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  1. #1
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    I keep falling over with clipless pedals, I might switch to flats

    I've been riding with clipless pedals for about 4 months now, off road and on road. I love them on road, but off road on the twisty trails and over roots etc, i feel to keep falling over where I can't get my foot out. I don't panic or anything, but I come to a stop at an obsticle where I do not think I can go through, I stop and fall over because I can't get my feet out all the time.

    I am thinking of going with flat pedals. I just can't keep landing on my right shoulder (I went OTB a months ago and it is still sore) its killing my shoulder again.

    Has anyone else experienced what I am experiencing?

  2. #2
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    Everyone is about to follow me with comments on how to adjust your pedals and cleats or changing the spring tension or practicing more or something, so I'll leave that to them.

    I've met plenty of people who just plain don't like clipless pedals and have gone back to flats for XC riding. Let's face it, if you don't feel comfortable then you aren't going to have the confidence needed to clean things like twisty trails and roots. I say put your clipless in the closet for a while and really get comfortable with bike handling. I'm going to try flats on all my bikes (except my singlespeed) this year. So as long as you can handle being bombarded constantly with people telling you that you should switch to clipless, then I say give it a try.
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  3. #3
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    You can adjust the tension. I have my SPD pedals set fairly loose, and they are a breeze to get out.
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  4. #4
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    Yeah I guess I am not all that comfortable in handling my bike. I might have jumped to clipless too quickly. I've only been riding a couple of months. Mainly I only went offroad like 4-5 times.

    I think I'm headed to flats for now.

  5. #5
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    Consider getting pedals similar to the Forte Campus pedals that are clipless on one side and flat on the other. That way you can ride clipless on road and flats off road.
    ↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → В А

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon76
    Consider getting pedals similar to the Forte Campus pedals that are clipless on one side and flat on the other. That way you can ride clipless on road and flats off road.
    Don't do this. You have clipless pedals, you don't need a split pedal. There is nothing worse than wanting to clip in while pedaling and hitting the platform side over and over. The idea is good, but the product isn't. If you wanted clipless on road, then buy a pedal wrench and learn how to not cross thread.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum
    Don't do this. You have clipless pedals, you don't need a split pedal. There is nothing worse than wanting to clip in while pedaling and hitting the platform side over and over. The idea is good, but the product isn't. If you wanted clipless on road, then buy a pedal wrench and learn how to not cross thread.
    I have Forte Campus pedals on 2 bikes right now. I ride an average of just over 3,000 miles a year (mostly commuting) and I haven't had any problems with them. I'd suggest that you do some research, read some reviews, and doing what you think is best for you. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
    ↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → В А

  8. #8
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    +1 on the avoid dual flat/clipless, they are bad flats and bad clippies.

    Do lots of searching on 5.10/kona wah wah.

    Cheap flats compared to SPDs is no contest, spds win.
    When you get a proper pair of shoes with a well designed set of flat pedals there isn't much in it.

    I used to be an SPD rider, I am now a 100% flat convert, the main reason is that I am no longer worried about falling, so take more risks and have more fun.
    Why would I care about 150g of bike weight, I just ate 400g of cookies while reading this?

  9. #9
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    solomon...play much contra back in the day did you?

  10. #10
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    Maybe ride on easier territory until your balance is good or you're used to the bike and practice clipping and unclipping while doing those rides.

    IMO they're well worth using. The extra efficiency and power gained from having them was for me far greater than I thought.

    If that really can't be done then use flats for a while until you're used to the tracks you ride then change over.
    If you go that way some pedal swapping will be of value i.e. go for frequent easy rides using the clipless. It's only a 5 minute job to change them.

  11. #11
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    i think it helped me alot that i got really comfortable with all types of terrain on flats and then switched to clips. youre right, you may have rushed into it.

  12. #12
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    me riding clipless in ny is a suicide mission.

  13. #13
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    to each his own. it only took me 5 minutes to get comfy with clipless. so maybe switching to flats would be a good idea for you. 4 months is a long learning curve and you should be comfortable by now. however, if you haven't practiced clipping in and out much due to all of the road riding, that could be an issue.

