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fell twice in two days :(

Old 07-18-21, 09:15 AM
  #26  
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Advice is usually worth what you pay for, so here’s mine. Forget your ambidextrous unclipping and only unclip with your natural tendency, your leftward lean. Develop a new habit and force yourself to unclip in advance of stops and your brain will no longer be confused.
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Old 07-18-21, 12:38 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
I'm still trying to understand why one would unclip with their right foot and lean left. What am I missing?
When something like that happens to me I chalk it up to a brain phart, i.e. - *senior moment!*
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Old 07-18-21, 01:01 PM
  #28  
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as a beginner, the moment of stress where a sudden stop has to happen and i violently twist my right foot counterclockwise and wonder "is it going to release!?!?" is far worse than the two or maybe three times i've tipped over in slow motion at a stop. bent a derailleur hanger once, hand full of little spiky plant parts once.

i'd say it doesn't release 1 out of 10 times, but usually i try and get out with enough time to try a few more times or look for something to lean on.
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Old 07-19-21, 06:32 AM
  #29  
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Now, this is something I'll never understand. I'm hardly the most coordinated person in the world, nor the best bike handler. I'm just a regular guy who likes to ride my bike. I've been riding using clipless pedals since ... 1992 or so. In all of that time, in many situations including uphill stops, unplanned stops, dicey surfaces, bumpy stops, wildlife, etc. - and including riding a tandem with my wife and dealing with the same - I've fallen due to a failure to unclip once, and that was because the screws holding my cleat had loosened (this was within the first 2 years of starting to ride clipless). I'm not saying it couldn't happen tomorrow, and statistically there will be outliers where people just happened to get unlucky, but I just don't understand how this type of thing could happen as often as some people say it does.

It takes less than a second to unclip. If you feel yourself tilting to the clipped-in side, there's more than enough time to unclip on that side before you fall. Don't do anything else, don't try to save it, don't try to figure out what is happening, don't panic, just unclip - THEN, maybe, you can try all that other stuff.

To all those who have never tried clipless and who are hesitant because you're afraid to fall: cyclists put in thousands and thousands of hours riding clipless without falling. IMHO the risk is greatly exaggerated, and it is not something that just happens to all of us periodically.

(Note: this is for riding on the road, I don't do MTB, that's undoubtedly different.)
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Old 07-19-21, 06:59 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by kahn View Post
I'm a left foot release out and down and am somewhat jealous of those who are right-inclined and can use the curb when they stop!
Just move to the UK and you'll be fine

I'm left footed so I naturally unclip my left foot first
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Old 07-19-21, 07:04 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by noimagination View Post

To all those who have never tried clipless and who are hesitant because you're afraid to fall: cyclists put in thousands and thousands of hours riding clipless without falling. IMHO the risk is greatly exaggerated, and it is not something that just happens to all of us periodically.
Agreed. Another average cyclist here and been using clipless pedals since the mid 1980s and never fallen once due to being clipped in. But some people do seem to have a genuine issue with this for whatever reason.
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Old 07-19-21, 08:16 AM
  #32  
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It's best to unclip the uphill foot. This applies to mountain biking (where you may need either foot but not the other to achieve a stable stop on an incline) or on the road (where the crown of the roadway will be uphill). In North America, that'd be your left foot. In the UK or down under, that'd be the right foot.

As others have said, anticipate and come ready before you get to a panic situation. This applies to down shifting as well. I guess that it also applies to many or most things in life, huh?
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Old 07-19-21, 10:55 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Just move to the UK and you'll be fine

I'm left footed so I naturally unclip my left foot first
Perhaps, until I come to the first intersection and try making a right or a left or anything but straight and become a hood ornament.
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Old 07-19-21, 10:59 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Agreed. Another average cyclist here and been using clipless pedals since the mid 1980s and never fallen once due to being clipped in. But some people do seem to have a genuine issue with this for whatever reason.
itís strange, everyone i know IRL who switched to clipless has fallen. maybe itís a speedplay thing, but it takes a surprising and disturbing amount of force for me to unclip - enough that iím somewhat surprised it doesnít break something. a HARD twist of my right lower leg does not always unclip. i have to do it while i still have enough forward momentum to try again (or maybe again and again) if it fails.
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Old 07-19-21, 02:54 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by mschwett View Post
it’s strange, everyone i know IRL who switched to clipless has fallen. maybe it’s a speedplay thing, but it takes a surprising and disturbing amount of force for me to unclip - enough that i’m somewhat surprised it doesn’t break something. a HARD twist of my right lower leg does not always unclip. i have to do it while i still have enough forward momentum to try again (or maybe again and again) if it fails.
Maybe. I haven't used Speedplay pedals. I've used Look, SPD, SPD-SL and Crank Bros. My current road bike has SPD-SL pedals and I set the release to the lightest setting. They clip out quite easily. I find that they clip out easier twisting my heel inward toward the frame and that seems easier on my knees too.

