Ready for clipless

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Jake Bellows, Apr 25, 2003.

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  1. Jake Bellows

    Jake Bellows Guest

    Well the day as finally come. I just got my Shimano PD-M324 and a pair of Shimano shoes, and I am
    ready to take the next step. Just wanted to ask for tips and what to expect from going clipless. I
    keep hearing that is the only way to go, so know is my chance to find out, just don't want to do the
    Artie Johnson!
     
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  2. Well, congrats. and yes, it is just about the only way to go, if only because toe clips are getting
    a lot like hen's teeth... But you are lucky in one aspect, you are not pre programmed in the
    extraction methods pertaining to toe clips, so the A.J. routine is not as likely.

    The important thing is to get the cleats adjusted correctly. The same basic rules apply, the
    "ball" of your foot should be somewhat over the pedal spindle (axle). Racers sometimes like them a
    little behind, tourists and hill climbers a little ahead (I said sometimes! It's not gospel). And,
    of course, the correct alignment of your foot. Toe in, toe out, straight ahead, whatever, it's
    YOUR foot.

    Unfortunately, unlike clips and cleats, you can't just ride without the cleats and let the pedal
    cage make marks on the soles to show where your cleat should go (am I showing my age?).

    The best bet is to get a competent bike shop to fit you. If they won't, or cant. they're obviously
    not that competent. Respond accordingly.

    May you have the wind at your back. And a really low gear for the hills! Chris

    Chris'Z Corner "The Website for the Common Bicyclist": http://www.geocities.com/czcorner
     
  3. Mike S.

    Mike S. Guest

    "Jake Bellows" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Well the day as finally come. I just got my Shimano PD-M324 and a pair of Shimano shoes, and I am
    > ready to take the next step. Just wanted to ask
    for
    > tips and what to expect from going clipless. I keep hearing that is the
    only
    > way to go, so know is my chance to find out, just don't want to do the
    Artie
    > Johnson!
    >
    I've helped several friends get into clipless pedals over the years. The one piece of advice I
    always give them is: you WILL fall. There's a learning curve with clipless. The biggest thing
    people have a problem with is clipping out at lights. Clip left foot out, lean right, and BAM,
    there you go.

    The most important things to remember is to clip out before you need to, and practice clipping in
    and out in a grass field till you can do it comfortably with both feet.

    Mike
     
  4. Raptor

    Raptor Guest

    Jake Bellows wrote:
    > Well the day as finally come. I just got my Shimano PD-M324 and a pair of Shimano shoes, and I am
    > ready to take the next step. Just wanted to ask for tips and what to expect from going clipless. I
    > keep hearing that is the only way to go, so know is my chance to find out, just don't want to do
    > the Artie Johnson!

    Having today taken my first real ride in six months, I realized that the way I stop at an
    intersection is much like a 3-point landing by an airplane. I pull my foot out a good couple seconds
    before I used to with clips, and coast with the foot out.

    I suspect I learned to do this to avoid falling.

    --
    --
    Lynn Wallace http://www.xmission.com/~lawall "Let me tell you what else I'm worried about. I'm
    worried about an opponent who uses nation building and the military in the same sentence. See, our
    view of the military is for the military to be properly prepared to fight and win war and therefore,
    prevent war from happening in the first place." George Bush, Nov. 6, 2000
     
  5. Harris

    Harris Guest

    "Jake Bellows" wrote:
    > Well the day as finally come. I just got my Shimano PD-M324 and a pair of Shimano shoes, and I am
    > ready to take the next step. Just wanted to ask
    for
    > tips and what to expect from going clipless. I keep hearing that is the
    only
    > way to go, so know is my chance to find out, just don't want to do the
    Artie
    > Johnson!

    Congratulations. First off, contrary to popular opinion, you don't necessarily have to do the Artie
    Johnson routine while learning. Here's a couple of suggestions:

    1) Make sure you get the ball of your foot positioned directly over the pedal axle.

    2) Make sure your foot is outboard enough that your heel doesn't hit the crank.

    3) Your toes should point in a direction that feels natural.

    4) When the position is right, get the cleat mounting screws good and tight! Re-check tightness
    after the first few rides.

    5) If release tension is adjustable, set it for easiest release for the first few rides.

