Need advise

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Sportif newbie
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Need advise

Postby Sportif newbie » Wed Apr 03, 2013 16:05 pm

I have just brought my first road shoes and pedals (Shimano R087W with SPD SL pedals) but I am completely new to road cycling, can anybody give me advise on how to start using them. I hear about near misses and I don't want a crash !!!

Many thanks

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smidsy
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Re: Need advise

Postby smidsy » Wed Apr 03, 2013 16:12 pm

Get used to clipping in and out by setting up next to a wall or your sofa or whatever.

You need to drop your heel and twist to achieve a nice even release. If you panic and try and pull up it will not release properly.

Drop your heel and twist is the key.
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Danlikesbikes
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Re: Need advise

Postby Danlikesbikes » Wed Apr 03, 2013 16:23 pm

Once you have had a bit of practice inside find a quite flat road and just practice on there too clipping out and coming to a stop then setting off and clipping in. Should get easy pretty quickly TBH.

For the first few times on the road consider your surroundings and if coming up to a junction or lights make sure you are ready in plenty of time to clip out and slow steadily rather than rush towards it slam the breaks on and possibly panic and try in vein to lift your foot up and out.
Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.

MattyyP
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Re: Need advise

Postby MattyyP » Wed Apr 03, 2013 16:30 pm

Nobody wants to crash... I'd been riding clipless for 4 months before I had my first fall due to not being able to unclip! But that was thanks to exhaustion more than anything! :lol:
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team47b
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Re: Need advise

Postby team47b » Wed Apr 03, 2013 20:01 pm

I would advise that you that you will not 'crash' but you may fall over when stationary once or twice, practice makes perfect, this is a good place to get advice on spelling too! :D
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LittlePlums
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Re: Need advise

Postby LittlePlums » Wed Apr 03, 2013 20:54 pm

team47b wrote:I would advise that you that you will not 'crash' but you may fall over when stationary once or twice, practice makes perfect, this is a good place to get advice on spelling too! :D


And repetition as well.

And repetition as well.
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SmoggySteve
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Re: Need advise

Postby SmoggySteve » Wed Apr 03, 2013 23:35 pm

I think too many people wait until they have almost come to a stop before unclipping. Cruise up to a stop and unclip well before you intend putting the brakes full on. Worked for me first time I wore them. Also decide which foot you find most comfortable unclipping and clipping back into when out riding. I prefer my left foot, whereas before I wore clips I used to put my right foot down first at stops.

As said , repetition, it'll come to you just like falling off a bi er log.

cougie
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Re: Need advise

Postby cougie » Thu Apr 04, 2013 07:45 am

I've never had a problem with clipless and I've been riding them since they first came out.
You unclip before you've stopped. Its not rocket science.

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goonz
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Re: Need advise

Postby goonz » Thu Apr 04, 2013 08:02 am

I dont know if they do, maybe someone can comfirm but my SPD pedals have a tension spring which you can loosen to the lowest setting. Do this first, then take your bike to the park if space is a premium at home. On the grass learn to balance the bike and clipping in and out. At least if you fall it will be on grass and not on concrete.

Heel has to twist to the outside, going inside will jam your foot. Keep doing it a lot of times to get your leg muscles used to the new movement as it will need time for your muscles to memorise it.

Good luck!
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goonz
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Re: Need advise

Postby goonz » Thu Apr 04, 2013 08:04 am

SmoggySteve wrote:I prefer my left foot, whereas before I wore clips I used to put my right foot down first at stops.


Why is that? I too always put down my left foot, to the point I find it just that little bit more difficult if I try unclipping my right first. Need to practice more with the right.
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SmoggySteve
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Re: Need advise

Postby SmoggySteve » Thu Apr 04, 2013 09:53 am

goonz wrote:
SmoggySteve wrote:I prefer my left foot, whereas before I wore clips I used to put my right foot down first at stops.


Why is that? I too always put down my left foot, to the point I find it just that little bit more difficult if I try unclipping my right first. Need to practice more with the right.


Mysteries of life. I don't know but I just do. If I ride my MTB or my hybrid which both have flat pedals at the moment, I will instinctively put my right foot down as I stop. But if I want to unclip on my road bikes, I feel more steady using my left. I also find clipping back into my left pedal easier. Just a freaky thing but it could explain why some people fall over. You have a 1 second brain fart sat at a junction and down you go.

