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Clipless Pedal Horror Stories

Old 08-03-09, 02:57 AM
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mijome07
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Clipless Pedal Horror Stories

Let's hear/read them.
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Old 08-03-09, 03:26 AM
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Nothing terrible ...

I crashed on the first or second day I had them, because I didn't unclip in time at a light, and landed on my left knee. A little hard lump came up. A couple weeks later, I crashed at a light again, and landed on my left knee. The little hard lump went away.

Oh, and be very careful if you're tempted to use a MUP with small children zipping here and there on their bicycles. I had one such urchin try to play chicken with me ... I tried to dodge, but he dodged with me, I tried to yell at him to get out of the way, but he ignored me ..... I couldn't unclip in time and I went over (and landed on my left knee, of course). He told his father that he thought I would just stop and put my foot down when he got close.
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Old 08-03-09, 03:52 AM
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Aerolite pedals.
As the cleats wear, the pedal spindle is less firmly held in the shoe cleat.
Downhill sprint for the line for a top ten placing. Pulled out. Very, very scary. Managed to keep it upright and somehow didn't cause anyone else to crash either. Phew!

MKS Mapstage pedals.
Imagine a pedal that you need to twist out, then pull back to release.
Now imagine writhing about on the sidewalk trying to extricate yourself from these boat anchors. Mmmphckgrrrrr!
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Old 08-03-09, 04:19 AM
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Nothing too bad...

I was trying to make a 180 degree turn on a residential street, and then some car charged into the street, forcing me to hit my brakes and let it pass. I couldn't unclip in time and fell on my left side - in front of a pretty girl, of course.
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Old 08-03-09, 07:08 AM
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Some years ago, me and my riding buddy both switched to clipless about the same time.

We were doing Poto, which is 18 miles of quad searing prime Michigan XC trail. Towards the end we had gotten through some nasty mud (Gosling lake loop) and coasted around a flat open area to take a break. We simultaneously executed unclip malfunctions and fell over. We both busted up laughing.
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Old 08-03-09, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Metzinger View Post
MKS Mapstage pedals.
Imagine a pedal that you need to twist out, then pull back to release.
Now imagine writhing about on the sidewalk trying to extricate yourself from these boat anchors. Mmmphckgrrrrr!
Let's not forget the Cinelli M-71 "Widowmaker" -- one of the original clipless designs from the mid-70s. You had to reach under the pedal and pull a lever to disengage.

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Old 08-03-09, 07:49 AM
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I used to race DH with clipless pedals.

Once while practicing at Angel Fire a minor crash on a steep section had me still clipped in with both feet and my head pointed downhill. Unclipping while upside-down is harder than you think, especially when you're laughing hard at how silly you must look.
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Old 08-03-09, 08:01 AM
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None here, I have yet to convert over to clipless, despite the urgings from fellow cyclists. There were a couple of incidents that would have turned extremely ugly if I had been clipped in.
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Old 08-03-09, 08:01 AM
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I've only fallen a couple of times and luckily it was in some nice soft grass.

However, one time I was coming to a halt at a stop sign and had unclipped my right foot. It was a really windy day with strong gust of 30 mph. Just as I unclipped I got hit with a cross wind gust and instead of me leaning to the right the wind actually stood me up and started to push me to the left. I couldn't unclip my left foot since any shift in weight would have sent me over into a car. At the last millisecond the wind let up and I was able to put my foot down.
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Old 08-03-09, 08:15 AM
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I have nothing. Platform horror stories on the other hand...
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Old 08-03-09, 08:46 AM
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The usual. Track standing at a light at 12:30am after a few hours of riding, decided to not trackstand while waiting any longer.... left foot wouldn't unclip in time. Straight to the knee, and hands... but saved bar tape and brooks from hitting .
For the record, new cleats and shoes for egg-beaters, and the pedal was getting stuck between the cleat and shoe because they bottom of shoe isn't perfectly flat... needs a shim of sort.
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Old 08-03-09, 09:35 AM
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Nothing awful.

-I lost a screw in a cleat while riding and couldn't get the cleat unclipped off of the pedal. I had to untie the cleat and pull my foot out, than work on getting the cleat unclipped.

Now, I always check my cleats before I ride, since apparently the screws will eventually back out.

-On another occasion, I was really tired after a long right one day and just couldn't get my foot unclipped, and didn't the flop of fame onto the sidewalk. I did smash my right elbow though, which swelled up pretty badily.

Originally Posted by pedalpedalpedal View Post
Nothing too bad...

I was trying to make a 180 degree turn on a residential street, and then some car charged into the street, forcing me to hit my brakes and let it pass. I couldn't unclip in time and fell on my left side - in front of a pretty girl, of course.
All is not lost in this situation, the proper save is to follow up the manuever by speaking the phrase, "Ta-Dah!!" accompanied by ample usage of jazz hands..
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Old 08-03-09, 09:44 AM
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Once I blacked out for a second when coming to a stop light and did not clip out so I fell on my right knee. I had a big knot there for about 6 weeks. No blood was shed but made it difficult to run for a few weeks.
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Old 08-03-09, 09:53 AM
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//Let's not forget the Cinelli M-71 "Widowmaker" -- one of the original clipless designs from the mid-70s. You had to reach under the pedal and pull a lever to disengage.

