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  1. #1
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    Single track clipless tip-overs

    What am I doing wrong???

    I ride a lot of asphalt and double-track - no problems. Occasionally, I get onto some hilly single-track/trails and always end up with a tip over because I can't get out of pedals quickly enough. It's always the really slow climb section when momentum drops to zero for some reason - rear wheel spin due to rocks/shale, front washes due to sand, can't quite get over the rock obstacle, etc... Yesterday my forearm landed in a cactus and I'm still digging out the thorns. Makes me mad!!

    I've started thinking that I need to switch to platform pedals when the plan is for this type of single-track - at least until I am "really good" and no longer have a need to ever put my feet down. Is that what you guys do or am I just too slow at getting out of the pedals???

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    If you are using Shimano SPD pedals, consider getting the multiple-release SH-56 cleats. They really work for me much better than the SH-51 single-release cleats.

  3. #3
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    Ask yourself: why am I riding clipless pedals?

    If your answer is "I'm racing a lot and I want to be as fast as possible", then cary on.

    If your answer is anything else, then consider switching. The benefits of clipless pedals are grossly overstated especially for beginners.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    Ask yourself: why am I riding clipless pedals?

    If your answer is "I'm racing a lot and I want to be as fast as possible", then cary on.

    If your answer is anything else, then consider switching. The benefits of clipless pedals are grossly overstated especially for beginners.
    100% agree clipless pedals=racing, nothing else...
    Last edited by Max24; 03-10-2015 at 12:07 AM.

  5. #5
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    I disagree about the clipless being racing only. I have them and do not race, also would be considered a beginner mountain biker.... I bought them the first time I was on a rocky rooty downhill section and my foot slipped off the pedal, and down i went... Got clipless, haven't had that problem yet... I would just ride around a little and practice getting your feet in and out of those pedals in a hurry...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDNM View Post
    What am I doing wrong???

    I ride a lot of asphalt and double-track - no problems. Occasionally, I get onto some hilly single-track/trails and always end up with a tip over because I can't get out of pedals quickly enough. It's always the really slow climb section when momentum drops to zero for some reason - rear wheel spin due to rocks/shale, front washes due to sand, can't quite get over the rock obstacle, etc... Yesterday my forearm landed in a cactus and I'm still digging out the thorns. Makes me mad!!

    I've started thinking that I need to switch to platform pedals when the plan is for this type of single-track - at least until I am "really good" and no longer have a need to ever put my feet down. Is that what you guys do or am I just too slow at getting out of the pedals???

    Thanks!
    These same sections youre putting a foot down with clipless.. have you ridden those same sections with platforms and been able to complete them without putting your foot down.

    If youre still at the point youre putting your foot down on sections, my opinion is you shouldnt be riding clipless yet.

  7. #7
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    Platforms are not free from problems as JH above related. Many beginners have a foot slip or pop off when in rocks or roots and are freaked into clipless.
    The real solution is technique development of the low heels riding position on the pedals. You also need the proper height and thickness of pins on your pedals to match with the shoes you want to wear. Trailrunners take short thin pins or fatter pins. 5.10s that longer pins.
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  8. #8
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    I am driving myself crazy with the amount of thought I,m putting into this, is its time for me to try CLIPLESS ? Been riding mountain bikes for three years and always pic people's brains about tips and or thoughts about ways to improve or evolve into a better rider and almost all say that's its time to get away from the flats. I feel I miss out on some power when going up steep climbs that now I fall short on getting to the top of. I also here them say I will become "one w the bike" being clipped in. Easier hopping over logs being able to lift my bike with my legs attached ? Better balance? Makes sense to me. I don't mind taking chances. One thing I cant help thinking of, is that it Seems like Its possible to snap a bone in half if I don't get my foot out. Help !!
    "do it in the dirt "

  9. #9
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    I have the same problem. I love them on my road only MTB, not so fond of them on my trail bike. I sometimes fall about half a dozen times per ride because of them. On fast singletrack I would like them, but I rarely do that kind of riding. Usually slower, technical stuff. Fear of falling has me a little afraid to try obstacles I'm not certain I can clear, since when I'm falling over it's usually into a thorn bush or rock garden..

