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OTR-MTB and Fitness
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I pulled the trigger on a low end pair of SPD pedals(two sided), shoes, and cleats. How should I start, and train to get in and out, as well as capture the benefits of the cleats?
My next ride or several are likely to be paved trail, without any technical stuff or stop lights.
 

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Well here is how I did it. I started getting in and out of them standing over my bike. In and out a number of times, then again with the other foot. Then I moved up against a wall and got in an out of them while in the saddle. Then next I got one foot clipped in and left one foot unclipped, Rode a few yards then stopped, unclipping to stop, but still having a foot I could put down if trouble arose. Switch feet. On a trail you should be relatively safe. The places I would avoid for a few rides are places with real heavy traffic, and roads with curbs. If you have trouble getting unclipped, better to run off the side of the road and fall in the grass, than to hit a curb and get tossed back into the street potentially into on coming traffic.

It really will not take very long till its second nature. See you drive a truck. Remember the first time you backed up a trailer?? Felt really weird didn't it. This will too, but in no time you will have no more trouble than you have backing a trailer.

Now if you have ever followed sprint car racing, you have heard the term Tommy Tip Over. Sprint cars are basically 800 hp cars made of rails that slide sideways on dirt as much as they go straight. The roll cages are incredibly strong, and they tend to be top heavy so if a tire catches a rut, it tips over doing really no harm to the driver or the car. Guys go out put it back on its wheels and often they get back in the race with nothing needed at all to the car. Its the no harm no foul kind of thing.

Do not be shocked or give up if you have a tommy tip over unclipping. The first few rides, if you can you have somewhere soft to land, and wear your helmet!!!!!! You never know what might be around even though you have tried to prepare and hitting it with your head even at tommy tip over speeds is not good. Maybe you will be luckier than I was. I was cruising by one of the best looking blondes I have seen in years. Drop dead gorgeous, mid 20 and model material as I came to a stop. Trouble is that the d&%@ cleat hung just then, and I had been on clipless pedals just long enough to get a bit complacent. Over I went. She at least waited to laugh till she saw I was ok, but certainly not good for the ego.
 

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I just got my first clipless setup this weekend. I went with Shimano R-087 shoes, and Look Keo Easy pedal and cleats.

The LBS installed and adjusted everything and threw me up on the trainer for a few to let me get the feel of it. My first ride was un-eventful. No falling or close calls (knock on wood). Just keep telling yourself..."Clip out, clip out, clip out".
 

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OTR-MTB and Fitness
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I got out today. I road to a park wearing my riding shoes on rat traps, with Shimano pedals and a spanner in my pack. When I got to some nice grass I switched out the pedals and tried some clip in/outs and then holding onto a wall. This is way easier than I thought, but I did manage to fall twice, once practicing a hard stop and once when i missed the pedal afterwords. Didn't get run over by a lorry.
 

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Whenever I see questions about pedals I alway think of how I started with my speedplay pedals. I fell about 3 times on my first trip even after practicing!

The problem I had was after riding for an extended period I tend to lose my balance easier. So as the other members have said, take one foot out before a stop and put your weight on that foot.

All the best!

Jason
Http://www.keepcycling.net
 

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Simple, clip in, ride, come to lights, fall over, repeat. You'll learn.
Oh and while you're at it, practice being nonchalant when sprawled out on the road in front of a bunch of drivers and pedestrians.
Hope this helps.
 

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If there is a hot blond around, you might want to act hurt. You might can get a number while being patched up. IF she is really hot, hold your breath. With luck she might think you need artificial respiration.
 

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Seriously, it doesn't take long to get in the habit of turning your foot out to unclip. That being said even the most seasoned rider will forget once in awhile and do the slow motion keel over. I rode for many years with toe straps and with those if you forgot to reach down and loosen the strap before you stopped it was good night nurse. Once you get used to so called clip-less pedals you'll wonder how you ever rode without them.
 

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OTR-MTB and Fitness
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've ridden several times with them now and last time only fell once. Not sure I'm getting much pull on the up stroke but I can at least retract the foot instead of pushing it around with the front foot. seems to make a big difference.
Hitting single track still scares the heck out of me.
 

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Two skinny J's
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Don't be scared :D
 

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I've ridden several times with them now and last time only fell once. Not sure I'm getting much pull on the up stroke but I can at least retract the foot instead of pushing it around with the front foot. seems to make a big difference.
Hitting single track still scares the heck out of me.
As I understand it you don't really get much power on the upstroke. You do from pulling through at the bottom of the stroke and pushing over the top. The most you'll get from trying to pull up on the pedal is that you will eliminate any unintended resistance you might be producing.
 

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OTR-MTB and Fitness
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
As I understand it you don't really get much power on the upstroke. You do from pulling through at the bottom of the stroke and pushing over the top. The most you'll get from trying to pull up on the pedal is that you will eliminate any unintended resistance you might be producing.
I will keep working on it. :thumbsup:
 

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Looks like you have figured it out on your own. My advice would have been start on grass and accept that you are going to fall.
 

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OTR-MTB and Fitness
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Looks like you have figured it out on your own. My advice would have been start on grass and accept that you are going to fall.
Did that B4 graduating to falling on pavement. :)
 

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I've ridden several times with them now and last time only fell once. Not sure I'm getting much pull on the up stroke but I can at least retract the foot instead of pushing it around with the front foot. seems to make a big difference.
Hitting single track still scares the heck out of me.
Drop into one gear lower (easier) than you normally would, and just work on spinning. Instead of thinking in terms of pushing and pulling, picture your legs moving around in a circular fashion. Cycling is not about two independent power strokes, it's about one smooth circular stroke.
 

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The easiest way is on an indoor trainer practicing clipping in and out. After that, a park with a huge grass field works well too!
 

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♥'s Bicycles
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...but I did manage to fall twice, once practicing a hard stop and once when i missed the pedal afterwords.
There are two kinds of people who ride clipless pedals: People who have fallen because of them and liars. :D

I'm glad to hear that it does not sound like you are discouraged by difficulty of getting comfortable riding a bike with your feet attached to it. I've long advocated that most riders, even very casual cyclists, would benefit from clipless pedals if they'd just give them a try. My wife, who logs roughly 30 miles a year on a bicycle (and 20 miles of that is on the back of our tandem), has clipless pedals on both her single bike and the tandem. She loves them now that she got over her fear of them and had a little practice using them. The fact that clipless pedals was an excuse to buy a new pair of shoes probably didn't hurt either. :D
 

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I agree with the posters above, it's not that hard to get in and out, just remember to clip out before you come to a stop and remember that you can clip out by turning your heel either toward or away from the bike.

I started on clips with bmx and truly I never got stuck in them with a crash at speed somehow you always come out of them, it's the low speed crashes that get you. Once you get used to them its fine, I could clip out in the air if things got funky.

I always use them when I ride on the road and just used them for the first time on the MTB Sunday, had no problems it just felt odd due to being on platforms for so long.
 
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