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Is there such a thing as Electronic Clipless pedals?

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Is there such a thing as Electronic Clipless pedals?

Old 04-21-12, 12:27 PM
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bobotech
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Is there such a thing as Electronic Clipless pedals?

I read about clipless pedals. I'm not going to be getting any anytime soon but they are intriguing.

The biggest problem I see is that when people come to a stop, they panic or just aren't able to get their foot to unclip properly.

So I was thinking, what about an electronically controlled release that is controlled by one or two sensors. At minimum you would have a sensor in your brake lever. So when you squeeze the brake lever, the retaining assembly in the pedal would release. Yes, there would have to be 3 batteries in the system. One for each pedal and another for the wireless brake lever sensors.

Now you say, "well I don't want my pedal to be unclipped when I'm still moving" but think about it. When you are squeezing the brake lever, you aren't probably putting any appreciable amount of torque into the pedals or they are coasting at that point. So the pedal clip is in a sense passive at that point, its not really being utilized.

When you release the brake lever, the retainer would then automatically drop back into "active" and retain the clip. And you could probably add another sensor that would work with the speed of the bike, so if your bike is say under 3 or 4 mph and senses the brake lever being squeezed, only then the retainer would release.

Heck, maybe you could only have a speed sensor in place and not even need the brake lever sensor. If the computer sensed your speed at anything lower than 2-4mph, the clips would be released automatically.

Just seems like that would make running clipless SOO much easier.
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Old 04-21-12, 12:29 PM
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Also I don't think this would work very well for track bikes but my idea would be more marketed towards training and recreational rather than racing.
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Old 04-21-12, 01:03 PM
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Getting out of clipless shouldn't be a problem for more than the first few days for anyone who is physically capable of riding a bike.
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Old 04-21-12, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by bobotech View Post
Also I don't think this would work very well for track bikes but my idea would be more marketed towards training and recreational rather than racing.
And it wouldn't work even a little bit for track bikes cause THEY DON"T HAVE ANY BRAKES!
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Old 04-21-12, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
Getting out of clipless shouldn't be a problem for more than the first few days for anyone who is physically capable of riding a bike.
You would think, but most of the time I ride my MTB with BMX style pedals on, so when I ride the roadie I feel the benefit of cleats, and then the cons of them when I get to a junction and forget to unclip.

Also, if cleats are clip less, what are clipped pedals then?
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Old 04-21-12, 01:18 PM
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Flat pedals with toe clips. I ride clipless in the dirt, but I do think that the benefits can be a little overstated for the recreational mountain biker. That said just for consistency, why not get a cheap set (maybe shimano m520) for the dirt...
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Old 04-21-12, 01:34 PM
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My clipless pedals have an electronic control system... it is called my nervous system.

Ride with clip-less pedals for a while and clipping out becomes automatic and if they are set right, should release when you come off the bike in a less than graceful fashion... dual sided release on my SPD pedals allows for this while single sided cleats may bind if you pull your ankle inward.
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Old 04-21-12, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
Flat pedals with toe clips. I ride clipless in the dirt, but I do think that the benefits can be a little overstated for the recreational mountain biker. That said just for consistency, why not get a cheap set (maybe shimano m520) for the dirt...
Good idea, but I commute on mine, so it's kinda handy not have to keep changing shoes.

Sixty fiver - Cleats now MAKE me nervous, so it's kinda broken that system.
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Old 04-21-12, 02:35 PM
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Your first order of business should be to actually use clipless pedals and discover what, if any, actual problems exist. What you're proposing to solve isn't an issue. What would be an issue is if a rider depended on your system to always release the cleat, and it didn't because of dead batteries or some other mechanical failure.
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Old 04-21-12, 02:41 PM
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Yet another "solution" for a problem that doesn't exist.
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Old 04-21-12, 02:48 PM
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I think instead of electronics, use a small black powder charge under each foot to blast your feet away from the pedal when you come to a stop. You'd have to recharge the pedal each time you started up again. Starting my patent application tonight.
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Old 04-21-12, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Buggington View Post
Good idea, but I commute on mine, so it's kinda handy not have to keep changing shoes.

