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Not feeling secure using clipless

Old 07-25-16, 08:10 PM
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yashinon
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Not feeling secure using clipless

I have been using the Shimano dual sided clipless pedals for a couple of years. First on a hybrid and now on a road bike. I typically keep the left foot clipped and leave right foot out. However, I forget that i am clipped in, in fact I plopped over twice in recent days. I am looking at flat pedals with pegs and five-ten shoes as an alternative. I like the idea of being clipped into the pedal, however I have lost my sense of confidence. I know that there is a debate between clipless and platform. I am not a long distance rider, more of a fitness rider. Are there others using platforms with their road bikes? How do you feel about platform pedals and what kind of pedals do you use?
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Old 07-25-16, 08:22 PM
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I've got about 500 miles on pinned flat pedals, 350 of which have been on DMR V12s - not a lot, but I think it's enough to know these are better than clipless, better than toe clips, better than toe clips with cleats - at least if you're not racing or riding in competitive groups.

The downsides: 1) can't pull up as well as with toe clips or clipless, although you can pull more than a little bit; 2) blood loss from the pins, if unprotected leg tissue hits the pins.

The upsides: 1) you don't need special shoes because of the large surface area - but my black/white/orange-red Five-Ten Minnears are way cool; 2) great connection with the pedals with easy disconnect (just lift your foot up a few mm); 3) able to vary foot position - ball of foot when you want it, mid-foot when you want, straight ahead or angled as you please; 4) easy to vary q-factor, just by placing your foot in a different place on the pedal.
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Old 07-25-16, 08:56 PM
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Have you ever had full clipless pedals (clip in on both sides)? I feel like it's a lot easier to get used to being clipped in and clipping out at stops if you're forced to.
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Old 07-25-16, 09:01 PM
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I've used platforms, clips and clipless. At this point, I'll most likely never use anything but clipless again. Platforms are ok but there are occasions where I lose contact with the pedal. Powering up a hill in foul weather, or spinning fast at times. Also, I make a conscious effort to pedal in a full circle, or as close as I can and not have any dead spots. You can't do that on platforms. It's been years since I've used anything but clipless on anything other than my fat bike and I have campus style pedals on those. Platforms on one side and clipless on the other.
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Old 07-25-16, 09:11 PM
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It's more important to ride with confidence than to force yourself into clipless because lots of other people do it. Everybody doesn't do it. They're not essential, just nice to have. Do what works for YOU. I keep platforms on one of my bikes just for occasions when I don't feel like doing clipless.
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Old 07-25-16, 09:17 PM
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I use plain platform pedals, toe clip and strap pedals, and Look system clipless on my various bikes. I have no problem transitioning from one to the other.

I use the Looks with cycling shoes for the road bike where I might be riding for hours. The toe clip and strap pedals are for the commuter, for my typically 1/2 hour ride (though I can make it much longer when I feel like it), and allows me to do errands on the way. The short haul "bopper" folding bike has plain pedals, and gets used for short hauls and errands in town. I consider it's range to be about 10 miles max.

My point is that there are no rules and you should use whatever pedals you feel meet your needs, or like I do, all three types depending on the situation.
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Old 07-25-16, 10:26 PM
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I use clipless pedals on all my bikes... Road and mountain. The only time I wish I had flats was when I'm riding somewhere in regular clothes... Like a restaurant or convenience store.

If you're still keen on trying clipless, you may loosen up the tension so you can get out of the pedals very easily. Ride that way for a while to rebuild your confidence.

All that being said, you definitely don't need anyone's approval to ride whatever you want.
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Old 07-25-16, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by yashinon View Post
I have been using the Shimano dual sided clipless pedals for a couple of years. First on a hybrid and now on a road bike. I typically keep the left foot clipped and leave right foot out. However, I forget that i am clipped in, in fact I plopped over twice in recent days. I am looking at flat pedals with pegs and five-ten shoes as an alternative. I like the idea of being clipped into the pedal, however I have lost my sense of confidence. I know that there is a debate between clipless and platform. I am not a long distance rider, more of a fitness rider. Are there others using platforms with their road bikes? How do you feel about platform pedals and what kind of pedals do you use?
That's a pricey alternative. Take a note from the fixie crowd: use bmx flats with shoe straps. Or keep your clipless pedals and dial the pedal's tension way down.
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Old 07-25-16, 10:40 PM
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As in so many other cases, doing it halfway is not serving you well. Clip both feet in every single time you ride for the entire ride. When you always do something, it is not hard to remember you are doing it. Your problem is your lack of committment. Besides, falling over due to the rare inability to unclip is essentially a non-issue. It is hard to hurt yourself that way. Believe me I know.

Ride with the clip as loose as possible until you are confident. Practice unclipping from various positions on the crank circle. Also try moving the ankle both in and out. One combination of position and direction will be just right for you. Do it that way every time.

Hey, I am the clumsiest cyclist known to man...and the worst bike handler. If I can do it, you can do it.
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Old 07-25-16, 11:23 PM
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One way to get past the fear of falling with clipless pedals is to ride them on a grass and practice stopping and falling over without un-cleating. Focus on meeting the grass with everything you can, side of arms, rotating you leg out but: don't stiffen up, don't let go of the handlebars. Your thought process should be along the lines of "I just made a fool of myself and it's funny." Laugh.

Losing the fear of falling over won't keep those falls from happening. But it will mean that those falls will be no big deal. I've been riding with toeclips, straps pulled tight and cleats for 40 years. (What everyone used who raced.) If I don't bend over and release that buckle with my hand, I am going to fall over. Still happens. But it doesn't matter. Since I am not moving, there is no road rash and usually no bruise at all.

This is the one time to celebrate being a fool.