    6) If you own or can borrow a trainer, put your bike in it and practice clipping in and out.

    7) Take your first few rides on quiet streets and CONCENTRATE on the fact that you've got to unclip
    BEFORE stopping. This will become second nature very quickly.

    Good luck, Art Harris
     
  6. Jon Isaacs

    Jon Isaacs Guest

    >Congratulations. First off, contrary to popular opinion, you don't necessarily have to do the Artie
    >Johnson routine while learning.

    I concur with Art.

    >Here's a couple of suggestions:

    >3) Your toes should point in a direction that feels natural.

    This is important, make sure that the pedals are not twisting your knee. Take the tools needed
    to adjust the cleat with you riding so that you can take care of any problems. Most often a
    poorly adjusted cleat is obvious as soon as on hops on the bike, but sometimes it takes some
    riding to discover.

    >4) When the position is right, get the cleat mounting screws good and tight! Re-check tightness
    > after the first few rides.

    Good points. If the cleat comes loose what will happen is that it may not release because it is
    loose on the shoe,

    Good way to go down is to have a cleat come loose and you can't get out.

    Jon Isaacs
     
  7. Jake Bellows

    Jake Bellows Guest

    Thanx everyone for the excellent advice, as usual on this board. I have a trainer and intend to
    practice on that. I have been using toe clips for the last 1000 miles or so, but hope to dismiss
    those habits. He clips are the 55 series Shimano (silver), I heard those are pretty good for
    letting your foot escape at more angles then some of the other cleats out there. Guess I'll find
    out! Thanx again!

    "Jake Bellows" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]... Well the day as finally come. I just got my
    Shimano PD-M324 and a pair of Shimano shoes, and I am ready to take the next step. Just wanted to
    ask for tips and what to expect from going clipless. I keep hearing that is the only way to go, so
    know is my chance to find out, just don't want to do the Artie Johnson!
     
  8. Mrbubl

    Mrbubl Guest

    And above all, it's not "if" you will have a mishap, it's "when"...........and how many!

    Good luck.......we have all been there....

    "Jake Bellows" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Thanx everyone for the excellent advice, as usual on this board. I have a trainer and intend to
    > practice on that. I have been using toe clips for
    the
    > last 1000 miles or so, but hope to dismiss those habits. He clips are the
    55
    > series Shimano (silver), I heard those are pretty good for letting your
    foot
    > escape at more angles then some of the other cleats out there. Guess I'll find out! Thanx again!
    >
    >
    > "Jake Bellows" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]... Well the day as finally come. I just got
    > my Shimano PD-M324 and a pair of Shimano shoes, and I am ready to take the next step. Just
    > wanted to ask
    for
    > tips and what to expect from going clipless. I keep hearing that is the
    only
    > way to go, so know is my chance to find out, just don't want to do the
    Artie
    > Johnson!
    >
    >
     
  9. Harris

    Harris Guest

    "mrbubl" wrote:
    > And above all, it's not "if" you will have a mishap, it's "when"...........and how many!

    I disagree. I don't claim to be the most physically coordinated person, but i have NEVER fallen
    since switching to clipless pedals. I find them much easier to get in and out of that toe clips.

    BTW, I DID fall once (in the '70s) when I couldn't get out of my toe clips fast enough after an
    emergency stop.

    Art Harris
     
  10. Mark Wolfe

    Mark Wolfe Guest

    My daughter has been clipping in since she was 8 http://www.wolfenet.org/gallery/Bikes/IMG_0573

    mom is the only one afraid of it. :)

    mrbubl wrote:

    >
    >
    > And above all, it's not "if" you will have a mishap, it's "when"...........and how many!
    >
    > Good luck.......we have all been there....
    >
    >
    >
    > "Jake Bellows" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]ster.neo.rr.com...
    >> Thanx everyone for the excellent advice, as usual on this board. I have a trainer and intend to
    >> practice on that. I have been using toe clips for
    > the
    >> last 1000 miles or so, but hope to dismiss those habits. He clips are the
    > 55
    >> series Shimano (silver), I heard those are pretty good for letting your
    > foot
    >> escape at more angles then some of the other cleats out there. Guess I'll find out! Thanx again!
    >>
    >>
    >> "Jake Bellows" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >> news:[email protected]... Well the day as finally come. I just got
    >> my Shimano PD-M324 and a pair of Shimano shoes, and I am ready to take the next step. Just
    >> wanted to ask
    > for
    >> tips and what to expect from going clipless. I keep hearing that is the
    > only
    >> way to go, so know is my chance to find out, just don't want to do the
    > Artie
    >> Johnson!

