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  1. #1
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    Went clipless...

    So I took the plunge this morning...

    I figured I'd start out simple with Shimano pdm520's and a pair of Lake mx160's.

    I read so many horror stories of people tipping over, so I was literally sweating before my ride on the c&o towpath today. I mean sections are overlooking 30 foot drop-offs into the Potomac so I didn't really know what to expect.

    Anyway, when I first started pedaling, after making sure I knew how to unclip, I couldn't really believe it. I felt like I was moving at such a faster pace than I was used to and was able to keep the cadence so much higher than normal.

    Slight uphill sections felt level all of a sudden. And bigger uphill sections were not bad.

    I focused a lot on pulling up, on the upstroke, when I could, and when I'd have to climb, my quads were well rested to push hard up the hills.

    --

    Anyway, I just wanted to throw in my two cents and a recommendation for the pdm 520's and the lake mx160 shoes. I didn't see a lot of reviews on the Lake shoes, so I knew I was taking a chance...but I wanted something with a firm sole (road-usable), and still walkable when I'm out biking with my son.

    --

    So yeah...I highly recommend clipless to any new riders, but, there's one catch. I recommend putting in like at least 300 miles before you get them...that way you get used to cycling and your bike, and you actually realize what you were missing.

  2. #2
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    A friend gave me a set of spd's, am hunting shoes,

    It's time,,, I need that extra 30% power output..

    I ain't sceered, I crash well :P

  3. #3
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    Yes, I just started and got 20 miles out of them so far. My Shimano pedals are amazing. I try to explain to my friends (some who bike or some who don't) and they all think it's dumb. But it's a really neat idea.

    For one, you get almost double the power (once you get used to it) and you also get more control.

    But yes, I did fall on my first ride with them on Saturday (I only used them in the neighborhood prior), and got a scrape on my hand as a tried to catch my self, and once on my knee. It will just get some getting used to but it's all worth the gain,

    I just make sure I unclip them in the right spots, and unfortunately, on really steep hills, it's just not practical to use them, since you'll never get enough momentum to unclip before you go to slow.
    Only one way down.

  4. #4
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    I got used to wearing SPDs on my trainer at home where the bike wouldn't fall over. It's worked pretty well. I also got the Shimano SH-56 cleats so they come out easier when I fall on trails. They are great for climbing though for sure!

  5. #5
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    We ride a full suspension tandem and use Frog pedals and love them. Sometimes we don't get out during crashes (like last night) but we wear hard elbow and knee pads and my stoker wears a hockey shirt with built in pads and hip pads as well. Sometimes, staying with the bike isn't all bad (though last night was ) but there is no doubt that clipless offers advantages.

  6. #6
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    I have a barely 1 month used 520's if anyone is interested in buying. $30 shipped

  7. #7
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    After a while you forget you are even riding clipless and unclipping becomes second nature. Any complaints I read today just seem unfounded and ridiculous (XC riding only).
    Killing it with close inspection.

  8. #8
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    The best free advice from a random stranger on the internet - Put them on the bike, set them to a fairly low release point, and find a nice open section of grass (preferably with limited amounts of dog poop) and pedal slowly in circles, figure 8's, come to stops. Make no doubt about it - you will get caught up in them and fall. Learn how to fall on soft grass.

  9. #9
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    Re: Went clipless...

    Glad you like em. My bike came with shimano xtrs. Took those bastards off and sold em to some chump.

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSearchVT View Post
    The best free advice from a random stranger on the internet - Put them on the bike, set them to a fairly low release point, and find a nice open section of grass (preferably with limited amounts of dog poop) and pedal slowly in circles, figure 8's, come to stops. Make no doubt about it - you will get caught up in them and fall. Learn how to fall on soft grass.
    ^ This ^
    From another stranger on the internet, it will fell much better to fall on grass than in does to go down in gravel. I know this now.....
    We have met the enemy, and it is us. Pogo

  11. #11
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    Clipless are good although I've never ridden with platforms. Be aware however that the slower you go, the more chance you have of falling so pay special attention on technical sections of climbs.

