My first Clipless experience



dartssnake

New Member
May 13, 2004
4
0
0
Approached the stop sign, unclipped left foot for leaning on while making sure the road was clear....stopped, placed left foot on the ground, leaned right....continued to lean right, all the way to the pavement, scraping some skin off my right shin, and bruising my elbow...Walkers, runners, several carloads of people were there to make me more embarassed, and welcome me to the wonderful world of Clipless Pedal Syndrome. ugh LOL
 

YABADABADIZZLE

New Member
Jun 28, 2005
10
0
0
I just got my speedplay x5 pedals about 2 weeks ago.
first time i went out w/ clipless, i was fine
second time i went out w/ clipless, i was fine
third time, not so fine. I was riding in Camp Pendleton in So Cal and at a stoplight, i totally fell over in a crowded intersection right before the light turned green. I can't really unclip with my left foot so i just keep it in and i unclip with my right. well this time, my dad pulled up to the right and i fell on him but he kinda pushed me a little so i fell to the left and i was just wiggling around. i couldn't do anything. i was so helpless
I hate the feeling that you know you're going to fall but you can't do anything about it.:rolleyes:
 

Fox Farm

New Member
Jun 25, 2005
47
0
0
reefer said:
I'd heard all the stories about everyone falling when they first get clipless pedals and always in front of a crowd.

But I was determined this would not happen to me. I put my pedals on, put the cleats on and went for a ride. No parking lot practice for me. Besides, the LBS said to ride at least 3 miles before making any cleat adjustments.

Pedals felt fine, so I did my full ride. No problems. A few weeks went by and I thought, Ha, no falls. I even emailed a buddy to tell him how well I adjusted to clipless. I wasn't even thinking about them anymore.

Of course sure enough, the next ride out, I was no longer thinking about my pedals and had to make a panic stop due to some turning cars and of course I went over on my side. Worst of all, traffic stopped for me so after I got up and I had to try and hurry and it was slightly uphill and I couldn't get going and clip in. It was of course the most embarassing situation, just as my riding buddies promised would happen.
Been using clipless since about 1986 when the white Look pedals came out. Loved them and had no problems with the big Timber effect that some people have had. My first experience with being attached to the pedals was with toe straps. Put them on, took the bike out, came to a stop light and did a spectaular fall right into the phone poll. No real damage, other than a skinned side of the knee and I did provide lots of entertainment for the motorists. I later lerned to reach down and flip the straps open before coming to a stop.

Most every one I know who put clipless pedals on their bike have had at least one big timber if not many. I guess that I have been lucky...
 

stonely0

New Member
Aug 16, 2004
8
0
0
I just gone clipless 2 weeks ago… been through the ritual of repeating to myself whenever I'm approaching the stoplight. In a twist of fate, my fall did not happened anyway near the stop light. I was riding in a peloton, sprinting all the way and coming to an end of a 40km track… I can see some other rider already stopping infront of the finish line… I slow down… wave back to my riding mate… pulling up near the kerb and smiling from ear to ear… then I realize I was still clip on… bike lean left slowly and I know I'm going to hit the ground. In a panic I struggle free and un-clip my left foot, plant my feet down to the ground but damn! There are no solid ground but a storm drain grill instead… I see my left foot sliding away along the metal grill as the cleat offer no friction to stop the slide… and finally I fell. A bruised knee and some scratch on the LOOK pedal.



 

theresa51

New Member
Aug 17, 2005
13
0
0
70
Okay, last year I decided to ride outdoors! I hadn't riden a bike in about 30 years, and I borrowed my friend's bike to start out on. I thought I was doing OK, and put my SPD's from spinning class on the bike....bad idea, I fell 5 times before I broke my wrist. That was just in my own subdivision. Now, with almost 600miles on my new Townie7, I still have memories of August, 29th 2004 at 6pm central time, one block from my house!!
 

jetsan

New Member
Aug 12, 2005
43
0
0
44
five years ago, first road bike (giant ocr3) clipless pedals n all. was used to riding my bmx/mountian bike, thought i would pull a wheely to show off.

kicked hard and yanked on hbar as per bmx..............
fliped it on the spot............
laying on the ground stuck to the bike in middle of road.........
skinned the buggery out of my ankle and came up with a nice bruise.
all in all a good first exp, got the wheelys down pat now.
nice

the only problem with being a smart **** is when it goes tits up.
 