//


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Old 08-03-09, 10:14 AM
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I switched to SPD a few weeks ago. No problems, however, at one time a car gave way to me just after I had come to a full stop with my right foot on the ground. I wanted to clip in quickly and while in motion, I pushed my right foot downwards; and it didn't clip in but slided forwards off the pedal. Luckily, I was sitting, but still it hurt my groin, because of the sudden position shift. Youch! Must have been a funny sight for the driver, who thought to be kind, by giving way without a real reason.
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Old 08-03-09, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by vsopking View Post
I switched to SPD a few weeks ago. No problems, however, at one time a car gave way to me just after I had come to a full stop with my right foot on the ground. I wanted to clip in quickly and while in motion, I pushed my right foot downwards; and it didn't clip in but slided forwards off the pedal. Luckily, I was sitting, but still it hurt my groin, because of the sudden position shift. Youch! Must have been a funny sight for the driver, who thought to be kind, by giving way without a real reason.
I super-glued patches of old tire tubes to the soles of my shoes. That makes the sole to, not be so slippery. If I miss the cleat the first round, it's now easier to just push the pedal around and cross the street until you can try again.
Ernest

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Old 08-03-09, 12:06 PM
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I was showing off, trackstanding in front of a bunch of college girls on my FG over on Purdue campus. I started to tip and couldn't get unclipped in time and toppled over into a huge rose bush. The girls were nice enough to help this old fogie get untangled from the rose bush, at least.
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Old 08-03-09, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
I was showing off, trackstanding in front of a bunch of college girls on my FG over on Purdue campus. I started to tip and couldn't get unclipped in time and toppled over into a huge rose bush. The girls were nice enough to help this old fogie get untangled from the rose bush, at least.
You know you did that on purpose
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Old 08-03-09, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Let's not forget the Cinelli M-71 "Widowmaker" -- one of the original clipless designs from the mid-70s. You had to reach under the pedal and pull a lever to disengage.
Good God... Those remind me of old ski bindings, which were mercifully phased out of existence by the time I started learning how to ski. I wonder how much worse my knees would be now.

The last time I fell was when I decided to stop one night and drag a stray length of firehose (??) out of the street in front of the Capitol. The thing was, I hadn't decided to stop until the last second, at which point I was already looking down at the hose and had distracted myself with where to grab it first. Ba-dump-whump, I fell over, mostly rolling on my side. I picked up the bike, grabbed some hose, waved to the headlights of the car that had stopped behind me, and flung the hose onto the sidewalk.
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Old 08-03-09, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Big_e View Post
I super-glued patches of old tire tubes to the soles of my shoes. That makes the sole to, not be so slippery. If I miss the cleat the first round, it's now easier to just push the pedal around and cross the street until you can try again.
Ernest

Thank you - I''ll do the same!!
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Old 08-03-09, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
I was showing off, trackstanding in front of a bunch of college girls on my FG over on Purdue campus. I started to tip and couldn't get unclipped in time and toppled over into a huge rose bush. The girls were nice enough to help this old fogie get untangled from the rose bush, at least.
The rules of Clipless falls are to always do it in front of your neighbours or at least 3 nurses who can render 1st aid. I suppose college girls are almost as good

Nothing drastic with me but on a London to Brighton ride and on the approach to Brighton a light turned red. It looked well rehearsed but the pace line of roadies pulled up to the line- one by one- unclipped left and put the foot down. Then the final rider pulled up on the left- unclipped left and fell right. It was like a stack of dominoes.
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Old 08-03-09, 02:59 PM
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My one and only (so far) non-clip-out-fall was in my driveway. On my way to the cement my head whipped past the bumper of my car with my helmet just barely grazing it. Had my head hit the bumper that would have been a VERY painful lesson in un-clipping!

A few weeks ago I was out riding with the wife and she had a unclip right, lean left moment at an intersection. Got out just in time to not fall but she did a complete split stretch over the bike in the middle of the road. Luckily her Tae Kwon Do keeps her very flexible! I don't know who laughed harder, me or the guy driving past! (I DO know who got punched harder, though!)

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Old 08-03-09, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by DataJunkie View Post
I have nothing. Platform horror stories on the other hand...
The closest to a horror story is one time the girl on my right at a light was new to clipless and did not clip out and fell into me. I was not balanced right to support her. But over 220 lbs I still kept botjh of us upright.

I've had more than one incident on decents where I've hit a pothole or other obstruction on the road where if I had not been clipped in I could have suffered serious injury.
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Old 08-03-09, 04:28 PM
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Time for my mishap. Purchased some new Egg Beaters which I like very much. Went for a ride with my brother last week. We ended up at the bottom of this mountain in town. Clipped in left side and started to ride up. Since I was on a high gear, I thought I can get the right side clipped in on the down stroke. Bad idea. I was on a steep incline to add. Lost my balance And couldn't unclip my left side.

Naturally I fell down. Now, at the same time, Some guy coming down on his bike almost ran over my face/head! So I tucked in my head and he grazed my back with either his pedal, chain(ring) or whatever it was. He stopped and asked if I was okay while I was still trying to unclip my left foot.

I apologized to him (since I fell in front of him). He rode off and I straightened the left brifter, saddle and changed the gearing (while stationary). Caught up to my brother and told him what had happened. Stopped at the base of the mountain to show him my back (which was stinging like crazy). He said I had some scrapes, we laughed, then rode up the trail.

Stopped by my parents' house, where everyone proceeded to make fun of me. Naturally I laughed with them, while they laughed at me. Back was sore that night and the next day, but no bruising. It could of been a lot worse if I hadn't protected my face/head. End of story.
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Old 08-03-09, 05:20 PM
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A few rides after I switched to clipless, I was getting off the bike. I remembered to unclip my left leg as I stopped. However, I forgot to unclip my right leg. I tried to lift my leg over the bike to dismount, but picked up the bike instead. I lost my balance and come down hard on my left knee. I am glad I dismount that way. If I lifted my left leg, I would have slammed the bike down on the drive side.
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