I'm about ready to give up on clipless pedals

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by jwroubaix, Apr 13, 2008.

  1. jwroubaix

    jwroubaix New Member

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    I've had my Look Keo Sprints for about 1 month and i'm getting sick of falling. Are these pedals harder to get out of than others? It's not that i'm forgetting to clip out my problem is when coming to a stop i clip out of one side but my weight ends up going the other way and down i go. It would make sense to clip out of both side but that's kind of hard when you're already clipped out of the other side. Please help. The other thing i'm sort of surpriesed about is I thought i'd feel a bigger difference going clipless. I hardly tell any difference. Am i doing something wrong. Should i switch back to regular pedals.
     
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  2. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    I had this problem with Nashbar house brand pedals and learned to unclip even as I was falling toward the clipped in foot by reducing the tensioner screw to a minimum, BUT...it's just bad practice.

    Make sure you unclip both feet while you're still going fast enough to straighten the bike by steering! Once you start to lean toward the clipped in foot, all your weight's on it and it's 1000 times tougher to unclip.

    I decided it didn't matter how the undersides of my shoes looked and would pedal without being clipped in at the slightest provocation, even though it hacked up the arches of my shoes a bit. Do it for your safety: go around the block a few times without clipping in. Then get into the habit of unclipping before you reach a walking pace, pedaling with your arches if you need to add a few extra yards of distance before stopping. Wearing out your soles is better than breaking helmets.
     
  3. Yojimbo_

    Yojimbo_ Well-Known Member

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    No-one else has this problem, else nobody would use clipless pedals.

    Make sure the tension is not too tight - I'm guessing that's your problem. You should be able to clip in and out easily. If you can't, something is wrong.
     
  4. TheDarkLord

    TheDarkLord New Member

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    Firstly, you should be able to unclip your leg even if one is already clipped out. Secondly, your falls may have to do with the way you stop. I assume that you don't get off your seat, and just lean your unclipped leg? Then, if due to some balance issue, your weight ends up going the other way, you will fall. That happened to me too. But the solution is to change the way you stop. Take a look at the video in Sheldon Brown's site: http://sheldonbrown.com/starting.html. If you stop that way, you shouldn't fall.
     
  5. Phill P

    Phill P New Member

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    This is a simple learning thing. Most people should start riding ont he grass to learn how to ensure thier balance goes to the side they unclip on.

    I'm sure the majority of cyclists out there have a story about falling over at the lights because they mis balanced the wrong way.

    I'm fairly sure there is nothing wrong with your pedals, it will be the technique or lack of consistancy (I always put my right leg down, so automatically balance that way when stopping).
     
  6. jwroubaix

    jwroubaix New Member

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    I believe the pedals come at lowest tension amount possible.
     
  7. skcycle

    skcycle New Member

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    I know how you feel.. I too am new to clipless (coincidentally I have the exact same pedals) and have experienced the same problem. The trick, as mentioned above is to change the way you stop. If you remain in your seat then you're making it more difficult on yourself unless the unclipped foot is on the curb side. If there is no curb, then I found the best way is to come off the seat and put my weight over onto the unclipped side. The other thing I found was after unclipping (at the bottom of the stroke) to rotate the clipped in foot to the bottom, makes balance easier for me...

    It really is a matter of practice and experience. My problem now is that it feels like it's too easy to unclip, so I would guess that jwroubaix is right in that they come at the lowest tension or therabouts.
     
  8. scirocco

    scirocco New Member

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    I agree it's all about technique when you stop. I don't do it consciously, but I know I kind of shuffle my weight across the saddle to the side I'm going to clip out of - then you are "falling" in the right direction at least.

    You've also done it the hard way starting with road pedals, which do take a bit more effort to get out of than MTB ones.
     
  9. Powerful Pete

    Powerful Pete New Member

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    It takes a few rides to get used to them. Didn't really have a big problem. Fell over like a moron at two-three red lights, but beyond that it was fine. Looks are no better or worse to start with than any other pedal.

    Stick with it for a few rides and you will never be able to ride without clipless pedals again.
     
  10. Phill P

    Phill P New Member

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    Funny story about my girl friend riding clipless pedals for the firs time........

    She was getting fitted up on a new bike, which was to have clipless pedal for the firs time.
    SHe had been practising clipping in and out while on the stationary trainer, all seemed fine.
    Went for a spin out in the car park to get a feel for the movement of the bike once we had the adjustments right.

    As she was riding back towards the shop guy and myself I was yelling out "un clip your right leg now and lean to your right before you stop"

    She ignored me (in true gf style)

    What she did do was wait til an almost stand still to unclip her right leg (while still sitting ont he saddle) but stalled and fell to her left, perfectly away from where both the shop guy and myself.


    As other have said above, I unclip and then stand on one leg, but lean the bike to the side I've unclipped. Its completely natural now.
     
  11. 531Aussie

    531Aussie Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like you're unclipping from the wrong side!! :) Or at least you've got your co-ordination all wrong. For eg, if you unclip on your left, but you've got your bodyweight ready to land to the right, then you're in trouble!! :)

    If Looks are anything like Shimano (which I use), the release tension can be set so loose that your feet can be released with nothing more than the flick of your ankle. I can have my Shimanos set so loose that my feet can just 'fall' out of teh pedals
     
  12. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    I use Look Keo's on my bikes and find them easy to get in and out. Of course when I first started using cleats I fell over a couple of times because I waited too long to unclip. Now by reflex I unclip (typically my left foot) about 25 feet before a stop. The next bad habit I had to break was unclipping turning my heel toward the rim, which wore a hole in the heel of the shoe.

