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Clipless pedals

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Old 01-22-18, 06:05 PM
  #26  
TiHabanero
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At age 56 my sister in law took up riding and the sales person put her on double sided Shimano SPD pedals and "touring" shoes. After two years of barely riding the bike I asked her what was up. She complained about not being able to click into the pedals very easily and it was too much hassle. I tried to help her, but to no avail, so I invited her to the shop and put her in a pair of older Shimano road shoes that had the two bolt mount option. Bingo! Gets in and out like a seasoned rider. The difference is the "touring" shoes had the walkable sole design and made finding the cleat difficult for her. The road shoe the cleat hangs out in the air and is easier to find. Needless to say she now comes to me and the shop I work in part time for all her cycling needs, even if the drive is a little bit further away.
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Old 01-22-18, 06:13 PM
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Mechanical advantage has been mentioned twice in this thread.

Mechanical advantage is one of the lest important reasons for clipless pedals.

Safety and control are the main benefits of clipless.


-Tim-
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Old 01-22-18, 06:25 PM
  #28  
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I have clipless pedals on my road bikes, toeclips/straps/slotted cleats on my fixed gear bikes, and bare platforms on my townie/commuter. No problems going between them.
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Old 01-22-18, 06:51 PM
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Just turned 60 recently and I'm about to try clipless on my road bike later this week. Already have the pedals, courtesy of another BF member. Just waiting for the shoes and cleats.

I rode with toe clips decades ago so the transition shouldn't be too bad. But I've ridden only platforms since resuming cycling in 2015. So I'll practice awhile before venturing out.

Main reason I'm ready to try foot retention on the road bike is better consistency and control. On our rural chipseal it's hard to maintain a consistent foot position with all the vibration and chatter. It's worse on climbs and downhills. I'm wasting energy trying to reposition myself on the pedals and saddle.

I'll probably stick with platforms on the hybrid awhile longer. That's mostly for casual rides and errands. The bigger, softer tires absorb most of the road chatter so I'm not really having trouble keeping the feet planted.
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Old 01-22-18, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Mechanical advantage has been mentioned twice in this thread.

Mechanical advantage is one of the lest important reasons for clipless pedals.

Safety and control are the main benefits of clipless.


-Tim-
On my dropbar, I switched recently to SPD from flats after 40+ years. I did it to try to isolate a knee problem and get out of the habit of powering through the circle at low cadence which I've done for 40 years and never had a problem until recently. SPD helped my get my cadence up and I got used to it so I am sticking with them. Not on my MTB though. Still flats for that. Too each his own.

Last edited by u235; 01-22-18 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 01-22-18, 07:29 PM
  #31  
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Thanks for all the answers. I will have to look for a pair of shoes I like and give them a try.
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Old 01-22-18, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
..... I'm about to try clipless on my road bike later this week.
We'll miss you. You have been an inspiration to many.
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Old 01-22-18, 09:21 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
We'll miss you. You have been an inspiration to many.


I noticed on our last casual group ride a friend was unclipping waaaaaayyy early on some U-turns when we diverted to the MUP river crossings to get to the next street over. I remember him saying he dumped a few times on slowdowns and stops last year when he switched to clipless. He's not taking any chances now.

And my first clipless with be the old Look Delta system, because the pedals were a gift from another BF member. So I'll need to be extra careful. Almost everyone else I know uses SPD and mountain bike type shoes for that reason.

But I managed years ago with those rigid sole Detto Pietros and metal cleats, so with a little practice and a lotta luck... I'll set a new KOM en route to my grave.
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Old 01-22-18, 09:29 PM
  #34  
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I rode toe clips as a young man. I started with clipless at ~50. I fell once, getting bogged down in deep gravel while in traffic, moving slowly toward a traffic light. Quite embarrassing but no big deal. I've fallen other times, but never because of clipless. I've also tipped over on my motorcycle at a toll booth. No clipless. Easy, peasy, really. OTOH my dentist broke his frigging wrist the first time he tried riding around a parking lot with them. Biking is evidently harder for some people. I started riding really young and rode a lot, probably a good idea.
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Old 01-22-18, 11:52 PM
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I didn't use anything but platforms till I was early 50's. Even as a teen and early twenties when I rode everywhere.

When I started riding long and hard in my 50's, I went to SPD's on my road bike and am happy with the Shimano A520's.

