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  1. #1
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    Are clipless pedals supposed to be this hard to get used to??

    Nob
    Last edited by JimS_99; 07-01-2007 at 11:26 AM.

  2. #2
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    I was in the same boat as you. I had shimano pd520 pedals and the cleats that came with the bike. It was very difficult to detach to the point where I had plenty of low speed crashes. I switched my cleats to multi-release (sh-56 I believe) and it's a world of difference. I love them.

    I don't know about the crank bros as much, but I heard that if you swap the cleats from shoe to shoe, it changes the release angle...

  3. #3
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    Practice

    I have been riding clipless for many years, I have never ridden Crank Bros pedals. From what I can see there's no way to adjust the tension on those pedals, so that could pose a bit of a problem. The SPD (Shimano) style pedals have the ability to adjust the tension on them. So when you first put them on your bike you can set them very loose so its easy to get your feet out.

    With any clipless pedals you need to practice until the point where twisting your feet becomes second nature. I would suggest finding someplace (maybe your basement?) where you can hold yourself up overhead, then practice getting in and out of your pedals. When you get out in the woods, I would definitely think ahead and pull one foot out before something serious comes up.

    You may want to consider buying some cheap SPDs, just to practice with until you get used to it.

    John
    Big Strings, Big Wheels, The Jisch Blog

  4. #4
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    Bikeforums cross-post! Practice! Go ride around in a grassy field at low speed and try and wait until the last possible second to clip out. Don't do what I did, which is try to learn how to use them in a race. In the rain. I still have scars...

  5. #5
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    I ran Crank Bros mallets for while and then switched to Shimano. There is definitely a difference between the manufacturers. With CBs you have to rotate your foot to get out of them. This did not agree with me on technical sections, bailing out of log rides, etc. The Shimano’s can be adjusted to be much more forgiving to release. Not sure if this will help your situation but all clipless pedals are certainly not equal.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimS_99
    Lately I’ve started unclipping myself in advance when I think I may need a foot plant in the near future. This starts a whole new set of problems, like going down a technical section and trying to reclip or keep going without loosing momentum.
    Try a pedal like the Time Z or similar which gives you a platform for riding unclipped when the going gets dicey.

  7. #7
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    The Crank bros pedals take some time to break in. The spring will loosen up over time. Did you check the cleat mounts? there are 2 ways to mount them on the shoe. One way allows easy exit and the other is for race ( harder exit ).

  8. #8
    I railed it like Kong
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    SPD's are easier to learn on due to the adjustability. set them up loose at first and then tighten as you get comfortable. Too loose and when you hits rocks you'll get thrown out so it's important to eventually tighten them once you get the hang of it. You can buy them with platform so you have a full size pedal when you need it.

    Also toe-in the cleat slightly on the bottom of your shoe and it will give you a quicker exit angle. You'll find that getting out is easier getting used to than getting back in.

    I hope some of that will help.
    I'm UNIQUE... just like everybody else.

  9. #9
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    Don't give up too fast , just practice, in and out for few time every begining of ride, get of and on the bike for a few times and i think you get use to it and find it a good way to ride.

  10. #10
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    When I first started with SPD's I did a couple of solo rides to get used to them, no incidents, I was just very aware that I was clipped in. Then came my first group ride... having not fallen I was pretty confident, that didn't last!

    Fall one was in the car park as we were about to set off, well it can't get much more embarrassing than that. I think over the next two hours I fell over seven or eight more times! Most of the time was when the rider in front of me stopped abruptly not giving me enough time to think about getting my feet out.

    Now it's all second nature and I don't have to think about it at all. Being clipped in is certainly better for climbing and also gives me confidence that my feet aren't going to slip off the pedals when the going gets rough.

    I use a trail boot which doesn't have a really stiff sole, you can only really tell it's a cycling shoe off the bike when the cleat clinks.

    Definitely persevere with them, un-clipping will soon become instinctive.
    DirtyWahoo

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppy
    Don't give up too fast , just practice, in and out for few time every begining of ride, get off and on the bike for a few times and i think you get use to it and find it a good way to ride.
    Great advice that can be applied to more than one area in life. Practicing in the grass and trying other models is also good advice, for clipless pedals or whatever.

  12. #12
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    Years ago I decidied to try SPD's for my first clipless pedals. Expecting only a learning curve, I instead found them and other SPD models to be a pain in the freakin a$$. For those who are learning I find that the SPD's have too narrow of a window of operation. I gave up and later purchased a pair of Time ATAC's and in three days I was good to go. Click in and click out in a single action, no fussy aligning, rotating, etc.

  13. #13
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    Honestly, I really can't relate to all the problems people have with clipless pedals.
    I first started using Shimano SPD's a few years ago. I bought a used bike from a friend and it had some Well-go SPD platform pedals. They were set not too tight. It took me all of 5 minutes to figure them out. I practiced the motion for a few minutes and went out riding. I think I fell over only once since then due to the pedals because I was grinding up a steep hill off camber. So I cannot relate. Do you guys fall over when you brush your teeth?

    I now ride Shimano 645 platform clipless. I unclip if the downhill gets rough.


    But you know what they say about "Old Dogs"...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by wormvine
    Honestly, I really can't relate to all the problems people have with clipless pedals.
    I first started using Shimano SPD's a few years ago. I bought a used bike from a friend and it had some Well-go SPD platform pedals. They were set not too tight. It took me all of 5 minutes to figure them out. I practiced the motion for a few minutes and went out riding. I think I fell over only once since then due to the pedals because I was grinding up a steep hill off camber. So I cannot relate. Do you guys fall over when you brush your teeth?