    In the few cases of mine was user error and not the pedals.

    Just keep telling yourself well before stopping to unclip and leave the unclipped foot on the pedal to soft pedal up to the intersection or stop. This is really essential if you ever ride in a group or organized ride so that you don't take down several others with you. :)
     
  13. Solanog

    Solanog New Member

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    When I was going clipless, a few told me not to do it because I will fall. When I finally got them the guy at the shop recommended me not to install them and go for a ride right away. He said put your shoes on and lean on the wall and practice. After that I went for a ride scared as hell, I can blame the clipless pedals for any of my falls, they have worked perfectly, mine are Shimano spd (Ultegras from a while back).
    When I decided I wanted a Mountain Bike I bought the clipless pedals before even deciding which bike I was going to get!
     
  14. dgregory57

    dgregory57 New Member

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    I am actually riding platform pedals until I get used to my new bike, and also get a little more coordinated after a long break... However I have a few hundred miles on clipless, and I know the secret, at least for me.

    If you are like me I have one suggestion.

    Never, ever ride where others acan see you.

    I have three clipless falls. All of them were during organized rides when others were watching.

    Fall #1... During the Lancaster Covered Bridges Metric, I got to the top of the biggest climb of the ride. The other riders told me about the top. There is a family that offers water to the riders, and also (if desired) a spritz with the hose. So, as I crested the top of the hill and came to a stop, I felt like a real moron when I fell over, still clipped into the bike. :eek:

    Fall #2... I should have known what the day would hold. At the Livestrong ride in Philadelphia, I hit my shin against the pedal before the ride, as I was pushing the bike across the lawn to the starting area. As I was waiting for the starting time another rider asked me if I knew I was bleeding. I said no and looked down at what looked like dark rose petals on the ground where I had been pacing... When the bleeding was finally stopped by the medic, I went back and started the ride... when I got home I discovered my right shoe was full of blood.

    But, that wasn't my clipless incident. After the ride, I pulled up to the bike racks (in a grassy area) to take part in the post-ride meal I came to a stop next to the rack and realized that I was clipped in. I went down (if you must fall clipped in, I highly suggest doing it on a lawn, it is so much easier). As I unclipped and extricated myself from the bike, the medic who fixed my earlier injury walked up and asked me if I was alright. :eek:

    Fall #3, The Bucks County covered Bridge ride. I was riding with another person that I met in a different forum. We got off the route, and started searching for markers. I rode slowly looking at ths side of the road and saw the road marker for our route. I stopped and started to turn around to call back to Phil that I found the marker. I got his name out as I suddenly realized that I was still clipped in, as I fell to the ground. :eek:

    I have never fallen while riding clipless unless there were witnesses... therefore I suggest the most isolated routes... go where nobody else ever goes and you will never fall.
     
  15. TheDarkLord

    TheDarkLord New Member

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    Yes of course by Murphy's law, the clipless falls always happen when there are a lot of people watching you for maximum embarassment factor. Several reports from people new to clipless confirms this (and it was the same in my case too).
     
  16. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    I've been riding forever, at least for the past 40 years and there was no such thing as clipless pedals for many of those years. I tried to ride clipless about five years ago and it just never felt right. It was also a hassle having to change shoes every time I wanted to ride, and if I found something interesting and wanted to stop and see it, it was a pain walking around in shoes with cleats and covers on them. And if you forgot the covers, forget about walking indoors, especially on a wood or tile floor.

    After nearly a year and $200 in pedals and shoes, I went back to platform pedals with toe straps. Now, if I am wearing shoes I can ride without changing them. I can walk anywhere without remembering to take my covers with me. Of course it is more difficult to find good quality platform pedals or parts (i.e. 1980 vintage Shimano 600 or 105), so I have to take really good care of the ones that I have.

    Anyway, I'm not trying to discourage you from riding clipless, but there is nothing wrong with riding platforms if that is what you choose to do. There is one thing that I don't understand though, why are they called "clipless" if you have to cip in and clip out:confused:?
     
  17. S4one

    S4one New Member

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    I use Look Keo Sprint pedals, I dont have any problems with them. Make sure that you change your cleats when they are worn out because worn cleats and affect clipping in and out.
     
  18. TheDarkLord

    TheDarkLord New Member

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    They are called "clipless" because they did away with the toe clips that were used the secure the foot to the pedal.

    But regarding shoes, walking etc. I use a MTB clipless pedal; so the cleats are recessed in the shoe. It still does hit the ground, but it is not uncomfortable for walking. And I have thought about changing the pedals back to platform since I have a short 10 minute commute on the bike to work, and I don't want to change the shoes for the sake of commuting. It is just that the advantages of pulling as well as pushing the pedals makes it worth it on the longer rides...
     
  19. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    I can pull and push with the toe clip/toe straps. It is just a matter of having them tight enough to be able to do that but still loose enough to pull your foot out when you need to stop. If you couldn't do this, they would be rather pointless to have on the bicycle, wouldn't they? The only real hassle that I have with platforms is that I have to flip them right side up to insert my foot. The weight of the toe clips always causes them to flip upside down when I pull my foot out.
     
  20. Solanog

    Solanog New Member

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    Here is the other way around with names, we call them clip pedals (for clipless) since the name in spanish for toeclip has no clip in it.
    I also use MB shoes for both MB and RB, BTW I'm shopping for new shoes since my old Diadoras are coming appart after quite a few years. I've seen the Spiuks and they seem O.K but I haven't heard the name before.
     
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