Getting used to Clipless Pedals

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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foxyrider
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Re: Getting used to Clipless Pedals

Postby foxyrider » 16 Apr 2018, 7:34pm

busb wrote:I had a pair of the original Shimano SPDs & shoes. The pedals weighed more than the rest of the bike! I set them & several new pairs since to fairly minimal release torque. As long as I can heft the bike into the air without disengaging - that's fine for me.
I did fall over at a T junction when I didn't unclip soon enough a week in, the lorry driver behind me was probably amused. 80k or so miles later, I've fallen off about 4 times when stationary but never felt I'd had a close shave. I've no experience of road clipless - I've studiously avoided them - preferring to be able to walk properly & not damage pub floors!


Why would you damage pub floors? Road cleats beside giving a bigger, more stable contact area are made of nylon so much less likely to damage floors than metal SPD cleats. Now the old school metal cleats we used to use with toe clips were a different matter!

Just for the record I use both systems but prefer Look style as they stop my feet doing a fair impression of St Elmo's jig! I do push. Over the top and if the mood takes me, pull up too.

Last panic - 3 days ago on first Keo ride after 6 months on SPD's - no tumble tho!
Convention? what's that then?
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Re: Getting used to Clipless Pedals

Postby PJ520 » 16 Apr 2018, 7:39pm

There must be some benefit to attaching your feet to your pedals. Think of the early TDF riders who had their feet bolted to the pedals. Tough luck if you got a flat and had to dismount.
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busb
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Re: Getting used to Clipless Pedals

Postby busb » 16 Apr 2018, 7:42pm

foxyrider wrote:
busb wrote:I had a pair of the original Shimano SPDs & shoes. The pedals weighed more than the rest of the bike! I set them & several new pairs since to fairly minimal release torque. As long as I can heft the bike into the air without disengaging - that's fine for me.
I did fall over at a T junction when I didn't unclip soon enough a week in, the lorry driver behind me was probably amused. 80k or so miles later, I've fallen off about 4 times when stationary but never felt I'd had a close shave. I've no experience of road clipless - I've studiously avoided them - preferring to be able to walk properly & not damage pub floors!


Why would you damage pub floors? Road cleats beside giving a bigger, more stable contact area are made of nylon so much less likely to damage floors than metal SPD cleats. Now the old school metal cleats we used to use with toe clips were a different matter!

Just for the record I use both systems but prefer Look style as they stop my feet doing a fair impression of St Elmo's jig! I do push. Over the top and if the mood takes me, pull up too.

Last panic - 3 days ago on first Keo ride after 6 months on SPD's - no tumble tho!

From what many folk who have used both types have said - the difference between road & current SPDs as far as efficiency & comfort is concerned is minimal. SPDs have got better over the years. Even if there was a substantial benefit in the Look types, I've seen far more off-bike tumbles than riders not uncliping fast enough!

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Re: Getting used to Clipless Pedals

Postby Brucey » 17 Apr 2018, 8:59am

Thornyone wrote:
Airsporter1st wrote:I use the multi release SPD cleats and since changing to them, I have never had a problem of releasing in a hurry. I started off at the lowest tension and have gradually increased - now about mid-way. I’ve only used them for a relatively short time but already I don’t even think about them anymore.

Sounds like I may have got on better had those been available years ago when I took the plunge (metaphorically and literally). I think I’m now too old to learn new tricks :lol:


If you want to have the easiest clipless learning experience, why not get some SPD cick'r pedals; these have much weaker springs (about half as stiff) than normal SPDs so release very easily indeed, especially with multi-release cleats.

Note that normal SPD pedals, even on the minimum setting, allow quite vigorous pedalling forces with little danger of accidental release. Many riders never bother with any setting higher than the minimum. The click'r pedals are specifically aimed at riders who ae new to clipless and who are not going to be putting the highest forces through the binding anyway.

cheers
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Re: Getting used to Clipless Pedals

Postby pwa » 17 Apr 2018, 9:18am

I've been using SPuDs (the twin bolt sort) for the best part of twenty years, and I have toppled twice. Both times were in the first few months of use. I have always had them set with the minimum of resistance for an easy exit, and I've not had accidental releases.

Before using SPuDs I used pedals with toe clips and straps. With those I found I occasionally got laces stuck as I tried to get feet out, so if anything they were more of a hazard than SPuDs.

I'm so used to using SPuDs now that the flick of the ankle is a natural thing that I do without thinking if I feel I may want to be putting a foot down in a moment. The only thing to watch, once you have got used to them, is that you get the cleats attached firmly enough. If you flick your ankle out to release and the cleat moves on the base of the shoe it will not release.

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Re: Getting used to Clipless Pedals

Postby mjr » 17 Apr 2018, 10:41am

pjclinch wrote:What is this "crushing one's toes" of which you speak?
You did say you had problem getting suitably fitting shoes so i guess that's involved, but my toes come out resolutely un-crushed, and not only when I'm in my SD65 SPuD sandals...

