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Clipless Falling Survey (for Fun)

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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
View Poll Results: HAVE YOU EVER FALLEN BECAUSE OF USING CLIPLESS
YOU MAY VOTE MORE THAN ONCE: I HAVE NEVER FALLEN BECAUSE OF CLIPLESS (AND I ALWAYS TELL THE TRUTH)
31
18.90%
I FELL 1 X'S WHEN STARTING OUT
36
21.95%
I FELL 2 X'S WHEN STARTING OUT
47
28.66%
I FELL 3 OR MORE X'S WHEN STARTING OUT
18
10.98%
I FELL 1 X'S AFTER I HAD USED CLIPLESS AWHILE
25
15.24%
I FELL 2 X'S AFTER I HAD USED CLIPLESS AWHILE
19
11.59%
I FELL 3 X'S OR MORE AFTER I HAD USED CLIPLESS AWHILE
12
7.32%
I FALL ALL THE TIME, WHEN STARTING OUT OR LATER!
7
4.27%
WHAT ARE CLIPLESS? I HAVE NEVER USED THEM!
4
2.44%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 164. You may not vote on this poll

Clipless Falling Survey (for Fun)

Old 05-25-04, 06:00 AM
  #1  
DnvrFox
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OKAY - People are asking about whether or not folks have fallen while starting on (or even later) clipless. So, vote for what happened to you! You may vote more than once.

Last edited by DnvrFox; 05-25-04 at 06:07 AM.
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Old 05-25-04, 06:33 AM
  #2  
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Hmmm... I had to use some fuzzy-logic to figure out where to place my vote. I think some of the choices are a bit vague. Like what's the definition of "starting out" in terms of timespan. Also, for those of us who ride offroad, we crash and fall all the time (and mostly not due to or lack of clipless pedals) so that may skew your results a bit. At anyrate. My first fall happened within ten minutes of getting SPD pedals for my MTB. I was riding home from the bikeshop and had not followed all the helpful suggestions about practicing on grass and while stationary first because... well... no one was around to tell that to me. Of course it happened right in front of a pretty girl I met at a stoplight who was also on her bike and had decided to ride with me. Since then, I have fallen quite a number of times. I think that there are several topics of interest when talking about falling and clipless pedals.
  1. Falling due to being locked in
  2. Falling while attempting to disengage
  3. Falling and still be locked in

The first issue deals with falling as a result of attempting something while forgetting that you're still engaged to the pedals such as coming up to a stoplight and going to dab your foot only to find out it's still attached to the pedals. I rarely have this problem now as it's second nature for my foot to do the right thing. I only need to think of the desired end result and the motions are carried out automagically.

The second issue relates to a conscious decision to disengage from the pedals but doing so ineffectively and losing balance. For me, this is like the first issue in that it rarely ever happens now. It used to happen more frequently with my old SPD pedals when they got clogged up with mud during offroad rides and engaging and disengaging required considerable effort and concentration which sometimes resulted in a crash as I tried to perform the proper pedal operations. I have switched to better pedals on my MTB and my road pedals have never given me this problem.

The third involves being unable to disengage from the pedals during a fall or crash resulting from something else. On offroad rides with my old SPD pedals, this could happen quite often if they were clogged with mud. Nowadays, it's not an issue. Irregardless, my feet now do things automagically and oftentimes I'll be free of the bike after a crash or fall wondering how I managed to disengage my feet. The only times I have been really unable to do so have been on my roadbike when I overlap my toe with my front wheel and wedge it up so tight that my foot has no ability to perform a heel-out motion.

I think there are a variety of situations and reasons that lead to a fall and I don't think that clipless pedals, once the rider has grown accustomed to them, contribute any more or less to the accident when compared with incidents of falls involving riders who aren't secured to their bike. Falls do happen when cycling regardless of pedal type.
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Old 05-25-04, 06:38 AM
  #3  
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The majority (all but 1) of my clipless crashes were on mountain bikes where I was doing something stupid like wheelies in a parking lot clipped in. The only road clipless incident I've had was on a borrowed bike that was too small and I encountered toe/wheel overlap at an intersection while track-standing... down I went
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Old 05-25-04, 06:39 AM
  #4  
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Originally Posted by khuon
Hmmm... I had to use some fuzzy-logic to figure out where to place my vote. I think some of the choices are a bit vague. Like what's the definition of "starting out" in terms of timespan. Also, for those of us who ride offroad, we crash and fall all the time (and mostly not due to or lack of clipless pedals) so that may skew your results a bit.
Hhmm!!

I think you missed the "for Fun" in the title!

And the question was deliberately stated "Because of" clipless.

And, it was purposely placed in the "Road" forum, not the "mtn biking" forum, nor the "General" forum.

Anyone ever accuse you of being highly analytical?

