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. James Hodson

    James Hodson Guest

    On Sat, 12 Apr 2003 08:05:01 GMT, "Velvet" <[email protected]> wrote:

    [Some SNIPPPED stuff]

    Hi Velvet

    I live on the south coast so day after day of snow and ice is pretty unusual. However, a few
    years ago, just after I started spudding, we had such a spell of nasty weather. I opted to remove
    my clipless pedals as I didn't want to be caught in a situation similar to that you fear.
    However, as I'd become used to the heel out manoeuvre I actually felt more insecure not being
    attached to the bike.

    I mentioned my Sainsbury tumble in an earlier post. The t-i-m-b-e-r momoment was caused by my trying
    to pull my foot backwards out of the non-existant toe straps. A "D'oh!" experience.

    As I'm sure others will verify, the heel out unclipping motion becomes second nature after a very
    short while. There's really no need to worry overly about becomming stuck in an emergeny situation
    - much ;-)

    James

    --
    A credit limit is NOT a target.
     


  2. James Hodson

    James Hodson Guest

    On Fri, 11 Apr 2003 14:10:03 GMT, "Velvet" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Certainly gets the heart going. Has anyone ever keeled over on a bike due to newbieness, excessive
    >heart rate/adrenaline, and general mental overload? ;-)
    >

    Does excessive alcohol count as mental overload?

    James

    --
    A credit limit is NOT a target.
     
  3. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Velvet wrote: ...............
    > Flicking the heel out to unclip seems like no harder to learn than toeclips, but the concern is
    > what happens in an abrupt and unforeseen stop

    Once used to them, you'll stop and disengage without thinking about it or even realising what your
    feet are doing.

    To help wire the brain for emergency stops, it is worth practising stopping BEFORE taking feet off
    pedals, even if you wouldn't want to do this normally. With a well setup bike* and a bit more
    confidence, you /will/ eventually be able to balance the stationary bike for a second or two+
    (though you can unclip and put a foot down within half a second after stopping if needed).

    Riding as slowly as possible is also great practice. Mastering this will massively enhance your
    all-round confidence and control skills on a bike. A level road or very slight uphill and platform
    pedals will help with the practice. Lightly dab the front brake, pedal when necessary, swiftly turn
    the bars and move your whole body to balance when crawling along. Perhaps lower the saddle just for
    this exercise if you feel to unsafe up there doing this.

    * Especially after what you wrote before, I'm concerned that your bike may be too big for you. That
    would explain some of the balance and confidence problems. Would be a good idea to get a second
    opinion from another bike shop, I think.

    ~PB
     
  4. [email protected] schreef ...

    > Elastic band? I'm confused now - is this so the toe clip doesn't end up pointing to the ground?
    > and if so, how on earth do you get the feet back in them?

    I'll explain the setup we've ridden for five years. We had these "beartrap" MTB pedals with MTB
    toeclips (the big plastic variety). With the toeclip on the correct side (up) an elastic band
    connected the back of the front pedal with the front of the rear pedal. On each side, as you'll have
    guessed ;-) With the toeclip belts not-too-tightly-closed the effect was that you could always slide
    your foot back in since you didn't have to flip the pedal. Very comfy indeed!

    --
    Regards, Marten
     
  5. Velvet

    Velvet Guest

    "Pete Biggs" <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Velvet wrote: ...............
    > > Flicking the heel out to unclip seems like no harder to learn than toeclips, but the concern is
    > > what happens in an abrupt and unforeseen stop
    >
    > Once used to them, you'll stop and disengage without thinking about it or even realising what your
    > feet are doing.
    >
    > To help wire the brain for emergency stops, it is worth practising stopping BEFORE taking feet off
    > pedals, even if you wouldn't want to do this normally. With a well setup bike* and a bit more
    > confidence, you /will/ eventually be able to balance the stationary bike for a second or two+
    > (though you can unclip and put a foot down within half a second after stopping if needed).
    >
    > Riding as slowly as possible is also great practice. Mastering this will massively enhance your
    > all-round confidence and control skills on a bike. A level road or very slight uphill and platform
    > pedals will help with the practice. Lightly dab the front brake, pedal when necessary, swiftly
    > turn the bars and move your whole body to balance when crawling along. Perhaps lower the saddle
    > just for this exercise if you feel to unsafe up there doing this.
    >
    > * Especially after what you wrote before, I'm concerned that your bike may be too big for you.
    > That would explain some of the balance and confidence problems. Would be a good idea to get a
    > second opinion from another bike shop, I think.
    >
    > ~PB
    >
    >