    I haven't been out in the woods yet this season, but before I do I'm switching back platforms. I've never ridden them before (at least since my little kid BMX days), before I went clipless it was clips & straps - I never had a problem with those. But clipless has been hard on me, maybe I just have poor balance. It's a tough learning curve offroad with them - I literally have the scars to prove it.

    I'm looking into getting a CX bike soon, and the SPD's from my trail bike will be going on it.

  10. #10
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    Single track clipless tip-overs

    I like riding clip less a lot better than platform pedals. I smashed my shin one to many times from my BMX days, so I jumped at the chance to switch to clip less. Do they make pedals with adjustable retention? That helped me immensely. I cut my teeth on a set of Onza pedals in the mid 90s that had adjustable retention via different stiffness rubber inserts. As I got more used to it, I increased the stiffness. Don't get me wrong, I had my fair share of tip overs in slow technical terrain, but eventually got used to it. The one thing that helped me a lot is to practice rotating your foot out at a 45 degree angle when you aren't in panic mode, about to fall. It will eventually become second nature.


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  11. #11
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    Single track clipless tip-overs

    Quote Originally Posted by StuntmanMike View Post
    I have the same problem. I love them on my road only MTB, not so fond of them on my trail bike. I sometimes fall about half a dozen times per ride because of them. On fast singletrack I would like them, but I rarely do that kind of riding. Usually slower, technical stuff. Fear of falling has me a little afraid to try obstacles I'm not certain I can clear, since when I'm falling over it's usually into a thorn bush or rock garden..

    I haven't been out in the woods yet this season, but before I do I'm switching back platforms. I've never ridden them before (at least since my little kid BMX days), before I went clipless it was clips & straps - I never had a problem with those. But clipless has been hard on me, maybe I just have poor balance. It's a tough learning curve offroad with them - I literally have the scars to prove it.

    I'm looking into getting a CX bike soon, and the SPD's from my trail bike will be going on it.
    I'm the same way, I like slow, technical trail features. Don't take offense to this: it sounds like you ought to work on your balance and track stand skills. Either that or reconsider your pedal/cleat options as mentioned above.

  12. #12
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    No offense taken, you're absolutely right. All the other guys I ride with are on clipless, and they do fine.

    Of course my HT 26'er gets stopped by things that their FS 29'ers just walk over, lol.

    I used to be really good at technical stuff, but up until this past Aug I was out of MTB for about 12 years.

  13. #13
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    Practice track stands in your lawn while clipped in. Try to stay up as long as possible and then catch yourself at the last second. This will get you faster at un-clipping and improve your low speed balance for those techy spots.

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    It drives me insane when every thread like this ends up with "hey, just toughen up".

    Why should a beginner with problems crashing on trail stick with the exact, easily changed, thing that is causing said problems? What possible reason is there except for avoiding spending money? Avoiding spending money isn't a terrible reason to stick with the clipless and the multi-release cleats; of course, it's not a good reason, but it's not terrible.

    There is no reason to ride clipless pedals, there is nothing you can do on clipless pedals that you can not do on flats. It is well beyond time that the unreasonable fixation on needing clipless pedals is put to rest.

    Ride clipless if you want. Ride flats if you want. It doesn't make you less or more of a rider. Stop this forced guilt that everyone needs to ride clipless pedals because someone told you that you need to do it. It is absolute crap to suggest that there is a natural progression which requires a mechanical attachment of feet to bike.

    There is nothing wrong with being uncomfortable with your feet attached to the bike especially if you are a beginner. There is no reason to tell someone to toughen up and risk additional crashes in this case. Let people get comfortable on the bike and make their own decisions.
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  15. #15
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    I can do decent track stands on flat ground, what trips me up is if my front sprocket gets hung up on a big rock or log and I stop suddenly while in an offbalance state. My movement pretty much just carries me right over while still attached to the bike. Once I start tipping over in either direction, I find it just about impossble to get my foot unclipped in time to catch myself.