    I now ride Shimano 645 platform clipless. I unclip if the downhill gets rough.


    But you know what they say about "Old Dogs"...
    Try to rotate your foot outward on the top of a pedal stroke loosing your balance going over a rock wall...I'm sorry but my leg just doesn't go in that position comfortably.

    Unless you're riding mellow stuff, the single release cleats can be very scary. Out of every single person (except myself) that I know, they switched back to regular pedals after trying clipless. I only use them because of the multi-release cleats.

    You must be the most coordinated person on the planet :P

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba74
    Try to rotate your foot outward on the top of a pedal stroke loosing your balance going over a rock wall...I'm sorry but my leg just doesn't go in that position comfortably.

    Unless you're riding mellow stuff, the single release cleats can be very scary. Out of every single person (except myself) that I know, they switched back to regular pedals after trying clipless. I only use them because of the multi-release cleats.

    You must be the most coordinated person on the planet :P
    I ride some pretty technical trails here in Avon, CO. Stuff most people don't even consider a trail. I ride lunch loops in Grand Juction. Lots of hard technical climbing going over rocks and logs. On the hardest downhill stuff, I unclip and use the platforms. But most people seem to fall when they are going slow.
    I don't know what to say. It's not that I am super coordinated. I have about 1/8th the balance of Hans Rey. But I have never had any major issues with unclipping. I feel better connected to the bike clipped in. Maybe since I come from a skateboarder/vert ramp/surfer and motocross background I am just used to thinking fast and mentally preparing in advance for the next step. Unclipping is always in the back of my mind.

    I also agree that there are certain situations where you won't be able to release. But that should be a rarity. If your falling over a lot on rides then it might not be the pedals.

  16. #16
    s62
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    Sorry, but to offer a little different advice than posted here:
    Toss 'em. Platform is better for me. You can get great platforms w/ super grippy surfaces to insure great connection w/ the bike, but that don't require you clipping in. Just be careful, as some of the spikes on the pedals can eat your legs up if you wreck.

  17. #17
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    Try a set of pedals like these - Crank Brothers Mallet



    and a set of shoes like these - 661 Launch SPD



    Clip in when you want, unclip when you want. I'm leaning towards getting a setup like this as I start to do more downhilling.

  18. #18
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    Nob
    Last edited by JimS_99; 07-01-2007 at 11:27 AM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimS_99
    ClutchMan: You know, I'm agreeing with you!! Those Mallett pedals seem to be the best of both worlds.

    I just went out for a quick spin to practice clipping in and out and took a pretty good tumble, smashed a bar end and ripped the seat, all because of those *^$#% clipless things. I'm about ready to throw those things over the bank. I'm totally disgusted right now. Sucks destroying a $5K bike, not to mention my knees and elbows, all to get used to clipless. I guess it's hard to teach an old dog new tricks!
    Practice near a long wall or something. Hold yourself up by the wall and clip in and out over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over till you get the knack of it.

    Also not all mtb shoes feel like ski boots. Some are just like sneakers.

  20. #20
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    Nob
    Last edited by JimS_99; 07-01-2007 at 11:27 AM.

  21. #21
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    Hi Jim,

    I'm 51, so I don't think its an age thing. I once read in regard to practicing something so that it is reflexive, that it may take 5,000 to 10,000 repetitions. Think golf swing, skeet shooting, etc. Do you have to think about the gas, brake, or clutch pedals when you drive? My guess is probably not unless you want to.

    I went clipless on a road bike 20 years ago and had some of the low speed falls you described. I went clipless on a mountain bike 10 years ago with Time ATACS and thought Ha, no sweat!...then went through a different series of low speed falls .

    I'll echo the comments of those above who mentioned Time pedals. I like having a little platform to step on if I unclip for some reason. And with a pair of mtn bike shoes with spikes on the bottom, the pedal clip pretty much disappears into the tread pattern of the shoe bottom. Off the bike, my shoes are like walking in soccer cleats. And the stiffer sole not only is more efficent; it lowers foot fatigue because I'm not stiffening my foot against the pedals.

    I'd ask at the shop where you got your bike about trying some different pedals.

    HC

  22. #22
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    I tried clipless, rode them for about 6 months, now im back to platforms and 5.10 shoes.

    I had similar problems you described, but once I figured it out I still did not really like it. Just not enough freedom to ditch the bike IMO. Others will disagree, but who cares. It came down to personal preference for me, and I like platforms.

    Try different pedals see what you like and stick with it.

  23. #23
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    Nob
    Last edited by JimS_99; 07-01-2007 at 11:27 AM.

  24. #24
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    I mostly use clipless pedals [Frogs] on the roadbike, or I used to.

    Now days I ride platforms exclusively. I'm older than you and have been riding for a loooooong time now. Platform pedals with sneakers or the very good sticky 5-10 Impact shoes are the way I ride everything.

    I use Azonic A Frame pedals with meaty traction pins. Never slip off them, but can dab or get off in any situation, unlike clipins.

    This 'thing' with clipins is highly over-rated, imo. I prefer the ease of platforms.


    R.
    It is inevitable ...

  25. #25
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    I have been on clipless for a month and a half now and I'll admit I'm not all that impressed. You get a little more pedal power, but like MikeyMT said, I like to be able to ditch the bike. Try as you might with clipless, you cant just hop off of the bike and let it take the beating instead of you. High speed crashes will result in you going down with the ship more often than with flats. I don't crash at low speed anymore, but the real crashes frighten me alot more.

    Riding Eggbeaters btw

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