Getting started with clipless?
Results 1 to 22 of 22
  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    31

    Getting started with clipless?

    I'm about ready to start using my clipless pedals. Is there a good way to practice or get use to them. I would like to avoid falling over, or as little as posible. I'm using SPD's, I don't remember the model number. One side is flat for regular shoes. Thanks

  2. #2
    Man, I'm Awesome
    Reputation: brianmcg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    2,175
    Set your bike up inside an open door. Get on so that you can hold yourself up in the door. Practice getting in and out of your cleats.

    Then practice in an empty parking lot. Stop a lot so that you have to disengage one or both of your feet.

    Basically you have to retrain your natural tendancy of just lifting your foot off the pedal but to twist it out slightly.
    "I like to ride my bicycle." - Lance Armstrong -

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: xjbaylor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    999
    If possible, get rid of the multipurpose pedal first, this will remove on thing you have to worry about. Nothing wrong with learning that way, buy a 2 sided mountain SPD will be incredibly easy to learn on.

    As far as getting started, get in a big parking lot and practice. My mother just started riding road bikes and just started using clipless pedals. No practice needed, she just started riding on roads and trails with little traffic. Within 15 minutes she was clipping in and out first try every time. The longest I saw her struggle to clip in was about 3 seconds.

    If she can get the hang of it that easily, you shouldn't have a problem.

  4. #4
    tlg
    tlg is online now
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: tlg's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    15,236
    Here's some tips I've used to help people learn.
    -Make sure your cleats are centered properly. I've seen people set them so all the float is towards the outside and then you have to really twist your foot to get unclipped.
    -Set the pedal tension to the lowest setting.
    -Practice getting in and out while at a stand still holding onto a pole or wall.
    Practice starting and stopping with each foot first. A lot of people pick a dominant foot and stick with it. But eventually a situation will occur that they have to use the other foot and they wind up falling.
    -Practice in a parking lot.
    -Get a partner. Practice in a grassy yard. Have your partner randomly yell stop. Then try and stop and get out as soon as you can without falling. You'll likely fall a few times. But this really helps with panic situations. And it's better to learn in grass than on pavement in traffic.
    -Practice trackstands. If you can just balance for 1-2 seconds while at a stop, it's like an eternity with getting unclipped.

    I often see in groups people that are uncomfortable with their pedals who unclip 10-20yards from a stop sign and coast up to it with their foot hanging down. Anyone I've ever taught quickly learned to come to a complete stop and then unclip without fear of falling.
    Custom Di2 & Garmin/GoPro mounts 2013 SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Team * 2004 Klein Aura V

  5. #5
    wim
    wim is offline
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    11,460
    Quote Originally Posted by USPSA Shooter View Post
    I would like to avoid falling over, or as little as posible.
    Sooner or later someone will post that you "will fall over because everyone does." Don't believe it. Some people have never fallen over because they used clipless pedals, me being one of them. I've fallen many times with a bike that had clipless pedals, but never because I "couldn't get unclipped."

    A couple of tips: most "couldn't get unclipped" incidents really are about not being able to unclip in time. Lesson: unclip before you need to, which means rolling along with one foot unclipped a few seconds (not 30 seconds) before a stop. The other thing to remember is that you would never need to unclip if you would never need to put one foot down. Lesson: learn how to ride comfortably and safely at extremely slow speeds so you can keep unclipping down to a minimum.

  6. #6
    tlg
    tlg is online now
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: tlg's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    15,236
    Quote Originally Posted by wim View Post
    Lesson: unclip before you need to, which means rolling along with one foot unclipped a few seconds (not 30 seconds) before a stop.
    The problem with this is you can't always know when you need to. If you generally ride alone or with just a few others, it greatly reduces the chance of sudden stops, but never eliminates them.
    If you ever ride with groups of riders, it's inevitable that someone is going to suddenly stop right in front of you. And if you're only use to rolling up to your stops unclippled, this is a bad situation.
    Custom Di2 & Garmin/GoPro mounts 2013 SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Team * 2004 Klein Aura V

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    284
    As others have said practice in a grassy field or yard, if possible. Also remember to unclip BEFORE you stop, not after. Until you're comfortable unclip when you are approaching an intersection or other situation that may require a quick stop. (Kids, dogs, crazy people)

    I'd suggest starting with pedals that provide a decent platform, Crank Brothers Candies come to mind.

  8. #8
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    21
    I used mine clipless last night for the first time. I struggled getting into the clips. I thought it would be as easy as putting a ski boot into a binding. Found out that you really need to stand on pedal to get it to engage. Then instead of lifting your foot just give a slight twist and you're out. I concentrated on just getting the one foot out quick so I could stand while leaving the other engaged.

    My tension is also set at the lightest.

  9. #9
    wim
    wim is offline
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    11,460
    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    If you ever ride with groups of riders, it's inevitable that someone is going to suddenly stop right in front of you. And if you're only use to rolling up to your stops unclippled, this is a bad situation.
    I agree. Perhaps I should've added that as one gets more and more comfortable with clipless pedals, the time between clipping out and coming to a stop will get shorter and shorter until it's an almost a simultaneous thing. In your earlier post you said to practice this, but I wasn't sure if the OP (who is just beginning to use clipless pedals) is quite ready for that now.

  10. #10
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: xjbaylor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    999
    Quote Originally Posted by crudad View Post
    I struggled getting into the clips. I thought it would be as easy as putting a ski boot into a binding. Found out that you really need to stand on pedal to get it to engage....
    That should change significantly as the pedal springs and pedal/cleat interface break-in. Also, as you get used to the motion required to clip in those minute differences in pressure and foot angle will make clipping in (to most pedals) a nearly effortless procedure.

