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 18 of 18

Thread: Clipless pedals

  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    38

    Clipless pedals

    How long does it take to get confident with clipless pedals? I am loving them on the climbs but downhill all I can think about is how much its going to hurt when I can't get out of the pedals and go down. I think my downhill is significantly slower but I only have about 5 rides with them so I figure I will give them a fair chance and hopefully it will become second nature getting out of them.

  2. #2
    It's all about the FSR!
    Reputation: Heavy Fluid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    446
    Give it some time, and it will become like a second nature to you. Unclipping will happen without you even thinking of it. Do you have SPD pedals? You could always get some of the multi-release cleats until you are more comfortable with them, and then swap back to the regular ones. Also, be sure to check the tension, and set it loose if you need it.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: pattongb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    590
    Im about in the same boat, except I havent actually put them on my bike yet.

    I have been counting the number of times I would have to "release" every time I ride, and I find its still in the 5 - 10 range. I figure starting out that will equate into at least 5 falls a ride when im getting used to them (clipless). Im not sure im ready for that. Dont get me wrong I know falling is part of riding, but 5 - 10 times? No thanks.

    I will need to buck up and try it though. I find my toes hitting the ground a lot as my feet naturally move up on the pedals. Being 'clipped in' will help eliminate this issue.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    17
    The key is to not think about how much it is going to hurt. Practice track stands in your yard. Not only will this help you with fast un-clips, you will also work on your balance skills. You will fall a few times, but confidence will come soon. I have been riding clipped in for 14 years. The only falls I have had due to being clipped have been in my driveway or doing track stands.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    38
    I do have SPD pedals. What are the multi-release cleats? I will have to check them out. I think its more mental than anything. With my platforms I would just go like crazy and not worry about what would happen should I go down but being attached to the bike has got me all screwed up in the head. Maybe I need to see a shrink or be hypnotized to get over this. I am sure it will get better. Thanks for the info

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: HighLife420's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    646
    Takes a bit, not to long...everyone is different...however, ive always said if i can do something for 2 weeks, you can do it forever.

    When i first got clipless, i practiced clipping in and out. I went out on the lawn, got on my bike and clipped in all the while, holding on to a tree to keep from falling. I would let go and practice clipping out before i hit the ground. I hit the lawn maybe a dozen or so times before i figured out where the release point is and how much pressure it will take to do so.

  7. #7
    It's all about the FSR!
    Reputation: Heavy Fluid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    446
    http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/164...p=090%20SHI567

    Your local bike shop may have these in stock as well.

  8. #8
    Some Dude
    Reputation: ccs1676's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    239
    I went clipless about a week ago for the first time on a pretty technical trail. Probably not a good idea, but I made it. I did fall over a couple times, but only when stopped and it was not a big deal. Rock gardens seem to give me the most pause. I have SPD M520s set as loose as it gets. After a couple rides it's second nature like so many people have said. I was hesitant about going clipless but figured I might as well try it. Not hard to switch out pedals if I wanted to.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    389
    I have been on clipless pedals now for two rides. I dove right in and learned to ride them in the mud...during a race. Haha! Needless to say I fell a few times. I feel comfortable in them now though.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    23
    When I started out, I rode around the lawn for a while, practicing falling. Then when I got on the trails, I padded up.

    Wearing pads changed everything confidence wise. By the end of my 1st ride I was getting the hang of it. By 5 rides or so I was pretty proficient.

    I've had 4 set of clipless through the years. I've found for myself that pedals with a decent amount of float release more quickly for me.

    I'm currently on 3yr old Time Atac Aliums. They aren't the lightest, but they are really tough. Most importantly they are just as easy to clip out of as they are to clip into.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    144
    Time atac's are awesome, they have more float it's good for the knees and feel a bit more secure being able to move a bit more without releasing.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    52
    I decided to get back on the bike after a ten year hiatus, and I was a little worried how I would do with my old Time Atac's. Well, I was pleasantly surprised that it was second nature for me. Clipping in or out did not even require any thought. I guess it's like riding a bike.........with clipless pedals, you don't forget.

