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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, to make a long story short I just recently bought a FS rig and have been using the Shimano 520's that came on it.

I've taken a few spills. All of them have been 100% because I couldn't get my right foot out fast enough to steady myself.

I have 3 things working against me:

1. I'm way out of shape and normally pretty fatigued by the time I fall
2. This is my first experience into the MT Biking world
3. Also my first go around with clipless pedals

I guess my question is, should I go to a platform until I get a little more comfortable with my skill set and fitness level, or should I just keep blasting away with the clipless stuff?

Would a set of candy's or some other clipless pedal help? I want to be able to keep riding for a long time and I just want to maximize my experience.

Thanks in advance.

Brandon
 

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Are the pedals adjustable? If so loosen them up some so you can unclip easier. Otherwise just keep practicing somewhere soft and where there is nobody to watch you fall...lol...I actually just started using them myself recently and I have the opposite problem. In fact I fit into all three of your categories. I have only fallen once because I unclipped my right foot but I leaned to the left and fell over. Other than that, my problem is actually clipping IN on the trail after coming to a stop for whatever reason. It just takes practice. I don't think other than spinning around town I could ever go back to regular pedals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I had the same thing happen on my very first fall with clipless btw. :)

Then a front tire washout in sandy very easy trails.

Then today quite a few little falls on some medium techi trails.
 

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I am also new to clipless, and also using the 520s. I set them really loose so that I can get out quickly. My bigger problem was getting back into them
 

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I had the 505's that came with the bike and kept falling also. Usually when I wanted to stop or starting out. I bought a set of platforms to try to get to know my bike better as I too am a beginer. I read a bunch of posts avout clipless and went to my LBS to find some speedplay frogs because you have quite a bit of float with them and I liked how the clips worked. When I got to the bike shop I told the owner my situation and what I was looking for. He said he has use all the clips out there and gave me the good and bad about each. I finally decided on the 540's. He put the clips on my shoes and mounted the pedals on a bike to see how my shoes worked with the pedals. He found that the rubber on the bottom needed to be cut away because it was rubbing on the pedal. This would have caused some problems with unclipping. The one piece of advice he gave me was to ALWAYS unclip with force. Don't try to do it nicely or gently. EVERY TIME you unclip use your whole leg not you ankle.

The point I'm trying to make is take your shoes and pedals to your LBS and see if they will give you some personal attention. I think we spend hundreds and thousands of dollars at the shop, the very least they can do is spend 45 min. checking out your shoes and making sure everything works fine - especially if they want you back.

Good luck and unclip like you mean it - every time.

~Millman
 

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Untchbl said:
1. I'm way out of shape and normally pretty fatigued by the time I fall
2. This is my first experience into the MT Biking world
3. Also my first go around with clipless pedals
I'm in the same exact situation as you. I bought platforms for my bike without thinking about clipless and started riding about a month and a half ago. I quickly realized that I might benefit from a clipless stetup, especially climbing up loose rocky terrain.

Bought the shoes and Shimano M520's but decided, I need to get myself in better shape and to truly learn the feel of the bike first. Practicing such things as wheelies, cornering in loose terrain and other techniques here and there has me a bit worried when I'm clipped in so I'm taking the no cojones way out:p

I'm sure some might feel that it's better to learn with clipless but I'd rather get better at it one step at a time. I ride out in the AZ desert and I'd prefer not fall over on a goathead or cacti when I spaz out and fall over while I'm clipped in. I've come close and can't imagine how that might feel:eekster:

Another point is the out of shape part like you mentioned. So often during my rides, I find myself not being able to avoid a bad situation that I could normally get out of because I'm too fatigued. In those moment, I prefer to have platforms on to keep my self upright if I could help it:D
 

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Mystical Voodoo Roller
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First off Untchbl.....hope your ok?

I know how ya feel!
Over the years I have a had quite a few spills cuz of my big hoofs! :rolleyes:
(size 12 EEE)
Once happened in the middle of a black topped road.
(Yeah my chin has been stitched 4x in my life time)

I've had to sacrafice some weight but I use these now....

Odyssey Triple Traps



By golly my feet don't slip off these bad boys! :D

It's just me I'm sure but it'd be a cold day in......before I use egg beaters.
Even in my Racing bike years I refused to use em cuz of above mentioned.
I'd never get my hoofs out in time with em seat-belted to the pedals. LOL
 

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Your points seem valid but also keep in mind that being clipped in can actually be a help to those of us not in such great shape as it makes your pedaling more efficient thus using less energy. I found that I was instantly able to ride longer and harder the second I clipped in for the first time. But I might have a different outlook if I had to worry about falling on a cactus...lol...all I have to worry about here are big rocks and I think those probably would hurt less than your spikey plants and goatheads...lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I had triple traps way back in the day.

