Learning Clipless

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Eric Elman, Jan 22, 2003.

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  1. Eric Elman

    Eric Elman Guest

    Help please.

    I've just built up my first modern bicycle (all my other bikes are vintage rides) and am using
    Campagnolo Chorus Profit pedals. I've got my first pair of shoes too. How does one start to learn
    how to use clipless pedals? I probably sound like a boob, but I'm a bit nervous of making the switch
    from clips and cleats. Any advise on best ways to start off, avoiding problems and gaining
    confidence with them would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,

    Eric Elman
     
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  2. Joe Rutledge

    Joe Rutledge Guest

    Practice... especially, at first, unclip earlier than you think you should when stopping until you
    gain confidence.

    Joe

    "Eric Elman" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Help please.
    >
    > I've just built up my first modern bicycle (all my other bikes are vintage rides) and am using
    > Campagnolo Chorus Profit pedals. I've got my first
    pair
    > of shoes too. How does one start to learn how to use clipless pedals? I probably sound like a
    > boob, but I'm a bit nervous of making the switch
    from
    > clips and cleats. Any advise on best ways to start off, avoiding problems and gaining confidence
    > with them would be greatly appreciated.
    >
    > Thanks in advance,
    >
    > Eric Elman
     
  3. >How does one start to learn how to use clipless pedals? I probably sound like a boob, but I'm a bit
    >nervous of making the switch from clips and cleats. Any advise on best ways to start off, avoiding
    >problems and gaining confidence with them would be greatly appreciated.

    I started by just attaching one cleat and carrying the other with me (along with the proper
    wrenches). This allowed for getting the hang of clipping in and out with a 'free foot' just in case.

    It didn't take long,, less than an hour, to learn. Try to remember to unclip when stopping, thus
    avoiding the embarissing but all too common " cartoon character slow motion sideway fall".

    Good luck
     
  4. Harris

    Harris Guest

    "Eric Elman" wrote:

    > I've just built up my first modern bicycle (all my other bikes are vintage rides) and am using
    > Campagnolo Chorus Profit pedals. I've got my first
    pair
    > of shoes too. How does one start to learn how to use clipless pedals? I probably sound like a
    > boob, but I'm a bit nervous of making the switch
    from
    > clips and cleats. Any advise on best ways to start off, avoiding problems and gaining confidence
    > with them would be greatly appreciated.

    I was apprehensive too about 10 years ago when I made the switch. I practiced with my bike on a wind
    trainer to get the feel of it. On my first couple of road rides, I concentrated on remembering to
    unclip at each stop. After that, it became automatic. I have never fallen as a result of using
    clipless pedals. I think clipless is the best advance in cycling in the last 25 years.

    Art Harris
     
  5. Gary German

    Gary German Guest

    "Eric Elman" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Help please.
    >
    > I've just built up my first modern bicycle (all my other bikes are vintage rides) and am using
    > Campagnolo Chorus Profit pedals. I've got my first
    pair
    > of shoes too. How does one start to learn how to use clipless pedals? I probably sound like a
    > boob, but I'm a bit nervous of making the switch
    from
    > clips and cleats. Any advise on best ways to start off, avoiding problems and gaining confidence
    > with them would be greatly appreciated.
    >
    > Thanks in advance,
    >
    > Eric Elman
    >

    Make sure that your cleats are securely tightened on your shoes, and that the retention settings on
    your pedals are adjusted so that they release easily.

    My first experience with clipless was pretty hilarious. I was riding around the neighborhood on
    my brand new Specialized Stumpjumper feeling pretty cool...but, when I went to click out
    nothing happened!

    I hadn't realized that:

    a) the pedals were adjusted to "maximum retention" (their factory setting), and

    b) the bike shop had mounted the cleats on my new shoes, but had left them loose assuming I would
    re-position them before riding.

    No matter what I did, my shoes were not coming out of those pedals. I ended up leaning against a
    tree, where I was able to undo the shoes, and pull my feet out of them. After loosening the pedal
    retention settings, I was finally able to get the shoes off the bike. That was quite a relief,
    because I was afraid that I was going to have to take the bike back to the shop with the shoes still
    in the pedals!

