clipless vs toestraps vs platforms for a nervous cyclist?

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Velvet, Apr 10, 2003.

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  1. Velvet

    Velvet Guest

    As a less than confident cyclist (in fact I hesitate to call myself a cyclist) I've been using
    toestraps with some odd shimano cleat pedal on the outings I've attempted. I've learnt a bit about
    the toestraps, nearly come a cropper once already with them, but because I'd been using a pair of
    well-past it trainers with them, lately, decided to invest in a pair of proper cycling shoes. Went
    for some that would let me walk on slippery surfaces too, so they're the Shimano M037's - more of a
    touring/offroad type shoe, with a tread. However, I've found they're nigh on impossible to get into
    the toestraps (it's actually the pedal/sole interface that's causing the probs) and definately not
    feasible to use with them on safety grounds.

    Now, I've come to the point of wondering what to do. Obviously the trainers aren't ideal - and are
    just about falling apart, the sole is smooth they're that worn down, which is what makes them easy
    to get in/out of the toestraps - but the sole being thin, means I can feel the pedal through them,
    which is really meant for a cleat, so not *that* comfy for any sort of distances. I'm still getting
    used to the whole toeclip thing. I ride with them very loose - so they stop forward movement,
    there's sideways movement available, and it's easy to get your foot out (I guess there's at least
    1cm of clearance all round between shoe and strap, so they're not exactly touching most of the
    time!). I'm happy with them like that - can't see me ever bending down to tighten/loosen them, so
    they'll stay loose, ta very much :)

    However, I can see the lack of flex in the M037's would make life easier, and the thicker soles
    should prevent me feeling the cleat bits on the pedals ;-) BUT, they won't go in (and out!!!!) of
    the toeclips, so that's a bit of a non-starter. I'm not sure I'm anywhere near confident to try out
    spd's yet - stopping is still an ungainly affair at the best of times; though that's improving,
    unless I have plenty of time to sort out coordination of braking, foot release, balance, and
    eventual stopping, it all goes horribly wrong and I've ended up with a panicked yank out of the
    other foot as the bike and me decided to stop leaning to the right instead of the left!

    So, any suggestions. I find I start off with one foot in the toeclip, the other one uses the other
    pedal upside down till I've got enough speed/confidence to be able to flip it over and get the foot
    in - sometimes it takes a couple of goes, other times it's pretty much straight in. I'm finding it's
    making me wary of cycling up moderate/steepish hills to, because I'm not confident I could stop and
    get everything coordinated to avoid falling over, given I'm likely to be verging on wobbling off
    sideways due to lack of speed by that time anyway, so the whole thing's getting a bit self-defeating
    at the moment.

    Should I forget both of them, ride with standard platforms for a while till I have more confidence,
    or persevere with the toestraps and existing trainers (apart from feeling the pedal through them,
    they're comfy, though do lead to nervousness when stopping), or do I go try spd's and risk being
    utterly put off by clipping in/out?

    The M037s have bolt-on sole plates, so I can revert to not using them for spds, though as I said,
    they're not feasible for use with toestraps IMO. I don't have platform pedals for the bike at the
    moment, so that'd be an extra to go get, and I'm aware there are combined platforms and spds, but
    not sure that's a very cost-effective way to do it.

    Ta,

    Velvet
     
    Tags:


  2. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Velvet wrote:

    > However, I can see the lack of flex in the M037's would make life easier, and the thicker soles
    > should prevent me feeling the cleat bits on the pedals ;-) BUT, they won't go in (and out!!!!) of
    > the toeclips, so that's a bit of a non-starter. I'm not sure I'm anywhere near confident to try
    > out spd's yet

    But SPuDs and similar are actually *easier* to get in and out of than toeclips, so if you can manage
    toeclips you can manage clipless pedals.

    And if you do blow it (most of us have managed once or twice!) then pretty much by definition you'll
    only keel over at 0 mph when it's entirely likely the only thing to get hurt will be your pride.

