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New to clipless, very difficult to unclip, extreme duck footedness

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New to clipless, very difficult to unclip, extreme duck footedness

Old 09-12-23, 06:32 PM
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I ordered a pair of pedal extenders! I waffled back and forth between that and the speedplays, but I couldn't find anywhere selling the longer speedplay spindles. Wahoo says to get them from your "local bike fitter"

Did pretty good on the ride today, didn't fall over, but nothing unexpected at all happened so I'd hope I wouldn't fall over. Did get off into the grass every time to stop and unclip just in case.

Felt really awkward though, the left foot wiggled a lot with the 6 degrees of float and it was a little unnerving. Didn't hold me in place like the pins on the flat pedal. That heel also kept hitting the crank.
Right foot felt awful, like I was pointing inward the whole time, I wasn't, but it felt like I was. Probably not used to going in a normal direction.

Will adjust the cleats as I can, might get a set with less float.

Knees didn't go splaying out while riding, though my kneecaps were solidly pointed at my wrists the whole time.
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Old 09-12-23, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by malfist
I ordered a pair of pedal extenders! I waffled back and forth between that and the speedplays, but I couldn't find anywhere selling the longer speedplay spindles. Wahoo says to get them from your "local bike fitter"

Did pretty good on the ride today, didn't fall over, but nothing unexpected at all happened so I'd hope I wouldn't fall over. Did get off into the grass every time to stop and unclip just in case.

Felt really awkward though, the left foot wiggled a lot with the 6 degrees of float and it was a little unnerving. Didn't hold me in place like the pins on the flat pedal. That heel also kept hitting the crank.
Right foot felt awful, like I was pointing inward the whole time, I wasn't, but it felt like I was. Probably not used to going in a normal direction.

Will adjust the cleats as I can, might get a set with less float.

Knees didn't go splaying out while riding, though my kneecaps were solidly pointed at my wrists the whole time.
The thing I would caution you about is to be aware of any knee issues. Once I found the position my knees like I always set the cleats the same way. Back when I used quill pedals my shoes had marks from the pedals that told me my toes needed to point out.
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Old 09-12-23, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by big john
The thing I would caution you about is to be aware of any knee issues. Once I found the position my knees like I always set the cleats the same way. Back when I used quill pedals my shoes had marks from the pedals that told me my toes needed to point out.
Some of us were around back in the days when we'd ride our new racing shoes in our toe clips for a while before nailing on the cleat, so we could get that line on the sole from the pedal cage to show the angle and spot for installation.

I don't know if anyone remembers Avocet Touring Shoes from 1979-1982 or so. These had slots in the sole for the pedal cage to drop into to act as a kind of cleat, but were angled so that the foot pointed roughly straight ahead. I made the mistake of buying a pair, and still to this day remembering the severe knee pain from my leg being twisted into an ergonomically wrong angle (for me) - every single pedal rotation. Lost money on those shoes, as they weren't returnable after being ridden.
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Old 09-12-23, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by malfist
Knees didn't go splaying out while riding, though my kneecaps were solidly pointed at my wrists the whole time.
When I first started riding, I used to splay my knees. I had heard it was muscularly inefficient, and could place added stress on joints. But I didn't know what to do about it.

At the start of the 1981 Arizona Challenge, another rider came alongside me and commented on my pedaling style in a helpful way. He suggested I tape long paperclips or cardboard on my top tube placed so the tips or edges would just graze the inside of my knees if pedaling vertically, and then I should gradually adjust my pedal stroke until pedaling vertically (and just grazing the guides) was second nature. And in about a month after getting that advice, I was able to do it and have been pedaling in a vertical plane since - although one side effect was slight additional pronation (outward splay) of my feet at the pedal, which a cleat adjustment addressed.

That helpful rider's name? John Marino. I'm still thankful for his advice.
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Old 09-13-23, 06:16 AM
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I think you misunderstood me a bit. My kneecaps weren't pointing at my wrists because my legs where moving in angle with my wrists, they seemed to be moving in a straight line up and down. My kneecaps don't point straight forward, they point outward
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Old 09-13-23, 09:04 AM
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If those extenders don't end up working out for you, maybe magnetic pedals would be worth a shot.
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Old 09-13-23, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by malfist
Hi All,

I'm trying to get used to using clipless pedals on my road bike. I bought the yellow spd-sl cleats and Shimano's PD-RS500 pedals because they're supposed to be really low tension and good for beginners.

I practiced inside and then rolling around outside on my backyard, I didn't fall, but I had a lot of close calls yesterday while trying. I've set the pedals to their least amount of tension and I think I've positioned the cleats properly.

My problem is that extreme duck footedness runs in my family. My Dad has a photo of my grandfather, standing at attention in the military with his feet completely backwards. I can also turn my feet completely around. When I dangle my feet, my left foot hangs at ~11 oclock and my right foot is about 2/2:30. I am unable to rotate my right foot inward more than like 11:30 without getting a muscle cramp. To give you another example of how easy external rotation is for me, when I lay down on my back, my feet lay complete to the side, they don't point upwards unless I consciously hold them up.

All this is to say, I have a real bear of a time getting the right clip undone. My left is hard, but I think I've got it down pat enough to only take a couple of spills. My right though. I'm not sure what I can do about that. Even standing still, balanced with a wall, I find it hard to get out of, having to physically twist in the saddle to get it to unclip.

Would like some advice on what to do I've injured this ankle more than a few times, I don't want to fall with the bike on top of me and sprain it again, or twist it trying to get out of the clip. It's definitely my weak ankle.

