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Need help clipping in for the first time?

JBcyclistJBcyclist Posts: 4
edited February 2014 in Road beginners
Do you guys remember your first fall with clipless pedals or know anybody that had a funny tumble? Mine was at a stoplight on the 3rd ride on the pedals and I unclipped a little late, put my foot down too fast and it slipped right out from under me. Probably the only time in my life I've come close to a "perfect" split. I couldn't walk right for at least 2 days. Ugh. haha

I wish someone would have shared this article with me when I first started riding so I'll pass it on to you guys:

This might have kept me from falling on my face a couple times...

http://blog.artscyclery.com/road/keepin ... irst-time/

Posts

  • I've never met anyone who claims never to have done this - it's part of the learning curve as far as I can see - it becomes really embarrassing when you do it six or so months later cause you forget or leave it too late!
  • I've never met anyone who claims never to have done this - it's part of the learning curve as far as I can see - it becomes really embarrassing when you do it six or so months later cause you forget or leave it too late!

    I never did it. I started off on toeclips and leather straps. If you can release your foot by reaching down and loosening a strap, chances are - like me - you will find clipless pedals very easy!
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    I've never met anyone who claims never to have done this...
    I never did it either.
    I started using clipless pedals 2.5 years ago. I've never fallen.
    Came close once or twice early on when I unclipped one side and then leaned to the other when stopping but always got the other foot out in time to get away with it.
  • owenlarsowenlars Posts: 719
    There are only two types of cyclist, those who have fallen over whilst clipped in and those who will :wink:
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    owenlars wrote:
    There are only two types of cyclist, those who have fallen over whilst clipped in and those who will :wink:
    Got any evidence to support that?
    I'll let you know when it happens to me.....
  • w00dsterw00dster Posts: 879
    Happened to me twice.
    First time was on my first ride, I didn't forgot to unclip, I was just stuck in the pedals. The more I panicked coming to the juntion the worse it seemed to get. Hurt the ego rather than myself. The practice ride around my local park was absolutely fine, just happened when I was on tarmac for the first time.
    The second time was very similar, I had loosened the tension but obviously not enough. 20 mile into a very pleasant ride, nice sunny day, I came across a tea shop. Quite a few people outside watching me go bump!! That one hurt both ego and myself.
    Thankfully I've learned my lesson now and haven't done it for a long time.
  • PituophisPituophis Posts: 1,025
    I did it a few times on the mountain bike, really hurting myself on one occasion, resulting in a return to flats :(
    Never done it yet on the road bike, but I think its the fear from the mtb days that keeps my mind sharp when it comes to unclipping! :oops:
  • I've never met anyone who claims never to have done this - it's part of the learning curve as far as I can see - it becomes really embarrassing when you do it six or so months later cause you forget or leave it too late!

    I stand corrected some have escaped the ritual humiliation of the slow motion clipped in fall!
  • lakesludditelakesluddite Posts: 1,328
    Yeah, happened to me a couple of times in the first few weeks of going clipless. First wasn't too bad, going up the hill to work, realised I was in completely the wrong gear to get up the final steep incline, ground to a halt, and fell to the right like a felled tree. Nobody around aywhere, so no embarrassment or laughter.

    Second time was coming out of a train station side road junction, thinking there was no traffic approaching from either left or right - wrong! Had to put the brakes on and lost all momentum before realising I was still attached. Felled tree moment again, but this time a car was right behind me! They didn't exactly rush out to help either, just looked at me like a was an idiot - which of course is exactly what I was. :oops:
  • johnmioshjohnmiosh Posts: 210
    Same as Simon Masterson; years of clips and straps, never had a slo-mo fall.

    In the 80s I decided to buy some of those new fangled look pedals for my main bike but left clips and straps on my fixed bike for the extra security. In comparison clipless were simple, never a problem for me.

    First time out on fixed after a couple of weeks on the geared bike with clipless I rolled to the end of my street, did a track stand at the junction, realised the traffic wasn't going to let me straight out, twisted my ankle to the side to release, and then remembered I was not using clipless. First low speed comedy fall after 15 years of riding.
  • First time I fell off on my MTB SPDs, I whacked my head off of someones car. The guy was nice enough about it, and my (big) head didn't damage anything thankfully. Second time I fell was right infront of a girl who I'd been eyeing up in the workplace next door, suffice to say I was quite red-faced after that. I simply forgot to unclip.

    I've recently got a new road bike, which I've put road SPDs on this time, and they're an absolutely nightmare to clip into. Easier to get out of than the MTB ones though.
  • farrinafarrina Posts: 360
    I never did it. I started off on toeclips and leather straps. If you can release your foot by reaching down and loosening a strap, chances are - like me - you will find clipless pedals very easy!
    That's how I started as well - I think we are giving our ages away here!

    in my case I returned home from a short ride, stopped and had that sudden alarming feeling that I could not remove my foot from the pedal (of course I had not released my newly acquired strap and clips) before I toppled sideways into my mother's prized roses at the side of the drive .... Never again

    To some extent the advent of clipless pedals has made life easier - no longer do you have to decide whether you are "committed" (i.e. strapped tight) or not on an unknown hill (get up it or fall off!)