  12. #12
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    I'm at that point where I have them here and want to start using them but in 2 weeks we have a riding trip. I'm going to wait till after the trip to start using them.
    I like to fart when I'm in front of you on a climb

  13. #13
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    Had them for 140 miles and haven't feel once.

  14. #14
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    Re: Went clipless...

    Quote Originally Posted by dirtrider76 View Post
    I'm at that point where I have them here and want to start using them but in 2 weeks we have a riding trip. I'm going to wait till after the trip to start using them.
    Just use them. It's really not a big deal but really make the rider feel one with the bike.

    If you get a few rides on before your trip you'll be good to go.

    Take your platforms and a pedal wrench with you just on case.

    Enjoy your trip either way!

    Mike

  15. #15
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    Just remember to give yourself some time to build muscle memory on getting unclipped, and building up your brain to remember to get out naturally. It will become easier.

    Also I like to back off the tension 2 notches on my SPDs as they seem a bit excessively strong from the factory.
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  16. #16
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    I ride mine all the time. The slower tech sections are no problem. You will get so used to clipping out of them you wont even think about it. When I have to dab a foot down I don't even realize I had to get out of them it just happens.
    Some may not believe this but I can put a foot down just as fast as if I was using platforms.
    Bring your bike in the house and hold yourself against the wall and just clip in and out one foot at a time while watching TV to practice. In no time you will be doing it without thinking about it. You don't have to be riding to practice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike123456 View Post
    Clipless are good although I've never ridden with platforms. Be aware however that the slower you go, the more chance you have of falling so pay special attention on technical sections of climbs.

  17. #17
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    practicing on soft grass is great advice. If you don't do this Captain Karma will ensure your hip hits the sharpest rock on the trail when you do go down....

  18. #18
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    Love my clipless, but have to put out fair warning. Keep the tension loose if you have a high probability of wrecking. Used clipless for over 2 years without a single accident, but I got in an one last week (new trail beyond my skill level) and didn't get one foot unclipped. I went one way, the bike went another and my ankle tried to go both. Still black & blue all around the foot with a growing yellow area on top. Once it gets better, going to platform with that foot and riding the wimpy stuff for a couple months just to be safe. Winter time, back to clipless.

  19. #19
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    Soft grass is fine but if you like to do urban rides too then falling over on the pavement or concrete wasn't bad at all really.

    I mean, I did it a number of times. Just stick you butt out in the direction you are falling as far as you can to catch yourself then roll it out.

    No biggie at all...other than looking a bit silly in the moment ha ha.
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  20. #20
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    With Clipless Newbs I always loosen tension all the way, and use Whiteline on the cleats and the pedals (where they contact the cleat). The lube makes clipping in and out at least 2-3x easier.

  21. #21
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    I have shimano 520's and they are cheap and have a ton of good reviews. Plus they have adjustable pedal tension which I think is the most important thing to have on a clipless pedal. I have mine set to the lightest setting and sure they come out sometimes when you don't want them to but it's better then not coming unclipped at all. Been there several times flipping over the handle bars and having my bike come with me. Crashed a few times last year and came right out without even trying with the 520's on the lightest setting. I ride the rocky mountains and you don't want to flip anywhere and have your bike still attached.

  22. #22
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    A couple -o- months later, a few dozen rides..

    I cannot get real fast and smooth at clipping in, no idea why.
    Often a fast single foot unclip to handle a wild step, you know, foot down in a hard turn,
    or a chicken out unclip and I have to ride a bit and 'Hunt and Peck' a few times
    to get that foot clipped back in.

    Looking at candy,,,, or some off road specific pedal,,,

    Love the added control and I can bounce a wild spot and not worry about my feet sliding off a pedal.

    I like clipped :P

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Osco View Post
    A couple -o- months later, a few dozen rides..

    I cannot get real fast and smooth at clipping in, no idea why.
    Often a fast single foot unclip to handle a wild step, you know, foot down in a hard turn,
    or a chicken out unclip and I have to ride a bit and 'Hunt and Peck' a few times
    to get that foot clipped back in.