  14. #14
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    i aggree with get more trail time with flats, get comfortable with your bike and the terrain, and THEN give clipless a try...

    trying too many new things at the same time in anything, especially extreme activities, is the perfect formula for NO FUN.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by tracerprix
    I've been riding with clipless pedals for about 4 months now, off road and on road. I love them on road, but off road on the twisty trails and over roots etc, i feel to keep falling over where I can't get my foot out. I don't panic or anything, but I come to a stop at an obsticle where I do not think I can go through, I stop and fall over because I can't get my feet out all the time.

    I am thinking of going with flat pedals. I just can't keep landing on my right shoulder (I went OTB a months ago and it is still sore) its killing my shoulder again.

    Has anyone else experienced what I am experiencing?

    Answer is simple...don't stop. really I've been riding MTB for over 20 years and clipless for the last 15. Once you get used to them you won't want to go back. I'd recommend that you switch out the SPD cleats to Shimano's multi release cleat if you're having problems realeasing quickly. The cleats that come with the pedals are not multi release. Using these cleats might make it easier for you to get out when you stop.

  16. #16
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    I agree partially with was98strat. Just keep using them and eventually you'll get used to them. I bought some cheap Shimano 520's and from the first day I set them at the lowest tension so I could get out of them. I could easily get out of them if I had time to think about it while slowing down but if I came to a sudden stop I'd almost always forget to unclip and I'd fall over. Same thing with going up a hill and running out of steam or momentum. This went on for months! Eventually unclipping became something I stopped thinking about and instead became something I did naturally. Just like lifting my foot off a flat pedal to clear the studs. Now I can get my feet down just as fast as with my old flats. It just took a long time to get there. My only disagreement is with the multi-release cleats. I bought a pair of them thinking they would be better since I could release at more than just one angle. And that's exactly what happend. If I slightly twisted my foot in any direction I would unclip. Sometimes just pulling up sharply would cause me to unclip. All the advantages of being clipped in just disappeared. Stay with the regular cleats and keep practicing. One other word of note: make sure you keep your pedals clean of dirt and your cleats clean as well. I found that dried mud around the edges of the cleats make it harder to unclip.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by was98strat
    Answer is simple...don't stop. really I've been riding MTB for over 20 years and clipless for the last 15. Once you get used to them you won't want to go back. I'd recommend that you switch out the SPD cleats to Shimano's multi release cleat if you're having problems realeasing quickly. The cleats that come with the pedals are not multi release. Using these cleats might make it easier for you to get out when you stop.
    Yeah, but here's the difference. You were mountain biking for 5 years before you switched, the OP has been riding for 4 months. Clipless have benefits, no doubt. But the OP needs to get their bike skills up to a level where they can start cleaning some of the technical sections. And that's not going to happen if someone is concerned about falling over attached to a bike if they try something. You can bail easy on flats, clipless once the skills come up to the level of the riding you're trying to do.
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    What pedals are you using? This is very important for us to know to help you. I only use Shimano SPD's and if you turn the tension all the way down I don't see how you couldn't get your feet out in time.

    BTW I also can't stand combo pedals.

  19. #19
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    You know, I always wondered if that's true. I rode for more than 3 1/2 years on flats before I switched to clipless. The guys at the bike shop who sold me the bike told me to go clipless right off the bat and I thought they were crazy! Just two weeks ago and old friend of mine started riding mountain bikes for the first time and he's using clipless. Obviously he's wrecking quite often but most of the time it's not because he can't unclip. It's usually being in the wrong gear, taking a turn to fast/slow, or bad form. I hate to admit that he's having less trouble learning to unclip than I did. The trails we're riding on are not beginner trails either. Well, not entirely. There are some intermediate features on all the trails we ride and he tackles them with aplumb. Perhaps my friend is the exception and not the rule.

  20. #20
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    I have the SPD M520's. I will try to adjust the tension. Does it stop when you get to the tightest and the loosest adjustments? Maybe I will adjust these loose and try it again.

    Maybe I will pickup flats and try that to see which I feel more comfortable with.

    I could keep swapping out pedals too.

