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Unclipping quickly after having to stop very quickly - tips and drills?

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Unclipping quickly after having to stop very quickly - tips and drills?

Old 02-21-16, 07:53 AM
  #1  
Inpd
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Unclipping quickly after having to stop very quickly - tips and drills?

Hi,

I think this belongs in safety.

I've been riding clipless for 6 months now. I ride the Shimano SPD 520 and 530s pedals as they are easy to clip in and out of. I have no trouble clipping in and out under regular situation such as I know I need to stop in 20 feet.

However, a few times I've had to slam on my brakes to avoid a crash only that's when I just can't unclip in time and fall to the ground. I know I'm panicking but is there a nice tip someone can feed me or a drill to practice? I prefer to clip out with the pedal at 12 o'clock and twist and find its faster than clipping out at 6 o'clock and twisting out.
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Old 02-21-16, 08:30 AM
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Don't put yourself in situations where you have to panic stop...

There has been countless situations for me, that if I believe I will have to stop, I unclip ahead of time. Many of those, I don't have to come to a stop and I proceed. Since riding clip less, I haven't ever had to panic stop.

You are doing something wrong having fallen from quick stops clipped in, a few times.
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Old 02-21-16, 08:32 AM
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I'll bite and answer as if this is a serious question and not more trolling.... I think your first issue is the 12 business. If you unclip at the bottom of the pedal stroke you can bring some leg into it, longer lever and less extreme twisting of the ankle. Also, your foot will be near the ground where you want it when stopping. Otherwise, more time on the bike and you will be more comfortable at slow to no speed and less likely to panic.
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Old 02-21-16, 08:46 AM
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Inpd
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Originally Posted by 02Giant View Post
Don't put yourself in situations where you have to panic stop...

There has been countless situations for me, that if I believe I will have to stop, I unclip ahead of time. Many of those, I don't have to come to a stop and I proceed. Since riding clip less, I haven't ever had to panic stop.

You are doing something wrong having fallen from quick stops clipped in, a few times.
Right, I've been doing that for a while now, but sometimes I'm riding and a kid will jump out in front of me and I literally have 5 seconds to stop.
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Old 02-21-16, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Inpd View Post
sometimes I'm riding and a kid will jump out in front of me and I literally have 5 seconds to stop.
1) Stop riding on the sidewalk, not a lot of children leaping out into traffic on the road.
B) With 5 seconds to stop any competent rider can calmly and confidently come to a well controlled stop with no drama from any speed, 5 seconds is a long time.

-Bandera
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Old 02-21-16, 09:01 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by Inpd View Post
Right, I've been doing that for a while now, but sometimes I'm riding and a kid will jump out in front of me and I literally have 5 seconds to stop.
I would not call 5 seconds a panic stop. But, to answer your question, the first thing you need to do is adjust the pedal binding tension. Secondly, get out and ride more - the only way you'll become more comfortable and proficient and riding SPDs in, say, traffic, is to get out and ride SPDs in traffic.
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Old 02-21-16, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
1) Stop riding on the sidewalk, not a lot of children leaping out into traffic on the road.
B) With 5 seconds to stop any competent rider can calmly and confidently come to a well controlled stop with no drama from any speed, 5 seconds is a long time.

-Bandera
Come on you can do better than that! How about stop riding in playgrounds!

Seriously, I ride a MUP alot and it doubles as a walking track. Its quite curvy and sometimes I come around a corner at 15+ mph and a kid is there. I can't ride around them so I have to slam on the brakes. I think my estimate of 5 seconds is generous now that I think about it. More like 1 to 2 seconds.

Should I unclip first and then brake?

I've set the tension on the pedals to the bare minimum.
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Old 02-21-16, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Inpd View Post
Come on you can do better than that! How about stop riding in playgrounds!

Seriously, I ride a MUP alot and it doubles as a walking track. Its quite curvy and sometimes I come around a corner at 15+ mph and a kid is there. I can't ride around them so I have to slam on the brakes. I think my estimate of 5 seconds is generous now that I think about it. More like 1 to 2 seconds.

Should I unclip first and then brake?

