Bike Forums

Bike Forums (
-   Fifty Plus (50+) (
-   -   Clipping Clip Clipped (

rnothog 03-25-19 02:09 PM

Clipping Clip Clipped
Me: early 60's guy, 6 ft., 240, getting slimmer, 2 (count 'em) artificial hips, done within last 4 years.

Ride a Giant Roam 1, for fitness, 10 or more miles most days. Virtually all pavement (some dirt and gravel if I hit the canal banks locally). My longest rides are about 30 miles.

Buddies tell me clip-in pedals are great...but I am reluctant to go there lest I fall.

Is falling with these inevitable?

I am a guy who'll take a risk...but not a chance.

Like the Roam 1 a bike might be a high-end flat bar road bike or a Giant Defy Advanced 2...if there are opinions on any of these topics, like to hear them.

rando_couche 03-25-19 02:17 PM

Originally Posted by rnothog (Post 20854457)
Is falling with these inevitable?

Me: 65yo, been riding for decades. I use clipless all the time. Have for years. Haven't fallen in years. BUT... when getting used to toeclips (showing my age here...) or clipless I fell a lot. In your case it might not be worth the risk, but that's something for you to decide.


fietsbob 03-25-19 02:27 PM

another option Magnetic bike pedals

1) ]Maglock[/url]

2)]Mag Ped[/url]

3, ... Mavic EZ-Ride Evolve pedals Shoe and pedal combination....

rumrunn6 03-25-19 02:40 PM

falling is not inevitable. I found using cleated pedals & shoes interesting & fun but not life altering

themp 03-25-19 05:43 PM

You have had two hip replacements, do not chance it. I tried for a period of time and always fell at the strangest circumstances. Like, at a nice picture moment and stopping and forgetting to clip out. Or just trying to turn around and my speed and angle fell to a point that I needed to put my foot down and I forgot I was clipped in. Never really bad falls but you do slam into the ground on you hip, usually. Or your leg is torqued at a strange angle if you do finally clip out on the way down. I am 66 and decided that it is not worth the price of getting hurt at this stage in the game. I enjoyed that my foot was always in the same position when clipped in, but I never felt like I gained a whole lot more power. But again I am a slow poke.

caloso 03-25-19 05:49 PM

I don't think falling is inevitable but on the other hand, I am not sure the risk is worth it for a double hip replacement patient.

Wileyrat 03-25-19 06:10 PM

Normally, I'd be a big proponent of riding clipped in, but in your case you should just be happy you can ride. I agree with the naysayers.

You might think about half clips though.

rnothog 03-25-19 07:00 PM

Thanks for your input, all.

Might try the spd types out on a trainer to see how instinctive they feel to me.

That’s as far as I’m going, for now.

brianmcg123 03-25-19 07:29 PM

For the type of riding your doing, itís just not worth it. There would be virtually no benefit, and the risk of falling while clipped in is great for new riders.

JanMM 03-25-19 08:33 PM

Falling related to use of pedals with foot retention devices is not inevitable - I never have. Knock on wooden head.
There is some risk to riding a bike, whether with or without clipless pedals. If I had a hip or knee replaced, i’d be back on a bike ASAP, probably with clipless pedals, because that’s what I’m used to. Try them if you want to, but don’t feel like they are required to enjoy cycling.

eja_ bottecchia 03-25-19 09:11 PM

Are you ready to join BF’s Club Tombay?

If not you may want to skip clipless pedals. Or go for easier to use Shimano SPD cleats.

With two hips surgeries, I would not risk it.

I am 63 and I’ve had a few falls when I couldn’t unclip fast enough. So far I have been lucky not to break anything during one of these falls.

Sapperc 03-25-19 09:27 PM

Yes, everyone falls using clipless pedals. The problem is generally related to forgetting to unclip and then getting to nervous to do it as you come to a stop and tip over. Happens to everyone, even more seasoned riders. Youíll fall as youíre trying to learn to use them. Learn in a grassy field if you really want to give them a try.

As as others have said, doesnít sound like you really need clipless pedals at this point.

Best alternative is strapless toe clips. Used them for years with great success before going to clipless pedals.

Best of luck with your cycling!

_ForceD_ 03-25-19 09:44 PM

Me 58yr old. I have one artificial hip received in March 2018. I've been using clipless for decades. On one of my first rides after hip surgery recover I fell...on the artificial hip side...when I realized that I hadn't re-gained enough strength to twist my leg to un-click. My hip didn't sustain an injury. Actually...I was probably more in danger of a arm or shoulder injury due to breaking my fall with my hand. Moral of the story...adjust pedals to the easiest unclicking tension.


PS - I use the work 'unclicking' vs 'unclipping.' I am a firm believer that we don't 'clip' into or out of "clipless" pedals. They're clipless. Nothing to clip into. We "click" into them.