    That happens quite a bit actually, I really want to convert my front triple to a double.

    Or another situation is a rough, rocky, steep, rooted climb. I was almost to the top, when I spun out on a wet root and the bike shot out sideways under me and I went down like a ton of bricks while still clipped in.

    Or one time, and this is a total noob mistake, I came to a complete stop in a clearing at the end of the trail and just forgot I was clipped in. I teetered for a moment, then fell over. Of course I landed on the only rock in the whole clearing. The guys I was riding with got a kick out of that one.

    I actually practiced in the yard with them for quite a while before getting on the trail with them, but there are just so many wierd situations on the trail to make it that simple.

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    What kind of pedals do you have? Do they have any adjustments? Loosen them up all the way maybe spray a little lube. Get on your bick and lean on something for balance then practice in/out in/out over and over until your confident. Now practice balancing your bike and clip in and out again. There is no secrfet really just practice until its second nature. You'll get it

  17. #17
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    If you can't get your foot unclipped fast enough to catch yourself (same as you would with platforms) then either your pedal tension is set too high or you haven't trained yourself to unclip properly. There is no reason why you shouldn't be able to get a foot down when you need to as quickly as you can when using platform pedals. (Of course there are situations when you will not be fast enough for either type of pedal.) If your tension is set light enough then even fairly uncoordinated foot motions (as in panic induced) that aren't directly up or down will result in unclipping.

    I find clipless pedals much less forgiving on steep hill starts or very technical starts when I wish I could focus on the bike rather than getting my second foot clipped in.

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    I will un-clip a foot to prepare for a nasty spot, sometimes both feet... after a few rides I did the same areas clipped in. My pedals have small platforms that help when un-clipped.



    Quote Originally Posted by JDNM View Post
    What am I doing wrong???

    I ride a lot of asphalt and double-track - no problems. Occasionally, I get onto some hilly single-track/trails and always end up with a tip over because I can't get out of pedals quickly enough. It's always the really slow climb section when momentum drops to zero for some reason - rear wheel spin due to rocks/shale, front washes due to sand, can't quite get over the rock obstacle, etc... Yesterday my forearm landed in a cactus and I'm still digging out the thorns. Makes me mad!!

    I've started thinking that I need to switch to platform pedals when the plan is for this type of single-track - at least until I am "really good" and no longer have a need to ever put my feet down. Is that what you guys do or am I just too slow at getting out of the pedals???

    Thanks!

  19. #19
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    @JDNM,

    I tried clipless for a year or so and found that it wasn't for me so I switched to five tens and flat pedals (especially because I was trying to ride a slippery downhill race track on my hardtail). The climbs during trail rides were better clipped-in but I wasn't in a hurry to get to the top anyway, I would just sit and spin away while enjoying the scenery. You don't have to ride clipped-in if it just results in a miserable riding experience for you. If you want to stick with clipless start with low pedal tension as suggested above, multi-release cleats help but sometimes they can disengage when you jump.

  20. #20
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    Single track clipless tip-overs

    Zebrahum, fact is, clipless pedals have a learning curve and require practice. Platform pedals also have a learning curve and require practice to ride them most effectively.

    And for a new rider, you need to work on the skills and strength to avoid stalling on steeps and anticipate the need to dab a foot. This is part of the learning curve of clipless that platforms don't have. But platforms have aspects of their learning curve that aren't a consideration for clipless, like how to stay attached to the pedal for the full crank rotation.

    If you are having issues with either one, you need to suck it up and practice your technique. You can throw money at the problem to switch pedal systems and riding shoes but unless you are already highly proficient at them you are not going to fix the problem that way.

    The way I think people need to think of it is that if you want to learn to ride with a particular pedal system, especially as a new rider, then you should go all in with that system. Commit to putting the time in to learn it. If you want to learn and use both, then you have to commit to that, also.