    --
    Mark Wolfe http://www.wolfenet.org gpg fingerprint = 42B6 EFEB 5414 AA18 01B7 64AC EF46 F7E6 82F6
    8C71 "There are no significant bugs in our released software that any significant number of users
    want fixed." - Bill Gates in an interview with Focus magazine, Oct 23, 1995.
     
  11. Mike S. <[email protected]> wrote:
    : The most important things to remember is to clip out before you need to, and practice clipping in
    : and out in a grass field till you can do it comfortably with both feet.

    Yes, clip out well in advance when you approach intersections where you might have to stop. Because
    when you have to, you won't have time anymore...

    IME the beginner period is not that risky in this regard. I had ridden 3 years clipless before
    falling in a real world situation. The next time it happened was just recently, 2 years after the
    first time... Well, special care is appropriate for beginners, I fell first time when I was just
    trying to clip in for the first time and wasn't even going to ride. I think maybe all falls were
    with one foot unclipped but I happened to lean to the other side
    :)

    Now I'm getting a bent trike so this shouldn't be possible to happen, and also I don't need
    to unclip :)

    --
    Risto Varanka | http://www.helsinki.fi/~rvaranka/ varis at no spam please iki fi
     
  12. dennisg

    dennisg New Member

    Joined:
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    Everyone's giving you excellent advice, so I don't have much to add except for these two things:

    1) Always unclip the same foot when you know you have to stop. Switching between your feet creates confusion in a panic situation;

    2) Falling over, as a result of failing to unclip in time, can be surprisingly pain-free -- unless you try to break your fall by extending your arm out. This is easier said than done, but if you ever feel like you're falling over, tuck your elbow into your side. If you're able to do that, you likely won't even get a scratch.
     
  13. Mike S.

    Mike S. Guest

    "dennisg" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Everyone's giving you excellent advice, so I don't have much to add except for these two things:
    >
    > 1) Always unclip the same foot when you know you have to stop. Switching between your feet
    > creates confusion in a panic situation;
    >
    > 2) Falling over, as a result of failing to unclip in time, can be surprisingly pain-free --
    > unless you try to break your fall by extending your arm out. This is easier said than done,
    > but if you ever feel like you're falling over, tuck your elbow into your side. If you're able
    > to do that, you likely won't even get a scratch.
    >
    ...or a broken anything...

    Mike
     
  14. Harris

    Harris Guest

    Mike S. <[email protected]> wrote:

    > "dennisg" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > Everyone's giving you excellent advice, so I don't have much to add except for these two things:
    > >
    > > 1) Always unclip the same foot when you know you have to stop. Switching between your feet
    > > creates confusion in a panic situation;
    > >
    > > 2) Falling over, as a result of failing to unclip in time, can be surprisingly pain-free --
    > > unless you try to break your fall by extending your arm out. This is easier said than done,
    > > but if you ever feel like you're falling over, tuck your elbow into your side. If you're
    > > able to do that, you likely won't even get a scratch.
    > >
    > ...or a broken anything...

    Probably good advice, but wouldn't yer shoulder take the brunt of the impact, possibly resulting in
    a broken collar bone?

    Art Harris
     
  15. Harris <[email protected]> wrote:
    > Mike S. <[email protected]> wrote:

    >> "dennisg" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >> news:[email protected]...
    >> > Everyone's giving you excellent advice, so I don't have much to add except for these two
    >> > things:
    >> >
    >> > 1) Always unclip the same foot when you know you have to stop. Switching between your feet
    >> > creates confusion in a panic situation;
    >> >
    >> > 2) Falling over, as a result of failing to unclip in time, can be surprisingly pain-free --
    >> > unless you try to break your fall by extending your arm out. This is easier said than done,
    >> > but if you ever feel like you're falling over, tuck your elbow into your side. If you're
    >> > able to do that, you likely won't even get a scratch.
    >> >
    >> ...or a broken anything...

