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First time with cleats

NoelpenNoelpen Posts: 16
edited August 2015 in Road beginners
Thought I would have a little practice this morning in the back street,had 7 attempts but managed to fall off twice.
Will be going for a ride later so it could be a interesting day I think.
Any thoughts or advice would be of help.
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Posts

  • JackPozziJackPozzi Posts: 1,191
    Are you falling off when starting or stopping?

    My general procedure is get one foot clipped in when stationery (presonally prefer to start with the right foot), get going then attempt to engage the left foot on the first revolution, but don't panic if it doesn't engage, get up to speed and freewheel for a bit while ensuring the pedal is the right way up then clip in.

    When coming to a halt, unclip left foot with plenty of time to spare and come to a stop, left leg down, right stays in pedal.
  • NoelpenNoelpen Posts: 16
    Are you falling off when starting or stopping?

    My general procedure is get one foot clipped in when stationery (presonally prefer to start with the right foot), get going then attempt to engage the left foot on the first revolution, but don't panic if it doesn't engage, get up to speed and freewheel for a bit while ensuring the pedal is the right way up then clip in.

    When coming to a halt, unclip left foot with plenty of time to spare and come to a stop, left leg down, right stays in pedal

    Its mainly when coming to a stop,I follow the same procedure as you do but when I come to stop I think I'm unclipping a tad too late (must try a bit earlier) and hopefully practice will make perfect.
  • JackPozziJackPozzi Posts: 1,191
    Are you falling off when starting or stopping?

    My general procedure is get one foot clipped in when stationery (presonally prefer to start with the right foot), get going then attempt to engage the left foot on the first revolution, but don't panic if it doesn't engage, get up to speed and freewheel for a bit while ensuring the pedal is the right way up then clip in.

    When coming to a halt, unclip left foot with plenty of time to spare and come to a stop, left leg down, right stays in pedal

    Its mainly when coming to a stop,I follow the same procedure as you do but when I come to stop I think I'm unclipping a tad too late (must try a bit earlier) and hopefully practice will make perfect.

    Pretty sure it's something we've all done so I wouldn't worry too much! It does get easier with practice, and soon becomes second nature...
  • ForumNewbieForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    Are you falling off when starting or stopping?

    My general procedure is get one foot clipped in when stationery (presonally prefer to start with the right foot), get going then attempt to engage the left foot on the first revolution, but don't panic if it doesn't engage, get up to speed and freewheel for a bit while ensuring the pedal is the right way up then clip in.

    When coming to a halt, unclip left foot with plenty of time to spare and come to a stop, left leg down, right stays in pedal

    Its mainly when coming to a stop,I follow the same procedure as you do but when I come to stop I think I'm unclipping a tad too late (must try a bit earlier) and hopefully practice will make perfect.
    Practise clipping in and unclipping while stationary. Then set-off along a flat road and practise unclipping and clipping in with the foot you are going to use to clip in and out - i.e. my left foot remains clipped in all the time until I get off the bike, and during the ride I unclip and clip-in with my right foot. It is easier than also thinking about which foot to unclip with when stopping. Always try to unclip well before you actually stop.
  • dabberdabber Posts: 1,620
    Don't know what pedal/cleat combination you are riding but initially I would set the release adjustment to its lightest/easiest setting.
    “You may think that; I couldn’t possibly comment!”

    Wilier Cento Uno SR/Wilier Mortirolo/Specialized Roubaix Comp/Calibre Bossnut
  • NoelpenNoelpen Posts: 16
    Are you falling off when starting or stopping?

    My general procedure is get one foot clipped in when stationery (presonally prefer to start with the right foot), get going then attempt to engage the left foot on the first revolution, but don't panic if it doesn't engage, get up to speed and freewheel for a bit while ensuring the pedal is the right way up then clip in.

