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Clipless sooner rather than later?

Old 08-05-14, 05:56 PM
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Clipless sooner rather than later?

So I'm getting my first road bike this week. I know at some point I will want to get Clipless pedals and shoes. But I'm thinking I should wait a little but. Here's my reasoning. I have my 2nd triathlon in a little over two weeks. My feeling is, being my first road bike I want some time to get used to it for my triathlon without ALSO getting used to Clipless pedals. Does this sound like a good plan? I know everybody falls at some point when using Clipless pedals and I would prefer that time for me not be in a triathlon.
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Old 08-05-14, 06:12 PM
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I bought my first clipless pedals and shoes the day before a duathlon (5k - 40k - 5k). The pedals allow you to pull up more effectively during the pedal stroke. After the race, I had to crawl up the stairs of my apt because my hamstrings hurt so bad.

Either get them now, or wait till after your race.
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Old 08-05-14, 06:13 PM
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get some miles on your bike first. There is not rush to clipless
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Old 08-06-14, 04:22 AM
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Originally Posted by gl98115
I bought my first clipless pedals and shoes the day before a duathlon (5k - 40k - 5k). The pedals allow you to pull up more effectively during the pedal stroke. After the race, I had to crawl up the stairs of my apt because my hamstrings hurt so bad.

Either get them now, or wait till after your race.
Ouch! I think that helps with my decision.


Originally Posted by Team Sarcasm
get some miles on your bike first. There is not rush to clipless
I think that's what I'll do but just want to get some feedback here.
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Old 08-06-14, 05:49 AM
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My advice is to take the time to make sure the bike is fit properly so you can ride pain free with platforms first, then switch to clipless.

Until your muscles have had time to adapt to clipless, you are not going to go much faster with them anyway.
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Old 08-06-14, 05:51 AM
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I'm new to road biking this Summer and have been clipless for just over a week. I have to say that in just that short time I've quickly grown to adapt and really like clipless (despite even having one fall because I couldn't get unclipped in time!). In fact last night was the first time I'd ridden without being clipped in (I got a dual-platform pedal) and it just felt really weird... I didn't like NOT feeling attached to the bike and it did make me notice how much more inefficient I was not being clipped in. I think the biggest thing that will take getting used to, obviously, is clipping in & out. I'd say you'd need a minimum of 3-4 rides to start to feel comfortable in them, but definitely be sure to practice clipping in & out and adjust the tension if necessary.

BTW, if you're interested, here are the pedals and shoes I got both of which I like a lot.
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Old 08-06-14, 06:04 AM
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I would get them now.

Assuming you will get a few rides in between now and your event you should be fine. The learning curve is pretty steep. Pedal mishaps usually occur at stoplights, not in the middle of a TT.

Also, you will most likely need to adjust your bike fit after you get them as typically the cleats and contact point add effective reach to your legs.
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Old 08-06-14, 06:20 AM
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Get them, also get fitted with them because your foot placement will most likely change and can affect your fit. I had a pair of shoes that didn't fit properly so I didn't like clipless, then I upgraded shoes and now I can't live without clipless.

*the guy above my post also made the point about new fit, didn't see it*
Originally Posted by biketampa
I know everybody falls at some point when using Clipless pedals and I would prefer that time for me not be in a triathlon.
I can honestly say that I have not fallen off my bike with the clipless pedals, even when I first got them. When you first learn you can loosen the tension of the pedals to be easier to get in and out. If you have a bike trainer, throw the bike on there and practice clipping in and out to get it right if you're concerned. Its an easy turn of the foot to get out.
People also say you will drop a motorcycle when you first get it, I haven't yet.

Out of curiosity, if this is your 2nd Tri, then how is this your first road bike? Assuming you own a TRI bike I would have thought you would had clipless pedals already. I don't do TRI's or ride a tri bike but I wouldn't imagine using pedals w/ cages on the bike.

Last edited by AristoNYC; 08-06-14 at 06:26 AM.
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Old 08-06-14, 06:24 AM
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The bigger problem I had with clipless was not falling but getting my foot clipped in. Many times I had to keep tap dancing on my pedal to get it to clip. Eventually, when I stopped looking at my foot and simply let it clip in naturally, it worked; but it took some time and frustration. I also didn't notice much improvement using clipless over toe straps. What about using an open cage kind of toe clip first? It will make a big difference over a simple platform and get you acclimated to having your foot feel attached to the pedal without any learning curve. Very inexpensive and easy to attach. Won't have the same effect as clipless but probably a good transition from platform with no attachment at all.
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Old 08-06-14, 07:21 AM
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Just do it...
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Old 08-06-14, 07:29 AM
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I would wait. Two weeks before an event isn't really long enough to prepare for big changes.
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Old 08-06-14, 07:31 AM
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I don't see why the OP should wait. He (assuming) is planning on going clipless anyway. Its not very hard to take pedals on and off. If he gets on and rides for a few days and decides that its not a comfortable or easy transition he can simply swap back. I only see a positive outcome from changing the pedals now.
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Old 08-06-14, 07:41 AM
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I'd get them now. Whether you compete in a triathlon is largely irrelevant as you should only be unclipping once in transition and two weeks is plenty of time to figure out how and when to unclip.

