My first Clipless experience

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Jaguar27, Jan 24, 2004.

  1. davek

    davek New Member

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    I haven't quite gone clipless yet - I ordered the pedals and the shoes off the net last week and the pedals have arrived but not the shoes yet. :( I've gone for Shimano PD-R535 pedals, basically because they were cheap. Now having read this thread I'm beginning to wonder if the cheap pedal might end up costing me more in scrapes and bruises...

    If I don't let you know how I get on, assume I didn't live to tell the tale...
     


  2. jmeloy

    jmeloy New Member

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    Made my first journey last week as well. Had a hell of a time getting clipped in, particualrly right foot. Finally had to take off shoe, clip it in, get on bihke, slip shoe on and push off from the wall! Rode 8 miles w/ no problem (loved 'em.... only 8 miles cuz it was 37degrees and windy!). Got all the way home and nearly crashed at my garage door. Decided to unclip left foot first and lean on it to then remove right. When I unclipped left, it threw my balance to the right and I started going over.... only shear panic allowed me to twist right foot out (new bike and did not want to go down on cement!). Tips for next time? How do I reduce tension on right foot (wellgo RAM 4's)??
    -Jeff

     
  3. lokstah

    lokstah New Member

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    I don't think there's anything wrong with the R535s. You should be fine with them. Dual-sided entry is a nice feature of some road pedal makes, and many mountain pedals, but it's far from an industry standard. Many of the best and most popular road pedals and pedal types are single-sided only -- pretty much every road-specific model from Time, Look, and Shimano, to name the big ones.

    There are likely to be minor performance issues with the R535s as opposed to pricier models, but they shouldn't keep you from learning the basics and enjoying the benefits of clipless riding. Fancier models might offer smoother entry or exit, or more float options; they're also likely lighter in the gram department. Nothing that makes your selection junk by comparison -- just a little less refined.

    Good luck! Clipless is the way to go!
     
  4. Jaguar27

    Jaguar27 New Member

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    What pedals are you using, anyways? Not to get back on the Speedplay soapbox, but easy dual-sided entry flattens the learning curve considerably... [/B][/QUOTE]

    Don't laugh, I ride a Road Bike (Felt) and have dual sided MTB Pedals, I already had the Shimano Shoes so the cleats fitted..my LBS Guy said it would be good to use double entry first, then when I get used to Clipless put them on my MTB and Buy new shoes/pedals for my Road Bike...

    Does this make sense?
     
  5. lokstah

    lokstah New Member

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    That's totally common... common enough, I'd even say, that it's not even a real faux pas among fanatics. Many cyclists do it simply because most MTB cleat systems and shoes are less clunky to walk around on; others find it the cheapest and easiest way to have dual-sided pedals, particularly if you'd like to have one set of shoes/cleats for use on multiple bikes (cross, road, mtb, commuter, spinning, whatever).

    I know plenty of riders and racers that don't pay too much attention to mtb or road designations on pedal systems.
     
  6. Jaguar27

    Jaguar27 New Member

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    I know plenty of riders and racers that don't pay too much attention to mtb or road designations on pedal systems. [/B][/QUOTE]

    Thanx for the reply...

    I don't know whether you read my first post on this that originated this thread, but the Shimano VP helped me with my Pedals/Cleats/Shoes etc, and he said almost what you did... "Road shoes are for riding only"

    I've never worn Road shoes with Cleats, so I can't compare, but my Shimano MTB shoes sure are comfy to walk in...:)
     
  7. davek

    davek New Member

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    Well, I just got back from my first clipless ride - the shoes only arrived this morning after the first pair having to go back because they were too small. Anyone buying Shimano shoes take note - buy a size or two bigger than you normally take. I guess this probably isn't an issue for those who have access to a decent LBS (mine is rubbish so I have to rely on mail order).

    Anyway, what can I say about clipless riding....

    WOO! YAY! I love it!

    It's really weird at first. I wasn't sure if I'd even got the cleats in until I tried to lift my foot away and the pedal came with it. The cleats that came with the PDR pedals are quite narrow so it feels like there's quite a lot of 'float' - it feels a bit like ice skating but I can see why it might be a good thing to have a bit of float.

    I went round the block a few times and managed not to fall off. Nearly went for a tumble first time I tried to dismount but fortunately there was a parked car to lean on. And I had a bit of difficulty at a set of lights where I got one foot down but almost lost my balance so had to release my other foot, then when the lights went green I couldn't get my cleats back in and made a mess of getting away.

    At one point I came to a busy junction and had to queue, so I released one foot and used it to stabilise myself while using the other foot to pedal. Felt a bit smug after pulling that one off.

    The best thing is that it really does feel like you are getting more out of your pedalling without actually having to put more effort in. And it seems to make a big difference to going up hills too. I can't wait to get out on my bike again for a proper ride...
     