What I've never had an issue with is leaning the wrong way when unclipping, which seems to be quite a common mistake.
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Old 07-19-21, 03:07 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by noimagination View Post
Now, this is something I'll never understand. I'm hardly the most coordinated person in the world, nor the best bike handler. I'm just a regular guy who likes to ride my bike. I've been riding using clipless pedals since ... 1992 or so. In all of that time, in many situations including uphill stops, unplanned stops, dicey surfaces, bumpy stops, wildlife, etc. - and including riding a tandem with my wife and dealing with the same - I've fallen due to a failure to unclip once, and that was because the screws holding my cleat had loosened (this was within the first 2 years of starting to ride clipless). I'm not saying it couldn't happen tomorrow, and statistically there will be outliers where people just happened to get unlucky, but I just don't understand how this type of thing could happen as often as some people say it does.

It takes less than a second to unclip. If you feel yourself tilting to the clipped-in side, there's more than enough time to unclip on that side before you fall. Don't do anything else, don't try to save it, don't try to figure out what is happening, don't panic, just unclip - THEN, maybe, you can try all that other stuff.

To all those who have never tried clipless and who are hesitant because you're afraid to fall: cyclists put in thousands and thousands of hours riding clipless without falling. IMHO the risk is greatly exaggerated, and it is not something that just happens to all of us periodically.

(Note: this is for riding on the road, I don't do MTB, that's undoubtedly different.)
I donít think it really takes much imagination to see how people sometimes fall over in clipless..
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Old 07-19-21, 03:31 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by gurana View Post
I often stop more often on the right so I can put my foot down on a curb, but in the absence of that, I'm pretty ambidextrous in terms of leaning... or I thought I was. Now it's probably all I'll think about until I don't.
I unclip the curbside foot so that when I stop I'm leaning away from any cars that might be to my non-curbside.

And as far as the motorist that honked at you, thinking you might go through the stop, I don't come-in-hot to at a road crossing/intersection where I intend to come to a full stop. I want the motorists to be very aware of what my stopping intentions are, and make them comfortable. I don't need them jamming their brakes on, and possibly cause a another trailing motorist to quickly swerve around them to avoid the accident, and hit ME.
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Old 07-19-21, 07:55 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Maybe. I haven't used Speedplay pedals. I've used Look, SPD, SPD-SL and Crank Bros. My current road bike has SPD-SL pedals and I set the release to the lightest setting. They clip out quite easily. I find that they clip out easier twisting my heel inward toward the frame and that seems easier on my knees too.

What I've never had an issue with is leaning the wrong way when unclipping, which seems to be quite a common mistake.
I, too, use a fairly light setting. I've broken a foot and had one hip replaced twice. And the knees get no younger with each passing day. The easier release the better. I also am not an aggressive rider and don't need to be locked to the pedals.

Years ago, I did lose a cleat screw making it impossible to release. Fortunately, I was near an upright and could use that for support while I undid the shoe!
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Old 07-19-21, 10:49 PM
  #39  
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It has nothing to do with the type of pedals. Iím a right foot down person for decades and Iíve ended up leaning left and gone down.

It is so natural I donít think about it, but once when I was going so slow and not thinking I leaned left with my right foot out. There was no reaction I just went over at basically a dead stop. I was so surprised it happened. Never have I ever thought about it. Iím old so I chalked it up to a senior moment.

But I do purposefully turn the front wheel to the right when I stop from a very slow speed. Quick stops are not a problem.

John
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Old 07-20-21, 06:41 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by mschwett View Post
itís strange, everyone i know IRL who switched to clipless has fallen. maybe itís a speedplay thing, but it takes a surprising and disturbing amount of force for me to unclip - enough that iím somewhat surprised it doesnít break something. a HARD twist of my right lower leg does not always unclip. i have to do it while i still have enough forward momentum to try again (or maybe again and again) if it fails.
ďSurprising and disturbing amount of force...to unclipĒ is just wrong. This is not a case of a user who hasnít learned or a user who needs more practice, this is a bike that isnít working. If you donít have enough basic mechanical sense to tell the difference between a broken bike and an imperfect human then donít ride bikes. Bikes are machines. Mechanical contrivances. Simple enough machines that most can operate them without thinking about it, not suited to those who are going to have endless difficulties.