  11. #11
    Hell-bent
    Reputation: Kennyo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    10
    I'll tell you what I did. I got into clipless pedals back when they really first came out. I ran out and bought a set and a pair of shoes for mtb, put them together, put the pedals on the bike, and took off for a ride. On the third tight switchback, I lost my speed and needed to plant a foot. Of course, my natural motion of lifting the foot and planting it didn't work anymore, and I promptly fell over the edge of the trail and landed about 6 feet below at the beginning of the switchback. Then I started thinking through the required motion to get out of the pedals.

    So I'm pretty much saying, don't do what I did.

  12. #12
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    31
    Great Ideas thanks for the help.

  13. #13
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    10
    The first day I started using them I fell. A lot! But it only took one afternoon and I was fine after that. So if you're like me and you have a hard time at first, don't give up! You'll get it down. For me it was harder to learn how to get in them than out of them. Make sure you have enough momentum to stay upright when you're clicking in in case you have to fiddle around a bit. And if you feel yourself tipping, stay calm. If you don't panic you can quickly twist a foot out and stop a fall!

  14. #14
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by jamesmoody View Post
    The first day I started using them I fell. A lot! But it only took one afternoon and I was fine after that. So if you're like me and you have a hard time at first, don't give up! You'll get it down. For me it was harder to learn how to get in them than out of them. Make sure you have enough momentum to stay upright when you're clicking in in case you have to fiddle around a bit. And if you feel yourself tipping, stay calm. If you don't panic you can quickly twist a foot out and stop a fall!
    Not to be an ass or anything, but how were you falling a lot the first time? I want to know in case I haven't come across something and can be prepared for it. I have 3 rides under my belt and haven't even come close to falling either getting in or out. Seriously, I'm not being an ass but I have a feeling that I may encounter something down the road where I may be more prone to falling. For example, I've been lucky that I haven't had to declip then reclip at a busy intersection where you'd need to get out and in quickly.

  15. #15
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    13
    Quote Originally Posted by crudad View Post
    Not to be an ass or anything, but how were you falling a lot the first time? I want to know in case I haven't come across something and can be prepared for it. I have 3 rides under my belt and haven't even come close to falling either getting in or out. Seriously, I'm not being an ass but I have a feeling that I may encounter something down the road where I may be more prone to falling. For example, I've been lucky that I haven't had to declip then reclip at a busy intersection where you'd need to get out and in quickly.
    This is the hardest thing, I have spd pedals/cleats and they are great for when you are on open road no traffic lights intersections. But when you have to keep stop starting they can be a real pain for me anyway I am no athlete I ride 10-20 miles would love to do more but fitness and the great british weather tells me otherwise, I have seen those 2 sided pedals which i wish I would of got, they are great for when the pressure is on and you can use them like normal pedals and when you get away from the traffic just clip in.

  16. #16
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    21
    That's what I have...2 sided pedals which was recommended for beginners. So far it has been a breeze.

  17. #17
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    31
    I have the 2 sided pedal. I like to ride with my 7 year arround town. It's nice to be able to just jump on the bike and ride with her. It's time to step and use the other side.
    Thanks

  18. #18
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    35
    I have SPD cleats and as soon as I got my shoes I went for a 3 mile ride...I did some circles in my neighborhood and practiced the exaggerated ankle twist motion of clipping out... I came from riding fixed with toe cages so I was kinda used to the feeling of not seperating my toes from the pedals...

    I still have trouble clipping in "under pressure" of red lights and stuff and sometimes I'm just standing on my pedals, pedalling before I clip in entirely.

    The only fall I had was trying to show off in front of my friends... I was cruising to a stop unclipped towards the side walk and somehow I just fell in the grass. My friends just looked at me lke I was crazy... so yeah don't do what I did.

  19. #19
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    84
    I was skittish about clipless pedals at first and really worried about hurting myself. I rode for a week with one normal pedal and one clipless. I practiced with the clipless but felt secure because my other foot was free. Turned out that I never needed my "free" foot anyway. After a week I was fine and put on the other pedal.

  20. #20
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    3
    I've owned my brand new bike for less than a week and started out with full clipless pedals. I have since fallen with my bike twice (and have had my chain popped out) on poor shifting. My new bike is already scratched up from the falls and grease has marked my bike frame but it's ok cuz nothing will stay new forever and it's all part of the learning process.

    My best recommendation is to just get out there and do it. You'll adapt quickly and surprise yourself with how fast you'll get the hang of it.

  21. #21
    Cycling induced anoesis
    Reputation: PJ352's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    13,005
    Quote Originally Posted by katzu777 View Post
    I've owned my brand new bike for less than a week and started out with full clipless pedals. I have since fallen with my bike twice (and have had my chain popped out) on poor shifting. My new bike is already scratched up from the falls and grease has marked my bike frame but it's ok cuz nothing will stay new forever and it's all part of the learning process.

    My best recommendation is to just get out there and do it. You'll adapt quickly and surprise yourself with how fast you'll get the hang of it.
    Great thoughts. Your post reminded me of the adage "a bikes a tool, not a jewel".

    Glad you weren't hurt in the mishaps.

  22. #22
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    31
    I finally found shoes that I like today. Put them on made some adjustments and took off.
    I do have the tension way down, but that will change in time.

    Bottom Line I didn't fall! Thanks for everybody's advice, that made a big difference.
    Thanks
    Mike.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT ROADBIKEREVIEW

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.