Couple of ideas I had:
  1. I'm using the yellow cleats now, they've got a lot of float, if I got the blue or reds that have less float, maybe I could get out easier because they'd require less internal rotation
  2. A couple of bike fit experts on youtube recommend using a longer spindle to increase the Q factor. Maybe I get a knee saver and give me some more room to rotate, maybe even rotating towards the bike instead of away from it.
  3. Use a flat pedal on my right side
  4. Try some other system (wahoo speedplay maybe?)

I've also considered hip mobility exercises, but I've done these in the past to try and be less duck footed, and no matter how much I worked on it, they never helped. I think my bones are just turned out. My knees are certainly inline with my rotated feet.
Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee
If your feet are naturally splayed outwards like that, maybe clip-in cleats just aren't for you.
If you'd like to continue using the clipless system, I would suggest you consider the SPD pedals / cleats. The SPD cleats allow you to unclip by both inward and outward twists, so in your case, you should be able to unclip by twisting your ankle inwards. In addition, some SPD cleats are multi-directional, meaning they can be unclipped by pulling up your foot hard as well.
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Old 09-14-23, 11:06 AM
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my suggestion would be try spd instead of spd sl I use both depending on the bike and what type of ride

over all spd is easier to get in and out of for me

I tried speed play and did not like them at all, ymmv

if you want a road focused pedal this works well for me, enough so I rarely switch to spd-sl for longer rides than my commute

here is the marketing blurb

Shimano's Ultra-Minimalist Commuter & Touring SPD Pedals

Shimano designed the Explorer PD-ES600 Pedals for the urban cyclists that will inevitably be clipping in and out frequently. Its light action spring tension along with a narrow release allows for easy entry and exit making the new rider feel more confident while seasoned riders will appreciate its adjustability.

The ES600 also happens to be the lightest SPD pedal in Shimano's lineup 279g a pair. That's even lighter than the range-topping XTR model. This is mainly due to its single-sided binding which also gives it a clean look on lightweight commuting and road touring bikes. The ES600 pedals will work with any shoe that accepts 2-bolt SPD cleats.

Features:

  • An urban and touring pedal with clean looks and a light binding
  • Shimano's lightest SPD pedal keeps grams out of your commute
  • The single-sided design is sleek and lightweight
  • Light entry with a narrow release is designed for city touring use
  • Easy-to-adjust entry and release tension settings
  • 9/16 inch spindle diameter
  • Weight: 279g pair


https://www.biketiresdirect.com/prod...d-es600-pedals
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Old 09-14-23, 12:03 PM
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I went with the mountain bike recessed shoes and the pedals that you can clip in with or flip them and ride normal. These also came with the cleats that unclip in every direction but upward pull. Haven't fallen over yet and it's been a few months.They are the Shimano PD-M324 SPD Dual Platform Pedals. The cleats that come with them have an "M" on them (SM-SH56) which denotes that they are the easy kind to unclip with. They do have the other cleats that require a normal pull out so you have to be sure to get the ones (if you do) that have the SM-SH56 cleats with them. Of course, you can also just buy the cleats and choose different pedals that are compatible. .I'm not sure if you can get regular Road bike shoes for them though. After using these, I don't see a reason to ever change. I've been in a few hairy situations where I had to unclip fast and being able to in just about any direction is nice.
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Old 09-14-23, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad
my suggestion would be try spd instead of spd sl I use both depending on the bike and what type of ride

over all spd is easier to get in and out of for me

I tried speed play and did not like them at all, ymmv

if you want a road focused pedal this works well for me, enough so I rarely switch to spd-sl for longer rides than my commute

here is the marketing blurb

Shimano's Ultra-Minimalist Commuter & Touring SPD Pedals

Shimano designed the Explorer PD-ES600 Pedals for the urban cyclists that will inevitably be clipping in and out frequently. Its light action spring tension along with a narrow release allows for easy entry and exit making the new rider feel more confident while seasoned riders will appreciate its adjustability.

The ES600 also happens to be the lightest SPD pedal in Shimano's lineup — 279g a pair. That's even lighter than the range-topping XTR model. This is mainly due to its single-sided binding which also gives it a clean look on lightweight commuting and road touring bikes. The ES600 pedals will work with any shoe that accepts 2-bolt SPD cleats
PD-ES600s are great pedals. I would also suggest the PD-EH500. The EH500s are flat/SPD pedals and allow you to ride with flat shoes as well as SPD shoes. They also allow you to get moving quickly without cliipping in if necessary - you can just use the flat side, power-pedal away, and then clip in on the other side once you're up to speed. I switched to the double-sided PD-ED500 a month or so ago, and that's the one feature I miss dearly.
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Old 09-14-23, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Troul
i can rotate inward or outward, given the degree allotted, & release from the pedal. Duckface, feet, foots, or kankles doesnt matter.
Same. Pedal-cleat combo with little float, adjust angle of cleat on shoe as required, set release tension to lightest value. Rotating heel inward should easily unclip. I assume not every pedal-cleat combo works well for this, but SPD system for one definitely can.

If you find yourself unclipping unexpectedly, then increase release tension incrementally.

Good luck!
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Old 09-15-23, 07:31 AM
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Kneesavers were supposed to arrive yesterday but didn't. Took another ride without them, much longer this time, longer than normal for us. I fell over at our last break before the end, I think I was just exhausted more than anything, and not thinking. I got my left foot out and down, but pulling my right foot out tipped the bike to the right and over I went in slow motion. Couldn't stop it, but I had enough time on the way down to think about how I wanted to land and nothing (me, nor the bike) got injured.

This ride included some road travel so it involved a lot of clipping and unclipping, good for practice. Feeling more comfortable with them, but I definitely want the extensions. I feel like I'm almost having to roll (as opposed to pitch/yaw) my feet to get them to push well. I think having them a couple milimeters out will make a huge difference.
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Old 09-15-23, 01:16 PM
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Clip out on the top of the stroke by twisting inward.
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