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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been reading and getting advice on this board for several weeks now and finally decided to purchase a set of Crank Bros. Mallet’s and go clipless. I like how the Mallet’s have a platform to them and figured this would make learning a little easier.

Since purchasing them, I have been practicing clipping in and out whenever possible. I have been riding mostly on the grass, but then decided to do several road rides. While using the Mallet’s I have only fallen once (ok - twice) during the last several weeks. The first time was the day I put them on and then recently on a road ride at night (fell into the grass on the side of the road though).

During the "road incident" as my wife calls it, I learned a couple of valuable lessons. One was to practice clipping out more often and the other was the need for a helmet light as well as a handle bar light. (Came around a corner and did not see the hole!).

Anyway, today I decided to, "Go for it" and do a trail ride on the Mallet's. I completed about twelve miles of trails (5 XC and 7 single track) without falling over. I almost busted my a** a couple of times, however; I was surprised how quickly I have learned to clip out in a hurry.

Every obstacle I encountered seemed that much more exciting while being clipped in (oh s**t factor). It was easier to accelerate, go over obstacles and up hill with them on.

I did have one issue though. While riding back to the car the cleat on my right shoe came off. I attempted to put it back on, but the threads to the shoe insert were stripped so I had to ride back to the car on the platform of the Mallet's.

It seems, as I found out, that I did not tighten up the screws enough when installing the cleats (50 in lbs.). I did use blue loctite, but only tightened the screws snug, not tight.

The funny thing is though; it was on the way back to the car, on the platforms, that I realized how UNSECURE it felt NOT being clipped in. Going over roots, through sand and up hill was so different than being clipped in. I hated not being clipped in (yeah, the fear is gone).

On the way home, I stopped at the LBS get a replacement insert and an extra one to have just in case. The owner of the shop gave me two inserts and a new set of screws no charge (old screws were fine). This, of course, only fueled my need to buy something to satisfy my new addiction, so I did.

When I got home, I washed the Hoss and decided to leave the Mallet’s on from now on.

Gordi
 

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Congralution MTB-50. You finally graduated to the MTB club. You should oil the the cleats everytime you go out for ride. You also should wash your shoes bottom including the cleats after ride to remove dirt, mud in order to prevent rust on the cleats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks....

Good idea about oiling the the cleats before a ride.

I had to smile when I read about washing the shoes off though.

When I come home from riding, I wash my bike, degrease the chain, dry the bike, relube the chain, polish the bike & rims (every couple of rides), wash and dry my shoes off. My wife watches me do this ritual and is always asking me WHY I can't keep the house that clean. :D

Thanks again
Gordi
 

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Soon enough

It will be opposite. Trying to get clipped in in rough/technical stuff. Instead of worrying about unclipping. Then when you ride with flat pedals, you kinda feel naked or like riding without a helmet.
 

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Congrats, I still haven't got the courage to try clipless.

Today on the trails while taking it smooth, but I still had to put a foot down on some sketchy/tricky sections.

If there are a clipless pedal that I'll get in the near future it would however be the Mallet. Tell me, is the Mallet any good unclipped ? I mean is there still a decent level of grip on the pedal or are you slipping all over the place?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
E! -

I had that feeling while on the way back to the car after the right cleat came off of my shoe and had to ride back without it. (my fault). It felt very unsecure pedaling without being clipped in, however; not to the point of wanting to be clipped in for the technical stuff, not yet anyway. :D

Spartak -

I rode back to my car (approx 1.5 miles of singletrak) without being clipped in on the right pedal due to a mechanical problem (loose nut behind the wrench = me).

The Mallet's worked fine as a regular platform pedal (why I bought them), no problems with slipping or pedaling, however; I would not ride them this way all of the time. The shoes I have been using do have a fairly aggressive tread though, which I believe helped me to keep from slipping while on the Mallet's without being clipped in (and the price was right).

http://www.jensonusa.com/store/bigImage.aspx?img=/sh/sh605b04_black.jpg

While I was learning to use the Mallet's I swithched back and forth between them and my platform pedals (Kona Jacksh!t). Riding the Mallet's on the road, in my yard (on the soft grass) and then the platforms on the trails.