    Ooh - just found the first clipless pedals I ever bought here http://velobase.com/ViewComponent.aspx?ID=12D6C81D-56AC-4592-A0F0-D63CF65AF27A&Enum=109&AbsPos=1688

    Anyone remember the original white Look pedals from circa 1986/7
    Regards
    Alan
  • pak-manpak-man Posts: 76
    I'll share my story as it taught me a very important lesson.

    I was turning right across a main road. I was in the habit then of unclipping just one foot, my left. Approached turning point, unclipped my left foot in plenty of time and then, to my horror, found I was across the apex of the camber (but not over the white line). So when I stopped, my bike and me all tipped to the right and, as my right foot was clipped in, over I went. It was only the reactions of the driver of the oncoming car that stopped my head getting stove in by his car. I now unclip both feet even though this may be overkill on occasion!
  • ForumNewbieForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    pak-man wrote:
    I'll share my story as it taught me a very important lesson.

    I was turning right across a main road. I was in the habit then of unclipping just one foot, my left. Approached turning point, unclipped my left foot in plenty of time and then, to my horror, found I was across the apex of the camber (but not over the white line). So when I stopped, my bike and me all tipped to the right and, as my right foot was clipped in, over I went. It was only the reactions of the driver of the oncoming car that stopped my head getting stove in by his car. I now unclip both feet even though this may be overkill on occasion!
    Hi there, do you mean you unclip both feet before you come to actually come to a halt? I always unclip my right foot, but I step out of the saddle whenever I stop, so my right foot is firmly on the ground when I'm stopped. Very occasionally I will then unclip my left foot as well after I'm stopped, but only if I need to move my bike over to the left.
  • pak-manpak-man Posts: 76
    Yep, I unclip both feet. But I tend to stay seated, maybe stepping out of the saddle has the same (desired) outcome.
  • I've never met anyone who claims never to have done this - it's part of the learning curve as far as I can see - it becomes really embarrassing when you do it six or so months later cause you forget or leave it too late!


    I have never fallen over or forgotten to unclip with clips. 8) I started to toe straps, never fell with them but frequently spent more time trying to get into them than going forward.
    The only thing that has happened was I unclipped and smacked my knee on the handlebar whilst trying to pump uphill.


    + I went our riding with a guy new to clips who fell straight over like a book whilst we were stationary on the driveway.
  • I've never met anyone who claims never to have done this - it's part of the learning curve as far as I can see - it becomes really embarrassing when you do it six or so months later cause you forget or leave it too late!

    I stand corrected some have escaped the ritual humiliation of the slow motion clipped in fall!


    So far i have (10 months and counting) but may happen one day...
    Specialized Roubaix SL4 Sport Compact 2014
    Wattbike Atom
    Garmin Edge 530
  • had my spd since xmas some close moments still not 100% with them most of time unclip well before i need too find it ok un clipping buy main prob is clipping back up
  • gethincerigethinceri Posts: 1,124
    My first slow-mo clipless fall dropped me between the front and rear axles of a HGV, the rear wheel pulled my waterproof jacket from my jersey pocket and I was spared a spine squashing by millimetres. I sh4t myself.
  • dilatorydilatory Posts: 565
    crannman wrote:
    had my spd since xmas some close moments still not 100% with them most of time unclip well before i need too find it ok un clipping buy main prob is clipping back up

    It sounds daft but when I got my cleats into the most comfortable position, it also became a lot easier to clip in, the sort of natural place on my foot where I expect to be pedalling.
  • I've had a couple of close calls. The day my clipless shoes arrived, I got them all fitted up and then rode down the garden to test them out. In the 20m trip down the garden I somehow forgot that I was clipped in and forgot to unclip myself when I got to the shed. I sort of grabbed the open door and somehow managed to unclip myself just in time, it was very close though...

    Second one was this weekend! I stopped to check that another rider by the side of the road was okay (flat tyre, no tubes :/ ), unclipped one foot and then fell the other way. Luckily managed to get it out in time!
  • My first clipless fall was because I'd pulled into a gateway on the wrong side of the road, so confused myself as to which side I was unclipping, so ended up unclipping nither! Thankfully I fell into the grass and just got a bloody knee.

    The most heart stopping ones were more near misses. Going up hill on cobbles in Richmond, someone had left a hose running water down the street. It was like slow motion, "my wheel is slipping", "I've stopped", "unclip!!!" "phew".
  • InitialisedInitialised Posts: 3,047
    I've got a scar on my chin where by bar ends got embedded in my face when my gears locked up (chain jumped off the biggest sprocket) on a climb and I was fairly new to cleats. It wasn't my first, I think it may have been my last.
    I used to just ride my bike to work but now I find myself going out looking for bigger and bigger hills.
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