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How do you handle Traffic with Clipless Pedals

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How do you handle Traffic with Clipless Pedals

Old 11-05-06, 09:02 AM
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How do you handle Traffic with Clipless Pedals

I always take my morning ride in the suburbs. Anywhere from 10-15 miles. I stay on lighter traffic roades but some are heavier, with stop signs and lights. I swithed from SPD's, to regular road shoes and SPD-SL pedals and cleats. I always had a hard time finding the cleat on the SPD. Now that I have SPD-SL's it seems alot easier to get in but, the release is harder, even though I have set them as light as they can go. What technique do you use with your SPD-Sl, or Look pedals to negotiate traffic. Do I just have another learning curve?
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Old 11-05-06, 09:10 AM
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Any new clipless system will take time to adjust to. When switching from Look to SPD it took me at least a couple weeks before I could clip-in every time on the first thrust downward. For disengaging there really is no technique outside of getting your foot down in time unless you have phenomenal balancing skills.
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Old 11-05-06, 09:14 AM
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When riding in traffic, unclip EARLY when coming to a stop / intersection. Don't wait 'til the last second. Also I helps to ride at a pace that conicides with the traffic lights to minimize the need to unclip.
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Old 11-05-06, 09:14 AM
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Learn to trackstand as a distraction

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Old 11-05-06, 10:19 AM
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Frankly, SPD are much better pedals for stop-and-go traffic than any of the road bike pedals. For one, you can clip in on either side and, two, the typical MTB shoes used with SPD pedals have lugged rubber soles that grip the pedal even if you miss the clip-in. If you miss the clip-in on SPD-SL, the slick hard sole shoes slip right off.

As far as getting out of SPD-SL pedals, twist your heel out and pull up. You may have to be more aggressive than with your SPD pedals but it's no big deal.
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Old 11-05-06, 12:02 PM
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I have a technique, that helps in the pedal disengagement. Place your clip out foot forward with cranks horizontal, the ankle twist has extra leverage to clip your foot out everytime you need to.
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Old 11-05-06, 12:54 PM
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i've found that it's easiest to get out of the those pedals at the bottom of the stroke. also, if you're having problems clipping in, just freewheel your clipped shoe back to the top of the pedal stroke and start over, after or two times you should be able to clip the other foot in...

the thing about SPD SL's is that, like Look's, the pedal will always be in the same position when you're unclipped. so, after a few rides of getting used to that, you will be able to do it in your sleep...
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Old 11-05-06, 01:40 PM
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What technique do you use with your SPD-Sl, or Look pedals to negotiate traffic. Do I just have another learning curve?
Trackstand

When riding in traffic, unclip EARLY when coming to a stop / intersection. Don't wait 'til the last second.
The above suggestion absolves you from looking dorky.
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Old 11-05-06, 01:47 PM
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+3 Trackstand.

I think i usually unclip at the top of the pedal stroke, (resting my weight on the other foot at the bottom of the of the pedal stroke. The force applied is just more for spd-sl, just get used to it. But balance is what you need, i can often come to a complete stop, balance for a second, unclip, then touch the ground, all in a calm controlled manar. It's all about balance baby!
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Old 11-05-06, 01:55 PM
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Another trackstander. Similarly, I usually keep my car in gear when I'm at a light.
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Old 11-06-06, 06:42 AM
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Trackstanding (which i kind of suck at) and anticipation.

It's really not that difficult. Hell, my first time on clipless was a ride from my then apartment on 9th and Ave B in the East Village to Central Park.
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Old 11-06-06, 06:52 AM
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If you're making that many conscious decisions about your clipless pedals, maybe you should practice in an open area a little more. If it's not second nature to you and you're still thinking about when to clip out, etc., it only takes a little distraction/stress to make you forget to clip out when you stop.

Same goes for those who think that road pedals are so difficult to get into/out of. You need to practice more. I have the release tension cranked fairly high on my Keos and getting in/out isn't difficult at all. There's no clipless pedal out there that's unsafe in traffic as long as you're familiar and proficient with them.

But botto's right--trackstanding and anticipation will save you a lot of futzing with your pedals.
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Old 11-06-06, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Proximo
Frankly, SPD are much better pedals for stop-and-go traffic than any of the road bike pedals. For one, you can clip in on either side and, two, the typical MTB shoes used with SPD pedals have lugged rubber soles that grip the pedal even if you miss the clip-in. If you miss the clip-in on SPD-SL, the slick hard sole shoes slip right off.
Eggbeaters - 4 sided can't go wrong.
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Old 11-06-06, 07:17 AM
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Second nature.
Give it time.