I never thought I would say this, but after using the clipless pedals on the trail, they will be the pedals I use from now on.

Gordi
 

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I have the mallets. I didn't like them because the platform was useless to me, as a platform pedal. Your feet roll off the eggbeater and sometimes rengage. Its also hard to unclip because of the plates that are supposed to grip your shoes. The platforms are only good for some footing before you clip in. Some people like them, and I am not bashing them. Crank Bros have excellent tech support and quality but, I expected to be able to ride them like a platform in scary sections. I ended up switching to shimano 540s, they are easy to get out of and don't get caked up with mud. I have a pair of mallets I am going to sell if your interested, they only have a few rides on them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
xrussox said:
hey man what are those shoes you linked? they look pretty good.

im going from kona jackshizzles to mallets too, they should be arriving TODAY!!!!!
cant wait

i ended up going with some cheaper 661 shoes to learn in case i hate it
not a bad deal http://www.blueskycycling.com/produ...h-Shoes-w--Crank-Brothers-Mallet-C-Pedals.htm
The shoes are Adidas Minrett. They are described as...

Adidas' Minrett is the perfect MTB shoe for the occassional rider who wants the basics: function, fit, and performance. The price is nice, but you still get top-end features like an EVA insole and midsole, nylon plate for stiffness, and an outsole made of high-traction rubber for the ultimate grip. Casual look and walkable sole, so they work just as well on campus or at the coffee shop as they do on the trail.

The upper is open mesh nylon for quick drying, with reflective materials for additional safety.

Compatibility: SPD®
Intended use: Casual MTB
Closure: laces

The link above is from JensonUSA.com and are black. I purchased mine from my LBS in brown for the same price.

These are my first pair of MTB shoes and so far I haven no complaints.

Gordi
 

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Picard said:
Congralution MTB-50. You finally graduated to the MTB club.
Just for the record, I don't feel you need to have clipless pedals to "graduate into the MTB club" Lots of great riders prefer flats, and stick with them

Personally, I just bought some Shimano M520's and can't wait to try them out. I just need to pick up a pair of shoes. Glad to hear that you are happy with your mallets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks.....

I was a little hesitant at first, but figured I would give them a try. As it turns out, I like them and plan on sticking to it.

One thing that helped me out (being a newb) was to buy Ned Overend's book, Mountain Bike Like A Champion. It really helped me understand how pedaling (in circles) while being clipped in was so efficient, plus has "skill drills" for all the basics.

Thanks
Gordi
 

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MTB-5O said:
I was a little hesitant at first, but figured I would give them a try. As it turns out, I like them and plan on sticking to it.

One thing that helped me out (being a newb) was to buy Ned Overend's book, Mountain Bike Like A Champion. It really helped me understand how pedaling (in circles) while being clipped in was so efficient, plus has "skill drills" for all the basics.

Thanks
Gordi
I got Ned Overend book too. It is very useful reference book for bikers. If you forget a technique, you can always verify with the book. It's like a dictiionary for bikers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Not to sound like a plug, but....

The book has really helped me with skills (too many to list) as well as bike setup.

The best skills I learned on the topic of clipless pedals was pedaling (of course) and how to crash / fall during a slow speed topple.

I learned if I could not un-clip, not to panic, just turn the bars to hit first and try to ease onto the ground with my hip, arm and shoulder. It works (trust me - I fell this way).

Gordi
:D
 

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My first TIME using clipless

I went on my first trail ride clipless yesterday and fell all over the trail like I've never ridden a bike before. I've been riding a cheap hardtail for years and decided I earned the right to have a nice bike. I rode around the neighborhood clipping in and out without any trouble. I thought this is easy. I get in some gnarly stuff on the trail and I'm falling all over the place. I figured out I am fine as long as I'm not in a situation that I need my foot. As soon as I need it, I can't get it out. I think this is a combination between inexperince with the product (TIME clipless) and panic. Any suggestions? Will the clips wear down some to make it easier to get out? TIME does not have adjustments on the springs so that is out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
The Mallet's are non-adjustable also.... but they will break in.....