    Yeah, it might mean you will start on a trainer, leaning against a wall, or riding around your backyard for awhile until you get the basics. I went through that progression. Now I ride techy stuff clipped in.

    I consider myself proficient with clipless pedals. I do not race and I don't feel like they are unnecessary. They complement the way I ride. I started using them when the only people using flats had toe cages or power straps. I have been thinking about platforms for awhile. I haven't put them on my mtb because I am not sure I am willing to commit to learning.

    There seems to be a lot of regionalization for pedal use that seems to mirror the types of riding that folks tend to do where they live. Platforms are more popular in areas where folks do more gravity riding. Clipless are more popular in areas where xc riding is more popular. I am in an xc location. Not a lot of folks riding platforms here. Some do, but on my local trails, you will rarely see high end platforms and 5.10's.

  21. #21
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    Clipless pedals allow you to pull back through the bottom of the stroke while pushing down with the other. If you feel no need to do that, ride flats. If you feel a need to do that, ride clipless. If you're stressing over it, you're better off on flats. It's not worth losing sleep over it.
    Last edited by MSU Alum; 04-08-2013 at 08:17 AM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    Zebrahum, fact is, clipless pedals have a learning curve and require practice. Platform pedals also have a learning curve and require practice to ride them most effectively.

    And for a new rider, you need to work on the skills and strength to avoid stalling on steeps and anticipate the need to dab a foot. This is part of the learning curve of clipless that platforms don't have. But platforms have aspects of their learning curve that aren't a consideration for clipless, like how to stay attached to the pedal for the full crank rotation.

    If you are having issues with either one, you need to suck it up and practice your technique. You can throw money at the problem to switch pedal systems and riding shoes but unless you are already highly proficient at them you are not going to fix the problem that way.

    The way I think people need to think of it is that if you want to learn to ride with a particular pedal system, especially as a new rider, then you should go all in with that system. Commit to putting the time in to learn it. If you want to learn and use both, then you have to commit to that, also.

    Yeah, it might mean you will start on a trainer, leaning against a wall, or riding around your backyard for awhile until you get the basics. I went through that progression. Now I ride techy stuff clipped in.

    I consider myself proficient with clipless pedals. I do not race and I don't feel like they are unnecessary. They complement the way I ride. I started using them when the only people using flats had toe cages or power straps. I have been thinking about platforms for awhile. I haven't put them on my mtb because I am not sure I am willing to commit to learning.

    There seems to be a lot of regionalization for pedal use that seems to mirror the types of riding that folks tend to do where they live. Platforms are more popular in areas where folks do more gravity riding. Clipless are more popular in areas where xc riding is more popular. I am in an xc location. Not a lot of folks riding platforms here. Some do, but on my local trails, you will rarely see high end platforms and 5.10's.
    I have a fundamental problem with your explanation, it assumes that clipless pedals are the "correct" way to ride a bike. That is absolutely not true. Yes, it is true that flat pedals have a learning curve; I would argue however that the learning curve is less steep and very much less dangerous. I've explained this many times over but here I go again, I suppose...

    Not terribly long ago, probably within the last 10 years for sure, the only perceived decent choices in pedals were toe-clip pedals, clipless, and bear trap. Bear traps where the platform pedal choice and they were simultaneously dangerous and not all that grippy leaving you with two options. So for anyone who wanted better performance then going clipless was the only option. This is no longer the case even though everyone holds on to the assumption that clipless is superior.

    PULLING UP ON PEDALS IS WRONG. Did that get your attention? If not, I'll happily type it again and again until it does. Proper cycling technique has nothing to do with pulling up against the pedals. Proper cycling technique involves lifting the mass of your leg to aid the upward return of the crank arm so it can be pressed downward again. You should not be applying force to the upward side of the pedaling stroke because your body is not designed to do that and it will lead to stress injuries. The muscles in the leg are designed for walking and jumping, not for weight bearing closing of the hip flexors. This means, that even with clipless pedals or toe-clip pedals or flat pedals that ANYONE CAN PEDAL A BIKE EFFICIENTLY AND PROPERLY REGARDLESS OF PEDAL CHOICE.

