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Making the change to clipless pedals

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Making the change to clipless pedals

Old 09-21-11, 03:07 PM
  #1  
mgw189
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Making the change to clipless pedals

Stopping by the LBS and picking up some shoes and pedals tonight...
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Old 09-21-11, 03:18 PM
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T I M B E R ! Sorry, couldn't resist. Set the retention low and practice in and out with both feet while standing before going live.
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Old 09-21-11, 03:20 PM
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Just make sure you practice engaging/disengaging one foot a few times with your other foot on the ground, and then practice the other foot with the other other foot on the ground, and practice slow riding with deliberate disengaging BEFORE braking and stopping with intentional leaning in the correct direction to put the desired foot down.

I've heard too many horror stories about stupid fallover crashes at stoplights from guys who were learning their clips for the first time.
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Old 09-21-11, 03:20 PM
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(yah, what mgw189 said!)
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Old 09-21-11, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by CACycling View Post
T I M B E R ! Sorry, couldn't resist. Set the retention low and practice in and out with both feet while standing before going live.
I am sure it will happen at some point...
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Old 09-21-11, 03:55 PM
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hey I still use the pedals with straps but those are sometimes prove to difficult for me...

I am using running shoes and before I start off to ride I put my right foot in, but the left one takes me a while before i can flip the pedal and put it in before i have to stop and try again..

will going clipless be better or should i master the strap ? i was even thinking of going with regular pedal system 8(
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Old 09-21-11, 03:56 PM
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A friend of mine is recovering from a wrist broken on her first ride with clipless pedals. Me, I've done the 0 mph fall, too, but just a few scrapes. Remember, as you go over, DO NOT TRY TO BREAK YOUR FALL WITH YOUR HAND. It's hard to remember in the panic of the moment so just remember this -- GRIP THE HANDLEBAR WITH BOTH HANDS AS YOU FALL!
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Old 09-21-11, 04:09 PM
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I can just see me with my first pair of these...Im gonna look like a beached whale out there, on my side, bike on top of me, flapping my feet trying to get my shoes out. But dont you worry, mgw189...that will probably never happen to you. Hopefully.
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Old 09-21-11, 04:14 PM
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Yes, you will eventually fall over due to unforeseen circumstances. After using clipless pedals for about a month without any mishaps, last week I hit some dirt going at slow speed, lost stability, and couldn't clip out in time. Bruised my butt and hurt my shoulder. Pretty much over the injury after 3 days. Another excellent reason to wear cycling gloves and ALWAYS wear a helmet.
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Old 09-21-11, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Juke_ View Post
will going clipless be better or should i master the strap ?
In my experience, getting into clips takes somewhere between 1-5seconds depending on whether you get lucky/unlucky the first time -- i.e. same as straps. But the end result is a more secure connection to the bike.
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Old 09-21-11, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Juke_ View Post
hey I still use the pedals with straps but those are sometimes prove to difficult for me...

I am using running shoes and before I start off to ride I put my right foot in, but the left one takes me a while before i can flip the pedal and put it in before i have to stop and try again..

will going clipless be better or should i master the strap ? i was even thinking of going with regular pedal system 8(
Go with double-sided pedals like Shimano M520s at least at first. That way you can click in without having to flip the pedal over.
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Old 09-21-11, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by CACycling View Post
Go with double-sided pedals like Shimano M520s at least at first. That way you can click in without having to flip the pedal over.
This isn't very difficult, really, and it's nice to have the option of riding comfortably in any shoes, sandals or boots that are handy or suited to the weather. At the end of a long day, you might want to use the platform side even if you're wearing cleated shoes. A change can be as good as a rest.
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Old 09-21-11, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by mgw189 View Post
Stopping by the LBS and picking up some shoes and pedals tonight...
Is your medical & life insurance paid up to date?
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I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