    Don't let this happen to you...

    For the sake of your knees, I'd also recommend you not take any long rides until you're comfortable
    with the positioning of your cleats. You'll probably need to make several adjustments until you find
    the position that is most comfortable and efficient for you.

    GG
     
  6. Kinkycowboy

    Kinkycowboy Guest

    On Sun, 19 Jan 2003 14:44:02 GMT, "Eric Elman" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Help please.
    >
    >I've just built up my first modern bicycle (all my other bikes are vintage rides) and am using
    >Campagnolo Chorus Profit pedals. I've got my first pair of shoes too. How does one start to learn
    >how to use clipless pedals? I probably sound like a boob, but I'm a bit nervous of making the
    >switch from clips and cleats. Any advise on best ways to start off, avoiding problems and gaining
    >confidence with them would be greatly appreciated.
    >
    >Thanks in advance,
    >
    >Eric Elman
    >

    Just get out and ride. You will slowly topple over sideways at least once, but only when you roll to
    a halt in front of a bunch of hot chix. As time goes by, the embarrassing "lying on the ground with
    bike still attached" scenario should occur less and less frequently, but the pedal has yet to be
    invented which can't be jammed by dirt. If you're used to slotted cleats and tight toe straps,
    you'll end up on your ass less with clipless than you do when you forget to loosen a strap, so don't
    worry about it. Kinky Cowboy

    *Your milage may vary Batteries not included May contain traces of nuts.
     
  7. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Eric Elman wrote:
    > Any advise on best ways to start off, avoiding problems and gaining confidence with them would be
    > greatly appreciated.

    Just gotta go for it, really.

    First, set pedal retension force to low or minimum, lubricate pedals (at where the cleats go) then
    lean against a wall and practice clipping in and out, one foot at a time, by twisting heel outwards.
    Experiment with position of cleats on shoes. Angle is the thing to get about right first, so ankles
    are as near/far away from cranks as you want. Fore and aft can be perfected after you've gained real
    experience of what pedalling feels like.

    Don't be alarmed if feet feel very stiff to release. You'll be less aware of this when actually out
    on the roads, and after you've become used to them. They also can become easier as the cleats wear
    (depending on pedals).

    Then ride, and try to remember to twist foot everytime you come to a stop (best to stick to same
    foot everytime). Chances are, you will forget and fall over once or twice from stationary. Try not
    to panic if you do, it is possible to land softly. I even put a note with "TWIST" in big red letters
    on my bars. Not sure it helped. Still went over! But the action quickly becomes hard wired in the
    brain and you don't have to think about it at all once used to the pedals, even when switching back
    from using toe-clips on other bikes. To reduce chance of falling, get someone to cycle behind you on
    first few rides to shout "twist" at every stop.

    Take tools with you on first few rides so you can stop and adjust cleats & pedals if necessary.

    Clipless pedals are well worth all the initial hassles. For most people, they're more comfortable
    and efficient than anything else.

    Articles for more/alternative advice: http://www.myra-simon.com/bike/clipless.html
    http://www.chainreaction.com/pedalfaq.htm

    ~PB
     
  8. Robin Hubert

    Robin Hubert Guest

    "Eric Elman" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Help please.
    >
    > I've just built up my first modern bicycle (all my other bikes are vintage rides) and am using
    > Campagnolo Chorus Profit pedals. I've got my first
    pair
    > of shoes too. How does one start to learn how to use clipless pedals? I probably sound like a
    > boob, but I'm a bit nervous of making the switch
    from
    > clips and cleats. Any advise on best ways to start off, avoiding problems and gaining confidence
    > with them would be greatly appreciated.
    >
    > Thanks in advance>

    Hi Eric, I like to put a clipless newbie on a trainer and let them get the hang of it before sending
    them out the door. Barring that, find your self a comfortable place to fall and just practice.

