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MassiveAttack
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well after talking some riding friends, I decided to give clipless pedals a try.

So I picked up some shoes and a set of Shimano 654, (i think that's the name). Anyhow, I've been riding on platforms and making the switch to clipless was somewhat a hard idea to get use to.

Anyhow, I installed the pedals and decided to hit a nice, easy trail. My immediate impression while taking the 2 mile trail with a gradual climb was the leverage I had. I was able to reach the 2 mile point at a faster pace. At this point I was pretty satisfied with my move...

So then I decided to take some single track uphill trails. It was here where my 1st impressions where torn!

I fell 3 times in different situations.
(1) While climbing and trying to shift and not having enough leverage
(2) While running into some traffic going up
(3) While speeding down the single track and trying to make a sharp banked turn.

All of the three situations, I could not clip out.

This obviously sucked! And put a big dent on my impressions on how all of the three mentioned above should have been easier with clipless pedals.

So my bottom line impression... is that clipless pedals are good for gradual climbs with no binding situations, (corners, steep climbs that take maneuvering) but suck for downhill and single track climbs.

My question for the more advance and experienced riders...
- Is this something that takes time to get use to?
- Do you clipping while going downhill?
------ If so, is there a clipless pedal you clip out of and use as a platform style pedal?
- And is there a trick to get use to clipping in and clipping out.

I'm going to keep practicing.. until I get use to it. But it would be great to get some feedback to help aid my questions when out on the trails.


Thanks in Advance!
 

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Yes, join the crowd.

At first, getting used to them will take some time and unfortunately for most, some spills. My hardest time when I was learning to work with them, was getting out in uphill technical single track, just before I toppled over.

Some suggestions about you questions;
1) It does take time. Keep working with the shoe/pedal combo. It helps if you can lighten the setting on the spring tension, holding you in. If the shoe/pedal(don't know your pedal/shoe models) are a good match (meaning, no other intereference with fit, besides the cleat), then start so you can easily get out and gradually work the spring tension back up when you get some confidence that you can get out easily. You may find yourself unexpectedly popping out, but you'll find you own comfort level.

2) I stay clipped the whole time. Yes, I have seen a pedal that offer a platform. At least one had a platform on one side and clipless on the other. Sorry, can't remember the mfg.

3) The trick, is just gaining experience, and making sure the tension setting is correct for you, your shoes and pedals as I pointed out above. One other thing. Keep them both clean. There are several brands and types of pedals out there that are better at "self cleaning" than others. Meaning, if your pedals don't work well in mud or heavy dirt, you'll find out quick. Some designs allow you to clip in well, whether dirty or not (relatively speaking).

In my case, I had to learn on a basic set, that I struggled with even after learning, just because they did not clean well. Those were the older Shimano's. I now have the newer "open design" which cleans 100% better in my conditions.

I'm sure others will have some good advice as well.

Stay with it and you'll be rewarded in time!
 

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clipless pedals

Hey massive

sorry to hear about your sucky experience with the clipless.. i rode with clipless pedals for about 3 years plus... and i found them great! but im rding platforms now, generally because i dont like to have to carry a change of shoes everywhere i go.
your problems sound like the main problems people have when they first start off with clipless pedals... heres my 2 cents on your questions. hope they help!

Is this something that takes time to get use to?- yes, the first few times you use clipless pedals it feels quite strange as your acctually connected with the bike, however as time goes by it begins to feel normal.

- Do you clipping while going downhill?------ If so, is there a clipless pedal you clip out of and use as a platform style pedal?yea there are heaps of pedaLs that have the platform style. think its the shimano DX pedal? its been a while since i last used them.. but i remember they had a red platform with the clip in the middle.

- And is there a trick to get use to clipping in and clipping out.
just keep going at it, the reason you fell could be because they are brand new and combined with brand new cleats, the tension would of being much harder than it should be. but as time goes by the cleats wear in and it becomes easier to clip in and out.. eventually it will become second nature so dont panic :)

for now.. perhaps just losen the tension on the pedals. and reguarly grease up the pedal to keep things moving smoothly.

hope it works for ya :)
.
 

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(enter witty phrase here)
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massiveattack said:
I fell 3 times in different situations.
(1) While climbing and trying to shift and not having enough leverage
Not sure what that has to do with your pedals. Could be more mental than anything.

(2) While running into some traffic going up
You're not comfortable unclipping yet.

(3) While speeding down the single track and trying to make a sharp banked turn.
Again, sounds like you're not comfortable.

All of the three situations, I could not clip out.
Practice practice practice. Then some more practice.

So my bottom line impression... is that clipless pedals are good for gradual climbs with no binding situations, (corners, steep climbs that take maneuvering) but suck for downhill and single track climbs.
Absolutely not. Once unclipping becomes 2nd nature, you'll be able to go over rocks, logs, downhill, and uphill with ease. For downhill, they can help prevent your feet from slipping off the pedals and mashing your shins or crotch. For uphill, they can give you better climbing performance.