ĒEveryone has fallen.Ē No. Absolutely not the case. I rode clipless over a decade before hearing a first report of someone falling. If the pedals made people fall they should be illegal.

The OP reports a minimum of five falls, two of them recent. He is going to keep falling. It might get less frequent with practice. The next fall will happen. Any who are remotely at risk of falling due to one style of pedals should be on simpler pedals. Or not riding.
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Old 07-20-21, 08:17 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
ďSurprising and disturbing amount of force...to unclipĒ is just wrong. This is not a case of a user who hasnít learned or a user who needs more practice, this is a bike that isnít working. If you donít have enough basic mechanical sense to tell the difference between a broken bike and an imperfect human then donít ride bikes. Bikes are machines. Mechanical contrivances. Simple enough machines that most can operate them without thinking about it, not suited to those who are going to have endless difficulties.

ĒEveryone has fallen.Ē No. Absolutely not the case. I rode clipless over a decade before hearing a first report of someone falling. If the pedals made people fall they should be illegal.

The OP reports a minimum of five falls, two of them recent. He is going to keep falling. It might get less frequent with practice. The next fall will happen. Any who are remotely at risk of falling due to one style of pedals should be on simpler pedals. Or not riding.
I pretty much agree with this. It's the sort of thing I can imagine happening as a one-off in exceptional circumstances or to a novice using them for the first time. But those who are falling multiple times on a fairly regular basis probably need to look at different pedals. Those who are falling because unclipping is physically difficult for them should also be dealing with that specific issue, whether it is a mechanical problem or a physical limitation. You should be able to unclip every time with fairly minimal effort. If not then you are inevitably going to topple over at some point.
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Old 07-20-21, 09:57 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
“Surprising and disturbing amount of force...to unclip” is just wrong. This is not a case of a user who hasn’t learned or a user who needs more practice, this is a bike that isn’t working. If you don’t have enough basic mechanical sense to tell the difference between a broken bike and an imperfect human then don’t ride bikes. Bikes are machines. Mechanical contrivances. Simple enough machines that most can operate them without thinking about it, not suited to those who are going to have endless difficulties.

”Everyone has fallen.” No. Absolutely not the case. I rode clipless over a decade before hearing a first report of someone falling. If the pedals made people fall they should be illegal.

The OP reports a minimum of five falls, two of them recent. He is going to keep falling. It might get less frequent with practice. The next fall will happen. Any who are remotely at risk of falling due to one style of pedals should be on simpler pedals. Or not riding.
your helpful and positive tone is noted! i don't believe there is anything wrong with my pedals or cleats - they've been checked out and the cleats reinstalled by a professional fitter with thousands of hours of experience adjusting pedals, cleats, and bikes, and his response was [paraphrased] "yes, it takes a lot more force than you'd think to clip and unclip these." i do wish the release was a little more consistent. maybe at some point i'll try some different pedals and shoes, but i really like the minimal profile and light weight of the speedplay pedals.

yes, i'm relatively new to cycling. i've had, as noted, two or maybe three slow motion falls in 1,500 miles of clipless riding over three months. i ride in the city, with lots of stops and starts, sometimes very abruptly, on routes which are as often as not new to me. i like being clipped in enough that the small risk (twice in 100 hours, and decreasing in frequency) is worth it to me. as new as i may be, lots of people i know very well have ridden clipless since it was a thing, and literally every single one has a couple of these slow-motion falls at an unexpected red light, car door, whatever. it's very impressive that you associated only with people for 10 years who never once had an unclip fail!

one thing that i've found is a big help for urban cycling is to just look for a railing, post, barricade, parking meter, etc to lean on instead of always unclipping. OP's reports of 5 falls spans 17 years and includes one pretty unusual freak occurence, an inadvertent re-clip.
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Old 07-20-21, 12:33 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by mschwett View Post
your helpful and positive tone is noted! i don't believe there is anything wrong with my pedals or cleats - they've been checked out and the cleats reinstalled by a professional fitter with thousands of hours of experience adjusting pedals, cleats, and bikes, and his response was [paraphrased] "yes, it takes a lot more force than you'd think to clip and unclip these." i do wish the release was a little more consistent. maybe at some point i'll try some different pedals and shoes, but i really like the minimal profile and light weight of the speedplay pedals.