    Robin Hubert
     
  9. "Eric Elman" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Help please.
    >
    > I've just built up my first modern bicycle (all my other bikes are vintage rides) and am using
    > Campagnolo Chorus Profit pedals. I've got my first
    pair
    > of shoes too. How does one start to learn how to use clipless pedals? I probably sound like a
    > boob, but I'm a bit nervous of making the switch
    from
    > clips and cleats. Any advise on best ways to start off, avoiding problems and gaining confidence
    > with them would be greatly appreciated.
    >
    > Thanks in advance,
    >
    > Eric Elman

    Make a habit of unclipping both feet every time you stop in the beginning. The only time I ever took
    a spill was unclipping the left foot and the bike slowly going over to the right.

    After a while you will react normally and start unclipping tha one you need to.
    --
    Replace the dots to reply

    Perre
     
  10. Hugh088

    Hugh088 Guest

    One my first or second ride I had just gone over the dam at White rock Lake in Dallas. It had just
    rained a little and thre wooden foot bridge at the bottom of the dam was wet. I slipped and fell on
    the bridge and slid under the lower handrail and my bike was trapped in the handrail posts. In that
    position, hanging head first over the stream, there was no way to unclip. Thank God for the bunch of
    old guys fishing and sharing a bottle by the bridge. I had a good case of road rash and I think they
    are still laughing. Chris "Eric Elman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Help please.
    >
    > I've just built up my first modern bicycle (all my other bikes are vintage rides) and am using
    > Campagnolo Chorus Profit pedals. I've got my first
    pair
    > of shoes too. How does one start to learn how to use clipless pedals? I probably sound like a
    > boob, but I'm a bit nervous of making the switch
    from
    > clips and cleats. Any advise on best ways to start off, avoiding problems and gaining confidence
    > with them would be greatly appreciated.
    >
    > Thanks in advance,
    >
    > Eric Elman
     
  11. Trentus

    Trentus Guest

    "Eric Elman" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Help please.
    >
    > I've just built up my first modern bicycle (all my other bikes are vintage rides) and am using
    > Campagnolo Chorus Profit pedals. I've got my first
    pair
    > of shoes too. How does one start to learn how to use clipless pedals? I probably sound like a
    > boob, but I'm a bit nervous of making the switch
    from
    > clips and cleats. Any advise on best ways to start off, avoiding problems and gaining confidence
    > with them would be greatly appreciated.
    >
    > Thanks in advance,
    >
    > Eric Elman

    Well don't make your first ride on these pedals a tourist ride around the middle of town. I fell
    over four times in front of half the city. Also don't ride behind very young daughters. Most stops
    can be predicted and you can unclip early, but young kids do unpredictable things like slam the
    brakes on right in front of you for no apparent reason, causing you to drop the anchors in emergency
    fashion, leaving no time to think about unclipping too. CRASH!

    Mind you 4 falls in front of amused spectators was an excellent way to learn to use clipless pedals.
    I haven't fallen since, because the embarrasment sure burns the technique into your mind.

    I was told to simply sit on the bike and
    clip.unclip.clip.unclip.clip.unclip........... over and over and over until the movement becomes
    second nature.

    Another tip I've heard, but not used, is to turn down the release force needed to unclip, until you
    get used to it. This makes the unclipping a lot easier.

    Trentus
     
  12. Robin Hubert

    Robin Hubert Guest

    "J. Saulinskas" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > >How does one start to learn how to use clipless pedals? I probably sound like a boob, but I'm a
    > >bit nervous of making the switch
    from
    > >clips and cleats. Any advise on best ways to start off, avoiding
    problems
    > >and gaining confidence with them would be greatly appreciated.
    >
    > I started by just attaching one cleat and carrying the other with me
    (along
    > with the proper wrenches). This allowed for getting the hang of clipping
    in and
    > out with a 'free foot' just in case.

    That's great unless you start to fall the other way! Doink! Very comical from an outside
    perspective.

    >
    > It didn't take long,, less than an hour, to learn. Try to remember to unclip when stopping, thus
    > avoiding the embarissing but
    all
    > too common " cartoon character slow motion sideway fall".

    You only have to try to remember until it becomes habit. This took a whole day for me.
     
