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First time going clipless - how to avoid the road rash?

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First time going clipless - how to avoid the road rash?

Old 05-02-20, 07:26 PM
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Awells32
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First time going clipless - how to avoid the road rash?

My current pedals have toe cages, but I'm looking at switching out to clipless. Are there any brands you all recommend or ones to definitely avoid? And any tips to avoid, or at least reduce, the amount of time picking tarmac out of my elbows and knees?
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Old 05-02-20, 07:55 PM
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adamhenry
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Practice with the MTB at a nice grassy park. SPDs using the SH-56 cleats are a little easier than SPD-SLs for me.
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Old 05-02-20, 08:00 PM
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MSchott
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Yep, practice on the grass. You likely will fall over a few times. The good news is you will be nearly at a standstill and the rash will be minor. The keys are to unclip as you approach the stop and if you are unsure whether to stop or not such as at a stop sign in a residential neighborhood, plan to stop. The other good news is due to the pandemic, traffic is far lighter than normal so you won't have to stop as often in the previous scenario.
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Old 05-02-20, 08:12 PM
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GlennR
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As stated, SPD are really easy and most have adjustable tension.

For "road" pedals, i've ridden LOOK for years and they make them with different tension springs.
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Old 05-02-20, 08:14 PM
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Awells32
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Guess I'll be giving it a few laps of the garden first then. I live in the UK though, so non of those pesky stop signs you guys have, plus I live in a tiny village so never any traffic apart from the occasional tractor anyway.
how do you guys set up the position for the cleats on the pedals and the shoes? Ideally I'd just go into a shop and get some help, but that's not really feasible at the moment.
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Old 05-02-20, 08:20 PM
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GlennR
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Originally Posted by Awells32 View Post
how do you guys set up the position for the cleats on the pedals and the shoes?
Plenty of video on YouTube.

https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...cleat+position
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Old 05-03-20, 05:04 AM
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Practice in a door frame just to get the feeling of clipping out.

And no matter how much you practice, you're going to miss it at some point. It happens to everyone.
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Old 05-03-20, 05:48 AM
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znomit
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After a few weeks you'll get really comfortable and forget all about them. Then plonk, probably stopping at an intersection. Hopefully you're still in lockdown and there won't be a busload of school kids there laughing at you.
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Old 05-03-20, 06:48 AM
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If you have a trainer, start out there. Same for a stationary bike. Move on to grassy areas. You can also ride around a school or business park during non business hours and practice your in and out up close to a building leaning up against a wall.
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Old 05-03-20, 06:56 AM
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This is somewhat a subjective topic but the only thing I will say to avoid.......the cheap pedals! You donít really want to get a $15 or so pair of clipless because I did when I went clipless and almost gave up due to poor quality. Shimano 105 or Ultegra are a good start. Adjustable and a decent width platform for stability. I like Time Expresso pedals myself and the iClic system.

The bottom line is you may take suggestions here and buy something and not like it. In that case try another brand if you are financially able until you find that one pedal. But I would suggest to a newbie to clipless.....Shimano 105 as a start.

To your avoiding road crash and rash.......inevitably you will fall while clipped in. It is like riding a bike for the first time no training wheels, got to fall a few times to get the hang of it.
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Old 05-03-20, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Awells32 View Post
My current pedals have toe cages, but I'm looking at switching out to clipless. Are there any brands you all recommend or ones to definitely avoid? And any tips to avoid, or at least reduce, the amount of time picking tarmac out of my elbows and knees?
I recommend time Iclic. Easier to clip in and out of than others. As others said practice on grass. If you fall at a slow stop sign because you forget to clip out, youíll not get hurt but then youíll never forget to clip out again.
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Old 05-03-20, 08:19 AM
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SPD. You can set them up for easy release.
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Old 05-03-20, 08:19 AM
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SPD, single-sided pedals, with a platform on the reverse side. That way when youíre still in town you can continue riding with one foot unclipped, and clip in proper when you get out into the country.

Start with shoes with a recessed, 2-bolt cleat. As you become more comfortable with clipping in, you can consider upgrading your road bike to SPD-sl or Look Keo or Speedplay etc. But you can still keep the 2-bolt pedals for off-road, commuter, trainer bike, whatever. Or you can just ride the 2-bolt forever if that makes you happy.
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Old 05-03-20, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Germanrazor View Post
This is somewhat a subjective topic but the only thing I will say to avoid.......the cheap pedals! You donít really want to get a $15 or so pair of clipless because I did when I went clipless and almost gave up due to poor quality. Shimano 105 or Ultegra are a good start. Adjustable and a decent width platform for stability. I like Time Expresso pedals myself and the iClic system.

