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One leg cleats

GrzegorzGrzegorz Posts: 9
edited October 2015 in Road beginners
Hi

I decided to give a try to SPD pedals, it will be the first time I rode with my legs clipped in.
Is it good idea to try with a one leg initially (put cleat on the single shoe) ?

My rides do not exceed 4 miles one way.

Thanks,
Greg

Posts

  • sungodsungod Posts: 13,880
    just choose a quiet road, needn't be very long

    go slowly along it and back, practice clipping in/out, do each foot alternately until you're doing it smoothly

    you'll be doing a clip in/out every few seconds, even five minutes should have you doing it well enough

    until it becomes something you do by reflex, plan ahead and unclip your left foot a few seconds before you need to stop (if you're not confident, unclip both feet)

    once it is reflex you'll find you can stop, then unclip as the bike starts 'falling' to the side, but until then do it early!

    check the cleats and screws every so often, if the screws loosen it can become very difficult to unclip spd cleats
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • MiniMaltsMiniMalts Posts: 266
    just choose a quiet road, needn't be very long

    go slowly along it and back, practice clipping in/out, do each foot alternately until you're doing it smoothly

    you'll be doing a clip in/out every few seconds, even five minutes should have you doing it well enough

    until it becomes something you do by reflex, plan ahead and unclip your left foot a few seconds before you need to stop (if you're not confident, unclip both feet)

    once it is reflex you'll find you can stop, then unclip as the bike starts 'falling' to the side, but until then do it early!

    check the cleats and screws every so often, if the screws loosen it can become very difficult to unclip spd cleats

    I have to ask, but what are the benefits to being clipped in?
  • rumbatazrumbataz Posts: 796
    Hi

    I decided to give a try to SPD pedals, it will be the first time I rode with my legs clipped in.
    Is it good idea to try with a one leg initially (put cleat on the single shoe) ?

    My rides do not exceed 4 miles one way.

    Thanks,
    Greg

    I've just been through this question in the last couple of weeks. Just go for it. The learning curve is steep but worth it. By the way, set the tension on the pedals to the easiest (loosest) setting.

    I went for SPD-SL pedals as soon as I got my new bike. I did spend the first two evenings practising clipping in and out whilst stationary. I lined up the bike next to a wall and stood astride the cross-bar. From there I just lowered one pedal to its lowest point and clipped in and out around 100 times, having my other foot on the ground. I repeated this with the other foot. Then repeated it all again the next evening. On the third evening I chose a quiet road near my home and just went for it, making sure of two things: forward momentum and focus on the road to avoid accidents. One foot on the ground, the other clipped in and the pedal at the 2 O'clock position (forward). Push down and slide up onto the seat. The first few times I wasn't able to get my other foot clipped in easily (I still can't, by the way). But I just keep pedalling and then when it's safe to do so, have a quick look to flick the pedal the right way round and clip in.

    The most important thing is not to panic!

    When slowing down to a stop, make sure you're in an easy gear and unclip a long way before you need to stop. Slide forward using the clipped in foot for leverage and lower your free foot to the ground for balance.

    I still struggle to get my free foot clipped in when setting off but it'll get easier over time. I'm glad I just went for it (after taking similar advice on these forums).
  • ForumNewbieForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    Hi

    I decided to give a try to SPD pedals, it will be the first time I rode with my legs clipped in.
    Is it good idea to try with a one leg initially (put cleat on the single shoe) ?

    My rides do not exceed 4 miles one way.

    Thanks,
    Greg
    You could try that, but you don't really need to as with SPD pedals and MTB/Leisure SPD shoes you can easily ride with one foot unclipped, just with the unclipped shoe pressing further up the pedal. I still do that as I come up to any junctions, i.e. I unclip in plenty of time.

    My tip would be when stopping, always unclip with the same foot - I always unclip with my right foot, and only unclip my left when I am actually getting off the bike. Therefore I don't have to think about which foot to unclip with, I just automatically unclip with my right as I approach a junction or roundabout etc.

    Also watch that you don't get caught in too high a gear on a steep incline, as if you grind to a halt it can be hard to unclip in time. If approaching a really steep climb I am sometimes over-cautious and do the climb with one foot unclipped as with MTB SPDs I can still pedal with my unclipped foot pressing on the pedal without slipping off. You couldn't do that with road SPD-SL pedals and shoes.
  • sungodsungod Posts: 13,880
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
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