Clipless pedals. Is there a knack?

21 to 37 of 37 messages
19/11/2007 at 10:41

What pedals are you using?

I'e never had a problem with looks on my road bike... but I'm on my fourth set of pedals on my MTB.... the latests ones being flat cause I just couldn't get my foot out of everything else I tried. With the first pair I couldn't get out even after falling off and had to lie on the ground waiting for Ponce to notice I'd stopped and then come and unclip me so I could get up!

On my hybrid I have spd one side and flat the other which is quite a good compromise but you need to be careful what shoes you use - carbon bike shoes on flat plastic pedals doesn't work!

19/11/2007 at 10:44
Lindi. - My pedals are spd-sl.
19/11/2007 at 10:51

They make great fishing reels though.

19/11/2007 at 10:55
The only fishing I've ever done has involved spearguns.
19/11/2007 at 11:03
KK - I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one. I'm worried I'm going to destroy my bike if I keep falling over.
19/11/2007 at 11:04


That spatula is heading for your ar*e!

19/11/2007 at 11:24

PowerSauce:  Hello from a fellow pedal numpty.  I've only had mine for about a month but it's worth sticking with them.

I really struggled with my SPD-SLs even on the lightest setting.  Even TT admitted he found them awkward and really had to force his foot out and he’s stronger than me. 

Tried and changed to 'Look' and never looked back.  Of course I’ve landed on my face a couple of times but that was on both occasions clearly my fault in ‘failing to anticipate’ stuff and not having the experience yet of doing too many things at once, rather than the pedals. 

I push my heel down and twist it slightly inwards and out it pops.  It’s when I panic that instinct takes over and instinct makes me pull rather than push and twist, and since pulling out is exactly what they prevent you from doing you end up on your face.

Stick with them, it's worth it.

cougie    pirate
19/11/2007 at 11:32
I've had Looks on my road bike all that time, and Time Atac MTB pedals on the MTB/Winter bike - both are v easy to work.
flyaway    pirate
19/11/2007 at 11:38

For the record, I don't have a problem with bike control.

Sorry, PowerSauce, I didnt mean to imply you did!! In that case, maybe the best thing is to loosen the cleats, find a quiet road, and practice. Two things to remember:

  1. You dont have to unclip both pedals - you only need to put one foot down.
  2. If you select a point at which you're going to unclip, and you get there are then it isnt going to plan, start pedalling again. You dont have to fight and only make it in the nick of time. Obviously you do have to stop at some point though....

Other than that, its a twist, not a pull. Practice should be all you need!

19/11/2007 at 11:42
Cheers flyaway. I have to admit I'm not as good on the bike as I'd like to be.
19/11/2007 at 17:22
I've trained myself to automatically unclip buy not necessarily release my foot as I approach something I may need to stop for.  You are most at danger of injury a) at slow speeds and b) infront of people you know on bikes.
19/11/2007 at 17:24

buy = but

 I've never messed about with the tension on the release mechanism. 

19/11/2007 at 17:30
after a while it becomes 2nd nature to unclip when you come to a potential hazard just in case something goes wrong......

one of the best ways to learn to ride clipped in is to MTB on technical downhills where you have to control your fear to stay clipped in - being clipped out can mean your foot slipping off which can create havoc, so you soon learn to clip out very very quickly!! road riding clipped in after that is a piece of pish..........
19/11/2007 at 17:31

Forget practicing on a quiet road, do it stationary against a wall.  If you can, then bring the bike into the house, and sit in the lounge and spend half an hour whislt watching tv, just clipping in and out.  This will also get you into the habit of doing it whilst only half concentrating on it. 

As mentioned, then everyone falls off at least once when learning, even ponces.  It's jsut like learning to ride a bike as a kid, or walking.  You fall over, look a berk, then get back up and try again. 

M...eldy    pirate
19/11/2007 at 17:32
sometimes that while  can be a long time       
Imeccentric    pirate
19/11/2007 at 18:01
D74's wall is a good call, also a flat and dispensable piece of lawn is good ,

I use speedplays (like small lollipops) and personally I think they are way easier to get in and out of and have more "float" to protect your knees.

Plus they look cooler than looks or Shimano's and mean the bike fits into tighter spaces!
20/11/2007 at 09:28

D74 - Your approach is my kind of thing. I better get practising then. I've put my flats on for the time being.

Eccentric - It sounds like speedplays might be worth a look. 

FB -  Your method sounds effective, but for braver men than me.

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