    So I'd get some clipless pedals if I were you. It really doesn't take long to get the hang of them,
    with a week or so's total paranoia seeming to suffice for most people. It's quite easy to pedal
    without formally attaching if you're in traffic and worried about escaping, and unlike the similar
    operation with clips and straps you don't end up dragging anything along the ground.

    Pete.
    --
    Peter Clinch University of Dundee Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
    Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK net [email protected]
    http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
     
  3. Paul Rudin

    Paul Rudin Guest

    >>>>> "Velvet" == Velvet <[email protected]> writes:

    Velvet> Should I forget both of them, ride with standard platforms for a while till I have more
    Velvet> confidence, or persevere with the toestraps and existing trainers (apart from feeling the
    Velvet> pedal through them, they're comfy, though do lead to nervousness when stopping), or do I go
    Velvet> try spd's and risk being utterly put off by clipping in/out?

    My advice is to go for spds - once you get used to them you'll wonder how you ever managed without.
    Start out with them set pretty loose so it's very easy clip out.

    I think toe straps are actually harder to get out of than spds - if you have them tight enough to do
    any good - although it's very many years since I used them...

    --
    Yow! Those people look exactly like Donnie and Marie Osmond!!
     
  4. Rg

    Rg Guest

    "Velvet" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > As a less than confident cyclist (in fact I hesitate to call myself a cyclist) I've been using
    > toestraps with some odd shimano cleat pedal on
    the
    > outings I've attempted. I've learnt a bit about the toestraps, nearly
    come
    > a cropper once already with them, but because I'd been using a pair of well-past it trainers with
    > them, lately, decided to invest in a pair of proper cycling shoes. Went for some that would let me
    > walk on slippery surfaces too, so they're the Shimano M037's - more of a touring/offroad
    type
    > shoe, with a tread. However, I've found they're nigh on impossible to get into the toestraps (it's
    > actually the pedal/sole interface that's causing the probs) and definately not feasible to use
    > with them on safety grounds.
    >
    > Now, I've come to the point of wondering what to do. Obviously the
    trainers
    > aren't ideal - and are just about falling apart, the sole is smooth
    they're
    > that worn down, which is what makes them easy to get in/out of the toestraps - but the sole being
    > thin, means I can feel the pedal through them, which is really meant for a cleat, so not *that*
    > comfy for any sort
    of
    > distances. I'm still getting used to the whole toeclip thing. I ride
    with
    > them very loose - so they stop forward movement, there's sideways movement available, and it's
    > easy to get your foot out (I guess there's at least
    1cm
    > of clearance all round between shoe and strap, so they're not exactly touching most of the time!).
    > I'm happy with them like that - can't see me ever bending down to tighten/loosen them, so they'll
    > stay loose, ta very much :)
    >
    > However, I can see the lack of flex in the M037's would make life easier, and the thicker soles
    > should prevent me feeling the cleat bits on the
    pedals
    > ;-) BUT, they won't go in (and out!!!!) of the toeclips, so that's a bit
    of
    > a non-starter. I'm not sure I'm anywhere near confident to try out spd's yet - stopping is still
    > an ungainly affair at the best of times; though that's improving, unless I have plenty of time to
    > sort out coordination of braking, foot release, balance, and eventual stopping, it all goes
    horribly
    > wrong and I've ended up with a panicked yank out of the other foot as the bike and me decided to
    > stop leaning to the right instead of the left!
    >
    > So, any suggestions. I find I start off with one foot in the toeclip, the other one uses the other
    > pedal upside down till I've got enough speed/confidence to be able to flip it over and get the
    > foot in -
    sometimes
    > it takes a couple of goes, other times it's pretty much straight in. I'm finding it's making me
    > wary of cycling up moderate/steepish hills to, because I'm not confident I could stop and get
    > everything coordinated to avoid falling over, given I'm likely to be verging on wobbling off
    sideways
    > due to lack of speed by that time anyway, so the whole thing's getting a
    bit
    > self-defeating at the moment.
    >
    > Should I forget both of them, ride with standard platforms for a while
    till
    > I have more confidence, or persevere with the toestraps and existing trainers (apart from feeling
    > the pedal through them, they're comfy, though do lead to nervousness when stopping), or do I go
    > try spd's and risk being utterly put off by clipping in/out?
    >
    > The M037s have bolt-on sole plates, so I can revert to not using them for spds, though as I said,
    > they're not feasible for use with toestraps IMO.
    I
    > don't have platform pedals for the bike at the moment, so that'd be an
    extra
    > to go get, and I'm aware there are combined platforms and spds, but not
    sure
    > that's a very cost-effective way to do it.
    >
    > Ta,
    >
    > Velvet
    >
    >

