1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
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    Almost Killed Myself Yesterday...

    well, not really, but I took my new Klein Atttitude out for its first true trail riding experience. We have a pretty technical, pretty rooty, pretty twisty singletrack trail here in the Golden Isles - it's a 4.5 mile loop and I would classify it as at least moderately difficult. I clipped in and went on my way, but I just didn't feel confident being clipped. I was sort of freaked out in spots and worried I might kill myself if I couldn't get out of the pedals. Is this normal? I love my clipless on the road, but I'm still nervous about using them on the trail. I'm pretty athletic (an old skateboarder), so I figure I will get more confident in time. I realize clipless should actually HELP me in tough sections, but it sort of freaks me out at this juncture. Is this normal? Should I just clip in and go for broke, or should I ride on my platforms (as I did yesterday) until I feel more confident?

    w

  2. #2
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    Cliplesses can be scary at first, no question and it takes everyone some gettin used to at first. You just clip in and ride lol. Riding on the platforms wont help you with being comfortable with the clipless, the only wat is to try it. I wud suggest trying a less technical track until u feel confident on it, then work your way up (go for a track you kno well). Also practice clippin in and out on the road so you kno that you can if u get into a rough spot. And if you can adjust the release you might wanna consider making it a little easier to clip out (not to much or your ruin the experience lol). But dont worry, being clipped in on rough terrain can be nerve-racking when ur startin out on clipless, you just gota get a little confidence with em first.

  3. #3
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    I've had the clipless for a couple of weeks now. Only been able to get out on the trails a few times.. I sometimes chicken out and unclip if I see an iffy section coming up and think I might need a foot down in a hurry. Probably not what I should be doing, but it's what I am doing, though I am trying to drop the fear and get over it. I love how they feel when I'm cruising along, but those iffy sections still make me second guess things.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by willx45x
    I realize clipless should actually HELP me in tough sections, but it sort of freaks me out at this juncture. Is this normal? Should I just clip in and go for broke, or should I ride on my platforms (as I did yesterday) until I feel more confident?

    w

    i can't imagine riding on a technical trail without clipless pedals. I'd be "sort of freaked out in spots and worried I might kill myself if I couldn't" keep my feet firmly attached to the pedals. Seriously, last time i rode without clipless pedals, my foot popped off the pedal on the first bump. I thought I was gonna nail my u-know-whats on the TT.

    really, you just need to ride them more and you will love them. if your pedals have a tension adjustment, set it to the minimum and choose easier trails until your confidence builds up.

  5. #5
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    Yea, I agree wit Phil. Once you get used to em, there amazing and i think its tough going back. It was the same wit me, I was worried about clipless.. because it feels so restricting, not like the normal platforms, but once you get used to it u'll love it. Not much I can say, jus ride (golden rule for everything in biking lol). Work your way up and dont worry about falling. You just gota practice and after a while it will feel soo natural, at least that happened to me. And if u really dont need clipless, dont use em. I mean if you never had a prob wit platforms and clipless is really not workin for u, stop using em. Give em a little chance to break em in first tho, since u already have em.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
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    best advise from a shop guy was something like "you have to just go for it". meaning, when you're clipped in, dont freak out, dont back out, don't panic and try to get out. charge it. whatever it is, charge it. assuming the trail isn't a dead end off a cliff...

    otherwise, practice heel in & out. practice bike handling on the street while clipped in; bunny hops, wheelies, up & over, tail whip, etc. practicing the bike handling while clipped in in a safe environment should help you on the trail with the muscle memory and confidence. there's more than a few occassions where being clipped in and literally yanking your bike around with your feet will keep you up. as opposed to trying to brake and put your foot down in the rough. unless you prefer twisted ankles and crushed nuts.

    and if you must, unclip prior to known difficult sections. but the thing about that is you have much less traction and grip on the pedal. ie., much less stability and confidence.

  7. #7
    Baron of Gray Matter
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    Don't feel bad about it, you'll learn in time. A friend of mine who was an experienced mtn biker had a bad crash in a creek bed. Then for a while after that he would always unclip when he came to technical terrain. He was just spooked a little. It just takes time to be comfortable on them.
    "Oh Dear, I've been redorkulated."
    Prof. Frink.

  8. #8
    ~I Ride In Circles ~
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    When I started riding clipless I felt the same way. Some sections freaked me out because I wasn't sure if I could get out in time. I would chicken out and unclip and dab and such. After a while I realized I wasn't thinking about my pedals any more. My feet just found the right spot and I would clip in without any thought. Same with uncliping... Now when I ride if I get knocked around I come out of the pedals faster than ever. I don't worry about it any more. It comes with time, so keep practicing and you'll get it.
    [SIZE=3]
    ~ it's all good ~
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  9. #9
    Going for a ride......
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    Yep it's normal. I still do it - mainly on stuff that's a bit beyond my ability anyway. But yeah it's definitely confidence inspiring the times that you do decide to give it a go and nail it.

    It's also a great feeling when you have a near stack and the foot that's supposed to just unclips without even any though and save the crash for another day. Absolutely fantastic!

    I guess it's all about confidence & building it up, like so many things in life are.
    energetix



  10. #10
    Cookin' in AZ
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    You can get some pads to wear (Knee, Elbow) which can help your confidence (knowing that you will not break anything) if you fall. As you get better you can ditch the pads, or not.
    This space intentionally left blank

  11. #11
    Know any good trails?
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    My advice is much like what others have said, but from a slightly different angle:

    Try to stop thinking about it. Focus on finding the best line. Your brain and body will take care of your feet if and when you need them to. Just let go....

    May sound cheesy, but I remind myself occasionally when I start over thinking anything (am I going too fast? am I going to make this climb? how dang long is this hill!?!? what time is it? is that chick checking me out? ...)

    HTH
    Me: "You're welcome to sleep over here in the A/C."
    Her: "I appreciate the offer, but I will just sleep in the tent."

  12. #12
    code monkey
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    My problem with being clipped in where I ride is the mass amounts of sand where I live. The closest trail to me has varying amounts of sand, some pretty packed, other parts it feels like a beach. Welcome to Florida

    When I'm out, I'm pretty confident clipped in up until the beach-like sections. They are, at least to me, massively unpredictable. No matter what line I pick, no matter how high or low of a gear, or what speed I take it at, half the time the wheels just slide out from under me. When this happens I don't have time to unclip, so I've taken some pretty bad spills this way.

    I'm not sure if I'm just approaching the really sandy sections the wrong way, or if I'm right to unclip and brace for impact.

  13. #13
    Know any good trails?
    Reputation: Ouchies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sirmalloc
    My problem with being clipped in where I ride is the mass amounts of sand where I live. The closest trail to me has varying amounts of sand, some pretty packed, other parts it feels like a beach. Welcome to Florida

    When I'm out, I'm pretty confident clipped in up until the beach-like sections. They are, at least to me, massively unpredictable. No matter what line I pick, no matter how high or low of a gear, or what speed I take it at, half the time the wheels just slide out from under me. When this happens I don't have time to unclip, so I've taken some pretty bad spills this way.

    I'm not sure if I'm just approaching the really sandy sections the wrong way, or if I'm right to unclip and brace for impact.
    Search the site for some more pointers for riding sand.

    Basically, I just drop gears (sometimes LOTS of gears) get way back on the seat (or even off and behind the seat) and imagine gliding through/over the sand with the front tire.
    Me: "You're welcome to sleep over here in the A/C."
    Her: "I appreciate the offer, but I will just sleep in the tent."

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