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Old 05-25-04, 06:55 AM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox
Anyone ever accuse you of being highly analytical?
Not recently but when they do, I usually ask them for some empirical evidence so I can perform some analysis on the data.
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Old 05-25-04, 07:01 AM
  #6  
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Well let's see. Hmmm. I can't recall ever falling.




Uh oh. Looks like I got caught.

Actually I did ok when I first started using clipless. It was after using them for several months that I started getting cocky and fell.
Twice while riding too slowly.
At least once while showing off.
Too many times when approaching a stop sign or light and didn't or couldn't get unclipped in time.
Once when riding too close to the curb and my right pedal hit the curb and down I went.
Once while showing another cyclist the "correct way" to unclip.

I'm sure there were other times but my subconscious is starting to block unpleasant thoughts and images.
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Old 05-25-04, 07:08 AM
  #7  
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I had been using spds on my mtn bike for about a year when I purchased my road bike with look pedals. Well, then it happened. I came upon a red light and the the shoulder was nonexistant with a 6" dropoff and an orange temporary contruction site fence. So I unclip my right foot and stop, then promptly fell over on my left side. It wouldn't have been too bad, but I was in Italy and I fell between two stopped cars. I was too embarrassed to look at the reactions of the drivers.
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Old 05-25-04, 07:10 AM
  #8  
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Never
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Old 05-25-04, 11:11 AM
  #9  
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I haven't fallen...yet.

I've heard many people say that you will inevitably fall soon after getting clipless. However, I was already used to pulling my shoe out of a toe basket, so the change wasn't major. Also, I set the tension fairly loose to start out with, so I could just "yank" in panic and unclip.

The closest I've ever come to falling has been on a couple of occasions when I was rolling to a stop, and had unclipped my right foot already (the one I always put down.) Something then caused me to lean to my left, and I was barely able to get that foot out.
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Old 05-25-04, 11:38 AM
  #10  
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ive come close where ive clipped out but still had my foot on the pedal and the cleat got hooked (spr-sl cleats)...but lucky for my ive been able to save myself the two or three times this has happened
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Old 05-25-04, 11:38 AM
  #11  
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I usually get a ride in at lunch time since my office has a locker rooms. I was cruising back through the parking lot when I noticed a group of women on their way to lunch, one of which I've had my eye on for some time. They wave. They smile I effortlessly maneuver through the parked cars to where they were standing. I swing through a long ballet like arc and come to a stop with a smile on my face, proud of myself... until I realized I was so too anamourned and forgot to unclip and fell and laid there all tangled up in my bike right in front of them.
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Old 05-25-04, 11:39 AM
  #12  
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I moved to clipless in March and got spds. I have not yet fallen, but I've had 2 close calls. Both times, I was unclipped and started leaning to the other side. The first time, I managed to twist my foot out just in time to stop the fall. The second time, I turned the wheel sharply to the left to get the bike to go back to the right, and that worked too.
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Old 05-25-04, 11:40 AM
  #13  
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For road cycling, it's a big 'never' for me. Having said that, I'm sure I'll now go out and fall on my next ride...
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Old 05-25-04, 11:43 AM
  #14  
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I've not fallen yet with clipless but I did fall while getting used to my toe clips. But since I was already using toe clips the transition was not that big of a deal.
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Old 05-25-04, 02:46 PM
  #15  
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I have been on clipless about 6 months now and haven't fallen yet.

I've had some pretty close calls. I usually try to avoid unclipping at
stop lights, either by carefully (illegally) proceeding against the light
if there's no traffic, or by just slowing way down until the light turns
green. The other day I was going very slowly, but knew the light
wasn't going to turn in time so I unclipped my curbside foot -- but
somehow got the balance wrong and started to fall the other way.
My curbside clip is a little looser than the other side, so when in
a panick I tried to yank my foot loose, instead of properly unclipping,
it didn't come free. However, something about that motion rebalanced
the bike, and I didn't fall. Whew!

I'm sure it's just a matter of time, but so far, so good.
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Old 05-25-04, 04:58 PM
  #16  
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Ok...so I'm sitting in my apartment adjusting my cleats. I'm leaning against the wall checking the 'float'. I lean to the side to dis-mount. I'm un-able to 'clip out'. As I'm falling I see the corner of my glass table top heading straight for my eye!!! I perfrom an evasive maneuver and put my hand out. Normally I just fall over on my side. Anyways I broke my thumb when I hit. Thumb spika cast for 6 weeks.
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Old 05-25-04, 05:55 PM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox
OKAY - People are asking about whether or not folks have fallen while starting on (or even later) clipless. So, vote for what happened to you! You may vote more than once.


The first time I fell, I was test riding a bike at a bike shop in the parking lot RIGHT IN FRONT of the store.
Luckily no one saw me ( or so I think). I did not buy that bike!

