Forum home Mountain biking forum MTB beginners

SPD woes

rtorbsrtorbs Posts: 94
edited March 2011 in MTB beginners
Hi All

A couple of weeks back I posted asking for tips one which spd shoes (cheers everyone) as I decided to venture into the clipped in world.....fast forward 2 or so weeks and probably a dozen rides later and I've actually fallen off more times than I've been out to ride :oops:

On anything flat, dowhill or non technical im fine and really do feel the benefits but come a technical section or a massive steep incline where im bound to touch down then im pretty much gaurenteed to stack it lol....I dont mind but its nearly proven costly on more than on occasion

Are there any tips or something im missing?.....the pedals are on the slackest setting, but anything that forces me to stop suddenly usually involes an accident

A couple of the trails i did as kid now scare the sh*t out of me as the 20ft drop seems more a concern than when not being clipped in...

Failing any tips on riding clipped in, can anyone advise on any good flats? :D

Cheers all.....hopefully ill still be around to pick up the replies
«1

Posts

  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    MTFU.

    Or use flats. Intelligent people do.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • rtorbsrtorbs Posts: 94
    cooldad wrote:
    MTFU.

    pmsl....doesnt matter how hard i am.....20ft onto rocks is gonna hurt no?
  • Bar ShakerBar Shaker Posts: 2,313
    The pain of falling off is a great tutor for getting things right.
    Boardman Elite SLR 9.2S
    Boardman FS Pro
  • Assuming your running shimano spd's you could try multi release cleats.

    Can't say I'd had a problem going onto spuds myself but I moved on from toe clips (both strapped & strapless over the years) as opposed to flats. While they're often overlooked when people make their choices, they may work for you.
    Statistically, Six Out Of Seven Dwarves Aren't Happy
  • rtorbsrtorbs Posts: 94
    Bar Shaker wrote:
    The pain of falling off is a great tutor for getting things right.

    Falling off whilst stationary on level ground is the key to getting things right......falling off the edge of a big drop/into moving traffic is great for a one way ticket to meet the big man in the sky lol

    Flats it is then.....

    Anyone want a 2 week old set of 520 SPDs and MP66's ? :lol:
  • kenankenan Posts: 952
    Change the cleat position, rotate them so they release quicker.

    Takes a while to get used to, I stopped in a river and couldn't get my foot out. As you can imagine my friends enjoyed my learning process.
  • Nevermind SPD's. Toe clips are the way to go.
    They are the future!!!!!
  • found a place in the bin for clipless pedals and bought wellgo flats and ixs mtb shoes,enjoy riding again now
  • d3mattd3matt Posts: 510
    I've just got my new cycle boots and fitted my first clipless pedals today. Been out tonight to try them for the first time and got on ok. I had far more problems clicking in than I did clicking out. Until I got home to my front door and then fell into the flower pots!

    Riding the rough stuff worries me a little and I can imagine I could be echoing rtorbs questions in a couple of weeks time too. I guess it's about being confident and reading the path more.

    Riding this Boardman Team FS 2010. Also trying my first blog.
  • paulboxpaulbox Posts: 1,186
    I think it depends on your riding style, if you're used to putting your foot down it's obviously going to be more of a problem than if you keep your feet on the pedals.

    It doesn't take long for the release to become second nature, but if it's not for you, it's not for you...
    XC: Giant Anthem X
    Fun: Yeti SB66
    Road: Litespeed C1, Cannondale Supersix Evo, Cervelo R5
    Trainer: Bianchi via Nirone
    Hack: GT hardtail with Schwalbe City Jets
  • m1tch666m1tch666 Posts: 148
    I started off with M770 XT clipless, and single release cleats.......it wasn't an issue with falling off, more an issue of trying to get started again when my mate stopped in front of me half way up a climb, or when I went through a gate at the bottom of a steep climb.....just couldn't combine clipping in and powering up, kept spinning off the pedals......

    Now I'm using m545 pedals with multi release cleats.....no issues at all.
    Dartmoor Primal 26" 1 x 10, 40 expander
    Banshee Spitfire 650b 1 x 10, 42 expander
  • rtorbsrtorbs Posts: 94
    Seems the majority prefer spds but Im kinda split as to where i go from here now lol....

    Typically trailing spds on a field or somewhere flat isnt a gopod example of a real scenario you'll face when your out (unless you ride uneventfull terrain ?) i never had any issues clippin in or out cycling round the block it was when i came to a monster hill when you have the laws of physics working against you or something more technical that i tended to stack it...

