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falling and clipless pedals

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

falling and clipless pedals

Old 08-22-07, 06:11 PM
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05fjrbluedevil
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falling and clipless pedals

so i bring home the fuji cross to test it out on the hills i have been riding and climbing with my pos mtb and the first portion seems to go very well so 10 miles down and i am feeling great this thing might just do the job, well then i get to the very steep hills , i get to the base ,using 48/39cross crank and i have moved to 27 cog on the casett .. here i go, not this settleing just could not cut it, so trying to unclip and over i go....

dam''.....
so i get up checking out the bike, just a few scratches on the rear quick hub connect, sslight scratch on the seat and i feel wore out...s 520 pedals and cross shoes...

very easy to clip in and out....

mthis was my first time using clipless pedals,, is there something you can clip on them to not use them and would a 50/34 compact crank have made that much difference climbin that hill, it is the type that's very steep at the base and continues up for at least 70 yards before you get a little level off only to go up again about another 70 yards, i could be under stating this hills climb...

please advise.... should i get a triple .....
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Old 08-22-07, 06:56 PM
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You fell because of physics, not clipless pedals. Practise clipping, uncliping several times in a doorway before each ride, soon you'll by just fine.
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Old 08-22-07, 08:01 PM
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Virtually everyone falls 2 - 4 times using clipless. Usually it happens at a stop or just starting to move. I agree shifting and gearing caused the hill snafu although the pedals made it seem worse. Elbows and knees heal ... in time.
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Old 08-22-07, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by lesdunham View Post
Usually it happens at a stop or just starting to move.
And when you fall, it's almost always in front of a group of people.

Originally Posted by lesdunham View Post
Elbows and knees heal ... in time.
As do egos...
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Old 08-23-07, 06:18 AM
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gearing and the fall

Yeah, I am wondering, i have made this same ride with my pos, mtb and do not have clipless pedals on it,

I would say the grade of this hill is at least 45 plus, I ususally have be in grany gear on my mtb bike to start this hill and then might be able to shift the rear de, a few gears/cogs, however... i noticed that with this cross bike that i was riding, I could not even get started, I tried to clip out and did then tried to lean it over and clipped back in then tried to get unclip to no avail, except at the least moment, so the fall wasn't bad and other than the bike taking some minor scratches on the hub release and the side of the seat, it was fine....

I was just glad no other traffic was there and no one saw it or heard it..

That said, would I have noticed that big of a difference, if I had been using a compact 50/34 instead of the 48/39 with the 12/27**********

My mountain bike seems to more than likely have less, but it is a 7 speed triple..... and even though most of the time the gear is to low, and I am just pedaling with out resistance, I am able to get up this hill and ride another 10 miles and I have choosen hilly terrain(on ROAD) to start my riding...

I told the LBS that i really wanted a triple and he said in a few months I would not need it, but for hills with a 30-50 plus grade don't we need the triple?

if you get to a portion of a ride and you really do not want to use the clipless pedals , is there a way to not use them and still ride effectively? covers etc.?

thanks MIke
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Old 08-23-07, 06:25 AM
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Avoid those steep hills until you get comfortable on your bike. get used to it. get used to clipping in and out.


And when you clip out, be sure you go heel out. Just avoid really steep hills until you get your fitness up some. Then you will be ok.
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Old 08-23-07, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by 05fjrbluedevil View Post
... please advise.... should i get a triple .....
Clipless pedal riders seem to be like retractable landing gear pilots. There are two types - those who have fallen (landed with gear up), and those who will.

As to the triple, give it a while. But if you stay by the hills, hopefully enjoy them, and still have a hard time, then by all means get one. The stigma associated with them is strictly an elitist affectation.
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Old 08-23-07, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by gmason View Post
Clipless pedal riders seem to be like retractable landing gear pilots. There are two types - those who have fallen (landed with gear up), and those who will.

As to the triple, give it a while. But if you stay by the hills, hopefully enjoy them, and still have a hard time, then by all means get one. The stigma associated with them is strictly an elitist affectation.
Incorrect. In 20+ years of using clipless pedals, I can't really recall ever having fallen. Does this require some remarkable degree of athletic coordination?

Apparently.
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Old 08-23-07, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
Incorrect. In 20+ years of using clipless pedals, I can't really recall ever having fallen. Does this require some remarkable degree of athletic coordination?

Apparently.
Not really that, I think. Mostly it seems to have to do with being in a stressful situation of some kind without being prepared. The one new thing - unclipping - drops off the end of the thought process when stopping, and by the time it jumps back on, it's too late. Things like the first stop sign/light while in traffic.
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Old 08-23-07, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
Incorrect. In 20+ years of using clipless pedals, I can't really recall ever having fallen. Does this require some remarkable degree of athletic coordination?

Apparently.
that's great!

