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 16 of 16
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: madsedan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    1,426

    First ride clipless last night, it was great!

    Background on me, I've been riding for almost a year, nothing crazy, singletrack through the woods, short techy climbs and descents, North Central Texas trails. My first 2 bikes were 29er hardtails, I always used platforms, but recently got a 26" wheeled Camber expert and have been riding allot, 5-6 times a week, and really knew I need to try clipless.

    I bought some of the $60 eggbeaters new from my LBS about a month ago and have had them sitting in the box waiting on shoes. I had some loaners last night, wrong size, a little big, and decided to try it out. Once I figured out how to clip in and pedalling around the driveway and alley I was completely comfortable, I simply twisted my heels out and the shoes popped off, no problem.

    I decided to go full bore and do my normal 9 mile weeknight ride, 1.5 mile to the trail, 6.1 miles of trails, and return home ride. I know this sounds like a terrible idea the first time on clipless and hitting a trail after 5 minutes but what the hell.

    I had no issues at all, made several stops and never fell off, changes the riding experience for the better, really wished I had done this sooner. I think if I had done this from the beginning I would really have hurt myself, I wrecked allot when I was starting as I was just going to fast and my balance wasn't there. No I routinely do 12-14 mile trail rides without putting a foot down so I had allot more confidence I could handle it.

    The balance on the bike is improved noticably, I think a combination of not worrying about foot placement as well as the pedals forcing me to have a better, more correct, foot placement. The first mile or so as I was riding street to the trail it felt like my heels were kicked out away from the bike, and I was no longer hitting my shoes on the rear, clearly I had been riding with my heels inward on the platforms and this was correcting it. After a mile I was completely comfortable and no issues.

    The pedaling efficiency is noticable as well, the ability to "spin" and not just stomp the pedals makes a difference. I did 4 more miles last night all in hill climbs because my legs just felt better after my normal route. I ended up riding a 13 mile trip instead of the normal 9. I need to buy some shoes and will do that almost immediately, this is clearly the way I need to be riding, and my brother (who hates clipless and was sure I would wreck and break an ankle) was talking about getting some by the end of the ride.

    By the mid way point of the ride after stopping for a drink i was able to clip back in without looking, became second nature. I know I will probably have a clipless related incident or two in the near future, probably in a climb where I get sort of stuck and almost come to a stop and I can't get my foot out quick enough, I can see that potentially happening.

    As for pedal feel on the bike with the seemingly inadequate eggbeaters, with the rigid shoes it simply felt like I was using giant platforms, was more supportive than using skate shoes with pinned platforms, felt much better in all respects. This was even with shoes that were too large, with the right size shoes it should be even better.
    Hardrock 29er, Niner EMD9, Cannondale F29, Camber Expert, 650b Nickel all gone.
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 here.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Skeg43's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    14
    I am hesitant to switch to clipless, this post plus a few others make me think I need to switch sooner then later. Thanks

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: laztpn0i's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    55
    Great job. Sounds like you had a blast! Your post makes me want to try out the new clipless pedals and shoes that I got. But unfortunately I've been hit with the flu bug going on 5 days now. Oh well. Once my body heals, I will be looking forward to riding clipless for the first time. And... I will keep track of how many times I will fall.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    212
    nice! i also just did the switch to clipless. this morning was my first ride and i loved them. i did almost fall a couple times but luckily either un clipped in time or caught a tree hahaha. but yeah they are great so far. i know why so many people are using them now

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    63
    I love my spd clipless. I've never had a high speed / hard impact crash when the clipless caused an injury due to not coming unclipped. Somehow I just always end up unclipped when I end up on the ground. I've had some slow falls, usually over some technical section when I lose my balance and fall over before getting unclipped, but those type of falls don't usually risk much injury for me. I've had more injuries from platforms hitting my shins and from taking the seat to the stomach when getting bounced off of the platforms during rooty decents.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: marpilli's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    4,609
    Congratulations! Clipless doesn't work for everyone; but, it sure works for me. I still have a "clipless related incident" every now and then. Don't sweat it when it does happen. Get up, brush off, smile, and continue the ride.