bbattle

New Member
Aug 10, 2005
118
0
0
jetsan said:
five years ago, first road bike (giant ocr3) clipless pedals n all. was used to riding my bmx/mountian bike, thought i would pull a wheely to show off.

kicked hard and yanked on hbar as per bmx..............
fliped it on the spot............
laying on the ground stuck to the bike in middle of road.........
skinned the buggery out of my ankle and came up with a nice bruise.
all in all a good first exp, got the wheelys down pat now.
nice

the only problem with being a smart **** is when it goes tits up.
On my first outing with clipless pedals I was hitting a difficult trail on my mtb. I fell over trying to negotiate some slippery tree roots on a slope. My cleats were so tight I couldn't get my feet out! Of course several riders came upon me, stuck in the middle of the trail like an upended turtle. They had all had this happen to them before as well so they didn't laugh too hard and managed to get me upright again. One even had a 2.5mm Allen wrench and adjusted the tension on my pedals.
 

Gearoid

New Member
Feb 11, 2005
46
0
0
They got me too. Even after reading every ones storys here and having a laugh at what had happened to some of the funnyer non harmful falls. lol Well I got my come upon's yesterday. Got clippless on thrusday. Did ever so well cycling down from my lbs and back in2 work, about 12k and not a bother. And last nite comming home from my mothers, a trip of half a .k and the lights to my road where red and I was flying up and stopped for the lights and just fell over, With out even trying to get my foot free. I ended up on the pavement laughing my ass off. The car that was along side me, you could hear the people in stiches laughing. And as for the car behind, the nice lady got out to see if i was ok, Sure i couldnt say a word I was laughing so much. But after a small while I explained that I had gotton clip pedals and forgot to unhook them at the lights. She told me she thought I had been Drinking, lol I wish. Saved the bike no marks. just a few cuts to my leg. but what a laugh. Free your Feet and your ass is sure to follow, lol
 

SteveWoll

New Member
Aug 22, 2005
11
0
0
Easy to feel stupid with clipless. I too have done the stop on the hill at traffic lights and fallen over with much laughter from others. (Not me, I thought I had stopped being so silly).
The best for me was when I approached a roundabout and there was a car going round so I slowed. The driver waved and beeped the horn to greet a pedestrian. That meant no hands on the steering wheel(!) so they went straight ahead into the electricity pole just in front of me. I was so dumbstruck by what I saw that I stopped and slowly toppled over... The driver rushed over to check out if I was OK (which I was).
No great damage from that, whereas the new bike (CRX-1) is much lighter, faster, and has skinny tyres. Two painfull crashes and a broken pelvis has made me a lot more careful!
 

kyrlos

New Member
Aug 2, 2005
24
0
0
davek said:
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...
Be very careful with this set of pedals (especially in traffic). Keep them very clean, or you're likely to have problems clipping in and releasing. For me (using them with the pair of Northwave shoes I have) these pedals have been a nightmare. I find them unsafe because they are not consistent. (I was trying to save some $$$ with these--wrong decision). As soon as I can afford an Ultegra set (or equivalent) and new shoes... they're history. My left knee is hurting right now because the pedal on that side is so tight; And I have tried every adjustment I know of! The right side is fine but still a pain to clip in and out of. :-( Now I've had my rant... your experience may be different. You might want to have a look at the review of these pedals at: www.roadbikereview.com
I wish I had :-(
Anyone else have any experience with these (pro or con)?
 

kyrlos

New Member
Aug 2, 2005
24
0
0
mjw_byrne said:
There are more hazards to clipless pedals than the standard "forgetting to clip out" thing. I'm more or less immune to that one now (have been using clipless on all my bikes for several months, including commuting - so I get plenty of practice). But I find these ones still get me from time to time:

1. Using SPD-SLs, setting off and being unable to "feel" which way the pedal is pointing (due to the very stiff shoe base), looking down at the pedal to see where it is and as a result, crashing into something. Extra bad if someone is right behind you.

2. During a hard ride, the motion of twisting out of the pedal can cause insane cramp in the leg, and you're left in the interesting position of trying to keep the bike moving fast enough not to fall, un-cramping your bad leg, and clipping out your other leg in time (and damn well hoping that one doesn't cramp too, or you're up s**t creek without a paddle).