2nd time I was on a really steep hill...stood up in the saddle and just fell over in slow motion. It was quite comical!

Now, I have the urge to unclip on my mind all the time...don't want to fall again!
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Old 05-25-04, 06:56 PM
  #18  
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I voted for once, but it was way, way back when I first got toeCLIPS. Very first ride.

Went fine until I pulled into the driveway and stopped....and slooowwwly fell over. I completely forgot my feet were trapped. I'm sure it looked like I just fainted or something. Luckily we lived in the country and no one around.
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Old 05-25-04, 08:14 PM
  #19  
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When I bought my first set of clipless I was told either everyone has fallen or they are lying...... Not my words mind you, just what I was told.....
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Old 05-26-04, 05:43 AM
  #20  
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Wow, so far 21 folks who have NEVER fallen because of using their clipless!

I am duly impressed and bow my head in shame, having fallen two times when I started out.

Congratulations, all you well-coordinated beings from this uncoordinated slob.
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Old 05-26-04, 05:59 AM
  #21  
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Well I fell twice the 1st night I got my looks in 89. After that I never did again, unless I did something stupid Like unclip the left foot and lean to the right........
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Old 05-27-04, 08:51 AM
  #22  
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I've only fallen once, not because I didn't unclip, I unclipped on the left butleaned over to the right. Fortuantly, I fell on newly planted sod, but in front of a convertible of women. I did fall the first time I wore my cycling shoes, I just couldn't feel the ground as well.
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Old 05-27-04, 09:46 AM
  #23  
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Havne't fallen at a stop since I got Speedplays. I have crashed, and I think they helped me eject better, and at the right moment.

Had a few close ones.
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Old 05-27-04, 09:55 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by SanDiegoSteve
Havne't fallen at a stop since I got Speedplays. I have crashed, and I think they helped me eject better, and at the right moment.

Had a few close ones.
This thread is starting to remind me of that Monty Python's Flying Circus skit, "The Cycling Tour":

Code:
Pither: 	My rubber instep caught on the rear mudguard stanchion and...
Gulliver: 	Really? And what happened to the corned beef rolls?
Pither: 	The corned beef rolls squashed out of all...here, how did you know about the corned beef rolls?
Gulliver: 	I noticed them - or what remained of them - in the road. I noticed also that the lemon curd tart had sustained some superficial damage.
Pither: 	That's right. The curd had become...
Gulliver: 	Detached from the pastry base.
Pither: 	(with some surprise) Absolutely right, yes.
Gulliver: 	Otherwise the contents of the sandwich box were relatively unharmed, although I detected small particles of bitumen in the chocolate kup kakes.
Pither: 	But they were wrapped in foil!
Gulliver: 	Not the hard chocolate top, I'm afraid.
Pither: 	Oh, that's the bit I like.
Gulliver: 	The sausage roll, the crisps and ginger bisquit were unscathed.
Pither: 	How do you know so much about cycling?
Gulliver: 	Well, I'm making a special study of accidents involving food.
Pither: 	Really?
Gulliver: 	Yes, do you know that in our laboratories, we have developed a cheese sandwich that can withstand an impact of 4,000 pounds per square inch?
Pither: 	Good heavens!
Gulliver: 	Amazing, isn't it? We have also developed a tomato which can eject itself when an accident is imminent.
Pither: 	Even if it's inside an egg and tomato roll?
Gulliver: 	Anywhere! Even if it's in your stomach, and it senses an accident it will come up your throat and out of the window. Do you realise what this means?
Pither: 	Safer food?
Gulliver: 	Exactly! No longer will food be squashed, crushed and damaged, by the ignorance and stupidity of the driver! (becoming slightly messianic) Whole picnics will be built to withstand the most enormous forces! Snacks will be safer than ever! An simple pot of salad dressing, treated in our laboratories, has been subjected to the impact of a 4,000 pound steam hammer every day for the last sixteen years and has it broken?
Pither: 	Er....well...
Gulliver: 	Yes, of course it has...but there are other ideas - the safety straps for sardines for instance.
		A tomato leaps up out of the glove compartment and hovers, then it ejects itself out of the car window
Pither: 	Here, that tomato just ejected itself.
Gulliver: 	Really? (embracing Pither excitedly) It works! It works! (the car crashes)
		Fade out. Fade up on country road. Pither is cycling along with Gulliver on the back of the bicycle. Gulliver has his head bandaged and his arm in a sling. Occasionally strains of Clodagh Rogers hit 'Jack in a box' float towards us as Gulliver moves rhythmically.
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Old 05-27-04, 12:13 PM
  #25  
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I've fallen twice...so far. I just started using clipless a few weeks ago (with much help from Khuon)

I choose '3x or more' 'cause I just know I'll fall again. :| I'm very impressed that some people have never fallen!
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