I've screwed myself sometimes and didn't clip out when I felt I'd be able to make a crossing. But the times I lost the bet and had to stop I just did a slow... TIMBER!!!. But it doesn't hurt surprisingly. You just get up and go. Embarrassed of course. Make sure to do the Rocky dance with your arms up... the spectators love it.

So if you ride seriously and at a fast cadence, I recommend you try them.
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Old 01-23-18, 12:06 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Clipless? Yeah, everyone has a different learning curve. My big problem is I want to stay clipped in and save it, and by the time my balance is that precarious, just the momentum of unclipping can almost knock me over. it's been a while since i felll .... but again, no fall is without risk. I am a large load and even falling just a few feet that is a lot of force, often hitting on a small area (like the point of a hip---ouch.)

Also ... I have fallen using rat-traps .... in front of a cop once. My shoe hung up and down i went ... int he middle of traffic but thankfully stopped at a traffic light.
Yep, about like I said. My biggest problem with the clipless was climbing on my driveway. Rear wheel spins.. and I keep going... and it spins again... and again... then I'm going over. So deciding when I can power through it vs stopping and walking.

I do think there is a minor difference between toeclips (without cleats) and clipless. The toeclips one can generally extract one's feet by just pushing down, heel first.

With the clipless, it is a slight upward twist.

Thus, I think toe clips may be slightly faster to get one's foot on the ground. And that fraction of a second may well be important.

Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Typical advice is to back the release spring tension all the way out, then ride around on the grass for an hour, clipping in and out till you get the hang of it.
I went from toe clips to clipless. I love the extra holding strength of the clipless, as well as holding the feet flat without pressure points on the soles.

However, I so hate pull-outs, so I quickly ramped up the tension to near the max.

I went straight onto the road after a few seconds practicing propped up next to something... Holding onto the blazer?

The LBS also offered to allow one to practice on their rollers, but I chose not to go with that route.
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Old 01-24-18, 03:50 PM
  #37  
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I don't think the OP is too old to try clipless pedals. I started using them at age 64. I'm now 71 and I still use them on every ride.
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Old 01-24-18, 08:05 PM
  #38  
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Been riding clipless for many many years, but I also ride flats. Both have their time and place for me depending on the bike and the purpose/intent of/for the day. I have fixed grocery bikes that I run flats on, A SS MTN bike that has SPD's one side/flats on the other in case I just want to run an errand on that particular bike. But, for all serious riding including singletrack, road/fixed training, racing I am clipped in. And yes, I do notice a mechanical advantage to being clipped in and secure. If someone's foot came off a flat pedal during a race* or a group ride, someone could get seriously hurt. It's not for everyone, yes, but it's a technology that has revolutionized cycling. The only other thing I would add is if you have knee problems, choose a pedal system with more/ a lot of float. I race/train with Speedplay X's but run Shimano SPD's on my Fat Bike and MTN bikes. If you need more float on a MTN pedal, Speedplay Frogs are not bad.



*this would never really happen as i know of no one that races with flats
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Old 01-24-18, 08:56 PM
  #39  
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I started riding, again, 7 years ago and went straight to Look pedals. I'm 62.
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Old 01-24-18, 11:30 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
And my first clipless with be the old Look Delta system, because the pedals were a gift from another BF member. So I'll need to be extra careful. Almost everyone else I know uses SPD and mountain bike type shoes for that reason.
I'm still using Delta on the road, have been for at least 25 years. A few years ago a friend gave me two pair of Jalabert signature Looks, one pair was still new.
I use SPD pedals off road and I have also used them when touring. Toe clips really suck.
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Old 01-25-18, 12:07 AM
  #41  
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Yup, I'm, umm... Looking forward to trying them the next day or so. The shoes and cleats are due to arrive Thursday. I'll practice a bit in the parking lot before venturing out to a low traffic rural route.
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Old 01-25-18, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Yup, I'm, umm... Looking forward to trying them the next day or so. The shoes and cleats are due to arrive Thursday. I'll practice a bit in the parking lot before venturing out to a low traffic rural route.
Just try not to overthink engaging and releasing. I did at first and I fell at least once or twice each ride. One day I decided to quit overthinking the release and decided to do what I would do if I were in my truck. If I were going to clutch, I released. Never had any problems since then.
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Old 01-25-18, 03:09 PM
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I had went to clipless about a year ago on my road bike at 60. Fell down twice and haven't since. Agree with others about setting tension at minimum tightness. I haven't found a need to adjust them any tighter.

Don't use them on my old MTB and don't think I'd use them on trails or for any off-road use.
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Old 01-25-18, 05:15 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Ogsarg View Post
I had went to clipless about a year ago on my road bike at 60. Fell down twice and haven't since. Agree with others about setting tension at minimum tightness. I haven't found a need to adjust them any tighter.

Don't use them on my old MTB and don't think I'd use them on trails or for any off-road use.
They are likely better on a mt. bike than a road, makes it easier to keep the feet on the pedals in the bumpy stuff.

As well, once you get good at unclipping in a hurry as an obstacle causes sudden loss of forward momentum, you rarely have that problem on the road !.
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Old 01-25-18, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by John_V View Post
Just try not to overthink engaging and releasing. I did at first and I fell at least once or twice each ride. One day I decided to quit overthinking the release and decided to do what I would do if I were in my truck. If I were going to clutch, I released. Never had any problems since then.
Shoes and cleats arrived this afternoon. Unfortunately I'm still recovering from the yucks, so no ride today. I'm gonna practice clipping/unclipping indoors with the bike leaning against the wall, so how it feels.

Based on the only flopover I can remember from using toe clips decades ago, if it happens with toe clips it'll be in traffic when a car runs a light or darts toward me at a stop sign intersection. Offhand I can't remember ever falling during an uneventful commute or ride with toe clips years ago.

OTOH, at 60 I'm not as coordinated as I was then! So maybe I should wear a Michelin man padded suit my first couple of rides!

I do recall the toe clips probably saved me from worse injury in one of my first crits when a rider passing on the inside knocked my front wheel with his rear. I slid but stayed attached to the bike. Road rash but nothing broken, no hyperextended joints, etc. Last time I rode Cat 5. Too sketchy and jittery. I moved up a class after that and the field had much more expertise.
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Old 01-25-18, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
They are likely better on a mt. bike than a road, makes it easier to keep the feet on the pedals in the bumpy stuff.
Probably depends on the road and bike. I was more motivated to try clipless on my road bike because of our rough chipseal and my relatively skinny 700x23 tires. It's hard to keep the feet planted on the platforms on some really rough chipseal -- some patches here are basically like paved over gravel. I'm constantly readjusting my feet and saddle position to stay in the sweet spot without losing momentum.

On my older hybrid with 700x42 tires, the flexy steel fork and big tires soak up the road chatter and I have little difficulty keeping my feet planted on the platforms.

I'm guessing that a road bike with 700x28 tires at lower pressure might feel a bit less chatter. I don't think my older frame will fit anything bigger than 700x25.
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Old 01-25-18, 09:05 PM
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Started around age 50.

I like SPDs for city riding. I just stomp and go at the stoplights, without looking. A lot of riders with road pedals look down to clip in.

A fast acceleration from a stop is where I do most of my pulling up -- it's noticeably more power on a sprint. And SPDs are fine for longer rides.

Shoes with a reasonably stiff sole are better for long rides if you have SPDs, to keep from getting a "hot spot" right over the pedal.

~~~
Unclipping
After some years of riding, unclipping is automatic. I can coast up to a stop, and even wait until it stops rolling, and instantly unclip and put my foot down on either side without thinking about it. As easy as walking down steps, which must have been difficult and scary at first!

I've never fallen, but came close a couple of times when it was new, tipping to maybe a 45 degree angle before yanking the foot free -- that gave me a muscle strain for a few days.

These incidents don't happen on normal stops -- where the rider is ready -- but on panic (or call it "short reaction time") situations. Like an unexpected quick, hard braking stop. Or thinking I was unclipped, with the arch of my foot resting on the pedal, but actually clipped in. The quick reaction was to pull the foot up and forward, which doesn't work. Now, I just unclip with no drama in these cases.

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Old 01-28-18, 12:49 PM
  #48  
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I went to clipless at 70. I really like them, and I can't see returning to straps.
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Old 01-28-18, 04:29 PM
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At 60 went clipless on two road bikes, straps on two vintage, half clips on my MTB, studded platforms on a hybrid. Each have their benefits.

Clipless are very good at smoothing out high cadence stroking & climbing, but hardly essential equipment. I think the negative is more about hot spots & lack of float then danger.
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Old 01-28-18, 04:50 PM
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I took them off almost 20 years ago... Time ATAC.. ought to sell them..
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