    When coming to a halt, unclip left foot with plenty of time to spare and come to a stop, left leg down, right stays in pedal

    Its mainly when coming to a stop,I follow the same procedure as you do but when I come to stop I think I'm unclipping a tad too late (must try a bit earlier) and hopefully practice will make perfect.
    Practise clipping in and unclipping while stationary. Then set-off along a flat road and practise unclipping and clipping in with the foot you are going to use to clip in and out - i.e. my left foot remains clipped in all the time until I get off the bike, and during the ride I unclip and clip-in with my right foot. It is easier than also thinking about which foot to unclip with when stopping. Always try to unclip well before you actually stop.
    Been out for a ride earlier and got it off to a tee now,until I have a senior moment that is.Thanks
  • NoelpenNoelpen Posts: 16
    Are you falling off when starting or stopping?

    My general procedure is get one foot clipped in when stationery (presonally prefer to start with the right foot), get going then attempt to engage the left foot on the first revolution, but don't panic if it doesn't engage, get up to speed and freewheel for a bit while ensuring the pedal is the right way up then clip in.

    When coming to a halt, unclip left foot with plenty of time to spare and come to a stop, left leg down, right stays in pedal

    Its mainly when coming to a stop,I follow the same procedure as you do but when I come to stop I think I'm unclipping a tad too late (must try a bit earlier) and hopefully practice will make perfect.

    Pretty sure it's something we've all done so I wouldn't worry too much! It does get easier with practice, and soon becomes second nature...
    Your right and I expect I will come a cropper again.
  • NoelpenNoelpen Posts: 16
    Don't know what pedal/cleat combination you are riding but initially I would set the release adjustment to its lightest/easiest setting.
    At the moment I'm running Boardman hybrid set up.
  • dabberdabber Posts: 1,620
    Don't know what pedal/cleat combination you are riding but initially I would set the release adjustment to its lightest/easiest setting.
    At the moment I'm running Boardman hybrid set up.

    I'm not familiar with those pedals but from what I can see they are adjustable... so if you have problems unclipping try putting them on a light setting.
    “You may think that; I couldn’t possibly comment!”

    Wilier Cento Uno SR/Wilier Mortirolo/Specialized Roubaix Comp/Calibre Bossnut
  • NoelpenNoelpen Posts: 16
    Don't know what pedal/cleat combination you are riding but initially I would set the release adjustment to its lightest/easiest setting.
    At the moment I'm running Boardman hybrid set up.

    I'm not familiar with those pedals but from what I can see they are adjustable... so if you have problems unclipping try putting them on a light setting.
    They are set to a low setting and after a 6 mile ride earlier everything seems to be good,going to do another ride later with my friend so a bit more practice will be gained.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    I managed to use SPDs without falling off for 6 years. The day after I mentioned the fact on this forum I pulled into a field gateway to answer nature's call, unclipped left but the bike went right. Splat! Embarrassing but relatively painless and no damage to the bike. More crucial, no witnesses!
    Then I went and did the same thing again a couple of months later on the pavement at the end of the drive. That was worse in so many ways:
    Big chunks out of right knuckles and knee, bent shifter inwards, scraped saddle and rear mech and bent the mech hanger so the thing was hitting the spokes in the lowest 2 gears. And witnessed by a couple of teenage girls. And all the day before flying on holiday. Spent the whole week daubing sun block on the wounds...
  • Simon MastersonSimon Masterson Posts: 2,740
    The key is to get yourself accustomed to having your feet attached to the pedals rather than not - the panic moment and resulting wobble are what cause many to fall over. Before long, this will be your new 'default'. I moved onto clipless from clips and straps - if you can reach down and loosen your strap, you can twist your foot out of a pedal.