    Do you see what you all made me do? My damn caps lock button had to be employed. I hope you're all happy!

    I can't blame anyone for this defense of clipless, it's not like there's anything wrong with them. Bike shops and magazines are still stuck in the loop of pushing clipless because that's what they've been doing for decades. Clipless can be fun, efficient, and mask skill deficiencies... what's not to like? They also can help teach you a smoother pedal stroke, and when you're sweating blood trying to crest that last steep climb on your single speed, you can employ the emergency "pull" stroke to get you over the top of the hill. But don't ever fool yourself into thinking that you're doing something better or more right than those people riding flat pedals because you aren't. The only people who run their mouths about how much better clipless pedals are than flats are the people who don't know enough to know better.

    This is the damn beginner's forum, people; get your heads out of your asses and think about what you're trying to tell people. "Oh it's ok that you fall a whole bunch because your feet won't come off the pedals, just keep getting hurt because you need to ride these pedals because someone told me I need to ride these pedals." Are you kidding me?

    Why is is unacceptable for someone to ride flat pedals?
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  23. #23
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    Zebrahum, calm down man. I agree that nobody should be pressured into riding clipless most of all beginners. I found that with some practice I could pedal efficiently on flat pedals as well.

  24. #24
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    Everyone has their own opinions on this, obviously. I don't race but I ride clipless, always have and by chance that goes back to my BMX racing days in the late 90's when all of a sudden all the fastest kids in my age/class went clipless and I basically had to in order to remain competitive and among the fastest. Not sure if that was mental or what but it sure didn't seem so at the time or looking back now.

    Anyways, I just like being connected with my bike; climbing or descending I feel they are beneficial for my style of riding. My feet are always in the correct position and I don't have bloody shins after every ride. Have to agree with Zebra's thoughts on pulling with clipless -- it is a bad habit to get into, for sure. And it is very beneficial to learn how to bunny hop etc on flats.

    OP -- if you like riding clipless everywhere but those slow ST climbs I'd say just keep working at it and eventually you will get there. Everyone falls a bunch when getting the hang of it. And hell, you can always go to flats.
    All good things in all good time

  25. #25
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    I think it's not a matter of which type of pedal is right or wrong but a matter of which one is right or wrong for you. But if a clipless rider has problems unclipping in time to avoid falling over then I don't think that the rider has given clipless enough time to decide whether it is better or worse than platform. That doesn't mean that if you are brand-new to biking or mountain-biking that starting off clipless is appropriate -- I am assuming basic biking skills are present.
    Two questions to the platform advocates: Does you riding technique involve moving a foot off the pedal during normal controlled riding -- either flagging a foot or dragging it on the ground? How do you lift/hop your rear wheel over an unavoidable obstacle if your feet aren't attached to the pedals -- can that be done with platform pedals?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by borabora View Post
    How do you lift/hop your rear wheel over an unavoidable obstacle if your feet aren't attached to the pedals -- can that be done with platform pedals?
    Absolutely. I just have no idea how to describe it to someone via words, lol. Of course you can use clipless to your advantage and pull the rear end up with your feet but it probably isn't a bad idea to learn how to bunny hop and j-hop so that you can get over obstacles at speed without really thinking about leveraging the rear wheel by pulling up on your pedals. There has to be videos on YouTube that explain how to bunny/j-hop etc.
    All good things in all good time

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Brown View Post
    Zebrahum, calm down man.
    Oh you must be new here, my apologies. Hi, I'm zebrahum; I hate idiots and misinformed opinions and love ranting. It's nice to meet you.
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  28. #28
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    Clipless and flats both have their pros and cons, but you don't have to be "stuck" (no pun intended) to one or the other. I use clipless for road riding, but flats for mtb. I have been doing this long enough to know that dabbing is a part of mountain biking and there's no shame in it at all. There's also no shame of falling over if you're riding clipless. Yeah, it looks funny but I certainly don't blame a guy for having a wreck.

