Clipless pedals and crashes

markiegrim
markiegrim Posts: 136
edited March 2014 in Road beginners
Enjoying my new shimano spd pedals, but even on lowest setting, pretty tight. Therefore occurs to me that if I were to come off on a bend or whatever (has happened pre clipless pedals) I might not easily detach. Does that seem right?

Comments

  • brownbosh
    brownbosh Posts: 602
    it does for a beginner but once you get used to them youll have them wound up tight and hav no issues. safer than clips and straps!
  • gavbarron
    gavbarron Posts: 824
    Unless the fall happens slowly, which it never does, then even with flat pedals you are unlikely to arrest the fall. Don't worry about things like that, won't come to mind when you have a bit more confidence.
    As said, once you are used to them you'll be fine
  • Wirral_paul
    Wirral_paul Posts: 2,476
    Just dont crash then - job done ;)
  • markiegrim
    markiegrim Posts: 136
    It's not that I'm thinking I could prevent the fall with unclipped feet, more I would like to know that I would detach from clipless and so not get tangled up in the bike

    Of course I dont plan on crashing, but not something you can just rule out !
  • Initialised
    Initialised Posts: 3,047
    Expect a few horizontal trackstands while you get used to them. My last got me a bunch of stitches in my chin. Normal falls since and my feet are out before I hit the ground. Replacing the cleats once they'd worn down made them nice and tight again, I was worried a little at first but it's just habit, even when I ride flats.
    I used to just ride my bike to work but now I find myself going out looking for bigger and bigger hills.
  • gavbarron
    gavbarron Posts: 824
    markiegrim wrote:
    It's not that I'm thinking I could prevent the fall with unclipped feet, more I would like to know that I would detach from clipless and so not get tangled up in the bike

    Of course I dont plan on crashing, but not something you can just rule out !


    Gotcha, in that case don't worry, in the event you do come off, it's highly likely at least one foot will come undone in the melee. On the few times I've come off it has anyway, both at embarrassing traffic light track stand fails and in fast race crashes
  • MrSweary
    MrSweary Posts: 1,699
    Mine didn't seem to impede me when I flew over the bonnet of that taxi last November. Of course if I hadn't had them I might have got a few yards more distance across the road. :)
    Kinesis Racelite 4s disc
    Kona Paddy Wagon
    Canyon Roadlite Al 7.0 - reborn as single speed!
    Felt Z85 - mangled by taxi.
  • pirnie
    pirnie Posts: 242
    I wouldn't worry, I became detached from my bike perfectly fine when I flew over my handlebars into a bush a few weeks ago ;)
  • markhewitt1978
    markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    I've had two crashes where I've fallen off the bike, one my own fault one not, I've somehow become unclipped both times.
  • jasondxb
    jasondxb Posts: 59
    Being a new rider, just over a week, I have not been brave enough to put the shoes on yet

    When I do, I know that I will forget to unclip and fall off at some point. Not really worried about the pain from failing off more concerned about damaging the new bike

    How well do carbon frames/forks hold up when this happens
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,504
    In faster falls they usually detach themselves, they are designed so that the reflex motion you make when you panic unclips the pedal. Sometimes in very slow speed topples you may find you don't detach and getting back up can be difficult, I see this happen quite a lot when we coach the kids at our club - they end up stuck on a grass bank unable to move until someone unclips a foot for them.
  • markiegrim
    markiegrim Posts: 136
    cheers all...reassured now.
    Currently have a post-it stuck to handle bars saying "pedals!!"
  • Jon_1976
    Jon_1976 Posts: 690
    Best thing to do is spend a reasonable amount of time clipping in and out of the pedals (whilst stationary) before going out (I spent about 10 boring minutes doing this whilst watching tv). It'll get you used to clipping in and out and also help out with muscle memory so you won't forget to unclip at the first set of lights.

    Then, after a while it'll be second nature and you'll do the unclipping motion even when riding flats 8)
  • ForumNewbie
    ForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    You want to unclip well before lights and junctions until you get confident, and I would suggest forget about trackstands.
  • markhewitt1978
    markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    You want to unclip well before lights and junctions until you get confident, and I would suggest forget about trackstands.

    Best thing is to pick one foot which will stay clipped in and one which you will unclip - for me I unclip the left. Then make it standard practice that you unclip the left if there's even the slightest chance you may need to stop, e.g. when approaching junctions.
  • ddraver
    ddraver Posts: 26,391
    clipless moments are the exception to the rule...

    I ride MTB too with clipless pedals and being MTb crash much more often. I have never yet not come unclipped in a crash
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • ForumNewbie
    ForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    You want to unclip well before lights and junctions until you get confident, and I would suggest forget about trackstands.