My question for the more advance and experienced riders...
- Is this something that takes time to get use to?
Yes yes yes
is there a clipless pedal you clip out of and use as a platform style pedal?
They are available.
- And is there a trick to get use to clipping in and clipping out.
Practice practice practice

Tips:
Start with the clip tension on the lightest setting.

Get on your bike and pull up to a wall or railing. Hold yourself up. Unclip and clip in each foot (without looking at them) 10-20 times each. Do it every day.

Ride around your yard or a soft grassy field at a slow pace. Ride 10' then stop and unclip your right foot. Clip in and ride 10' and unclip your left foot. 10-20 times every day. Don't look at your feet. It's a bad habit and will make it harder to become 2nd nature.

Practice track stands. Be able to remain in a stand for 2-3 seconds. This will come in very handy when you're going up a steep technical section and run out of steam. You'll have enough balance and time to unclip. When you don't have to think about falling over, and can think about which foot to unclip and where to put it, you'll fall over much less.

When on a technical trail, and you have to unclip and start again. Don't worry about cliping back in right away. Just mash your foot on the pedal, get going, and clip in when you're at a flat/smooth area. Thinking about your foot and not the trail will make you fall.
 

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Crank Bros Mallets

These things are kick ass. I am using them with my 10 year old specialized shoes and they work killer. The plaform provided more support for your foot and according to crank bros they are supposed to feel like a platform when clipped in, and I can attest that they do.

I don't find it useful to unclip on the mallets because my foot will clip in anyway if my foot is positioned on the pedal properly. I think you wiped out going down the hill because your fear got the best of you. Just relax and it will come.
 

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your impressions are correct

I use nothing but PowerGrips on quality pedals like SunTour XC Pros and Compe, or similar, with WTB Toe Flips on them so I can enter them without a though.
If adjusted correctly so they're snug but not tight, you get just as much power as with clipless, yet you can exit them instantly, so you never ever fall over because of the pedals.When I meet oncoming riders on trails who are on clipless, invariably, one of two things occur: Either they are surprised, brake, and fall over clipped in; or, they see me and rather than ride at the edge of the trail so we can both pass each other, or trackstand for a moment so I can ride on by, the typical clipless user will unclip and put a foot down because they are not confident in their ability to come to a momentary halt because if they start to fall while clipped in they know they won't be able to recover. There are very few singletrack spots where two good riders cannot pass each other cleanly without dabbing or stopping, but rather than risk an embarrassing spd fall, they feel it necessary to stop. That's just bogus, and tells me they'd be better riders if they weren't mechanically attached to their bicycles.
I know that PowerGrips make me a better, more confident rider, one who's willing to ride the sick and wrong stuff because I know I will not fall if I have to plant a foot.
I say this all the time,yet no one believes me. I'm no newbie, I've been MTBing since there were MTBs; and I've tried a wide variety of clipless pedals, and have numerous pairs here on various bikes as well as shoes with various cleats installed. So it's not an expense thing. I've tried them, done lots of singletracking on clipless, and am convinced that most riders' skill level would take a quantum leap if they used PowerGrips.
 

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massiveattack said:
-snip-
So then I decided to take some single track uphill trails. It was here where my 1st impressions where torn!

I fell 3 times in different situations.
(1) While climbing and trying to shift and not having enough leverage
(2) While running into some traffic going up
(3) While speeding down the single track and trying to make a sharp banked turn.

All of the three situations, I could not clip out.
-snip-
Here are some suggestions:

1) Shift to the small chainring *before* it gets steep, maybe upshift the rear so you don't spin out, then you can shift the rear gears down as you need to. Standing up is one way to grunt through these sections in a bigger gear too though, and clipless pedals help the power transfer.

2) If you hit traffic with no room to pass, shift down and spin and wait till you can pass.

3) Like everybody said, loosen your release adjustment right off for now. Also you can release your inside foot if you expect to need a dab to make a fast corner...
 

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Shimano makes some SPD cleats that allow you to clip out in the normal clipless manner as well as by lifting the front of your foot at an angle...a much more intuitive move during an emergency for someone new to clipless pedals. These cleats are about $20 and make the introduction to clipless much more painless. But you still need to practice clipping in and out while riding around the neighborhood...build your confidence...try some brief track stands while clipped in.

Also, when using these cleats, try to only clip out by sliding the heel out, so that when you go back to the regular cleats, your brain will be programmed on how to do it.
 

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igoslo
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Just takes time

I've been clipless for the last eight years and would never consider giving them up. When I bought my first pair I fell over constantly for the first few rides. I had the confidence to ride the edge of a trail or even trackstand within the first couple of weeks or so. I use my pedals for all of my riding, including some pretty serious descending, except for cruising around town where I use flats, and only because people with nice floors seem to object to cleats. Clipping and unclipping will become second nature in no time at all and you won't have to think about it at all. I've even been over the bars a few times and landed on my feet because my body knew what to do better than I did. Give it time and you'll be fine.
 

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?

