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My 1st clipless pedal ride - A sorry tale

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My 1st clipless pedal ride - A sorry tale

Old 08-03-08, 06:12 AM
  #1  
Pookie4G
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My 1st clipless pedal ride - A sorry tale

After several months, I finally took the Speedplay Frogs out of the box and put them on and went for a ride on a friends beach cruiser this morning at 6AM. Got in very easily, no brainer to anticipate the light, clip out, stop, voila. Light changes- pedal, clip in free foot, voila. Next 2 lights same thing. I'm thinking I should just slap these onto my new Orca because you have to be some kind of moron to fall down and these forum folks must be a pretty uncoordinated bunch to have ever fallen.

Next light I repeat same thing except the ground was tilted down on the side of my clipped in foot and down I go. Hotdog cart van besides me starts laughing. Get up but Sidi lugs are hard rubber and the pavement was wet and my foot slipped out from under me and down I went. Got up, got on the bike tried again except I was so busy checking the bike for paint damage that I didn't see that the light changed fast enough so I panicked and unclipped both feet and tried to toss my body off the bikeseat to a standing position before I fell again. Didn't fall but strained back muscles so badly that I had to go home and drag out the heating pad and ibuprofin.

In spite of my mishaps, I actually liked the pedals. I see why it's called spinning as there is no sensation of a downstroke. Can't wait to get back out there. Now kicking myself for wasting so much time on platforms.
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Old 08-03-08, 06:36 AM
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Eah, its an all to common of a story.... except the part about trying out clipless on a beach cruiser first. A beach cruiser? Really? Uh, ok.
The amazing thing is, when new to clipless, you fall when your slow or standing still, which makes you just feel stupid. Just keep at it and you'll be just fine and will continue to appreciate that you made the switch.
I've never tried frogs, but I know they are designed for mountain bikes so I'm assuming that they'll be easy to get in / out of. I have Speedplay Zero's & I love 'em.
Glad to see you can laugh about it (it is a pretty funny story). I'd hate to see you get frustrated and never know the simple joys of clipless.....
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Old 08-03-08, 06:42 AM
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I love clippless. Everyone who makes the switch goes thru this adjustment. I fell a couple times before they became natural to me... Don't shops or other cycling friends tell of their experiences before you make the change. Believe it or not, it gets to be totally natural . To adjust I rode around an empty parking lot for awhile to adjust. Now, I can't imagine why one would give it a second thought.
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Old 08-03-08, 08:36 AM
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....still havent fallen, going on 4 years now...
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Old 08-03-08, 08:41 AM
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Me too!

I am new to the sport of cycling but have recently really gotten into it. Earlier this week I bought Speedplay frogs also. I've read a lot about people falling and thought...really??? How hard can it be???? So I had my local bike shop put them on my bike, went home to try it out. I put the bike on grass just in case - and sure enough....boom. But I've only fallen once and have really gotten used to the pedals and love them.
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Old 08-03-08, 08:44 AM
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I have fallen a few times. It just takes a little getting used to.
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Old 08-03-08, 08:46 AM
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I've fallen once. Its almost like a requirement to use them.
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Old 08-03-08, 09:26 AM
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Most roads tilt to the right, so unclip with your left foot (assuming you are riding in the US, or other "on the right" culture).
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Old 08-03-08, 09:33 AM
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Unclip both feet! Unless you're a super-racer who needs that extra 2 seconds by not having to clip the other foot in, it's safer and makes more sense!
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Old 08-03-08, 10:06 AM
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Unclipping both foots is unneeded and a pain in the rear if you are running something like a look keo. I tend to lean to the right and unclip that foot. Just be careful until it becomes automatic and you will be fine. It is not rocket science.
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Old 08-03-08, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by ShadowGray View Post
Unclip both feet! Unless you're a super-racer who needs that extra 2 seconds by not having to clip the other foot in, it's safer and makes more sense!
Why?
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Old 08-03-08, 12:15 PM
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Had my first fall this past week. Right in front of my apartment complex with all the neighborhood kids looking at me. I was barely moving...

