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Wizard of the Trail
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
I am a clyde that rides almost everyday for three reasons. One, it helps me lose weight. When I started riding in the spring, I was 220lbs, I am down to 208. In the spring I was 36.7% body fat, I am now 30.5% Two, it keeps my blood pressure low. Three, I just love riding. The problem I have is this. I bought clipless pedals last year and I want to try them out. The thing is, they say to practise for weeks to get used to them and stay off the technical trails. Should I just stay on the easy paths for awhile? When do you know when your good enough for technical terrain? I have no problem remebering to unclip, but I fall when its unexpected. I also panic. I have mallet c pedals. Basically, I don't want to lose anytime riding instead of screwing around with grassy fields and practising. It sucks having to switch the pedals all the time too. If this post just sounds like rambling, I am sorry, but I feel overwhelmed by these clipless pedals. I love the benefits of the power and better climbing though. Thanks
Randy
 

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A few hours.

Geist262 said:
Hi,
I am a clyde that rides almost everyday for three reasons. One, it helps me lose weight. When I started riding in the spring, I was 220lbs, I am down to 208. In the spring I was 36.7% body fat, I am now 30.5% Two, it keeps my blood pressure low. Three, I just love riding. The problem I have is this. I bought clipless pedals last year and I want to try them out. The thing is, they say to practise for weeks to get used to them and stay off the technical trails. Should I just stay on the easy paths for awhile? When do you know when your good enough for technical terrain? I have no problem remebering to unclip, but I fall when its unexpected. I also panic. I have mallet c pedals. Basically, I don't want to lose anytime riding instead of screwing around with grassy fields and practising. It sucks having to switch the pedals all the time too. If this post just sounds like rambling, I am sorry, but I feel overwhelmed by these clipless pedals. I love the benefits of the power and better climbing though. Thanks
Randy
Take a few hours, and then go for the trails. remember to unclip one foot prior to having to stop, and you are good to go.
As far as accidents go, try to stay focused on the pedals for a while.
 

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damion said:
Take a few hours, and then go for the trails. remember to unclip one foot prior to having to stop, and you are good to go.
As far as accidents go, try to stay focused on the pedals for a while.
Yeah, what damion said mostly. When I made the switch, my first clipless ride was on trails. If they have a tension adjustment, make them as loose as you can at first. If you're REALLY spooked, wear elbow pads. Biggest problem you'll probably have is getting unclipped when you stall on a climb. I still go over that way every once in awhile. Results in a comical slo-mo fall. Feel completely helpless when it happens. Some minor scrapes, but never anything that bummed my ride. Small trade for the extra climbing power and control in techy sections.

BTW-Geist, congrats on taking up the sport and losing the weight. This is a tough sport to learn even for small people in good shape. It takes a size XXXL set of cajones and a lot of humility for clydes to make it. I've lost 60lbs myself since I started riding, and it keeps getting more fun year after year.
 

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Wizard of the Trail
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Discussion Starter #4
Scabby Elbowz said:
Yeah, what damion said mostly. When I made the switch, my first clipless ride was on trails. If they have a tension adjustment, make them as loose as you can at first. If you're REALLY spooked, wear elbow pads. Biggest problem you'll probably have is getting unclipped when you stall on a climb. I still go over that way every once in awhile. Results in a comical slo-mo fall. Feel completely helpless when it happens. Some minor scrapes, but never anything that bummed my ride. Small trade for the extra climbing power and control in techy sections.

BTW-Geist, congrats on taking up the sport and losing the weight. This is a tough sport to learn even for small people in good shape. It takes a size XXXL set of cajones and a lot of humility for clydes to make it. I've lost 60lbs myself since I started riding, and it keeps getting more fun year after year.
Thanks for the advice and scabby, thanks for the encouragement. I am a pretty decent rider, eventhough it would be much easier to ride with less weight. My goal is to be under 200# by the end of august. The only problem in my way is the crappy weather we get in this state lately. I am from PA and all it does is rain. I bought a trainer for these types of days. Thanks again!
 

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Geist262 said:
Thanks for the advice and scabby, thanks for the encouragement. I am a pretty decent rider, eventhough it would be much easier to ride with less weight. My goal is to be under 200# by the end of august. The only problem in my way is the crappy weather we get in this state lately. I am from PA and all it does is rain. I bought a trainer for these types of days. Thanks again!
If it's any consolation, I live in Colorado and it's rained here probably 25 days out of the last 30, so I feel your pain. The air is even starting to smell like fish... :p
 

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Slave to the grind
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you can do a road ride up and down the street just getting used to it.

with clipless its always presence of mind. unclip before you need to. ;)

slow mo falls are a fact of life no matter how long you've been riding.
 

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Clipless Pedal Advice...