  13. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    "Harris" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:D[email protected]...
    >
    > "Eric Elman" wrote:
    >
    > > I've just built up my first modern bicycle (all my other bikes are
    vintage
    > > rides) and am using Campagnolo Chorus Profit pedals. I've got my first
    > pair
    > > of shoes too. How does one start to learn how to use clipless pedals?
    I
    > > probably sound like a boob, but I'm a bit nervous of making the switch
    > from
    > > clips and cleats. Any advise on best ways to start off, avoiding
    problems
    > > and gaining confidence with them would be greatly appreciated.
    >
    > I was apprehensive too about 10 years ago when I made the switch. I practiced with my bike on a
    > wind trainer to get the feel of it. On my
    first
    > couple of road rides, I concentrated on remembering to unclip at each
    stop.
    > After that, it became automatic. I have never fallen as a result of using clipless pedals. I think
    > clipless is the best advance in cycling in the
    last
    > 25 years.

    That was my experience too. It was automatic after about the first 5 exits. I never had any problems
    whatsoever. Just go for it. If you're really nervous, practice a bit at a local park where you can
    fall on the grass if you have to.

    It's certainly easier than dealing with old fashioned toeclips and straps with cleats.

    Matt O.
     
  14. Don Demair

    Don Demair Guest

    And for a while there, I thought I was the only one who hadn't taken the customary cleated fall.
    It's nice to know that it's not a requirement. Just to be safe, I'll say I haven't fallen YET.

    I agree that it becomes quite second nature fairly quickly. One precaution that I took on my first
    few rides what to stick a business card size note on my handle bar that said "CLEAT" in big red
    letters. That was to remind me to unclip before coming to a complete stop. It sounds corny, but it
    worked. I also rode easy so my brain would get its fair share of oxygen.

    Ride on, well-cleated, Don

    Harris <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:D[email protected]...
    >
    > "Eric Elman" wrote:
    >
    > > I've just built up my first modern bicycle (all my other bikes are
    vintage
    > > rides) and am using Campagnolo Chorus Profit pedals. I've got my first
    > pair
    > > of shoes too. How does one start to learn how to use clipless pedals?
    I
    > > probably sound like a boob, but I'm a bit nervous of making the switch
    > from
    > > clips and cleats. Any advise on best ways to start off, avoiding
    problems
    > > and gaining confidence with them would be greatly appreciated.
    >
    > I was apprehensive too about 10 years ago when I made the switch. I practiced with my bike on a
    > wind trainer to get the feel of it. On my
    first
    > couple of road rides, I concentrated on remembering to unclip at each
    stop.
    > After that, it became automatic. I have never fallen as a result of using clipless pedals. I think
    > clipless is the best advance in cycling in the
    last
    > 25 years.
    >
    > Art Harris
     
  15. Mike S.

    Mike S. Guest

    If you live somewhere that has a shop with the Rotational Adjustment Device from the old Fit Kit
    that fits your cleats do that too. Getting the cleats adjusted properly keeps you from screwing up
    your knees.

    "Gary German" <[email protected]_NOSPAM_.net> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > "Eric Elman" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > > Help please.
    > >
    > > I've just built up my first modern bicycle (all my other bikes are
    vintage
    > > rides) and am using Campagnolo Chorus Profit pedals. I've got my first
    > pair
    > > of shoes too. How does one start to learn how to use clipless pedals?
    I
    > > probably sound like a boob, but I'm a bit nervous of making the switch
    > from
    > > clips and cleats. Any advise on best ways to start off, avoiding
    problems
    > > and gaining confidence with them would be greatly appreciated.
    > >
    > > Thanks in advance,
    > >
    > > Eric Elman
    > >
    >
    > Make sure that your cleats are securely tightened on your shoes, and that the retention settings
    > on your pedals are adjusted so that they release easily.
    >
    > My first experience with clipless was pretty hilarious. I was riding
    around
    > the neighborhood on my brand new Specialized Stumpjumper feeling pretty cool...but, when I went to
    > click out nothing happened!
    >
    > I hadn't realized that:
    >
    > a) the pedals were adjusted to "maximum retention" (their factory
    setting),
    > and
    >
    > b) the bike shop had mounted the cleats on my new shoes, but had left them loose assuming I would
    > re-position them before riding.
    >
    > No matter what I did, my shoes were not coming out of those pedals. I
    ended
    > up leaning against a tree, where I was able to undo the shoes, and pull my feet out of them. After
    > loosening the pedal retention settings, I was finally able to get the shoes off the bike. That was
    > quite a relief, because I was afraid that I was going to have to take the bike back to the shop
    > with the shoes still in the pedals!
    >
    > Don't let this happen to you...
    >
    > For the sake of your knees, I'd also recommend you not take any long rides until you're
    > comfortable with the positioning of your cleats. You'll probably need to make several adjustments
    > until you find the position that is most comfortable and efficient for you.
    >
    > GG
     
