Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Practice with clipless? Advice Needed Please

Notices
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

Practice with clipless? Advice Needed Please

Old 10-05-07, 09:31 AM
  #1  
Hashball
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 49
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Practice with clipless? Advice Needed Please

So I'm getting my first road bike tomorrow. I am also getting my first set of clipless pedals and shoes. My question is: Should I practice with the pedals on my older Hybrid (Jamis Coda Sport) before I start riding my new bike? I keep hearing how one is bound to fall over and don't want to hurt my brand new bike.
Hashball is offline  
Old 10-05-07, 09:33 AM
  #2  
bac
Senior Member
 
bac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 7,481

Bikes: Too many to list!

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Hashball View Post
So I'm getting my first road bike tomorrow. I am also getting my first set of clipless pedals and shoes. My question is: Should I practice with the pedals on my older Hybrid (Jamis Coda Sport) before I start riding my new bike? I keep hearing how one is bound to fall over and don't want to hurt my brand new bike.
Practice in the grass with your new steed. It won't take long.

... Brad
bac is offline  
Old 10-05-07, 09:36 AM
  #3  
Hashball
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 49
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Haha thats a good one. I live in Queens, NY. There is no patch of grass big enough for me to practice on...except central park, and if they caught me riding on their precious grass I'd be tarred and feathered.
Hashball is offline  
Old 10-05-07, 09:37 AM
  #4  
urbanknight
In beaurocratic limbo
 
urbanknight's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 22,456

Bikes: Specialized Allez, K2 Razorback

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You could practice with your hybrid first. My first clipless fall left a scratch on my rear derailleur.
__________________
"Well, I guess you can cut the arts as much as you want... Sooner or later, these kids aren't going to have anything to read or write about." (Richard Dreyfus as Glenn Holland)
urbanknight is offline  
Old 10-05-07, 09:42 AM
  #5  
bac
Senior Member
 
bac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 7,481

Bikes: Too many to list!

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Hashball View Post
Haha thats a good one. I live in Queens, NY. There is no patch of grass big enough for me to practice on...except central park, and if they caught me riding on their precious grass I'd be tarred and feathered.
Dooooh! You make a good point for strapping the clipless pedals on your old hybrid then. Soon, it will be second nature. Good luck!

... Brad
bac is offline  
Old 10-05-07, 11:24 AM
  #6  
GeoLes
Black La Lane
 
GeoLes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Maplewood, NJ
Posts: 317

Bikes: EPX 303 (You probably never heard of it)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Find a school playground. Take you new bike with cleats out on a Saturday or Sunday (when school is not in session - no kids to laugh at you). Mount the bike, leaning your shoulder against the fence/wall, and try clipping in and out. Remember to get out simply lift your heel up and away from the bike while pressing the ball of the foot into the pedal. The leverage will pop you right out. Practice while slowly rolling along the wall/fence. When you finally do take it on the road, plan your stops well in advance, by unclipping early and placing the heel of that foot on the pedal as you coast to a stop. When you want to clip in. Get a good push off and find the cleat by feel, not visualy, by matching the ball of your foot with the center of the pedal. Once there, wiggle the foot back a forth a tad, you should clip right in. Don't try to find it visually.
GeoLes is offline  
Old 10-05-07, 11:46 AM
  #7  
Xrisnothing
Senior Member
 
Xrisnothing's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 494
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I never fell. I almost fell once, but I got clipped out fast enough somehow. It would have been bad if I didn't. It was at a stop sign. While I was waiting my turn to go, just seconds after that fiasco, a group of girls pulled up in an SUV and started whistling at me. Had I fallen, they would have likely been laughing at me.

Anyway, what I did was take the bike inside and clipped in between a doorway and pedaled backwards for a while, clipped in and out a few times then hit the neighborhood and just took it easy. I clipped out with both shoes the first couple of times. It got easy pretty fast. It's not like it's difficult to clip out. It's just hard to remember to clip out the first few days.
Xrisnothing is offline  
Old 10-05-07, 12:02 PM
  #8  
EventServices
Announcer
 
EventServices's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Detroit's North Side.
Posts: 5,084

Bikes: Many

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Practice standing with one foot on the ground. Get used to the feel of how much torque is needed. Practice getting in and getting out. Do it over and over until you turn blue in the face.

