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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just tried out my clipless this past weekend that my wife got me for christmas. Not sure if i like them. Seems like i can not get out of them in time to dab. Plus my left knee hurts now. Made some adjustments to relieve the pain. Anybody have ant suggestions or comments about clipless. I might go back to the flats. Also can you use the clipless shoe on the flats? I dont want to waste the money my wife paid for the the shoes. Thanks
 

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try adjusting the screw on the pedal, they should release with a slight twist of your foot
practice it leaning against a wall or something before you go out
the shoes are meant to just click in not lock in
 

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I recently tried out clipless pedals and like you, I had the same initial reaction to them, but after taking my time and setting them up they are great! Any pains I had in my knees or any discomfort at all was gone after it was properly set up. As for getting in and out of them...well after some practice you get the hang of it and it becomes second nature. If you still have trouble with them, go to your local bike store and have them help you set them up. It took me a week before I got them into the "sweet spot"! As for when I'm riding, I can tell you I'm never going back to flats.
Out of curiosity, which shoes/pedals did you get?
 

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Set the adjustment screw to loose or easy for getting out of the pedal. sitting on your bike, practice getting in and out on each side. Once you get a feeling for it, ride around your block on level, smooth terrain, continuing to engage and disengage, one side at a time. Practice makes perfect.

Once you get the feeling of getting in and out of the pedals, I am sure you'll appreciate just how much more efficiant your pedaling and bike control will be!

Cleated shoes could work on platform pedals but not as comfortably as regular shoes. They are stiff in a fixed position, not as controlable by the sole.
 

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to get really helpful responses you would have to tell us what kind of bike you have, what kind of trails you ride, the pedals and shoes you had before, and the pedals and shoes you were given for Christmas.
 

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In my opinion, stick with them and practice. They take some getting used to, but once you "get it" you'll never want to go back for any reason. Everything about your technique will be a little different, and will take some getting used to. At this point, I use clipless pedals for everything from road riding, to trail riding, to light DH/FR...

Edit: Once you're used to them, not only will you like it more, but you'll be a better/more powerful rider.
 

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jgo47 said:
I just tried out my clipless this past weekend that my wife got me for christmas. Not sure if i like them. Seems like i can not get out of them in time to dab. Plus my left knee hurts now. Made some adjustments to relieve the pain. Anybody have ant suggestions or comments about clipless. I might go back to the flats. Also can you use the clipless shoe on the flats? I dont want to waste the money my wife paid for the the shoes. Thanks
Setting Cleats
Setting up your cleats properly is very important. You want the pedals to be aligned to how you naturally pedal so that there's no strain on your knees. If there's any pain keep experimenting with cleat position until it goes away. It's not something you should ignore.

A rough starting point is to have the cleat under the ball of your foot. Whilst wearing the shoe find the bony point just behind your big toe and mark the shoe sole at that point. Find the bony point just behind your little toe and mark the shoe sole at that point also. You can now draw a straight line between the two points on the sole and move the cleat forwards or backwards so that the middle of the cleat crosses that line.

For cleat angle if you sit with your feet hanging down from a table you can make a note of the angle that your feet naturally arrive at. That's roughly the angle you want the feet to be at when pedalling also.

Another way to work out the angle is to pedal gently on a turbo trainer (not outdoors as you can't unclip easily with loose cleats so it will be dangerous!). With the shoe cleats set fairly loose so that the cleat angle can move around into its natural place whilst riding. Either stop and take the shoes off your feet without unclipping them or get someone else to draw draw some lines on the shoe sole whilst you sit in place so that you can line them up with these lines and tighten the cleat into the correct position. Making a note of how far the inside of your heels are from the crank arm when pedalling clipped in and unclipped is also useful to check whether your cleats are about right also.

If you can get the cleats in the right place there shouldn't be any knee pain or soreness during or after the ride.:)

Using Clipless Pedals
If you have adjustable release spring tension on the pedals then you want it loose to begin with.

I'd suggest practicing somewhere unchallenging first so that you can get the hang of clipping in and out of the pedals. Using clipless pedals is a learned skill. The more you use them the better you get. It's much harder to unclip if you try and do so whilst your knee is bent. So long as you remember to have your leg straight at the bottom of the stroke you'll be able to unclip easily by twisting your entire leg inwards or outward. That way you're using your leg muscles instead of the the weaker ankle muscles.

For mountain biking it's worth practicing clipping and unclipping both left and right pedals. A good drill to work on is cyclocross mounts and dismounts where you unclip, hop off the bike, run, hop back onto the bike, begin pedalling clipped out and then clip each foot in. 2min into this video up the flight of steps is a good example.


Clipping in is a case of pushing the front of the cleat into the pedal and then pressing down. After a while it becomes automatic.:)

Shoe Choice
These are some posts I wrote in another thread about choosing the most appropriate shoes for use with flat or clipless pedals.:)

Shoes for clipless pedals

http://forums.mtbr.com/showpost.php?p=7735168&postcount=66

http://forums.mtbr.com/showpost.php?p=7737645&postcount=74

Choosing appropriate shoes for use with flat pedals:

http://forums.mtbr.com/showpost.php?p=7740547&postcount=89

.
 

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I got used to clipless and ran them for a few seasons, after an initial reaction like yours. Then I put a good set of platforms on and am much happier. I'm kinda old and lose power on some hills though, so immediate 'outness' is important to me as my mind catches up.
 

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Ii'm using the clip in and clipless flats. the pedal has both. but I found that when clipped in. I felt more powerful and more aggressive becuase I knew my foot wouldn't pop off or slip off the pedals when comming down from a jump or rought terrian.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well the shoes she got me for christmas was the specialized sport mtb shoe. The pedals are the ones that came with the bike originaly and the bike is 09 stumpy elite. I did start messing with the cleat on the bottom of the shoe but i have not had a chance to get back out and ride.Plus i am waiting for the knee pain to go away completely. I had specialized bmx style platforms before i installed these. The gold ones that rip the skin off when your foot comes off the pedal, but that rerally never happened much. The only reason i am switching is because i told the wife i was thinking of trying them and she went and got them for me for the big holiday. As far as power going up hill i did not notice a difference. never had problems climbing hills but had more problems when going down hill for some reason.
 

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jgo47 said:
Well the shoes she got me for christmas was the specialized sport mtb shoe. The pedals are the ones that came with the bike originaly and the bike is 09 stumpy elite. I did start messing with the cleat on the bottom of the shoe but i have not had a chance to get back out and ride.Plus i am waiting for the knee pain to go away completely. I had specialized bmx style platforms before i installed these. The gold ones that rip the skin off when your foot comes off the pedal, but that rerally never happened much. The only reason i am switching is because i told the wife i was thinking of trying them and she went and got them for me for the big holiday. As far as power going up hill i did not notice a difference. never had problems climbing hills but had more problems when going down hill for some reason.
Tried using sticky sole shoes? There is no problem with using clips if you want, but if they're turning you off riding or hurting your knees then they can wait.. the shoes will still fit later when you have a bit more experience...
 
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