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Nervous about SPDs

ShaunLShaunL Posts: 91
edited March 2009 in Road beginners
OK I know it may sound silly but I have had some SPD pedals for a while now and have been too nervous about putting them on. The reason being the only time I used them I fell off and haven't got over it I suppose.

How many of you guys use SPDs and what are your recommendations about getting used to them.

Posts

  • i use them, have been for 3 years, firstly, set them to their slacket setting, secondly, dont be afraid to clip out well in advance of anything, thirdly, dont be scared of falling, it most likely wont hurt as much as you think it will.
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    Slackest setting, practice on grass, get in the habit of unclipping the left and leaning to the left when approaching a stop. If you learn this habit you lean (or fall - no!!!) away from traffic, and you make fewer mistakes as these usually occur when you lean one way whilst unclipping the other. Use some self-talk "unclip the left, lean left".
  • rally200rally200 Posts: 646
    do you have the silver or the black cleats?

    the silver are best for learning with as you can unclip by moving your feet in all sorts of ways (including falling over), the black are limited to a single twisting motion
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    rally200 wrote:
    do you have the silver or the black cleats?

    the silver are best for learning with as you can unclip by moving your feet in all sorts of ways (including falling over), the black are limited to a single twisting motion
    Known as single release or multi-release. Agree, the latter are better for beginners, unfortunately the pedals come as standard with single release. Multi's are about £8.

    I bought these when introducing my gf to spd's, and I trained her as per my last post, took about 15 minutes and she has had no clipless moments in the 1000 miles since, whilst being full of praise for the improvements spd's have made to her cycling. Go for it!
  • You should be scared!!!

    Nah, just kidding. You gotta remember to clip out when you stop tho, or fall over (infront of everyone, at a race :oops: D'oh!)
    Boo-yah mofo
    Sick to the power of rad
    Fix it 'till it's broke
  • teagarteagar Posts: 2,100
    Practice leaning against a wall first, and make sure you clip out long before you need to stop.I found it helps if you always use the same foot to clip out.
    Note: the above post is an opinion and not fact. It might be a lie.
  • Gav888Gav888 Posts: 946
    Just started using SPD-SL myself, and I really like them, although last night I forgot I had them and went to put my foot down and nearly come off, luckly my car was there to stop me :)

    But I wouldnt go back as I feel so much more confident when pedalling now..
    Cycling never gets any easier, you just go faster - Greg LeMond
  • jswbajswba Posts: 491
    Like teagar said, practice while leaning against a wall and then try it on quiet streets, far away from distractions. Always unclip with the left foot. After a while it'll become second nature.
  • RedJohnRedJohn Posts: 272
    Also practice while riding - every so often, freewheel for a moment and clip in and out a couple of times. Once you do this a few times you'll get very confident that when you have to, you'll be able to.
  • DomProDomPro Posts: 321
    I'm still getting used to using SPD clipless pedals. I fall off way too often and its potentially dangerous even if falling away from traffic. As Alfablue said, you have to anticipate before a junction or stop and get your feet out the pedals in advance.
    Shazam !!
  • markos1963markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    I always advise putting one pedal on first and riding around somewhere quiet , getting used to pulling in and out on that foot whilst still having the knowledge your other foot is loose. Then put an ordinary pedal on that side and put the SPD on the other and try that for a while, once you've gained your confidense you can put both SPD pedals on.

    I have been riding on SPD's and SPD SL's for about 2 years now and I love them to bits.

    I used to ride in the old days with clips and straps, when I had a crash on them I couldn't break free and I seriously damaged my ankle, recently crashed on ice in SPD's and I was free of the bike before I even hit the deck. I think that is case closed, don't you?
  • alfablue wrote:
    rally200 wrote:
    do you have the silver or the black cleats?

    the silver are best for learning with as you can unclip by moving your feet in all sorts of ways (including falling over), the black are limited to a single twisting motion
    Known as single release or multi-release. Agree, the latter are better for beginners, unfortunately the pedals come as standard with single release. Multi's are about £8.

    I bought these when introducing my gf to spd's, and I trained her as per my last post, took about 15 minutes and she has had no clipless moments in the 1000 miles since, whilst being full of praise for the improvements spd's have made to her cycling. Go for it!

    Sorry, a bit unclear are the black or silver better for beginners?
  • omg, its not that hard, get out and ride for gods sake and stop worrying about it, youl learn more from 10 minutes on a trail than 2hours on here. except about what kit is like, but then again, more often than not people are biased beyond belief.
  • Nervous about SPDs?
    I would be too. They're mini-beartraps with spindles.
  • Try some silver cleats, loose and just persevere as above, by gradual tightening as the confidence grows.

    In a few days, you'll wonder how you used to ride without them. :P
    AT MY AGE, I SHOULD KNOW BETTER !!!
  • teagarteagar Posts: 2,100
    Shouldn't really say this but you eventually will fall off with them on! Took me two years for my first fall due to clipless but it was worth it to be honest. Never seen so many people on a bus laugh so hard.

    Just cruised up up to the exit of my house in the middle of summer, looking forward to a good ride. Stopped, fell to the left, straight on my back, feet still on the pedals, wheels still spinning in the air.