Then switch feet.

It's really not as hard as everyone is saying.
EventServices is offline  
Old 10-05-07, 01:15 PM
  #9  
kls1891
zaza
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 66
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If you've got a trainer, learn on there. That seemed to work really well for me.
kls1891 is offline  
Old 10-05-07, 01:21 PM
  #10  
lennyk
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 484
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
you can practice as much as you want,
but you can never practice for the unexpected moment when you have to stop and forget to unclip
my first fall was after getting a flat, pulled to the side of the road and was trying to avoid debris on the roadside completely forgetting to unclip
lennyk is offline  
Old 10-05-07, 01:54 PM
  #11  
hos13
Senior Member
 
hos13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: 552 LATA
Posts: 781

Bikes: 2007 Mercier Sperns (I'm a shill) and a 99 Diamondback Invert

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It is to bad really, all my falls have been when slowing down and no kicking out soon enough. Just make an effort to unclip one foot a little sooner the usual before coming to a stop.

Enjoy
hos13 is offline  
Old 10-05-07, 01:58 PM
  #12  
Portis
Banned.
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Home alone
Posts: 6,020

Bikes: Trek 4300 X 2. Trek 1000, Trek 6000

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
What you need to practice is clipping and unclipping your foot. This can easily be accomplished in a doorway or better yet, in a trainer. We all know how to put our feet down when we stop, there is no difference between clipless and even platfroms for that matter.

The key is learning how to operate the clipping unclipping mechanism to the point where it becomes automatic. It is my opinion that the bike does not need to be moving to do that, in fact it shouldn't be. If you are just a daredevil than by all means...but it isn't the best plan.

After you have fully mastered the art of clipping and unclipping, then you are ready to take to the road. At that point you will simply need to train your brain to perform this operation every time! Forgetting even once....well, you know.
Portis is offline  
Old 10-05-07, 02:09 PM
  #13  
FIVE ONE SIX
SpIn SpIn SuGaR!
 
FIVE ONE SIX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 2,078
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
when i starting riding, i was told the best place to practice is a baseball diamond, because there's grass on both sides if you do fall...
FIVE ONE SIX is offline  
Old 10-05-07, 02:17 PM
  #14  
stjohnswell
Trainee Etapper
 
stjohnswell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Blighty
Posts: 59
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
decide on a preferred leg to unclip first. then when you approach that busy junction surrounded by on-lookers, you'll be moving your foot to the edge of the float ready to release. easy-peasy. clipping straight back in without looking and fumbling is the tricky part.
stjohnswell is offline  
Old 10-05-07, 02:19 PM
  #15  
Hashball
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 49
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I should be able to get some practice clipping in and out during my 3 hour fitting session!
Hashball is offline  
Old 10-05-07, 03:44 PM
  #16  
littledjahn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Saint Louis, MO
Posts: 549

Bikes: Motobecane fixed conversion, Faggin fixed conversion, '86 Raleigh Grand Prix

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Hashball View Post
I should be able to get some practice clipping in and out during my 3 hour fitting session!
Yeah, I was going to say that if you're getting this from a shop, they should let you hop on a trainer and get used to the pedals. They might also help you set up your cleats.
littledjahn is offline  
Old 10-05-07, 03:48 PM
  #17  
cooker
Prefers Cicero
 
cooker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Toronto
Posts: 12,801

Bikes: 1984 Trek 520; 2007 Bike Friday NWT; misc others

Mentioned: 75 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3608 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 22 Times in 20 Posts
You'll fall. You might not fall in the first few days because you will be vigilant, but a week down the line when you aren't thinking about it, you will forget your are clipless and will fall.

If you are that worried about the new bike, do start off with the pedals on the beater.

I practised leaning against a wall and on grass. Try to practise both at the top and bottom of the stroke too, and both feet. Do it dozens or hundreds of times so it becomes automatic.
cooker is offline  
Old 10-05-07, 04:35 PM
  #18  
dk21
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: PA
Posts: 87

Bikes: Trek 1000

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'd ask the LBS if they'd let you use a trainer for a bit so that you can get used to how it all feels. After that, the best thing to do go somewhere where you don't have to deal with traffic and practice some more. Once you feel fairly comfortable, you might as well go for a ride...that's the best way to get used to it...out on the road.

