what makes you fall when clipless?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
kwackers
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Re: what makes you fall when clipless?

Postby kwackers » 18 Dec 2009, 12:06pm

gilesjuk wrote:I'd argue it is faster and easier to unclip clipless pedals than it is to remove a foot from a reasonably tensioned toe clip.

Gave up on toe clips 20 years ago. Mind you I don't like wearing shoes either. :lol:

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quiksilver
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Re: what makes you fall when clipless?

Postby quiksilver » 18 Dec 2009, 1:40pm

I had a nasty incident earlier this year whilst riding round a mini roundabout. A woman entered the roundabout in front of me whilst talking on her Blackberry , didnt see me there at all. I hit the brake and did a sort of unconventional unclipping of both feet coupled with jumping down off the bike and planting my feet on the road. Did myself a rather painfull injury to my twernt and brought tears to my eyes. At that moment I wish I had been on flat pedals but the unclipping reflex I had developed saved me from a much worse injury. The reflex will come just stick at it. I have never used straps and clips so cant comment on that side of foot retention.

resus1uk
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Re: what makes you fall when clipless?

Postby resus1uk » 18 Dec 2009, 2:33pm

My answer is :Riding two wheels instead of three makes me fall when clipless.

Great on my trikes even in this snow, but I'm not confident on two wheels with clipless.

That third wheel gives more stabilty in that you don't need to put a foot down. Still can come a cropper on adverse cambers.

I never used clips & straps on two wheels anyway because of the risk of a fall.

reohn2
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Re: what makes you fall when clipless?

Postby reohn2 » 18 Dec 2009, 2:44pm

quiksilver wrote:.......Did myself a rather painfull injury to my twernt and brought tears to my eyes.............



Whats a twernt Is it like a twas :?
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quiksilver
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Re: what makes you fall when clipless?

Postby quiksilver » 19 Dec 2009, 12:23am

reohn2 wrote:
quiksilver wrote:.......Did myself a rather painfull injury to my twernt and brought tears to my eyes.............



Whats a twernt Is it like a twas :?


If it twernt there your guts would fall out :lol:

thekelticfringe
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Re: what makes you fall when clipless?

Postby thekelticfringe » 19 Dec 2009, 8:40am

The adaptation is pretty quick in my experience (although my son did the classic "ride into car park and topple sideways" stunt on his MTB when first riding Spuds). I'd suggest *consciously* practising unclipping on both sides.

My problems have usually come about when I have unclipped left foot only to have bike go right on me and vice-versa. Since most UK cyclists favour their left foot because that is the 'nearside' foot it is less instinctive to unclip and put down right foot - so make it instinctive by practising in a controlled manner.

I also support what he said ^ about MTB riding, where clipping in and out is done a lot more frequently than on the road, landings are softer should you come to grief, and the most likely thing to run you over is another bike, not a 44 tonner..

Finally IMO it is really worth persevering, the additional stability and power are well worth it. I rode a bike with flats the other day, wasn't thinking and tried to jump it over an obstacle as I would with clips - nearly had a stem -v- the family jewels incident as my feet left the pedals and the bike crashed over the obstacle.
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thekelticfringe
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Re: what makes you fall when clipless?

Postby thekelticfringe » 19 Dec 2009, 9:20am

quiksilver wrote:Whats a twernt Is it like a twas :?

If it twernt there your guts would fall out :lol:


It's the same as a twill
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ChrisButch
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Re: what makes you fall when clipless?

Postby ChrisButch » 19 Dec 2009, 10:38am

[quote="thekelticfringe"]I'd suggest *consciously* practising unclipping on both sides.

The protracted problems arose, in my own experience, precisely on those occasions when the action isn't 'conscious'. It's the distinction tennis players make between a forced error and an unforced error. You're absolutely fine on all occasions when you have plenty of time to anticipate a stop and to think the action. But when all your attention is on the car which has suddenly come to a halt in front of you, that's when the old reflexes click in, you try to put a foot down, and over you go.

MacBludgeon
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Re: what makes you fall when clipless?

