Using clipless pedals for the first time

So, I’ve finally taken the plunge and put some Look pedals on my road bike.
I gave them a five minute go today and I couldn’t even get the cleats to clip in.
Does anybody have any advice for a complete beginner to clipless pedals?
 

Spiderweb

Not So Special One
Location
North Yorkshire
Lots of videos if you google.

View: https://youtu.be/28IdOvbk7Us
 

Sharky

Veteran
Location
Kent
Some look pedals do seem a bit light and sometimes difficult getting the clip side of the pedal on top. Are they the type where you can adjust the spring tension? Can you practice on a turbo or stationery just holding onto a wall?

Might take longer than 5 min, especially mastering the stopping and unclipping. But it's worth it.

Make sure you are wearing gloves!
 
OP
M

markmcloughlin1

Regular
Some look pedals do seem a bit light and sometimes difficult getting the clip side of the pedal on top. Are they the type where you can adjust the spring tension? Can you practice on a turbo or stationery just holding onto a wall?

Might take longer than 5 min, especially mastering the stopping and unclipping. But it's worth it.

Make sure you are wearing gloves!
I do have a turbo trainer - I’ll put the bike on it and give it a go. I’ll also try and slack the tension of the pedals off and go from there!
 

DCLane

Found in the Yorkshire hills ...
My advice: when you first ride with them you won't remember to unclip.

So ... it's worth saying to yourself "unclip, unclip" before stopping. Otherwise you'll get there, stop and tumble over.

Not that I'd know anything about that :blush: Oh no, I just decided to fall over in the middle of Holmfirth on a Saturday lunchtime for fun :whistle:
 
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wafter

Well-Known Member
Location
Oxford
Some good advice. From what I can remember when I was in your position (recently) - practice clipping / unclipping while sat on the bike and propped up against a convenient support (wall, work surface etc).

Make sure you're conscious that you're clipped in and remind yourself when slowing down to come to a stop as this is most likely where things will go amiss if you're not on the ball. Try to remain aware all the time you're riding though, as the occasion I've come closest to falling over through failure to unclip was during an emergency stop when my mind was obviously prioritising other stuff.

Good luck - tbh 18 months down the road and I'm not 100% convinced of their superiority and still get a bit of anxiety about being attached to the bike. Then again I get anxiety about getting out of bed in the morning, so I'm sure most are fine after a few months' acclimatisation :smile:
 

SkipdiverJohn

Veteran
Location
London
I've never understood the mentality of using clipless. My old Raleigh tourer has one-sided pedals that were designed to be used with toeclips, which I removed immediately I got the bike. The pedals always come to rest upside down because of where the weight is in them, and it annoys the hell out of me just having to flick the things the right way up with my toes every time I put a foot down then go to start off again. The only reason I put up with them even minus the actual toeclips is they are original to the bike and still in good sound condition. If I ever bought a bike that had clipless pedals fitted they would be going straight in the bin before my first ride.
There seems to be some school of thought that you have to use clipless in order to be a "proper cyclist", and that riders who insist on using flats are merely "blokes who ride bikes". Much the same mentality also seems to apply with regard to riding in cycling-specific kit rather than casual clothing.
 

wafter

Well-Known Member
Location
Oxford
I've never understood the mentality of using clipless. My old Raleigh tourer has one-sided pedals that were designed to be used with toeclips, which I removed immediately I got the bike. The pedals always come to rest upside down because of where the weight is in them, and it annoys the hell out of me just having to flick the things the right way up with my toes every time I put a foot down then go to start off again. The only reason I put up with them even minus the actual toeclips is they are original to the bike and still in good sound condition. If I ever bought a bike that had clipless pedals fitted they would be going straight in the bin before my first ride.
There seems to be some school of thought that you have to use clipless in order to be a "proper cyclist", and that riders who insist on using flats are merely "blokes who ride bikes". Much the same mentality also seems to apply with regard to riding in cycling-specific kit rather than casual clothing.
Tbh riding on flats does now feel less secure with less ability to drive the pedal forward as well as down, while I can maybe appreciate the arguments for keeping your feet in a constant, optimum position / in place on rough terrain. That said I can also appreciate an argument for being able to move your feet about to counter hot-spots and put your foot down quickly should things go amiss. I do feel more comfortable with toe cages than clipless, and reckon there's probably very little difference in performance between the two.

On balance I'd probably not want to be without mine for road-riding, however I my experiences certainly don't corroborate the many claims on the net of enormous gains in power transmission and speed as a result of making the switch..
 

raleighnut

Guru
Location
On 3 Wheels
I've never understood the mentality of using clipless. My old Raleigh tourer has one-sided pedals that were designed to be used with toeclips, which I removed immediately I got the bike. The pedals always come to rest upside down because of where the weight is in them, and it annoys the hell out of me just having to flick the things the right way up with my toes every time I put a foot down then go to start off again. The only reason I put up with them even minus the actual toeclips is they are original to the bike and still in good sound condition. If I ever bought a bike that had clipless pedals fitted they would be going straight in the bin before my first ride.
There seems to be some school of thought that you have to use clipless in order to be a "proper cyclist", and that riders who insist on using flats are merely "blokes who ride bikes". Much the same mentality also seems to apply with regard to riding in cycling-specific kit rather than casual clothing.
You need to master the 'lift off' technique of getting pedals to flip over to the right side with a 'track' style single sided pedal, basically you lift your foot off at the bottom whilst pedalling then put it back on when the pedal is at the top, centrifugal force causes the heavier side to stay on the outside so by the time it gets to the top it is the right way up.

This works equally well with single sided 'clipless' pedals too.:becool:
 

vickster

Legendary Member
Tbh riding on flats does now feel less secure with less ability to drive the pedal forward as well as down, while I can maybe appreciate the arguments for keeping your feet in a constant, optimum position / in place on rough terrain. That said I can also appreciate an argument for being able to move your feet about to counter hot-spots and put your foot down quickly should things go amiss. I do feel more comfortable with toe cages than clipless, and reckon there's probably very little difference in performance between the two.

On balance I'd probably not want to be without mine for road-riding, however I my experiences certainly don't corroborate the many claims on the net of enormous gains in power transmission and speed as a result of making the switch..
Yes because those are utter bollox.

I'm having physio to try to get my knee to bend enough to be able to clip in again comfortably...I need at least 10 degrees, 20 would be perfect.
I'm ok on flats for short distances currently, but I'm meant to be doing a 100 in August and going that far with my heel or at best arch on the pedal is going to give me hip and ankle pain (all I can manage at present on the left side), while being clipped in will put my foot in a far better position.
Nothing to do with being a proper cyclist :rolleyes: just a comfortable pain free one
 

SkipdiverJohn

Veteran
Location
London
Nothing to do with being a proper cyclist :rolleyes: just a comfortable pain free one
If you positioned your foot correctly on a flat pedal, you would have no more difficulty riding 100 miles on flats as you would with clipless. Clipless is not going to magically make any foot injury/problem go away. if you can't ride flats properly and be comfortable, clipless is going to be equally uncomfortable, if not more so because you will not be able to get any relief by shifting your feet around on the pedals.
 
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