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newbie dismount question

Old 09-15-06, 10:14 AM
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newbie dismount question

sorry if this has been talked to death, but i didn't find much on the search.

my specific question about running dismounts is: who, after swinging your right leg around/over the bike, keeps their left foot clipped in until the last moment?

as in, you're coasting, both legs are on the left side of the bike, and you're preparing to start running with your right foot first (which is presumably between you and the bike and in front of your left foot) and as you take your first step with your right foot simultaneously unclip your left?

i hope this makes sense? i've been practicing my mounts and dismounts and this seems easier to me than unclipping both feet and resting my left foot on the pedal before i swing my right leg over the bike...but i don't know if this is only easy now that i'm cruising along taking my time and could end up causing some faceplants on race day?
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Old 09-15-06, 11:26 AM
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I never unclip the left foot prematurely. You'd be surprised how quickly you can unclip that left foot when you realize that you're about to hit that barrier at 15+ mph. That being said, I have personally crashed into, and taken out a triple barrier (feeble pvc pipe) during a race because I could not unclip in time, which I attribute to a lack of attention and bad timing.

I think you're much more stable with your left foot clipped in -- especially if the course is slick. Clipless pedals, metal cleats, stiff soles -- not a lot of friction holding your foot on that pedal. Plus, if the course is bumpy (and when isn't it?) you could easily be knocked off that left pedal while swinging your right leg over.

It just doesn't seem like a good idea.
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Old 09-15-06, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by danimal
sorry if this has been talked to death, but i didn't find much on the search.

my specific question about running dismounts is: who, after swinging your right leg around/over the bike, keeps their left foot clipped in until the last moment?
i do. this is how it's done!
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Old 09-15-06, 09:31 PM
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I say stay clipped in. I also say keep your cleats and pedals in good shape and lubricated. The action of taking that step with the left after planting the right foot will pull you clear.
These pedals are wunnafull tings.

If you are slow or unsure give yourself an extra stride before the barrier, it's faster to dismount with speed and confidence and run an extra step than to dismount slowly and save a step.

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Old 09-15-06, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by danimal

my specific question about running dismounts is: who, after swinging your right leg around/over the bike, keeps their left foot clipped in until the last moment?
True that!! Stay clipped in for the reasons that Lunacycle mentioned. I try and go for an "eject" unclip. Make the unclipping a stong motion, and it will feel less unatural. It try and feel myself escape the bike.
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Old 09-16-06, 10:51 AM
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The proper way is to unclip. If you go to any cross clinic they will teach you this. Having said that I don't unclip till the last second and have never had a problem - yet. The proper way is to unclip though and it's probably a good idea to start doing it especially if you are new to cross.
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Old 09-17-06, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by jfmckenna
The proper way is to unclip. If you go to any cross clinic they will teach you this. Having said that I don't unclip till the last second and have never had a problem - yet. The proper way is to unclip though and it's probably a good idea to start doing it especially if you are new to cross.
Really? I guess it depends on who's definition of proper you're using. I just recently took a cross clinic in Seattle and we were taught to not unclip until we start passing our right leg between the frame and left leg. The way to make that even easier is to place your right hand on the top-tube and support more of your body weight on the frame instead of your left foot. The idea of unclipping earlier seems unnecessarily risky in any rough terrain.
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Old 09-17-06, 03:11 PM
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I'd rather have my left foot slip off the pedal and hit the ground early rather than get to the barrier with my right leg through, and then not be able to get my left leg unclipped do to error, fatigue, or a clogged cleat?
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Old 09-17-06, 03:16 PM
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Depends. If I will come to a complete stop before dismounting, I unclip both. Other times, before stopping completely, I will unclip right leg, swing it over and ride on the left pedal as I brake.
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Old 09-17-06, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by jfmckenna
The proper way is to unclip. If you go to any cross clinic they will teach you this. Having said that I don't unclip till the last second and have never had a problem - yet. The proper way is to unclip though and it's probably a good idea to start doing it especially if you are new to cross.
i picked up a copy of simon burny's 'cross book and he describes the 'proper' dismount as unclipping first, but i've had a much harder time with that because i find it awkward to rest my left foot anywhere on the pedal other than where it clips...it seems both strategies work for different people, so who knows, maybe after i have a few races under my belt this year i'll pick my own preferred method.
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Old 09-18-06, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by rlotz
Really? I guess it depends on who's definition of proper you're using. I just recently took a cross clinic in Seattle and we were taught to not unclip until we start passing our right leg between the frame and left leg. The way to make that even easier is to place your right hand on the top-tube and support more of your body weight on the frame instead of your left foot. The idea of unclipping earlier seems unnecessarily risky in any rough terrain.
Well thats interesting. I have always been told that I am doing it wrong though it always makes me feel more in control when clipped in till the last second. Grabbing the TT is also the 'proper' method as you mentioned for weight distribution and so that you are immediatly ready to lift the bike over the fence.
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Old 09-18-06, 08:32 AM
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Keep in mind that Simon Burney's book hasn't been updated in a while. Clipless pedal technology has improved since the last edition of his book.

By the way, I agree with rlotz and jfmckenna about pushing down on the toptube slightly, as it unweights your left foot and makes unclipping just a bit easier.
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Old 09-18-06, 09:46 AM
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I love the hairnet helmet's in Burney's book. So stylin'.
If I'm dismounting for a long run rup or a 3 pack I usually
grab my downtube instead of the top tube. That way
slingin' my bike over my shoulder is one clean motion.
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