    Didn't hurt, but I did feel a fool!
    Note: the above post is an opinion and not fact. It might be a lie.
  • I've started cycling again after a 20 year break and am using spd's for the first time. I went out for a ride 2 nights ago on a quiet street and practised stopping and starting until I got used to the spd's. As with toe clips, keep one foot clipped in all of the time and release the other one in plenty of time before you need to stop. Practise makes perfect.
  • eheh Posts: 4,854
    Not a big deal at all practise on grass the first few times in some old clothes, then go out. Yes you'll fall off maybe a few times everyones done it, not big deal jus the odd bruise and some hurt pride.

    Oh do make sure the bolts on the cleats are really tight, I've seen quite a few people have problems due to loose cleats.
  • gbsgbs Posts: 450
    alfablue wrote:
    r. Use some self-talk "unclip the left, lean left".

    Lots of good advice in the tread particularly the above (unless, for example, you are in the US or France!). The only point I would add is "keep your shoes tightly strapped so there is no float in the shoe". Like skiers we need instant response.

    I started in cleats in my 66th year and my 67th birthday I fell (at slow speed when impeded by a bus) onto a London kerb. Frankly I thought nothing of it except for the embarrassment. Didn't tell the wife. Enjoy.
    vintage newbie, spinning away
  • trevtherevtrevtherev Posts: 372
    The classic cleat fall is approaching traffic lights and slowing the bike but not removing your foot from the cleat until the bike has stopped....and then it's too late...nothing gets hurt but your embarrassment :oops:
    The first time I tried cleats they were too tight....and I could not get them off ( I mean tight ) I was cycling to Bath and thought i've got a little problem here :cry: can't stop at any traffic lights in fact can't stop at all!! I finally joined the bath to bristol cycle track and managed to slow and lean the bike against a friendly wall, with no one looking got my feet out the shoes and then proceed to pull the shoes off....needles to say i didn't make that mistake again.
    I would never be without them, once the tension is set correctly you become a very efficient cycling animal, all power from your body/feet is being transferred to the bike and it's forward motion ( whoa didn't know i was technical :lol: ) About 1 year ago i left my bike in for a service and travelled to work on my old raleigh elan which had no cleats...I couldn't cycle, my feet were all over the place slipping and sliding....get yourself some cleats...you will never regret and it will make your cycling much more enjoyable.

    "Cycling is like a church - many attend, but few understand."
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/trevtherev ... 338579801/
    www.runningfree.co.uk
  • redveeredvee Posts: 11,921
    trevtherev wrote:
    About 1 year ago i left my bike in for a service and travelled to work on my old raleigh elan which had no cleats...I couldn't cycle, my feet were all over the place slipping and sliding....get yourself some cleats...you will never regret and it will make your cycling much more enjoyable.

    After relying on SPDs for far too long I was of the impression I couldn't ride with normal pedals and TBH didn't feel safe without SPDs but now can swap quite easily between the two, you just have to relearn how to ride with normal pedal again, haven't had any non-clipless moments yet.
    I've added a signature to prove it is still possible.
  • gbsgbs Posts: 450
    I forgot to ask in previous post: what techniques to use on steep on hills to maximise climb before getting off and avoiding a fall? http://www.bikeradar.com/forum/images/s ... estion.gif
    vintage newbie, spinning away
  • MarcosplaceMarcosplace Posts: 103
    I fell off at my first stop in SPDs......

    However....they are a must now. So much power and acceleration.
  • MarcosplaceMarcosplace Posts: 103
    I fell off at my first stop in SPDs......

    However....they are a must now. So much power and acceleration.
  • duncanwduncanw Posts: 24
    gbs wrote:
    I forgot to ask in previous post: what techniques to use on steep on hills to maximise climb before getting off and avoiding a fall? http://www.bikeradar.com/forum/images/s ... estion.gif

    No different to stopping on the flat, just do it a bit quicker as you obviously cannot freewheel up hill. Be a bit more positive and stop talking about falling off. :)
  • Why insist on putting the left foot down and not the right?
    Am I missing something?
  • duncanwduncanw Posts: 24
    Why insist on putting the left foot down and not the right?
    Am I missing something?

    It's a bit safer as you'll be leaning towards the kerb and not into the road.
  • Barrie_GBarrie_G Posts: 479
    duncanw wrote:
    Why insist on putting the left foot down and not the right?
    Am I missing something?

    It's a bit safer as you'll be leaning towards the kerb and not into the road.

    Unless you leave a gearshift too late so you've got your pedals in the wrong position for you, and you try to put your right foot down.......

    Now who could have done something like this yesterday :oops:

    I still like spd's I'm just not sure about using them around town.
  • ShaunLShaunL Posts: 91
    Well I tried them on a friends MTB at the weekend and had no problems. I have a new Giant TCR sitting ready for pedals tonight and when the weather gets better I'll be off and running with the new pedals etc.

    Feeling more positive about them now so everything should be safe.
  • duncanwduncanw Posts: 24
    Well done, it's just a matter of practice and gaining confidence.
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