How do you unclip (SPD's) on a steep hill????

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
PW
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Re: How do you unclip (SPD's) on a steep hill????

Postby PW » 20 Oct 2011, 6:12pm

Thinking about it I habitually unclip left sided, going downwards, just before the bottom of the stroke. The odd approach to an almost "Clipless Moment" has always been if I've tried to do it upwards at the 1/4 to/past position. I managed to get off no bother last time I chickened out of Curbar Gap :oops: so it works. That's a Time ATAC ROC S with the tension turned up (the new ones are adjustable, the old ones weren't). I seem to recall CJ dislikes ATACs from an ease of clipping in/out point of view, and I suspect I'm somewhat heavier built, but once the technique becomes second nature it's almost like not being clipped in at all.
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Audax67
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Re: How do you unclip (SPD's) on a steep hill????

Postby Audax67 » 21 Oct 2011, 9:02am

I find this issue rather strange. The times I've come off the bike unintentionally my feet have always come out of the clips without any conscious action on my part. I do ride with the clip tension on a low setting because I like being able to clip on quickly, and also because, some of my routes leading along towpath a couple of feet from the water, I don't fancy a bike as swimwear.

The worst problems I've had were with clipping onto single-sided SPDs when starting on a 10% hill. Embarrassing.
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karlt
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Re: How do you unclip (SPD's) on a steep hill????

Postby karlt » 21 Oct 2011, 10:43am

Audax67 wrote:I find this issue rather strange. The times I've come off the bike unintentionally my feet have always come out of the clips without any conscious action on my part. I do ride with the clip tension on a low setting because I like being able to clip on quickly, and also because, some of my routes leading along towpath a couple of feet from the water, I don't fancy a bike as swimwear.

The worst problems I've had were with clipping onto single-sided SPDs when starting on a 10% hill. Embarrassing.


My homeward commute starts with an average 5% hill that's 2.6km long. But it's not constant; some bits are around 10%. Guess where the traffic lights tend to be?

I can't track stand to save my life, before anyone suggests it, even on the flat.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: How do you unclip (SPD's) on a steep hill????

Postby [XAP]Bob » 21 Oct 2011, 10:59am

karlt wrote:
Audax67 wrote:I find this issue rather strange. The times I've come off the bike unintentionally my feet have always come out of the clips without any conscious action on my part. I do ride with the clip tension on a low setting because I like being able to clip on quickly, and also because, some of my routes leading along towpath a couple of feet from the water, I don't fancy a bike as swimwear.

The worst problems I've had were with clipping onto single-sided SPDs when starting on a 10% hill. Embarrassing.


My homeward commute starts with an average 5% hill that's 2.6km long. But it's not constant; some bits are around 10%. Guess where the traffic lights tend to be?

I can't track stand to save my life, before anyone suggests it, even on the flat.

Track stands are much easier facing uphill....
It's impossible* on the flat without a fixie.

* Unless you are a trials rider
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
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karlt
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Re: How do you unclip (SPD's) on a steep hill????

Postby karlt » 21 Oct 2011, 11:18am

[XAP]Bob wrote:
karlt wrote:
Audax67 wrote:I find this issue rather strange. The times I've come off the bike unintentionally my feet have always come out of the clips without any conscious action on my part. I do ride with the clip tension on a low setting because I like being able to clip on quickly, and also because, some of my routes leading along towpath a couple of feet from the water, I don't fancy a bike as swimwear.

The worst problems I've had were with clipping onto single-sided SPDs when starting on a 10% hill. Embarrassing.


My homeward commute starts with an average 5% hill that's 2.6km long. But it's not constant; some bits are around 10%. Guess where the traffic lights tend to be?

I can't track stand to save my life, before anyone suggests it, even on the flat.

Track stands are much easier facing uphill....
It's impossible* on the flat without a fixie.

* Unless you are a trials rider


I can't do them either way.

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andrew_s
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Re: How do you unclip (SPD's) on a steep hill????

Postby andrew_s » 21 Oct 2011, 2:56pm

[quote="[XAP]Track stands are much easier facing uphill....
It's impossible* on the flat without a fixie.[/quote]
The camber on the road is generally enough of a hill. Angle the front wheel so pedal forward takes the wheel up the camber (generally towards the centre of the road), then relax pressure to allow the wheel to just roll back.
(from a spectator viewpoint only - I've never bothered to practice enough).

On unclipping on a steep hill, the answer is practice, and knowing when you aren't going to make the next pedal stroke.
It takes longer for the bike to topple over than it does to unclip.

karlt
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Re: How do you unclip (SPD's) on a steep hill????

Postby karlt » 21 Oct 2011, 3:39pm

PW wrote:Thinking about it I habitually unclip left sided, going downwards, just before the bottom of the stroke. The odd approach to an almost "Clipless Moment" has always been if I've tried to do it upwards at the 1/4 to/past position. I managed to get off no bother last time I chickened out of Curbar Gap :oops: so it works. That's a Time ATAC ROC S with the tension turned up (the new ones are adjustable, the old ones weren't). I seem to recall CJ dislikes ATACs from an ease of clipping in/out point of view, and I suspect I'm somewhat heavier built, but once the technique becomes second nature it's almost like not being clipped in at all.


That reminds me - must do Curbar Gap. No excuse; it's easily reachable on a round trip from where I live.

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CREPELLO
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Re: How do you unclip (SPD's) on a steep hill????