yes, i'm relatively new to cycling. i've had, as noted, two or maybe three slow motion falls in 1,500 miles of clipless riding over three months. i ride in the city, with lots of stops and starts, sometimes very abruptly, on routes which are as often as not new to me. i like being clipped in enough that the small risk (twice in 100 hours, and decreasing in frequency) is worth it to me. as new as i may be, lots of people i know very well have ridden clipless since it was a thing, and literally every single one has a couple of these slow-motion falls at an unexpected red light, car door, whatever. it's very impressive that you associated only with people for 10 years who never once had an unclip fail!

one thing that i've found is a big help for urban cycling is to just look for a railing, post, barricade, parking meter, etc to lean on instead of always unclipping. OP's reports of 5 falls spans 17 years and includes one pretty unusual freak occurence, an inadvertent re-clip.
Only falling off 2 or 3 times in 1500 miles is not what I would call a good result unless you really have learnt from the experience and don't continue to fall. If your cleats really are hard work to unclip and causing you to fall then it's time to look for another system before you get really hurt - especially if you are riding in busy traffic. It's not one of those inevitable things you should tolerate.
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Old 07-20-21, 12:41 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by mschwett View Post
your helpful and positive tone is noted! i don't believe there is anything wrong with my pedals or cleats - they've been checked out and the cleats reinstalled by a professional fitter with thousands of hours of experience adjusting pedals, cleats, and bikes, and his response was [paraphrased] "yes, it takes a lot more force than you'd think to clip and unclip these." i do wish the release was a little more consistent. maybe at some point i'll try some different pedals and shoes, but i really like the minimal profile and light weight of the speedplay pedals.

yes, i'm relatively new to cycling. i've had, as noted, two or maybe three slow motion falls in 1,500 miles of clipless riding over three months. i ride in the city, with lots of stops and starts, sometimes very abruptly, on routes which are as often as not new to me. i like being clipped in enough that the small risk (twice in 100 hours, and decreasing in frequency) is worth it to me. as new as i may be, lots of people i know very well have ridden clipless since it was a thing, and literally every single one has a couple of these slow-motion falls at an unexpected red light, car door, whatever. it's very impressive that you associated only with people for 10 years who never once had an unclip fail!

one thing that i've found is a big help for urban cycling is to just look for a railing, post, barricade, parking meter, etc to lean on instead of always unclipping. OP's reports of 5 falls spans 17 years and includes one pretty unusual freak occurence, an inadvertent re-clip.
Your mechanic is wrong. Your mechanic should not be dispensing such rubbish to public. Speedplay is different. They are sensitive to sand and grit. They need frequent lube. They are sensitive to torque load on the cleat bolts. When set up properly they clip in and out as easy as anything else. Myself I would not put up with them. They do have unique features which make them worth the trouble to some riders. Recommending them to anyone prone to falling is nuts. They have been around, as a guess, about thirty years, and are a known quantity. No mysteries.

Look pedals arrived in early 80s. I was a late adopter, started 1987 if memory serves. Got SPD for the MTB in 1989. First time anyone I knew or anyone I heard about had trouble with clipping or unclipping was when first version of SPD-SL was introduced. Those were junk and did not last long on market. Then suddenly lots of reports of trouble. With every pedal that had never been a problem before. And it never ends. It seems like buyers are taught these things are difficult and users do as taught.

The next fall is an independent variable. If you are still riding the last fall apparently was not that bad. There is no reason to conclude you keep being lucky. Taking regular falls leads to the bad fall that ends your riding career.
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Old 07-20-21, 12:58 PM
  #45  
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Wear a helmet always.
Wear hand gloves so you can avoid scratches and bleeding when you put your hands on the street.
Ride slowly and do not race.
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Old 07-20-21, 01:39 PM
  #46  
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SPD with SH 56 cleats that will allow panic-unclipping in many directions, or, dare I say it, zero retention, true clipless pedals?
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Old 07-21-21, 02:12 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by easyupbug View Post
Always left out and down, well in advance. Forget the curb or anything else, if it is a puddle so be it, it's automatic.
Same for me. I've always unclipped with my left foot and now it's like muscle memory.

Of course I've had my share of falls, mostly when I first went clipless, and all at crowded intersections. Nothing like an audience for your screw ups!
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