Postby MacBludgeon » 19 Dec 2009, 11:10am

Every time I read one of these threads I'm amazed at how relaxed the attitudes to multiple falls are. I've also seen enough examples of incredible skills on bikes, with flat pedals, to know that foot/pedal retention isn't a must to achieve this. For general riding I just don't see the risk/hassle to benefit ratio as being viable. There's no shortage of claims around the vast improvement proffered by going clipless. But this gets very sketchy when you try to quantify it, with many admissions that it's not actually faster just easier. When I then factor in special pedals, shoes, problems like hot foot, injuries due to cleat position and difficulty in walking, it starts to seem really strange.

I think I'll just have to remain mystified.
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Mick F
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Re: what makes you fall when clipless?

Postby Mick F » 19 Dec 2009, 11:37am

Since going clipless, I've never fallen.

With clips and tightly strapped in like I used to be, I had to "predict" when to loosen the straps - junctions, traffic etc. The trouble came when I had to stop suddenly! BANG! Down on a knee!

With clipless, it's just a flick of the ankle - easy!
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MikeMarsUK
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Re: what makes you fall when clipless?

Postby MikeMarsUK » 19 Dec 2009, 11:40am

Every time I read one of these threads I'm amazed at how relaxed the attitudes to multiple falls are.
...


You could say exactly the same about learning to ride a bike in the first place. How many times did you fall off as a small child before that magical (but wobbly) first ride down the drive?

SPDs are the best addition I've ever made to my bike. Yes, I fell off when stationary a few times when I was first learning to use them (and before I reduced the tension down to the minimum). Was it worth it? Yes.

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EdinburghFixed
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Re: what makes you fall when clipless?

Postby EdinburghFixed » 19 Dec 2009, 12:20pm

The thing about clipless pedals is that you just need to retrain your muscles into a different way of stepping off. Once you have been using them for a while, your body will interpret the 'eject command' as a heel-first motion which is why, even in the process of crashing with all your attention on the obstacle rushing towards you, it's still possible to get your foot out. All you need to do to make this happen is ride clipless, your body will do the rest.

What I found was that I went through a patch in the middle, when I had stopped thinking about the fact that I was riding clipless but before my body had truly adapted subconsciously, that involved a few minor offs. But at the end of the day, what's the likely outcome of falling off your stationary bike? A bit of a scuff and bruise if you don't fall well. The pedals themselves can't hurt you because the action of twisting your knee will cause the pedals to release well before you get discomforted.

When I first tried them I considered clipless pedals to be the single greatest invention in cycling (since the wheel, of course) and not much has happened since to change that view ;)

thekelticfringe
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Re: what makes you fall when clipless?

Postby thekelticfringe » 19 Dec 2009, 2:29pm

ChrisButch wrote:
thekelticfringe wrote:I'd suggest *consciously* practising unclipping on both sides.

The protracted problems arose, in my own experience, precisely on those occasions when the action isn't 'conscious'.


Sorry maybe I wasn't clear - what I meant was if you make a point of practicing unclipping when you are new to clips, the action becomes automatic.

So, fairly quickly, when faced with a situation of multiple distractions like you describe you don't have to think of unclipping - it just happens as required.

My main suggestion is that if you practice you will speed up development of the automatic reflexes. My second suggestion is, as most cyclists tend to be 'left footed', to practice with both feet.

:)
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andrewjoseph
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Re: what makes you fall when clipless?

Postby andrewjoseph » 20 Dec 2009, 1:42pm

Coming from an mtb background, where obstacles are can be much more frequent, the need for control is greater. Now, on every ride, road or mountain, I try to trackstand for as long as I can every time there is a pause in traffic, or a gate or sumpink.

When in traffic and it looks like I might have to stop, I unclip in plenty of time and keep my feet on the pedals, ready to put a foot down or power away.

Sudden falls will happen if you are clipped in or not. If it's sudden you probably won't have time to get a foot down if you are using a retention system or not. If you are falling and get past a certain point, then putting your foot down may cause more damage than falling on your side, there may be a risk of tearing the knee joint.
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