clipless pedals

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by RichieC, Dec 18, 2003.

  1. RichieC

    RichieC New Member

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    I just got clipless pedals for the first time. I do alot of technical riding and I'm getting freaked out when my feet are locked in. No big accidents yet, but I either need to get the hang of things or go back to conventional pedals. Suggestions?
     
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  2. alex001

    alex001 New Member

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    when I have crashed, my feet have somehow clipped out. you can also pull your heel inwards, if your falling
     
  3. Feanor

    Feanor New Member

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    Its odd but I feel like clipless pedals are almost a necessity on the road, but a 50/50 proposition in mountain biking... I was mtb'ing for 9 years before converting to road cycling, and though I saw great advantage with clipless for off road, I still did very well with platforms alot of the time (I switched the pedals out often depending on what type of riding I was going to do one week to the next...

    If you're doing alot of very technical riding, specifically things like picking your way precariously down a hill paths etc, the need for clipless is very much reduced... If you're doing more flatland pounding though, they're great...

    Whenever I got to a technical descent, I always clipped out... it just suited me...
     
  4. el Ingles

    el Ingles New Member

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    Can you afford the clipless / platform pedals Shimano make for the downhill brigade , could be an answer : remember to set tension on minimum and PUSH down at the pedal when releasing , seems to help if your not in the habit of pulling upwards which can jam the release mech , also look at multi release cleats .
     
  5. jmcmillanut

    jmcmillanut New Member

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    I would say persevere, and get used to the pedals. I would go on some less technical rides until you get used to them. I learned using the "trial by fire" method, which resulted in some pretty spectacular crashes. Like one of the replies mentioned, release the tension on your clips, but not to the point where you clip out on the upward pedal stroke.

    Clipless pedals are ESSENTIAL for mountain biking, especially technical riding. Not to sound new-agey, but there is a one-ness you achieve with your bike that you don't get with toe clips (cages) or platforms. The transfer of power on the upward pedal stroke really helps w/ climbing. And descents are safer too, because your foot isn't bouncing around on the platform. Being clipped in allows you to bunny-hop obstacles and catch air with greater confidence.

    I've been on descents that are almost like skiing w/ my clipless pedals: cruise down, put weight on the left pedal for that banked right corner, here comes a ledge -- hop down to a smooth drop out, bank left... and so on.
     
  6. lokstah

    lokstah New Member

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    RichieC, it can be scary at first, though in the long run, you'll realize that riding without a clipless system has become far scarier. You'll come to count on the security of a foot which won't slip off of the pedal, as well as the 360 degrees of rigid power transfer you've got access to.

    Though you'll want to be all-around comfortable eventually, a good technique for starters is to designate a "clip out foot" which you disengage well in advance, any time you think you may have to stop for anything. If it's your left foot, for example, and there's a red light 50 feet ahead, unclip your left foot and cruise to the stop while standing in the right pedal. Just be sure to get your left foot on the ground once you've stopped.

    When you're still learning clipless pedals, it's good to disengage that clip out foot even when you might not stop... approaching a stop sign in a quiet neighborhood, or a if a potential obstacle materializes. You can always clip back in if you decide to proceed; the whole operation gives you good in-and-out practice.

    Eventually, you'll want to be able to pop casually in and out of each pedal. Stick with them! Good luck.
     
  7. tanggoman

    tanggoman New Member

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    As an added advise to all the good ones mentioned, always anticipate anything that might be in front of you that would cause you to unclip your feet. In my case, whenever I make a stop, I always unclip my left foot way ahead of time. It takes some practice but once you go clipless, you'll never go back to toe clips.
     
  8. brightgarden

    brightgarden New Member

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    if you go in muddy places, make sure you have pedals to suit.

    one of my worst crashes: i was still stuck in my pedals because of the mud in them. my buddy had to kick my pedals/feet to get me out of them. needless to say, i don't go mtn biking in those pedals anymore.

    however, i do have to say this about clipping out TOO SOON: that is, don't over-anticipate and clip out (there may be an obstacle to negotiate before you can stop).

    get good at clipping out on the spot, on demand. i guess this is a goal and not a prerequisite.

    although i probably wreck more often than the average biker, some of them have been due to clipping out too soon when i could have used my foot IN to help manage the bike over an obstacle. now, i don't even clip out at a red light until i'm almost completely stopped. i'm of the opinion that clipping out way ahead of time is appropriate in certain circumstances (like on a paved trail coming to a junction where it is obviously clear sailing to the stopping point), but that in many cases, clipping out way too soon means removing one part of the control over your bike. unless you happen to be particularly adept at clipping back in on demand...

    practice coming to a dead stop with your bike, still clipped in and just standing there just like that (not dead still, but not falling over either) for as long as you can. good practice anyhow...
     
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