1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
    My Member Rides a MTB
    Reputation: abegetchell's Avatar
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    Yet another "first clipless ride" thread!

    I purchased a set of Sidi Bullet 2's and a pair of Time Alium's to put on my current bike (2003 GT Palomar) so I could get used to clipless pedals before my new bike arrives (Giant Trace 2 - 28 days and counting). I didn't want to feel like I was starting all over again when I got my new bike, so I decided to bite the bullet (pun intended) and learn ahead of time.

    I threw them on the bike last Friday night and rode around the neighborhood for a couple of hours. I immediately wondered what all the fuss was about... not in terms of increasing power transfer or providing greater control, that was very apparent... I simply didn't understand what all the fuss was about in terms of people having issues clipping out. I was clipping in and out without any trouble at all.

    I then went for a longer ride on Sunday afternoon around the neighborhood. Again, I was having no issues getting into and out of the pedals during normal stops and starts, and even during times when I had to get out quickly. What's the big deal? Why does everyone have problems getting used to these things? They felt GREAT!

    Today after work I hit the local trail system in the town I work - this trail system is known to have some of the best riding in the state. I was a little timid at first, unclipping on tough technical sections and walking them because I didn't feel I could get out in time. I also was unclipping on shot steep uphills because I was afraid I would stall half way up and go over backwards and down the hill still attached to my bike. I eventually got over both of these fears and rode the sections, still a little nervous, but successfully. I quickly realized just how beneficial clipless pedals are on looooong climbs jumps. I was loving it! A friend called me on my cell phone (yeah, I carry it with me on the trails, safety) and asked if I had fallen down yet (he's a fellow mountain biker). I laughed and said no! I must be a natural at this whole clipless pedal thing.

    I've been at it for two-and-a-half hours at this point and was getting pretty worn out. I jumped on a connecting trail and headed back to the parking lot of the park I was riding in. Upon entering the parking lot I was shocked at how much it had filled up. There are a bunch of softball and soccer fields and they were all full. It was nice to see people out enjoying the day. I zip over to my car and promptly plummet to the ground not able to get my right foot unclipped. After I land, I look to my right and see a group of softball players standing there looking at me. I look to my left and see a group of hot chicks standing there looking at me. I crack a smile and start to get up as I hear one of the softball players say, "Man, that dude just hit the DIRT."

    Now that I've gotten THAT out of the way, watch out, here I come!
    '05 Giant Trance 2
    '06 Giant OCR1

    The writer is the engineer of the human soul. -Joseph Stalin

  2. #2
    bi-winning
    Reputation: rkj__'s Avatar
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    good post. i read many of these before deciding to go clipless myself. i just did not think it was worth that slight trouble at the beginning. (learning curve) did not see what the big deal was. then i tried a few free spinning classes at a gym, with toe clips. i suddenly realised the benifit of gettting that more complete pedal stroke. so i headed right for the reviews here and after a bit, i decided to go for some Shimano m520's with the appropriate shoes. i loosened off the tension a little, rode around the neighbourhood, and like you, did not see what the big deal was. unclipping was easy. i tried some easy trails and loved the advantage on the climbs, as well as easier bunny hopping, and not worrying about my feet slipping off the pedals. in technical off balance situations, i have tipped over a few times, but no injuries at all. i need to make sure to keep the tension loose for a while, it helps in panic situations, but for now i try not to worry about it too much, and i am eager to master the skill to the point of it being second nature.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.


    Shorthills Cycling Club

  3. #3
    MTBR Mafia
    Reputation: cdub's Avatar
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    haha, the whole time i was reading that, the only thing i could think about is how you were gonna fall. and i think we all have had our fare share(including myself) but non in front of any hot chicks. ouch
    All Mountain was so 2005

  4. #4
    mtbr member
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    When i put my clipless on about a month or so ago, i had no trouble getting out of them on the trails, but then my confidence was through the roof and i was riding on pavement and stopped but forgot to unclip and BAM i hit the pavement hard...so even after you figure it out, be carefull

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Gaffney10's Avatar
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    I just put my Time Atac XS pedals and I really like them so far. No bad crashes or anything like that yet, I have tipped over twice however.

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