Sixty fiver - Cleats now MAKE me nervous, so it's kinda broken that system.
When I speak of cleats I mean the clips on your shoes... some are single sided release and others release in both directions. I also like double sided pedals which do allow me to wear any shoe or boot although most of my riding is done clipless or with old fashioned clips and straps.

Riding clipless is not as difficult as it is made out to be... I rely on my cliplesss to keep my left foot placed as I have neuropathic issues that cause traction issues and this also maintains proper hip / knee alignment.

Even with a gimpy foot clipping out with my bad foot is not an issue... clipping in is a little trickier due to a lack of feedback so I am in the habit of keeping my left foot clipped in at stops and putting my right foot down.

Most amusing thing that ever happened while I was riding clipless was at an intersection and I had unclipped my right foot and was braking as I came up behind a van... when I went to put my right foot down I partially clipped the pedal at pretty much 0 speed and could not unclip it, left foot was up, I was leaning left and for a moment thought I was going to fall. Without really thinking I kicked the bike into a wheelie (mtb) to get my bike up and rolled it hard to the right to clear the van, bunny hopped up on to the boulevard, and was then able to unclip my left and deal with the right clip.

I received some nice applause from some young guys who were standing waiting for a bus but felt like to total idiot.

Always figure the many thousands of miles I have spent on the trail and in the air have helped with my urban bike handling skills and saved me from more than a few crashes.
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Old 04-21-12, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Buggington View Post
You would think, but most of the time I ride my MTB with BMX style pedals on, so when I ride the roadie I feel the benefit of cleats, and then the cons of them when I get to a junction and forget to unclip.

Also, if cleats are clip less, what are clipped pedals then?
If clipless pedals psych you out you would have LOVED what they replaced.

The "clip" in clipless pedals refers to toe clips. We used to have a metal cleat that was nailed to the sole of our shoes that fit onto the pedal. Then we pulled the toe strap tight to lock the whole combination together. Stopping for a red light required either good track stand skills or the ability to plan ahead.
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Old 04-21-12, 07:31 PM
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If you can't remember to clip out, it's probably because you are too busy concentrating on something else. In that case, you aren't going to have the bandwidth to remember to use the electronic release. I think it just takes a bit of practice before it's so second nature you don't ever realize you are unclipping. Kind of like learning to drive a stick shift; you are going to stall and stutter start until it becomes second nature.
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Old 04-21-12, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by a1penguin View Post
If you can't remember to clip out, it's probably because you are too busy concentrating on something else.
Thus one of the requirements of the 50+ Club Tombay.

To gain membership you have to fall over due to failing to unclip AND it has to be witnessed by an attractive young woman.
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Old 04-21-12, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by bobotech View Post
I read about clipless pedals. I'm not going to be getting any anytime soon but they are intriguing.

The biggest problem I see is that when people come to a stop, they panic or just aren't able to get their foot to unclip properly.

So I was thinking, what about an electronically controlled release that is controlled by one or two sensors. At minimum you would have a sensor in your brake lever. So when you squeeze the brake lever, the retaining assembly in the pedal would release. Yes, there would have to be 3 batteries in the system. One for each pedal and another for the wireless brake lever sensors.

Now you say, "well I don't want my pedal to be unclipped when I'm still moving" but think about it. When you are squeezing the brake lever, you aren't probably putting any appreciable amount of torque into the pedals or they are coasting at that point. So the pedal clip is in a sense passive at that point, its not really being utilized.

When you release the brake lever, the retainer would then automatically drop back into "active" and retain the clip. And you could probably add another sensor that would work with the speed of the bike, so if your bike is say under 3 or 4 mph and senses the brake lever being squeezed, only then the retainer would release.

Heck, maybe you could only have a speed sensor in place and not even need the brake lever sensor. If the computer sensed your speed at anything lower than 2-4mph, the clips would be released automatically.