I've set the tension on the pedals to the bare minimum.
15+ mph on a blind corner with the possibility of pedestrian foot traffic? You are going too fast. You are outriding your line of sight.
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Old 02-21-16, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Inpd View Post
I ride a MUP alot and it doubles as a walking track. Its quite curvy and sometimes I come around a corner at 15+ mph and a kid is there. I can't ride around them so I have to slam on the brakes.
Try riding at an appropriate speed for conditions instead.
Knowing that children have been and are likely to be "around a corner" slow down before the curve and proceed with a well controlled stop/avoid or resume. Never override your sight picture in any circumstances, "slam on the brakes" is not a viable riding technique on or off the MUP.

It's not about clipless pedals, if you "just can't unclip in time and fall to the ground" it's not the hardware at fault.

-Bandera
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Old 02-21-16, 09:42 AM
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Great. Let me rephrase my question

Thanks for your help. Let me rephrase my question.

Is it even possible to stop suddenly and unclip in 1-2 seconds?


From my questions on going clipless in the Road forum when new to them I was always made to feel as a newbie it was all my own fault I was falling over!

@Bandera. This isn't a well populated bike trail, once every 5 rides I'll get into the situation with a kid/dog/slow-cyclist. If I ride like they around every corner I may as well not ride the trail.

Thanks again.
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Old 02-21-16, 09:47 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by TenSpeedV2 View Post
15+ mph on a blind corner with the possibility of pedestrian foot traffic? You are going too fast. You are outriding your line of sight.
I agree. I ride on a popular MUP with blind corners and I keep the speed around 10 mph except in the corners where I put on the breaks. Shift to your easiest gear and practice spinning while you enjoy the scenery.
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Old 02-21-16, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Inpd View Post
Thanks for your help. Let me rephrase my question.

Is it even possible to stop suddenly and unclip in 1-2 seconds?
Yes, although stopping in two seconds requires speed less than 22-26 MPH beyond which you'll exceed the maximum 0.5 - 0.6g deceleration allowed by the center of gravity relationship to the front wheel contact patch of a rider atop a diamond frame bicycle. The higher number requires getting behind the saddle to move your center of gravity aft. A one second stopping time dictates half the speed.

This isn't a well populated bike trail once every 5 rides I'll get into the situation with a kid/dog/slow-cyclist. If I ride like they around every corner I may as well not ride the trail.
Some parts of some multi-use paths are inappropriate for cycling at all but the lowest exertion levels.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 02-21-16 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 02-21-16, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Inpd View Post
Thanks for your help. Let me rephrase my question.

Is it even possible to stop suddenly and unclip in 1-2 seconds?


From my questions on going clipless in the Road forum when new to them I was always made to feel as a newbie it was all my own fault I was falling over!

@Bandera. This isn't a well populated bike trail, once every 5 rides I'll get into the situation with a kid/dog/slow-cyclist. If I ride like they around every corner I may as well not ride the trail.

Thanks again.
Yes. It is possible to unclip really quickly if you have to. You should be able to twist out in whatever position your foot is in, and that takes only a couple of seconds. As for stopping, it depends on how fast you are going. I would be worried about locking up the wheels and going down.

Agree with others that if you find yourself in a position to make emergency stops, you are going too fast for the trail. 15 mph going into a blind corner is too fast, especially if you know pedestrians, children or dogs might be in your path.
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Old 02-21-16, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Inpd View Post
From my questions on going clipless in the Road forum when new to them I was always made to feel as a newbie it was all my own fault I was falling over!.
Sometimes even the 41 gets it right.......

-Bandera
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Old 02-21-16, 10:12 AM
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First, you are going too fast for conditions, but that has been covered. Second, yes it is possble to quickly unclip after a quick stop. CX racers do it all the time. If this is a thing you need to do, then practice it.
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Old 02-21-16, 10:27 AM
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Just relax. If you come to a stop and you're reasonably balanced you won't instantly fall over. With a little practice you have plenty of time to unclip and put your foot down.

And start riding on the roads...
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Old 02-21-16, 10:35 AM
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I've found that adrenaline makes it a lot easier to unclip. Unclip while you are panic braking. Practice unclipping. Not much else you can do.
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Old 02-21-16, 10:38 AM
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Reasons to ride defensively on my local MUP.

Things I saw on Friday on my commute to and from work.

