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Clipless Pedal Training -- Normal Timeframe

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Clipless Pedal Training -- Normal Timeframe

Old 10-29-07, 02:18 PM
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barryflht
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Clipless Pedal Training -- Normal Timeframe

Well, I've been riding my bike with tennis shoes since it arrived last week, but decided Saturday to run down to the LBS and get some shoes with cleats and begin my training for the clipless life. Bear in mind that I've not ridden a bicycle in probably 35 years and I was never on a fast road bike until the last week or so.

The mere fact that I got on and rode that thing was a pretty big accomplishment, so I don't know why in the world I thought clipless pedals were going to be an easy task???? .... I've tumbled in the street a few times with wife, friends and neighboors watching, skinned my elbow and bumped my hip pretty hard, but I'll keep giving it a try and hopefully in a week's time or so, things will begin to work properly...... Thought I'd ask how you folks fared when starting out.... What's the normal length of time it took you guys to learn and be comfortable with clipless pedals??
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Old 10-29-07, 02:27 PM
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It took me just a few days. My LBS made me do stop-and-go drills in the parking lot for a half-hour before letting me ride home. Do you know how many times you can clip-in, ride a few feet, unclip and stop in a half-hour? Hundreds at least.

Then he suggested I do a half-hour more every day for a while.

I followed his advice and as a result, I haven't (yet) had a clipless fall. I can also get clipped-in faster than anyone else I ride with. I attribute that too to the intensive practice early on.

The other difference for me too, was that I'd been riding for a year before making the switch, so I wasn't getting used to riding at the same time.
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Old 10-29-07, 02:31 PM
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A Few falls still occur but you have done the right thing- Falling in front of the wife and neighbours is the best way to do it. Get it over with now.

Get yourself up to 10mph and practice clipping in- clipping out- clipping in- clipping out. Easier to learn at 10 mph than at 0.


And buy some more bandaid. Still a little way to go by the sound of things.
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Old 10-29-07, 02:34 PM
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Six falls at what we call zero miles per hour. Bruised ego more that injuries. Practice and always unclip early when coming to a stop.
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Old 10-29-07, 02:49 PM
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Be sure to set your pedals to the lowest tension you can.
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Old 10-29-07, 03:07 PM
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Taking on two challenges at the same time (both regaining bike balance and learning clipless) is a big bite. You will learn quickly. Has your wife raised the size of your life insurance yet?.....
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Old 10-29-07, 03:40 PM
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I rode toe clips for a year prior to clipless. I guess that prepared me, as it took about 5 minutes to learn the clipless. I subsequently had two falls, but that is it. I never had a fall with the toe clips.

Be sure to unclip one foot (not both) ahead of time - before an intersection where there is a possibility of a stop, sand, around kids, etc. Defensive unclipping is the key, IMHO.
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Old 10-29-07, 03:46 PM
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I'd say you've pretty well gone about it the hard way, with being a new rider, new bike and new clipless user. But as you can see, you can still get it done, albeit the hard way.
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Old 10-29-07, 03:49 PM
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I have been clipless about two weeks. I had my first fall a couple days ago. I was lucky, there were no witnesses! I cruised into the garage with my right side uncliped and somehow tipped over to my left when I stopped I knocked my other bike over into our van and put a dent in the fender. I hit my head on the back door of the van and my elbow on the concrete. No damage to the new Cannondale as it was safely wedged between my legs! A couple times I forgot I was attached until the last moment. I am also getting used to a road bike after riding a townie for a couple years.
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Old 10-29-07, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
Be sure to unclip one foot (not both) ahead of time - before an intersection where there is a possibility of a stop, sand, around kids, etc. Defensive unclipping is the key, IMHO.
Why not both? I unclip out of both pedals when I approach a stop. I've never had a problem with it.
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Old 10-29-07, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by The Weak Link View Post
Why not both? I unclip out of both pedals when I approach a stop. I've never had a problem with it.
OK, I guess. Whatever works. That would mean I would have to reclip both. Sometimes I pedal a bit with the clipped in foot - that wouldn't be possible!

Poll coming up!!
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Old 10-29-07, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by The Weak Link View Post
Why not both? I unclip out of both pedals when I approach a stop. I've never had a problem with it.
Problem with that is you may lose control of your bike no matter how slow you may be going unless you have at least one foot secured.
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Old 10-29-07, 04:06 PM
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I personally click out of either my left or right foot, but never both. I don't have a preference which foot I click out of. This is good practice in case of a panic situation where you're able to instinctively click out of either foot.
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Old 10-29-07, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by The Weak Link View Post
Why not both? I unclip out of both pedals when I approach a stop. I've never had a problem with it.
If you clip out of both at the same time while rolling don't you feel a little wobbly with just your butt in contact with the bike? My saddle is high enough that if I did that my feet wont touch the ground at the same time.
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Old 10-29-07, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by barryflht View Post
Well, I've been riding my bike with tennis shoes since it arrived last week, but decided Saturday to run down to the LBS and get some shoes with cleats and begin my training for the clipless life. Bear in mind that I've not ridden a bicycle in probably 35 years and I was never on a fast road bike until the last week or so.