Geist262 said:
Hi,
I am a clyde that rides almost everyday for three reasons. One, it helps me lose weight. When I started riding in the spring, I was 220lbs, I am down to 208. In the spring I was 36.7% body fat, I am now 30.5% Two, it keeps my blood pressure low. Three, I just love riding. The problem I have is this. I bought clipless pedals last year and I want to try them out. The thing is, they say to practise for weeks to get used to them and stay off the technical trails. Should I just stay on the easy paths for awhile? When do you know when your good enough for technical terrain? I have no problem remebering to unclip, but I fall when its unexpected. I also panic. I have mallet c pedals. Basically, I don't want to lose anytime riding instead of screwing around with grassy fields and practising. It sucks having to switch the pedals all the time too. If this post just sounds like rambling, I am sorry, but I feel overwhelmed by these clipless pedals. I love the benefits of the power and better climbing though. Thanks
Randy
The key to becoming comfortable with clipless pedals is being able to clip and more importantly, unclip instinctively. After a while, the actions of clipping/unclipping become muscle memory and it's not as formidable. I suggest the following:

1. Set your bike in a door frame facing the TV with the TdF or a favorite show/movie playing. Sit on the bike and hold yourself in the door frame. Practice clipping and unclipping to the point where you begin to not have to clip in by feel vs. sight.

2. Once you're comfortable with not looking down at your pedals to clip/unclip, head to a park and ride around in the grass doing basically the same thing. Practice by going at slow speeds and clip, unclip.

3. After that, head to a trail that you like that isn't too technical. Practice stopping and unclipping on the trail.

That's about all I have to offer. Your off trail time will be limited to a couple of hours, but it should help you become comfortable with your pedals.

Ken
 

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One thing that you will want to do too is to check how much clearance you have around the cleat on your shoe. If you have less than ½" in any direction, get out a dremel or razor blade and remove some material from the sole of your shoe. You need plenty of clearance especially in muddy conditions.
 

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Wizard of the Trail
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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the advice guys. I rode a light quad trail the other day with some silt and slammed on the brakes and tried to unclip a few times. I fell once out of five. One time I , unknowingly did a trackstand till I got out. I realized it after I unclipped. I am more concerned about falling unexpectedly. I do plan ahead for times I need to unclip. One day I was riding and I had flat pedals on and I hit this big rock that I couldn't see, so much so, that I had no idea what caused the fall and went over the bars. This is the type of crash I worry about, not so much tipping over. I guess thats where muscle memory comes into play. I guess its like driving. In the beginning you watch everything, when your used to it, you wonder how you got from a to b.
 

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Yeah. Before long, you'll find yoursell twisting your ankle to "unclip" from regular pedals. I do that myself. Loosen your pedals as loose as you can and still have your foot stay in. Then tighten them if you need to. I still run mine pretty loose (on my MTB, anyways - road is a different story).
 

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Wizard of the Trail
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Discussion Starter #11
IAmCosmo said:
Yeah. Before long, you'll find yoursell twisting your ankle to "unclip" from regular pedals. I do that myself. Loosen your pedals as loose as you can and still have your foot stay in. Then tighten them if you need to. I still run mine pretty loose (on my MTB, anyways - road is a different story).
I have no tension on these pedals (mallet c) and I have a pair of egg beaters on my roadbike. Both pairs are new. I might just take the eggs off the roadie and put them on the mtb to get used to them. I think they release a little easier because my shoe won't get hung up.
 

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boomer
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did the same thing

We're alike:
I'm a clyde
I rode Mallets
Fell several times (bruised ego more than body)
Recently switched to egg beaters

I bought the Mallets last summer and rode them up until my first race last month, then made the switch to the beaters. My recommendation is for you to ride all the time w/Mallets. When you get into a technical situation go ahead and unclip whichever foot you normally place on the ground first but of course leave it on the pedals. Go ahead and try to clear the section while unclipped but still pedaling and if you don't make it, voila, you're unclipped and just put your foot down.

I crashed seven times my first ride w/Mallets and rode like I said nearly a year w/unclipping before technical sections but went with the lighter weight beaters for the race and guess what; the Mallets are for sale. The beaters are easier to get out of, but I like the path you're taking to learn, after my first ride my pedal induced crashes were reduced drastically, and I rode about 10 hours last week on rock and root trails without a singled incident.

Good luck and keep trying.
 

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Geist262 said:
Hi,
I am a clyde that rides almost everyday for three reasons. One, it helps me lose weight. When I started riding in the spring, I was 220lbs, I am down to 208. In the spring I was 36.7% body fat, I am now 30.5% Two, it keeps my blood pressure low. Three, I just love riding. The problem I have is this. I bought clipless pedals last year and I want to try them out. The thing is, they say to practise for weeks to get used to them and stay off the technical trails. Should I just stay on the easy paths for awhile? When do you know when your good enough for technical terrain? I have no problem remebering to unclip, but I fall when its unexpected. I also panic. I have mallet c pedals. Basically, I don't want to lose anytime riding instead of screwing around with grassy fields and practising. It sucks having to switch the pedals all the time too. If this post just sounds like rambling, I am sorry, but I feel overwhelmed by these clipless pedals. I love the benefits of the power and better climbing though. Thanks
Randy
If you are going to use Shimano clipless pedals pay the extra money and invest in multi-release cleats. The are very helpful to get use the feeling of clipless pedals especially in technical sections. You can pull straight up to get out in a hurry but as you get better the pulling up may release and could be annoying for pedal power. I have had several of my friends borrow my multi-release cleats to learn, since I do not need them anymore. Now it's like second nature. Just remember you will fall at some time clipped in...just like learning all over again when you were a kid w/o training wheels.
Good luck....RLX
 