Anyone else get these? I seem to recall someone else here mentioning the cramp thing.
Yes this has been my experience too (the cramp thing and more often pain). Hmm ...I had put it down to middle age.
I haven't fallen that way yet but came close once in a similar situation (on a very steep hill). Damned lucky that.

I'll answer the topic while I'm at it:
My first clipless experience wasn't too bad (with SPD shoes and pedals). A few falls on the grass and...that was about it. Well too, now I think of it... there was the time I had been riding my trail bike (non-clipless) for a few days and then had gotten back on my new road bike. (I had just got the road bike that week). I got to a stop light and just forgot which bike I was on. I just didn't think to clip out at all. I just fell over. I wasn't hurt, just a little :eek:. I have ridden SPD's for a couple of years now and SPD-SL's for a couple of months. Falls are rare but can still happen. The other day, I was talking to a neighbor on the front lawn. I decided to ride off on the grass. (I didn't realize I had left the bike in too high a gear). I clipped in but couldn't get up enough speed (or time to unclip) and fell over. I was suprised that all I said was: "boy that sure was lame".:D
 

Yippee38

New Member
Sep 6, 2005
56
0
0
Today was my first clipless ride. Well, my first real ride. I went out yesterday, but it started raining as soon as I got out of the driveway. I didn't feel like doing my first wet ride and my first clipless ride together though. So I just rode around the neighborhood and practiced for about 10 minutes. Today I did my first real ride (about 30km) and didn't have any problems getting out, but I did have a lot of problems getting in.

I practiced a lot last week by putting my bike next to the arm of the couch. While leaning on the couch, I'd get both feet in the pedals, then try to balance and release the couch. When I'd start to go over, I'd unclip. Of course I was expecting it, so I always managed to get out in time. One time I almost did not make it though, and ended up racking myself a bit. :eek:

I noticed that part way through my ride, I forgot that I had the clipless on. I don't look forward to when I forget in an emergency stop situation. I know I'll fall. I remember years and years ago laughing at a guy falling when he couldn't get out of his clips. He couldn't hear me, but there were cars everywhere; poor *******. Karma dictates that I will have to suffer the same embarassment.

The upside is that pedalling is much smoother and the one hill I had to take today went much better than in the past.
 

road kill

New Member
Sep 23, 2005
2
0
0
67
After my first 30 mile trip I was heading home and my legs were turning into warm jello! I was 1/2 mile from the end of the ride on a busy Cleveland, Ohio suburban street and a light turned red. My legs were so tired I couldn't twist my foot out of the pedals, so....I flopped to the right on the tree lawn. It's hard to make that look like part of your daily ride regimen!
Jaguar27 said:
Well, I finally did it, I went Clipless today...

I got my Felt Road Bike back yesterday after a major tune-up, it's first after around 300+ miles....

I went out for a 10 mile ride today, and decided to drop by my LBS to thank him for doing such a great job, he was busy with other Customers so I decided to have a look at the Pedals...and asked him to screw a pair of Clipless on my Bike...

Then I realized I have to get home, I was 5 Miles away, 5 miles of busy roads :(

Anyway, we all have to die sometime, so I went ahead...

He put the Pedals on, put the cleats in my shoes, gave me some basic instruction and off I went into a busy Parking lot to practice...

I'm really stoooooopid sometimes....

Anyway, not only couldn't I get clipped in for ages, when I was I really struggled to clip out....so I went back to the shop....

When I got there my LBS Guy was talking to someone who had just rode up on a VERY spendy looking Bike...
They asked me how I got on, I just shook my head...

So the Guy who had just rode in said "OK, get back on the Bike, let's have a look"

He asked me to take my shoes off and stand in my normal position, my Toes pointed outwards..."So I'll set the Cleats so that when you clip in your Feet are in their normal position" said the Guy...
So he took my shoes into the workshop and I said to my local LBS Guy "Wow, he's very helpfull huh"

My LBS Guy told me "Yeah, he's one of the VP's of Shimano, North America" I then remembered their HQ is in Irvine, So Cal, pretty local....

So I'd like to thank Shimano, North America, for their excellent Customer Service!! There was no need to send a VP down on his Bike on a Saturday morning to adjust my Cleats and answer all my questions....this is waaaaaay beyond good Customer service in my Book...he was a very nice Guy and obviously very knowledgable...

