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Thread: Clip in pedals?

  1. #1
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    Clip in pedals?

    Do most of the Mt. bikers prefer the Clip in pedals compaired to the clips and the regular pedals? I have Clip in's right now and I find that I have to slow down quite a bit around turns with my feet clipped in. Does anyone clip out when going downhill?

  2. #2
    College Boy
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    what are you saying exactly. Clip in pedal? if by that you mean clipless then yes most perfer clipless.

    Do you require to have a cleat attact to a biking shoe then those are known as clipless pedals.

  3. #3
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    Yeah, the terminology of "clipless" pedals is somewhat confusing.

    Toe clips are a nightmare and you should graduate from them ASAP. You're better off with either some form of clipless pedals or learning in flats. You can certainly do either one. I've been riding clipless for a long time but I'm buying some platforms to build some different skills.

  4. #4
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    I have clipless pedals and I feel that they kind of slow me down on turns as I want to put my foot out to have more balance. Being clipped in kindof prevents me from taking my foot out.

    Do you ride downhill with your shoes clipped in?

  5. #5
    College Boy
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    I hate ridding down hills not clipped. I feel a lot more stable on my bike and I can take bumps with out being thown from the bike.

    And why would your foot be out going down hill since general speaking you should be standing up going down hill.

    As for turns again it the same thing it just easier to turn at higher speeds cliped in. For balance it takes just adjusting you upper body. Your foot sticking out is more of a mental thing than anythign else.
    As for falls I unclip and get off them as easily as I would flats. Now toe clips slow me down.

  6. #6
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    Get more practice clipping in and out. That way you will be able to put your foot down and then get back into the pedals. You're just not comfortable riding clipless yet, the nervous feeling on downhills will go away. Unless you're riding really, really technical downhills, there isn't a reason to not be clipped in.

    Riding downhill on clipless pedals without being clipped in is going to be much worse than being clipped in. Most clipless pedals don't have a big enough platform to ride without being clipped in.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bail_Monkey
    I have clipless pedals and I feel that they kind of slow me down on turns as I want to put my foot out to have more balance. Being clipped in kindof prevents me from taking my foot out.

    Do you ride downhill with your shoes clipped in?

  7. #7
    College Boy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jkuo
    Get more practice clipping in and out. That way you will be able to put your foot down and then get back into the pedals. You're just not comfortable riding clipless yet, the nervous feeling on downhills will go away. Unless you're riding really, really technical downhills, there isn't a reason to not be clipped in.

    Riding downhill on clipless pedals without being clipped in is going to be much worse than being clipped in. Most clipless pedals don't have a big enough platform to ride without being clipped in.
    Jkou right and soon that nevrous going down will be replace by you feeling more comfortable clip in going down hills than if you where not clip in. Hell on technical sections I feel much better clip in than not. It just easier to move the back of the bike around when you can do it with your feet.

    I know this is the case for me. I feel much better clip in doing anthing than I do when I am unclip.

  8. #8
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    I think that clipless pedals can take a fair bit of time to get used to for a mountain biker. I just started riding clipless this season, and have had a few "clipless moments", with some bruises and scrapes to show for it. I can see the advantages to the pedals, I just need to gain the confidence with them. I think you need to give them a chance, and get used to them. You will probably wonder why you ever wanted to clip out on a downhill once you are used to them!

    As for me, I am going to take my own advice.....

  9. #9
    College Boy
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    Quote Originally Posted by DVrider
    I think that clipless pedals can take a fair bit of time to get used to for a mountain biker. I just started riding clipless this season, and have had a few "clipless moments", with some bruises and scrapes to show for it. I can see the advantages to the pedals, I just need to gain the confidence with them. I think you need to give them a chance, and get used to them. You will probably wonder why you ever wanted to clip out on a downhill once you are used to them!

    As for me, I am going to take my own advice.....
    dont worry you will get it down it just takes some time. Rememeber that everyone has dummie fall moments when learning clipless. I know I sure as hell did. By the end of the season you will the confidence of being able to always get out of the pedals.
    Now something that push me over the edge in knowing I had them down and boosted my confidence in the pedals. I end up clipping a tree and going over my bars. I landed a good 10 ft from my bike which was still at the tree. I knew then that I had them down pat.

    Some times it just takes you to one of those unexpected moments where you after force to unclip unexpectly and when you pull that off you now you have it.

    It gets really sweet when you can unclip in an quite emergcy tap the ground and clip right back in. I end up doing that a few weeks ago when I was flying down a hill. I a turn I went up tipping uncliped kick the ground to say up and clip right back in and kept pedaling all in one quite motion.
    The only learning curve you ever run into again is when ever you replace your shoes you might have to adjust a iittle to the new cleat placement and getting down exactly where it is.

  10. #10
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    I'd agree with all the previous comments. I ride downhill and XC and a bit of everything in between and I'd always prefer to be clipped in. It does hurt at first cause you WILL have a few SPD moments, no question, but its definately worth persevering.

    The most important thing is choice of pedals and pedal setup (if you use SPD's). I use Time pedals which suit me and dont require any adjustment, although I seem to remember that you can flip the cleats round to make them release more easily. If you do have pedals with adjustment then you want to make sure they are set quite loose when you start out so you can release easily.

    Stick with it, its worth it.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the info guys. I guess that I'll eventually get over the nervousness as I bike more often. I'm not a total newb at Mt. biking, but I was never an avid rider. I'll be riding more often this summer to lose 5 lbs.

