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.
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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.
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  1. #1
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    First Clipless Pedal Ride

    Well, I went clipless for the first time yesterday, and I didn't do to bad. Fell over 5 times only.

    Mud was a factor yesterday, but trails had some trees down as well that cause me some problems. My only real problem so fair is trying to get my left foot clipped back in once I get going. And trying to clip back in on a slight uphill grade is a pain as well!

    Went with Shimano 520 pedals and Exustar shoes off of Nashbar I caught on sale last week.

  2. #2
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    Make sure the shoes don't interfer with the cleats...sometimes they do....

    Set cleats to lowest tension...also easier to clip in...

    You don't have to clip in right away.....just keep pedaling....often you won't even notice when it actually clips in.

  3. #3
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    Yeah, I have them turned all the way down for easy clip in/out. Why I went with the Shimanos as opposed to the Time pedals with the ATAC. Didn't know how 'easy' those would be to start in since they have no adjustment. Going back at it again this weekend. Can only get better I guess!

  4. #4
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    Yes you can pedal without being clipped in. I often will clip in one foot and start pedaling hard and keep pushing until the other pedal locks in.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  5. #5
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    Be sure to adjust the tension screw on both sides of each pedal.
    When I first got those pedals I only adjusted one of the two screws on each pedal and it was not good. lol

    When I first got mine I found a soft grassy hill to lean onto and practice dismounting and falling to see how best to handle the bike and shoes.

  6. #6
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    Been awhile since I got to experience a new guy on clipless pedals. Thanks Jason .

    You get to the point that they just become automatic pretty quickly.

    Other Shimano riders. Do the Shimano pedals take a few rides to break in? I only have experience with Time pedals and I know they loosened up a bit after a couple rides.

  7. #7
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    My shimano pedals get looser over the first 10 rides but not in a bad way.

  8. #8
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    haha Matt. It wasns't to bad. I like the adjustable tension. Went riding around on them in the neighborhood yesterday for a bit. Hopefully in a few more rides I can start tightening down the tension.

  9. #9
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    I went clipless a few weeks ago, went with the shimano 540's and shimano m87 shoe, only problem ive had so far is no being able to slide my foot around to controll the bike in the air, coming from a bmx background to mtb im very comfotable with a bike in the air but the clipless feel a little restictive in a jumping sense

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sayers133 View Post
    I went clipless a few weeks ago, went with the shimano 540's and shimano m87 shoe, only problem ive had so far is no being able to slide my foot around to controll the bike in the air, coming from a bmx background to mtb im very comfotable with a bike in the air but the clipless feel a little restictive in a jumping sense
    I found that moving the clip on the shoes left or right help some; it moves your feet further away from the center of the bike.
    Also, I recently switched to a clipless peddle that also has a platform around it, combined with some new shoes that have regular shoe bottoms plus the clip recessed into the tread.
    These new shoes and pedals let me unclip in advance, while keeping a sure peddle feeling but I can move my feet wherever I want for the up-coming turn or jump etc.

  11. #11
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    I remember the first time I rode with clipless: I only fell over once and that was at the first break of my ride, when I was too exhausted to pull the cleats out . I later got smart and adjusted the tension to make it easier to pull the shoes out in case you have to bail quickly.

  12. #12
    eb5
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    I went clipless for the first time 3 weeks ago and rode fine until I went OTB on steep roller. I bruised my ribs and sprained my wrist. I've had better success the past few rides but still need some more work.

  13. #13
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    It just takes time. After a while you forget about clipping in and out. You just do it. I had mine set very loose because I was also working on my mtb skills so I was crashing alot more. Since then I've tighten them up but I've never had a crash where my feet didn't unclip.(knock on wood)

    Sometimes mud and dirt get in the way of clipping in. It's funny when that happens because you can really tell when someone is having trouble clipping in.
    Mountain Biking is not a hobby. It's a lifestyle.