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Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 09-21-11, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Roustabout View Post
Yes, you will eventually fall over due to unforeseen circumstances. After using clipless pedals for about a month without any mishaps, last week I hit some dirt going at slow speed, lost stability, and couldn't clip out in time. Bruised my butt and hurt my shoulder. Pretty much over the injury after 3 days. Another excellent reason to wear cycling gloves and ALWAYS wear a helmet.
In my experience mistakes usually happen after a couple of weeks of using clipless pedals. For the first week or two, you're paranoid about falling over, unclip early, and never have a problem. After a couple of weeks, you start to get complacent and that's usually when you forget to unclip. Starting out with a two-sided Shimano SPD (not SPD-SL) with adjustable release tension is a good idea. The pedals are cheap (around $30-35 for the M520), reliable, easy to clip, and easy to unclip.
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Old 09-21-11, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by marmot View Post
This isn't very difficult, really, and it's nice to have the option of riding comfortably in any shoes, sandals or boots that are handy or suited to the weather. At the end of a long day, you might want to use the platform side even if you're wearing cleated shoes. A change can be as good as a rest.
Was talking about them vs. single sided pedals not in place of clipless/platform. And I commented because the person already expressed having difficulty flipping their current pedal over.
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Old 09-21-11, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by CACycling View Post
Was talking about them vs. single sided pedals not in place of clipless/platform. And I commented because the person already expressed having difficulty flipping their current pedal over.
Oh, I understand that. But toe cages are much more awkward to flip, enter and exit than dual-purpose SPD systems. Much, much more awkward. Difficulty using that antiquated setup is understandable, and doesn't necessarily presage trouble with the far more user-friendly SPD/platform pedals.

Last edited by marmot; 09-21-11 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 09-21-11, 07:49 PM
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Congrats...I went clipless about three years ago and bought the dual sided (one side clipless, one side platform) pedals. I never used the platform side.

At the risk of tempting the fates, I've never had a fall over, and never had a problem getting out of the pedals...even in a panic stop when a cager made a left turn into my path and I had to stop suddenly I managed to get a foot down. It's really not that steep a learning curve: just one more thing to remember.
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Old 09-22-11, 08:51 AM
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I've been using the double sided pedals for years, love them. Never had an issue flipping them over. Always able to get out quick if needed. If in town where stop and go is high, I use the regular shoe side and stay unclipped. Best of both worlds!
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Old 09-22-11, 09:23 AM
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Complacency is not the issue. You should get into a routine with pedals. You see a stoplight unclip about 50 yards away and rest the foot on the pedal. Slow, stop and lean. Repeat at every light. Understand how to umclip in an emergency and to quote the hitchhiker "Don't Panic" if you realize that you are moving to one side. If you can get your forward momentum back again with a little push and then unclip. It just might buy you a second or two.
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Old 09-22-11, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by I_like_cereal View Post
You see a stoplight unclip about 50 yards away and rest the foot on the pedal.
Be careful if you do this. I've seen more than one post here where someone did that and the pressure of resting the foot on the pedal was enough to cause the cleat to re-engage, preventing them from planting that foot on the ground when needed. When I unclip in anticipation of a stop, I'll just let that foot dangle in the air.
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Old 09-22-11, 09:36 AM
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Also, get the dual release cleats (shimano SH56) instead of the normal single release (SH51). This will allow you to unclip in more directions and perhaps get you out of the clips before a fall...maybe. This only applies to SPDs, not SPD-SLs.

For when it eventually happens. Welcome to the club!
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Old 09-22-11, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by CraigB View Post
Be careful if you do this. I've seen more than one post here where someone did that and the pressure of resting the foot on the pedal was enough to cause the cleat to re-engage, preventing them from planting that foot on the ground when needed. When I unclip in anticipation of a stop, I'll just let that foot dangle in the air.
I am in the habit of placing the cleat behind the pedal or using the toe bumper to rest in the pedal. Under no circumstances should you rest the cleat to one side or the other on the pedal. This will increase your chance to re-engage the pedal. Know your shoes, know your pedals.
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Old 09-23-11, 01:15 PM
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Well made it the first 5 miles without falling however not without incident. I unclipped unexpectedly somehow mid stroke and threw me off a little I got a little wobbly but stayed on the bike without any problem at all. We will see as the time and rides go on.
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Old 09-23-11, 01:19 PM
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I wished I had changed to clipless pedals years ago when I got used to mine.
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Old 09-23-11, 01:43 PM
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It is amazing what you can get use to and clipless pedals are worth the effort and focus. I not only commute to work but my idea of a vacation is long days in the saddle exploring the terrain (cyclo-camping). Being clipped in allows for efficiency and comfort. I've fallen several times when i was younger- going up a steep incline and lost momentum clipped in and bam! Talking to a friend leaning against her van and totally taken down by this impromptu situation and as i tried to step off- boom! Just bumps and bruises and as i go through my 50's I've already have learned all those little tricks like unclipping before intersections or stops. I seldom clip in city traffic. Of course, steep hills are a cause for me to unclip also:-)
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