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markos1963
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Re: Need advise

Postby markos1963 » Thu Apr 04, 2013 13:28 pm

When I started using clipless I practised by just putting one pedal and shoe on at a time and then the other so I wasn't totally stranded if I couldn't unclip in time although tbh I wasn't that hard to master and probably easier than using old fashoined toeclips and straps.

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dennisn
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Re: Need advise

Postby dennisn » Thu Apr 04, 2013 16:13 pm

When unclipping DO NOT, repeat DO NOT twist the ankle toward the bike. Always twist away from the bike. Getting your ankle caught or clipped by the spokes is not pleasant.

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Nick_M
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Re: Need advise

Postby Nick_M » Thu Apr 04, 2013 19:52 pm

Lots of good advice above. I started using them last autumn and some things that helped me were:

1. Practice clipping in and out whilst indoors. I used a doorway to keep me upright. Do this for at least 20 minutes to build up some muscle memory so you don't have to think through what to do when out on the road.

2. Reduce the tension to the minimum using the screw on each pedal.

3. Plan a couple of rides when it is quiet and practice clipping in and out and starting and stopping. Don't do this in traffic where you will have to do it for real.

4. Unclip well before each stop. If you leave it too late you can get flustered and fall over (guess how I know this).

5. Some people find it easier to settle on one foot to unclip at stops. I always unclip on the left and keep clipped in on the right.

6. Resign yourself to the fact that you WILL fall over. It's a rite of passage. For me it was when I started to get used to the process and relax and pulled up at a junction before promptly falling over sideways in front of a Range Rover driven by woman who had just picked her kids up from school. They looked absolutely astonished :) .

7. If you are going to fall over, it will be when you are almost stationary so you won't hurt yourself, but better to fall left and away from traffic.

There's one situation that still makes me a bit nervous with cleats, which is on very steep slow climbs. It takes a fraction of a second to unclip - but if I'm absolutely knackered and need to stop then being at high cadence and low speed makes it a bit of a challenge to unclip before the bike keels over and dumps me in a hedge.

iPip
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Re: Need advise

Postby iPip » Thu Apr 04, 2013 20:01 pm

Nick_M wrote:There's one situation that still makes me a bit nervous with cleats, which is on very steep slow climbs. It takes a fraction of a second to unclip - but if I'm absolutely knackered and need to stop then being at high cadence and low speed makes it a bit of a challenge to unclip before the bike keels over and dumps me in a hedge.

This same fear has kept me going up several climbs when I probably would have given up! Knowing that I would probably topple over or never get clipped in again uphill is a great motivator.
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farrina
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Re: Need advise

Postby farrina » Thu Apr 04, 2013 20:10 pm

cougie wrote:I've never had a problem with clipless and I've been riding them since they first came out.
You unclip before you've stopped. Its not rocket science.


Or if you want to play the cycling equivalent of strip poker you track stand at the lights and hope for no small indentations in the road surface, gust of wind or local riff raff spoiling your posing while drivers look on agog? In my experience they tend to treat you with a bit more respect - provided you don't fall off.

:D

Regards

Alan
Regards
Alan

farrina
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Re: Need advise

Postby farrina » Thu Apr 04, 2013 20:15 pm

Nick_M wrote:There's one situation that still makes me a bit nervous with cleats, which is on very steep slow climbs. It takes a fraction of a second to unclip - but if I'm absolutely knackered and need to stop then being at high cadence and low speed makes it a bit of a challenge to unclip before the bike keels over and dumps me in a hedge.


You would not have enjoyed cycling in the days of toe clips/straps then. My first off was on my parents path were I remember thinking s**t straps still on tight before I headed sidewise into a most inconveniently placed rose bush .... did not make that mistake again ....
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Alan

muzzan
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Re: Need advise

Postby muzzan » Thu Apr 04, 2013 22:03 pm

I'm quite new to spd-sl having used spds for a year or so. Only problem has been clipping in on the move, esp uphill. Worst possible combination is starting uphill in amongst busy traffic. Quite easy to miss the clip & have your shoe skid off the pedal & slightly unbalance the bike. Getting a bit better, but still far from 2nd nature. Never had a problem clipping out though. Dont find it any more difficult than spds tbh.


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