    Ride what you want and have fun with it. But OP, it sounds like you might want to give flats a try. My feet never slip off the pedals using quality flats and 5.10 shoes. Try it, you might like it.
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    It must suck to go through life with so much anger... Bummer...

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    I run platform pedals on my trance and had some issues of getting bumped off my pedals on some trails. But i found that my pedaling technique and attack position of my body was wrong and after working on proper pedaling techniques on platforms and better body positions it doesn't happen anymore. i really want to get a clip-less set up soon but if i did i would be cheating myself and not learning proper form.

    (heavy feet light hands)

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    I'm running basic Shimano M520'S.

    I thought I had them fairly loose, but I was playing with them earlier while I had my cycling shoes on after riding my other bike and they DO seem a little tight. I'll mess with them next time I take it out.

    Other than the issues with them in technical terrain, I love riding clipless. Like I said in an earlier thread, I wouldn't ride anything else on the road.

    BorBora, being clipped in or not has nothing to do with being able to hop. Wacth a trials video on youtube...all of those guys are on platforms and measure thier hops in FEET, not inches. (Look up Martyn Ashton or Danny MacAskill)

    I'm pretty uncoordinated, and even I can hop on platform pedals. I test rode some bikes yesterday and was doing on 'cross bikes and a Surly Moonlander (I got that sucker about a foot off the ground!).

    There are vids on youtube, but there's basically just a few steps to it:

    Pull a wheelie to get the front off the ground.

    As the front is coming off the ground, point your toes down and try to "push" your feet back against the pedals...that will keep you on them.

    With your feet tight against the pedals, pull your legs up towards you, while at the same time using your arms to push the bike forward. Thiswillcasue the front and rear to rise and be pretty much level.

    That probably sounds crazy, but it's the best I can explain it.

    If the only way someone can hop is if they are clipped in, then they don't really know how to hop.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by zumlin View Post
    I will un-clip a foot to prepare for a nasty spot, sometimes both feet... after a few rides I did the same areas clipped in. My pedals have small platforms that help when un-clipped.
    I do the same thing. Also, when coming to a traffic light or interesection while riding road I pop one foot out.

    I was considering getting a set of pedals like that before I totally give up and go with flats. While I hate falling, not being retained on the pedal at all wierds me out. Ever since I got my first good "bike store bike" when I was 13, I've been riding with clips and straps on bear traps. With my latest foray into mtb I decided to finally make the leap.

    I could always get my feet out of the cips/straps easy enough, I just need more practice.

    I agree with zebrahaun, that "pulling up on the pedal" is just stupid. Does anyone ACTUALLY pedal like that? I tried it once, it was awkward and didn't get me where I was going any faster. When I'm really trying to climb I keep my toes pointed down and pressure on the pedal, almost like I'm trying to wrap my foot around it, and I can apply power till the cranks are a good bit past vertical.

    I relax as it heads to the top and focus on the downstroke on the other leg.

    I think of my legs like pistons in an engine - they make power on the downstroke, not the upstroke.

  33. #33
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    thanks for all the advise, I don't have issues slipping off pedals or bunny hop'n but I was under the impression I'm loosing some power (via upstroke) by using flats . I'm my worst critic, and its normal for me to think that I am missing out on "something major" because of my pedal choice. I have a great time out on my bike, despite my warped thinking. Great thread guys !
    "do it in the dirt "

  34. #34
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    Single track clipless tip-overs

    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    Oh you must be new here, my apologies. Hi, I'm zebrahum; I hate idiots and misinformed opinions and love ranting. It's nice to meet you.
    And you draw false conclusions from time to time. All I was saying was ride what you want and commit to learning your chosen system well. You will never get proficient with either one if you half-ass the learning curves. I just happen to know more about clipless because that is what I ride the most.

    Sure, some people use clipless to mask deficiencies, but some riders ride platforms to mask different deficiencies. Anything you say about one type of pedal can apply in some way or another to the other type. Just sack up and practice your technique.

    I only ride platforms on my commuter bike so I don't know much about using them in technical situations which is where they have their steepest learning curve.