But on a serious note, it's great to think that the People from Shimano are real Cyclists and love it as much as we all do...this Guy was telling us he did a Century on thursday, a 30 mile mountain Bike ride on Friday and there he was riding on Saturday, he knows my LBS Guy very well apparently...

But I rode home, 5 miles on a busy street, trying to watch the Traffic and saying over and over "Clip-out...Clip out"

I was happy to get home, now I need to take everyone's advice, practice on grass, clip in and out at least 60 times before going on the Street....again....:D

It would be great to hear other Riders' first time experiences, was it a piece of Cake or a near death experience?
 

Yippee38

New Member
Sep 6, 2005
56
0
0
I had two interesting experiences today. The first one occured when I when to cross a street at which I had stopped. I normally put the left pedal in about the 11:00 position (when viewed from that side), then stomp on it to get started. This time I decided to clip in while it was at the 6:00 position, then move it up to the 11:00 position. I got clipped in, then started to go, but my foot was at the bottom, so I didn't have any power. Luckily, I hadn't picked up my other foot.

The second occured about 10 miles away from home. I noticed that I had a LOT of play in my right pedal. I have SPD pedals and they are set loose. I checked the left foot, and it had quite a bit of play, but nothing like the right one. I could almost turn my heel out 45 degrees. I thought, "How the hell am I gonna get my foot out?" So then I yanked it to the side and it came out. Then I realized that the only way that could have happened was if my cleat was loose, so I lifted up my foot to look at the bottom. NO CLEAT! AHHH!. I backtracked about 100' looking for parts, but couldn't find any. I thought, "Oh no. I bet they went flying when I yanked my foot out. Flying right into the high weeds on the side of the trail." Then I flipped over the pedal, and there were all the part. Whew! I am going to be adding a drop of thread lock to those puppies tonight.
 

Yippee38

New Member
Sep 6, 2005
56
0
0
Sorry to hog the thread. I had my first clipless "accident" today. I pulled up to a stop sign and had my left foot out of the pedal. The road had a pretty serious crown to is, so when I stopped, the bike naturally leaned right. Of course, I tried to pull my right foot straight up and that didn't work, so went right over. Luckily, I fell on the grass, so both I and the bike are fine.

There were only two cars present. I got lucky.
 

14max

New Member
Feb 20, 2005
26
0
0
Jaguar27 said:
Well, I finally did it, I went Clipless today...

I got my Felt Road Bike back yesterday after a major tune-up, it's first after around 300+ miles....

I went out for a 10 mile ride today, and decided to drop by my LBS to thank him for doing such a great job, he was busy with other Customers so I decided to have a look at the Pedals...and asked him to screw a pair of Clipless on my Bike...

Then I realized I have to get home, I was 5 Miles away, 5 miles of busy roads :(

Anyway, we all have to die sometime, so I went ahead...

He put the Pedals on, put the cleats in my shoes, gave me some basic instruction and off I went into a busy Parking lot to practice...

I'm really stoooooopid sometimes....

Anyway, not only couldn't I get clipped in for ages, when I was I really struggled to clip out....so I went back to the shop....

When I got there my LBS Guy was talking to someone who had just rode up on a VERY spendy looking Bike...
They asked me how I got on, I just shook my head...

So the Guy who had just rode in said "OK, get back on the Bike, let's have a look"

He asked me to take my shoes off and stand in my normal position, my Toes pointed outwards..."So I'll set the Cleats so that when you clip in your Feet are in their normal position" said the Guy...
So he took my shoes into the workshop and I said to my local LBS Guy "Wow, he's very helpfull huh"

My LBS Guy told me "Yeah, he's one of the VP's of Shimano, North America" I then remembered their HQ is in Irvine, So Cal, pretty local....

So I'd like to thank Shimano, North America, for their excellent Customer Service!! There was no need to send a VP down on his Bike on a Saturday morning to adjust my Cleats and answer all my questions....this is waaaaaay beyond good Customer service in my Book...he was a very nice Guy and obviously very knowledgable...

But on a serious note, it's great to think that the People from Shimano are real Cyclists and love it as much as we all do...this Guy was telling us he did a Century on thursday, a 30 mile mountain Bike ride on Friday and there he was riding on Saturday, he knows my LBS Guy very well apparently...

