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Clipless Tips

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by Joe24, 26 Jan 2008.

  1. Joe24

    Joe24 More serious cyclist than Bonj

    Location:
    Nottingham
    I just bought some Look Keos today, and i got some cheap-ish shoes from Decathlon.(was going to spend more, but the more expensive shoes i would outgrow too fast)
    So i fitted them and went out for a ride. We live on a hill, but no problem i thought.:ohmy: I clipped in with my right foot, then pushed off. All going well, until i went to pedal, and my left foot slipped and i nearly, very nearly toppled over but my right foot came out quick. This happened about 3 times, then i walked up the bit of the hill and went from the flat. I still have problems, i dont clip in straight away, but when i go to pedal with my left foot, either slips or it just doesnt feel too safe on there, so i cant put any power down.
    So any tips to help me? I have practised on the flat, clipping then clipping out and stopping. Then getting going and clipping in again. and just doing that for about 5 mins. But i sometimes still couldnt get it right.
    So any help will really help me.
    Cheers
     
  2. Smokin Joe

    Smokin Joe Legendary Member

    Clipping in going up a hill is not the way to practise using these pedals. Any momentum the bike has will disappear quickly and panic will set in leading to disaster. Point the bike in the other direction till you get used to them. When releasing your foot make sure you don't try and pull upwards, just a twist is all that is needed.
     
  3. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    I don't know about you but i always get on my bike by getting my left foot clipped in BEFORE i get astride it, possibly scoot along for a bit, THEN get my right leg over it and clip my right foot in, and don't put any power down till i know both feet are clipped in.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Joe24

    Joe24 More serious cyclist than Bonj

    Location:
    Nottingham
    I managed to sort of get it on the flat, but not going up hill. I went to a quiet road and just spent about 5mins clipping then unclipping. But when i go to move off, and i dont clip in straight way, my left foot just feels like its going to slip.
    So i just need more practise then?
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Joe24

    Joe24 More serious cyclist than Bonj

    Location:
    Nottingham
    Nah, thats just girly.:ohmy:

    I put my right foot on, push off with my left and stand up and get on the seat then start to pedal again.
    If that makes any sence.
     
  6. yorkshiregoth

    yorkshiregoth Master of all he surveys

    Location:
    Heathrow
    Not sure about the Look pedals but my SPD's have a little slot on each pedal that adjusts the tension needed to clip in & out, maybe it is set too high.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Joe24

    Joe24 More serious cyclist than Bonj

    Location:
    Nottingham
    No, they are pretty slack. But when i go to pedal off, sometimes the pedals dont flip over, so i cant clip in.
    How high should the tension be by the way? Is it keep the tension low until you get used to them, then make the tension slightly higher?
     
  8. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    Location:
    South Manchester
    As an experienced clipless person.... clip in right foot - why...if you fall off it will be to the side of the road........not into it - don't try any other shenanigans.

    Push off with right foot clipped in and locate pedal and clip in left foot -this is the hard bit - panic and it doesn't work - I'm finding things a bit tricky at the moment as I commute on dual sided SPD's then ride on carbon soled Spesh shoes with Looks - very easy to slip...so take your time.... even an experienced person has to watch it switching systems.....

    Don't practice by going uphill....you'll grind to a halt very quickly....

    Keep with it, there is no other way - I wouldn't have got up a cobbled hill today without clipless... oh I did think about bailing out as the bike was all over the place on moss and pot holes.... but without clipless it would have been impossible.

    The point with clipless is that you can pedal 360 degrees - ie. learn to pedal properly... not just push, not just push/pull, but 'rotate' and spin !
     
  9. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    keep the tension low, and once you're used to them then increase it IF you feel you need to. If you're getting power on the upstroke and not accidentally unclipping when you don't want to, then they're doing their job - and there's no need to tighten them.

    I see what you mean now in that because you're setting off up hill you need to get power down straight away. probably not much help but i've got mtb-style SPDs, probably about 1 in 10 times i'll fail to clip in first time, but i can do one stroke if i'm careful not being clipped in, probably because my shoes' soles isn't shiny and has got little dimples in, so i can get enough friction with the pedal not to slip off. It might not be what you want to hear, but there could be some merit in rethinking your choice of shoes/pedals. I'm not saying definitely DO do that, but think about it, if you've still got the box/receipt the shop will almost certainly have no problem taking them back.
    I'm not sure if you can get ones with slightly grippier but still rigid soles? Again, possibly not what you want to hear but i personally recommend MTB style spds, as the fact that they're double sided makes it easier to clip into. As far as i can tell, the only advantage of roadie style ones is that the pedals are slightly lighter, the shoes' soles are slightly more rigid, and there's a bigger area of shoe to pedal contact (with whatever advantages this provides).
     
  10. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    Don't be afraid to look down to make sure that you are all lined up when clipping in.

    Apart from that it is a skill to be learn and mastered, it doesn't come overnight, more like six months until you have totally mastered it and never have to think about it.
     
  11. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    Oh and the biggest tip would be to ignore anything bonj says! :ohmy:
     
  12. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    I always unclip my right foot at lights, and leave my left clipped in. Reason? Probably just 'cos that's what i'm used to. But there's an argument for it in that if I topple left then i'm not toppling into traffic, but if I topple right, then i've got my right foot free to prevent me falling into traffic. If you're the sort that faffs around at traffic lights blowing your nose, checking stuff in your pockets, having a drink etc then this is quite possible.
     
  13. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    Location:
    e4
    always left unless I'm on the right side for some reason, feels obvious and natural to pt the leg down that's away from traffic

    and practice is key with clipless natch

    higher gear so less force called for, a few crafty revs with one foot unclipped is possible then
     
  14. alecstilleyedye

    alecstilleyedye nothing in moderation Staff Member

    agreed :ohmy::blush:
     
  15. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    Location:
    South Manchester
    Bonj, left foot out is just the most useful... I'm a very right handed person, but always unclick with the left foot - maybe that's it ? You left handed ?

    The main reason is it means I can put my foot on the kerb without over extending my calf/leg muscles - i.e. no cramp - quite important - and probably my main reason for doing this - not the falling the other way.

    There is no right and wrong - but it has to be how 'you' feel most comfortable with it.