Abox said:
Many people feel the same way about clipless. Do you believe them?
Do I believe that many people feel that way about clipless? Yes.
Do I believe what they believe? No.
I prefer to make up my own mind based on personal experience, not hearsay or hype. Beliefs are fine, but I KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that PowerGrips work great for me, better than any clipless pedals that I have used/tested, which would include offerings from shitmano, look, ritchey, tioga, onza, time, speedplay (the worst in my opinion), bebop, and others. Haven't tried eggbeaters. Rode behind a friend as he beat it in and then rolled down a 20' cliff using them a few months ago.
 

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when first learning how to use clipless, use as little spring tension as possible.

there will be a learning curve, but after that curve you'll notice that you unclip without thinking, even in a crash. The tricky part is getting clipped back in when you are riding on nasty terrain, getting unclipped is 2nd nature.

Give it some time, there's a learning curve.
 

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push down

what you're probably used to from using toe clips (assuming you are coming from toe clips) is to pull up and out. this is a natural motion. what seems to work best with clipless pedals is to not pull up while twisting sideways. or even to push down while twisting sideways. kind of a tough learning curve there but old habits die hard. in my opinion clipless pedals were one of the greatest additions to mountain biking. i've also tried the power straps and for me it was a no brainer. i even preferred toe clips to power straps.
 

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Philo Beddoe said:
These things are kick ass.
I will second this. Mallet C's are probably the best platform/clipless hybrid out there. The Mallets actually provide a nice broad platform for your feet when you're not clipped in. When I ride them with skate shoes I think they feel as good as quality platform pedals like Kona Jackshit. The eggbeater system has a bit of a higher learning curve since there's no spring tension, but once you get used to them they are awesome.
 

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fly like a beagle
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massiveattack said:
Well after talking some riding friends, I decided to give clipless pedals a try.

So I picked up some shoes and a set of Shimano 654, (i think that's the name). Anyhow, I've been riding on platforms and making the switch to clipless was somewhat a hard idea to get use to.

Anyhow, I installed the pedals and decided to hit a nice, easy trail. My immediate impression while taking the 2 mile trail with a gradual climb was the leverage I had. I was able to reach the 2 mile point at a faster pace. At this point I was pretty satisfied with my move...

So then I decided to take some single track uphill trails. It was here where my 1st impressions where torn!

I fell 3 times in different situations.
(1) While climbing and trying to shift and not having enough leverage
(2) While running into some traffic going up
(3) While speeding down the single track and trying to make a sharp banked turn.

All of the three situations, I could not clip out.

This obviously sucked! And put a big dent on my impressions on how all of the three mentioned above should have been easier with clipless pedals.

So my bottom line impression... is that clipless pedals are good for gradual climbs with no binding situations, (corners, steep climbs that take maneuvering) but suck for downhill and single track climbs.

My question for the more advance and experienced riders...
- Is this something that takes time to get use to?
- Do you clipping while going downhill?
------ If so, is there a clipless pedal you clip out of and use as a platform style pedal?
- And is there a trick to get use to clipping in and clipping out.

I'm going to keep practicing.. until I get use to it. But it would be great to get some feedback to help aid my questions when out on the trails.

Thanks in Advance!
Get a set of TIME peddles and will never go back to shimano.
 

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MassiveAttack
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks everyone for the grat feedback, experiences and information.

This is what you get from a great community!

I went out again today and made another attempt on a easier trail. Still not there... But I'm going to keep on trying.

Again, thanks for all the great advice!
 

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Be honest, you fell when stopping didn't you? Oh, the memories. Oh, the humiliation.

Starting on clipless pedals is like starting to learn how to ride a bike for the first time. You're gonna fall and when you do fall you're going to feel oh so stupid.

Be honest now: you fell when you were coming to a stop, didn't you? It happens to all of us.

The best place to practice your new clipless lifestyle is in a park on a lawn of nice, soft grass, wearing clothes you don't mind getting permanent grass stains in. Then you can come out of the closet.

The worst place are on the trail and, worst of all, in traffic.

It's more like developing a habit than anything else. Once you develop that habit you'll feel like you can't ride non-clipless because your feet leave the pedals--which is kind of like taking a space walk.

Good choice on the pedals if I remember the design correctly.
 

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Sprocketeer said:
It's more like developing a habit than anything else. Once you develop that habit you'll feel like you can't ride non-clipless because your feet leave the pedals--which is kind of like taking a space walk.
That's bang-on. I've just switched away from my SPDs to some platforms, and I absolutely love the way the flats force me to be a more deliberate and consciously better biker, and at slow speeds I feel like I have way more control thanks to the increased surface area. However, after finally getting the clipless habits in as second nature, even the weakest trail can make me say "oh s.hit!" because I'm not physically attached to the bike.
 

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Clipless pedals

I have shimano pedals on my road and mountain bikes. Here are a couple pointers:

1. Loosen the pedal binding by a full 2 revolutions (720 degrees) for easier entry & exit until you are more comforatble with the pedals/shoes. Other folks have already told you this.

2. Shimano pedals are great but you HAVE to keep the binding (spring) clean & lube it with oil every so often. I wash mine with soap and water and a scrubbing brush, then after they are dry, I add 1 drop of oil (doesnt matter what kind) to each spring as this is the only moving part in the pedal.

This should help!

Happy trails.
 
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