CodyDog 03-25-19 10:02 PM

For road/gravel riding I find them very efficient and have avoided falling. I use the Crank Brothers Candy 3 which has a small platform to get going while you clip in. I anticipate stopping and clip out while keeping the ball of my foot on the small platform to keep pedaling. There are several on the market that have a various size platforms and clips that allow for easy transition such as the Crank Brothers Double Shot. I use a mountain bike style shoe so I can walk easily as well.

BobbyG 03-26-19 07:19 AM

Originally Posted by rnothog (Post 20854457)
...if there are opinions on any of these topics, like to hear them.

For maximum grip without the possibility of trapping a foot I suggest half toe clips (without straps) combined with "pegged" pedals (the kind with raised pegs).

Another issue to consider with "clipless" pedals is repetitive stress injury. Although "clipless" pedals can be adjusted to allow for "float" (variable foot angles) they can't offer the variety of foot positions "no clips" can offer.

At 57 I need to be able to change among multiple hand positions to avoid "crampiness" and aches,and I find I kinda move my feet around a bit too. I commute using plastic (mousetrap style) toe-clips with loose-ish straps and that allows me to move my foot around...although I have failed to get my foot free a couple-three times in the last 10 years which led to falls, one, which bruised my hip.

So my vote would be for strapless half clips and pegs.

Hondo Gravel 03-26-19 08:37 AM

After years of riding clip in pedals and can’t ride clipless. However I have clipless pedals on my fatbike and they work great but for road/gravel riding clips are better for me.

canklecat 03-26-19 10:42 AM

I've used toe clips and straps in the 1970s, and clipless now -- but only on my road bike. I prefer platforms on my hybrids.

Foot retention is overrated. It's useful for a few specific purposes. Being faster isn't one of them, not for most of us. Only a relative handful of elite cyclists can really take maximum advantage of the small benefits of foot retention. That ain't me, not at 61 with multiple injuries. I use foot retention on my road bike. I wouldn't claim there's much tangible advantage in ride data.

I've compared my Strava times and power on routes I've ridden dozens of times and there's no difference between my 2017 times when I used platform pedals on my road bike, and since January 2018 when I switched to clipless. I pedal differently. I can use my legs and hips a bit differently, maybe a little more efficiently. If my quads start burning I can modify my stroke to pull up on the pedals until the burning subsides. It hasn't made me faster overall or stronger on climbs.

GCN on YouTube have done a few test videos and never found a clear and significant speed/power advantage to clipless. They just prefer it. If anything the GCN presenters (all current or recently retired professional cyclists) may not represent the optimal platform pedal testing subjects because they appear to flounder around a bit inefficiently with platform pedals -- yet they still found minimal differences between foot retention and platform pedals. I suspect a more experienced platform pedal cyclist could effectively negate any significant differences between platform and clipless/foot retention, at least for most riders.

Foot retention keeps my feet in place on rough terrain -- chipseal, busted up pavement, gravel, etc. It doesn't make me faster. It just saves a bit of energy that might otherwise be wasted on trying to keep my feet planted.

I need a firm or rigid sole and footbed to prevent foot/arch cramping on hard rides. Shoes designed for foot retention generally have rigid soles. The foot retention itself doesn't prevent cramping, but it's difficult to pedal with slick soled shoes without toe clips or clipless cleat/pedals. I don't usually need that much foot support for casual rides so casual shoes are fine for that.

Improperly set up foot retention can cause more problems than it solves. Ask anyone who's experienced shin splints, cramps and other pain in the feet, toes, ankles, etc., due to cleat setup problems. For some folks it can take awhile to find the sweet spot, and optimal cleat position may vary between feet.

With platforms we tend to just shift our feet around until we're comfortable and don't give it much thought otherwise. I can pedal on the balls of my feet for awhile, shift to the middle of the foot, and any position that feels right. As long as the shoe has reasonable arch support it's all good.

And on the few occasions I use my road bike in town for group rides I usually omit the clipless shoes and just wear casual walking shoes with the Look pedals. Look cleats are like ice skates and not practical with lots of stop and go, especially on roads that are slick from rain, oil or sandy gravel. It would probably make better sense to switch to SPD and casual shoes, but I'm accustomed to the Look stuff.

rnothog 03-26-19 10:47 AM

Thanks for the input, everyone!

I think the best course for me is to give the Shimano SPD types a try...on a a store.

PickleRick 03-26-19 11:43 AM

My 00002 cents. Power Grips Pedals www powergrips com

Back in the '90's when I was in my 30's I rode clipless pedals for two seasons - hated them. Not for the falling potential, but for the foot positioning limitations that canklecat cites. I hate the fact that clipless pedals don't allow for fore and aft positioning of your feet - drives me up the wall!

I switched to Power Grip Pedals on my road bike in 2010 and have not looked back - love 'em. They keep my feet secure but exiting is lightning fast in emergency situations -and- I can move my feet fore and aft to my heart's content during a ride.
Hell, I rode in the NY Gran Fondo with them. You may want to check them out.