Just seems like that would make running clipless SOO much easier.
Magnetic clipless would make more sense to me but then again I don't like clipless on the street 'cause they ain't safe.
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I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

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Old 04-21-12, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
Magnetic clipless would make more sense to me but then again I don't like clipless on the street 'cause they ain't safe.
hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
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Old 04-21-12, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by a1penguin View Post
If you can't remember to clip out, it's probably because you are too busy concentrating on something else. In that case, you aren't going to have the bandwidth to remember to use the electronic release. I think it just takes a bit of practice before it's so second nature you don't ever realize you are unclipping. Kind of like learning to drive a stick shift; you are going to stall and stutter start until it becomes second nature.
Why would you need to use an electronic release? With the system I envisioned, everything is passive. You hit the brakes, the computer knows that you are intending to slow down so it releases the solenoid holding the clips in place. Since you aren't pedaling at that point because you are slowing down, then it won't matter if you are clipped in or not since you aren't powering though the stroke. You as the bike operator do NOT have to hit a button or engage a lever or anything to release the brakes, its all done automatically.

I also thought maybe the automatic release would only engage when you got below a certain speed.

Its funny how the people here are almost hostile towards my idea. "Another solution to a problem that doesn't exist". All I know is that I read stories about people falling over at stop lights when using clipless. Why is it a bad thing to have an automatic release? And as to the battery issue, heck, have the solenoid setup work in such a way that if there is no power being applied, the clips are in release mode.

I can imagine a LOT more people like casual riders like I would be much more intrigued to try clipless if it had an automatic release system. No more worrying about falling over and embarrassing oneself.

I really think the biggest benefit would be during a panic situation where you grab the brakes hard because someone pulls in front of you.
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Old 04-21-12, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by rebel1916 View Post
And it wouldn't work even a little bit for track bikes cause THEY DON"T HAVE ANY BRAKES!
Hostile aren't we?

It would work if the system was speed sensitive. Computer senses speed below a certain threshold and releases the solenoid.
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Old 04-21-12, 10:24 PM
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Clipless just isn't that hard. Neither were/are clips and straps, for that matter.

This will probably be considered mean, but IMO if you aren't competent enough on a bike to manage clipless, you probably aren't competent enough on a bike to be on a bike - or at least anything beyond cruising the MUP at <10 MPH, which renders shoe retention pointless for you anyway.
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Old 04-21-12, 10:44 PM
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Funny thing, the feeling I get from this thread is that only the cool kids ride clipless and we don't want clipless to be accessible to everyone. And if you aren't cool enough to handle clipless, then you don't deserve to be on a bike.
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Old 04-21-12, 10:58 PM
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I've had two accidents, one involving a vehicle and the other just my own stupidity. Both times my feet came out of the pedals. The only unlcipping that is even a minor issue is the one pair of shoes I have with recessed cleats in a sneaker like sole. The recessed cleat surrounded by a thick sole makes for just a little more time needed to get unclipped.
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Old 04-22-12, 01:59 AM
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Uh-huh

So it automatically releases your feet if you use the brake lever.
Meaning, when I'm deccelerating suddenly to avoid pedestrian/car/squirrel and need to maintain precise control of the bike; suddenly my feet are no longer secure.

great
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Old 04-22-12, 02:03 AM
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Originally Posted by bobotech View Post
Hostile aren't we?

It would work if the system was speed sensitive. Computer senses speed below a certain threshold and releases the solenoid.
I like that idea, but you could also do a button release for people that don't want to change their levers and who don't particularly like the idea behind the speed controlled one.

And another idea (I have no idea how it would work yet) for cable operated ones, for people that don't trust electricity?
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Old 04-22-12, 02:41 AM
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Originally Posted by bobotech View Post
Funny thing, the feeling I get from this thread is that only the cool kids ride clipless and we don't want clipless to be accessible to everyone. And if you aren't cool enough to handle clipless, then you don't deserve to be on a bike.
The feeling you should be getting from this thread is that this is a really dumb idea. Having a pedal automatically disengage, at any speed, is intrinsically dangerous. For example, when touring it would not be that unusual for me to get down to only two or three mph on a very steep climb. On a mountain bike it is important to be able to trackstand briefly while looking ahead to pick the safe line. When commuting I will often trackstand, or at least manoeuvre at very low speeds, to deal with traffic at stop signs and intersections etc.

Going clipless is already accessible to everyone. It is just like riding a bike. Nobody is born able to do it, but after a few minutes practice, everyone can.

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