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My first time with clipless.

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My first time with clipless.

Old 09-16-22, 03:07 PM
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Helderberg
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My first time with clipless.

After having ridden a bike from the age of 9, with about 20 years off from back surgery and such, to now at 73 years of age today was my first time with clipless pedals. I worked them at home, connect - disconnect until I felt ok with riding around my home area. Again, connect - disconnect a few times and felt good enough to venture out on the Greenway today. Did fine and used the water stops to practice snapping in and out and also to adjust the fore-aft placement of the cleat. I do need to raise the saddle a little more, raised it about 3/16th of an inch, to compensate for the thickness of the shoes but otherwise, it went well. That is right up to the time, after stopping to talk to another guy roughly my age, trying to start back up, on a small hill trying to go uphill, not enough speed to connect my other foot and did a 0 mph fall to my right. Scuffed my elbow but other than that it was just my ego that got hurt. I explained that this was my first outing with the clipless system and he informed me that I will probably do this, the fall, a few more times. We had a good laugh and went our separate ways. That said it is a very good feeling being so connected to the bike and I am truly sorry that I have not made the transition long ago. Be safe all.

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Old 09-16-22, 03:17 PM
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I have SPD cleats and one of the advantages is that I can pedal (although poorly) without clipping in. It's helpful when starting uphill. I don't know if the same is true for Look/Time. What kind of cleats do you have?
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Old 09-16-22, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by fujidon View Post
I have SPD cleats and one of the advantages is that I can pedal (although poorly) without clipping in. It's helpful when starting uphill. I don't know if the same is true for Look/Time. What kind of cleats do you have?
I went with SPD and I even have the two-sided, cleat - no cleat, and still managed to get myself crossed up. Thankfully I am fine and so is my bike.
Frank.
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Old 09-16-22, 03:42 PM
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I use SPD cleats so I can start off on the flat side or use the flat side with regular shoes when I plan to walk a lot once I reach my destination.
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Old 09-16-22, 03:46 PM
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There are a few hills that I've needed to stop on and start again. Some of them are steep enough that I can't start in my lowest gear. It may sound counter-intuitive, but a single pedal stroke with my stronger leg in the lowest gear is not enough to get me moving fast enough to get my other leg on the pedal to help. Of course, that means I need a very strong power stroke, but I do what's necessary.

For my bike, that's usually the small chainring and the 3rd cog, It depends on the hill and bike's gear ratios. After a while, I'm sure you'll come to really like SPD cleats.
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Old 09-16-22, 04:32 PM
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When your off foot misses the clip in , the stress begins . Practice is the real answer. While learning though, adding a sticky piece of sandpaper to the bottom of your shoe can help. Shoe bottoms are slick and sometimes it's tough to pedal unless you're clicked in. You'll get through this.
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Old 09-16-22, 06:38 PM
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When you miss the clip-in, just keep the foot on the pedal and spin away. You can then clip in when you have some speed.
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Old 09-16-22, 10:57 PM
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Good for you (and us)!!! Keep it up! Younger folks can’t seem to deal.

https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycl...lame-suit.html

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Old 09-17-22, 08:07 AM
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I do appreciate all of the posts both in favor and against clipless pedal systems. I found, after only 16 miles, that I need to adjust the way I think bout some parts of riding my bike. What I mean by that is that I have ridden with the old, I guess they were called clips style pedals that I call foot cages, because of my need to position my foot where I need it to be. I have issues with my feet that made the cage, both the metal and the synthetic toe cage only, painful after a few miles. What clipless has given me is consistent foot placement, a reminder not to twist my feet heal in, no pressure on the top of my feet, and I suppose I do feel a real secure feeling being connected to the bike. I found, from the short ride I have taken, that the advantages for me at this point outweigh the disadvantages and I need to use the nonclip-in side of the Shimano combo pedals when needed and then clip in when I want to. It is certainly a learning process but the feeling I got riding with these gave me emense pleasure to not have the pain or the need to be looking at my feet for proper placement and I believe I still have enough brain cells working to retrain myself from the old style cages to clipless. That said, I am not so stubborn as to not realize that if I can't adjust to these I would allow my pride to prevent me from changing back to my large studded pedals. I will see how it goes and hopefully make the decision that is best for me. Thanks again for all of the input. Ride on and be safe.
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Old 09-17-22, 10:45 AM
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After I got SPD cleats I was good for the first couple years with no falls when stopped. Then I had a rash of them during a full season of cycling and in the most embarrassing places with the most spectators both cyclist and non-cyclists. I got over it and so far have been issue free for quite some time now.

