Pedals Advice needed

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by tepidarium, Nov 21, 2003.

  1. tepidarium

    tepidarium New Member

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    Hi All,

    I am new here. I would like to ask for your advice on pedals. Here is the situation:

    I have been a casual rider of my hybrid bike and I have just purchased a road bike used but in good condition. I have only used normal caged pedals.

    The bike came with LOOK pedals. I decided to keep them on & bought apropriate shoes & cleats. I set the tension on the pedals to the lowest setting and practiced clipping in and out with my right foot indoors. (I don't have a stationary trainer so could not practice with both feet).

    I took the bike out for a ride, clipped in my right foot - the left crank arm came around, attempted to clip in with my left foot - but I slipped; the slick surface of the road shoe knocked on the pedal and I did not engage. Long story short, I lost my balance, fell and broke my arm. :(

    Obviously, I won't be riding until this heals. The problem is that the thought of using clipless pedals again (even double sided entry systems) bother me as I relaly don't want to break my arm again.

    I am considering buying powergrips.

    Do nay of you have pedal advice for me? I wonder if at some point I should give clipless a try again but I'm apprehensive.
    Thanks all.
     
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  2. swimmeronwheels

    swimmeronwheels New Member

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    next time practice with both feet first. maybe with your bike in a doorway where you can hold on ... I've seen the recommendation to practice about thirty or more in and outs so your muscles are trained in the proper motion before you hit the road.

    good luck and I wish you a speedy recovery.
     
  3. daveornee

    daveornee New Member

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    Sorry to hear about the results of your accident.
    Most everyone who uses any kind of clips or cleats has fallen.
    Road shoes are slicker than touring or MTB shoes, but they have their positive attributes.
    It is easier to start with walkable MTB shoes, cleats, and pedals.
    It is my experience that cleats and clipless pedals are more efficient and can also be more comfortable; if you can keep from falling.
    Maybe, while your arm is healing, you can borrow a cycling trainer to keep in shape and practice. There is a training period involved.
    Each person's feet are different. You may find powergrips work well for you. There are many aspects to the decsion. You won't know what works best for you until you try.
     
  4. labicci

    labicci New Member

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    Trainer also allow practising ins and outs many times before actually using any pedal/cleat combination on the road. By doing so not only will you be able to adapt to the system, the pedal/cleat will also break in providing easier entry/exit. Breaking in is particularly crucial for the Time pedal system which is even harder than the Look system to clip in when new.

    You could also try the Speedplay Frog system.

    L.B.
     
  5. pysays

    pysays New Member

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    I'd stick with clipless pedals. Once you get used to them, they're second to none. Bear in mind that it's easier to keep the balance with some pace ;). If you're looking for good entry-level pedals try Shimano M324s. My left ankle is somewhat limited in movement and strength and I've had no problems whatsoever even on slippy surfaces.
     
  6. davidbod

    davidbod New Member

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    When you try again, first practice holding on to something like a fence, tree or whatever outside. When you have some confidence go find a flat grassed field which has soft ground. Put it in a low gear and practice starting and stopping on the grass. If you fall you should be able to just roll over and not get hurt.
     
  7. rollers

    rollers New Member

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    This is good advice and bears mentioning again. If you can learn to resist the natural tendency to catch yourself by extending your arms you will likely come away with only cuts and bruises. Learn to tuck and roll when you go down.

    Falling off a bicycle is an important skill.
     
  8. Geonz

    Geonz New Member

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    But how do you learn, except by practicing? And practicing falling seems a bit dicey...
     
  9. eddiebrannan

    eddiebrannan New Member

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    **** we all fall the first time we're clipped in, but you broke your arm? you need more calcium dude. anyway heal up, get back on the bike and keep trying. obviously it's not beyond you - look how many folks ride this way. and drink your milk!
     
  10. rollers

    rollers New Member

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    Start off just falling down from standing up on your feet. Then do it from walking, running, riding slow, riding fast... Do it on a lawn where there is some cushioning. Use your beater bike and take advantage if it rains.

    or you can learn on the road, in a peloton, in a paceline, or in traffic.
     
  11. dobber

    dobber New Member

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    Stick with the clipless. You just had a bit of bad luck. I moved to Look pedals / the clipless scheme this summer also. Spent a couple hours practicing the clipping in and out while leaning againsts a post, first one foot, then the other, then both.

    Looks are a little tougher, you gotta get the feel for flippin the pedal over. One thing I worked on was the ability to pedal with just one foot clipped in, so I could maintain forward motion while clipping the other in. I also practiced clipping out and back in while coasting down hills.

    You'll get there. Took me a couple days to become real confident. Now that I've gone clipless, I'd never want to go back (still have two rigs with toe clips though)

    Additionally, I started using some eggbeaters on my fixer this weekend. Nice alternative, learning curve for clipping in was short, they have the benefit of a four sided entry. And you can use a more mountain bikish shoe, which doesn't have the slick sole. Nashbar is running a special on Egg's with Answer Impacts for $143......
     
  12. tepidarium

    tepidarium New Member

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    Thanks to all of you for your replys. My arm is on the mend. I hope to be able to ride by the end of next month (too long :( )

    I think what I am going to do is this:

    go with Powergrips for a while (they seem like a good compromise but I have to learn to flip the pedals)... After I'm comfortable - after a good period of time, I'll try to go back to Clipless with a system that allows for more than one sided entry and more mountainbike-ish shoes (to avoid the slick sole issue) - So I guess that's either SPD, Eggbeater or Speedplay?