  16. "Don DeMair" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > And for a while there, I thought I was the only one who hadn't taken the customary cleated fall.
    > It's nice to know that it's not a requirement. Just to be safe, I'll say I haven't fallen YET.
    >

    It took me almost a year. I already thought I was an expert on this. One day when the group stopped
    to regroup at a junction I pulled up slowly and unclipped my left foot as I was coasting to a stop,
    already talking to the other fellas. Well for some reson once I'd stopped, the bike started going to
    the right instead and I didn't realize it until too late. So there I was. Comments were something
    like. Holy s-t coldn't you have done that somewhere else and spared us the pitiful sight ;)

    --
    Replace the dots to reply

    Perre
     
  17. Sam Bixby

    Sam Bixby Guest

    just dont do what my mate did,

    he decided to try out his new spd's for the first time while mtb-ing on ice and snow, in mountain
    area. many comedy moments followed.

    other than that episode i learned fairly quickly. just beware if u change shoes or pedals at later
    date since the tension maybe different

    panda "Eric Elman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Help please.
    >
    > I've just built up my first modern bicycle (all my other bikes are vintage rides) and am using
    > Campagnolo Chorus Profit pedals. I've got my first
    pair
    > of shoes too. How does one start to learn how to use clipless pedals? I probably sound like a
    > boob, but I'm a bit nervous of making the switch
    from
    > clips and cleats. Any advise on best ways to start off, avoiding problems and gaining confidence
    > with them would be greatly appreciated.
    >
    > Thanks in advance,
    >
    > Eric Elman
     
  18. Dan Bellows

    Dan Bellows Guest

    "J. Saulinskas" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > >How does one start to learn how to use clipless pedals? I probably sound like a boob, but I'm a
    > >bit nervous of making the switch
    from
    > >clips and cleats. Any advise on best ways to start off, avoiding
    problems
    > >and gaining confidence with them would be greatly appreciated.
    >
    > I started by just attaching one cleat and carrying the other with me
    (along
    > with the proper wrenches). This allowed for getting the hang of clipping
    in and
    > out with a 'free foot' just in case.
    >
    > It didn't take long,, less than an hour, to learn. Try to remember to unclip when stopping, thus
    > avoiding the embarissing but
    all
    > too common " cartoon character slow motion sideway fall".
    >
    > Good luck

    Sorry Guyz,

    I have to relay my first day w/clipless. I also changed to a thinner tire, 23c, at the same time. I
    just jumped in and went. That evening on my commute home, all was going well. I would start thinking
    about kicking my heel out well before the stoplights and didn't have any problems.At one particular
    light, I noticed I was stopping beside a car full of cute girls. I thought I would show off a bit
    and pull up into my usual track stand. Did I mention *narrower* tires? Yep, you guessed it! Classic
    Clipless Collapse! I'm sure I was in full spasm by the time I drifted past the bottom of the window
    in my slow motion fall. Nothing injured but a *huge* quantity of pride. I quickly, and obviously
    horizontally, unclipped, stood up, and stared straight ahead until the light changed. I now wouldn't
    think of not ridding clipless, am used to narrow tires, and am, once again, able to trackstand at
    the stoplights. I also don't try to show off anymore....at least, not too much.
    :)

    Eric, your going to do just fine. Maybe have someone balance the bike while you learn the unclipping
    motion. Then just go for it and think ahead. If you're commutting, learn to trackstand at the
    stoplights, it saves a lot of time and energy clipping and unclipping. Two anti-flame warnings on
    that subject: 1) Find a SAFE place to learn that trick, 2) wait until you are comfortable with
    unclipping. Sometimes you lose balance and do need an emergency uclip.

    Enjoy,

    Dan
     
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