    Also im not blessed with the stamina of marathon runner so am not able to power through everything without the odd touch here and there....which im guessing will come with time but its will i survive til then ? ha

    and lastly its not the falling off that bothers me it comes with the territory but its where and how you fall.....like mentioned before i actually fell off on the above mentioned monster hill and almost got taken out by a car...not good ha

    think I might go back to flats till i have the stamina and then switch back to spds
  • suzybsuzyb Posts: 3,449
    rtorbs wrote:
    Also im not blessed with the stamina of marathon runner so am not able to power through everything without the odd touch here and there....which im guessing will come with time but its will i survive til then ? ha
    I'm sticking with flats for exactly that reason.
  • d3mattd3matt Posts: 510
    I've been out this morning, trying the clipless pedals. All is great on normal terrain and I can clip out fine. In fact I have far more of an issue clipping in. One side is far more difficult than the other.
    However, it was the steep uphill climb I really struggled with. The path was extremely muddy, steep and narrow. I fell at least 10 times and then walked it. I just didn't have enough time to unclip and often I was unable to unclip because of the angle of my body/leg. I fell down a 3 ft drop (which felt like 10 ft) onto the path below and even fell off the back with the bike on top of me. It was all 1st and 2nd gear stuff, but I just couldn't get enough momentum to on the bike. On flat pedals, I would have struggled, but I wouldn't have fallen. It was the falling that just made it so difficult. What was also making it worse was the time & momentum lost trying to clip in the other foot once I was moving.
    Still, it's early days yet, but so far I'm not really seeing the benefits!

    Riding this Boardman Team FS 2010. Also trying my first blog.
  • omegasomegas Posts: 970
    For your first rides with SPD, s try sticking to the riding round the park until you get used to them . It does make sense. :lol:
  • miss notaxmiss notax Posts: 2,823
    They do just take time to get used to...

    I persuaded a friend of ours to switch to SPD's (he was wanting to try them) at the same time as he got a new bike - a full susser having ridden a hardtail for years. Needless to say that after two rides I am not too popular!

    I think everyone who rides clipped in has gone through the same thing, a few weeks of falling off randomly before you start getting used to them. To me, the benefits outweigh a few weeks of looking like a [email protected] (which I manage quite well anyway :roll: ).

    Having got used to them, I don't even think about clipping and unclipping now - in the same way that you don't conciously think about changing gear whilst driving. You also get to the point when you naturally unclip when you come off.... I have tumbled on boardwalk before and unclipped and got a foot down before falling off it - it's just practise!

    I woud say stick with it for now, and then make a decision whether they are for you or not :D
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away....

    Riding a gorgeous ano orange Turner Burner!

    Sponsor the CC2CC at http://www.justgiving.com/cc2cc
  • Echoing what everyone else has said, it just takes time to build up the muscle memory to the point where you automatically twist your heel outwards when putting a foot down without even thinking about it.

    That said, clipless isn't for everyone, and you're no less of a cyclist if you don't use them. I've ridden clipless since the mid-90s and have never had a problem with them, but recently decided to try a decent set of flats. Not planning on going back to clipless anytime soon! Went on a recent group ride and rode up everything the clipless guys did, never lost my footing over rough ground, and rode steep techy stuff far more confidently than I would have if clipped in.
    ::'11 Pitch Pro::
  • unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
    I ran SPDs on my road bike for years before I put them on my mtb. What finally convinced me to run them off road was slipping on wet pedals. I have no probs with them off road, if I come to anything dodgy I unclip beforehand (same on the road bike).
    http://www.strathspey.co.uk - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
    Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
    Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!
  • wheezeewheezee Posts: 461
    +1 for the multi-release type. The "panic" release which allows you to snap out vertically is great. I've not once come out accidentally

    I also find clipping in quickly is more of a faff than getting out. Trying to negotiate a rocky slope while repeatedly skiittering around on top of one of the pedals tends to put the comedy in my performance.
  • rtorbsrtorbs Posts: 94
    omegas wrote:
    For your first rides with SPD, s try sticking to the riding round the park until you get used to them . It does make sense. :lol:

    this was my point...riding round the park isnt a good enough trail......its easy to clip in and out on a flat unchallanging surface, but not when the going gets tough
  • rtorbsrtorbs Posts: 94
    edited February 2011
    wheezee wrote:
    +1 for the multi-release type. The "panic" release which allows you to snap out vertically is great. I've not once come out accidentally

    The SH56 type?.....Do you have any isues accidently unclipping on pulling your foot up or anything ?

    When all is said and done maybe I do need to give it another few weeks.....

    Edit - apolgies didnt see Deputy Dawgs post with a link....already been answered.
  • rtorbsrtorbs Posts: 94
    kenan wrote:
    Change the cleat position, rotate them so they release quicker.

    Takes a while to get used to, I stopped in a river and couldn't get my foot out. As you can imagine my friends enjoyed my learning process.