    All that said though, I have tried SPDs on low tension before and not even on the loosest tension I was finding that the slightest twist or pull would result in unclipping.
  • NoelpenNoelpen Posts: 16
    I managed to use SPDs without falling off for 6 years. The day after I mentioned the fact on this forum I pulled into a field gateway to answer nature's call, unclipped left but the bike went right. Splat! Embarrassing but relatively painless and no damage to the bike. More crucial, no witnesses!
    Then I went and did the same thing again a couple of months later on the pavement at the end of the drive. That was worse in so many ways:
    Big chunks out of right knuckles and knee, bent shifter inwards, scraped saddle and rear mech and bent the mech hanger so the thing was hitting the spokes in the lowest 2 gears. And witnessed by a couple of teenage girls. And all the day before flying on holiday. Spent the whole week daubing sun block on the wounds...
    The first I did when I fell off was get straight back up and check that no one watching or filming it lol.
  • NoelpenNoelpen Posts: 16
    The key is to get yourself accustomed to having your feet attached to the pedals rather than not - the panic moment and resulting wobble are what cause many to fall over. Before long, this will be your new 'default'. I moved onto clipless from clips and straps - if you can reach down and loosen your strap, you can twist your foot out of a pedal.

    All that said though, I have tried SPDs on low tension before and not even on the loosest tension I was finding that the slightest twist or pull would result in unclipping.
    Been using them almost a week and it has just become normal to unclip my left foot with ease.Have not had a problem with them unclipping whilst riding yet.
  • step83step83 Posts: 3,866
    I recently started using clipped pedals. Trick I found was get into the habit of when you stop always drop down on the same leg Im right handed so its my right others may prefer the left yadda yadda. I think the main thing though for me was using the dreaded turbo trainer. You can spin an practice clipping in an out to your hearts content. Just make sure you unclip when trying to get off the turbo. That could be very messy otherwise.
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Learn to unclip on the left leg - you avoid getting 'chipper' oil marks on your right calf otherwise. In the UK, this is kerb-side so you can take your foot-out and rest on the kerb without needing to get off the saddle (for those around long-enough to ride bikes with horizontal top-tubes and reduced stand-over)
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Never had a clipless incident in all my years. I always unclip before I've stopped - moving is your friend with regards to stability. Most situations are predictable - busy junction or roundabout or lights - you have time to unclip.
  • IShaggyIShaggy Posts: 301
    Learn to unclip on the left leg - you avoid getting 'chipper' oil marks on your right calf otherwise.

    Or you could learn to clean your chain :wink:
  • awaveyawavey Posts: 2,368
    Are you falling off when starting or stopping?

    My general procedure is get one foot clipped in when stationery (presonally prefer to start with the right foot), get going then attempt to engage the left foot on the first revolution, but don't panic if it doesn't engage, get up to speed and freewheel for a bit while ensuring the pedal is the right way up then clip in.

    When coming to a halt, unclip left foot with plenty of time to spare and come to a stop, left leg down, right stays in pedal.

    this ^^^^ which leg you choose is personal choice, but I always keep one leg and the same leg side clipped in for the duration of the ride, and just unclip the same leg whilst doing lots of Valentino Rossi style leg waving for pseudo balancing, and only clip in again once Im moving comfortably forward. Ive had a few panicky moments like when I unclipped right and for some reason then lent left, or when I pulled up at a junction and just completely forgot to unclip but just managed to catch it and move off again.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    Never had a clipless incident in all my years. I always unclip before I've stopped - moving is your friend with regards to stability. Most situations are predictable - busy junction or roundabout or lights - you have time to unclip.

    This is just the kind of bold assertion I made on here the day before going @rse over censored in a field gateway. You've been warned!
  • mostlymostly Posts: 113
    My first time today, unclipping one foot no problem. Delay at lights forgetting the other foot is clipped = arsehat in road.
  • Learn to cruise first....

    Just ride in your shoes, on the pedals without clipping in. Once that feels normal, and when you get some momentum going, clip in and ride.

    The point being you can ride the pedals unclipped too (for most brands at least) - this takes a lot of the pressure off when you are learning.

    Clip out long before you intend to stop. If you have to stop so quickly you dont have time to unclip thats bad luck and unlikely to happen again before you get the hang of it.

    Practice will take care of the rest. I habitually put my left foot down and keep my right foot clipped for stopping and starting.

    Practice the emergency double clipout too :twisted:
  • NoelpenNoelpen Posts: 16
    Learn to cruise first....

    Just ride in your shoes, on the pedals without clipping in. Once that feels normal, and when you get some momentum going, clip in and ride.