Yeah, I tend to wear office (formal) or deck shoes (semi/informal), not sandals much because I detest sunblock on my feet but my skin burns very easily.

pjclinch wrote:Leaning back to push forwards more efficient than just pedalling in circles? I have my doubts, noting that the smoothest most efficient power delivery is associated with TT specialists where nothing much is moving aside from their legs. And if you don't want to push forwards nobody forces you to: it's an option you have.

Ah no, maybe not more efficient, but still possible to get those heavy triple-pannier-plus-trainer loads moving. It's a niche case for me, so I think it's not worth losing all the other benefits of grippy rubber pedals over clipping to optimise for that one case.

pjclinch wrote:
mjr wrote:Plus it has the benefit of varying the position more than if you're clipped to one "right" place, which I suspect helps to reduce the risk of cramp that seems to afflict so many clippers.


Who are these "many clippers" of whom you speak?

It seems a fairly common complaint on cycling forums and the advice in reply often seems to centre around adjusting cleats. One of the posters above already mentioned cramping up, although like most clipping believers, they seem to see clipping as a solution not the cause.

PJ520 wrote:There must be some benefit to attaching your feet to your pedals. Think of the early TDF riders who had their feet bolted to the pedals. Tough luck if you got a flat and had to dismount.

I believe the benefit for racing is that clipping in allows one, in the extreme, to sacrifice some efficiency for extra effectiveness - that is, you can push/pull harder than if you weren't clipped in, for a while. Along with all the other things racers are trying to optimise, ideally you don't want anyone else to have a higher peak power than you if you can help it, else you won't be able to sprint away from them, or won't be able to stay with them if they try to sprint away from you. Of course, for most racers, there's always someone like Sagan who in some conditions can sprint away, then sustain the drive long enough to make the elastic break, plus handle the bike over rough surfaces or even crashed riders and that's part of why different riders try different tactics and it all becomes "chess on wheels", which we've seen the likes of Team Sky doing well, with deciding if a particular uphill attacker is overcooking it and they'll catch them by measuring on at their steady threshold or if Froome thinks it'll panic everyone if he attacks... but whatever your tactics, why would you give any other riders an extra few Watts peak power advantage if you could avoid it? UCI road races are a fixed distance, so you need to balance efficiency with power delivery over that distance - there's little reward for being able to ride another 20km past the finish line in the same style.

What did the bolted-on riders do? Try to find somewhere soft to land? Learn to undo bolts while trackstanding?
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Re: Getting used to Clipless Pedals

Postby pjclinch » 17 Apr 2018, 10:44am

pwa wrote:I'm so used to using SPuDs now that the flick of the ankle is a natural thing that I do without thinking if I feel I may want to be putting a foot down in a moment.


One near-disaster I had was borrowing a pal's bike for a quick errand. Coming in to land I twisted my foot out, and nothing happened. Again, no. Rather more worried, again, with vigour, but no... What the hell's going on? Looked down and remembered the bike had clips and straps.

D-oh!

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Re: Getting used to Clipless Pedals

Postby pjclinch » 17 Apr 2018, 10:49am

mjr wrote:
pjclinch wrote:
Who are these "many clippers" of whom you speak?

It seems a fairly common complaint on cycling forums and the advice in reply often seems to centre around adjusting cleats. One of the posters above already mentioned cramping up, although like most clipping believers, they seem to see clipping as a solution not the cause.


For some values of "common". Never come across it on CTC runs over 20 odd years and that's with most clipped on. I don't think one post here constitutes a flood.

The main cause of cramping up would be exertion and dehydration etc., which is far more likely in a rider going a long way and/or at some speed. The sort of rider more likely to use clipless pedals, in other words. Correlation is not necessarily causation.

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Re: Getting used to Clipless Pedals

Postby mjr » 17 Apr 2018, 11:02am

pjclinch wrote:
mjr wrote:
pjclinch wrote:
Who are these "many clippers" of whom you speak?

It seems a fairly common complaint on cycling forums and the advice in reply often seems to centre around adjusting cleats. One of the posters above already mentioned cramping up, although like most clipping believers, they seem to see clipping as a solution not the cause.


For some values of "common". Never come across it on CTC runs over 20 odd years and that's with most clipped on. I don't think one post here constitutes a flood.

I'd bet there's more than one post here. I just didn't even need to use the search to find one - it's that frequent.

As for CTC runs... yeah, turning up with good flat pedals and getting the hairy eyeball at best or at worst being flat-out told to change before doing a second guest ride (and I've heard of the introducing member getting pretty much told off for bringing such a cluebie on a long ride) probably makes clipping-in even more common on CTC runs. Got to love group fashions, eh? Then when someone suffers cramp, few are going to blame the same groupthink-approved equipment they themselves use, are they?

pjclinch wrote:The main cause of cramping up would be exertion and dehydration etc., which is far more likely in a rider going a long way and/or at some speed. The sort of rider more likely to use clipless pedals, in other words. Correlation is not necessarily causation.

