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Newbie Question...Using Clipless pedals?(12 posts)

Newbie Question...Using Clipless pedals?xjeffx
Jul 3, 2001 9:19 AM
On the road, what's the easiest way to use clipless pedals? I've fallen twice because I take one foot out, then lose balance and fall the other way without having time to take the other foot out.

How tight should the pedals be? I notice my shoes jiggle if they aren't too tight, but that makes getting my foot out a lot harder.

Is jiggle normal?

What are the best suggestions for pedal tension and stopping? Thanx.

Twist and "then" Shout and not the other way around (nm)Mabero
Jul 3, 2001 9:23 AM
re: Newbie Question...Using Clipless pedals?Dog
Jul 3, 2001 9:27 AM
What kind of pedals, cleats, and shoes are you using?

Typically, I'd start with minimum release resistance if possible. Get used to that. Also, lube the pedal and cleat for easier entry and exit. I use dry Teflon so that it won't build up a lot of crud.

If you have a trainer, put the bike on it and practice at home.

Suggestions? Practice.

re: What pedals and shoes?xjeffx
Jul 3, 2001 9:40 AM
Shimano SPD Pedals M-515

Specialized Sport Mtn Shoes

Lube sounds like a good idea?

Any other suggestions?

Jul 3, 2001 9:11 PM
are notorious for being sticky if not lubed and centered properly. Make sure the cleats have a proper neutral position (straight and centered) on your shoes. You can adjust and tighten them later once you're used to them, but it's always better to start out "loose and neutral" as I tell my newbie students.

As the previous posters mentioned, practice is king. If you're tired of scraped elbows, go out in a grass field and practice 'till you've got it down cold.

A woman I coached who went from toe clips to SPDs used to have the same problem - I discovered that when she was trying to decleat, in addition to "heel-outing", she was also lifting the foot up and back slightly (muscle memory from toeclips) rather than twisting/rolling the foot downward. Because of this, the SPD was "clutching" at her instead of releasing. This is because the upward/rearward motion is intentionally designed NOT to release from any clipless pedal, particularly the SPDs with their MTB heritage. Believe it or not, this is a safety feature for sprinting, standing climbing and going over logs / curbs - all of which an experienced clipless rider tends to pull up hard on the pedals to do.

Good luck!
Take the OTHER foot out first!MrCelloBoy
Jul 3, 2001 9:40 AM
All of us favor one foot over the other. (Some folks more naturally than others.) It sounds like you may be getting out on the "wrong" side. It also sounds like you need to lean the bike a tiny bit more towards the side you dismount on. Maybe the bike is a bit too large as well.
Jul 3, 2001 9:44 AM the key.

Unless I'm getting off the bike completely, one of my feet (right foot) remains clipped in all the time. Here's what should happen at a stop (at least for me):

- As you near your stop point, position your right foot at 6 o'clock.
- Put your weight on your right foot.
- As you unweight your left foot, twist out of the pedal
- While maintaining weight on your right foot, slide your butt forward off the seat.
- As you come to a stop, lean the bike to the left and use your unclipped left foot as a prop to keep yourself up. Your right foot stays clipped in and ready to start up again with a power stroke (at 3 o'clock position) to get your forward momentum going.

It may sound complicated, but with practice, it becomes second nature.

Sometimes when I see a situation where I might have to stop suddenly, I'll coast and unclip the left foot well before I need to. I'll leave the unclipped foot right over the pedal so that I can instantaneously clip right back in after the situation is cleared.

What kind of pedals are you using. I don't think they should jiggle at all. If they are properly lubricated, you should not have a problem unclipping. Perhaps you need to work on the unclipping motion of your foot?

Hope that helps.

Ditto...Len J
Jul 3, 2001 10:38 AM
Make sure you know what foot you want to be standing on after you stop.
Unclip that side and make sure you lean the bike that way.

Relax & don't panic & you will be OK.
re: Newbie Question...Using Clipless pedals?Lardog
Jul 3, 2001 10:46 AM
I agree withe the relax and don't panic comment. It sounds like you're making something harder than it needs to be. Unclip and rest your foot on top of the pedal well before you need to stop. Once you're unclipped it's just like being on a non-clipped, non-caged pedal such as a BMX pedal. Get out of both if you need I suppose. No problem in doing that really.
Are your shoes too loose?JRG
Jul 3, 2001 10:58 AM
I believe those shoes have an option for using laces under the velcro straps. If the "jiggling" you mentioned is movement of your foot within the shoe, you may want to cinch down the laces as well as the velcro straps. If your shoes fit snugly you'll have better control, both for clipping out and for pedaling properly.

cleats loose? had this problem with Look...not sure on SPD.Haiku d'état
Jul 3, 2001 11:41 AM
fell and busted my butt twice 'cause the left cleat (right foot out first for me) was not well affixed to the shoe. twisting to unclip and the shoe would twist, but the Look cleat would not, and i wouldn't get out. lost balance, did the tire/tire/knee tripod thing to save the frame. just a thought. i've never noticed loose spd on my mtb shoes, but there's always a chance. good luck!
ride in circles-clip in and out 100 times...WadeOmatic
Jul 4, 2001 9:10 AM
After you get your shoe/cleat/pedal thing sorted out. I always have new clipless users clip in and out until they are sick of it. Keep the bike rolling it won't fall over. Once the muscle memory is established, then you can get both feet out in a hurry.

IN OUT IN OUT IN OUT until it is instinctive.