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Slave to the grind
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Geist262 said:
Thanks for all the advice guys. I rode a light quad trail the other day with some silt and slammed on the brakes and tried to unclip a few times. I fell once out of five. One time I , unknowingly did a trackstand till I got out. I realized it after I unclipped. I am more concerned about falling unexpectedly. I do plan ahead for times I need to unclip. One day I was riding and I had flat pedals on and I hit this big rock that I couldn't see, so much so, that I had no idea what caused the fall and went over the bars. This is the type of crash I worry about, not so much tipping over. I guess thats where muscle memory comes into play. I guess its like driving. In the beginning you watch everything, when your used to it, you wonder how you got from a to b.

lol when it come to those types of crashes, it doesnt matter if your clipped or unclipped. you will go down! unclipping becomes muscle memory after a while. dont worry about it and it wont give you worries
 

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Wizard of the Trail
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Discussion Starter #15
Well, yesterday I put the beaters on that seem easier to get out of. I actually got out of them in an incident where my nephew was out and front and I was drafting him because there was loads of bugs, so he cleared the way. Then, he ate one and slammed on the brakes and started gaging. I was right on his butt so I slammed on my brakes and unclipped. I said to my self, "I am getting the hang of this!"
Ten minutes later I fell and cut up my arm(road rash) on some loose gravel and dirt type stuff. It was the gravel that made me fall. What happened is this, keep in mind I am usually the type to go down with the ship, not walk over it or not try to clean a section.
I am riding and one section of this easy trail has this loose silt, left over from the coal mines, and I know its there but I keep pedaling figuring if I go down, its soft. My bike hits this section, the front tire washes out, and sways to the left and I unclip my left foot. I thought that was it, but then I kinda regained contol and then it started going to the right, this all being instantly occuring. Down I go because I unclipped the left foot no problem, but when I start falling to the right, I panicked and tried to pull instead of turn. Glad my nephew was not insight, as he loves when I put clipless pedals on. Not my first attempt with these types of things, I usually give up, but not this time. Anyway, I have a bruised butt because I somehow fell on the seat as I went down, road rashed arm and a bruised ego, but I will stay the course. I was thinking on some type of protection for my arms and legs.
 

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Geist,

Another big man talking to ya here. In Riding garb I'm about 240, but you wouldn't guess it.

The Mallets are great pedals (yeah, I'm a bike salesman), but the main flaw is how well they grip your shoe (mentioned earlier). My roomate has a pair of them and the Specialized DH shoe. With one of the spacers (included with the pedals) on there, he couldn't unclip when he needed to (and we've been riding clipless for years). I'd simply recommend using both spacers under the clips to give a bit of clearance when releasing, the shoe will flex to get the full platform under our weight. Having eggbeaters as well is great, but you'll enjoy properly setup mallets more so, especially being able to ride unclipped (as previously mentioned) when need, just beware that you can accidenlty clip in on any crank brothers pedal, as they are made for easy entry, and it would suck to go to put a foot down while unknowingly being clipped in.

Good luck hitting the 200 mark, it's a place I once was, but the muscle mass you're building will make it hard to break. Instead of worrying about weight, focus on body fat (as I noticed you're watching). 5% less in body fat is worth way more that 5 more lbs. Instead of feeling like a big ole fatass, you'll just feel like that big ole badass. I don't mind being 225 (sans armor), because I'm more muscle than fat, and no one messes with me.

Wow, sorry, slow day at work
 

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I just switched to clipless this year as well. I am not a clyde, rather a 75 lb 12 year old female. But I went throught the pain.
I switched to clipless pedals and shoes on a race day. Bad move would not recomend it.
for 2 weeks running my times were 10-12 minutes slower than normal (35 min race went to 45 min)
Shins and legs....Well skirts are off limits this summer but most damage has been mental

after 5 weeks of racing with them. Did a wild Endo in a training ride last week and managed to unclip be I hit the ground, so it does get better
Race times have gone from 35 min pre clippless down to 25 min after the 2 week blip
 

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Pedals

Don't stress too much over the switch. I rode a couple of times on the road before I hit the trails when I switched to clipless pedals. I'm with the other post on this. Adjust the tension as low as you can, and go ride. I stall on climbs and fall over b4 I get out of my pedals. We have to train our minds to turn our foot instead of trying to pull off of the pedals. Some practice clipping in and out is a great idea, but beyond that, "Just Do It". Happy Trails!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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RLX said:
If you are going to use Shimano clipless pedals pay the extra money and invest in multi-release cleats. The are very helpful to get use the feeling of clipless pedals especially in technical sections. You can pull straight up to get out in a hurry but as you get better the pulling up may release and could be annoying for pedal power. I have had several of my friends borrow my multi-release cleats to learn, since I do not need them anymore. Now it's like second nature. Just remember you will fall at some time clipped in...just like learning all over again when you were a kid w/o training wheels.
Good luck....RLX
I believe the current generation of Shimano pedals require single release only cleats to work properly.
 
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