Postby CREPELLO » 21 Oct 2011, 7:46pm

Although thread is about unclipping going up a steep hill, I find it's actually clipping back in that requires a bit a forethought - at least when riding a loaded touring bike up a steep hill.
It requires using the brakes to get going!

Assuming the bike is in a very low gear (almost certain with a load), with one pedal near the top of the stroke as possible, I squeeze the brakes lightly. This means that when I start off, the pedal stroke is effectively slowed down just enough to clip my other foot in. That doesn't always happen, so I aim to just get the second foot over the pedal. Then once momentum is gained, it's then easy to clip in.

PW
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Re: How do you unclip (SPD's) on a steep hill????

Postby PW » 22 Oct 2011, 12:03am

karlt wrote:That reminds me - must do Curbar Gap. No excuse; it's easily reachable on a round trip from where I live.


Take a run over on Sat the 29th. There's a student hillclimb starting about 11ish.
If at first you don't succeed - cheat!!

karlt
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Re: How do you unclip (SPD's) on a steep hill????

Postby karlt » 22 Oct 2011, 12:47am

PW wrote:
karlt wrote:That reminds me - must do Curbar Gap. No excuse; it's easily reachable on a round trip from where I live.


Take a run over on Sat the 29th. There's a student hillclimb starting about 11ish.


Ach, I prefer to embarrass myself privately.

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Phil_Lee
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Re: How do you unclip (SPD's) on a steep hill????

Postby Phil_Lee » 22 Oct 2011, 5:48am

CJ wrote:
stoobs wrote:I gave this advice once before and many moons ago, but SPDs tend to not want to unclip when you're pulling up.

I think you've got something there. It could explain why anxiety about unclipping correllates with actual difficulty, if in the urgency to get that shoe off the pedal, the rider can't help pulling up at the same time as they twist. Or perhaps they're pulling backwards, like we used to do when we had toeclips? Since the mechanism by which the cleat releases involves a pointy bit, or cam, on the rear of the cleat moving sideways relative to the pedal, so as to wedge open the binding, pulling backwards may increase the friction between cam and binding.

As it happens, I know someone who has this difficulty (in spite of minimum tension and "M" cleats, due to an impaired left leg) so I've just taken her left shoe out to the garage and tried it on the bike. It clips in and out very easily indeed, by hand, with only slight pressure. Pulling up on the shoe also releases it easily (she never pulls up with that leg - I don't think she can). Pulling up whilst twisting releases just as easily, likewise pushing forward or back, whilst twisting in either direction. I can't honestly detect any difficulty at all in getting this shoe off the pedal - no matter what I do! But I''ve noticed that she always has the left pedal at the top of the stroke when she goes to release it - whereas I'm just as likely to release at the bottom, half a turn of the cranks from stopping.

Comparing how far I can twist my foot with my leg straight and with a bent knee, I find that I can twist it a lot further when my leg is straight - and with more torque. So factoring the impairment of this leg, it seems possible that she simply can't twist her foot far enough (or with any force at all) when it's in the position where she naturally wants to release it. I must look into that some more - although there might not be much we can do about it. After all: if one is about to put one's left foot to the floor it is natural to transfer weight to the right pedal, so the left pedal will be up.


I also have an impaired leg, and have to unclip at the top of the stroke (or at least in the top half).
If I try to twist my foot when my leg is straight, it's the knee that twists instead.
btdt, and it hurts.
So anyone with a leg impairment, work out what will suit the impairment you have, and don't try to copy what unimpaired riders do.
Different types of cleat may be worth considering as well.

island girl
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Re: How do you unclip (SPD's) on a steep hill????

Postby island girl » 26 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Yipee, managed to unclip today on steep hill. Really studied how I unclipped on the flat and realised I was doing the exact opposite on a steep hill. Normally, I unclip left foot at the top of the stroke and kick heel inwards. On a hill I was trying to unclip at bottom of stroke and kicking heel outwards. Why I don't know. Anyway when I concentrated and tried to unclip on hill ,by the same method as on the flat, hey presto I was out. Not the first time and not easy but I did it. Will keep practising.
Yes, '7-lives-left' my shoes and SPD's are about 21/2 years old so maybe time for a new pair.

westofsouth
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Re: How do you unclip (SPD's) on a steep hill????

Postby westofsouth » 26 Oct 2011, 11:04pm

......whats all this about? What are SPD's?
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The Mechanic
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Re: How do you unclip (SPD's) on a steep hill????

Postby The Mechanic » 27 Oct 2011, 1:30pm

CREPELLO wrote:Although thread is about unclipping going up a steep hill, I find it's actually clipping back in that requires a bit a forethought - at least when riding a loaded touring bike up a steep hill.
It requires using the brakes to get going!

Assuming the bike is in a very low gear (almost certain with a load), with one pedal near the top of the stroke as possible, I squeeze the brakes lightly. This means that when I start off, the pedal stroke is effectively slowed down just enough to clip my other foot in. That doesn't always happen, so I aim to just get the second foot over the pedal. Then once momentum is gained, it's then easy to clip in.


+1. I don't recall having a problem unclipping on a hill other than falling over on the still-clipped-in side (done that). But I have had a problem clipping in again after getting back on again. Double sided pedals such as M520 help in this case as you don't have to worry about flipping them over.
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LollyKat
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Re: How do you unclip (SPD's) on a steep hill????

Postby LollyKat » 27 Oct 2011, 2:50pm

The Mechanic wrote:I don't recall having a problem unclipping on a hill other than falling over on the still-clipped-in side (done that).


Ummm...so that's not a problem, then? :?