Dog off leash
Dog on clothesline leash
Geese
Deer on shoulder (I tried to follow the three feet rule)
Pedestrians with earbuds
Two adults with a toddler walking three abreast
Skateboarder (on the college side of river)
Dude on bike with six garbage bags full of aluminum cans
Unpredictable people on bikes and walking(mental illness and/or drugs)
Limbs on trail from recent storm
Puddles
Ranger truck on trail with emergency flashers


At least the horses have their own separate trail

At other times of year we have rattle snakes and turkeys.
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Old 02-21-16, 10:40 AM
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Probably not what you want to hear but 15 mph around a blind corner on a mup, you deserve to fall! Either tootle along and enjoy the mup or get out on the road. Your pedals have little to do with your problems.
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Old 02-21-16, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Stick69 View Post
Reasons to ride defensively on my local MUP.

Things I saw on Friday on my commute to and from work.

Dog off leash
Dog on clothesline leash
Geese
Deer on shoulder (I tried to follow the three feet rule)
Pedestrians with earbuds
Two adults with a toddler walking three abreast
Skateboarder (on the college side of river)
Dude on bike with six garbage bags full of aluminum cans
Unpredictable people on bikes and walking(mental illness and/or drugs)
Limbs on trail from recent storm
Puddles
Ranger truck on trail with emergency flashers


At least the horses have their own separate trail

At other times of year we have rattle snakes and turkeys.
I was riding on my local MUP for part of my ride yesterday when I saw two skateboarders side by side. I slow down as I approach and say on your left. One skateboarder moves over to the right, the other one moves left.
he finally realizes I am right behind him and moves over but if he didn't, it was either stop or try to pass on the grassy shoulder, which is now muddy from melted snow.
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Old 02-21-16, 12:30 PM
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Opps I have to panic stop!

Opps I have to panic change lanes!

You guys sound just like motorists trying to avoid cyclists... and all because... yup you guessed it... you are riding (driving) too fast for the conditions. It is just that simple. Slow down, evaluate the situation, plan ahead, prepare to stop, and above all, maintain awareness of what is happening around you.

If you want unfettered exercise in a safe environment... go to a spin class. (or maybe a velo track) Otherwise, be aware that there are other unpredictable humans around, and act accordingly.
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Old 02-21-16, 12:53 PM
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"a few times I've had to slam on my brakes to avoid a crash "

A few times is a lot of times to be slamming on your brakes to avoid a crash.
This is a bigger danger than not being able to unclip in time. You may have
to adjust your speed/riding for the conditions you are in.

Shimano M520 pedals with Nike MTB shoes:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFyXxrqWbPA&index=58&list=UUHyRS8bRu6zPoymgKaIoDLA
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Old 02-21-16, 02:20 PM
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It happens all the time. But the is no reason one shouldn't be able to come to a complete stop while clipped in and topple over without unclipping and putting a foot down. Even if you have no bike balancing skills at all, the time required for the bike to topple over is longer than the time required to unclip foot and put it out to stop your fall.

Maybe practice? Go on to a grassy field and ride and come to a complete stop, come up off the seat, balance the bike to stay upright, unclip your foot, go forward and put it straight down on the ground so you are still perfectly straight up but just straddling the top tube.
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Old 02-21-16, 02:33 PM
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As gregf83 sats, just relax. Yes, there will be the days when you will fall over. I don't care how good you get. But if you just relax and accept you just made a fool of yourself, rarely does anything more happen than a bruise to the ego. And not tensing up will help a lot in actually unclipping so that falling happens less often.

I've been riding quality toestraps and clips with the straps pulled tight and the old school slotted cleats for decades and still do. Most secure street system for when you never want to unclip at the wrong time (like going downhill at 40+ mph on a fix gear).

Ben
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Old 02-21-16, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Stick69 View Post
Reasons to ride defensively on my local MUP.

Things I saw on Friday on my commute to and from work.

Dog off leash
Dog on clothesline leash
Geese
Deer on shoulder (I tried to follow the three feet rule)
Pedestrians with earbuds
Two adults with a toddler walking three abreast
Skateboarder (on the college side of river)
Dude on bike with six garbage bags full of aluminum cans
Unpredictable people on bikes and walking(mental illness and/or drugs)
Limbs on trail from recent storm
Puddles
Ranger truck on trail with emergency flashers


At least the horses have their own separate trail

At other times of year we have rattle snakes and turkeys.
Reasons, I stay off a MUP.
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