I'd say i'm pretty coordinated, but i have fallen over once on the road bike. i got quite a suprise by a car entering the wrong side of our neighborhood entrance while i was approaching the stop sign, which i have done thousands of times. it happens and doesn't mean we're all bafoons.

mountian biking with clipless on technical trails are another story. i bust me no-talent arse all the time because of those things.
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Old 08-23-07, 09:41 AM
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fell on girlfriend

My girlfriend and I were at the beginning of a group ride and I was trying to mess with my water bottles and next then I knew I was falling over onto her. Needless to say I took us both out and I don't know what was more embarassing, falling in front of 50 people or her slapping my arm yelling at me. Wasn't so funny at the time but people now know me as the guy who fell on that girl.
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Old 08-23-07, 09:46 AM
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Yes, you need a triple.

That's not necessarily going to keep you from falling again though.
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Old 08-23-07, 09:51 AM
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There's 2 types of cyclists: Those who have fallen and those who have yet to fall. I say get it out of the way early.
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Old 08-23-07, 10:46 AM
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compact crank

Originally Posted by 05fjrbluedevil View Post

That said, would I have noticed that big of a difference, if I had been using a compact 50/34 instead of the 48/39 with the 12/27**********

thanks MIke
I'll get back to you on this in about a week.

I've had a Fuji cross since 2003 with a 48/38 crank and 12/26 rear. Before that I had a Specialized with a triple. For around town and paved trail riding the current setup is fine. But being old, slow and not riding enough to build big climbing muscles I'm getting a 50/34 compact put on next week. I'm looking forward to having the lower gearing as a safety net on hills if my legs start to complain from riding in the "normal" gears.

There are some off-road hills I do on my mtb with its lower gearing that I highly doubt I could get very far with on even the 38/26 on the Fuji.

As for falling and clipless pedals - welcome to the club. I haven't fallen on a road bike since the first two or three rides with clipless almost ten years ago. But off road, it's a different story.
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Old 08-23-07, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by 05fjrbluedevil View Post
....I would say the grade of this hill is at least 45 plus,
You sound like some of the guys I ride with. "It's a tough hill - 10,000 feet of elevation gain in 5 or 6 miles, I was only able to average 18mph up."
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Old 08-23-07, 11:20 AM
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Your cycling ability matches you gear ratios. Get a triple.
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Old 08-23-07, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by cfbrtr View Post
My girlfriend and I were at the beginning of a group ride and I was trying to mess with my water bottles and next then I knew I was falling over onto her.
It's even worse if it's your wife that you fall over on, because then you'll be hearing about it for the rest of your life. Don't ask me how I know...
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Old 08-23-07, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by DougG View Post
It's even worse if it's your wife that you fall over on, because then you'll be hearing about it for the rest of your life. Don't ask me how I know...
Toward the end of the ride a woman rode up next to me and asked me if "my wife" was okay. I told her she would be fine. She then told me she did the same thing to her then boyfriend, now husband, and broke his arm.
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Old 08-23-07, 12:40 PM
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1) you'll get the hang of the clipless quickly.

2) 48/39 is a very odd combination of chainrings. Assuming the crank has 130mm bolt circle, I'd put a 34 with the 48.

3) the hill wasn't 45% grade. I don't believe there's a pathed road anywhere in the world with a legitimate 45% grade. 20% is very very steep for a paved road.
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Old 08-23-07, 12:53 PM
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What I did to help me to remember to clip out was, first, fall over three times... The first two times on the first day I got my bike and within 5 mins of each other. The second I clipped my right foot out and fell to my left!

After getting angry I made a conscious effort to tell myself to clip out every time I'd come up to a stop. that was over a year and half ago.

Since then I've only fallen over [twice] on loose gravel while making a low speed turn on the shoulder of the road! AAARRGGHHH!!!
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Old 08-23-07, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
Incorrect. In 20+ years of using clipless pedals, I can't really recall ever having fallen. Does this require some remarkable degree of athletic coordination?

Apparently.
You just jinxed yourself.
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Old 08-23-07, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by 05fjrbluedevil View Post
I would say the grade of this hill is at least 45 plus,
You'd be wrong. Inexperienced people are notorious for overestimating grades. The steepest paved road in the USA is somewhere in the 30s.
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Old 08-23-07, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by recursive View Post
You'd be wrong. Inexperienced people are notorious for overestimating grades. The steepest paved road in the USA is somewhere in the 30s.
Then that 57+ degree discussion earlier this week was fictitious? Just curious.
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Old 08-23-07, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by gmason View Post
Then that 57+ degree discussion earlier this week was fictitious? Just curious.
I didn't see it, but if it was about a paved road, then yes.

Keep in mind that 57 degrees is actually a grade of 153%.
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Old 08-23-07, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by recursive View Post
Keep in mind that 57 degrees is actually a grade of 153%.

PSSSHHH

no problem I could do it one legged


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