But I rode home, 5 miles on a busy street, trying to watch the Traffic and saying over and over "Clip-out...Clip out"

I was happy to get home, now I need to take everyone's advice, practice on grass, clip in and out at least 60 times before going on the Street....again....:D

It would be great to hear other Riders' first time experiences, was it a piece of Cake or a near death experience?
I got my first set of clipless pedals back in 1988 for my 1987 Cannondale Criterium Series bike. They were a pair of Looks (the red spring tension model with black fixed cleats). Man, those things were interesting. You had to fiddle with the cleat adjustment just to ride correctly then really be careful with the spring adjustment or else you could be locked into your bike in a crash. Those were the days...
 

volenti2001

New Member
May 21, 2003
5
0
0
My experience with clipless pedals has just commenced. After a couple of years using toe clips I decided to buy a cheap new pair of Wellgo on eBay. Next I bought a new pair of entry level shoes and went for a longish ride late at night when the traffic in my town is in bed...if I fall in a heap there is nobody around to see it! Like others writing here, I felt I had progressed to a higher level of riding and enjoyed the sensation. Appears to be more output for less input.
Having fallen off a few times while hooked into toe clips, especially while trying to do the fancy balance at the traffic lights, I think I will probably have a fall sooner or later using the clipless variety...but obviously will do my best to avoid this if I can. It is a little difficult so far to extract my foot at the optimum moment to make a good stop, especially with the sensation of beginning to topple to one side while frantically trying to disengage. I guess, however, this is something we all learn to adapt to. Probably akin to driving automatic and then driving using a clutch.
 

Pharaoh1

New Member
Feb 11, 2006
39
0
0
My riding buddy and I got clipless pedals for Christmas and couldn't wait to start using them. I finally got my new road bike last week and have been practicing with them. I've been reading the many posts in this thread and realized that it wasn't a matter of if, but when I'd do the "two-wheeled topple". I tried to tell my buddy, but he kept saying that it was a piece of cake.

Well, yesterday we decided to do a 30-mile ride from our rural area to a Subway store in town. It was beautiful ride, dry, little wind and 50 degrees. We finished our sandwich and clipped in for the return ride. My buddy was ahead of me and approaching the driveway. He was looking for an opening in the traffic, which was horrible, and not paying attention to his rapidly decreasing momentum. I watched in unbelief as he came to a stop and slowly toppled over to his left! :eek: BOOM on the pavement he went! I couldn't believe it. It was like slow motion and I didn't even have time to yell a warning. Unfortunately, I 'd failed to recognise my own lack of momentum and began to totter. I was able to get my right foot unclipped, but I was leaning to the left. ACK! BOOM!:eek: Now I'm on the pavement right next to him.

My buddy sees my plight and we both start laughing. Three girls across the street start laughing too. An 80-year-old guy witnessed the entire event and called to us, "Hey, is that the modern way of getting off a bike?"
Only slightly embarrassed, we did what anyone would do after such a tramatic event, we went to Starbucks for a calming grande Americano! I suffered only a bloody knee and my buddy a matching elbow. My new bike got it's baptismal scratch, but wasn't too badly scarred. We love the clipless pedals too much to give them up and the rest of the ride was wonderful.

I guess the bottom line is to practice with them as much as you can and just expect to kiss the pavement sooner or later.

Scott
 

netscriber

New Member
Dec 30, 2005
296
0
0
vkhalsa said:
ya so as we speak i'm icing my knee. before i got my pd-r600's i read everything single piece of i could on clipless and this whole thread. i was dertermined that falling would not happen to me. i put the pedels onto my old mountain bike so if i did fall it wouldn't mess up my road bike. i road around in the back yard thinking that if i did fall i would hit the grass so it wouldn't be that bad. after clipping in and out a million times and trying different positions i decided to take a step up to my road bike. as i pulled the bike into the garage i forgot for one second that i couldn't get my feet out that quickly with zero momentum before i hit the ground. i fell onto the concrete smacking my knee and scratching my new pedels (i guess you guys were right, we all have these marks on our first set of pedels.) maybe i need some more practice...
you sound Indian to me..are ya? :)
 

Jaguar27

New Member
Sep 19, 2003
648
0
0
Well, I'm happy to report that since I first posted this in Jan 2004 and around 7000 miles ago I have had NO Crashes or even a tumble due to Clipless Pedals....I just got into the habit of unclipping automatically in plenty of time even if I just have to slow down to miss a pedestrian or whatever...

;)