    The point being you can ride the pedals unclipped too (for most brands at least) - this takes a lot of the pressure off when you are learning.

    Clip out long before you intend to stop. If you have to stop so quickly you dont have time to unclip thats bad luck and unlikely to happen again before you get the hang of it.

    Practice will take care of the rest. I habitually put my left foot down and keep my right foot clipped for stopping and starting.

    Practice the emergency double clipout too :twisted:
    having rode for a couple of weeks now I am doing exactly as you do,but I'm not sure about the emergency double unclip,that could end in tears.
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 20,375
    The emergency unclip will come - but yes it require that the unclip becomes instinct. I'm not sure the double is that important but I would suggest that you get comfortable stopping on either leg
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • lmcamoeslmcamoes Posts: 51
    I tried and tried but had a few falls and panic situations and gave up for a while.
    Bike came with Shimano A520 SPD Touring Pedals , I just could not unclipped them at all... it was easy to clip but unclip then... no way, To much struggle and tried to adjust them with no success.
    Bought Shimano R540 SPD SL Road Pedals and the unclipped got better but the clipping got worst because it only clips on one side of the pedal.
    Most of the falls where on my front entrance when trying to stop, bike leaning to the wrong side :-(
    One fall was approaching a traffic light, I was starting to stop a van just got on my side and I needed to swerve to the right, hit the side of the pavement and didn't had the time to unclip... result was a taste of the tarmac.

    But the worst experience are on busy junctions and roundabouts when you stop and you need to cross the junction or get into the roundabout as quick as you can and you can't clipp to the pedal and you are stuck on a midle of the road... it is dangerous and embarassing....
  • sungodsungod Posts: 12,689
    having rode for a couple of weeks now I am doing exactly as you do,but I'm not sure about the emergency double unclip,that could end in tears.

    find a road/cycle path with no traffic/other surprises

    ride along, clip/unclip every few seconds

    you'll develop feel/reflexes faster and be able to adjust technique to see what is better/worse
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • First time out with Spd-SLs yesterday. How difficult should they be to unclip? I found I was having to make three attempts to force the unclip even after a couple of hours riding - not reassuring if I have to make a quick stop. I also found that the force of unclipping has skewed the cleats (meaning the toes ended up pointing slightly inwards) which is probably why my knees are sore today! I have unscrewed the tensioner by a couple of clicks on the pedals but this doesn't seem to have changed things much. And is it better to unclip at the top or bottom of the pedal cycle, or does it not matter?

    Also, how tight should the cleat screws be, I was wary about over-tightening in case this damages the shoes?!

    Thanks
  • DKayDKay Posts: 1,652
    If you're a clipless novice, then it's essential that you back the release tension all the way off if you have this adjustment available to you. With regards to where on the pedal stroke to unclip, it's all down to personal preference and what feels the most comfortable. You'll soon get used to doing it without even thinking about it.

    Don't worry about tightening down on the cleat screws. They're designed to be able to be able to take a lot of torque, but obviously don't wail on them.
  • chrisaonabikechrisaonabike Posts: 1,919
    unclipped left but the bike went right. Splat!
    Yep.

    You haven't done it right unless there are cute girls watching.

    It's a Law of Physics - if humiliation isn't complete then it's just a matter of time before it happens again.

    Having the pedal adjustment screws set to the lightest setting possible has saved my bacon on numerous occasions - a yank on the cleat in a panic and it just comes out.

    I think finally, after almost three years, unclipping is now instinctive. Having said that I expect to fall off next time out....
    Is the gorilla tired yet?
  • DKayDKay Posts: 1,652
    But the worst experience are on busy junctions and roundabouts when you stop and you need to cross the junction or get into the roundabout as quick as you can and you can't clipp to the pedal and you are stuck on a midle of the road... it is dangerous and embarassing....

    In situations like this, just pedal with one foot unclipped until you're clear of the junction. Also, I've switched to Speedplay pedals, which are double-sided and you just stamp on them to clip in.
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