    > Probably good advice, but wouldn't yer shoulder take the brunt of the impact, possibly resulting
    > in a broken collar bone?

    No, you usually land on your thigh and hip. If you twist slightly to avoid the bony part of the hip,
    it's an easy roll.

    mike

    --
    Mike Fischbein [email protected] Any opinions expressed are mine and not necessarily those of any other
    entity. They may not even be mine.
     
  16. dennisg

    dennisg New Member

    Joined:
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    "Probably good advice, but wouldn't yer shoulder take the brunt of the impact, possibly resulting in a broken collar bone?"

    ------------

    You don't get a broken collar bone from landing on your shoulder; you get one from trying to break your fall with your hand or elbow. The impact drives the arm into the collar bone.

    Ride a mountain bike for any length of time and you'll fall plenty. It's really not that bad unless you panic and try to break your fall.
     
  17. With all due respect, I must disagree. I broke my clavical recently from an impact to the back of
    the shoulder. I endo'ed, flipped over and hit the ground shoulder first. Big red mark on the back of
    my shoulder. I definitely didn't land on my hand or elbow. This was the doctor's conclusion also
    without even asking me how I landed. The clavical basically supports the shoulder from what I was
    told but only allows so much movement in each direction. If the shoulder moves too far, snap.
    Probably less likely to break from a shoulder impact since your back/other shoulder may share some
    of the impact. I think I landed at a weird angle that put all the force on one shoulder.

    dennisg wrote:
    >
    > "Probably good advice, but wouldn't yer shoulder take the brunt of the impact, possibly resulting
    > in a broken collar bone?"
    >
    > ------------
    >
    > You don't get a broken collar bone from landing on your shoulder; you get one from trying to break
    > your fall with your hand or elbow. The impact drives the arm into the collar bone.
    >
    > Ride a mountain bike for any length of time and you'll fall plenty. It's really not that bad
    > unless you panic and try to break your fall.
    >
    > --
    > >--------------------------<
    > Posted via cyclingforums.com http://www.cyclingforums.com
     
  18. dennisg

    dennisg New Member

    Joined:
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    John,

    I'm not saying it's impossible to break your clavicle from landing on your shoulder, but that's not how it usually happens.

    The original comment was made in context to falling over sideways from failing to unclip in time. I'll stand by my comment that it's much safer to tuck your elbow into your side than it is to try and break your fall with your hand or elbow.
     
  19. You're right. I didn't see the original post. Just had to respond to the generalized statement.

    dennisg wrote:
    >
    > John,
    >
    > I'm not saying it's impossible to break your clavicle from landing on your shoulder, but that's
    > not how it usually happens.
    >
    > The original comment was made in context to falling over sideways from failing to unclip in time.
    > I'll stand by my comment that it's much safer to tuck your elbow into your side than it is to try
    > and break your fall with your hand or elbow.
    >
    > --
    > >--------------------------<
    > Posted via cyclingforums.com http://www.cyclingforums.com
     
  20. Mark Wolfe

    Mark Wolfe Guest

    Did mine the same way, landing on it in a fall. Bicycles, speed and big jumps don't mix everytime.
    :) You think I would've learned the first time in highschool, but nooo, 20 years later, same
    collarbone, more speed, bigger jump, more expensive bike. I guess some of us just won't grow up. :)

    dennisg wrote:

    > John,
    >
    > I'm not saying it's impossible to break your clavicle from landing on your shoulder, but that's
    > not how it usually happens.
    >
    > The original comment was made in context to falling over sideways from failing to unclip in time.
    > I'll stand by my comment that it's much safer to tuck your elbow into your side than it is to try
    > and break your fall with your hand or elbow.
    >
    >
    >
    > --
    >>--------------------------<
    > Posted via cyclingforums.com http://www.cyclingforums.com

    --
    Mark Wolfe http://www.wolfenet.org gpg fingerprint = 42B6 EFEB 5414 AA18 01B7 64AC EF46 F7E6 82F6
    8C71 "If that makes any sense to you, you have a big problem." -- C. Durance, Computer Science 234
     
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