Using cleats for the first time

Road123
Road123 Posts: 5
edited July 2010 in Road beginners
I'm new to road cycling. I've had my Kiron a year but have only recently started cycling out with a club. Up to now I have just worn trainers but I've finally bought my first set of cleats. I've done a bit of practice on quiet roads but wanted to know whether people recommend I continue like this building confidence on little trips or to chuck myself in at the deep end on my weekend club ride of about 40 miles. The bulk of the ride is on country lanes but there is about 5 miles of cycling in traffic as we make our way out of London. I have a fear of getting up to a traffic light and just falling over :-).

Comments

  • Wooliferkins
    Wooliferkins Posts: 2,060
    You are going to bite the bullet some day. Shimano? You can adjust the engagement it's a buggers muddle between nailed on and pulling out at inopportune moments. There is an unwritten saw that says you fall over with cleats at least once so I would bite the bullet. Enjoy and good luck.
    Neil
    Help I'm Being Oppressed
  • Cleat Eastwood
    Cleat Eastwood Posts: 7,508
    I'd ride a bit longer just until it feels second nature to unclip. It gets easier too as the cleats wear in.

    Someone posted on here once that you fall cleated 3 times.

    1. because you forget you have them on
    2. Over confidence
    3. Because every one has to fall off and look stupid at least once.

    :D
    The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns
    momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself.
  • Rich Hcp
    Rich Hcp Posts: 1,355
    Loosen the adjustment off and practise a bit.

    You may as well go for it no, you'll soon find it second nature to clip out.

    If you're not sure, clip out, saves panic and I'm sure you'll be fine.
    Richard

    Giving it Large
  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,869
    tbh i'd just go for it

    you've done some practice on a quiet road, you can practice more as you ride along, just clip out/in on the go

    the more you do it the more your body will learn and it'll become almost unconcious reflex

    as far as traffic lights etc. go, unclip well in advance

    i wouldn't loosen them too much, coming unclipped by accident can be nasty

    what sort of pedals/cleats do you have?
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • Road123
    Road123 Posts: 5
    I've got Shimano A530 touring pedals as I use my bike for my commute at the mo. The cleats I've got are SH51.

    First time out I hadn't tightened the cleats to my shoes enough so couldn't unclip and hit the deck so that's one fall down.

    Thanks for the encouragement. Fingers crossed after Saturday I'll wonder how I got on before without them:-).
  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,869
    ah, i use spd for commuting too, they release fairly well in panic situations, just keep practicing

    and as you found, make sure they're tight on the shoes! they can loosen a bit in the first few days as the sole conforms to the cleat
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • anto164
    anto164 Posts: 3,500
    sungod wrote:
    tbh i'd just go for it

    i wouldn't loosen them too much, coming unclipped by accident can be nasty

    I agree.

    Was out on the bike today and putting some power down (I always unclip with my right foot, and it's quite a loose tension) Third stroke on from a standing start (Was pulling hard up to get some speed to get onto a quick roundabout) and my right foot unclips.. Cue the back end of the bike popping up, and me luckily landing the bike straight so i could just clip back in again. Could have been nasty if i wasn't used to bikes going really light under me and getting airborne..
  • Peddle Up!
    Peddle Up! Posts: 2,040
    Rich Hcp wrote:
    Loosen the adjustment off and practise a bit.

    You may as well go for it no, you'll soon find it second nature to clip out.

    If you're not sure, clip out, saves panic and I'm sure you'll be fine.

    I find that I automatically turn my foot to "unclip" when I'm riding my hybrid and wearing trainers. :)
    Purveyor of "up" :)
  • irturner
    irturner Posts: 41
    I find unclipping gets harder towards the end of a long ride if I'm getting tired.
    Fortunately so far have managed to come unclipped in potential falling situations.
    Probably better to unclip from either side for when you're on a road with camber that doesn't favour your usual foot
  • Foxbauer
    Foxbauer Posts: 13
    first couple of rides with cleats... never fell!

    now.... atleast once a ride.

    i just forget they are there
  • topmoxy
    topmoxy Posts: 138
    i have no problems on my road bike, but always falling off my MTB on technical stuff. always gets a larf though. :lol::lol::lol:
  • skyd0g
    skyd0g Posts: 2,540
    MTFU & go for it. :wink:
    Cycling weakly
  • Jameszee
    Jameszee Posts: 1
    I would rather my Girlfriend didn't "Man the beep up" thanks skyd0g :lol:
  • CarleyB
    CarleyB Posts: 475
    ive fallen of twice now unclipped.... and its always when im trying to judge wheteher a car is stopping, slowing dow or going for it...my mind forgets about my feet and I have some lovely bruises to show for it. :D
    Level 3 Road & Time Trial Coach, Level 2 Track Coach.

    Blackpool Clarion CC
    http://blackpoolclarion.webs.com/

    Blackpool Youth Cycling Association
    http://www.go-ride-byca.org
  • Bunneh
    Bunneh Posts: 1,329
    You're gonna do the 'falling over at the traffic lights' sooner or later, just get it over with! :wink:
  • Jameszee wrote:
    I would rather my Girlfriend didn't "Man the beep up" thanks skyd0g :lol:

    Back off lads!!

    :roll:
    Road - '10 Giant Defy 3.5
    MTB - '05 Scott Yecora
    BMX - '04 Haro Nyquist R24 (don't judge me)
  • winel0rd
    winel0rd Posts: 9
    Jump in at the deep end. I was in the same position last week. Had a few practice rides out of sight of the public, and actually found it a lot easier than expected.
    You'll find it becomes 2nd nature very, very quickly.
  • oscarbudgie
    oscarbudgie Posts: 850
    Top Tip
    When you switch to road pedals you can use one of your old SPD's as an unusual and stylish bottle opener
    Cannondale Supersix / CAAD9 / Boardman 9.0 / Benotto 3000
  • mattward1979
    mattward1979 Posts: 692
    jUST DO IT!!

    You will fall, off so just make your peace with it and get it over and done with =D

    Once you do, clipping in is the single most profound upgrade you can make over buying a whole new bike.

    Do your club 40.. and for the first 20 miles, chant "Unclip and lean" every 5 seconds. This way when you DO need to stop, you will be mentally prepared to (yeah you guessed it!) Unclip and lean!!

    Sounds a bit mental, but Its what I did when first using SPD's, and so far Ive only had 1 clipless moment!
    exercise.png
  • skyd0g
    skyd0g Posts: 2,540
    Jameszee wrote:
    I would rather my Girlfriend didn't "Man the beep up" thanks skyd0g :lol:

    I'm sure your girlfriend can answer/type for herself. :wink:
    If she's unsure, I suggest practice (un-clipping) in an empty car park with simulated stops. :D
    Cycling weakly