  14. #14
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    Don't give up... remember it took you a while to learn to ride a bike, it'll take some time to change how you've spent the last few decades riding it.

    I'm still a noob when it comes to clipless and last weekend I had a new experience. Unclipping with the chain off. I had to transition from a steep downhill to a steep uphill, I shifted into a granny gear and must have slipped the chain somehow. Well after about 10 pedal strokes I realized that I was never going to catch the chain, and so I tipped over. Atleast I fell uphill (to the left) instead of downhill (to the right).

    Funny part was that I landed in a huge patch of hitchhikers. Those are those little balls of velcro like hooks that attach themselves to any piece of cloth or leg hair.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonScottCarter View Post
    Yeah, I have them turned all the way down for easy clip in/out. Why I went with the Shimanos as opposed to the Time pedals with the ATAC. Didn't know how 'easy' those would be to start in since they have no adjustment. Going back at it again this weekend. Can only get better I guess!
    A ton of ppl use Shimanos and swear by them. Tried and true performers. That said, i started clippless with SPD's and adjusting tension seemed to cause unexpected clipping out when i had the tension where i wanted it. I didn't feel comfortable with them tighter though. In the mud, they were horrible to get in and worse out. I think the multi release cleats are a bandaid fix as well.

    I then went with Time Atac's. I found they don't need the adjustment. After about 10 rides the brass cleats get even easier. If you really wanted adjustment, you just need the Roc ATAC S version or higher. Its only the Aluim and base model Roc that doesn't adjust.

    Either way, just give the pedals time to get used to them and you will probably enjoy the added power and the feeling of being connected to your bike.

  16. #16
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    I went Clipless today for the first time.. and I don't think it went well.... fell 3 or 4 times, I have bruise collar bone(being positive) I think I still need to break them in and hopefully get easier.. I adjusted the pedals to the easiest position and I still think It wasn't that easy when I needed.. I have mix feelings.. I think I should be patient
    Gera
    Specialized HR 29er

  17. #17
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    However I forgot to add.. That I was able to up small hills that they were giving me problems before..
    Gera
    Specialized HR 29er

  18. #18
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    Give it time. You will get more confidence.

  19. #19
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    When I first rode clipless back in 96 I remember being very scared of them. Some planning ahead while coming to a stop for the first few rides helps a lot. After a while they become second nature though, and you may find regular pedals feel insecure once youre used to clipless.

    Ive always found that in most crash situations you come right out of them without even trying, OTB included. The only direction they dont seem to release is looping out backwards from a wheelie. Ive ended up on my butt with the bike attached on top of me a few times this way. Wheelies and clipless is risky lol.

  20. #20
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    when i switched, i practiced in the soccer field across the street from the house. nice, thick, soft grass to fall in- and i did, several times. all i did was practice trackstands and wheelies yeah, i fell a bunch of times in the hour i was over there, but when i took em out on the trails, i did a 20 mile day and came off the bike once- and that was because i got sketchy on an elevated bridge that was beyond my skill level and not because i was clipped in.

    stick with it and you'll catch on real quick. it gets to be second nature in a hurry.
    If you arent bleeding, you arent riding hard enough.
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  21. #21
    Formerly mtbnoobadam
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    Stick with it and unclipping will become second nature. I also found that a little grease in the bindings of my 520's makes clipping in and out much smoother.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bubbles
    That depends. Can you go fvck yourself?

  22. #22
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    Practice track stands in the grass and intentionally let yourself past the point of no return so you have to unclip. Do it until you don't have to think about unclipping.
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  23. #23
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    I learned quick. I bought my first mtb then a few hrs later I bought the shoes and pedals.

    Next day I rode my first trails. Crashed a lot because of hikers. I like to dive right in and suck up the pain and dignity.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2

  24. #24
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    Some say eggbeater is better for easy clip in and out. But shimano SPD's are the most affordable and reliable so far.

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