  21. #21
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    I'm pretty sure that the tensioner adjustment will stop once you reach either the maximum or minimum setting. As for which pedal will feel more comfortable I can tell you right now the flat pedals will. We all grew up riding on flat pedals so we have experience with them plus the thought of being connected to the bike is not an easy one to get use to. But with flat pedals you won't have all the advantages of being clipped in. And trust me, it's worth the learning curve to stick with clipless pedals. They will help you become a better rider.

  22. #22
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    Obviously I am undecided, but I figure I should adjust it to just see what happens. Thanks.

    Mike

  23. #23
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    I'm 100% comfy with clipless, I use them on my road bikes and used them for years for XC. I now ride nothing but flats offroad. I've decided I prefer it for the type of riding I do, I really don't care what anyone else thinks or says about it (not that anybody has ever said anything about it outside of internet forums).

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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum
    I've met plenty of people who just plain don't like clipless pedals and have gone back to flats for XC riding. Let's face it, if you don't feel comfortable then you aren't going to have the confidence needed to clean things like twisty trails and roots.
    Weird...I feel exactly the opposite, I don't have any confidence when I'm not clipped in--I'm always afraid my feet will slip off the pedals (and they do at times). Then again, I've been using clipless since the early 90s, and I used toeclips and straps before that (and on my road bike, I used cleats and straps--which you really can't get out of), so I'm used to them.

    I've ridden with lots of guys who prefer flats, and I respect their choice--I just don't understand it.

  25. #25
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    ... and if we just ...

    Quote Originally Posted by tracerprix
    I have the SPD M520's. I will try to adjust the tension. Does it stop when you get to the tightest and the loosest adjustments? Maybe I will adjust these loose and try it again.

    Maybe I will pickup flats and try that to see which I feel more comfortable with.

    I could keep swapping out pedals too.
    There should be two screws on each pedal. You turn each screw counterclockwise to loosen the tension. While turning the screw there will be a washer shaped piece of metal that gets closer to the head of the screw. When this bottoms out on the pedal housing the pedals are fully loose. If you do this I bet you will no longer have problems getting unclipped.

  26. #26
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    Great thanks! I will try that.

    Also if I decide to go to flats or at least try flats, which ones are decent?

  27. #27
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    SPDs. Slack the tension off all the way. Then lubricate them. That is all.
    All problems in mountain biking can be solved by going faster, except the ones that are caused by going too fast.

  28. #28
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    One of the guys at my local bike shop explained something to me that was very helpful in terms of getting used to clipless pedals. Instead of trying to swing your heel outwards to disengage (which can be difficult to do at first) use a downward force with your heel. In other words, push your heel towards the ground as if you were trying to put your foot down. The clipless pedal will disengage as your foot rolls off the pedal since your foot will naturally position itself at the correct angle for disengagement as your heel moves downward. The nice thing about this method (as opposed to trying to swing your heel outwards) is that it feels like more of a natural movement once you get used to it.

    You can also think of it this way… When using flat pedals you lift your foot off the pedal and then put your foot down. Well, you can apply this same movement when using clipless pedals (such as Shimano SPD pedals) except you no longer need to lift your foot off the pedal; just push your heel towards the ground.

    NOTE: This advice might only be applicable to Shimano SPD pedals.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by NERVOUS
    One of the guys at my local bike shop explained something to me that was very helpful in terms of getting used to clipless pedals. Instead of trying to swing your heel outwards to disengage (which can be difficult to do at first) use a downward force with your heel. In other words, push your heel towards the ground as if you were trying to put your foot down. The clipless pedal will disengage as your foot rolls off the pedal since your foot will naturally position itself at the correct angle for disengagement as your heel moves downward. The nice thing about this method (as opposed to trying to swing your heel outwards) is that it feels like more of a natural movement once you get used to it.

    You can also think of it this way… When using flat pedals you lift your foot off the pedal and then put your foot down. Well, you can apply this same movement when using clipless pedals (such as Shimano SPD pedals) except you no longer need to lift your foot off the pedal; just push your heel towards the ground.

    NOTE: This advice might only be applicable to Shimano SPD pedals.