  35. #35
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    Single track clipless tip-overs

    Quote Originally Posted by spk1264 View Post
    thanks for all the advise, I don't have issues slipping off pedals or bunny hop'n but I was under the impression I'm loosing some power (via upstroke) by using flats . I'm my worst critic, and its normal for me to think that I am missing out on "something major" because of my pedal choice. I have a great time out on my bike, despite my warped thinking. Great thread guys !
    You might be losing power because you have not perfected platforms. But I don't know for sure. Why don't you go back to the basics (there are plenty of youtube vids with these kinds of techniques) and then smoke your buddies when you get better pedaling technique than they have

  36. #36
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    I'm with NateHawk on this one. I don't care what kind of pedals you ride, but bad technique on one system isn't a good reason to plunk down the cash to completely switch. The original question was, "what am I doing wrong with my clipless pedals?" The answer isn't that he's riding the wrong pedals for the wrong reason. It's that he's too slow to unclip, and probably also needs to work on his low-speed (or no-speed) bike handling.

    For what it's worth, I prefer clipless on the trail, mostly because it's what I'm used to, but also for the ability to pedal COMPLETELY WRONG to get some extra power at low cadence on the singlespeed. It doesn't seem to be wrecking my body any more than leg curls would, and the extra power is very noticeable. Since I've had lots of practice on them, unclipping is super fast, even mid-almost-crash.

  37. #37
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    Thanks to the guys suggesting clip tension. I've been riding these pedals (clipless) for 8 months or so and forgot about that feature. The tension was fine for road/easy riding. It makes sense that they were much too 'tight' for trail riding due to the effort/time required to unclip. I've adjusted the tension way down and will give that a whirl.

    Clearly, I need to improve my trail/technical section skills. As the OP, I didn't mean for this thread to become a platform/clipless debate. I like everything about clipless, except this occasional tip-over, and will continue to ride them.

  38. #38
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    I'm in the same shoes as you (no pun). I lowered the clip tension on my MTB to what felt like ridiculously low compared to my tri and commuter bikes. Then I turned them another half a turn. And I'm contemplating loosening them even more after my first ride on some very technical trails. It's nice to be locked to the pedals but it's paramount to be able to release quickly. I'm using the standard SPD cleats that came with my pedals.

  39. #39
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    If you want to ride using clipless pedals, you need to know that there usually is a learning curve.

    You can spend your days and months switching pedal brands and turning adjustment screws, but it will do you little good unless YOU LEARN to use those pedals.

    Riding clipless on the road, you usually have time to think about releasing from your pedals. On trails, you rarely have the time. You need to have enough repeats releasing that you no longer need to think about releasing.

    "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"

  40. #40
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    I like beer !

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDNM View Post
    What am I doing wrong???

    I ride a lot of asphalt and double-track - no problems. Occasionally, I get onto some hilly single-track/trails and always end up with a tip over because I can't get out of pedals quickly enough. It's always the really slow climb section when momentum drops to zero for some reason - rear wheel spin due to rocks/shale, front washes due to sand, can't quite get over the rock obstacle, etc... Yesterday my forearm landed in a cactus and I'm still digging out the thorns. Makes me mad!!

    I've started thinking that I need to switch to platform pedals when the plan is for this type of single-track - at least until I am "really good" and no longer have a need to ever put my feet down. Is that what you guys do or am I just too slow at getting out of the pedals???

    Thanks!
    You will never get good enough to never need to put a foot down unless you stop trying harder obstacles.

    You don't need flat pedals to put a foot down quickly.

    I don't know what pedals you have, but there are clip-less options that are a lot easier to get out of. Otherwise, time and practice usually makes it a non-issue.

    FWIW, I use Sppedplay Frogs. Very fast and easy to get in and out of. I can't remember the last time I got stuck in them. Maybe ten years ago?
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  42. #42
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    I went over the handlebars on Amasa last week and was out of my Eggbeaters before I hit the ground. It becomes pretty natural.

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