    The thing that I'm most worried about is going around a turn and the front tire sliding out due to sandy/loose soil conditions. (NorCal trails) When this happens, I'm basically afraid of wiping out and want to put my out just in case I can't control the bike. (I have the scars to prove that I've wiped out enough over the years)

    I try to take the best line as well, starting outside and cut in towards the inside edge of the turn. Guess I'll keep practicing until I feel more comfortable being clipped in.
    "Don't ride faster than your guardian angel can fly"

  12. #12
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    i ride clipless and i ride dh/fr... never had a problem bailing or putting a foot down when i'm sliding... here's a vid of me in one of my crashes. I was clipped in. After a while, clipping out is jsut second nature and even on platforms i kick my heels out...

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  13. #13
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    We've all been there. Best to get yourself some lightweight arm and leg pads. Loads of people wear them now for trail riding so you shouldnt feel out of place. They dont weigh much and once you get used to them you hardly notice they're there. Also consider tyre choice, possibly run a bigger width front than you normally would, preferably something with large side knobs, and maybe run at a slightly lower pressure too.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bail_Monkey
    Thanks for the info guys. I guess that I'll eventually get over the nervousness as I bike more often. I'm not a total newb at Mt. biking, but I was never an avid rider. I'll be riding more often this summer to lose 5 lbs.

    The thing that I'm most worried about is going around a turn and the front tire sliding out due to sandy/loose soil conditions. (NorCal trails) When this happens, I'm basically afraid of wiping out and want to put my out just in case I can't control the bike. (I have the scars to prove that I've wiped out enough over the years)

    I try to take the best line as well, starting outside and cut in towards the inside edge of the turn. Guess I'll keep practicing until I feel more comfortable being clipped in.
    I recommend taking your time getting used to clipless pedals & don't push your technical abilities too much until you can clip out without thinking about how you're doing it. I spent last year on platforms learning to wheelie & jumping obstacles. This year I started out with clipless thinking I could pick up where I left off last year. I bruised my hip when a wheelie went bad. Painful, but I could still ride. Then I cracked a rib while trying to jump a log. The Dr. says if I have another crash before the rib heals, I could puncture a lung. So now I'm restricted to fire roads & pavement for another month & a half.

    Even if you had the skills with platforms, ratchet back the technical until the clipless are 2nd nature. To quote Dirty Harry, "A man's got to know his limitations."
    Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.... (Ecclesiastes 9:10)

  15. #15
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    I decided to go with clipless peddles pretty soon after I started mountain biking. I actually feel SAFER with my feet attached to the bike... Before, I had problems with my feet slipping off the peddles during choppy downhills. I'm sure my skill level also had a lot to do with that, but after I flew face first into a pile of rocks after my foot slipped off the peddle, I decided to go for clipless.

    I, too, used to worry about my ability to unclip during a fall, but have since become amazed at my feet's instinctual ability to disattach themselves when they need to. Overcoming fears, such as sliding on sandy corners, is one of the most important ways that you can facilitate your own skill improvement...in my opinion. Maybe try to focus on maintaining your traction and form, rather than imagining the possibility of wiping. With a simple twist of your foot, it should take less then a second to unclip...as they say, practice makes perfect.

  16. #16
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    Thanks for the info guys... I'll continue to practice...

    Mr Per, that's one nasty wipeout. It's nice to laugh about the rim and not be injured...
    "Don't ride faster than your guardian angel can fly"

  17. #17
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    Hey man.
    I read with interest about your fear of washing out the front end on the loose stuff. I suggest that a change in cornering technique will help with this.
    If you are wasing out the front then you need to get more weight onto the front wheels. Sounds counter-intuitive I know, but it works. What you need to do is get your head down (and your bum up) low over the bars with your elbows up and out and bent. Rather than putting too much weight on the front tire, this will bring you overall weight into the middle of the bike and create a balanced ride. To turn the corner, stand on your outside pedal with your inside knee pointing out and keeping your weight centered, push down on the bars to lean the bike. This way you stay balanced, as your body serves as a counterweight. If the front wheel does slide usually the back will follow and generally the back will step slightly more on a well set-up bike. If it goes all the way you have plenty of time to unclip your inside foot and put it down. On the occasions when the bike has really got away from me I've ended up doing big slides with my inside foot dragging along the ground throwing up stones and looking cool. Practice by riding along flat grass or dirt at speed, flicking your weight sideways and locking the back wheel. Try to do a 180. If you can do the whole thing still clipped in then your balance is sweet. Most likely you will ned to unclip, but I often finish a sweet bit of downhill by doing a very agressive slide turn, unclipping and sliding along backwards. It's easy, but newbies think it is the bomb.
    If none of this makes any sense then get on youtube and search nathan rennie. His riding style is superb, so just copy that.
    Posting on the basis that ignorance shared is ignorance doubled.

  18. #18
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    Post note:
    Further to my previous comments, cornering with your inside foot out was a good idea when downhill races took place on gravel roads with long sweeping corners, but these days it is seldom necessary as it takes way too long to relocate your foot and shift your weight for the next corner. Stay clipped in and commit!
    Posting on the basis that ignorance shared is ignorance doubled.

  19. #19
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    Note: You'll find a wide variety of opinions on this subject here as it's a matter of personal preference.

    Personally I ride clipless pedals and I don't take my feet out for going downhill. I find that my climbing efficiency is greatly improved with them and I can throw the bike around with my feet when I'm coming down the technical stuff.

    It does take a while to get used to and I've had some falls that could have been avoided had I not been clipped in. That being said I feel the pros have more than made up for the cons.

    When you're first starting on them be sure and set the tension quite low so that you can easily "clip" in and out. As your confidence builds on them increase the tension to a comfortable setting.

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