    This is a decent method. In no way am I trying to brag, but unclipping is such a natural thing to me now, after years and years of riding SPD clipless that it's tough to think of how to instruct others. Anyway, here is my advice to the OP:
    if you aren't already try running shimanos multi release cleat, tension ultra low on your pedals. I find that when the tension is so low my feet pop out accidentally occasionally. It's simply a matter of your mind developing the "muscle memory" that taking your foot off the pedal is no longer what it was with flats, but instead an outward twist leading with the heel. It will become second nature with enough time. The suggestion of going back to flats till your techincal riding skills have improved is probably not bad advice. Especially if you don't get that feeling that your feet will slide/get bounced off your pedals.
    My biggest reason for clipless is that very thing; feet getting bounced off through fast rough/rocky sections. Followed by improved power and form (pedaling circles rather than being a left right left right pedal masher) there is a reason so many guys ride clipless rather than flats, but don't force yourself to try and tackle learning too much at once. Get your tech skills up to par so you don't have to stop for so many obsticles, then throw the clipless back on. And literally practice unclipping as quickly as you can in some nice soft grass for awhile before jumping back in fully.

  30. #30
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    I am new to riding too and about the same time as you. Obviously many people here love them and since I switched, feel the same way. When I ride though Im always remind myself im clipped in when approaching a section Im not comfy with. I just rode down a steep single track and decided it was safer for me to ride unclipped.

    Now since your going to flats, may I highly suggest doing what I did. I went with old school cage pedals when I first start and it really, really helped the transition to clipless. The feeling of being clipped in is not so great cause you can still move your foot around. Then you will get used to the idea of having to move your foot a certain way to get out and in cage you just slide your foot back. Give it a try for about $20 at your LBS and if you dont like it, take the cage off and then you still have flats!

    Good luck!

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    Smile

    Thanks to http://www.yehudamoon.com for such an appropriate panel.



    Just go ride your damn bike, who gives a crap what pedals you have on it as long as you feel comfortable riding it. Well, I'm going to go for a ride on my bike AND IT HAS FLATS ON IT! END OF THE WORLD! RUN!
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  32. #32
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    I make the clipless spd's as loose as possible. Yes they are easier to get out, but in my quick run behind my house in a construction site. I still fell over when I couldn't make it over a couple of bumps. I just could not get my foot out.

    I am thinking of switching to flats now.

    In to help me win an argument with my wife, she thinks the pedals that came with my bike are good to use, I'm thinking I need the flats with the spikes in it. What are some recommendations?

    Mike

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by NERVOUS
    One of the guys at my local bike shop explained something to me that was very helpful in terms of getting used to clipless pedals. Instead of trying to swing your heel outwards to disengage (which can be difficult to do at first) use a downward force with your heel. In other words, push your heel towards the ground as if you were trying to put your foot down. The clipless pedal will disengage as your foot rolls off the pedal since your foot will naturally position itself at the correct angle for disengagement as your heel moves downward. The nice thing about this method (as opposed to trying to swing your heel outwards) is that it feels like more of a natural movement once you get used to it.

    You can also think of it this way… When using flat pedals you lift your foot off the pedal and then put your foot down. Well, you can apply this same movement when using clipless pedals (such as Shimano SPD pedals) except you no longer need to lift your foot off the pedal; just push your heel towards the ground.

    NOTE: This advice might only be applicable to Shimano SPD pedals.
    +1 I found this to be the case when I was using spds as well. To be clear, though, I was pushing out and down at the same time with my heel. Like I was trying to put my foot on the ground a little bit away from the bike (which I usually was). The idea being that I would lead with my heel, rather than making a twisting motion.

    Now I use Frogs. I find them the easiest pedal I have tried to get in and out of. No tension springs to overcome.

    If I understand what you wrote correctly, you have only been off trail 4-5 times? If so, I would put off clipless for a little while until you are more comfortable off road to start with, then add clipless to the equation.
    Last edited by kapusta; 05-02-2010 at 10:48 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tracerprix
    I make the clipless spd's as loose as possible. Yes they are easier to get out, but in my quick run behind my house in a construction site. I still fell over when I couldn't make it over a couple of bumps. I just could not get my foot out.

    I am thinking of switching to flats now.

    In to help me win an argument with my wife, she thinks the pedals that came with my bike are good to use, I'm thinking I need the flats with the spikes in it. What are some recommendations?