The most helpful thing for me is to clip out one foot any time I come to a place I might have to stop and to position that foot so it won't accidentally clip back in until the chance of having to stop passes. Sometimes I'll flip the pedal upside down... though if you have double-sided pedals that won't work.
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Old 09-17-22, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Helderberg View Post
That said it is a very good feeling being so connected to the bike and I am truly sorry that I have not made the transition long ago. Be safe all.
well I certainly can’t offer any advice, I do echo the same sentiment, but honestly the “long ago” would have been a shorter time frame.

While I may not to have been able to start much sooner, since I’ve only been serious about cycling the past 1.5 years the concern of whether the initial investment would be beneficial to me wasn’t warranted. (But apparently it was to one me member lol)
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Old 09-17-22, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
After I got SPD cleats I was good for the first couple years with no falls when stopped. Then I had a rash of them during a full season of cycling and in the most embarrassing places with the most spectators both cyclist and non-cyclists. I got over it and so far have been issue free for quite some time now.

The most helpful thing for me is to clip out one foot any time I come to a place I might have to stop and to position that foot so it won't accidentally clip back in until the chance of having to stop passes. Sometimes I'll flip the pedal upside down... though if you have double-sided pedals that won't work.
I do have double-sided SPD pedals and on those rare occasions when I don't want to clip in, I place my foot further forward on the pedal, I can still pedal, but poorly and I won't accidentally clip in.

I really only do this on very rough roads where walking would be the next alternative.

Of course, clipping in/out has become so second nature that I can't remember the last time I did this.
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Old 09-17-22, 03:03 PM
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Forgot to mention. Whenever I can anticipate stopping, I make sure to shift to the smaller front chainring and at least to a middle gear in the rear. Makes starting up and clipping in a bit easier, starting in too tough a gear only makes clipping in harder.
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Old 09-17-22, 10:24 PM
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Consider your fall the initiation and right of passage into the clipless club. Am glad to hear you enjoy the connectedness with bike and consistent foot placement. Be sure to get cleats with the maximum amount of ‘float’ to let your knees/feet find their natural angle. With my Shimano pedals, I use the yellow cleats. It may take a bit of adjusting on your shoe unless you were lucky on your first shot. If you start feeling any tweaks or pressure in your knees, immediately adjust your cleats.

Welcome back to the road.
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Old 09-18-22, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by fujidon View Post
I have SPD cleats and one of the advantages is that I can pedal (although poorly) without clipping in. It's helpful when starting uphill. I don't know if the same is true for Look/Time. What kind of cleats do you have?
Most Look-type pedals have a rounded bottom side that is not conducive to unclipped pedaling. Some off-road models have a bottom side designed for unclipped pedaling, like these Look-made Campagnolo "Centaur QR" pedals:
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Old 09-18-22, 09:51 AM
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I've been using the same pedals for over 20 years and had the occasional tip-over. What I tried was to loosen the spring tension on the pedal as much as I could while still feeling safely connected. So far, I haven't had any mishaps, although I shouldn't have said that out loud.
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Old 09-18-22, 10:20 AM
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The Shimano Saint DH pedal is useful for somebody getting used to clipless. Its dual sided SPD as well as having pins for using regular shoes or riding without clipping in.

PD-M821

https://bike.shimano.com/en-US/product/component/saint-m820/PD-M821.html
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Old 09-18-22, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
The Shimano Saint DH pedal is useful for somebody getting used to clipless. Its dual sided SPD as well as having pins for using regular shoes or riding without clipping in.

PD-M821

https://bike.shimano.com/en-US/product/component/saint-m820/PD-M821.html
I went with the Shimano PD-M324 which is a two-sided pedal, one clip-in one flat. I just needed to realize how I can use that feature to my best advantage. It took an embarrassing tip-over to drive the point home. Thankfully the only thing hurt was my pride.
Be safe.
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Old 09-18-22, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Helderberg View Post
I went with the Shimano PD-M324 which is a two-sided pedal, one clip-in one flat. I just needed to realize how I can use that feature to my best advantage. It took an embarrassing tip-over to drive the point home. Thankfully the only thing hurt was my pride.
Be safe.
Do what I did several times when I had a big audience, get up quickly and act like Rocky Balboa when he got to the top steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art or what ever those steps went to in the Rocky film.