    Pete, ta for that, good idea, I'll try that out - there's a quiet road just round the corner that's
    up hill that I can do that on. Bike frame is the right size height wise, but it is too long along
    the top bar by a couple of inches. That's been rectified partially after going to Cycles Dauphin at
    Box Hill in Surrey, where they put bike on a jig, me on the bike, laughed lots, then sorted out a
    shorter stem and narrower bars, amongst other things. They checked crank length and saddle height
    (mine was, and still is, too low, but the cranks are right) and saddle fore/aft (again, ok, though
    if I ever get saddle to where it SHOULD be, it'll need moving forward a touch).

    I can't remember what size bike it is, it's the smallest frame dawes do for their audax. I'm 5'3,
    but take a 31" length pair of jeans, and most women's trousers seem to be 29" for some reason, so I
    do wonder if I've got longer legs but shorter arms...

    Velvet
     
  6. Velvet

    Velvet Guest

    "Marten Hoffmann" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > [email protected] schreef ...
    >
    > > Elastic band? I'm confused now - is this so the toe clip doesn't end up pointing to the ground?
    > > and if so, how on earth do you get the feet
    back in
    > > them?
    >
    > I'll explain the setup we've ridden for five years. We had these "beartrap" MTB pedals with MTB
    > toeclips (the big plastic variety). With the toeclip on the correct side (up) an elastic band
    > connected the back of the front pedal with the front of the rear pedal. On each side, as you'll
    > have guessed ;-) With the toeclip belts not-too-tightly-closed the effect was that you could
    > always slide your foot back in since you didn't have to flip the pedal. Very comfy indeed!
    >
    > --
    > Regards, Marten

    This is on a tandem?

    Velvet
     
  7. [email protected] schreef ...
    >
    > "Marten Hoffmann" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > [email protected] schreef ...
    > >
    > > > Elastic band? I'm confused now - is this so the toe clip doesn't end up pointing to the
    > > > ground? and if so, how on earth do you get the feet
    > back in
    > > > them?
    > >
    > > I'll explain the setup we've ridden for five years. We had these "beartrap" MTB pedals with MTB
    > > toeclips (the big plastic variety). With the toeclip on the correct side (up) an elastic band
    > > connected the back of the front pedal with the front of the rear pedal. On each side, as you'll
    > > have guessed ;-) With the toeclip belts not-too-tightly-closed the effect was that you could
    > > always slide your foot back in since you didn't have to flip the pedal. Very comfy indeed!
    > >
    > > --
    > > Regards, Marten
    >
    > This is on a tandem?
    >
    > Velvet

    Of course. I reacted to Clive George's message about MTB tandeming. Obviously, this wasn't very
    clear to some. Sorry ;-\

    --
    Regards, Marten
     
  8. Velvet

    Velvet Guest

    "Marten Hoffmann" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > [email protected] schreef ...
    > >
    > > "Marten Hoffmann" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > > news:[email protected]...
    > > > [email protected] schreef ...
    > > >
    > > > > Elastic band? I'm confused now - is this so the toe clip doesn't
    end up
    > > > > pointing to the ground? and if so, how on earth do you get the feet
    > > back in
    > > > > them?
    > > >
    > > > I'll explain the setup we've ridden for five years. We had these "beartrap" MTB pedals with
    > > > MTB toeclips (the big plastic variety).
    With
    > > > the toeclip on the correct side (up) an elastic band connected the
    back
    > > > of the front pedal with the front of the rear pedal. On each side, as you'll have guessed ;-)
    > > > With the toeclip belts not-too-tightly-closed the effect was that you could always slide your
    > > > foot back in since you didn't have to flip the pedal. Very comfy indeed!
    > > >
    > > > --
    > > > Regards, Marten
    > >
    > > This is on a tandem?
    > >
    > > Velvet
    >
    > Of course. I reacted to Clive George's message about MTB tandeming. Obviously, this wasn't very
    > clear to some. Sorry ;-\
    >
    > --
    > Regards, Marten

    LOL, I did wonder if I should have read the message just prior to your one, but decided I couldn't
    be bothered digging around for it (I have my reader set to not show read or ignored messages)...

    I can see how it works on a tandem! :)

    Velvet
     
  9. Congokid

    Congokid Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Toby Barrett <[email protected]> writes

    >Am I the only person to have not fallen off because of SPDs? I've been

    >PS. I have, however, managed to fall off bikes for plenty of other reasons. Usually with an
    > audience.

