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We'll I used my new clippless pedals on the trail for the first time yesterday and not too sure how I feel about them. First crash was on the rocks got right foot out and fell to the left go figure right. Just felt really unstable.
 

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Clipless pedals have long learning curve. Go ride someplace safe, and just practice clipping in and out, with both feet. 10,000 times each foot should be a good start;)
Don't let yourself get frustrated. It's ok to put the platforms back on, and just go for a ride.
Every good mountain biker should be able to ride well with both clipless, and platforms.
 

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I just started myself and what helped me a lot was the position of the cleat on my shoe. i had it toward the toe/ middle and felt the same way you did. I moved it all the way toward the heel as far as it would go and they felt like flats!!!! havent fallen since I made this change and i feel a lot more confident with them. Try it out!!!

I have Time atac xc carbon pedals and giro chamber shoes.
 

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I'll second practicing somewhere where there's little consequence to messing up. Get the muscle memory into play and clipping out will become automatic. Personally, I didn't find it took very long for things to click, no pun intended.
 

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On my road and cross bikes I've been riding clipless for many years. Prior to that I mountain biked, and did switch to clipless along the way. I did fall in the beginning, but also fell now and then as I couldn't I clip at the last split second while stalling.

Now I've taken up mtn biking again. Started clipless, indoor bike park with lots of technical stuff...mistake! Fell several times (stalled on skinnies, etc). Now I put on platforms and I'm way more confident, I can move so slowly at sharp angles without fear of falling over. I think platforms are fine if you're learning, relearning, or at a new trail.

Good luck!
 

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For me, I find that I exclusively use clipless on my CX bike - couldn't live without them. On my MTB (Fuel), I am positively an accident waiting to happen if I am not on platforms (Shimano Saint).

I'd not been too concentrated on 'having' to use clipless/flats etc, or other people's opinions - just go with what is fun and works for you.
 

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I don't do clipless on my mountain bikes but I do on my road bike.
Anyways one day I was riding down Main St in my town (by the name you can probably figure it to be the street with all the shops and foot traffic and you would be right). Well we were approaching a traffic light and thought I would approach slowly instead of clip out and do a track stand. Well, it didn't work out too well and I fell right over.

Luckily I saw the humor in it and have no problem laughing at myself so I just got up and laughed...because it was funny.
 

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I personally love the clipless. I am just re-starting my cycling after 15 years off, and haven't lost the clipless technique.

Three months ago, we were night riding, and I jumped a log. Front wheel caught a little hidden stump, and I went over the bars - hard. Clipped out of the pedals almost before my hands left the bars.
Doing a ride last week, we were getting snowed on. (STILL!) Screwed up a slick section, and was heading right for a tree on the front wheel. Clipped out right foot no problem. I was able to to "hug" the tree and use my left foot still clipped in to keep the bike in a good position.
Same day as above, going over a 30-32" log. Very slick, and I got turned slightly sideways on the downslope. Almost washed out going down the log ramp, and almost went off the edge. Clicked out the right foot instantly, and was able to save it as a result of being able to dab the right foot down.


Clipless is a learned skill, and pedals DO MATTER.

My dad learned in 1994 on a set of Scott's clipless. He HATED THEM. I could not understand why he was having such difficulty using them. We sold the Scotts, and he got a set of Shimano M747's. It was like he suddenly became a clipless expert.

I was just recently using a set of Candy2 clipless.
Junk. The most insecure "clipless" set of pedals I have ever ridden on.

We all (myself, my dad and my brother) run Shimano M780 XT clipless.
I guess the whole point of my response, is that the pedal itself DOES make a difference in clip in-out quality, and that when you get used to it, clipless is NOT a deathtrap, and can be disengaged just as quickly as platform pedals.


My least favorite part of clipless? When you have to hike-a-bike, and your cleat hits a rock. Metal on rock is very slippery. I need to get more aggressive shoes.
Other dis-advantage is when you are in a technical section, but are not clipped in, and are trying to. If you are NOT in the pedal, your control over the bike is ridiculously low.
 

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I don't ride clipless as often as I should these days. Simply because I'm too lazy to switch the pedals in and out so I've just been riding platforms. I do have an old bike that I use on a trainer in my living room that I put clipless pedals on so that I can exercise and keep that feeling of clipping in and out. A good way is to just get into a doorway so that you can hold yourself up and just keep clipping in and out.
 

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I ride clipless/cleats 100% of the time. I ride almost 100% cross country and could not live without them. Rather than move the cleat, check the adjustments on the pedal side. Most the traditional setups have an allen wrench adjustment to make them very "loose" fit.

From experience I will offer this advice: be very careful approaching technical climbs (rocks, steep, loose ground, EXPOSED CLIFFS). As you have already experienced - you take the right foot out only to fall to the left (go figure). The best way to avoid a crash of this sorts is to know your abilities and keep your head about you.

Before you commit to a certain cleat location, check out this article on foot placement: Perfect Pedal Stroke: Cycling Training Tips | Bicycling Magazine

Have fun, stay safe.
 
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