    Mike
    So many decent options out there, I'd say go to your LBS and see what they have. I've been happy with Wellgo, I've most recently had a pair of the B67s and they have been good. There's a bunch of new plastic pedals which are worth a look because they're decent and cheap and they won't as readily shred your shins. I have just replaced my pedals with Straitlines, but even though they're amazing, I can't recommend them to a novice due to price. Unless price is not an option, then have at!
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    Quote Originally Posted by tracerprix
    I make the clipless spd's as loose as possible. Yes they are easier to get out, but in my quick run behind my house in a construction site. I still fell over when I couldn't make it over a couple of bumps. I just could not get my foot out.

    I am thinking of switching to flats now.

    In to help me win an argument with my wife, she thinks the pedals that came with my bike are good to use, I'm thinking I need the flats with the spikes in it. What are some recommendations?

    Mike
    Stick with the clipless pedals. you'll get the hang of it before long! if they work for you oon the road, they'll work on the trail, you just have to get used to the dynamics. the 520 pedals are notorious for having really stiff clip in and out forces, even on the lowest settings! get a set of SM-SH56 cleats and your problem with go away. they are multi release cleats!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tracerprix
    I make the clipless spd's as loose as possible. Yes they are easier to get out, but in my quick run behind my house in a construction site. I still fell over when I couldn't make it over a couple of bumps. I just could not get my foot out.

    I am thinking of switching to flats now.

    In to help me win an argument with my wife, she thinks the pedals that came with my bike are good to use, I'm thinking I need the flats with the spikes in it. What are some recommendations?

    Mike
    I say get comfortable on the bike using flats. Once you have a good feel for riding trails it will be easier to adjust to clipless because you won't be as worried about whether or not you will be able to unclip. Also, you can just practice clipping in and out on some soft grass and it will become more instinctual.

    I don't think you need the flats with spikes in them, I usually just use the plastic ones that came with my bike when I switch them in. The spiked ones have a tendency to tear up your shins.

  37. #37
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    I stopped by the LBS and I picked up a set of Sun Ringle Zuzu Pedals. I'm not sure if i will be installing them or if i will be buying the SM-SH56 multi release clips.

    Now what exactly if the difference between the normal clips and the multi release clips? What makes them multi release?

    And I appreciate everyone's feedback!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbl_91762
    I just rode down a steep single track and decided it was safer for me to ride unclipped.
    Might I ask why? I'm not trying to be a jerk, I truly don't understand how you could feel safer going down steep singletrack with your feet loose on the pedals--hit a good bounce and your feet are off, then where's your balance? Or at least that's been my experience.

    Maybe I'm just "old skool" here, as I've been riding HT for years, so I'm used to the bike rattling around a lot on downhills. But I find my feet popping off the pedals on AM bikes I've borrowed with flats...I'm always wishing I could clip in!

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by tracerprix
    I stopped by the LBS and I picked up a set of Sun Ringle Zuzu Pedals. I'm not sure if i will be installing them or if i will be buying the SM-SH56 multi release clips.

    Now what exactly if the difference between the normal clips and the multi release clips? What makes them multi release?

    And I appreciate everyone's feedback!
    regular cleats really only want to release to the side, multi-release will tolerate you pulling up and out (which is more intuitive to a clipless newbie). It's a bit like having worn out cleats on! you can release them in ways other than only to the side

    one of the things I REALLY like about the 520's (I ride them) is the really solidly connected feel you have to the bike. My old bike has some seriously worn Wellgo clipless pedals and they always felt loose! with the 520's I was a bit nervous the first couple of times out as I wasnt sure for the force required to release. Now I really like the solid feel they have!

  40. #40
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    I would rather crash and not be able to unclip. Than to crash because I slipped a pedal, losing chunks of meat off my shin and having my jewels meet my top tube in the process. Reminds me of my old BMX days.

  41. #41
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    I keep going back and forth in my head of what to do. Now I am leaning to return my flats and either getting the SM-SH56 multi release or sticking with the regular cleats. Thanks guys for all the help. I just hope if I go with the multi release cleats that they are not too easy to come off.

