Newbie Q: Launching from traffic lights with clipless pedals.

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by uproared, Aug 8, 2006.

  1. uproared

    uproared New Member

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    Hey guys,

    I've just joined the 'road bike' world, having just purchased a Trek TCRc2. I used to ride a lot when I was younger (albeit a mountain bike) and Im looking forward to getting into it again.

    Now, a quick question...When I'm at the traffic lights I don't have a problem uncleating, however when the lights turn green I always find it difficult to cleat back in. I'll try and just rest my left foot on the pedal and build some momentum before cleating (as to now hold up the traffic), but I always end up slipping.

    So, is there a special trick for this or will I just get used to it? :)

    Thanks in advance!
     
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  2. dgregory57

    dgregory57 New Member

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    Did Trek really start naming their bikes the same as Giant?
     
  3. RickF

    RickF New Member

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    You will get used to it. Keep the basics in mind - downshift before you stop, and have one foot clipped in before you start. In an easy gear, it is not too difficult to pedal with one leg while you are trying to get the other foot clipped in. When you do it enough, you will just know where the foot needs to be in relation to the pedal, and it will click in without any problems.
     
  4. uproared

    uproared New Member

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    Oops :)

    I've always purchased Treks in the past, so Im still used to saying it.


    Thanks Rick -- I guess I'll have to just keep practicing. The downshift was something I had thought of too.
     
  5. heathb

    heathb New Member

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    You could just look both ways and run the red light like I do.
     
  6. wineandkeyz

    wineandkeyz New Member

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    A trick I use is to simply pedal with one foot (push down, pull up) until you get up to a safe speed and through the intersection. Then you can get the other foot clipped in. Sometimes in traffic you have enough other things to focus on, without worrying about getting clipped in.

    Over time, though, you'll be able to clip in without looking, or really even thinking about it.
     
  7. snaps10

    snaps10 New Member

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    yeah, smart. just the advocacy we need for cycling. do you throw your banana peels in mrs. smiths yard and your empty gel wrappers to the curb as well:confused:
     
  8. fauxpas

    fauxpas New Member

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    A trick I use is when I uncleat the one foot, I set the pedal into the correct position before I come to a stop. Then when I take off, I know the pedal is facing a certain way... If I miss it immediately, then I do as wineandkeyz said, pull up on the cleated foot and do it on the next revolution.

    I am getting better pedals though, these SPD pedals are ordinary. I've got the 2007 model 105 (PD-5600) SPD-SL coming in the mail. They look heaps easier to get into than the SPD.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. TheCross

    TheCross New Member

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    Im with you Heathb m8,

    and it gives me such a sense of satisfaction....
     
  10. StartTday

    StartTday New Member

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    Learn to track stand. You wont have to unclip and you'll look cool doing it.
     
  11. wineandkeyz

    wineandkeyz New Member

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    I use Speedplay Zero pedals, which are double sided. No need to position them.
     
  12. Bro Deal

    Bro Deal New Member

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    Until you fall in front of a carload of smokin' hot honeys. Then you feel like a dumbass.

    There is no easy solution to clipping in. Over time you will get better at it. Without looking you'll know just where to catch the front of the pedal with the cleat. I have done this thousands and thousands of times on hundreds and hundreds of rides, but I still sometimes miss, probably one out of ten.

    I usually try to never put my foot down so at stops I'll semi-track stantd, trying to time it so I don't really have to stop. At stop signs I'll usually turn right if traffic makes it so I cannot get across without stopping, then when traffic permits I'll cross the road and turn where I wanted to cross in the first place. In some states this won't work because its illegal not to put your foot down at a stop.
     
  13. Caden

    Caden New Member

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    You haven't lived until you've fallen over at zero miles per hour because you thought you'd clipped one of your shoes out (or you DID, but it re-grabbed). When that happened to me, I sat there and took my shoe off so I could pretend to inspect it for wrongness.
     
  14. lwedge

    lwedge New Member

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    Do this:

    And change your pedals to one of these:

    Or:
    Crank Brothers Candies or Quattro: Dual sided and easy to clip in, the platform allows you to pedal without being clipped in. The cleat will actually catch if you get it close.
     
  15. cucamelsmd15

    cucamelsmd15 New Member

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    Thread over.
     
  16. Fraggle

    Fraggle New Member

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    For the most part it's just time on the bike that will solve the problem you mentioned. But if you want to speed up the process go to a vacant parking lot and practice.

    I've seen a lot of people who claim to great riders wobble like a 4 year old when they are at a crawl pace at a set of lights. Balance at slow speeds will help your bike skills emmensely at all speeds. Once you've mastered the cliping in and out you can practice track standing, but get everything else right first.

    Some pedals are weighted so that the position themselves right way up, but not all, do a quick check to see if yours will do this for you, if not remember to flick them right way up when you stop.

    It might have already been said but have your clipped in foot at 12pm so when you take off you can get 1/2 a revoultion.

    Hope this helps

    Fraggle
     
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