    Can you expand on this ? i was under the impression the position of the cleat has more of an effect on the position of your foot on the pedal...i didnt know you can release quicker
  • I switched to spd's best thing i did ... I took my time and set them up wouldnt switch back now ..
  • rtorbsrtorbs Posts: 94
    d3matt wrote:
    I've been out this morning, trying the clipless pedals. All is great on normal terrain and I can clip out fine. In fact I have far more of an issue clipping in. One side is far more difficult than the other.
    However, it was the steep uphill climb I really struggled with. The path was extremely muddy, steep and narrow. I fell at least 10 times and then walked it. I just didn't have enough time to unclip and often I was unable to unclip because of the angle of my body/leg. I fell down a 3 ft drop (which felt like 10 ft) onto the path below and even fell off the back with the bike on top of me. It was all 1st and 2nd gear stuff, but I just couldn't get enough momentum to on the bike. On flat pedals, I would have struggled, but I wouldn't have fallen. It was the falling that just made it so difficult. What was also making it worse was the time & momentum lost trying to clip in the other foot once I was moving.
    Still, it's early days yet, but so far I'm not really seeing the benefits!

    This pretty much echoes where Im at :lol: .....youll have to let us know how you get on, im gonna stick it out for a few more weeks at least
  • Yes stick with it .... you will be fine
  • mac_manmac_man Posts: 916
    Is this a good place to ask various peeps on the pros and cons of SPDs?
    I've never tried them... but am curious to know what the benefits would be.

    Only been riding 2 years and teh 1st bike I had had cheapie flats with moulded pins. Needless to say that combined with trainers they proved slippier than an MPs expense account.

    I since upgraded to some Wellgo MG1s and some skate shoes and the difference is phenomenal. I very rarely slip off the pedals like I used to. Sometimes they do come off - usually if I'm trying some kind of jump.

    Having said all this I kicked my mates censored around Gisburn on the techie stuff. He was forever worrying about coming off because he couldn't get his feet off the pedals quick enough - even though he's ridden clipless for years.

    I couldn't help notice that the 2 MTB instructors I've been with have both ridden flats with 5:10 (or similar). What do most DH riders wear I wonder? Ditto XC riders.
    Cool, retro and sometimes downright rude MTB and cycling themed T shirts. Just MTFU.

    By day: http://www.mtfu.co.uk
  • d3mattd3matt Posts: 510
    mac man wrote:
    Is this a good place to ask various peeps on the pros and cons of SPDs?
    I've never tried them... but am curious to know what the benefits would be.

    The main benefit (that riding mates have told me) is that you're using the full circular motion of each leg to power forward. i.e. you can pull up as well as push down, whereas with flat pedals you can only push for 1/2 the pedal rotation (well actually only about 1/3rd really).
    Also your foot doesn't bounce off the pedal on rough ground. Also you're pushing in exactly the right place on the sole of your foot.

    The other benefit for me, is it allowed me to buy some proper bike boots rather than just using trainers. I've already seen a benefit of using the proper shoes with stiff soles and locked in. I felt more connected to the bike and certainly was able to put more power into accelerating.

    In hindsight, maybe I should have purchased clipless pedals that also had a platform, like these, to overcome the disadvantage of being locked in on challenging terrain.

    Riding this Boardman Team FS 2010. Also trying my first blog.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    It's a personal choice. The guys I ride with are split about 50/50.
    I ride flats off road, old fashioned toe clips on road.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • paulboxpaulbox Posts: 1,186
    I use SPD's on all my bikes. I think the argument that you use the whole pedal stroke rather than just the pushing down bit is oversold, I don't think you do. I just prefer the feeling of being connected to the bike and no worries of feet slipping off pedals. It does also make it easier to lift the rear end over obstacles. The major plus for me is proper shoes, if you do have to get off and run/walk you have decent grip on your soles and studs on the front if you want, not to mention very stiff carbon soles to spread the load.
    XC: Giant Anthem X
    Fun: Yeti SB66
    Road: Litespeed C1, Cannondale Supersix Evo, Cervelo R5
    Trainer: Bianchi via Nirone
    Hack: GT hardtail with Schwalbe City Jets
  • I changed to spds on my hybrid for my commute to work a while ago. I spent the first week falling off but learned in a (relatively) painless way how to unclip quickly/unexpectedly. I've now got a set on my mtb and they are great. They do tend to encourage you to grind through sticky or steep sections when perhaps you wouldn't normally, but the greatest benefit I found was that they kept my feet on the pedals during fast bumpy descents.
    Get completely happy with them on the road or simple tracks before doing the tricky stuff, then you'll breeze it!
    hth
Sign In or Register to comment.