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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My first experiences with trail riding were last year and I stuck to 2 of my local NC trails. I got pretty comfortable on my home trail, comfortable enough to try clipless. Of course there were falls, mainly dumb slow speed stuff. But since it was the trail I learned on I knew where I had to be careful and mentally prepared to unclip. The area has a lot of other trails to offer and I don't want to/have the time to keep practicing on my home trail. I feel like I will have more confidence on trails that are new to me not being clipped in. Is this a common feeling for people new to clipless? Do I need to:
A) Suck it up. I know how clipless works, different trail shouldn't matter so much.
B) Put the cages that came with my bike on for first rides on new trails.
C) Get some decent flats, throw on some tennis shoes and go
D) Get some decent flats and some 5.10's or comparable. Equipment should not be in your head, your head needs to be focusing on just the trail.

My purpose in posting this is not to start a clipless flat debate. I just want to hear from people that have had the same feeling, and how they addressed the concerns. I ride for fun. To give you an idea of where I'm at with my riding, some of my goals for this year are to tackle 2 to 3 foot drops, ride longer trails (increase from 5 to 15 miles), and begin learning how to clear small obstacles like logs, not just get my front wheel on it and muscle over, I see myself still staying off the advanced trails for now. Thanks in advance.
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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I'd say ride whatever pedals you feel more comfortable on.

I'm more comfortable on clipless pedals for everything but practicing my wheelie. So they're my choice for new trails too.
 

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I had the same issue when i first started riding clipless. I was always worried about if i could unclip fast enough, and it always made me fall much to the shegrin of my ridding buddies.
I eventually just sucked it up and concentrated more on the trail and not on unclipping. Now, I don't even realize I'm clipped in, It becomes second nature. But for some, riding a good set of platforms like CB 5050 is the way to go. The LBS owner gave me some good advice; falling is part of mountain biking. Give clipless a few more tries, and if your'e not comfortable, get some good platforms.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
dato21 said:
I had the same issue when i first started riding clipless. I was always worried about if i could unclip fast enough, and it always made me fall much to the shegrin of my ridding buddies.
I eventually just sucked it up and concentrated more on the trail and not on unclipping. Now, I don't even realize I'm clipped in, It becomes second nature. But for some, riding a good set of platforms like CB 5050 is the way to go. The LBS owner gave me some good advice; falling is part of mountain biking. Give clipless a few more tries, and if your'e not comfortable, get some good platforms.
:thumbsup: thanks i think thats kind of what i need to hear. also part of my plan is to get into better shape...if i can keep enough speed i know i won't even have time to worry, and slow speed falls are eliminated if you aren't going slow! end of last season i got a little spooked, i was able to catch myself from tipping over into a ravine thanks to a well placed tree. it was right after an uphill section and i was gassed.
 

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Trying not to kill myself
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I'd try to stick with clipless a while longer. When I was new to them, I ran SPD pedals with the tension all the way loose. It's almost impossible not to come unclipped when you make the natural motion of putting a foot down. After a while, my brain learned that my feet would take care of themselves, and I didn't have any more problems. Eventually as the muscle memory grows, you'll increase the tension to keep from coming unclipped when you don't want to.

Another option is to get a two-sided pedal that you can use when riding an unfamiliar trail. That way you can unclip and use the platform side if you're riding through a tricky section.
 
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