    BTW - a number of you have suggested practicing while holding onto a tree/fence - how can one do this? When the left crank arm comes around you're already moving! (Unless you turn the crank backwards...?)

    About breaking bones - I would think that depending on how you fall and how the force is distributed anyone, even "high calcium fortified folks" will break bones.

    I would like to learn how to correctly fall - if you fall without sticking out your arm - might oyou break your shoulder?

    Anyhow, thanks for all the advice...more is welcome.
     
  13. el Ingles

    el Ingles New Member

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    Try also shimano model 536 , tension set at minimum, I also have no lateral movement in my left ankle and can still get out .

    Try to learn on a cycletrainer while your arm heals , then when you get to the road it will be more or less instinct . But you won´t feel happy until some moron pulls out in front of you in slow traffic and you find you can escape more or less with out thinking about it .
    ps broke my wrist some years ago when I couldn´t get my foot out of toeclips fast enough , hey ho .............
     
  14. swimmeronwheels

    swimmeronwheels New Member

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    I think the idea is just to practice getting your feet clipped and unclipped ... no pedaling.

    good luck
     
  15. pedalhome

    pedalhome New Member

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    Hello.

    This is my first post to this forum! I have a bunch of training partners who were discussing the 'pedals' question this weekend on our long ride - must have been what led me to this thread.

    Well, like the rest - sympathies for having the fall in the first place. We've all done it, eh? But clipless are wonderful when you finally get used to them. I personally use the Speedplay lollipops - hated them the first time I tried them, then grew to love them like no others. I think they have an easy entry and exit system, but you'll hear 20 different opinions about that. I'm going to agree with the poster who recommended mtb pedals. I have recommended double-sided pedal entry to a lot of folks at the shop, and there has been success. I also have to say that being able to walk relatively safely in a mtb shoe is really a plus. Especially when you have the infamous road shoe slip in the 7/11 while walking to the restroom. You thought falling off your bike was embarrassing? Imagine what it's like taking out a potato chip rack in a busy convenience store, the full-on butt slide and feet in the air fiasco (not that I have personal experience...):eek:

    Anyway, thought I'd mention a really good way to learn how to fall a bit better. If you have an Aikido martial arts school in your area (or perhaps judo), stop in for a few week's lessons. The first thing they'll teach you is tumbling technique. You learn how to transfer impact through your body in a way that will be less damaging (hopefully). It's kind of a weird recommendation, I know - but I've had a number of riders do it and they raved about the benefits. AND, Aikido isn't one of those 'smash a board with your forehead' excercise in testosterone, so you usually meet a couple of hip people as well.

    OK, thanks for suffering through my first post - best of luck.

    Michael
     
  16. labicci

    labicci New Member

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    Has anyone notice how the volleyball players jump forward to return a ball and then landed with their hands, or badminton players who jump and then landed with only one hand (the other hand is holding the racket)? I have practiced this skill many years ago. For the first 10 years I could only landed with both hands, now with only one hand.

    Image your arms as suspension forks, and the amount of travel is the length of your arms. Stick your arms out immediately when you begin to fall, vertical downwards if your speed is slow, and more forward if your speed is high. When your hands almost touches the ground, absorb the impact by bringing your hands back to your shoulders. Raise your head up sufficiently so that it won't hit the ground.

    The key to this technique is the timing. Practice by beginning with the lowest upper body position, then gradually increase it until you can do this from a standing position. Then start all over again with only one hand.

    For all the falls that I have experienced, not a single scratch to my upper body, all injuries are related to my lower legs which stay clipped to the pedals.

    L.B.
     
  17. Bill Wellborn

    Bill Wellborn New Member

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    Don't get bummed out on clipless. It takes a little practice. I use Speedplay Frog because they are easy to use and have some "float" for my old knees. Don't give up on clipless yet!!
     
  18. Ratface

    Ratface New Member

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    I have also had some trouble getting my left foot clipped in, but fimd that the following works for me. When I start off, I try and get the bike up to enough speed with my push-off and rotation from the already clipped in foot, that I can coast long enough to clip in the left.

    If I am losing speed, then I usually find I can still pedal with my left foot not clipped in - it's just much less effective.

    I have SPD pedals and cheapo Shimano racer shoes and am not terribly happy with either! I'm thinking of changing to either Look pedals or Shimano, PD-R540 SPD-SL pedals at some point in the future and hopfully some better shoes that are more flexible in the uppers and don't cause my feet to go numb when distance cycling!
     
  19. labicci

    labicci New Member

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    If you want to give the mountain type clipless pedals a try, be aware that SPD type pedals are smaller than Look type and therefore IMO more difficult to find the "correct" position to clip in. Speedplay Frog, although also quite small, use a "slide forward" motion to clip in instead of pushing downwards, and because it does not rely on spring tension for retention that action is almost effortless. It is a lot more unlikely to miss it in the first place, and even if you miss it it is quite unlikely to lose balance because of that.

    L.B.
     
  20. bobobg

    bobobg New Member

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    Sorry about your arm. Sometimes the learning curve in cycling is painful. The natural tendency when you fall is to put our arm out straight to break the fall. This is a mistake that has to be overcome. The idea is not to land on any of the points of the body, shoulders, elbows, straight arm, hip. Given that at speed this gets harder to avoid but not impossible. If you fall to the side the idea is to rotate to body so that with the arms tucked in you land on the upper back in a twisting/ rolling motion so that the you don't present any of the "points" to the road surface. Hope you heal fast and get back on the road.
     
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