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    Clips are clips. Things don't get any easier with the multi release, just ride the flats. You'll feel more comfortable and be able to take runs at things you didn't think you wanted too before. How many downhillers run clipless? Some, but few. Do you think their feet get bounced off their flat pedals all the time and they just ignore it? Nope.

    I completely understand all the "blah blah" about keeping your clipless and the benefits of doing such, but from personal experience, I feel much much more comfortable doing things on the edge of my comfort zone when I have flats. Long days in the saddle or lots of climbing will almost always get the clipless out. But it would take a large sum of money to get me to switch to riding clipless down in Moab. It's just more fun on flats. Anyway, I've taken far too much of this thread's time, so I'll watch quietly from the corner now.
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  43. #43
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    not being able to unclip means your shimano pedals arent adjusted properly. at full loose its hard to stay clipped in! remember to push DOWN when trying to unclip, never yank your foot up. down and out. its a more natural movement too.

    your cleats are fine, adjust your pedals.

  44. #44
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    The problem really is just habit. You've just not had enough practice clipping in and out that every time you stall, you forget to twist your ankle. If you practice for 10-15 minutes each night, just clipping in and out, you will eventually turn it in to a habit.

    Try placing your bike in a doorway and hold on to the doorway frame and clip in and out continuously for 10-15 minutes each night. Also, make sure to practice variety of clipping out:
    - clip out with left with left pedal up
    - clip out with right with right pedal up
    - clip out with left with left pedal down
    - clip out with right with right pedal down
    - clip out both at the same time

    Eventually, you will be able to clip out in almost any emergency situations.

    If all that fails, then get platforms.

  45. #45
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    I've been on clipless pedals for years. There are a still some situations in which I prefer flats, though. Working on a new technical skill, like a wheelie, for example, or working on low speed handling stuff in a skills park. I prefer clipless pedals are preferable for the stability at higher speeds and because I think I get a little better power transfer.

    It sounds like you're still just working on handling your bike off-road and negotiating obstacles at relatively low speeds. If you feel more comfortable on flat pedals, go for it. It won't hurt your future riding, and if you learn how to wheelie, pedal-up, bunnyhop, etc. etc. on flat pedals, I think you'll be smoother on clipless when you switch back.

    The point of clipless pedals, to me, is that they keep me connected to the bike. If you're still dabbing a lot, they're not going to be very useful to you - learning to be good at clipping in and out is important, but not as important as learning to be good at handling your bike.

    I highly recommend a pair of freeride pedals designed to be used flat (as opposed to OEM pedals without the toe clips) and a pair of shin guards.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  46. #46
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    I started mountain biking about 3 1/2 years ago on a walmart special I bought at a yard sale. I was 30 years old. I never rode a mountain bike before that day. I didn't ride a bike with gears ever. it had crappy flat plastic pedals of course. I rode that bike for 3 months. I didn't ride bike again till 6 months later when I bought my first real bike.
    It came with clipless pedals. Shimano SPD 540's I went on some rides and fell a lot of times because I couldn't get used to these clipless pedals. I was falling and getting hurt on every ride and I didn't feel safe. It got to the point where I went out and bought a pair of Kona Jackshit pedals(to match the Kona bike I bought) I think I did 3 rides on them before I thought to give the clipless pedals another chance. I was tearing up my shins and the backs of my legs. It took me over 100 miles of riding to get used to the clipless pedals(probably 12 rides because back then I wasn't the best rider) I also didn't ride the technical stuff to get used to them.
    Here we are 3 1/2 years later and I would have a hard time riding flats. I ride my bike on some very technical and rocky Pennsylvania trails and feel that because I am locked in to my bike I have more control. I couldn't imagine not being one with my bike. There are still times when I get screwed up and can't clip out of my pedals but its not because of the trail, its usually when i'm at a stop and fall over. I would say to keep trying the clipless and don't give up on them. I'm glad that I didn't give up. If you do decide to go flat I hear that the 5 10 shoes are the best shoe to wear. I hear from people that ride with those shoes that its like being clipped in, that's how good they hold!!
    Good luck with the clipless dude!!!