    I fell off about 30 yards into my maiden voyage with SPDs. I was on Wardour Street in Soho and had
    an audience of complete strangers. They actually stopped and picked me up!

    That was about 9 years ago and I haven't looked back, metaphorically speaking, until I got my
    Brompton which doesn't have SPD pedals.

    --
    congokid Eating out in London? Read my tips... http://congokid.com
     
  10. "Velvet" <[email protected]> wrote in

    <lots of context stuff snipped>

    Velvet, If I've been following this thread correctly, you have
    a) got your bike so that it very nearly fits "correctly"
    b) got new quill pedals which are originally for toestraps and cleats, but are not using them
    with either.
    c) got new cycling shoes
    d) getting used to riding this new combination

    Sounds good to me. I still commute in traffic, tour, and often do long rides in trainers and toe
    clips. No problem, and I've got big feet and big shoes. And I use spd's for the posh bike.

    Clips and spds are essential for going fast, and for "spinning" the pedal, where you use all your
    leg muscles. Until you are able, and want, to go fast, then keep on doing what you are doing.

    When you feel confident on the bike - when you have an idea of how much time you really have to do
    things on the bike, and your sense of balance on the bike is really good, only then do you need to
    make a desiscion about whether to get larger toe clips, or go for the spds.

    Riding the bike is the main thing - everything else is a bonus.

    Enjoy, SteveP
     
  11. Velvet

    Velvet Guest

    "stephen pridgeon" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > "Velvet" <[email protected]> wrote in
    >
    > <lots of context stuff snipped>
    >
    > Velvet, If I've been following this thread correctly, you have
    > a) got your bike so that it very nearly fits "correctly"
    > b) got new quill pedals which are originally for toestraps and cleats, but are not using them with
    > either.
    > c) got new cycling shoes
    > d) getting used to riding this new combination
    >
    > Sounds good to me. I still commute in traffic, tour, and often do long rides in trainers and toe
    > clips. No problem, and I've got big feet and big shoes. And I use spd's for the posh bike.
    >
    > Clips and spds are essential for going fast, and for "spinning" the pedal, where you use all your
    > leg muscles. Until you are able, and want, to go fast, then keep on doing what you are doing.
    >
    > When you feel confident on the bike - when you have an idea of how much time you really have to do
    > things on the bike, and your sense of balance on the bike is really good, only then do you need to
    > make a desiscion about whether to get larger toe clips, or go for the spds.
    >
    > Riding the bike is the main thing - everything else is a bonus.
    >
    > Enjoy, SteveP

    Nearly right :) pedals are what it shipped with, with toeclips and cleats (I use them with
    toeclips, without cleats) - they're shimano rx100's. I swapped them for standard touring platforms
    (metal cage) cos I couldn't fit new cycling shoes in (bought ebcause my old trainers are falling
    apart and other trainers too wide to fit in toeclips) and found cycling shoes also too hard to get
    in, let alone out, of toeclips.

    All other points are correct, yes :)

    I found I much preferred toeclips to platform pedals after a quick spin on the trainer. Surprised
    how much I missed them, but will continue with platform pedals till I master stopping decently ;-)

    Velvet
     
  12. Peter Clinch

    Peter Clinch Guest

    Velvet wrote:

    > I found I much preferred toeclips to platform pedals after a quick spin on the trainer.

    Not entirely surprising: all you have to do on a trainer is spin the pedals round fast, and being
    attached to the pedals is a Real Win for that. Not so much an issue for cycling in the Real World
    though, not only because you're not necessarily trying to roar along as fast as possible but also
    you've got lots of other things demanding your attention. So I wouldn't pay *too* close attention to
    findings on the Trainer. My flatmate is embarrassed by the number of times she's fallen off her
    racer. She has a tendency to use a turbo trainer quite a lot and not get out on actual roads, and I
    wouldn't be surprised if the two aren't entirely unrelated...

