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Thread: Toe Clips

  1. #1
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    Toe Clips

    Guys I'm a bit dated on pedals. I've ridden toe clips for years, just recently bought a bike that had platforms and I do not like the positioning, actually thinking about positioning the front of my foot on the pedals. I ride trails, and pavement, likely won't hit any single track this year either. I want to try clipless, but my question is, will they mimick the position of toeclips with just the front of my foot being on the pedal. Bike is a cannondale trail sl4 29, likely doesn't matter.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Shoes are designed to put the ball of your foot over the pedal axle like it is with your toe clip pedals, cleats can be adjusted forward and backward to fine tune the positioning.
    When you first get them, ride in an open, preferably soft place for a bit to get used to them. I came from toe clips to clipless, and the mindset change from pulling backward out of the clip and strap to twisting out of the clipless has a certain learning curve to it. You will most likely fall over a few times getting said learning curve complete.
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    My immediate concern is the falling because of not being unclipped, but that is secondary to the twisting motion I have to exert to unclip. That movement Is what I'm still avoiding post ACL repair. I'm anticipating the rotational force to be minimal though, I understand it can be adjusted.

    So with that becomes the search for pedals and shoes...

    Thanks

  4. #4
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    my experience with toe clips was disastrous. they eat your sneakers and don't let go. it's much harder to get out of toe clips than a set up properly set-up cleats. ask your LBS about cleat options. for your needs, you might benefit from Crank Bros pedals with the cleats set for minimal float. minimal float means you have to move your ankle LESS to make the cleat disengage.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by shooked View Post
    I've ridden toe clips for years, just recently bought a bike that had platforms and I do not like the positioning, actually thinking about positioning the front of my foot on the pedals.
    How can you not like the foot positioning with platforms? You can position your shoes wherever you want.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shooked View Post
    My immediate concern is the falling because of not being unclipped, but that is secondary to the twisting motion I have to exert to unclip. That movement Is what I'm still avoiding post ACL repair. I'm anticipating the rotational force to be minimal though, I understand it can be adjusted.

    So with that becomes the search for pedals and shoes...

    Thanks
    I would talk to your doctor about the ACL repair before making too many decisions, it would be terrible to blow your knee back up just because of some anonymous advice from an internet forum. Make sure that's a motion your doctor is comfortable with you making.

    Think of flat pedals the same way as you do clipless, they're both going to take a learning curve to get used to. Much like you weren't an expert at getting into and out of your toe-clip pedals the first time you used them, you can't be expected to be an expert at flats or clipless the first time either.

    Flats, no question, are different to toe-clip pedals. You do have to position your feet on the pedals manually but after a few rides it becomes second nature (like flipping toe-clips over to get in or clipping in to clipless) and in some situations it becomes a benefit to be able to move around. I find toe-clip pedals to be very unsettling; in order to be effective in holding your foot they have to be so tight it makes it difficult to get your feet out and the mode of removing your feet from the pedal is quite unnatural if you're falling over. Of course, like any person who has been on toe-clip pedals, you get used to it and stop thinking about it which makes it hard to accept a different pedal type as all you see are faults.

    Clipless; well you'll probably fall during your learning period, hopefully it'll be on something soft. Plenty of good reasons to ride clipless pedals and there are plenty of good pedals and shoes. I would recommend Shimano SPD pedals with the multi-release cleat for a first time clipless user. The pedals have adjustable tension for the retention mechanism and that cleat allows your foot to come out in a number of directions which could help prevent a tumble. For shoes, get something that fits above all else. Go to a proper bike shop and have them help you; shoes are not a place where you should skimp on the spending when it comes to clipless.

    As with anything, it's personal preference and you can't really go wrong so long as you're riding a bike. Here's my talley:

    Flats: AM mountain bike, DJ bike, beach cruiser
    Clipless: SS mountain bike, cross bike
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  7. #7
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    I used to always ride toe clips too. Then when I got back into riding last year I went clipless. I LOVE them.

    On my road/cross bike you'll have to pry them from my cold, dead hands. I rode my old "around town" MTB that I have set up with flats (to let people borrow), and I hated it. My feet were all over the damn place.

    On my trail MTB I went with Nashbar pedals that have clips on one side and flats on the other. Best of both words, mostly. The clips are just harder to get into since they're only on one side of the pedal, I have to flip the pedal the right way to clip in. I bought those because I was having issues getting unclipped in time on real technical areas, I was falling on a pretty regular basis. Now I just unclip and ride the flats on real technical areas.

    FWI I ride Shimano SPD SM520's on my cross bike, I got them on sale for like 25 bucks.
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  8. #8
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    Clipless pedals feel completely natural after about ummm.....maybe around 2 hours. Set them on the lightest setting and go....
    NTFTC

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    I would second the recommendation to maybe run the idea by your dr.
    Pedal choice is going to be likely be really important in your case - 'float' (which is how much your heel can swing around before reaching disengagement) as well as release tension (how strongly you need to twist to disengage) vary across manufacturers and models. If you buy a pedal that doesn't allow a good amount of float and don't get the cleat placement just right, you could find yourself aggravating your knee while riding. Same goes for a pedal that takes a lot of force to get out of (though release tension is adjustable in a many models). Just something to keep in mind.
    Clipless are definitely the way to go for trail riding IMO. They'll be second nature in no time.

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    Thanks for the advice, but after 14 years of critical care nursing, I can say with experience my doc is a ding dong. He said I could return to full activity after 6 months, but I do krav maga and jiu jitsu. I think he thought I just did forms in karate. My physical therapy doc said absolutely no kicking for 1 year. I've been putting my knee thru the ringer, no extreme cutting yet, but plenty of other nonsense for sure. If my leg is full extension the rotation is clear thru my thigh, no problem. When it is bent the rotation is in my knee.

    With flats I have to keep thinking, put your foot back every time. Its like climbing a ladder, I put my foot in the center for stability.

    You guys rock!

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    Quote Originally Posted by shooked View Post

    With flats I have to keep thinking, put your foot back every time. Its like climbing a ladder, I put my foot in the center for stability.

    You guys rock!
    You don't remove your foot from the pedals. The myth of the "round" pedal stroke causes people to attempt to pull up on the strap or shoe but that's not an efficient pedaling movement. Push down, light leg up. No lifting of the foot and no need for adjustment on each pedal stroke.
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    Zebrahum; yeah I follow, its inadvertantly that this occurs while pedaling. Not as if I'm lifting on the stroke. Going from toeclips which require zero thought except disengaging, to flats where position is potentially shifted or needing reshifted every so often. I now notice it may sound like I'm lifting every stroke. Not the case.

    Thanks man.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shooked View Post
    Zebrahum; yeah I follow, its inadvertantly that this occurs while pedaling. Not as if I'm lifting on the stroke. Going from toeclips which require zero thought except disengaging, to flats where position is potentially shifted or needing reshifted every so often. I now notice it may sound like I'm lifting every stroke. Not the case.

    Thanks man.
    No worries, no matter what pedals you choose just remember to give it at least 4 rides before making too drastic decisions on how you feel about them. It takes a long time to un-learn the movements you've been using all these years. Anything different will feel "wrong" it takes time to get used to anything new.
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