My clipless story

Willo

Well-Known Member
Location
Kent
Sorry for the self indulgence and yet another clipless thread, but as the most nervy of clipless converts I thought it worth sharing my eventual success at mastering the ankle twist.

After buying a road bike (Allez) through the C2W scheme last Nov I started to supplement my running and gym sessions with some cycling following a nasty achilles injury which kept me from running for the best part of a year. In my typical fashion (all the gear and no idea), I went out and bought various bits, including some sexy(!) Sidi shoes for use with SPD cleats and some A530 touring pedals that I'd put on my bike.

As I reported previously at the time, my first attempt was (foolishly) across the patio and resulted in the inevitable slow-mo tumble. After some attempts outside the front of the house, I still felt very insecure and continued to cycle in trainers. With little time for cycling over the last few months, other than the odd commute to the station, the Sidi shoes were looking like an expensive pair of spinning shoes for the gym:blush:.

Anyway, after a few too many beers on Sat, I decided to brave the heat to clear my head y'day and go for my first Sun morning ride in a while. I also decided I had to give the shoes another go. So after loosening the tension on the pedals, and applying some lubricant to the pedals (someone will prob tell me that was the wrong thing to do), I went for a few practice runs in the cul-de-sac where I live. It was all feeling pretty good, totally different from previously and much easier to clip in and out. After 15 mins or so, I went for it and headed to the open road and what a joy it was to feel confident and have my feet firmly in place.

Only a 13 mile cycle but it involved busy roads, traffic lights, junctions, and then some short but steep hills as I got out into the Kent countryside. I even survived a blow out along a busy main road - a proper 'pop' as I got my first p^*&^$%£& since changing to Armadillos (confidence booster no.2, after stopping suddenly without falling off, was my first road side change:thumbsup:D.

All in all, I felt totally confident and the benefits (which I wasn't totally convinced of for a fairly casual cyclist like myself) were clear as my feet weren't going all over the show as I got tired and I could get out of the saddle and really push hard up the hills much more securely than before. And best of all (excuse the mid-life crisis!), I felt a proper cyclist in my cycling shoes. Just have to get comfortable with my skinny hairy legs poking out from the lycra shorts now:blush:

So why did it suddenly work. Well firstly, I think I should've been braver and given it a proper go sooner. However, practising on the spin bike and getting used to them probably helped. What was certainly a factor is that I originally tried them with little experience of my new bike. Since then, I've got much better in terms of slowing right down, keeping balance approaching lights etc., and that meant there was less to concentrate on with the shoes. I also changed to multi-direction cleats since falling off, and they certainly enable a more natural release for me.

So to all those starting out, it can be done. I was the most nervous of converts and didn't get it when friends and folk on here kept saying it was so easy and natural.

P.s. I don't want to hear any replies of broken elbows, that now I've got confident, compacency with kick in and I'm gonna fall off etc. etc. I need to enjoy my moment posing in my 'new' shoes:biggrin::becool:

p.p.s. While stopped and repairing my puncture, a couple of cyclists slowed as they passed my and asked if all was okay which was a nice touch.
 

NormanD

Lunatic Asylum Escapee
You are converted my son :smile:

Tis simple really, maybe this time you didn't have the constant thought in your mind that you were using clipless pedals and the cycling enjoyment took over

So after loosening the tension on the pedals
that's also is a big help :biggrin:

Now don't be reading this ...get out and enjoy :biggrin:
 

Zanelad

Guru
Location
Aylesbury
I'm giving thought to going clipless. Your exploits have given me a push in the right direction.

Just got to man up and face the experts in the LBS who always seem to make me feel a plonker whenever I go in there.
 

ianrauk

Tattooed Beat Messiah
Then go to a different LBS

Zanelad said:
I'm giving thought to going clipless. Your exploits have given me a push in the right direction.

Just got to man up and face the experts in the LBS who always seem to make me feel a plonker whenever I go in there.
 

guitarpete247

Just about surviving
Location
Leicestershire
Ride in whatever you are most comfortable in. I went clipless because I wanted to feel more secure with my feet firmly attached to the pedals. I had clips and straps for years and just thought going clipless was the obvious move. Only one slight clipless moment but that was when a cleat bolt dropped out. Touch wood (touches head;)).
With clips and straps you learn to bend over and unstrap early. And not tighten them up until it is safe to. I also find with spuds that i can ride unattached a little way if I need to especially in traffic.
 
OP
Willo

Willo

Well-Known Member
Location
Kent
Another tip for those starting out. Never post on here boasting that you've got it sussed!! After an early morning 10 mile scenic route to the station this morning, I was getting a little cocky remaining clipped in as I weaved my way along the pavement to the secure cycle store where I leave my bike. As I approached it, my head was telling me to clip out, but with increasing confidence I'd been leaving it to the last possible moment. Then I saw someone I knew and proceeded to shout a cheery greeting which turned into a good mornnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn. I realised I'd come to standstill and as I began to fall couldn't get any leverage. Consolation was it was a kind of controlled tumble so nothing hurt, I kind of clipped out mid fall. However, it was 5 yards from the bus stop outside a busy train station. I somehow think I deserved this. I wouldn't mind, but I hardly know the fella, just another parent from my children's school. What a clown I felt, although fortunately can have a good laugh at myself :-)
 

Spinney

Bimbleur extraordinaire
Location
Under the Edge
Willo said:
So why did it suddenly work. Well firstly, I think I should've been braver and given it a proper go sooner. However, practising on the spin bike and getting used to them probably helped. What was certainly a factor is that I originally tried them with little experience of my new bike. Since then, I've got much better in terms of slowing right down, keeping balance approaching lights etc., and that meant there was less to concentrate on with the shoes.
A good rule for almost anything, is only one new thing at a time...
 
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