Forum home Road cycling forum Road beginners

Need advise

Sportif newbieSportif newbie Posts: 17
edited April 2013 in Road beginners
I have just brought my first road shoes and pedals (Shimano R087W with SPD SL pedals) but I am completely new to road cycling, can anybody give me advise on how to start using them. I hear about near misses and I don't want a crash !!!

Many thanks

Posts

  • smidsysmidsy Posts: 5,273
    Get used to clipping in and out by setting up next to a wall or your sofa or whatever.

    You need to drop your heel and twist to achieve a nice even release. If you panic and try and pull up it will not release properly.

    Drop your heel and twist is the key.
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • danlikesbikesdanlikesbikes Posts: 3,898
    Once you have had a bit of practice inside find a quite flat road and just practice on there too clipping out and coming to a stop then setting off and clipping in. Should get easy pretty quickly TBH.

    For the first few times on the road consider your surroundings and if coming up to a junction or lights make sure you are ready in plenty of time to clip out and slow steadily rather than rush towards it slam the breaks on and possibly panic and try in vein to lift your foot up and out.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • MattyyPMattyyP Posts: 142
    Nobody wants to crash... I'd been riding clipless for 4 months before I had my first fall due to not being able to unclip! But that was thanks to exhaustion more than anything! :lol:
    Specialized Secteur Sport 2011
    B'Twin Rockrider 8 XC
    B'Twin Rockrider 9.1
  • team47bteam47b Posts: 6,424
    I would advise that you that you will not 'crash' but you may fall over when stationary once or twice, practice makes perfect, this is a good place to get advice on spelling too! :D
    my isetta is a 300cc bike
  • LittlePlumsLittlePlums Posts: 139
    team47b wrote:
    I would advise that you that you will not 'crash' but you may fall over when stationary once or twice, practice makes perfect, this is a good place to get advice on spelling too! :D

    And repetition as well.

    And repetition as well.
    Pride and joy: Bianchi Sempre
    Commuting hack: Cube Nature
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,918
    I think too many people wait until they have almost come to a stop before unclipping. Cruise up to a stop and unclip well before you intend putting the brakes full on. Worked for me first time I wore them. Also decide which foot you find most comfortable unclipping and clipping back into when out riding. I prefer my left foot, whereas before I wore clips I used to put my right foot down first at stops.

    As said , repetition, it'll come to you just like falling off a bi er log.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I've never had a problem with clipless and I've been riding them since they first came out.
    You unclip before you've stopped. Its not rocket science.
  • goonzgoonz Posts: 3,106
    I dont know if they do, maybe someone can comfirm but my SPD pedals have a tension spring which you can loosen to the lowest setting. Do this first, then take your bike to the park if space is a premium at home. On the grass learn to balance the bike and clipping in and out. At least if you fall it will be on grass and not on concrete.

    Heel has to twist to the outside, going inside will jam your foot. Keep doing it a lot of times to get your leg muscles used to the new movement as it will need time for your muscles to memorise it.

    Good luck!
    Scott Speedster S20 Roadie for Speed
    Specialized Hardrock MTB for Lumps
    Specialized Langster SS for Ease
    Cinelli Mash Bolt Fixed for Pain
    n+1 is well and truly on track
    Strava http://app.strava.com/athletes/1608875
  • goonzgoonz Posts: 3,106
    I prefer my left foot, whereas before I wore clips I used to put my right foot down first at stops.

    Why is that? I too always put down my left foot, to the point I find it just that little bit more difficult if I try unclipping my right first. Need to practice more with the right.
    Scott Speedster S20 Roadie for Speed
    Specialized Hardrock MTB for Lumps
    Specialized Langster SS for Ease
    Cinelli Mash Bolt Fixed for Pain
    n+1 is well and truly on track
    Strava http://app.strava.com/athletes/1608875
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,918
    goonz wrote:
    I prefer my left foot, whereas before I wore clips I used to put my right foot down first at stops.

    Why is that? I too always put down my left foot, to the point I find it just that little bit more difficult if I try unclipping my right first. Need to practice more with the right.