  8. diane143

    diane143 New Member

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    There really should be a warning on this thread: Do not eat or drink while reading. LOL

    I had been getting used to pedal cages in spinning class a year ago. When I got my Haro in July, it had them as well so I figured "why not?". I always start out with my right foot and then would have a difficult time getting my left foot in, so probably 50% of the time I'd have a free left foot.

    Then my SO bought new pedals for his mtn bike and I put his old ones on mine. I had gotten a great deal on mtb shoes at our LBS and had been wearing them anyway. Let's just say I was only giggling while reading this because I have BTDT!

    Luckily no stop light tumbles yet (but that will come with the new road bike I'm sure!) but I am the master of taking one foot out and tipping over on the other side. There can be nothing worse than knowing you have one foot free and it's the wrong one! Can't tell you how many times I've caught up to DH and I get this look with "why are you all dirty?"

    Now, so you can giggle at me as much as I have you: my first moutain biking excursion. With my trusty little Huffy (laugh if you must but I could go down hills better in that than my Haro for the simple reason that front and rear brakes on full were the perfect speed. I have to be really careful of braking on the better bike!). anyway we're at the local reserviour and going up one of the dikes. One of the guys is pretty slow up hills and I bump his rear wheel with my front and then can't keep my balance going that slow, so I stop and straddle the bike. *I have both feet on the ground!* I adjust my feet a little and because I'm on the edge of the dike, my left foot goes down way futher and I lose my balance and tumble down the hill with the bike. I did one full head over heels with the bike still in my hands. I also remember thinking "this is going to blow if I fall all the way down, it's a long walk back up!". The bike and I finally parted company and I did a couple more tumbles before stopping. My friends just looked at me with their jaws dropped, especially the ones in the back that had seen me stop and rest with both feet on the ground.

    Hey, all I gotta say is - it was the most graceful fall of the day! :)


    Diane
     
  9. el Ingles

    el Ingles New Member

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    Spent two months practiceing on the cycletrainer during the winter : scared myself half to death first time in traffic when some moron backed out of a side road without looking .
    At Indy they say there are two types of driver : those that have hit the wall and those that are going to .
    Same thing , hands up everybody thats´ had an " idiot " fall when they couldn´t unclip ?
     
  10. cyclepath

    cyclepath New Member

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    I've had my share of falls on clipless pedals. I started out with SPDs and have gotten used to them. I can click in and out fairly quickly in an emergency. I purchased a set of SPD SLs late last year sometime and love them for the fact that it has a wider platform for really putting power to the pedals and they clip in and don't release until you really want them to. Unfortunately, because they are single sided, I am still getting used to getting into them esp. going up a slight upgrade. I need to look down to see where the pedals are oriented so I can clip in whereas with my SPDs, I can feel my way into them. On many ocassions, I had to pedal with my right foot only a couple of revolutions before I can get my left foot clipped in at stop lights or when starting up an incline. Hopefully I will get better in clipping in as time progresses. Double sided entry definitely is easier to clip in if you are just starting out with clipless.
     
  11. Jaguar27

    Jaguar27 New Member

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    hahaha!! That was great!! (not the fall, the post by the way)

    My Coach told me I had to take it in turns clipping out and resting on alternate feet, first your natural foot, then the "other one"...it feels really wierd at first, but at least after time a quick click-out will come naturaly with either feet...

    Try it, it worked for me!!

    Maybe a Bubble Wrap cycling shirt and shorts will help you too...



     
  12. cjb10350

    cjb10350 New Member

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    Is anyone here old enough to remember the show "Laugh In"? I think it was the comedian Arte Johnson who used to tip over on his tricycle; I imagine he was using the special Speedplay Tricycle pedals with the SIDI shoes.
     
  13. diane143

    diane143 New Member

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    I won't be offended if you laugh at my falls, I do all the time! :)

    I'm actually thinking full motox gear is the way to go. :cool:


    Diane
     
  14. jtill

    jtill New Member

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    I went clipless almost 2 years ago in preparation for a coast-to-coast ride. At the time I didn't know much about shoes so I bought a pair of road shoes (i.e., without the nice grippy soles of mtb shoes) with for the regular SPD pedals that came on the bike (a Trek 520). I took the normal advice, sat out in my yard for a while practice getting into and out of the pedals. I found that I basically needed most of my weight to get get clipped in (I actually got used to it being this way and hate riding SPD's if they aren't really tight), so I soon started rolling out into the street. Luckily, at the time I lived on a fairly empty rural road and so I was fairly safe. The next morning I started riding to school with them.

    My real trouble came after a couple of weeks, when I started to get cocky. I remember one time I came into my driveway and just forgot to clip out- I wasn't thinking. I reached for the car that was next to me, but it was just a little too far away and I went down, bending my arm in a weird way but thankfully not injuring myself.

    That summer I rode across the country with them, with only a few mishaps caused by the pedals- including one of the infamous u-turns. Another time as i came to a stop my bike was leaning to one side but I unclipped on the other and just went right over. By that point I didn't really care- I remember laughing uncontrollably as I hit the ground.