  47. #47
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    my .02

    Ive been riding with flats for a while, and recently went to clipless. I previously had wellgo B27 flats with razor sharp replaceable pins, along with appropriate vibram soled flat cycling shoes. I recently switched to shimano 520's, adjusted to a very easy release tension, with the 56 multi angle release cleats.

    With the flats: I was at a point where my foot was no longer slipping off the pedals and eating my shins. I would almost never put a foot down in very technical sections. Although, there was times going through these technical sections, my foot would slightly slip on the pedals, and id have to readjust my foot on the pedals for proper foot placement.

    With the clipless: With the easy tension and multi angle release cleats, i still have yet to fall, but have had some close calls. I find going through technical sections that my foot is now staying in the appropriate spot on the pedal, and im no longer hunting for proper foot position after my foot slips like on the flats. Im essentially more efficient going through these sections.

    im staying clipless

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kootenanny
    Might I ask why? I'm not trying to be a jerk, I truly don't understand how you could feel safer going down steep singletrack with your feet loose on the pedals--hit a good bounce and your feet are off, then where's your balance? Or at least that's been my experience.

    Maybe I'm just "old skool" here, as I've been riding HT for years, so I'm used to the bike rattling around a lot on downhills. But I find my feet popping off the pedals on AM bikes I've borrowed with flats...I'm always wishing I could clip in!

    I think that is a matter of rider technique. You should be sucking up the bike with your legs, which will allow for continual foot contact over any bumps.

    I spent my first 3 years MTB'n in clips and decided to go with flats this summer. I feel like it is going to allow my skill to develop as far as getting the bike to do things w/o having the advantage of being clipped.

    Being skilled at strategically weighting and unweighting the bike is what it boils down to when riding platforms.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaXCarp
    I think that is a matter of rider technique. You should be sucking up the bike with your legs, which will allow for continual foot contact over any bumps.

    I spent my first 3 years MTB'n in clips and decided to go with flats this summer. I feel like it is going to allow my skill to develop as far as getting the bike to do things w/o having the advantage of being clipped.

    Being skilled at strategically weighting and unweighting the bike is what it boils down to when riding platforms.

    Having full-suspension also makes a big difference. My feet would bounce all over the place on my hardtail. I don't have that problem since switching to a FS.

    FWIW - I switched to clipless last year and have no problem getting in and out of them, but I do have more knee pain and don't have as much confidence on features and short, steep climbs. Right now I have more fun on flats, so I switched back.

  50. #50
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    There is certainly an advantage to learning certain bike handling skills on platforms. Things like bunny hopping on flats takes proper technique, with clips you just pull your feet up. I think it's worth riding flats to develop your basic skills then switch to clipless, IMO it will make you a better rider.

  51. #51
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    So you know how to unclip, you don't forget to unclip, you don't panic, you just can't unclip even with the lowest tension setting. It really sounds like something is mechanically wrong because it should be really easy if you're aware of what you have to do. Maybe your cleat is loose and rotating on the shoe? I would suggest having the shop look at both the pedals and shoes. Do you have a friend who rides clipless who can test your shoes and bike together?

  52. #52
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    After a few months riding clipless (Time Atac Alium) I still fall about 5 times every 12 miles or so. I laugh it off and keep going. Its occurred to me though, that the reason I'm falling is the confidence the pedals have given me. Obstacles that I would have stopped at and walked with my platforms I charge head long into now. The power level and extra handling ability allowed to you by clipless makes them exponentially better than platforms. With platforms you have to worry if your feet will maintain contact through the bumpy stuff and that diverts your mind from getting the bike through the obstacle. And none of my crashes or falls due to riding clipless have led to injuries even comparable to the gashes I've suffered to the back of my legs and the top tube smashing into my junk from falling off of platforms.

    Keep riding them. If you can't get out of them and they've been adjusted get some Times. Put the cleats on your shoes in "beginner mode" and go have fun.

  53. #53
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    I returned the flats and bought the multi release clips. I installed them and they seem to be easier to unclip. I will try them this weekend hopefully out on some trails. Thanks for everyone's help!

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by tracerprix
    I returned the flats and bought the multi release clips. I installed them and they seem to be easier to unclip. I will try them this weekend hopefully out on some trails. Thanks for everyone's help!
    try them out on a nice grassy field first..