    Mysteries of life. I don't know but I just do. If I ride my MTB or my hybrid which both have flat pedals at the moment, I will instinctively put my right foot down as I stop. But if I want to unclip on my road bikes, I feel more steady using my left. I also find clipping back into my left pedal easier. Just a freaky thing but it could explain why some people fall over. You have a 1 second brain fart sat at a junction and down you go.
  • markos1963markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    When I started using clipless I practised by just putting one pedal and shoe on at a time and then the other so I wasn't totally stranded if I couldn't unclip in time although tbh I wasn't that hard to master and probably easier than using old fashoined toeclips and straps.
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,372
    When unclipping DO NOT, repeat DO NOT twist the ankle toward the bike. Always twist away from the bike. Getting your ankle caught or clipped by the spokes is not pleasant.
  • Nick_MNick_M Posts: 58
    Lots of good advice above. I started using them last autumn and some things that helped me were:

    1. Practice clipping in and out whilst indoors. I used a doorway to keep me upright. Do this for at least 20 minutes to build up some muscle memory so you don't have to think through what to do when out on the road.

    2. Reduce the tension to the minimum using the screw on each pedal.

    3. Plan a couple of rides when it is quiet and practice clipping in and out and starting and stopping. Don't do this in traffic where you will have to do it for real.

    4. Unclip well before each stop. If you leave it too late you can get flustered and fall over (guess how I know this).

    5. Some people find it easier to settle on one foot to unclip at stops. I always unclip on the left and keep clipped in on the right.

    6. Resign yourself to the fact that you WILL fall over. It's a rite of passage. For me it was when I started to get used to the process and relax and pulled up at a junction before promptly falling over sideways in front of a Range Rover driven by woman who had just picked her kids up from school. They looked absolutely astonished :) .

    7. If you are going to fall over, it will be when you are almost stationary so you won't hurt yourself, but better to fall left and away from traffic.

    There's one situation that still makes me a bit nervous with cleats, which is on very steep slow climbs. It takes a fraction of a second to unclip - but if I'm absolutely knackered and need to stop then being at high cadence and low speed makes it a bit of a challenge to unclip before the bike keels over and dumps me in a hedge.
  • iPipiPip Posts: 90
    Nick_M wrote:
    There's one situation that still makes me a bit nervous with cleats, which is on very steep slow climbs. It takes a fraction of a second to unclip - but if I'm absolutely knackered and need to stop then being at high cadence and low speed makes it a bit of a challenge to unclip before the bike keels over and dumps me in a hedge.
    This same fear has kept me going up several climbs when I probably would have given up! Knowing that I would probably topple over or never get clipped in again uphill is a great motivator.
    Regards
    Pip

    Cube Agree GTC Pro
    Boardman Hybrid Comp
    Voodoo Bantu
  • farrinafarrina Posts: 385
    cougie wrote:
    I've never had a problem with clipless and I've been riding them since they first came out.
    You unclip before you've stopped. Its not rocket science.

    Or if you want to play the cycling equivalent of strip poker you track stand at the lights and hope for no small indentations in the road surface, gust of wind or local riff raff spoiling your posing while drivers look on agog? In my experience they tend to treat you with a bit more respect - provided you don't fall off.

    :D

    Regards

    Alan
    Regards
    Alan
  • farrinafarrina Posts: 385
    Nick_M wrote:
    There's one situation that still makes me a bit nervous with cleats, which is on very steep slow climbs. It takes a fraction of a second to unclip - but if I'm absolutely knackered and need to stop then being at high cadence and low speed makes it a bit of a challenge to unclip before the bike keels over and dumps me in a hedge.

    You would not have enjoyed cycling in the days of toe clips/straps then. My first off was on my parents path were I remember thinking s**t straps still on tight before I headed sidewise into a most inconveniently placed rose bush .... did not make that mistake again ....
    Regards
    Alan
  • muzzanmuzzan Posts: 203
    I'm quite new to spd-sl having used spds for a year or so. Only problem has been clipping in on the move, esp uphill. Worst possible combination is starting uphill in amongst busy traffic. Quite easy to miss the clip & have your shoe skid off the pedal & slightly unbalance the bike. Getting a bit better, but still far from 2nd nature. Never had a problem clipping out though. Dont find it any more difficult than spds tbh.
Sign In or Register to comment.