    I've been riding them ever since. My biggest problem has been clipping in the the small SPD pedals with the road shoes- I have bad aim. It was all right back when I lived in the boonies of massachusetts, as I didn't have to stop that much, but it started being annoying when I moved to the city. Up until now I've just run clips & straps on my city bike (a fixed gear) but today I purchased a pair of 'casual' cycling shoes that accept SPD's. Luckily, they have a grippy sole so hopefully they will work better for city riding.

    ride on (on whatever kind of pedals)
    jeremy
     
  15. Insight Driver

    Insight Driver New Member

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    I like this thread. I also had my learning curve on clipless pedals. About 6 months ago I got a new bicycle. It came with SPD pedals so it was the perfect excuse to get a pair of bike shoes and cleats. I am one of those guys who reads the directions (shame on me), so the first thing I did when I got home was adjusted the cleats for easy release. I tested by pulling straight up to make sure I couldn't pull my foot off the pedal. I was confident at this point.

    My first fall was when I was going around a turn on the bike path a bit too fast. I made an expletive as I skidded along the pavement, with that funny feeling that comes when your head is close to the pavement and you see it's moving. When I finally stop I pause for just a second and get up. I check for damage and see I've got a bit of road rash on my hip and elbow plus a gouge out of pinky finger. I see how much metal got ground off the edge of the handlebar and edge of the pedal. I don't see much other damage. I get off the trail and sit down, shaking a lot. I figure it would be better to start riding rather than sit and stiffen up since I had about 6 miles to ride to get back home. As a side note, that ride home did me good for I did not stiffen up and after a few miles my muscles loosened up. I think I healed more quickly because I kept moving.

    I had read in the directions that it helps to turn the handlebars away from the side that's uncliped for it pushes the bike in the unclipped direction. I found that works pretty good when the bike speed dribbles to a stop and I realize suddenly I forgot to unclip. That doesn't happen much any more.

    Another time I decide to take a break and spy a water fountain and park bench up ahead. I coasted off the trail pretty fast and my front tire just sunk into soft dirt which brought me to a quick stop. I fell over at that point. I was laughing. Fortunately there was no audience.

    Another time I have one foot unclipped as I cross the road. I'm looking down trying to get my foot clipped back in and run into the weeds on the other side of the road because I had some problems getting clipped in. I had finally gotten clipped when I realized I was being scratched by the weeds.

    One other time I came to my smooth full stop at the light signal button and fell over backwards on the side that was clipped in. I know people in cars saw that fall.

    My wife is also a new rider with speedplay pedals since the LBS guy told her they had more play and were easier to clip in and out of. She has her falling over stories as well. She is more cautious than I though and has only fallen twice.

    As others testify, there is no going back. The feeling of being securely clipped in feels good. Pedaling efficiency is much greater, and I find, on long rides that I can switch muscles to let others rest by concentrating on pulling up on the pedals for a while. For my next bike I'll get speedplay pedals. My wife likes hers a lot and I think I prefer them over the SPD clips.
     
  16. saso

    saso New Member

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    Never pop a wheelie with clipless. I learnt this the hard way when I forst got my clipless. The bike went over with me landing flat on my back and straight into the hospital. Couple months later I was ok.
     
  17. bengibbs

    bengibbs New Member

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    I've always ridden clipless on my road bikes. It still doesn't stop you falling over thouhg. lol.
    I have just bought a brand new road bike for just over £1k and I was out on it for the 4th time (twice in the snow!!!) and as I came to a round about I signalled right to get into the right hand lane for the round about, there was a car in the distance so I started to cross, the next minute the car that was in the distance wasn't and just drove past me like I wasn't even there, I panicked and couldn't unclip my foot quick enough and fell to the floor, (only doing about 10mph) and was gutted when I saw that I had scrached my new £40 Look A3.1's. lol.

    Ben
     
  18. Jaguar27

    Jaguar27 New Member

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    Well, that's good then!!

    I'm really glad started this "First clipless" thread, there have been some really funny replies.....:D

    I rode 97 miles over the weekend, actually, it was a 4-Day weekend for me, and I haven't fallen...yet...:( << this is me every time I approach a stop ...
     
  19. fushman

    fushman New Member

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    while ive seen enough people fall when starting out with clipless to know that its definately somthing that happens i kinda dont understand it. i mean isnt it a natural reaction to stick your foot out when you lose balance, and even if youre clipped in which is certainly an unnatural feeling, doesnt your foot unclip when you try to do that even if you panic? when i was starting out my foot was going to get outta the pedal before i fell no matter what. and besides, clipless are a lot safer than clips and straps anyways.
     
  20. bengibbs

    bengibbs New Member

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    No, your natural reaction is to take your foor off the pedal and then stick your foot out. It's not as easy as that to take your foot off the pedals, you have to twist your ankle/foot to unclip them.

    Ben
     
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