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaXCarp
    I think that is a matter of rider technique. You should be sucking up the bike with your legs, which will allow for continual foot contact over any bumps.

    Being skilled at strategically weighting and unweighting the bike is what it boils down to when riding platforms.
    Hmmm...like I said, I was riding a hardtail, fast enough that some guys on AM or freeride bikes couldn't keep up with me on the downhills. The only way to ride that fast was to have all my weight on the pedals, sucking up all the bumps with my legs--basically standing ont he pedals. Which is why I hate having my feet come off the pedals, because that was my only support!

    I'd suggest knowing how to weight/unweight the bike is at least as important on a hardtail, perhaps moreso. I'll find out, as I've recently purchased my first FS bike (I'm keeping my clipless pedals, though!).

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by FLMike
    try them out on a nice grassy field first..
    exactly what I came here to say. If you are still having problems with the basic motion of unclipping then going straight to the trail will probably just leave you frustrated again. Start with fields and sidewalks and practice a lot. Lean against a tree and clip and unclip the same foot over and over. Try unclipping one foot while riding and then clip it back in. Just keep practicing

  57. #57
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    I prepped myself for moving to clipless pedals by consciously making myself rotate my heel out whenever I got off the pedals (on platforms). When I finally put the clipless pedals on it was pretty natural by then.

    Yesterday I came up to a ditch at a street crossing and I tried to ride through it. My rear wheel slipped and I almost fell over into a mass of wet, stinking mud/water but I was somehow able to clip my left foot out and stop the fall. Of course, my previously shiny new shoes are now mud caked and brown..

  58. #58
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    I started riding clips like 3 or 4 months ago and once I put em on I never ever thought of going back to flats regardless how many times I fell. The riding is at a whole different level now and I couldn't imagine doing it on flats. I say stay on the clips and take it easy and slowly advance. You will be great at it in no time
    Ride

  59. #59
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    It takes more than 4 or 5 off road rides to get use to clipless pedals. At first you have to think more about unclipping, but it becomes a reflex. Don't wait to come to a complete stop before you unclip. just keep at it and in a few months you will never want to ride anything but clipless. Go put some more miles on them.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider911
    It takes more than 4 or 5 off road rides to get use to clipless pedals. At first you have to think more about unclipping, but it becomes a reflex. Don't wait to come to a complete stop before you unclip. just keep at it and in a few months you will never want to ride anything but clipless. Go put some more miles on them.
    Agreed. If you quit now you will never do it. You are just putting off what's bound to happen sooner or later. So stfu.put on your shoes. Get on your bike. Get all the falling out of the way and in a month you will be a pro
    Ride

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kootenanny
    Might I ask why? I'm not trying to be a jerk, I truly don't understand how you could feel safer going down steep singletrack with your feet loose on the pedals--hit a good bounce and your feet are off, then where's your balance? Or at least that's been my experience.

    Maybe I'm just "old skool" here, as I've been riding HT for years, so I'm used to the bike rattling around a lot on downhills. But I find my feet popping off the pedals on AM bikes I've borrowed with flats...I'm always wishing I could clip in!

    Koot, I am truly just starting off and the single track was very steep for my skills and I was pretty far into it to turn back. Im just trying to get more experienced with all aspects of riding thus my many postings in the beginners section. But that same ride, I did slip off the pedals crossing a stream with aloth of rocks and was not clipped in and while trying to get clipped in I hit some rocks which threw my feet off and landed on my package. OUCH. A learning experience non the less.

  62. #62
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    i just did my 3rd clipless ride, and it was a blast. The first ride SUCKED. I had my pedal tension too tight, so it was hard to get in and out of, then one of cleats came loose mid-ride. However after some fine tuning im beginning to enjoy the clipless world.

    I noticed im a lot more stable on the bike, and dont bounce around around on the rooty downhill sections. All in All my very short experience with clipless pedals has been pretty nice and i hope it will continue to get better.

    Im just ready to start building up muscle memory so i can fully reap the benefits of clipless.
    MTB : 2011 Specialized Epic Comp 29er
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  63. #63
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    has anyone recommended crank brothers mallets yet?

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