Sure. Notice I went no stronger than "seems" on that. I don't think the causes of cramp are even understood well enough to confirm or refute any particular cause, so your certainty that it's anything but clipping in also seems ill-founded. I just suspect that limiting the variety of muscle actions by limiting the range of foot positions may be part of it.
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Re: Getting used to Clipless Pedals

Postby mjr » 17 Apr 2018, 11:14am

the_twin wrote:However without doubt one of the more unpleasant experiences on a bike is a foot slipping off a wet cheap rubber pedal followed rapidly by the family jewels whacking the crossbar or a falling off.

As I mentioned recently, it's risky to stand on the pedal to start off. I also ask people to name and shame defective pedal models rather than scaremonger about all rubber pedals - I suspect some of the worst offenders are fakes, claimed to be rubber when they're actually cheap resin (which is slippy if you try to make it look like rubber blocks rather than have teeth, granted).
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Re: Getting used to Clipless Pedals

Postby Vorpal » 17 Apr 2018, 11:18am

mjr does make a good point that clipless doesn't suit everyone. I've had several tries to make it work, and even with professional help, I do not find clipless systems comfortable. I suspect that for me, it is down to two things:
-I like to have my feet a little further forward on the pedals than many systems allow (no, I haven't tried Look or another system that allows this)
-I think I need to be able to shift my feet now and again to prevent fatigue

mjr wrote:
pjclinch wrote:The main cause of cramping up would be exertion and dehydration etc., which is far more likely in a rider going a long way and/or at some speed. The sort of rider more likely to use clipless pedals, in other words. Correlation is not necessarily causation.

Sure. Notice I went no stronger than "seems" on that. I don't think the causes of cramp are even understood well enough to confirm or refute any particular cause, so your certainty that it's anything but clipping in also seems ill-founded. I just suspect that limiting the variety of muscle actions by limiting the range of foot positions may be part of it.


Medically, the causes of cramp are quite well understood. Dehydration and nutrition are the most common causes, followed by certain medicines and medical conditions.

While it seems reasonable that poorly adjusted cleats, or an incompatibility with them could be a contributory factor, I don't think that there is any evidence to suggest that clipless systems can cause cramp.
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Re: Getting used to Clipless Pedals

Postby mjr » 17 Apr 2018, 11:30am

Vorpal wrote:Medically, the causes of cramp are quite well understood. Dehydration and nutrition are the most common causes, followed by certain medicines and medical conditions.

Maybe cramp in general, but that's not what I took away from this interview last year:
"For decades (almost a century, in fact), we’ve been told that cramping is caused by electrolyte imbalance or bad hydration. But new science suggests that this probably isn’t why you cramp during exercise.

So why do you cramp? It all comes down to something called altered neuromuscular control. And how do you stop it? Well, that’s where things get even trickier. We called up the world’s leading athletic cramping expert to find out. " - http://www.velonews.com/2017/08/trainin ... ked_446593
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Re: Getting used to Clipless Pedals

Postby pjclinch » 17 Apr 2018, 1:54pm

mjr wrote:As for CTC runs... yeah, turning up with good flat pedals and getting the hairy eyeball at best or at worst being flat-out told to change before doing a second guest ride (and I've heard of the introducing member getting pretty much told off for bringing such a cluebie on a long ride) probably makes clipping-in even more common on CTC runs. Got to love group fashions, eh? Then when someone suffers cramp, few are going to blame the same groupthink-approved equipment they themselves use, are they?


Perhaps you need to try a Tayside CTC run. They have absolutely nothing in common with your description above. But even if they did, they've still been cramp-free any time I've been on one and that's the point, rather than how awful the people are.

mjr wrote:
pjclinch wrote:The main cause of cramping up would be exertion and dehydration etc., which is far more likely in a rider going a long way and/or at some speed. The sort of rider more likely to use clipless pedals, in other words. Correlation is not necessarily causation.

Sure. Notice I went no stronger than "seems" on that. I don't think the causes of cramp are even understood well enough to confirm or refute any particular cause, so your certainty that it's anything but clipping in also seems ill-founded. I just suspect that limiting the variety of muscle actions by limiting the range of foot positions may be part of it.


Deary me. If you've got numb bum stand up for a minute. If you're feet aren't happy right where they are unclip for a minute. Rocket science it ain't...

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Re: Getting used to Clipless Pedals

Postby andrew_s » 17 Apr 2018, 4:51pm

mjr wrote:What did the bolted-on riders do? Try to find somewhere soft to land? Learn to undo bolts while trackstanding?

Undo their shoelaces on the move, probably, unless it was on the track where there's a fence to stop against, or a soigneur to catch you

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Re: Getting used to Clipless Pedals

Postby eileithyia » 17 Apr 2018, 6:25pm

busb wrote:I had a pair of the original Shimano SPDs & shoes. The pedals weighed more than the rest of the bike! I set them & several new pairs since to fairly minimal release torque. As long as I can heft the bike into the air without disengaging - that's fine for me.
I did fall over at a T junction when I didn't unclip soon enough a week in, the lorry driver behind me was probably amused. 80k or so miles later, I've fallen off about 4 times when stationary but never felt I'd had a close shave. I've no experience of road clipless - I've studiously avoided them - preferring to be able to walk properly & not damage pub floors!



Just use rubber cleat covers, problem solved.
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