First ride of the season + toeclips = contact with asphalt

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by carsnoceans, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. carsnoceans

    carsnoceans New Member

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    Disclosure - Road-cycling newbie

    First ride of the season this evening (short one @ <25mi). Weather was slightly windy, 64degrees and sun was going down at 7pm. Despite of being late evening, I pumped the tires, got in my bike shorts, hit the road, tightened my toe-clips... redlight approaches - BAM!! Embarrasing fall! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/ROTF.gif Thankfully in a large patch of grass and dirt. Pretty girl in red Audi made no effort to suppress her amusement as she looked at a big-a$$ dude in cycling tights kissing the ground along with his fancy CF bike.

    I just bought a pair of Ultegra 6700 pedals but hadn't put them on due to 'fall factor'. Looks like I am not safe either way.... might as well go down for right reasons. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif

    On a side note - I am 218lbs and if I try to break the fall by extending my hands out, I'll probably hurt my wrists. Or worse, hit my head on the car next to me on the traffic signal. Or maybe I am thinking too much into it? Either ways, just wanted to share my somewhat funny experience.... I had been avoiding putting on the clipless pedals and my first fall happens to be with toe-clips.

    Cheers
    CnO
     
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  2. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the club! It has happened to all of us, and sometimes it is more than just our pride that is bruised.

    If you are going to use toe clips, I suggest that you forget about using the cleat and not pull your straps up tight. This will allow you to slip your feet out of the cage fairly easily. I do suggest that when you put your clipless pedals on, that you practice clipping in and out on a large grassy field a couple of times before you venture on the road in them. This will help you prevent a repeat of your toe clip experience.
     
  3. carsnoceans

    carsnoceans New Member

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    Another thing kde... do you only unclip one foot at a time or both? I was trying to remove both in quick succession and it didn't go so well either.

    I already bought the shoes and pedals. No reason to continue using toe-clips for too long. Another couple of warm-up rides this season and I want to start going clipless.
     
  4. clx1

    clx1 New Member

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    Get the Clipless on your bike asap, they will be much better and easier than using clips, good advice about practising on grass. Believe me after a few rides the clipless pedals will become second nature.
    I fell three times during the first couple of weeks of using Clipless, that was 12000 (or so) miles ago and I have had no issues since, I can't imagine riding without them now.
    Good Luck
     
  5. carsnoceans

    carsnoceans New Member

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    Standing still holding the wall in my apartment... is that same as practicing on grass patch?

    I have been using SPD's in my gym's spinner bikes. Although they are are probably banged-up with no tension settings, I still haven't gotten used to clipping/unclipping them effortlessly after 3months.
     
  6. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    It's the same.

    The first thing to learn is how to get your foot out pretty quick and it's best to unclip from the pedal when you're a few seconds away from coming to a dead stop.

    If you do need to fall over sideways on a flat surface - like the road, keep your arms on the bars and do a pseudo roll. I know it's hard to relax when you're heading for the hard stuff but it's the only way. The only thing you want to specifically move out of harms way is your head. Putting out your arm may result in a broken collarbone, which will put a downer on anyones day.

    With the SPD-SL's (like the 6700s) the easiest way to visualize the getting in process is just to put your foot near the pedal and catch the front of the cleat on the front of the pedal and then gently stomp. Adjust the tension on the release to suit if you find the twist out a bit on the hard side.
     
  7. Phil85207

    Phil85207 New Member

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    Welcome to the club.
     
  8. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    For the record, I only unclip one at a time. I'm too uncoordinated to do pull out both at the same time. After 40 years of riding, I have become accustomed to leaning to the right as I come to a stop so the right foot comes out sort of automatically now.

    Since you have some experience with clipless pedals from the spinning cycles at your gym, you are a little ahead of the curve. You should be able to adjust fairly easily with a pair of new pedals adjusted to the way that you like them.

    Standing still, holding onto the wall will let you familiarize yourself with the mechanics of getting into and out of the pedals, but practicing on grass will give you some real world experience. There is a lot of difference between standing still and concentrating on one aspect of your riding, and actually having to do it while you are rolling,braking, leaning, and getting distracted by the hot ladies in their cycling shorts who are stopping at the same intersection/img/vbsmilies/smilies/drool.gif.
     
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