    P.S. Hello from the north side of the metroplex (Frisco).
    Contact information: http://about.me/marpilli

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    28
    I used to ride a lot when I was younger, and recently got back into it this past summer and i've been riding 5-6 days a week as well. I've been saving up the money to go Clipless, I'm glad it worked out for you!

    P.S Hello from Grapevine, smack in the middle of DFW!
    Impossible Is Nothing

  8. #8
    T.W.O
    Reputation: pfox90's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    1,729
    Quote Originally Posted by madsedan View Post
    I think if I had done this from the beginning I would really have hurt myself, I wrecked allot when I was starting as I was just going to fast and my balance wasn't there. No I routinely do 12-14 mile trail rides without putting a foot down so I had allot more confidence I could handle it.
    This is what I always recommend, get your sea legs first and then you can step up.. why juggle handling in general w/ an added risk factor when you don't have the basics down?

    Glad to hear you like it though and didn't have any of those trackstand topples.
    ------__o
    ----_`\<,_
    ---(_)/ (_)

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    5

    Guess I ought to switch also

    I have a set of spd's lying around just need to splurg on the shoes.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    4
    Have the SPD's on the ride just need to get out there and hit the trails!
    After this kind of post I really want to get after it!
    2011 Trek X-Caliber
    2011 Redline Conquest Sport

    Crankin' is a habit.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    16
    I just started riding again. I took a rough mtn ride without clipless and was very happy I did, I was putting my foot down to keep myself from going down quite a bit during a two hour ride. I have some clipless pedals and shoes on their way to my house I plan to learn the hard way, not concussion hard but maybe a bruise or scratch hard haha. But I love the power of clipless, look forward to using them safely.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    12
    Just switched to clipless last week - I had left my regular shoes at home so I either had to go home (not an option, too far) or buy new shoes. I had been contemplating going clipless, so I went to the LBS and got fixed up. I fell over at least 5 times when stalling or even stopping. I could easily get my right foot out, but never noticed that I typically go to the left when stopping. The two rides after that were much smoother, and am getting much more confident with the clipless. Now I find myself pushing through tough areas where I might previously put a foot down, so they have forced me to improve my riding in that area.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    16
    That's a good point Jake. Training wheels are off, I think it will force us to step up our game

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    16
    Just yesterday I fell due to my clipless pedals. I came up on an unexpected turn and couldn't get my wheel around a big root, lost my balance and couldn't get my foot out quickly enough. I wasn't going to fast so I didn't even get a scratch. That said, I know the pedals make a huge positive difference on the rest of my ride so I wouldn't trade them in for a second.. Falls are going to happen no matter what pedals you are using.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    6
    Great post! you just convinced me to switch over.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: The STIG's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    78
    we just started riding about 4-5 weeks ago, and after 1 week i decided to make the switch and got some candy's and shoes. i look at it like this....if your thinking of doing it, just go ahead and do it, better than waiting a year and then learning. 4 or 5 falls my 1st day on them, maybe 1 or 2 total since then. like someone said above...its usually when your climbing a tech section, slower, and have to eject. your brain learns pretty quick tho

Similar Threads

  1. Great day, great friends, great bike, great ride
    By Jwiffle in forum Virginia, WV, Maryland, DC, Delaware
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 03-02-2008, 06:30 AM
  2. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 04-03-2007, 02:32 PM
  3. Great night for a night ride
    By Jaybo in forum Oregon
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-25-2006, 08:26 PM
  4. Replies: 5
    Last Post: 06-22-2006, 12:43 PM
  5. Night rides any one? the pits are a great night ride
    By xterraman30 in forum New York
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 06-01-2004, 08:01 PM

Posting Permissions

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