The bottom line is you may take suggestions here and buy something and not like it. In that case try another brand if you are financially able until you find that one pedal. But I would suggest to a newbie to clipless.....Shimano 105 as a start.

To your avoiding road crash and rash.......inevitably you will fall while clipped in. It is like riding a bike for the first time no training wheels, got to fall a few times to get the hang of it.
I guess my experience is the opposite. Iím currently running some of the more expensive ($189) Shimano SPD pedals. I canít tell any difference between them and two or three pair of $30-40 Shimano SPD pedals that I have.

I found I really didnít have any trouble getting used to clipless, though it felt a little weird for about ten days. After riding them for over a year, I fell over just the other day because I stopped in a way I donít normally stop (after a very low speed turn around). And I hadnít unclipped early enough before stopping. Unclipping early is the key for me. If I do that a good 10-12 feet before I actually stop, everything is fine.
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Old 05-03-20, 02:50 PM
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SH56 cleats, for sure. A caveat: these MIGHT pop loose if/when you come up out of the saddle to stand and power up. However, they will also pop loose when you begin to panic because you are close to falling...and you flail a bit. They are very good all round if you're a moderate rider, like me. I have two fake hips, so I am careful about these things.
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Old 05-03-20, 03:32 PM
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If you're used to riding toe clips, the the transition should be easy. Just a slightly different foot movement.

If you've ever ridden toe clips with cleats, then the twist to get the feet loose will be similar.

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Old 05-03-20, 03:36 PM
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Slow
Clip out
Stop

NOT

Slow
Stop
Fall over sideways


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Old 05-03-20, 04:16 PM
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I also started with old clips and straps and this is easier. Clipless is much easier than cages and straps. Rotate your heel out. That's it. It's literally one single monoplanar motion. Practice it a few times on each side.
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Old 05-03-20, 04:23 PM
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If you find yourself beyond the point of no return drop your body down on that side as close to the ground as possible next to the bike and roll. Don't put out your hand to stop your fall. This is not intuitive it takes a conscious effort.
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Old 05-03-20, 04:32 PM
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I had to beat this into my head- Any issues downshifting when going uphill, unclip immediately.
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Old 05-03-20, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Awells32 View Post
My current pedals have toe cages, but I'm looking at switching out to clipless. Are there any brands you all recommend or ones to definitely avoid? And any tips to avoid, or at least reduce, the amount of time picking tarmac out of my elbows and knees?
If you can maneuver with clips, clip less will be a breeze. Just remember to unclip when you come to a stop.
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Old 05-03-20, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
And no matter how much you practice, you're going to miss it at some point. It happens to everyone.
I'm sure I'll totally **** myself over with this one, but I'm still waiting for it to happen to me - 10 years and counting, tick-tock.
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Old 05-03-20, 05:02 PM
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I have always used the SPD system and find it works well. I know that the proper road clip-in pedals have slightly better power transfer and may reduce hot-spots on your feet.

That being said, I have never had significant soreness or hot spots from SPD. SPD shoes are easier to walk-in as well.

My advise is consider SPD. Decide whether you would still like to ride the bike with conventional shoes sometimes. If so, consider a pedal with SPD one side and cage on the other.

As far as technique goes. You can play with the tension and also a useful habit is to unclip on at least one side when riding in traffic or in terrain where you may need to get a foot down quickly.

Also, when climbing you need to remember you have very little reaction time so if you need to stop, give one or two powerful strokes to give a small time buffer to get at least one foot out before you lose momentum and stop.
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Old 05-03-20, 06:58 PM
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i just installed Shimano SPD XT 8100 two sided pedals

after being on Speedplay Frogs for 15 years. Even with the pedal tension adjusted to the least tension I still found it a bit of a challenge to unclip. Not terrible, just not a no brainer. The pedals come with SH51 cleats included in the box. I bought a separate set of SH56 cleats and the difference is night and day easier with SH56. Like zero problem exiting ever.
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Old 05-03-20, 09:51 PM
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Get Shimano SPD pedals. A big added bonus is that you can actually walk in the shoes with SPD cleats without feeling like you are wearing skates on steps. I keep the tension on my pedals really low. After a long ride when my legs are like noodles I can get out of my pedals quickly.
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