New rider nervous about clipless pedals

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by halfpint, Aug 27, 2006.

  1. halfpint

    halfpint New Member

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    I recently bought a road bike and have been riding 25-65 mile rides. I know it will help to get clipless pedals but I'm nervous about falling, especially when going up extremely steep hills if I can't maintain enough speed to stay on the bike. I ordered the Sidi Blaze MTB shoes for women. Would you recommend I buy the PD-M324 pedals so I can sometimes unclip and use the platform side of the pedal or just get the PD-520's and hope I can get up those steep hills? Also, is there any difference in the PD-M520 and PD-520 pedals or are they the same thing? Thanks so much....
     
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  2. clack3rz

    clack3rz New Member

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    I rode clip pedals for a while and swicthed to clipless about 12mths ago - and wouldn't go back.
    Can't say that I've ever fallen off going up a hill - as long as the bike is moving you shouldn't loose your balance. They do help wil hills, as you can pull and push thru the revolution of the crank.
    Always be mindful of pulling up quick - this is when you need to be aware of your feet being 'locked' in, but having said that a quick pivot with one foot will unlock you and give you one foot to balance once stationary. I have fallen a few times a set of lights - either forgot (doh!) or just plain lost balance. It's more embarassment than anything.
    Practice, practice, practice. Lock and unlock your feet stationary (hold onto something) You can adjust your pedals so the release is much easier and as you get more confident in them adjust them.
    Also practice balance on a slow roll. I often use this technique when pulling up to lights/intersection, and try and maintain balance as the bike slows, as you get better you can try maintaining balance at a slower pace. A car-park etc is a good place to practice these techniques
    My MTB pedals have the clip in one side, and the platform on the other, but I rarely use the platform.
    Hope this helps!
     
  3. nbm400

    nbm400 New Member

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    Congrats on going clipless, you won't regret it. I had many of the same worries it sounds like you are having when I went clipless (everyone worries about falling I think). I have Shimano M520's on my mountain bike and love them. I would stick with the 520's for the reason of they are dual entry so you won't have to worry about getting lined up to get locked in.

    Once you get the pedals just practice snapping in and out until you are comfortable with it, after a few hours of riding it is second nature to get in and out of them. Good luck!
     
  4. BillM

    BillM New Member

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    My wife tried my clipless tonight....she was very concerned too.

    She's going to get her own tomorrow and I think her comment was....that's all their is to it?

    It's not even close to as big a deal as everyone makes it out to be. Just ask the bike shop to set them up loose so you can clip in and out very easily and then tighten them up as your comfort level goes up.
     
  5. djwhyte

    djwhyte New Member

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    As a man that went to clipless not so long ago, I can confirm it becomes second nature very quickly.

    I had a near fall on the weekend when someone stopped in front of me on a hill and I couldn't get going again at first, but you soon learn to anticipate what is in front of you.

    HTH's
    Whytey
     
  6. backtobiking

    backtobiking New Member

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    Falling isn't the worst thing in the world. :rolleyes: Last weekend I fell. I haven't been a clipless user for too long myself. Stopping to take a break. I had my right foot uncliped and the left still cliped. I was completely stopped and I shifted my weight just a tad to the left. I couldn't unclip fast enough and I just fell over. Just an oh crap! :p I sprung too my feet in a blink of an eye too see if anyone saw me fall. I was safe with no one seeing the event, but I had miror scrape. I thought it was funny.:D
     
  7. pixelmill

    pixelmill New Member

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    sorry - but a single fall is mandatory! First time I rode a new MTB with SPD pedals - fell at the traffic lights. My friend is new to road biking, and after explaining this "law of the universe" - he fell on the second ride out. Just take it if it happens! It's all good! ;)
     
  8. mysrh

    mysrh New Member

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    I am also a new road bike rider. Using clipless for the first time is scary too, I think the thought of falling always comes into the mind for everyone who new to clipless, I'm no exception. I had a thread asking how to go clipless too.
    And the reason I asked was because I already fell twice while learning doing in the backyard.

    And turned out, the best thing to go clipless is by learning while riding the bike, not when you are in idle position, start around the house or areas where cars don't usually pass.

    Eventhough I got used to clipless, I still fell in the traffic island, where around me was cars, but again, falling is part of the experience. The best way of learning is not when you succeed, but when you make mistakes and learn from it.
     