To set some expectations, riding with cleats is more comfortable but it won't make you any faster or give you any extra power in a triathlon. The ability to pull up on the pedal can provide some extra power when standing on a steep hill or sprinting, neither of which you'll be doing in a triathlon.

If you get them now and for some reason don't like riding with them you could always take them off for the race but it's really not a big deal to ride with clipless.
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Old 08-06-14, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by spdracr39
I would wait. Two weeks before an event isn't really long enough to prepare for big changes.
Did you miss the part where he just bought his first road bike for this event?
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Old 08-06-14, 07:53 AM
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All the nonsense about going clipless and the ensuing inevitable falling is exactly that, nonsense.

It's way overblown and too many people put way too much emphasis on it.

I'd certainly wait until after your race because it simply doesn't make sense to change up things too much for familiarity reasons.

When you go clipless just practice a little bit, keep things easy in terms of release and you won't have a problem.

the most important thing is fit, and cleat placement is critical in terms of being good to your knees. Try not to guess there.

For your race, go with what you know, and move yourself to clipless when you have the time to get used to it.
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Old 08-06-14, 08:32 AM
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For reference, my son (9), learned how to successfully clip in and out in two days. Only fell over once.

I have him set up with a pair of Egg Beater Candies. Easy two-sided entry.

I vote go for it.
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Old 08-06-14, 09:00 AM
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Assuming you already know how to ride a bike and can ride with flat pedals, go for a quick spin on your new bike and then get clipless. There's no reason to postpone it as you will need to go through the learning process sooner or later, so better to do it sooner.
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Old 08-06-14, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by AristoNYC
I can honestly say that I have not fallen off my bike with the clipless pedals, even when I first got them.
I really don't get this fear of the clipless pedals. I started with clipless right out the gate. I don't understand why so many people make it seem like it will be one of the hardest things one will ever do. Every time someone asks about them they are told "you will fall".

I have never fallen over using clipless pedals. Not at low speed, or high speed. I have never taken that fall at the stop light or stop sign. I have never "forgot to unclip". When I'm approaching a stop sign I unclip before I get to it and leave my foot in position to clip back in if I need to or prepare to put that foot down.
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Old 08-06-14, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by canam73
Did you miss the part where he just bought his first road bike for this event?
It may be his first ROAD bike but apparently not his first bike since it is the 2nd triathlon. A different style of bike is not as big of an adjustment as switching to clipless pedals unless he was riding a mountain bike or hybrid which is highly unlikely.
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Old 08-06-14, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by spdracr39
It may be his first ROAD bike but apparently not his first bike since it is the 2nd triathlon. A different style of bike is not as big of an adjustment as switching to clipless pedals unless he was riding a mountain bike or hybrid which is highly unlikely.
If this is his first road bike but he doesn't have a mtb or hybrid what do you think he was riding?

My thought is since this is his 2nd tri he probably isn't going to win. Might as well learn as much as you can from it and if the future will include clipless then let's get going on that too.
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Old 08-06-14, 10:20 AM
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Try them now. If you don't feel comfortable by he tri, swap em out a couple days before for your last couple of training rides. Ithink some people get used to them really easily, others take more time.
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Old 08-06-14, 10:48 AM
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I think you should go ahead and do it. I wouldn't be worried about "learning" something new or whatever people are saying. If you can't learn to kick your heel out to disengage yourself, then riding a bike is too difficult for you and you need to withdraw from the tri and return the bike before riding it for a refund. I have never fallen over on clipless pedals. Have I come close? Absolutely. Mostly towards the end of a ride when I am tired and not thinking straight.

The only thing I would worry about is the transition. You will need to practice that more than clipping in and out.
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Old 08-06-14, 10:50 AM
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Why wait, they're great.
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Old 08-06-14, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by canam73
If this is his first road bike but he doesn't have a mtb or hybrid what do you think he was riding?

My thought is since this is his 2nd tri he probably isn't going to win. Might as well learn as much as you can from it and if the future will include clipless then let's get going on that too.
Cyclocross which is no different or tri bike which a little different.
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Old 08-06-14, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by spdracr39
Cyclocross which is no different or tri bike which a little different.
Your assuming a person buying their first road bike with no experience with clipless pedals doing their second triathlon has been riding a tri or cross bike.

Well, one of us will be right.
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