

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    dances with bicycle 46x17's Avatar
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    I tighten my straps until they are snug and snug them a bit more for longer climbs. I use those little buttons at the end of my straps that make gripping them easy. In an emergency you can still unclip no problem (uless I wear my cleated shoes). Loosening them is not too hard either - just push down on the buckle against your shoe. Doing this on a fix is not as hard as it might seem. Personally I prefer clips and straps and think that anyone riding brakeless should use them rather than clipless.
    Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
    -- Soren Kierkegaard

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    Senior Citizen Discount fixedfiend's Avatar
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    I sometimes use both, but think about what a hassle that is if you ride fixed in the street everyday. Might be fine on the velodrome and you just cinch it tight and not worry about it till the race is over, but in the street.... i can see all the 0mph crashes now.

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    i ride with clips and i tighten them as much as i can when i get on the bike its not hard, as for emergencys..... i cant really pull them out put that just forces you to learn to trackstand well, otherwise you tip over and look funny

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    Aluminum. justin79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 46x17
    Personally I prefer clips and straps and think that anyone riding brakeless should use them rather than clipless.
    Why? I've never had any problems with them. You just have to make sure you keep them tight the same way I imagine you do with your clips.

  7. #7
    dot dot dot noumena9's Avatar
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    I found that with size 13 feet too much shoe had to go into the clip to get a tight feel but also be able to get out in a hurry, so I would leave my straps too lose to really help much. I switched to clipless a year ago and can't imagine going back. I get so much more torque out of my spin now. I know that I'm using a lot more muscles because when I first went clipless I could feel 3-4 muscle groups aching and developing.

    Personally I think that clipless gives you more of the 'direct' feel that makes fixed gear so appealing in the first place. I mean, sure it is annoying to have different shoes, but I ride to ride and I want the best ride I can set up.

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    dances with bicycle 46x17's Avatar
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    well I have seen people unclip out of clipless by accident that told me they never unlip. Some got hurt. The other reason for voting againt clipless on fix (without brakes) it that often sometimes you need to pitch your bike sideways, which caused your feet to shift (unclip). This might be more the case in urban areas where you need to dance around traffic. People I know that have been fixed for a while ride with clips and straps (I am sure they have good reason). Clips and straps are foolproof and will hold your feet in place no matter how you twist them. And, like any well-rounded cynic I have of course tried clipless for about 100 miles (eggbeaters candy). Might be my riding style but I unclipped twice during that time - never happened with straps. Back to straps again.
    Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
    -- Soren Kierkegaard

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    dot dot dot noumena9's Avatar
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    I think that the tradeoff is simple:

    clipless: much more torque applied in your circle, you can get your feet out much more easily. No broken ankles if you crash.

    clips: you can wear regular shoes.

    When I rode with straps I had my strap break twice and my clips come lose more than once, too. I don't think that it is correct to say that clips and straps are foolproof. Also, eggbeaters are only one kind of clip. Speedplays can be set up so that it is pretty much impossible to unclip accidentally. Metal cleat, metal linkage on the pedal. My looks can be cranked down so tight that I can barely get out and there is no way short of snapping my cleat (which can happen) to accidentally clip out... however the plastic on the cleat is as strong as a leather strap, easily. Additionally, the shoes you use contribute as much as anything to the feel. I use Shimano racing shoes with a carbon sole and a really nice strap/buckle setup. I don't like the MTB shoe style at all.

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    Aluminum. justin79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 46x17
    Clips and straps are foolproof and will hold your feet in place no matter how you twist them. And, like any well-rounded cynic I have of course tried clipless for about 100 miles (eggbeaters candy). Might be my riding style but I unclipped twice during that time - never happened with straps. Back to straps again.
    Can you adjust eggbeaters? The reason I didn't like the Time's I tried for a little while was because I couldn't adjust them so they were really tight. In the end, it all comes down to personal preference though.