What I did was to practice clipping in and out whenever possible. I would sit in front of the televison on my bike clipping in and out (driving my wife nuts), ride around the block clipping in and out (my neighbors must think I am nuts), practice track stands (soft grass) while clipping out (panic mode - not on purpose) etc. etc.

After a week or so of clipping / unclipping it seemed to be almost second nature to clip in and out, plus the pedals were more forgiving at this point from being used.

I too, thought it was easy until I fell on a road ride.

My neighborhood has a bike path (along the roads) to make it safer to ride, however; someone forgot to tell the work crew fixing the road to put up a sign or cones to let us know a section of the path was cut out and and hole left in its place.

I was doing a night ride, clipping along at a good pace (20+MPH) and came around a sharp corner to find the hole. My brakes stopped me before the hole and I thought cool, until I remembered I was clipped into the pedals (too late).

I started to fall, quickly pulled left towards the grass and remembered the chapter on crashing / falling in Ned Overend's book. It worked and I thought to myself, this is not so easy (more practice time).

On this trail ride my practice paid off, as I was able to clip out in a hurry before falling (dropped the bike, but not me).

Hope this helps

Gordi
 

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Glad you're liking the new clipless system. I too just started a few weeks ago. Most of my clipless time has been road rides, with only 3 trail rides using them. Riding the roads and flats is pretty easy, but it's a bit frustrating riding the trails slower than i'm used to. I'm hesitant going up rocky stuff clipped in, so i unclip before and walk it. Do you guys unclip both feet at same time if you get stuck going through a tough section, or only one foot? I guess it's the rocky uphill sections which have me intimidated. I don't want to fall in the rocks, they're not exactly rounded and soft!! I figure I just got to get used to them. Also, what type of lube to use on the pedal's , i.e. release mechanism? I'm using shimano 520s & specialized mountain comp shoes. I'm really digging the ability to pull the pedal up on the up hills. Have fun and thanks for posting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have been trying to stay clipped in while in the tough sections, which usually leads to a panic unclipping involving both feet (only took one near fall towards the clipped in foot).
So when I approach a section I know I will have a problem with, I unclip both feet.

I do, however; practice unclipping one foot when stopping on the flat sections or road way.

As far as lube goes, this will be my first time lubing them. I am going to try my chain lube (wax type) because living in Florida I have a little bit of sand to deal with. ;)

Gordi
 

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I stopped to take leak one day when I first start using clipless. As I stopped, I remembered I was clipped in. I started to fall and I grabbed a nearby sappling. I got lucky that time. lol
 

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Clipping in and out on a trainer with eyes closed

I started riding clippless a month ago. I first practice on the trainer, then I tried it out side in my drive way. I fell over in the driveway while a group of people on the side walk in front of my house. I imagine if they were non-cyclist they probably had no idea why I just seem to fall over, probably looked pretty goofy to them. I would of thought was funny to if I seen it from there point. I fell several more times in the back yard. I put the bike back in the trainer and practice clipping in and out with my eyes closed. This seem to help, I think because when you are on the bike you really can't look down at your feet to position the cleat correctly so that it will lock onto the pedal. When I practice on the trainer initially I was looking down at my feet to see where to position the cleat. Closing my eyes when practicing on the trainer solved this problem. I know it seems corny, but it helped me.

I still have some difficulty clipping in going up hills, all though I have gotten better at it. I have fallen on, what are technical sections to me, because I couldn't clip out. I have had some pretty successfully dismounts to.

I have already realized some benefits from clippless pedals, especially when climbing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The book I purchsed had a chapter just on clipless pedals and how to pedal.

I was amazed after practicing the skills drills how much more power I had to climb, accelerate and go over obstacles while being clipped in.

On my road rides I can go farther and faster than before due to using more muscles while pedaling.

Took alot of practice, but I now have a rhythm while pedaling full circle. I can remove one foot from the pedals and still pedal fairly smooth!

Gordi
 
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