    I am about to consider going SPD with the same shoes and Shimano pedal that has cleats both sides
    AND a cage so that you can wear ordinary shoes - . however, up until now I have been using ordinary
    pedals with what I can only describe as "short toeclips" - they take the toe of the shoe and hold
    it firmly but do not have straps - they work fine with a pair of reasonable quality trainers that
    have some tread for walking up those hills! - on the basis that they are only about 4 quid a pair
    at Mr Halfords it may be worth a try - you will certainly have no problem using your Shimano shoes
    with them.

    RG
     
  5. Tim Woodall

    Tim Woodall Guest

    On Thu, 10 Apr 2003 10:04:58 GMT, Velvet <[email protected]> wrote:
    > As a less than confident cyclist (in fact I hesitate to call myself a cyclist) I've been using
    > toestraps with some odd shimano cleat pedal on the outings I've attempted. I've learnt a bit about
    > the toestraps, nearly come a cropper once already with them, but because I'd been using a pair of

    To be honest I suspect that you will find clipless pedals easier although I use LOOK which wouldn't
    meet your other requirements.

    But I think you also have the other problem I remember - balance when going slowly[1] - and of
    course, you will be cliping in and out at slow speeds.

    So I would suggest two things to practice.

    1. Without using cleats or the toe grips practice cycling on a very quiet but smooth road as slowly
    as you possibly can. (It's probably worth wearing a helmet, gloves and thick full length sleeves
    while trying this in case you do fall off and keep well clear of the kerb/drains and any manhole
    covers in the middle of the road)

    2. Find a downhill (not too steep, just one that you can coast down at about 10-15 miles per hour)
    and practice riding down it and stopping. (Again a quiet smooth road)

    You can set off, clip in, coast for a few seconds, clip out and then stop.
    N.B. Clip out before you start braking until you are confident and then start delaying the clip out
    until after you have started braking.

    Finally, remember to post here the first time you "forget" about unclipping at a set of traffic
    lights. It won't happen until you are (too) confident :)

    Regards,

    Tim.

    [1] The very first "club" ride I went on I remember not being able to keep back. Every time we got
    near to a junction there would be a discussion at about 1mph about which way to go next. I would
    have to ride on ahead and wait for the slowcoaches to catch up :)

    --
    God said, "div D = rho, div B = 0, curl E = - @B/@t, curl H = J + @D/@t," and there was light.

    http://tjw.hn.org/ http://www.locofungus.btinternet.co.uk/
     
  6. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Velvet wrote: ..........
    > Now, I've come to the point of wondering what to do.

    Give clipless (eg. SPD) pedals a go. They needn't be very expensive and you can always go back to
    the old pedals (or similar) if you don't like them - but I bet you don't if you give clipless enough
    of a chance.

    There will be a learning curve where you're getting used to a completely new action and feel, and
    some experimentation may be required to get the cleats positioned well, but you'll most likely end
    up more comfortable and will be pedalling better.

    A possible alternative is to use different "quill" pedals (with different/smoother base) and
    larger toeclips. Clips are not all the same size and shape; Some nylon ones can be easier to
    manage and take larger shoes than most metal ones, for instance. Replacement quill pedals (for
    toeclips) are cheap.

