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First time using spd

Dan67Dan67 Posts: 658
edited September 2007 in XC and Enduro
Picked my bike up after getting some parts put with spd's being one of them today.
First time ride out on them and i have to come to a stop as i though i could hear a car I try to unclip and i cant and comically i just go over.
So how many of you who use spds has had this experience when you first try to use them?


  • homercleshomercles Posts: 499
    Hi Dan

    From my and others I've spoken to experience this is fairly common in first using SPDs. Initially it's a bit of a trust issue but your body will quickly learn what to do to stop you falling over. I wouldn't recommend practicing on busy roads though - get familiar on back streets or a park/ similar before braving serious traffic. I had at least one spectacular fall at a traffic light on Tottenham Court Road and another outside On Your Bike at London Bridge (VERY embarrassing). I found that within a couple of days riding they felt perfectly natural and now can't stand riding without them.
  • How do you get your foot out quickly? Is there some secret?

    Never SPDs before but some are coming on my new bike.
    The Prince

  • Dan67Dan67 Posts: 658
    Thankfully i wasnt on any main roads but in the centre of town. The person standing near me found it funny i think
    How do you get your foot out quickly? Is there some secret?

    Never SPDs before but some are coming on my new bike.

    twist your foot and thats its. The probelm is just recognising the skill and how quickly you can do it.
  • RykardRykard Posts: 582
    put them on their loosest setting. Then practice leaning on a wall to get the 'twist out' right. Then maybe ride on flat grass if avaiable. You will also ned to get the position of yours cleats sorted too.

    It just comes with a bit of practise and forward planning...

    A Vision of a Champion is someone who is bent over, drenched with sweat, at the point of exhaustion, when no one else is watching.
  • Big n DaftBig n Daft Posts: 418
    Rykards hit it right on the head.

    Its all about forward planning.

    Many SPD pedals have tension adjusters built in, this will be a tiny little Allen bolt somewhere on the outside of the pedal, which is usually linked to a small sliding gauge inside the pedal. Slack this off as far as you can without it coming out, it will be far easier to get out of the pedals until your used to it.

    Alternatively you can get multi release cleats, these will release with a sharpish movement in any direction, even upwards, they might be worth a look.

    To be honest, the looking an idiot for a bit is far outweighed by how much more efficient your pedalling becomes, as well as pushing down through the pedal, your other foot because its attached to the pedal will be pulling upwards.
    Cycle tracks will abound in Utopia. ~H.G. Wells ... 3Small.jpg
  • lost-timelost-time Posts: 549
    When I first went over to SPDs a few years back I would find myself unclipping my 'rest' foot a few meters before I knew I was stopping such as at a road junction or trail point. Over time I could unclip later and later. I still get the occaisional moment where I run out of talent and fail to unclip but this is usually my own silly fault and not reading the trail properly ie: unclip left foot and need to lean to the right so unable to release right foot as I topple over. It gives my riding buddies something to gawk at but its not often.

    As others have said, make sure the tension is on the loosest setting and just be prepered. Oh, one othe bit that I sometimes panik over is say a technical short uphill section where grip and momentem aren't necessarily on your side and the thought of stalling the bike and not unclipping usually means buggering it up. Try to think positive and look at the goal and I tend to make it more often than not now.
  • davaomx5davaomx5 Posts: 36
    first time? dislocated AND fractured elbow... the date? 7-7-07... bad luck... laid off for at least a couple of months...
  • lost-timelost-time Posts: 549
    davaomx5 wrote:
    first time? dislocated AND fractured elbow... the date? 7-7-07... bad luck... laid off for at least a couple of months...

    So how much are you selling them for!?
  • davaomx5davaomx5 Posts: 36
    won't sell though man... i actually dont blame the SPDs... maybe another practice round when m back on the saddle... m using the new XTR SPDs. Also got the CBros Eggbeater... m not sure yet which is better for SPD-beginners...
  • Andy BAndy B Posts: 8,115
    Shimano are better for beginners (IMHO) as you can adjust the release tension.
  • bryanmbryanm Posts: 218
    I used spd's on my MTB for the first time this weekend - used them on road bike for years. All was well until I got home. Rolled up the path to the front door as I always do. And then remembered.... Doh! Fortunately I could grap the adjacent wall.
  • dan1983dan1983 Posts: 314
    My FIRST experience went incident free. My SECOND however...doing the black trail at Hamsterley Forest, did a downhill section that leads you through a ford/deep stream type thing at the bottom. On the other side of the ford is a slight (shortl but steep) hill. At this point my chain decided it wanted to come off, so as I pedalled hard my legs obviously went faster than me and my bike causing me to go over the handlebars. (No SPD related issue yet). i went over my bars I couldnt get my feet out of the pedals, causing me to be doing a handstand against the hill i was trying to get up with my bike in the air still attached to me. I was there for about a minute or so as my mates were all too busy p'ing themselves.

    Also, other than that I had no probs getting out of them, it was getting into them that was the problem. I have since decreased the tension though.
  • jaysonjayson Posts: 4,606
    Ur not a real mtb'er until you've done the slow motion sideways topple whilst using SPD's, its like a right of passage :D:D:D

    With a bit of practice it all becomes second nature and u dont really think about it anymore, even then though u still get the odd unexpected incident which see's u on ur censored cos u just weren't quick enough.

    Your not the first and certainly wont be the last, welcome to the club :D:D
  • I use clipless all the time on the road bikes, but am fairly new to MTB-ing (altho have managed jaysons rite of passage 3 times so far with SPD's); is there any value to having double-sided pedals ie one side as a flat to use on trickier sections, or is this just being a wuss?
  • My first (and as as I can remember, only) SPD moment was when I was stationary, chatting to my mates. I went to transfer my weight from my right foot to my left, thinking my left foot was only resting on the pedal. Of course, it was clipped in, and I went down on my knee with a huge thud. Never good when there's 17 stone landing on it.

    Never lived it down.
  • having falts on one side are useful if you are just going up to the shops etc and don't want to be clunking around in your spd shoes.

    Being fairly new to technical stuff I do find being able to use flats useful sometimes, although I believe that it is not recommended by Shimano etc.

    I too have done the fall over - broke my old phone :oops:
  • I ditched mine after six months -too many minor errors turned into major splats thanks to the spd pedals.
    Still wear SPD type shoes though for the stiff sole - But more the trainer type so I don't look too stupid.
    Two Stumpjumpers, a Rockhopper Disk and an old British Eagle.
  • NoodooNoodoo Posts: 214
    Wearing SPD's is the only way my brother can bunyhop! :)

    I must admit, from the short spell I spent using his bike/shoes, the SPD's seem like they'd help a great deal with throwing the bike around and getting out of singletrack ruts when needed.

    Saracen Mantra with Marzocchi MX Pro ETA\'s, 24-7 Silverstar pedals... and a map holder.
  • I'm really surprised some of you haven't stuck with SPD's. They're by far one of the greatest improvements in MTB'ing. I remember getting my 1st pair way back in the early 90's and immediately they made riding so much more enjoyable and controllable.

    Granted, to begin with they may be a little difficult to get use to, but as soon as you do you'll be clipping in and out at will!

    My advice, never give up! You'll love 'em!
  • RykardRykard Posts: 582
    couldn't commute without them

    A Vision of a Champion is someone who is bent over, drenched with sweat, at the point of exhaustion, when no one else is watching.
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