Thanks for the concern too, I'm good to go other then just some pretty good rash on my leg.
Looked terrible on the trail too.
 

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Graphyfotoz said:
First off Untchbl.....hope your ok?

I know how ya feel!
Over the years I have a had quite a few spills cuz of my big hoofs! :rolleyes:
(size 12 EEE)
Once happened in the middle of a black topped road.
(Yeah my chin has been stitched 4x in my life time)

I've had to sacrafice some weight but I use these now....

Odyssey Triple Traps



By golly my feet don't slip off these bad boys! :D

It's just me I'm sure but it'd be a cold day in......before I use egg beaters.
Even in my Racing bike years I refused to use em cuz of above mentioned.
I'd never get my hoofs out in time with em seat-belted to the pedals. LOL

Untchbl
, Do not listen to the above advice. The size of your foot has nothing to do with how well you can unclip. This is just an excuse, and the segway to giving up entirely. In which case you have a huge disadvantage in almost every area of MTN biking.

Think of this: Im going to kick you in the BALLS NOW! Ok what just happened? Well if you are a guy you flinched and your right knee came up and across your private area with a powerful burst of speed. Its just an ingraned reaction. The same with how you will LEARN to unclip. Every time you go to unclip think of that kick comming to your groin and use that idea of explosivness to unclip. Its like WHAM!, you're unclipped!
 

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RockadileSX said:
\Think of this: Im going to kick you in the BALLS NOW!


Dude, that's 2 threads in a row of kicking people in the balls... what's up with that :)

That aside, agree with what you wrote (also agree with your other ball-kicking logic), and I am not just saying to avoid getting nutkicked. The only thing I'd say is perhaps spend some time riding on easy trails or fire roads, practicing clipping/unclipping till it starts to become second nature.

V.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well guys, hit the same trail this morning.

Super hydrated last night, ate a light breakfest, and took the camel back this time around.

Same trail ride today and I have to say it seemed much easier. Only one fall and it probably would have been a fall on a platform as I kind of clipped a tree with one of my bars. I did have a couple sections where I had to get my feet out in a hurry and everything seemed to just happen a little easier today.

I really think a lot of it was just knowing the trail enough to have a little better confidence and carry a little more speed in places that it's really required.

All in all I am really pleased with my trail time today. I just need to get better at my gear selection and then build up some strength.

I also really don't think I'm a fan of the 520's. Instead of easier they seem to be getting more difficult to clip in and out of.
 

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Mystical Voodoo Roller
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Everyone has their own thing!
Like I said for ME I woundn't like em.
MAYBE I could get used to em on a Racing bike but not MTB.

Yeah maybe I don't have any balls......
But after the bad spills I have had and about 50 stitches......
(One I coulda been easily killed)

Like those Guys that jump Bikes and smash and get really hurt.....
After they heal they jump right back on and do it again.
Well I'm not like that never have been or I'd be dead now...I don't tempt fate.....I was young and dumb then.....
 

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Ok, so here is some advice from someone that was in your posistion a few years ago - suck it up. Ok, with that said to lose weight and improve your endurance you should be looking at a few different types of rides:
1) Fun technical ride (keep your sanity)
2) Fast not so technical long ride (multi-hour) with lots of climbs and few stops.

Ride 2 will make you ready for technical. You said your falling when your tired, which leads me to believe you really need to work on your shape. You should work towards getting yourself up to at least two hours with minimal stopping, maybe 1 or 2 for less than a minute. When I first started with this type of ride I would sometimes need to get off my bike at the top of the climb to catch my breadth...

My gut tells me your problem is more with your shape than the pedals. When your getting tired I'm guessing your not thinking as much.
 

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You can adjust the float by repositioning the cleat on your shoe. Float is how far outward you need to move your heel before you unclip. When I started I had a problem with unclipping my right foot also. Adjusting the float made it 10x easier.

Start by loosening your cleat just enough to allow it to move. You want to turn the cleat to point more towards your big toe. It will take some experimentation to find the right position for you. Took me 2 or 3 tries to find the spot that was comfortable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
You are probably dead on correct. A little bit of it is probably never being on a bike that goes over roots and all kinds of stuff as well.

The trail I've been riding (only 10 minutes from my house) is probably perfect for the #1 scenario with just a couple sections that are a little to techy.

I'm working up to about an hour on a pretty easy dirt double track with a couple short climbs.
 
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