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  1. #1
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    A few clipless pedal questions?

    Being new to this sport, i tried clipless pedals, shimano 780's and found myself lying on my side more than normal. One ride and i fell 3 times on stuff i would of just put my foot down and stayed up on in the past. I ride mostly single track xc.With flats i can always manage to get a foot on the ground and stay up. But i do see the advantage, especially gong uphill or some sketchy stuff where my feet bounce around. A few ?'s...

    I had them on a road bike prior, is it possible they r just set too tight?
    Are clipless basically standard gear for mountain biking? everyone i see has em.
    Is this just a learning curve? Cause i never had a problem on road

  2. #2
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    The problem is not the clipless but your habit of putting a foot down. Go back to flats and improve your technical riding...develop the confidence/skills to keep your feet planted on the pedals..then go back to clipless....it will take longer to develop your technical skills if you are clipped in and constantly worrying about putting a foot down.

  3. #3
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    I'll try to answer your questions. Just remember, they're just my opinion.

    Hard to tell if they're too tight but I'm thinking if you can unclip from them, they are not too tight.

    Clipless pedals are not standard gear for mountain biking. I know a lot of people who ride flat pedals and they do just fine. I personally ride with clipped pedals and wouldn't ever go the other way. I like being attached to the bike, especially going up or through technical sections. I used to BMX bike years ago and remember being "bucked" off of the pedals.

    I think it is just a learning curve. With flat pedals, you just got used to taking your foot off the pedals any which way and it'd always work. With the clips, you'll always have to step to the side to get them out. On the road, you'll always (ok, not always) be able to look ahead and predict when you're going to remove your foot. On trails, you never know which foot you're going to need to get out. I say stick with it, you'll get it. I had to go through the learning curve (back in the early 90s) with those pedals. Good luck with that.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the input.
    Not really "worried" about getting my foot down, just trying to explain the situations. They were all where i came to an abrupt stop and would of put down a foot regardless to restart. Not crashes by any means, just stuff like front tire didnt clear enough, or had to stop on a steep uphill and kind of a slow fall and my foot just couldnt come out quick enough. all times i fell to the right and seems i just couldnt get the range of movement with the seat jammed in my crotch to twist out. now that i think more about it, Think maybe the seat was a little high too, i lowered it since then

  5. #5
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    Thank Gmat, Kinda thinking the learning curve to twist the heals a part of it

  6. #6
    DLd
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    That's it. Just ride around your neighborhood clicking in and out for about 5 minutes a couple of nights. You just have to learn a new habit. Twisting your heel out instead of lifting up. The more you practice it, the quicker it will happen without even having to think about it.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
    "Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion."-Jack Kerouac

  7. #7
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    i fell off my bike because I could not unclip the first few times I rode clipless. then someone showed me the magic screw on the pedal that loosens it to unclip more easily and I was fine after that. I can only think of one time I have crashed since then when I might have come away from it unscathed if I could have clipped out more easily since then. on the other hand, i probably could have slipped off a lot of descents and not cleaned a lot of hills with platform pedals over the past few years.

    my advice- get some good platforms and hone your tech riding skills and alternate some clipless pedals into easier trails. the two skills and riding styles will meet in the middle somewhere.

  8. #8
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    With adjustable clipless pedals, I think the correct tension is the loosest one that you don't pull out of by accident. I like my Time ATAC Aliums because they don't require me to make a decision.

    I think clipless pedals can help a smooth mountain biker be faster and smoother. But you're finding the problem they present to a rider who's putting his foot down a lot. Which can include me on some trails!

    Can you wheelie (at least somewhat, I can't actually hit my balance point myself) and bunny hop with flat pedals? If no, switch back, work on that and generally smoothing out your technique, and then try the clipless pedals again and see if it works better for you.

    To some extent, it also just takes a little more commitment. Probably part of why it makes smooth riders smoother and less smooth riders fall more.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  9. #9
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    try using the SH56 cleats.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickjr View Post
    ...

    I had them on a road bike prior, is it possible they r just set too tight?
    Are clipless basically standard gear for mountain biking? everyone i see has em.
    Is this just a learning curve? Cause i never had a problem on road
    ... Possilbly. You can make them loose with and adjustment. Plus new pedals are tighter than used ones. They do need to be broken in.


    Standard gear... Not really, but most XC riders use them, but alot of DH types don't.

    Learning curve... yes... everyone Will fall using clipless pedals. It happens to 100% of the people. In time you learn how to unclip and you fall over less and less. Experience riders will flat over not being clipped very rarely. Those still learning may fall over 5-6 times in a ride. Best to ride easier terrain first.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  11. #11
    local trails rider
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    Using clipless pedals is just like walking...

    ... in the sense that it is a learned skill.
    Just having the equipment won't do. You need to work at learning to use the equipment. Clipping in and out a few hundred times would be a good start. Many prefer to do the repeats in a place where they cannot fall, or where nobody can see if they fall

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  12. #12
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    I have been riding clipless for almost a year. I still fall when coming to a stop every once in a while. I am having a hard time with the tension adjustment. If I make them tight enough that my feet don't pop out on rough downhill sections, I can't always unclip when I have to stop short. I just can't seem to find a happy middle ground.
    I tend to keep them a bit on the firmer side. Falling over when stopped is not as painful as falling at full speed when a foot comes flying off the pedals without warning.

  13. #13
    Just Ride
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    crash harder. Seriously, if you crash hard enough your feet will be knocked out of the pedals from the force of the wreck. At least that's been my experience. If I get hung up on a root the bike will fall over with me still attached. If I have time to think "twist" then I can't get out. However the few times I've gone otb my feet have somehow managed to find their way out of the pedals on their own. No thought from me.
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

  14. #14
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    I rode clipless for a couple of years and there was definitely a learning curve. The first few months especially I had some falls due to not being able to get my foot off the pedal. The skill eventually become second nature though.

    I've recently made the switch back to flats to work on enhancing my bike handling skills and it's made a big difference, never really realized how much I relied on being attached to the bike. I'd recommend getting some good flat pedals and some 5-10s and riding with those until you're confident in your abilities and then if you still feel the desire for clipless go for it.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickjr View Post
    Being new to this sport, i tried clipless pedals, shimano 780's and found myself lying on my side more than normal. One ride and i fell 3 times on stuff i would of just put my foot down and stayed up on in the past. I ride mostly single track xc.With flats i can always manage to get a foot on the ground and stay up. But i do see the advantage, especially gong uphill or some sketchy stuff where my feet bounce around. A few ?'s...

    I had them on a road bike prior, is it possible they r just set too tight?Yup you bet slack the shimano pedals of to minimum
    Are clipless basically standard gear for mountain biking? everyone i see has em.
    Is this just a learning curve? Cause i never had a problem on road
    Shoe interference is often a problem....check closely looking at the sole as you remove the shoe from the pedal with your hand...

    Remember heel out and down...

    I suspect that if you have used cleats before....

    Then the problem is the pedal/shoe not the rider.

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