The mere fact that I got on and rode that thing was a pretty big accomplishment, so I don't know why in the world I thought clipless pedals were going to be an easy task???? .... I've tumbled in the street a few times with wife, friends and neighboors watching, skinned my elbow and bumped my hip pretty hard, but I'll keep giving it a try and hopefully in a week's time or so, things will begin to work properly...... Thought I'd ask how you folks fared when starting out.... What's the normal length of time it took you guys to learn and be comfortable with clipless pedals??
You didn't say which system you have but this is how I taught my wife to use Looks 20 years ago.
She had trouble twisting her foot out so I found that on the bottom of a pedal stroke her weighting it helped her to make it happen.
She still kept trying to pull her foot up and out while we practiced this in a beach parking lot.
I kept catching her and instructing her and she kept doing the same thing so.......?
Next pass I acted like I was there as her safety net but offered no help when she screwed up.
She fell, I laughed, she cursed but has never forgotten how to get out of the pedals.
And yes we are still married, happily, and ride together regularly.
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Old 10-29-07, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by airbrake View Post
I have been clipless about two weeks. I had my first fall a couple days ago. I was lucky, there were no witnesses! I cruised into the garage with my right side uncliped and somehow tipped over to my left when I stopped I knocked my other bike over into our van and put a dent in the fender. I hit my head on the back door of the van and my elbow on the concrete. No damage to the new Cannondale as it was safely wedged between my legs! A couple times I forgot I was attached until the last moment. I am also getting used to a road bike after riding a townie for a couple years.
Here is my vote for poster of the day. A true die hard cyclist will dent his fender, bang his head and still manage to protect the bike.................

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Old 10-29-07, 04:34 PM
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Please see the unclipping poll at:

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...38#post5542538
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Old 10-29-07, 04:59 PM
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Well, with clipless, never (or not yet); but in learning with toeclips and cleats..... Practiced, practiced, practiced - then on the first long ride, heading into a reststop, forgot that I'd tightened down the strap for the hills.....

Then, on a tandem tour, we both loosened up straps, got left feet loose, then I proceeded to bump left front pannier into the curb - Let's just say we filled the parking space. Or in the words of the guys in the pizza shop. ' Hey, you were there, then you disappeared!' No discount for the entertainment though.

And taken down (providing some cushioning) by a new to clipless once and kept another from going down once.
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Old 10-29-07, 05:50 PM
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Never had a fall because of the clipless pedals. For some reason I took to them immediately. Must have been because I was told I would fall at least once. I learned to get out early and I am still cautious after 12 years with them. Also - for some reason I naturally unclip the left first at the bottom of the pedal stroke. Sitting here I am not every sure I have ever uncliped the right first. I can pedal unclipped with the speedplays, I kinda use the heel - a little awkward but I can move the bike if I need to while I am out.
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Old 10-29-07, 05:56 PM
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On the road bike I picked it up fairly quickly, with maybe one or two falls in slo-mo. But then I got back down here in Mexico, bought a mountain bike and have fallen 5-6 times, usually when a rock, pothole, chain drop, etc. brings me to a sudden, unexpected halt. The best one was yesterday. My wife and I were riding a dirt and gravel road up in the hills. She was in front of me and I was telling her about a side road off to the left that went up into the mountains. I was looking up at the mountains. She decided to STOP and have a look. Next thing I know I'm about to rear-end her. Sudden stop, not enough time to unclip, slo-mo fall. Skinned knee, hip and shoulder, but laughing about it the whole time.
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Old 10-29-07, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclinfool View Post
I can pedal unclipped with the speedplays, I kinda use the heel - a little awkward but I can move the bike if I need to while I am out.
Hmm......If you can pedal with your heel, perhaps your saddle is set too low?
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Old 10-29-07, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by roadfix View Post
Hmm......If you can pedal with your heel, perhaps your saddle is set too low?
The operative word was "awkward"
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Old 10-29-07, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by dvs cycles View Post
If you clip out of both at the same time while rolling don't you feel a little wobbly with just your butt in contact with the bike? My saddle is high enough that if I did that my feet wont touch the ground at the same time.
I have Shimano A520s, so it's not a problem pedaling clipped out.
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Old 10-29-07, 06:54 PM
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I've been doing it for such a long time that it is beyond second nature. I've only fallen once. Just the other day I had someone on a bike run a red light in front of me and I jammed on the brakes but was able to pull my foot out and luckily I tipped that way. I ride in NYC and you get used to unclipping at every stop.
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Old 10-30-07, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by The Weak Link View Post
I have Shimano A520s, so it's not a problem pedaling clipped out.
I have the A520s also, but had a problem with my shoes being so slick that my foot was slipping off the pedals. The fact that I have to go uphill as soon as I leave my driveway doesn't help either. I haven't had the time to get any practice in since Saturday afternoon. Hopefully, I'll get home early enough today to get some riding in before dark.

Thanks for all the suggestions and encouragement you guys provide.
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