I have always used and like the PD-A520's which are single sided and very light. Still have a pair that is 12 years old that I swap out with a newer pair when I take them off to clean and re-lube the spindle bearings.
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Old 09-20-22, 02:13 PM
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I'm a clipless skeptic. My pedal history is about 10 years of clips and straps with no cleats, followed by 25 years of clips and straps + cleats for racing and minus the cleats for touring/recreation, followed by 10 years of clipless (SPDs) followed by a switch back to clips and straps (road bikes) and flats (MTB) 5 years ago. The reason I switched back is that I could discern no advantage to using clipless as compared to using clips and straps (without cleats)/flats and some significant disadvantages (i.e. needing to wear clunky not-great-to-walk-in shoes and slow speed painful crashes on rock-strewn steep MTB trails due to the difficulty of unclipping quickly). The only downside to using clips and straps that I can discern is that your foot can get sore if you cinch down on the strap too tightly. The solution...don't do that. There have also been a number of studies published that show that there is no significant measurable efficiency advantage to clipless pedals. Many of those studies went in trying to show what type of advantage clipless had, only to come back with the opposite conclusion.
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Old 09-20-22, 02:38 PM
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Clipped into Look ski boots in the early '80s.
Started cycling as an adult in the early '80s.
When Look introduced cycling's clipless (?) pedal system, l clipped-in and dropped out of my toeclips with straps (no cleats). The primary motivation was the hills and mountains I had to ride starting in 1987.

Had I been a Floridian, clipless pedals and triple chainrings might seem weird.

Still riding the original Look design on about 15 road bikes, but still a few with clips&straps.

Inertia exists.
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Old 09-20-22, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by davester View Post
I'm a clipless skeptic. My pedal history is about 10 years of clips and straps with no cleats, followed by 25 years of clips and straps + cleats for racing and minus the cleats for touring/recreation, followed by 10 years of clipless (SPDs) followed by a switch back to clips and straps (road bikes) and flats (MTB) 5 years ago. The reason I switched back is that I could discern no advantage to using clipless as compared to using clips and straps (without cleats)/flats and some significant disadvantages (i.e. needing to wear clunky not-great-to-walk-in shoes and slow speed painful crashes on rock-strewn steep MTB trails due to the difficulty of unclipping quickly). The only downside to using clips and straps that I can discern is that your foot can get sore if you cinch down on the strap too tightly. The solution...don't do that. There have also been a number of studies published that show that there is no significant measurable efficiency advantage to clipless pedals. Many of those studies went in trying to show what type of advantage clipless had, only to come back with the opposite conclusion.

I am glad you have found something that works for you. Keep riding and be safe.
Frank.
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Old 09-20-22, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Helderberg View Post
I went with SPD and I even have the two-sided, cleat - no cleat, and still managed to get myself crossed up. Thankfully I am fine and so is my bike.
Frank.
Fortunately, you and the bike are fine. It happens to everyone - stay safe and have fun!
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Old 09-20-22, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Helderberg View Post
I am glad you have found something that works for you. Keep riding and be safe.
Frank.
I'm not sure what your point is and your tone seems condescending. I was simply sharing my experience and observations in the expectation that you might realize that not everyone in the biking community thinks that clipless pedals are the greatest, or even a good idea in many cases. I am definitely not alone in thinking along these lines, as evidenced by the major switchover to flat pedals by much of the MTB community and lack of clipless use in by bike tourists. Your point was?
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Old 09-21-22, 04:37 AM
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Originally Posted by davester View Post
I'm not sure what your point is and your tone seems condescending. I was simply sharing my experience and observations in the expectation that you might realize that not everyone in the biking community thinks that clipless pedals are the greatest, or even a good idea in many cases. I am definitely not alone in thinking along these lines, as evidenced by the major switchover to flat pedals by much of the MTB community and lack of clipless use in by bike tourists. Your point was?
My point simply was and is that I am glad that you found a system that works for you. You've gone through a lot of trial and error to find what you are comfortable with. I have gone through years of riding to find out how well this works for me. I never said that you were wrong or said that the clipless system is the greatest. I don't understand your anger with me but I never meant to disparage your opinion. Be safe.
Frank.
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