Keep coming off my road bike!


Über Member
Poole Dorset
i have been into cycling for little over a year now, I recently swapped my trusty hybrid for a super slick Specialized Dolce Sport road bike. I have had this for two months and have managed to come off it 5 times in that time.

It's knocked my confidence somewhat. My last crash was spectacular and I fractured my wrist and tore a tendon in my thumb. I'm too scared to go back out now, and the fact I'd rather do a 40 mile road route on my hybrid sort of tells you something.

I've just put my roadie in for a service and to fix the problems from my last accident and have told them to put the original pedals back on and take the SPD pedals off for a bit. 4/5 of my accidents were due to not clipping out in time. And I'm hoping to be a bit more confident to venture out and get used to the massive difference between a sturdy hybrid and a lightweight road bike.

Is this normal? I was so eager to get out on my road bike I didn't think for a minute I'd have so many problems with the transition. Has anyone else had these problems? If so, will it ever get better!

I've just got a place in the London 100 and obviously need to train using all my gear. :sad:


Active Member
I consider myself to be a fairly experienced rider but I came off some time ago, didn't hurt myself but it shook me up and I didn't go out for some time. Find some where quiet. a cycle path or some thing similar until you get your confidence back.

Dave 123

Legendary Member
That's a bugger!

Do you ride alone? When I ride with my wife who sounds like she has about the same experience as you, I ride ahead at junctions and tell her if it's clear or not to give her fair warning.
At the end of the ride I'll pull onto our drive with my foot unclipped, sticking our at 90 degrees (ish) to remind her.

See if you can ride with a buddy. You'll get there!
Keep at it. The only way to get the hang of a slightly schizoid roadie with SPD pedals is to put the miles in. You will take the odd tumble, it comes with the territory. But as long as you don't break anything, it's no biggie. Get back out there, and don't let it get to you:thumbsup:


Über Member
I have a similar ammount of experience cycling to you and have also added a road bike recently. I have decided not to try clipless until I'm sure I've got the measure of the bike and how it handles. Due to the inclement weather that is taking a while .....sigh. Sure you'll soon get your confidence back when you're mended properly :smile:


Senior Member
East Yorkshire
I started cycling again in September and then started with clipless pedals. I actually use a flat pedal, clip on one side only so I can ride without if needed. I fell off about as many times in the first few weeks including landing full length in a large puddle on the way to work! Now when commuting in the dark I do not use the clips. If on a longer ride with fewer stops I use the clips, I'm used to them now and have not fallen since Christmas except when I hit a pothole!


Legendary Member
Sounds sensible to remove the clipless pedals, it does take time to get used to them and you've probably lost confidence now. Have you had them on the loosest setting?

You don't need clipless for ride 100, and given the problems and that there'll be a lot of cyclists to negotiate the roads with, who may also be inexperienced in a group and/or perhaps ride in an uredictabe way, you would probably best to forego them. They may give you a slight advantage up hills for example but perhaps put yourself and indeed others at risk if you have a fall

Good luck with the training. I'm in too and having just had a knee op, I expect my initial return to cycling at least will be unclipped on a hybrid :smile: why not continue to get back I to it for now on the hybrid and then move gradually back onto the roadbike when the warmer dryer weather arrives in a couple of months. If you can do 40 miles no bother now, 100 in August in closed roads will be a breeze and a blast for you :smile: you could even do it on the hybrid of you prefer, by no means all have roadbikes for it. Or you can add fatter tyres assuming it's on 23s now and crossover brakes on the bars if you don't have them already


Got to say that OP showed a lot of determination staying on with clipless after 4 attempts.
There comes a time with clip-in pedals, when it really becomes a non issue, it really is just practise if as you say 4 out of the 5 are due to being clipped in, I had similar problems, even the last time I came off the bike could possible been avoided if I wasn't clipped in, but most are just low speed spills that usually just dent your pride more than anything, though not always as the human body can sometimes fall pretty awkwardly, just glad you not to seriously hurt.


Über Member
Poole Dorset
Thanks for all your replies, I will carry on with the road bike for a few months and I will try again with clips as they cost me a lot! I'd rather be clipped in as when I have managed a ride with them I flew!

I got to the point I was very confident on my hybrid and guessed it would just carry over. Big learning curve for me. :smile:
I take it you've "merely" toppled over whilst failing to unclip - and hence even the bad one (ouch!) was just extremely unlucky and a bit of a fluke really.

We've all done that at some point, mostly only ego-bashing though.

Now, that said, I didn't really have much problem with clip-ins as I'd used toe clips and straps back in the olden days, and clipless are if anything rather easier. However, I've only ever used the mountain bike style ones, mainly the Crank brothers egg beater ones. I believe that these may well be much easier to clip in and out of than so-called "road" pedals, and certainly the Crank brother ones are easier than either Shimano or time MTB type ones. This is on a road type bike as I've never had a mountain bike - and my motivation was more to do with having shoes I can walk in that anything else.

Initially, I made a point of unclipping in good time for junctions and traffic lights - and above all to make sure you then put that foot down when stopping - and not falling over the other way !. But to be honest don't think about it all now, just like remembering how to do (say) a hill start in a car - which was difficult to learn but now just happens.

Anyhow, they are worth mastering, but maybe flat pedals with the little bitsy toe bit without straps might be a breaking-in-gently option (never used them myself though)


Rollin' along
Manchester way
How fast are you riding & are you throwing the bike through corners like Guy Martin at the Manx TT?

Road bikes can be less forgiving with thinner harder tyres making them more skittish and quicker to go bandit on you.

You have to adjust your riding and thinking style a bit to fit the machine you are on, if 4/5 of your offs are to do with clippy pedals then you've either got them set up badly or you're not anticipating properly when you need to get a foot down and not realising that you're riding more on an ice skate than a walking boot now.
Just stick to it, Practice make perfect, I would check the release presumer, sometimes the factory pressure is set too strong. Find somewhere where you can sit on the bike, and hold onto something and check the pressure when you are sittingon the bike in a normal cycling position, and practise unclipping, different pedals have different way of unclipping so check and check again again. I think most cyclist using clips have fallsoff a few times. My last off cost me two crack ribs and knocked out my bottom teeth.


Active Member
I use SPDs, slackened right off. Easy out but I've never unclipped by accident. I read somewhere today that there is no benefit in using clipless pedals but can't remember where. Having said that, I like clipless if only for keeping your feet in place. If you are using SPDs, have you tried multi release cleats?
Top Bottom