I have Shimano pedals with Shimano shoes, sometimes it's quick, sometimes it's slow. I'm still learning...
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Old 08-03-08, 12:19 PM
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You mean to say you have rat traps on your... Orca? Oi Vey.
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Old 08-03-08, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Wested View Post
You mean to say you have rat traps on your... Orca? Oi Vey.
Yeah. Took a few minutes for the LBS to realize that I wasn't pulling his leg when I told him that the plastic ones were the ones I would be using. His look shamed me into getting out those Speedplays.
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Old 08-03-08, 12:52 PM
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I think Speedplay frogs are great pedals to learn to ride clipless. A few tips - clip out early, practice clipping out when you're just riding along, unclip the same foot every time, and be sure to point your front wheel in the direction OPPOSITE your unclipped foot.
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Old 08-03-08, 12:56 PM
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That settles it, I'm staying with my toe clips.
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Old 08-03-08, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Neurodoc View Post
"...be sure to point your front wheel in the direction OPPOSITE your unclipped foot."

This is a great Tip that seems to never get mentioned, maybe everyone does it without knowing.
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Old 08-03-08, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by mr handy View Post
This is a great Tip that seems to never get mentioned, maybe everyone does it without knowing.
It's all about balance -- that was my epiphany. Lean the bike to the side that you've clipped out and no more overbalancing.

Originally Posted by DataJunkie View Post
Unclipping both foots is unneeded and a pain in the rear if you are running something like a look keo. I tend to lean to the right and unclip that foot. Just be careful until it becomes automatic and you will be fine. It is not rocket science.
+1 -- I'd find that way more inconvenient with my Keo's. I'm waiting at a light, off the saddle with my right foot ready to push off - why add clipping in to that? I also find I need to unclip one side get down from the saddle and put my foot down before unclipping the other side anyway -- I just don't see the point in doing that unless I'm actually getting off my bike.
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Old 08-03-08, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by mr handy View Post
This is a great Tip that seems to never get mentioned, maybe everyone does it without knowing.
It is a great tip and had the OP known it, wouldn't have fallen the first time, so no, it's not automatic.

I did the same thing myself once.
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Old 08-03-08, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
That settles it, I'm staying with my toe clips.
The clipless pedals are much easier to use than using toe clips properly (that is, with cleated shoes and tightening the straps).
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Old 08-03-08, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
The clipless pedals are much easier to use than using toe clips properly (that is, with cleated shoes and tightening the straps).
The straps with cleated shoes is how I started riding.

And TromboneAl, look at going clipless like first learning about alternate slide positions. Makes things much, much more efficient and easier.

BTW, I have had two hip replacements and am not afraid of falling from going clipless.
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Old 08-03-08, 02:07 PM
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my favorite thing about these type of falls is the fraction of a second when you realize you are going to fall, that its not really going to hurt anything but your pride. then you go down, and immediately check to see who saw you go down. i love it.
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Old 08-03-08, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by AngryScientist View Post
then you go down, and immediately check to see who saw you go down. i love it.
Very funny, you are right. Maybe the next thing we should automatically do is jump up and bow like a gymnast that just got a 10!

Either that or say to anybody that saw you, "I meant to do that!".
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Old 08-03-08, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by ShadowGray View Post
Unclip both feet! Unless you're a super-racer who needs that extra 2 seconds by not having to clip the other foot in, it's safer and makes more sense!
No dude... just... no. Not safer, not more sense. You can ride a bike perfectly well with one foot in the pedals. It is extremely difficult to balance a bike with no feet on the pedals. To move from stoplights, you'd need to take time to clip in both feet, not a good thing if there is traffic around you.

And to do it, you'd need your saddle so low (so you can touch the ground with both feet) that your knees will be up in your ears when you are pedaling.
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Old 08-03-08, 03:08 PM
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