You will fall eventually. I made it several months before I started tipping toward the side of my clipped-in foot but cuts heal and your bike is going to pick up some scratches anyway.

Good luck!
dk21 is offline  
Old 10-05-07, 04:51 PM
  #19  
biker128pedal
Senior Member
 
biker128pedal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Eastern VA
Posts: 789

Bikes: Madone 5.0, Diamondback Topanga frame (Warranty replacement of broken Raleigh)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
If you hace SPD pedals when you practice push down and out with your heal. This helps if you are used to toe clips and you will try to pull back to get out and this just makes it harder to release.
biker128pedal is offline  
Old 10-05-07, 05:12 PM
  #20  
jkizzle
Senior Member
 
jkizzle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Lexington KY
Posts: 874

Bikes: 1970s or 80s concord pacer, 2007 dawes roadbike, 2005 raleigh supercourse

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Xrisnothing View Post
I never fell. I almost fell once, but I got clipped out fast enough somehow. It would have been bad if I didn't. It was at a stop sign. While I was waiting my turn to go, just seconds after that fiasco, a group of girls pulled up in an SUV and started whistling at me. Had I fallen, they would have likely been laughing at me.

Anyway, what I did was take the bike inside and clipped in between a doorway and pedaled backwards for a while, clipped in and out a few times then hit the neighborhood and just took it easy. I clipped out with both shoes the first couple of times. It got easy pretty fast. It's not like it's difficult to clip out. It's just hard to remember to clip out the first few days.

yeah, doorframes are a great learning aide. also try bedposts, the back of a couch, etc.
jkizzle is offline  
Old 10-05-07, 05:26 PM
  #21  
Bluetick
Senior Member
 
Bluetick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 164
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
When you get ready to stop unclip both feet, if ya dont you will lean the wrongway, and then you are screwed.
Bluetick is offline  
Old 10-05-07, 05:32 PM
  #22  
cmh
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 2,659
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
Liked 57 Times in 25 Posts
Practice if you want. But who cares if you get a scratch on your new bike? Besides clipping out is not difficult, it is just that at some point you will forget to do it and fall down. Practice isn't likely to make you remember to unclip.

Congrats on the new bike, by the way. Enjoy it.
cmh is offline  
Old 10-05-07, 05:32 PM
  #23  
dcbikeguy
Senior Member
 
dcbikeguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,754
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Hashball View Post
So I'm getting my first road bike tomorrow. I am also getting my first set of clipless pedals and shoes. My question is: Should I practice with the pedals on my older Hybrid (Jamis Coda Sport) before I start riding my new bike?
No.

Originally Posted by Hashball View Post
I keep hearing how one is bound to fall over and don't want to hurt my brand new bike.
Stop worrying about it - everything will be fine.
dcbikeguy is offline  
Old 10-05-07, 05:46 PM
  #24  
permanentjaun
Senior Member
 
permanentjaun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,713
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Not sure what else has said, because its not worth reading. Simple answer is you're worrying too much. Essentially all you do is twist your foot to get out. Do you really need practice twisting your foot? Maybe it won't be 2nd nature in the beginning, but so long as your pedaling more than you are stopped it should be no big deal. Some people can do whole centuries without unclipping once. There are also the people that fall over clipped in a month after they've been riding clipless. It's bound to happen eventually. Don't sweat it.

But still, if you can put the pedals on your hybrid to practice you might as well. It doesn't hurt, it can only help. End of thread.
permanentjaun is offline  
Old 10-05-07, 06:10 PM
  #25  
Garfield Cat
Senior Member
 
Garfield Cat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Posts: 6,867

Bikes: Cervelo Prodigy

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 364 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 12 Times in 8 Posts
My first pedal system was the speedplay X-3. The shoe required a certain flat head phillips screw. It came with the pedal kit. But the bike shop put in the rounded version from the kit and that made the unclipping very difficult. Needless to say, I fell not just once but a few times.

Its good that you're getting a fitting and trying out the pedal system.
Garfield Cat is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.