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Old 07-25-16, 11:25 PM
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I've owned several different kinds of clipless and several pairs of shoes, and I changed to flats with pins.

There's just really no advantage to using clipless (I'm not racing where the additional foot retention would be useful in an all out sprint) and a lot of annoyances and drawbacks.

It's really nice to not have to change shoes or have issues walking on some floors. I ride, get off the bike, walk whereever I want, don't worry about it. Flats are more comfortable for my foot. Most of the "advantages" of clipless are disproven myths, like the idea that you can pull up and gain power on the flat isn't true, they tested it out on pros
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Old 07-25-16, 11:31 PM
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Speedplay light action. Easy to clip in and out. Build your confidence and it soon becomes second nature. Just an opinion
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Old 07-25-16, 11:39 PM
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Everyone seems to think that the people that ride fixed gears use straps, and maybe some do, but pretty much everyone I have ridden with uses SPD clipless or CrankBrothers. A few guys use the straps. I usually laugh as they are struggling to get their non dominant foot back in the strap after it has flipped over several times.

I started with SPD's on a mountain bike and made myself learn how to use them. Now it is second nature and I have them on all of my bikes, from a fixed gear track bike to a carbon road bike to my cx bike.
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Old 07-26-16, 01:40 AM
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OP, why are/were you riding with one foot clipped in and one out? What benefit were you expecting to get? And did you get it?

"I know that there is a debate between clipless and platform."

Really? What would the debate be about, and who's having it?
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Old 07-26-16, 03:10 AM
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I really don't understand what is so hard to clip in and out . As you approach stop sign/traffic light clip out 100' ahead , problem solve .
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Old 07-26-16, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by philbob57 View Post
I've got about 500 miles on pinned flat pedals, 350 of which have been on DMR V12s - not a lot, but I think it's enough to know these are better than clipless, better than toe clips, better than toe clips with cleats
For you, perhaps...
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Old 07-26-16, 12:58 PM
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For me, definitely.

As I read any Internet forum, the vast majority of posts are clearly opinions. I agree, though, it would have been better if I had stated explicitly that I was sharing facts about my experience and a fairly general opinion.

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Old 07-27-16, 01:33 AM
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I have three road bikes, one with SPD-SL, another with SPDs, and one with platform pedals. Platform pedals are great and I do a lot of riding with them, long rides, short rides, canyons, dirt trails, everything. Clipless isn't a requirement and platforms DONT hold you back, so do what you like. There are some great platform pedals out there with massive grip. I use the MKS Lambda pedals because they're big pedals and I have big feet.

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Old 07-27-16, 03:00 AM
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Loose toe clips work well for me. I've tried pinned pedals with 5-10 shoes, works okay, however the pedals would flip over between the 10 and 2 position under load. I'm not willing to commit to clipless, because of the potential for knee damage or serious injury related to a pedal or cleat malfunction.
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Old 07-27-16, 04:09 AM
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Originally Posted by mapeiboy View Post
I really don't understand what is so hard to clip in and out . As you approach stop sign/traffic light clip out 100' ahead , problem solve .
+1. I’ve fallen four times within about six months during the learning phase, all while stopping. My rule is even when thinking about slowing down or stopping, its a good idea to unclip one foot, the right one for me.
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Old 07-27-16, 05:55 AM
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I agree that leaving o e foot out is not serving you well. That is the worst of the 3 options. Total commitment of both feet will train you very fast...if you still see benefit to it.

I was reminded of the benefit 2 days ago...I normally ride clipped in to my dual (spd/flat) pedals, but had to take off quickly from an intersection and so for a few seconds only had one foot clipped in, with the other on the flat...I then had to bunny hop over an obstacle and my left foot came off the pedal, rammed my shin into the pedal, and I almost crashed. I bunny hop all the time with feet clipped in with no issues, so I wasn't prepared for the foot movement.
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Old 07-27-16, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by yashinon View Post
I have been using the Shimano dual sided clipless pedals for a couple of years. First on a hybrid and now on a road bike. I typically keep the left foot clipped and leave right foot out. However, I forget that i am clipped in, in fact I plopped over twice in recent days. I am looking at flat pedals with pegs and five-ten shoes as an alternative. I like the idea of being clipped into the pedal, however I have lost my sense of confidence. I know that there is a debate between clipless and platform. I am not a long distance rider, more of a fitness rider. Are there others using platforms with their road bikes? How do you feel about platform pedals and what kind of pedals do you use?
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Old 07-27-16, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
As in so many other cases, doing it halfway is not serving you well. Clip both feet in every single time you ride for the entire ride. When you always do something, it is not hard to remember you are doing it. Your problem is your lack of commitment. Besides, falling over due to the rare inability to unclip is essentially a non-issue. It is hard to hurt yourself that way. Believe me I know.

Ride with the clip as loose as possible until you are confident. Practice unclipping from various positions on the crank circle. Also try moving the ankle both in and out. One combination of position and direction will be just right for you. Do it that way every time.

Hey, I am the clumsiest cyclist known to man...and the worst bike handler. If I can do it, you can do it.
Exactly my experience. I started out on a hybrid and eventually went from platforms to Shimano double-sided pedals. I tended to keep one foot loose because the thought of being clipped in on both sides was unnerving (I hadn't been riding very long). I figured I'd gradually go to being clipped in on both feet as I gained confidence and felt more secure. It never happened: I gained confidence but retained the habit of keeping one foot unclipped, or else frequently clipping and unclipping it to feel safe. I ultimately realized I wasn't going to change the habit because I'd come to rely on my crutch, so-to-speak. So I bought a set of Shimano road pedals (figured I might as well go all in and get rid of the double-sides as well), and within a day being clipped in felt completely natural, to the point that even an emergency dismount was just a reflex reaction.
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