    Looking at candy,,,, or some off road specific pedal,,,

    Love the added control and I can bounce a wild spot and not worry about my feet sliding off a pedal.

    I like clipped :P
    Should check the cleats on the bottom of you shoes and see if they are clean. Mud builds up and makes it difficult to clip in and out. Also spray your pedals with lube and check the release tension.

  24. #24
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    I had a real bad experience in my last XC race with my spds...
    The race was typical XC, some road, some gravel and some rocky parts. On one of the more gnarly rocky parts I found myself trying to unclip (I thought I was gonna bail... Turns out I was right) my foot turned, but no click... I was fairly moving at this time, too... So, right foot stuck in pedal & head down looking at my foot, doing a fair speed down this trail that feels like a flight of stairs I wipe...


    It went ok, but I couldnt bend down to get my shoe off (cramp) so a track marshall had to do it for me... Just as the Elite rider pool came storming by... I felt like such a fool...

    A bolt had loosened on one of the cleats...

    Moral of the story? Check your shoes pre ride, too. Not just your bike.

  25. #25
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    I use 520s on my XC bike, but not on the DH bike. I like SPDs for covering non technical trail, but had a nasty crash on my old Cyclocross bike earlier this year when using SPDs and a bad case of 'toe overlap' - my food basically got caught in the spokes when I wasn't paying attention. Broke my wrist pretty well.

    It's taken me a long time to get to the point that I am comfortable again on my commute with the clipless, but I really do notice the difference. I'd never use them on the DH bike though.
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  26. #26
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    I went out on a paved path to get used to stopping and unclipping before taking them on the trail. Noticed a difference immediately, have had a few nice falls but that's just part of the fun.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc2211 View Post
    I use 520s on my XC bike, but not on the DH bike. I like SPDs for covering non technical trail, but had a nasty crash on my old Cyclocross bike earlier this year when using SPDs and a bad case of 'toe overlap' - my food basically got caught in the spokes when I wasn't paying attention. Broke my wrist pretty well.

    I did this too on my cross bike! No broken wrist, but I cheese grated my knee on the pavement.

    I was riding in a slow circle talking to some other riders, then then my foot hit my front wheel and stopped me dead, then I went over like a stone. I was on the ground before I even knew what happened.

    That's the only fall I've had with them on the road in 2k miles of riding though.

    I love my clipless on the trail, too, and most of the riding here is rocky, technical XC stuff.

    When I was falling (on grass) while practicing, I found it best to keep my hands on the bars and tuck myself up and let the bike take the hit on the fall. Sticking your arm to catch yourself is only asking for further injury.

    I still fall on the trail occasionally. Last time I was lucky enough to have a pointy rock to break my fall.

    Oh well, you gotta pay to play, and falling is all part of the game.
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  28. #28
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    I went clip-less about a year ago, and did not experience the horror stories so many mention. I used to ride a lot of road as a kid, and was used to being in a cage pedal, so perhaps this helped me. Since moving to a clipped-in pedal, I have gone down a few times as a result of losing traction and was unable to get out in time, but I have been sparred serious injury so far. I find it makes me push to clear a tough climbing section because when you are weighting the pedal and applying torque, it's simply not east to ditch your pedal and twist out. It's like you are committed. Often (almost always) this results in making a section I may have bailed on with the platforms.

    There are times I miss the platforms on extended technical downhill, but I do not ride this stuff often. The other 99% of the time, I prefer the power and bike control of the XTR SPD I use. My 58 year old big brother still prefers Platforms, and he just bought and mailed me a new pair of Teva's. I think he is trying to tell me something. We are riding Cannell Trail next month, and for that, I think I'll put the old Welgo MG's back on. ;-)
    Last edited by trmn8er; 09-26-2014 at 07:32 PM.

  29. #29
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    Went clipless...

    Start with the clips set to release as easy as possible. Firm them up as you need. As someone else mentioned, if you cannot clip in, check to make sure the clip on the bottom of the shoe is centered and tight.

    I think the foot slipping off platform pedals, either to the front (watch out calf) or off the back (here comes a shin gouge) is worse.


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