5teve 03-26-19 11:45 AM

If you get some, practice clicking in and out on grass so falling over hurts less. A lot of people fall once or twice when learning but it becomes habit soon enough. I like them but I've used them for years and have come to prefer to the "connected" feeling. But you really won't miss out on that much if you stick with flats. Do what you're comfortable doing.

pbass 03-26-19 09:59 PM

I wouldn't do it with your hip replacement history. Get yourself some Five Ten Freeriders and some mountain bike pedals with pins and your feet will stick to the pedals way more than you might think. I use that combo on road and off--I ride a gravel bike primarily and tackle some pretty gnarly stuff fit for a mtb, and my feet never leave the pedals or shift unintentionally. I'm 58, and while I don't have a hip replacement, a falling over injury could really suck! I'm a musician and a broken hand/wrist would put me outta work. Granted, I've hit the dirt a few times trying something silly on the trail, but that's...different, somehow:)
Speaking of cool flat bar road/gravel bikes, I was just looking at this Niner--looks pretty darn nice:
I'm hooked on drops these days but I'd look at that rig if I was considering flat bar.

Midway 03-26-19 10:05 PM

Almost 62, 195 pounds and had a left hip replacement late November 2018. Three months after the replacement, took my first real ride in over 15 years and was clipped in with SPD SL pedals. I came to a stop, un-clipped one shoe, picked the bike up while still straddling it, turned it around and somehow tipped it the wrong way leading to the slow-motion helpless crash to the concrete on to my left new hip side. My hip was fine but I still have a small lump on my elbow. I have been on the bike a few times since with no issues.

I did have a number of days on the indoor trainer that may help some building muscle memory.

Just my recent experience and not a recommendation on whether you should try it or not. I assume I may fall again before it becomes second nature again but Iím not concerned about my hip.

canklecat 03-27-19 03:01 PM

Regarding the fall issue, I wouldn't say that going free-footed is necessarily safer. I've fallen more often on my hybrids with platform pedals. Usually silly slow speed stuff, like drifting off the paved MUP (just a sidewalk, really) and trapping the front wheel in the niche between the pavement ledge and grass or gravel. Mostly embarrassing, nothing worse than a scraped elbow or bruised ribs. And I was hit by a car once, last year, while riding my hybrid with platform pedals. Didn't make any difference in reducing the impact of the fall -- broken and dislocated shoulder.

Most of the falls I've seen in other folks using clipless are while stopped at intersections or rest breaks. I don't know if they forget to unclip, or try to track stand and can't quite manage it.

So far I've fallen once with clipless, during my first week. And that was on grass while stationary -- I was trying to track stand while waiting for slower cyclists and pedestrians to pass. I couldn't quite manage it on the grass adjacent to the pavement, and flopped over in slow motion. No harm done.

The problem with track standing on a bike with a freewheeling hub is it only works when we're aimed into a slight incline. If I forget or misjudge the grade of the road, I'll experience that panic-flash of trying to decide in a split-second whether to unclip and set a foot down, or take off. That's tricky in some heavy traffic situations. Especially riding in groups where some folks are on fixies, wobbling around trying to avoid unclipping or trying to track stand in scenarios beyond their capabilities.

On streets I tend to be so cautious with clipless that I'll unclip well before I get to any anticipated stopping point. That isn't always a great solution, since it takes me awhile to fumble back into the pedal. Meanwhile my opening in traffic has closed. So I tend to be much more cautious and wait longer for gaps in traffic, etc. During group rides I'm often at the back because I won't dart into marginal openings in traffic, and then risk fumbling around to get clipped in again.

That's why I mostly ride solo on the road bike, usually in low traffic rural routes. I enjoy group rides and riding around the city, but I prefer my hybrids with platform pedals for those situations.

CliffordK 03-27-19 03:13 PM

If you have ridden with toe clips, the falling may not be inevitable (especially toe clips + cleats).

If you have never ridden with your feet tied to the pedals, then there may be a little longer of a learning curve.

If you do decide to go with clipless, make sure you have the tension adjusted as loose as possible, and perhaps start with "multirelease" cleatts (for SPD style).

pbass 03-27-19 03:27 PM

Originally Posted by canklecat (Post 20855855)
Foot retention keeps my feet in place on rough terrain -- chipseal, busted up pavement, gravel, etc. It doesn't make me faster. It just saves a bit of energy that might otherwise be wasted on trying to keep my feet planted.

Maybe because I come from a MTB background, but I just can't see how people's feet are getting bounced off the pedals with flats. If you're on rough terrain, or heck, going over pretty much any kind of bump, you should be out of the saddle with your weight on your feet. That's why with flats with pins and shoes like 5.10s, your feet are gonna stay put (if you're riding..."properly", IMO...).
And besides getting bounced around, you're gonna end up with lower back pain after a while too, sitting down through the rough stuff!

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:54 AM.

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.