Uphill starts on clipped pedals!

snaphappyspen Posts: 179
edited September 2012 in Road beginners
Yet again, for the 4th time i looked a complete fucktard trying to start on an uphill, setting off with one foot clipped in, then missing the pedal slowing down to the point of a stand still and the other foot going in, thus i had to make a quick unclip before i fell. Thankfully this time i could unclip!!!!

Has anyone got any tips (apart from getting new pedals) about starting on hills? Techniques? tips on how to make sure you clip in first time?

Bike - Scott Aspect 45
Roadie - Trek 1.5 2013


  • t4tomo
    t4tomo Posts: 2,643
    clip one foot in but don't worry bout clipping ghe other in until you've got up the hill or some speed up - just get pedalling. Note I use SPD's so the "just pedal" bit is easy to do, might be slightly less so on SPD-SL, but momentum is your friend.
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  • Gizmodo
    Gizmodo Posts: 1,928
    I have managed to learn how to pedal with Look Keo pedals with 1 foot not clipped in. The bottom of the shoe is quite slippy on the pedal but it is possible and helps for a few revolutions until you can clip in.
  • I did try as Gizmodo said, the problem was that the hill in question was very busy with cars so when i set off i really need to be certain im not going to fall over. I have used these pedals for about 2 weeks now and only have problems on hill climbs. Its getting quite annoying now.
    Bike - Scott Aspect 45
    Roadie - Trek 1.5 2013
  • farrina
    farrina Posts: 360
    H'm there is no easy way in my experience and depends (obviously!) on the gradient of the hill and gear you are in - best is not to unclip in the first place :D

    The only suggestions I can come up with is either track stand (not for the faint hearted and depends on state of road surface) or remain clipped in whilst touching some convenient street furniture (can't say I would recommend a temporary stationary car as some of my madder friends have done in the past.

    Clipping in will come with practise it's just the mere fact that you are on a hill makes you much more " nervous" shall we say. Having recently changed from Look to Shimano pedals I have some sympathy as ( despite their similarity) I feel a bit like a newbie at times and am not entirely confident that they have always fully engaged (clue loud click :oops: )

    I still hate T junctions on steep hills to this day for this very reason.


  • I unclip my left foot - so I push the left pedal with the heel of foot and only try to clip in when the right foot is just on its down stroke.
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  • StillGoing
    StillGoing Posts: 5,211
    More one leg pedaling drills on the turbo. Just keep the one foot clipped in and pedal with one leg to get some forwards momentum and then clip in with the other foot. If you know you're going to get caught at a junction or other traffic calming obstacle, drop to an easy gear that you know you can comfortably pedal one legged.
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  • drlodge
    drlodge Posts: 4,826
    Its easy (er) when there's no traffic around, since you can start off by going across the road which is near level. On a steep hill, the only other option for me is to start off going downhill, clip in, then turn around.
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  • Posts like this make me wonder if clips are really worth it. Are they really worth it?
  • I've been clipped in and had to stop on a steep uphill 25% gradient a couple of times, once for a tractor coming down the hill that refused to give way (grr) and once for a couple of cows that refused to move.

    I actually found it easy to get clipped back in, although I was using double-sided SPD pedals and a pair of MTB style shoes so the extra grip on the sole probably helped.
  • amaferanga
    amaferanga Posts: 6,789
    Bustacapp wrote:
    Posts like this make me wonder if clips are really worth it. Are they really worth it?

    More problems but still living....
  • I find the best thing to do when trying to do hill starts is to remain seated. Then if you haven't managed to get your other foot clipped in on the first downstroke, you can just pedal back and get another downstroke in. Repeat until you get clipped in. Works for me! :D
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,550
    Make sure you are in a low gear - if possible a gear or two lower than you would usually ride the hill in. Try not to think about it (easier said than done) the more you think about getting your foot clipped in the harder it becomes. My road starts off at about 1:6 so I have to do it everytime I set off. The worst case is when one foot somehow half clips in which leaves your foot feeling unsecured but makes unclipping difficult - I had an off like this right outside my house :oops:
  • Was tough for me getting started on hills with cleats too. As my muscle memory developed and clipping in became 2nd nature it stopped becoming a problem. The exit for the office carpark is a steep ascent and I usually have to stop and wait for the automatic doors to roll up. That helped to develop the process. It did take a few weeks though before I got to around the 100% success rate.
  • jameses
    jameses Posts: 653
    Remember you can pull up as well as pushing down! Unless it's really steep, you should be able to manage a few one-legged revolutions to get some momentum up and give you a moment to clip in the other foot. And as Gizmodo pointed out, you can also pedal with the flat of the shoe.