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First time on a road bike, clipless pedals?

mike147147mike147147 Posts: 24
edited September 2015 in Road beginners
I'm moving from riding a mountain bike on the roads.

When I get my new bike it will be the first time I've ever ridden a roadie. Do you think I should ride with flats for a while until I get used to the riding position/feeling of the bike/gears etc. Or shall I go all out and fit clipless pedals?

It will also be the first time I've used clipless pedals, and I've never even used toe clips and straps. I'm fully expecting to fall off a few times at some traffic lights or something (probably in rush hour traffic haha). I've seen it happen before and it was highly comical, almost like the person has given up on life and just topples over on purpose!

I would rather not fall off and risk scratching my new bike! Scratching/injuring myself is of little concern. I'm even considering fitting the SPD-SLs to my MTB for some practice first...

Posts

  • wbradwbrad Posts: 16
    First time on a roadie? I'd get the feel of the bike first. You'll find it much more responsive and perhaps twitchy compared to the MTB so ride on flats for your first couple of rides. It won't take long to get the feel of it. I like your other suggestion also, fitting the clipless pedals to a familiar bike for practice makes sense and will reduce the chances of scuffing your new bike (and yourself).
    I've just been through this recently and have had a couple of minor offs due to failing to unclip cleanly or simply not concentrating and not leaving myself enough time to unclip cleanly.
  • Mad_MalxMad_Malx Posts: 4,070
    Agree with not doing too many new things at once.

    Almost everyone has a low speed off or two in the first few days. Usually after you've been clipped in for a while then stop at a junction. Mine was in the middle of a busy shopping street :oops:
  • dj58dj58 Posts: 2,153
    If you have not used clipless pedals before, then yes you could put flats on the new bike until you have adapted to the ride/feel of the road bike geometry and are comfortable with it. If you have decided on SPD-SL, then yes you could temporarily fit them to your MTB and go somewhere flat with a soft landing and spend a day mastering clipping in/out.

    Fit them to the road bike, go somewhere quiet and practice again clipping in/out. Practice clipping out of your preferred side before coming to a stop at a junction, roundabout, give way line, in slow moving traffic, and you will be less likely to panic and inadvertently fall.
  • Mad_MalxMad_Malx Posts: 4,070
    Don't want to reopen a common debate, but I would always recommend spd (not sl) for beginners (and most people beyond) for ease of clipping (double sided) and normal-looking shoes that you can walk reasonably well in.
  • Don't want to reopen a common debate, but I would always recommend spd (not sl) for beginners (and most people beyond) for ease of clipping (double sided) and normal-looking shoes that you can walk reasonably well in.
    I would agree. SPDs are much easier to use as no problem clipping in.
  • KajjalKajjal Posts: 3,404
    Flats are fine and quite a few don't move away from flats. Once you are used to the bike and have it setup properly then try clipless.
  • Thanks for the replies.

    I think I will go with SPD pedals for now, mainly because I prefer normal looking shoes that I can walk in. I'll be commuting on the bike sometimes as well, this means I won't have to take another pair of shoes in my bag.
  • IShaggyIShaggy Posts: 301
    Get spd sls and use them from day 1. It's not at all difficult, and it's not as if you've not ridden a bike before, so you'll be fine. If you do have a clipless moment then it's not such a bad thing. It took me 2 years to have my 1st, but I've made up for it since thanks to badly executed track stands and missing cleat bolts. Worst I've had is a grazed knee.

    I've got spds on my commuter - which is a single-cross bike. I get hotspots if I ride it too far and too hard, as the shoes aren't as stiff as road shoes and the point of contact is smaller.
  • Get spd sls and use them from day 1. It's not at all difficult, and it's not as if you've not ridden a bike before, so you'll be fine. If you do have a clipless moment then it's not such a bad thing. It took me 2 years to have my 1st, but I've made up for it since thanks to badly executed track stands and missing cleat bolts. Worst I've had is a grazed knee.

    I've got spds on my commuter - which is a single-cross bike. I get hotspots if I ride it too far and too hard, as the shoes aren't as stiff as road shoes and the point of contact is smaller.

    You can still get stiff-soled road shoes with SPDs. In fact some come with both options to mount SPD/SPD-SL type ones. I do agree though if you're gonna go clipless, definitely get shoes with a stiff sole; I too got hotspots on my feet with SPD cleats (M520 pedals)... and that's with a MTB type shoe. I've now moved to SL/Keo cleats and as much as I love the bigger platform, I do wonder if just changing my shoes would've achieved the same result.

    I'd much rather walk in SPDs :)
  • grenwgrenw Posts: 787
    I've ridden my MTB on flats for years but when I bought a road bike a few weeks ago I moved straight to spds. A couple of hours acclimatising in the quiet roads of the New Forest and I've been fine. Clipping in was more frustrating than getting out fortunately.

    Bought some stiff soled MTB XC race shoes and not had a problem with rides up to 110 miles.
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