    Best thing is to pick one foot which will stay clipped in and one which you will unclip - for me I unclip the left. Then make it standard practice that you unclip the left if there's even the slightest chance you may need to stop, e.g. when approaching junctions.
    Totally agree Mark, although for me it's always the right foot I unclip. My left foot usually stays clipped in until I'm actually getting off the bike at the end of my ride.
  • damocles10
    damocles10 Posts: 340
    I thought most people come off when they start to use clipless pedal...it's part of the learning curve. :)
  • markhewitt1978
    markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    damocles10 wrote:
    I thought most people come off when they start to use clipless pedal...it's part of the learning curve. :)

    That's a different thing. Most clipless moments occur when you've come to a stop but forgotten to unclip, so you fall sideways still attached to the bike. Happened to me once the first time I pulled to a stop on the wrong side of the road and got confused as to which foot to put out. I've had a few close calls where I've unclipped the left but for whatever reason ended up leaning right.

    Saw one guy just pull up to a junction, do a comedy pause and then just fall sideways! I rushed over to see if he was ok, but he was like "Ah, happens all the time!"
  • RedWheels
    RedWheels Posts: 56
    the first time i put on clipless i got to a set of lights and thought, 'right, must unclip now'

    so i unclipped my left foot, stopped and leaned right to put my right foot on the ground.

    i haven't had a problem since, and i always unclip the same foot as Mark mentioned.
  • markhewitt1978
    markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    Strangely even though I always unclip with my left, it's always the cleat on the right shoe which starts to loosen first - happens across all shoes so it's not the shoes.
  • jasondxb
    jasondxb Posts: 59
    Had my 1st off yesterday, after a week of wearing the shoes

    Why does it always happen in front of people ?

    I unclipped my left foot came to a stop and for some bizzare reason tilted the bike to the right, all happened in slow motion. I just laid on the floor laughing for a good 30 seconds, the people watching did nt know what to make of it all
  • I often hear people say that everyone does it once.

    I'm generally rather clumsy but I've toppled at least 5 times. Once into oncoming traffic which was a bit hairy. On L2B I sent about 7 people over in a domino effect while at a standstill around Tooting.
  • wandsworth
    wandsworth Posts: 354
    RedWheels wrote:
    the first time i put on clipless i got to a set of lights and thought, 'right, must unclip now'

    so i unclipped my left foot, stopped and leaned right to put my right foot on the ground.

    i haven't had a problem since, and i always unclip the same foot as Mark mentioned.

    I did exactly this. Thankfully it was at a red light.

    I'd suggest riding around a park or somewhere grassy for a bit, practicing clipping in and unclipping the foot that you've decided will be the one you unclip. You can also adjust the tension on the clip if you need to.

    But yeah, avoid trackstands.
    Shut up, knees!

    Various Boardmans, a Focus, a Cannondale and an ancient Trek.
  • Baracus
    Baracus Posts: 32
    i practised clipping in and out on my turbo trainer for ages, just to avoid ever faling over
    when i felt confident enough, i came out of my garage clipped in my left foot, was faffing about with the right foot, the bike stalled and i fell over to the right onto my lawn, thankfully.
    on the upside, thats been my only off, its second nature now
  • fat_cat
    fat_cat Posts: 566
    Concentration is key. Don't get distracted and forget to unclip.

    Obviously I speak from bitter experience last weekend. Trying out the navigation on my new Garmin, was too focused on which way to turn at a junction, and forgot all about the pedals. Down like a sack of spuds , didn't come unclipped and a whacked my knee on the top tube when I hit the deck. Didn't hurt much at the time, but it did the next morning!

    No damage done, well only to my pride!
  • crankycrank
    crankycrank Posts: 1,830
    markiegrim wrote:
    Therefore occurs to me that if I were to come off on a bend or whatever (has happened pre clipless pedals) I might not easily detach. Does that seem right?
    Yes it can happen but I see this as advantage as you can use your body to protect the bike. The body will heal, the bike will not. :P
  • Ringpeace
    Ringpeace Posts: 105
    I have had 2 crashes whilst being clipped in. Both completely unavoidable. Once when a dog ran straight in front of me and came out of nowhere. I literally had no time to react, prepare or swerve.

    That resulted in a huge gash to my calf from the chainrings.

    The second time was when I was approaching a roundabout and a White Van man decided to completely cut me up and then stop in front of me with nowhere to go.

    IMO dogs are the biggest threat. Although it's not the dogs, which are generally very stupid, but their owners who are definitely much more idiotic.