    If buying SPD's, definitely don't get single-sided ones (although other single-sided clipless
    systems can be ok because their pedals are larger or weighted differently).

    > Obviously the trainers aren't ideal - and are just about falling apart, the sole is smooth they're
    > that worn down, which is what makes them easy to get
    > in/out of the toestraps - but the sole being thin, means I can feel the pedal through them, which
    > is really meant for a cleat, so not *that* comfy for any sort of distances.

    And you're sure to eventually get holes above the toes as well. Always happens to me with toeclips.

    /snip
    > I'm not sure I'm anywhere near confident to try out spd's yet - stopping is still an ungainly
    > affair at the best of times

    Hold on, hold on! :) Double-sided SPD's will actually be easier to "get in to" - just stomp foot
    down on them - complete no brainer. Disengaging, however, AT FIRST will require some thought: heel
    has to be twisted outwards. But, this action will soon become totally automatic and you will
    releasing sub-conciously.

    To be perfectly honest (and maybe I shouldn't be now?!), there is a risk of falling whilst learning,
    but you minimise this by having a sign saying "TWIST" on the handlebars and riding with someone else
    instructed to shout "TWIST" at every stop. Anyway, falling from stationary usually doesn't hurt when
    you know you're gonna go! :) Seriously, you should quickly get the hang of them.

    re: Starting on hills This can be dodgy and un-nerving even for cyclists who are generally very
    confident with their pedals - with ANY type of pedals. Make sure an appropriate gear is selected
    first (low but high enough to get some oopmh with the first pedal stroke), and if necessary, start
    by pointing the bike sideways and head accross the road or even down the other way a bit, then turn
    round once got going properly.

    ~PB
     
  7. Ian Walker

    Ian Walker Guest

    On 10 Apr 2003 11:23:45 +0100, Paul Rudin <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    > My advice is to go for spds - once you get used to them you'll wonder how you ever managed
    > without. Start out with them set pretty loose so it's very easy clip out.
    >

    I've seen this advice quite often here and in other places, and I did indeed set my pedals fairly
    loose when I first got them. However, I've never yet felt the urge to tighten them up. Moreover,
    I've never come unclipped by accident. So the question is: why would you want them tighter than
    'almost as loose as they'll go'?

    Ian

    --
    Ian Walker Remove the yummy paste in my address to reply. Homepage: http://www.drianwalker.com
     
  8. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    > I am about to consider going SPD with the same shoes and Shimano pedal that has cleats both sides
    > AND a cage so that you can wear ordinary shoes

    Good idea except the pedals will need to be "flipped" half the time. Seriously spoils the idea
    of clipless, imo. Some of the chunkier SPD's can be used with ordinary shoes for a short
    distance anyway.

    ps. By "double-sided" in my previous reply, I meant SPD mechanism on both sides.

    ~PB
     
  9. In article <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] says...
    > On 10 Apr 2003 11:23:45 +0100, Paul Rudin <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >
    > > My advice is to go for spds - once you get used to them you'll wonder how you ever managed
    > > without. Start out with them set pretty loose so it's very easy clip out.
    > >
    >
    > I've seen this advice quite often here and in other places, and I did indeed set my pedals fairly
    > loose when I first got them. However, I've never yet felt the urge to tighten them up. Moreover,
    > I've never come unclipped by accident. So the question is: why would you want them tighter than
    > 'almost as loose as they'll go'?

    Maybe you didn't have them that loose in the first place :) When mine were set loose I did very
    occasionally unclip accidentally and oftentimes at awkward moments---standing at the traffic
    lights usually.

    Incidentally, I have found that I tend to have the right pedal set tighter than the left. Do other
    people have them set asymmetrically?