I use Keo on the road, Eggbeaters on the CX bike.

And +1 to egg beaters. Basically, you can just throw your foot in the general direction of the pedal, and they engage. It's crazy.
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Old 11-06-06, 07:23 AM
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+Whatever for trackstanding. Also, finding something in the intersecion you can grab, like a pole, or no-u turn sign, so you don't have to unclip. Just don't lean on cars... they hate that.

I once saw a guy go into the cross walk area and ride small circles while he waited for the light. Not sure how bright that is.
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Old 11-06-06, 09:45 AM
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You guys crack me up with the trackstanding comments.... If the OP cannot master SPDs how the heck is trackstanding the easier option?

Approaching an intersection with a need to stop: Unclip early.
Restarting at the intersection: Pedal into the intesection with only one foot clipped in. Just pedal unclipped for a few yards until it is "safe" to reclip


It will only be necessary to do this until you are comfortable with clipless. After a while you will be able to unclip at the last moment and reclip on the first pedal stroke.
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Old 11-06-06, 09:54 AM
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on my looks i twist my foot enough to disengage the pedal but still have the lip tucked into the front....that way if the light takes longer than i thought then i'm pretty much out of the pedal.....if it changes its an easy snap back to lock back in and i'm off.........oh yea and trackstanding...but i mostly do that to impress the ladies
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Old 11-06-06, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Wally K
I road shoes and SPD-SL pedals and cleats. ?
i carry the small alen wrench in my jersey pocket, and adjust the tension for the situation -- it only takes a few seconds. I loosen them off quite a bit in very busy areas, and I obviously tighten them a bit for hammer-fests!!
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Old 11-06-06, 12:03 PM
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Practice, practice, and more practice. And afew falls. You know, just to get them out of the way.
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Old 11-06-06, 12:07 PM
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I usually just fall over. It works, but I keep having to replace the handlebar tape because it gets all scraped up in the process, and the Cinelli gel stuff ain't cheap.
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Old 11-06-06, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by kleng
I have a technique, that helps in the pedal disengagement. Place your clip out foot forward with cranks horizontal, the ankle twist has extra leverage to clip your foot out everytime you need to.
I clip out at 12 o'clock. I think it's just a matter of getting used to it. Apparnetly it's not a muscle that gets used that way much.
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Old 11-06-06, 12:16 PM
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I think the important thing here is as Botto said, "Anticipation"...

I have also done as Munkyv22 has stated and lean agaist poles and what not. Track standing is great too, however as Slow andy steady has stated, he doesn't think you'll master that, so forget about it
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Last edited by ViperZ; 11-06-06 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 11-06-06, 12:52 PM
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I unclip as I approach the light/ stop sign/ whatever and just keep my foot on the pedal. If the light turns green, I'm already to clip in and go. If I have to stop, I'm ready to put my foot down. I can't trackstand so I don't try.
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Old 11-06-06, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by ViperZ
I think the important think here is as Botto said "Anticipation"...

I have also done as Munkyv22 has stated and lean agaist poles and what not. Track standing is great too, however as Slow andy steady has stated, he doesn't think you'll master that, so forget about it
She not he.

And, what happens when the OP attempts a trackstand at a red light next to a car, clipped in, and then starts to fall over because he can't trackstand? If he already knows how to trackstand. Fine. But I suppose if this were the case, he would already be doing it. Sure trackstanding isn't that hard, but neither is clipless if you have practiced and some real world experience. Maybe you should learn to use your clipless AND trackstand. But trackstanding isn't really a solution to the problem of not being used to clipless. It just avoids the problem.
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Old 11-06-06, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by slowandsteady
She not he.

And, what happens when the OP attempts a trackstand at a red light next to a car, clipped in, and then starts to fall over because he can't trackstand? If he already knows how to trackstand. Fine. But I suppose if this were the case, he would already be doing it. Sure trackstanding isn't that hard, but neither is clipless if you have practiced and some real world experience. Maybe you should learn to use your clipless AND trackstand. But trackstanding isn't really a solution to the problem of not being used to clipless. It just avoids the problem.

I'm not disagreeing with you in the least....



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