    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/
     
  13. Velvet

    Velvet Guest

    "Peter Clinch" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Velvet wrote:
    >
    > > I found I much preferred toeclips to platform pedals after a quick spin
    on
    > > the trainer.
    >
    > Not entirely surprising: all you have to do on a trainer is spin the pedals round fast, and being
    > attached to the pedals is a Real Win for that. Not so much an issue for cycling in the Real World
    > though, not only because you're not necessarily trying to roar along as fast as possible but also
    > you've got lots of other things demanding your attention. So I wouldn't pay *too* close attention
    > to findings on the Trainer. My flatmate is embarrassed by the number of times she's fallen off her
    > racer. She has a tendency to use a turbo trainer quite a lot and not get out on actual roads, and
    > I wouldn't be surprised if the two aren't entirely unrelated...
    >
    > 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/
    >

    Heh. I've not tried platforms out on the roads on this bike, but of course is what I used to have as
    a kid. I preferred the toeclips to those almost straight away - I like the toeclips, but (and it's a
    big but) I've already had one near miss with not yanking out of the quick enough when the bike fell
    to the other side on stopping and I still had that foot in... I have them loose so it doens't hold
    the foot, just stops forward, and excessive sideways movement, but found they made locating the foot
    on the pedal that much easier than I remembered with platforms.

    I don't use the trainer to necessarily spin so much as mimic what I'd do on the roads, so I vary it
    around a bit between cadence and effort - just it was easier to hop on to try than heft bike out
    down the flight of stairs and try it out on the roads ;-)

    Velvet
     
  14. Well I was extremley nervous about going clipless - but if you can, go for it - it really does make
    a big difference. I used wellgo's - which are a normal pedal on one side - and SPD on the another.
    The pedal is quite large which means that if you don't click in - you can push the pedal around -
    and keep pedalling until you can click in properley.

    Pete.
     
  15. "Velvet"
    >
    > Nearly right :) pedals are what it shipped with, with toeclips and cleats (I use them with
    > toeclips, without cleats) - they're shimano rx100's. I swapped them for standard touring platforms
    > (metal cage) cos I couldn't fit new cycling shoes in (bought ebcause my old trainers are falling
    > apart and other trainers too wide to fit in toeclips) and found cycling shoes also too hard to get
    > in, let alone out, of toeclips.
    >
    > All other points are correct, yes :)
    >
    > I found I much preferred toeclips to platform pedals after a quick spin on the trainer. Surprised
    > how much I missed them, but will continue with platform pedals till I master stopping decently ;-)
    >
    > Velvet

    Hoorah - nearly right is pretty good for me. Presumably the "standard touring platforms" will also
    take toeclips? And really, the trainers I use for cycling are massive (asolo "approach shoes" if you
    care), and I've got no problem, so I suspect that you may have toeclips which are smaller than mine.
    If you can get a set of large toeclips you can use them when you are ready.

    Accidents with toeclips - yes, it happens, I've had a couple, in-spite of keeping them really loose
    normally. Usually when I get the camber wrong. Important to remember that it's not because you are
    crap. You can be doing big miles week in, week out, but accidents with toe-clips (and spds) will
    happen anyway. Like breaking plates really.

    SteveP
     
  16. Velvet

    Velvet Guest

    "stephen pridgeon" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Hoorah - nearly right is pretty good for me. Presumably the "standard touring platforms" will also
    > take toeclips? And really, the trainers I use for cycling are massive (asolo "approach shoes" if
    > you care), and I've got no problem, so I suspect that you may have toeclips which are smaller than
    > mine. If you can get a set of large toeclips you can use them when you are ready.
    >
    > Accidents with toeclips - yes, it happens, I've had a couple, in-spite of keeping them really
    > loose normally. Usually when I get the camber wrong. Important to remember that it's not because
    > you are crap. You can be doing big miles week in, week out, but accidents with toe-clips (and
    > spds) will happen anyway. Like breaking plates really.
    >
    > SteveP

    LOL! Not sure if they'll take toestraps - It doesn't look like they would - there's no bit on the
    side for the strap to wiggle through, but I'm not that worried about it. I think if I really do
    continue to hanker after the toestraps again, rather than attempting to re-fit them, just go
    straight to spds, once I have a bit more confidence on the bike, since refitting them would mean
    going back to the old pedals and skinny trainers, or buying yet another set which are wider but
    toestrappable, etc.

    The spds I've been looking at have a removable resin outer cage, and are double sided. All in,
    including a set of silver cleats (they seem to ship with the black cleats) I'll get change from
    40 quid, and given I now have a pair of shoes that can be used with them, it seems the more
    sensible option.

    Bit further down the line first, though, I think - once I have better confidence on the bike.

    Gorgeous day, shame I'm stuck having to work (or at least, be within 10 minutes of home) or it'd be
    perfect (apart from the wind) for a cycle out.

    Velvet
     
  17. "Pete Biggs" <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > > 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.

    Mine are SPD side up almost all the time.
     
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