    Colin
     
  10. In article <[email protected]>, pLime {remove_fruit}@biggs.tc says...
    >
    > > I am about to consider going SPD with the same shoes and Shimano pedal that has cleats both
    > > sides AND a cage so that you can wear ordinary shoes
    >
    > Good idea except the pedals will need to be "flipped" half the time. Seriously spoils the idea of
    > clipless, imo.

    I don't know, I have a pair of these on a hybrid that I occasionally leave at work and find the
    non-spd side good for when I don't have my spd shoes with me.

    > Some of the chunkier SPD's can be used with ordinary shoes for a short distance anyway.

    Again, I have a pair like this on a MTB, I think they claim to be for BMX but I've never seen the
    kids doing BMX with spds! Although these can be used without spd shoes the ones I mentioned above
    are much more comfortable if I have soft soled shoes on.

    Colin
     
  11. Paul Rudin

    Paul Rudin Guest

    >>>>> "IW" == Ian Walker <[email protected]> writes:

    IW> On 10 Apr 2003 11:23:45 +0100, Paul Rudin <[email protected]> wrote:
    >> My advice is to go for spds - once you get used to them you'll wonder how you ever managed
    >> without. Start out with them set pretty loose so it's very easy clip out.
    >>

    IW> I've seen this advice quite often here and in other places, and I did indeed set my pedals
    IW> fairly loose when I first got them. However, I've never yet felt the urge to tighten them up.
    IW> Moreover, I've never come unclipped by accident. So the question is: why would you want them
    IW> tighter than 'almost as loose as they'll go'?

    The main reason, (obviously :)), is to prevent them coming out when you don't want it to happen. I
    find that riding on road you can keep them pretty loose and it's fine. Off-road - where you tend to
    bump around and twist and turn a bit more I have them set a bit tighter.

    Another reason is that it can feel a bit odd (to me anyway) if there's too much give in the contact
    between your foot and the pedal.

    --
    In Newark the laundromats are open 24 hours a day!
     
  12. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    > I've seen this advice quite often here and in other places, and I did indeed set my pedals fairly
    > loose when I first got them. However, I've never yet felt the urge to tighten them up. Moreover,
    > I've never come unclipped by accident. So the question is: why would you want them tighter than
    > 'almost as loose as they'll go'?

    Some people /do/ unclip by accident when pedals are set loose (and it's damn nasty when it does
    happen) - perhaps by those pulling up powerfully or spinning very fast or erratically. The danger
    increases as the cleats wear.

    ~PB
     
  13. W K

    W K Guest

    "Colin Blackburn" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > Again, I have a pair like this on a MTB, I think they claim to be for BMX but I've never seen the
    > kids doing BMX with spds!

    Cool

    Hands free bunny hops.
     
  14. Velvet

    Velvet Guest

    Wow, wasn't expecting all those responses, knowing how often the clipless/notclipless topic gets
    done to death on here...

    Thanks all. I'm not much clearer about if I should attempt spds yet or not. Balance at low speeds
    seems ok in some circumstances, and crap in others (if pulling up to a junction I *have* been able
    to slow down a lot, keep the balance going, whilst checking for a slot in traffic - but then again,
    slowing down, balancing, and stopping well is pretty bad a lot of the time).

    Toestraps I have are nylon, fairly big, but not big enough to get the shimano shoes in ;-) That's
    width, but more of it is height - the nylon front part of the strap arrangement (just what IS that
    bit called!) keeps the strap reasonably low to the pedal - ok for trainers, bad news for the deeper
    soled shimano shoes. The straps are permanently loose, there's no way on earth I'm going to be
    leaning down tightening and releasing those things, I want to get out at any point!!! Oh, did I
    mention I'm still mastering taking a hand off the bars too? ;-)

    I'm still not sure that maybe I should go for standard pedals till I master this balance/stopping
    thing. Given I'm riding a totally different bike to the one I rode well over a decade ago (this has
    drops, entirely different position, other one didn't, was a traditional girls/ladies bike) - and
    that I'm attempting to ride on the roads and not the pavements (all previous cycling (which was done
    as a kid) was on pavement not road) - I'm still wondering if I'm trying to adjust to too many things
    different too fast, and whether I should just go for making it as simple as possible and getting the
    other basics (like hands off bars for signalling, stopping/starting decently, etc) sorted before
    attempting either toestraps or clipless...