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    pluralis majestatis redfooj's Avatar
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    ill take your son on in fisticuffs!

    yeah, i generally ride with it just snug enough so that i can easily clip back in should my feet leave the pedals somehow

    when i rode gear i would tighten and loosen the straps on-ride...but since it doesnt make much difference anyways, i leave them at 1 level and ride it there

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    roll'em high shants's Avatar
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    i always feel compelled to mention the ever-disparaged powergrips. they may lack the sex appeal of clips and straps, but they hold my feet in really damn tight, they are made of really strong material, they're really easy to get out of (and into), they don't wear down your shoes like clips and straps often do, they last a really long time, and they're easily adjustable for when you wear a larger/smaller pair of shoes (or even boots).

    the ole' $0.02.

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    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noumena9
    I found that with size 13 feet too much shoe had to go into the clip to get a tight feel but also be able to get out in a hurry, so I would leave my straps too lose to really help much. I switched to clipless a year ago and can't imagine going back. I get so much more torque out of my spin now. I know that I'm using a lot more muscles because when I first went clipless I could feel 3-4 muscle groups aching and developing.

    Personally I think that clipless gives you more of the 'direct' feel that makes fixed gear so appealing in the first place. I mean, sure it is annoying to have different shoes, but I ride to ride and I want the best ride I can set up.
    almost the same size 14 EEE feet - one crash too many where my feet youldn't come out. Personally I'll never go back and I would never recommend toe clips and straps to anyone. However, everyone's different and if they work for you then crack on.
    shameless POWERCRANK plug
    Recommended reading for all cyclists - Cyclecraft - Effective Cycling
    Condor Cycles - quite possibly the best bike shop in London
    Don't run red lights, wear a helmet, use hand signals, get some cycle lights(front and rear) and, FFS, don't run red lights!

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    Senior Citizen Discount fixedfiend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noumena9
    I don't like the MTB shoe style at all.
    Ah, you have never tried the Sidis I assume. The Dragons are the shizzzle.


  15. #15
    pluralis majestatis redfooj's Avatar
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    check out these badasses i just purchased


    my first set of clipless... gonna leave it on the MTB but will switch over to fixie for long rides

    140$ - 10% from coupon code W202

  16. #16
    dc pirate, 4evah. chimblysweep's Avatar
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    it's interesting for me to read this thread...
    i initially built my fixed with clipless, switched to clips after like three days, and then switched back to clipless just this week.
    i'm riding spd's and have trouble getting 'em tight enough-- i unclipped my mistake twice yesterday and it was quite annoying. still, though, with clipless I have about 1" less toverlap, and i feel more solid and strong.

  17. #17
    King of the Hipsters
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    Interesting input.

    I think I'll learn to do a track stand and then get some clips to broaden my experience.

    -----

    MKRG wrote:

    "Can you substatiate this claim?"

    Oh, I suppose I exaggerated a little for effect, but not much.

    He runs 800 meters, 1500 meters and Cross Country at the Varsity level and trains year around, devoting at least two hours a day to cardio-vascular training (he can't NOT do it).
    I have watched him stand on his hands and do 15 vertical pushups, touching his nose to the ground each time.
    He can effortlessly do form-perfect alternating single-handed pushups until the observer gets tired of counting (last night I watched him use one of those floor bars to increase the depth of his single-handed pushups, while holding a ten pound barbell in the free hand in order to increase the difficulty).
    And, he as fought in a certified Pankration (a form of mixed martial arts contest in which the players fight until one submits) and won decisively against a Marcelo Alonzo Brazilian JiuJitsu instructor they brought down from Seattle specifically to fight my son.

    My son goes to high school as a 155lb junior.
    Although his community generally acknowledges that he can fight and defeat anyone (including the super-heavyweight all state wrestler) in this, the largest high school in Oregon, no one fears him.
    They call him "White Boy," "Bible Thumper," "Goody Two-Shoes" and "Virgin" (he doesn't date as a matter of private conscience).
    However, they also do not bump into him and a space appears around him as he walks down the halls.
    Inside he aches to fight the super-heavyweight wrestler, and only wonders if he can dominate him without injuring him.

    Thanks for asking.