  9. BillM

    BillM New Member

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    I stress again...clipless pedals are not a big deal and no you don't have to fall. It isn't a requirement....just practice...use your head and no big deal.
     
  10. Insight Driver

    Insight Driver New Member

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    I will give you one tip that makes learning clipless easier: when you come to a stop always turn the handlbars in the direction oposite of which foot you are uncliping. For the left foot, swing the handlebars to the right. What this does is automatically leans the bike in the direction you want it to go. The beginner's mistake is to come to a stop, unclip the one foot and tend to turn the handlebars in the same direction they want the bike to go and it falls the opposite way.

    Clipless pedals are so much better for a lot of reasons. One reason not mentioned much is your feet never accidentally fall off the pedals. Everyone says you can pedal more efficiently since you can pull up on the pedals. What you hardly ever hear about is debates about whether to go clipless or not because the vast majority of cyclists who first went clipless became happy and never went back. It becomes second nature and you rarely fall. Know that if you do fall, it's almost always at a stop or a slow crawl, when you lose balance. Just remember to turn the handlebars away from the side you want the bike to lean to.
     
  11. fauxpas

    fauxpas New Member

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    What he said... I aint fallen yet (touch wood). My paranoia around looking like a dickhead has kept my awareness levels up when coming to a red light or coming to a stop.

    When coming to a red light, if it is likely I will need to stop, I uncleat but leave the front of the cleat in and slowly/lightly pedal until I have to stop or cleat back in and pedal away.
     
  12. Archibald

    Archibald New Member

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    practice on grass if you're concerned about landing on tarmac.
    i have clipless on both my roadie and mtb.
    never fallen on the roadie, but have "turtled" a couple of times on the mtb, and thankfully never on tarmac.
    i don't bother to trackstand at traffic lights, etc.. i just take the foot out early and put it down when i stop.
    as BillM says "it's no big deal".
     
  13. Olden Crow

    Olden Crow New Member

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    " Also, is there any difference in the PD-M520 and PD-520 pedals or are they the same thing? Thanks so much... ".

    Well there is also the PD-A520 which, although it mounts on the regular SPD mountain bike cleated shoes, nevertheless it's a version made for road bikes., PD-M520 is for mountain bikes.

    Shimano's website doesn't show a PD-520.
     
  14. halfpint

    halfpint New Member

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    Thanks to everyone who responded with advice and information. It's apparent nobody thinks I need to get pedals that have a flat pedal on one side and the clip-in on the other, so I will get the M520s and take my chances! Great advice about turning the handlebars....I'll try that. And although I will practice tons, my main concern about falling is that I have osteopenia (early osteoporosis) and with my luck I'll instinctively stick my arm out to break my fall if I can't get unclipped in time and break something else instead! But I'd rather ride like the "big girls" and give clipless a shot, especially when I rike around Lake Tahoe next month. I'll need all the help I can get going up those hillls...I appreciate all of your responses....thanks!
     
  15. djwhyte

    djwhyte New Member

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    No, no. If you're anything like me, you kind of roll into the fall. I held on to the handlebars in an effort to protect my bike and it didn't hurt a bit. Infact, it would have been a brilliant parachute landing :)

    And all I got was a tiny graze on my elbow, which was kind of dissapointing for my efforts.

    Good luck,
    Whytey
     
  16. SD2006

    SD2006 New Member

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    I've got M520s on my road bike and really like them.

    About falling with clipless pedals, be careful not to accidentally re-engage your cleats if you end up needing a few more pedal strokes before coming to a stop. I know it sounds silly, but when I first went clipless I had two close calls because I wasn't paying enough attention to where I had my feet on the pedals for those last few strokes...
     
  17. 531Aussie

    531Aussie Well-Known Member

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    if you buy pedals with a wide range of tension adjustment, such as Shimano, you can loosen them way off, so that your foot will come out with a mere flick of the ankle.
     
  18. fauxpas

    fauxpas New Member

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    Mine are still easy to uncleat half way wound in...
     
  19. HowardSteele

    HowardSteele New Member

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  20. Olden Crow

    Olden Crow New Member

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    Some people like buying at LBS, some via internet.

    I happen to favor online if can save some money, but everybody has there own way of shopping...


    Anyway, Probikekit.com has the M520 for 31.99 and there's never taxes nor postage fee to the USA. My Ultegra 6610 pedal cost $75 there, instead of $146 at Performance as an example.
     
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