    Once again, thanks for all the replies. I'll re-read them and mull it over some more.

    Velvet
     
  15. James Hodson

    James Hodson Guest

    On Thu, 10 Apr 2003 17:40:01 GMT, "Velvet" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Wow, wasn't expecting all those responses, knowing how often the clipless/notclipless topic gets
    >done to death on here...
    >

    Hi Velvet

    Just to add my two penorth: I have a pair of M036 shoes, almost identical to yours, or so I believe.
    Do yourself a favour and buy a cheap pair of SPD pedals. You can always revert to your non-clipless
    platforms if you really don't like being clipped in.

    Have quick practice in your house whilst leaning against a wall to work out which foot you naturally
    prefer to unclip first then just bite the bullet and go for a ride on a quiet road. When approaching
    a junction make sure you unclip your favoured foot well before you have to slow down. It's neither
    rocket science not brain surgery.

    Of course, you will fall off - and that's an order. My first or two tumbles was outside my local
    Sainsbury's on a busy Saturday afternoon. The worse thing that will probably happen is that your
    cheeks will turn red with embarrassment.

    Regards and good luck James

    --
    A credit limit is NOT a target.
     
  16. Tony W

    Tony W Guest

    "James Hodson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    >
    > Have quick practice in your house whilst leaning against a wall to work out which foot you
    > naturally prefer to unclip first then just bite the bullet and go for a ride on a quiet road. When
    > approaching a junction make sure you unclip your favoured foot well before you have to slow down.
    > It's neither rocket science not brain surgery.

    But -- learn to unclip by swinging your heal OUT. For reasons I don't understand I tend to unclip by
    swinging my heal IN. This is fine on my road bike but not possible on my MTB (foot fouls the frame)
    -- resulting in a nasty fall and some bruised ribs last w/e -- and a retraining programme over the
    next few weeks :(

    Get it right from the start.
     
  17. Peter B

    Peter B Guest

    "Ian Walker" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:eek:[email protected]...
    > On 10 Apr 2003 11:23:45 +0100, Paul Rudin <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >
    > > My advice is to go for spds - once you get used to them you'll wonder how you ever managed
    > > without. Start out with them set pretty loose so it's very easy clip out.
    > >
    >
    > I've seen this advice quite often here and in other places, and I did indeed set my pedals fairly
    > loose when I first got them. However, I've never yet felt the urge to tighten them up. Moreover,
    > I've never come unclipped by accident. So the question is: why would you want them tighter than
    > 'almost as loose as they'll go'?

    Example One: Sprint off from a traffic light to show cars how fast your reactions and initial
    acceleration are, come unclipped, fail, go home, tighten clips. :-(

    Example Two: Bombing down rough track, come unclipped, now trying to get foot clipped back into
    bucking (yes, I mean bucking) pedal as well as keeping everything else together. (I appreciate more
    radical downhillers than me may prefer not to be clipped in). :-(

    Re the OP, you could always try the Shimano pedals that have a clip one side and platform t'other.
    You could end up with the best of both worlds but in the opinion of a friend who has some it's
    annoying to have to flip the pedal to engage the cleat. IMHO go for cheapo double sided SPD's,
    it's amazing how soon you get used to them, as has been stated they're easier to dis-engage than
    toe clips.

    Pete
     
  18. Velvet

    Velvet Guest

    "Peter B" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "Ian Walker" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:eek:[email protected]...
    > > On 10 Apr 2003 11:23:45 +0100, Paul Rudin <[email protected]>
    wrote:
    > >
    > > >
    > > > My advice is to go for spds - once you get used to them you'll wonder how you ever managed
    > > > without. Start out with them set pretty loose so it's very easy clip out.
    > > >
    > >
    > > I've seen this advice quite often here and in other places, and I did indeed set my pedals
    > > fairly loose when I first got them. However, I've never yet felt the urge to tighten them up.
    > > Moreover, I've never come unclipped by accident. So the question is: why would you want them
    tighter
    > > than 'almost as loose as they'll go'?
    >
    > Example One: Sprint off from a traffic light to show cars how fast your reactions and initial
    > acceleration are, come unclipped, fail, go home, tighten clips. :-(
    >
    > Example Two: Bombing down rough track, come unclipped, now trying to get foot clipped back into
    > bucking (yes, I mean bucking) pedal as well as keeping everything else together. (I appreciate
    > more radical downhillers than me may prefer not to be clipped in). :-(
    >
    > Re the OP, you could always try the Shimano pedals that have a clip one
    side
    > and platform t'other. You could end up with the best of both worlds but in the opinion of a friend
    > who has some it's annoying to have to flip the
    pedal
    > to engage the cleat. IMHO go for cheapo double sided SPD's, it's amazing how soon you get used
    to
    > them, as has been stated they're easier to dis-engage than toe clips.
    >
    > Pete
    >
    >

    Are they easier to disengage than *loose* toe clips, though?

    Velvet
     
  19. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Velvet wrote:
    > Toestraps I have are nylon, fairly big, but not big enough to get the shimano shoes in ;-) That's
    > width, but more of it is height - the nylon front part of the strap arrangement (just what IS that
    > bit called!) keeps the strap reasonably low to the pedal - ok for trainers, bad news for the
    > deeper soled shimano shoes.

    Straps: doesn't particularly matter if they're nylon or leather; and doesn't matter what kind of
    buckle as well. I was earlier referring to the actual clip - that's the large part in the front that
    supports front of feet and straps. For examples of various clips, see:
    www.sjscycles.com/store/vIndex.htm

    > The straps are permanently loose, there's no way on earth I'm going to be leaning down tightening
    > and releasing those things, I want to get out at any point!!!

    That's perfectly reasonable. I still use toe clips & straps on one bike* and I never have them so
    tight that I can't release without flicking the buckle.
    * For ease of going shopping, etc. I would prefer SPD's but that would mean investing in yet
    another set of pedals and shoes (I already use Looks on my road bike).

    > I'm still not sure that maybe I should go for standard pedals till I master this
    > balance/stopping thing.

    I suspect that most of your problems are caused by the particular pedals and clips you have - and
    not general incompetence! :) Yes, you'd probably be better off with plain platform pedals, but you
    may well (eventually) be even happier with clipless pedals with their extra efficiency and security.
    (Shame "clipless" is such a silly term - because platforms also don't have clips - but hopefully,
    you know what I mean!).

    > Given I'm riding a totally different bike to the one I rode well over a decade ago (this has
    > drops, entirely different position, other one didn't, was a traditional girls/ladies bike) - and
    > that I'm attempting to ride on the roads and not the pavements (all previous cycling (which was
    > done as a kid) was on pavement not road) - I'm still wondering if I'm trying to adjust to too many
    > things different too fast, and whether I should just go for making it as simple as possible and
    > getting the other basics (like hands off bars for signalling, stopping/starting decently, etc)
    > sorted before attempting either toestraps or clipless...

    Not a bad idea. I suggest getting rid of the current pedals and clips ASAP then try whatever option
    you most feel like next - including plain platforms.

    ~PB
     
  20. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Velvet wrote:

    > Are they easier to disengage than *loose* toe clips, though?

    Same but different (as my nan used to say:) Virtually* as easy as loose toe clips, but it's a
    different action - so there is a beginner stage where you have to re-program the brain.

    More importantly, for convenience, they are easier to ENgage.

    * I suppose they're slightly more difficult because feet have to be rotated instead of simply
    pulling back, but honestly, you will do this automatically once used to them (only takes a
    few rides).

    ~PB
     
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