    Funny, I have nothing to do with my son's physical achievements (he does it on his own) and yet it gives me a lot of pleasure to see him doing so much with his body and his mind.
    I might have set an example during his early years, as I devoted about 15 years of my life to becoming the world's most powerful human being (I suffered a catastrophic disk failure and didn't succeed).
    He also had the example of my father who as a junior in highschool won the Light Heavyweight Golden Gloves and, who, while still in his teens fought then Light Heavyweight Champion of the World Archie Moore (Archie Moore retained his championship and my my dad described the experience as a rollercoaster ride through a meat grinder; although he did remain on his feet).
    I can't get my son to ride fixed, though.
    He's tried it but fails to see the point.

  18. #18
    Senior Member filtersweep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 46x17
    well I have seen people unclip out of clipless by accident that told me they never unlip. Some got hurt.
    If you ride your soft brass eggbeater cleats into the ground, of course they won't be as engaged... no different that using rotten straps.

    My commuter fixed gear uses eggbeater- so I can use a mtn shoe that I can walk on. The other uses a road cleat. No problems with either.

    I agree- the main reason NOT to go clipless is to keep your civilian shoes.

  19. #19
    Direct Hit Not Required BlastRadius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chimblysweep
    ...
    i'm riding spd's and have trouble getting 'em tight enough-- i unclipped my mistake twice yesterday and it was quite annoying. ...
    Maybe your cleats are worn out. That happens sometimes.

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    Cornucopia of Awesomeness baxtefer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cox
    MKRG wrote:

    "Can you substatiate this claim?"

    Oh, I suppose I exaggerated a little for effect, but not much.

    ........
    After reading your crash/broken ribs/punctured lung story. I am not surprised. geez.
    Them's some crazy genes you've got.
    {o,o**
    |)__)
    -"-"-

    O RLY?

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    dances with bicycle 46x17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by filtersweep
    If you ride your soft brass eggbeater cleats into the ground, of course they won't be as engaged... no different that using rotten straps.

    My commuter fixed gear uses eggbeater- so I can use a mtn shoe that I can walk on. The other uses a road cleat. No problems with either.

    I agree- the main reason NOT to go clipless is to keep your civilian shoes.
    If the eggbeater cleat wears out after 100 miles I'd be surprised! THe ones I tried were brand new. The main reason I ride with straps is because I think it is safer. There is no accidental unclipping when your clips are sound. Can't say that for clipless. Look at all the couriers riding brakeless fixes for hours every day and count how many run clipless.
    Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
    -- Soren Kierkegaard

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    Senior Member peripatetic's Avatar
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    so why do the MTB shoes have all the cleating on the soles? Do MTBers really run up and down rocky slopes with their bike over-shoulder like in all those great fantastic SUV commercials? You're still just riding a bike, right? It's not like MTB pedals are that much rockier than road pedals. Or is it just another example of market diversification? I mean, they just look so...I dunno, military?

    Explain, please.


  23. #23
    dot dot dot noumena9's Avatar
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    my belief is that the messengers that ride with clips do it so as to wear normal shoes. In NYC I see many more fixie messengers riding clipless (anecdotal observation -- not science.)

  24. #24
    THC Freedom Fighter karmical's Avatar
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    i ride clipless on geared bikes....

    for fixed.....took it back to basics

    clips & straps...

    to be honest the only time i adjust my straps is when i ride in different shoes, and i keep them very loose as to be able to get out quick...

    even in my hardest sprints, i have never unclipped a clipless or upstrapped clips and straps....

    i guess some of you guys are just wayyy more stronger and faster than i....

    Hercules...Hercules

    btw ken...

    props to your son..

    grappling rules....all disciplines...

    thats one the things i truly miss about law enforcement is the challenge of real life struggle of affecting the arrest....and sadly i have not trained hard since leaving the department, since my life doesn't depend on it anylonger i can not take it to the same level in my mind...

  25. #25
    I am an incurable. delay's Avatar
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    I will give my thumbs down to clips. I know that this is completely personal, but truth is I was lazy. I would let them get too lose, not adjust them properly ect. It all seemed like too much of a pain to me. Right now I ride either clipless or powergrips. I don't see any reason not to use both. It takes approximately 2 minutes to change pedals. I just put the powergrips on when I don't wan't to mess with shoes. If I know that I am just going one place, then it is clipless.

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