  13. #13
    T.W.O.
    Reputation: mimi1885's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    7,913
    Quote Originally Posted by CoffeeRoaster View Post
    The key is to not think about how much it is going to hurt. Practice track stands in your yard. Not only will this help you with fast un-clips, you will also work on your balance skills. You will fall a few times, but confidence will come soon. I have been riding clipped in for 14 years. The only falls I have had due to being clipped have been in my driveway or doing track stands.
    This is a great advice Practicing track stand is not so much that you can get out of the pedal quickly, but it teaches you not to panic when things get hairly. Most crashes due to clipless usually happen when the rider panic and things start to take a domino effect. It teaches you that you can always find that extra second to unclip

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    113
    I switched over to SPD's a week ago & I think the way I ramped up to them seemed to work pretty nicely so far. I use the M-324 pedals which have platforms on one side & clipless on the other so that any time I can't get clipped in or don't want to be clipped in I've still got a nice stable platform to fall back on.

    Before riding: Sit in my garage between the cars clipping & unclipping each foot 'til it seemed easy.
    First Ride: 10 miles on the easiest least technical trail I know to get used to being connected to the bike.
    2nd Ride: 8 miles of a slightly more technical trail with a few more terrain changes & things to get used to. Stopped frequently to get used to the idea of unclipping before stopping instead of after tipping over.
    3rd Ride: 7 mile advanced trail with a group of friends, any time we hit a steep hill, nasty rock garden, or otherwise scary section, I'd unclip & ride the flats.
    4th ride: The same 7 mile advanced, this time solo where I could take my time & insisted on staying clipped in everywhere.

    Put 'em all together & I now feel pretty comfortable with 'em. Adjusted the tension to where I didn't feel any lateral strain kicking my heel out to unclip. This holds me nicely to the pedal but lets me out easily when and if I need to bail. I went down probably 4 times between all those rides, and one was because I actually got too cocky feeling more secure than on flats & went WAYYY too fast on a downhill section with some tight turns, locked up the rear brake around a curve & the bike slid out from under me. I was definitely not going too slow...that's for sure. And from each of these spills I can tell you, the pedals unclip before it hurts your foot or ankle any worse than just a regular spill, and you'll only fall at low speeds until you get in the habit of unclipping when you stop. Stick with it, you'll get used to 'em.

  15. #15
    CT3
    CT3 is offline
    Hoodwink
    Reputation: CT3's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    221
    get the multi release cleat if you are riding shimano (sh56) i did that and clipping out couldnt be any easier i still clip out the normal way but when i dont i get stuck on a rock or a root my moment still going forward my foot comes out and i catch myself. ive fallen twice in the parking lot in front my friend in slow timber motion it was quite hilarious with the sh 51 i quit after that day. then i went multirelease a month later after buying a ncie pair of flats now not being used confidence growth was exponential only took 1 trail ride to get confident.

    with the multirelease you can release in any direction. dont worry about coming out while pedaingl its never happened to me. (it can be released from pulling on the rear)

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: pattongb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    590
    CT3 thanks for the advice! I will grab a set of those!

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    17
    same boat man. climbing must be a breeze, but i dont want to think about rolling around with my bike attached to me.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    84
    AZ, how long have you been riding and why are you interested in going clipless. The best thing you can do is stay on flats and learn how to ride, have fun and forget about going clipless if it is going to take the fun away. Read articles from guys like James Wilson, Gene Hamilton or Better ride.org about the advantages and disadvantages of clipless vs flats. Don't go clipless because someone told you that is what you should do. We are not roadies and we don't spend out time spinning at 80-90 rpm where clipless might give you a real advantage. Just my take on clipless. I did the clipless thing for a year, from everyday stuff to racing for a year and went back to flats and 5-10's and brought the fun back. Let the flaming begin.
    Still learning how to keep the rubber side down.

Similar Threads

  1. My first day with clipless pedals
    By Hopping_Rocks in forum Beginner's Corner
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 05-31-2009, 07:16 PM
  2. which clipless pedals and shoes for clipless newb?
    By jeepinmike in forum Apparel and Protection
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 06-27-2007, 01:47 PM
  3. Pedals: BMX to Clipless
    By madzane in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11-09-2005, 10:25 AM
  4. clipless pedals
    By tenbsmith in forum Clydesdales/Tall Riders
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 10-10-2005, 05:40 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •