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SPARTYJR3000's Photo SPARTYJR3000 Posts: 629
6/23/08 6:00 P

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One way to avoid the saddle numbness is to grab a different saddle. I have found and often recommend one with a split in it that allows to shift the pressure off the middle area. I know lots of people enjoy this extra relief and I doubt that I will ever go back to a saddle without the split. I'm not sure what to tell you about your toes curling. I guess you could try not to do it and see if shifting your position helps out. Good luck with that.
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JHOLLNAGEL Posts: 1,768
6/23/08 11:09 A

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DRC

I think that might be an issue as well. Yesterday when I rode I was trying to concentrate on putting my weight more on the sit bones. This eliminated the crotch numbness and some of the foot numbness as well. For some reason my toes want to curl under in just the right foot??? The left foot is fine.

I'll have someone watch me on my group ride and have them critique my riding position and pedalling efficiency ( foot & heel placement)

Jim

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DRC2205's Photo DRC2205 Posts: 8,845
6/23/08 9:04 A

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I have numbness in my right toes when cycling. For me, it is because my spine is pressing against a nerve in my lower back. Adjusting my posture, or changing positions helps me. And I know it is my back and not my pedals because it started recently, and my pedals have always been fine.

SPARTYJR3000's Photo SPARTYJR3000 Posts: 629
6/22/08 11:51 P

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The cleat is supposed to be right under the ball of your foot. It is best to have a LBS take a first look at where you should be. If that doesn't work out then make your own adjustments since only you know your body. So if the LBS adjustments doesn't work out them make your own. I hope your pain goes away.

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PLAYINGOUTDOORS's Photo PLAYINGOUTDOORS SparkPoints: (12,881)
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6/22/08 11:43 P

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Jim,

I always had numbness in my left foot only. It seemed to be caused by pressure on the part of my foot that was over the clip attachment. I had some room to adjust it on the bottom of the shoe. It was slid all the way back (toward my heel) and I moved it forward just a hair. It seemed to do the trick because I don't have the numbness in my toes now. You might take a look at your shoes to see if that might help at all.

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JHOLLNAGEL Posts: 1,768
6/22/08 11:37 P

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I have about a quarter of inch room. I had numbness in the right foot only and not the left. I think I was curling my toes in my right foot but so far I think the problem is eliminated. I am pedaling differently .... I will have one of the LBS guys on our Wednesday night group ride look at me when I'm pedalling and see if I need to correct.

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SPARTYJR3000's Photo SPARTYJR3000 Posts: 629
6/22/08 10:26 A

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It is true that there are many types of cleats out there that can be used on many types of shoes. There really are only a handful of shoes that are not multi-cleat compatible. I usually tell someone to buy a shoe that has more than one connection for cleats. As we have seen throughout this thread everyone has a different preference. I like to use the look pedals for most of my riding. If anyone insist on buying online then they should check out the same style at a LBS. Remember that you do not need that extra inch of room at the end of your shoe. It should have only a 1/4 of an inch room at the end of the shoe. The extra room was for children so they could grow into a shoe.

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PLAYINGOUTDOORS's Photo PLAYINGOUTDOORS SparkPoints: (12,881)
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4/28/08 11:37 A

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There are different types of clips and some shoes area made for specific types of clips. If you buy SPD clips (a common type of clip), you need to make sure your shoes are compatible. You can tell by looking at where the screw placements are on the bottom of the shoes and the clips to see if they'll match up. If you purchase at an LBS, they'll get you set up with the matching clips/shoes. If you're purchasing online, just make sure they're both the same type.

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JHOLLNAGEL Posts: 1,768
4/28/08 9:02 A

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I was not aware the the cleats come separately and can be replaced. Thanks for this bit of info. Are there pedals out there that some shoes won't fit into? Or are they all pretty much universal?

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DRC2205's Photo DRC2205 Posts: 8,845
4/27/08 12:04 P

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Pedal systems aren't gender specific, so anyone's advice could apply to you! Also, shoes and pedals are sold separately. When you buy the pedals, they usually come with a set of cleats that you (or the LBS) can install on the bottom of your shoes. And you can always buy additional cleats separately when the first ones wear out.

JHOLLNAGEL Posts: 1,768
4/26/08 11:18 P

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Thanks for the info. I'm going to be looking into clips as well for a male. Does look come as a complete set (pedals and shoes) Are there sets like that and are there some less expensive ones?

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PLAYINGOUTDOORS's Photo PLAYINGOUTDOORS SparkPoints: (12,881)
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4/4/08 9:45 P

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Sorry to hear about your bloody knee Googrl....but it is a right of passage I think! I have had my fair share of those experiences too - at least 5 or 6 of 'em! Ha! My first ride with hubby on a tandem ended in a scraped elbow and knee for both of us! We barely made it out of the driveway! Luckily my kids and their friends were there to not only laugh at us, but help us up with the bike....trapped like a couple of bugs on our back!

My son (age 12) just put on his first pair of clipless and guess what, took a spill the second time out! Not a bad one, but he now has more respect for the clips! Lol!

Not to worry though, the more you ride, the more it becomes second nature.

Take care!



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KJEANNE's Photo KJEANNE SparkPoints: (39,132)
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4/3/08 3:17 P

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Thanks WONGERCHI
EMORGAN1, there are different pedal systems for road and mountain bike when you go clipless. Look is the brand that most road cyclists use. Some other popular systems are SPD, eggbeaters and speedplay. Etc.
Check out this link. It has links to these different pedals on the right side of the page.
http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za/CCY
?PAGE=CATEGORY_VIEW&CATEGORY.ID=336&MO
DE=&BRAND.ID=&gclid=CPHYp4jMv5ICFQY_ag
odzwWMbA

www.competitivecyclist.com/za/CCY?PA
GE
=CATEGORY_VIEW&CATEGORY.ID=229&MODE=R>&BRAND.ID=


Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped.
African proverb


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WONGERCHI's Photo WONGERCHI Posts: 3,889
4/3/08 12:59 P

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Morgan:
LOOK pedals are a line of clipless pedals made by the company, LOOK. More here:

www.lookcycle.com/

Other types of clipless pedal exist, made by other companies, e.g. Shimano. LOOK pedals are wider than Shimano pedals thus reducing the amount of pressure that the pedal has under the ball of the foot.

In God we trust, all others bring data.
- W. Edwards Demings

If God invented marathons to keep people from doing anything more stupid, the triathlon must have taken Him completely by surprise.
-P.Z. Pearce

Specificity, specificity, specificity.
-Andy Coggan

The plural of "anecdote" is not "data".
- Frank Kotsonis


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EMORGAN1's Photo EMORGAN1 Posts: 4
4/3/08 9:26 A

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HellO! what are LOOK pedals?

"Get the LOOK pedals WONGERCHI!!! They cured me of the hotfoot immediately. "

Morgan

My other dog is a Rhodesian Ridgeback.


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GOOGRL's Photo GOOGRL Posts: 22
4/1/08 1:38 P

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First ride, first bloody knee. Ha! Did I get cocky too soon?? :) More practice needed.......that's a good thing!

WONGERCHI's Photo WONGERCHI Posts: 3,889
4/1/08 1:24 P

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GOOGRL:
WOOT on the pedals! Another lesser-known advantage of clipless pedals - Bunnyhops are SO much easier!

Happy trails...

In God we trust, all others bring data.
- W. Edwards Demings

If God invented marathons to keep people from doing anything more stupid, the triathlon must have taken Him completely by surprise.
-P.Z. Pearce

Specificity, specificity, specificity.
-Andy Coggan

The plural of "anecdote" is not "data".
- Frank Kotsonis


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BADSCALEBAD SparkPoints: (0)
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3/28/08 5:13 P

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It will make a big difference for ya on the trail. You probably will crash a few times until you really get used to them. I remember coming to a stop and just slowly falling over now and then until it became second nature to just pop out. And trying to get back on after stopping on a hill can be comical, but in the long run you will be able to clear obstacles and hills that you couldn't in the past.

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DRC2205's Photo DRC2205 Posts: 8,845
3/28/08 2:25 P

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Congrats! Happy pedalling...

GOOGRL's Photo GOOGRL Posts: 22
3/28/08 2:01 P

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Alright, so all my fears were for nothing. Got the shoes yesterday (comfy AND stylish, ha!) and rode around the park a few minutes in the grass and on the dirt track.....easy as pie! My LBS guys set the tension low on the pedals so getting in and out is great. Now that's not to say I won't crash...I'm sure I will once or twice on a trail....but it wasn't as strange as I thought it would be.

Woo hoo! Great advice by all....thanks!

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3/28/08 12:14 P

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Someone mentioned the stiff mtn. bike shoes. They are great. When I first started, I got the tennis shoe type because I was a bit fashion concious and did a lot of bike and hike. A couple of years ago, I got some nice northwave (stiff) velcro shoes and they are SOOOOO much better. Their not that bad when I have to hike a bit either. I have time pedals and absolutely love how easy they are especially in snow and mud. I used to unclip a lot in sketchy spots but now clipping and unclipping is second nature and I can do it quickly when needed. I used to have those cage type pedals with the straps and I would get stuck in those more often than the clipless. Like everyone is saying, once you get used to them, you will never go back. My wife struggled for a while and I could'nt understand why. Then I put her cleats on my shoes and realized her pedals were a lot harder than mine. I was able to dial them in a lot better, but they are still not as easy as mine.

Someone also mentioned socks. I have a pair of smartwool biking socks that I thought I would only wear in colder weather but they have become my first choice for any weather.



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KJEANNE's Photo KJEANNE SparkPoints: (39,132)
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3/27/08 11:26 A

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Oh yea! Thanks for the reminder. I forgot about the falls!

Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped.
African proverb


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WONGERCHI's Photo WONGERCHI Posts: 3,889
3/27/08 10:18 A

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LOL, Eddie Izzard rocks.

The last time I rode in the dirt I ran into a tree. And some rocks. And some of that there bracken stuff. So now I'm thinking I'm past the band-aid stage and right into the knee and shin pad stage! Stupid roadbike, stupid MTB trail... Although I did look hardcore when I popped back onto the road with mud, dirt, twigs and blood everywhere!

Good luck with the pedals!


EDITED to add:

KJEANNE:
I don't get hot foot with the Shimano MTB pedals and they're staying on my Cyclocross/commute/trail/all-purpose bike, but for my roadbike I was thinking of something sleeker and more "road-like". Or maybe I'll keep the MTB pedals on that too? Ah, the dilemma on how to kit out a bike!

Edited by: WONGERCHI at: 3/27/2008 (10:20)
In God we trust, all others bring data.
- W. Edwards Demings

If God invented marathons to keep people from doing anything more stupid, the triathlon must have taken Him completely by surprise.
-P.Z. Pearce

Specificity, specificity, specificity.
-Andy Coggan

The plural of "anecdote" is not "data".
- Frank Kotsonis


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GOOGRL's Photo GOOGRL Posts: 22
3/27/08 3:45 A

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Oh yeah, it was all about feet being nailed to the pedals (Eddie Izzard fans will appreciate the "feet nailed to a plank of wood" joke there).....and the inevitable falls that will come with learning. Heck, I fell headfirst into the river two weeks ago WITHOUT clipless pedals! haha

The adventure begins tomorrow....we shall see!

DRC2205's Photo DRC2205 Posts: 8,845
3/26/08 10:13 P

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I assumed it was for post fall road rash... But you know what they say about when you "ASSUME" LOL!


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3/26/08 4:32 P

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As a somewhat clumsy at times person I automatically assumed it was for falling.....but now I am curious:)
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Anne

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KJEANNE's Photo KJEANNE SparkPoints: (39,132)
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3/26/08 4:29 P

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I am intrigued GOOGRL, what do band aids and Neosporin have to do with this thread?? Surely, you can’t mean that your nifty new shoes rub your feet?? Anyone else have this problem?? My biggest problem w/cycling shoes was the cold air blowing thru on a cold morning which was solved by wearing baggies on my feet, over my socks.

Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped.
African proverb


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GOOGRL's Photo GOOGRL Posts: 22
3/26/08 11:11 A

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Argh - thought I had the Great Shoe Debate of '08 solved by ordering some Specialized mid-priced shoes, but my LBS guy just called and they can't get them anymore.......BUT then he offered to sell me the top o' the line (that I had tried on and loved) at cost to make up for not getting the others. Love those guys! So looks like I'll be getting the carbon-bottom shoes afterall.
Next topic will be on band-aids and neosporin!

:)

SPARTYJR3000's Photo SPARTYJR3000 Posts: 629
3/19/08 8:29 P

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OK one note on what WChi said. There are stiffer MTN shoes. I actually have carbon fiber MTN shoes. They really are much better than regular soles. Walking in road shoes with clipless pedals really is difficult until you are good enough. Look and Speedplay both make covers for their cleats. I used Crank Brothers Candy pedals for my MTN. They work great and have a shell of sorts around the spot for the cleat.

KJ also made a good point. I would say that in order to buy shoes you should try them on before you buy them online. Look around at a not so LBS to find a shoe. Try them on there so you can shop guilt free and the LBS will not be any wiser about you buying them online.

I hope you find your shoes and save some money.

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KJEANNE's Photo KJEANNE SparkPoints: (39,132)
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3/18/08 1:29 A

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Get the LOOK pedals WONGERCHI!!! They cured me of the hotfoot immediately.

Another thing to consider when buying shoes: consider the discount mail-order bike shops: I get great deals on my shoes at Nashbar.com and pricepoint.com.


Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped.
African proverb


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WONGERCHI's Photo WONGERCHI Posts: 3,889
3/17/08 11:44 A

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GOOGRL:
Good luck with the shoe shopping! SPARTY's given you good tips. Definitely get MTB shoes with the recessed cleats and NOT road shoes as you'll never be able to walk in them. MTB shoes are heavier and less stiff than roadshoes in general but if you like to play in the dirt then these are definitely the ones. Oh, in terms of cleat positioning - under the ball of the foot is ideal (although if you suffer from hot foot then slightly further back is OK). Also, if you have splayed feet, then the cleat rotation is the OPPOSITE to your feet - e.g. if you're naturally duck-footed (feet turned out) like me, then your cleats want to be facing towards your big toe, not the other way round.

Me personally, I like the wide pedals as you get more surface area to push down on so it'll lessen the likelihood of "hot foot"... I'm very gently toying with the idea of LOOK pedals for my roadbike at the end of the season.

In God we trust, all others bring data.
- W. Edwards Demings

If God invented marathons to keep people from doing anything more stupid, the triathlon must have taken Him completely by surprise.
-P.Z. Pearce

Specificity, specificity, specificity.
-Andy Coggan

The plural of "anecdote" is not "data".
- Frank Kotsonis


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SPARTYJR3000's Photo SPARTYJR3000 Posts: 629
3/17/08 11:12 A

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FB: You are very welcome! After working at a bike shop you see a lot of things that you wouldn't have thought of. I was really surprised at some of the things that I saw while I was there. The thing that got me especially was those shopping for shoes. Everybody insisted on getting room in their shoe and then would come back complaining about blisters. I tried to tell as many of them as I could that the extra room would cause problems but only a few listened.
Another important note is to make sure you have wicking socks. They should be rather thin since the extra bulk of the sock can also cause blisters.
It's a great feeling knowing that my info is helping people. Thanks for telling me that I helped you and you are very welcome.


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FBERG1's Photo FBERG1 SparkPoints: (6,807)
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3/17/08 9:50 A

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Oh, and a note about clipless: when I first learned a few years back my brother told me to wear knee pads. I wound up not needing to use them, but I was much more brave in regards to testing the new peddles b/c I had some protection on.

As for the comedy fall like Wongerchi mentioned, it's typically more embarrassing or funny than anything else. Mine was in New Zealand when climbing a pass. I had just reached the top where there happened to be a lookout point. Everyone who drove up turned around to applaud my ability to cycle to the top since it was especially long and twisty. Just as I started to feel a small sense of pride, my front tire bumped a rock sticking out of the dirt and I fell to the ground. The timing was impeccable as if the powers that be didn't want me to get a big head or something.

-Felisa
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3/17/08 9:36 A

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Thanks for that note Sparty. I've been wearing the same pair of shoes for too long and need to go shopping this season, so your comments are timely and very much appreciated.

-Felisa
GOOGRL's Photo GOOGRL Posts: 22
3/16/08 11:57 A

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Yeah, I know the pedals are pretty big, but aside from weight (which I wasn't too concerned about), I thought the platform would be a lot more comfortable than the ones without. We'll see if that theory is right!
Thanks for the info on shoes. Yes, I'm looking at no-laces for sure. One of the trails I like to ride has a few river crossings, so they're gonna get immersed right away...so the other thing I'm looking at are ones with sturdy cleats on the bottom for rock hopping across the river, and ones that won't hold water for when we are up to our knees:)

SPARTYJR3000's Photo SPARTYJR3000 Posts: 629
3/16/08 10:44 A

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I thought I would make mention about shoes since someone brought up that they hadn't bought theirs yet.
When we were kids most of learned to buy shoes with room in them. This thought processed has obviously carried over to adulthood. While working at the LBS I sold lots of shoes! Many people asked to get shoes bigger than what they needed and wanted at least a thumb's width of room in the toe. This was great if you were still growing you could wear the shoe longer and probably would until the seams broke. :P As adults our feet generally are not growing any more. In some cases they shrink. I keep my shoes as small as possible to save weight and allow for swelling. This is how I recommend most people to do it and then add a half size. This will create the comfort that most people are looking for. Also it helps to prevent rubbing and blisters. Since I have engaged this process for shoe shopping I have never had a blister or cramped foot.

G: Those PDM 647 are really big. I hope they work for you. I know that if you can lock in immediately you will be able to push the pedal anyway.
I keep about five bikes in my house and have a different shoe for each along with different pedals. I like to experiment with pedals and shoes so I can make recommendations to others. However, since I quit the job at the LBS I don't buy as many new shoes as I used too. In fact I haven't bought any new shoes since I left.

Another note about shoes. The more expensive shoes should have carbon fiber soles. If they don't then they are normally not worth their weight. The harder the sole the less energy wasted. Also if you are going clipless then you should pick up strapped shoes. I like the two and one set up. That's two velcro straps and one clicking strap. Laces just can't hold the foot in as well.

Good luck everybody. I hope all your weight comes off like leaves in the fall.


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GOOGRL's Photo GOOGRL Posts: 22
3/16/08 2:35 A

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My pedals are double-sided to where I could click in to either side....no standard platform on the other side. I contemplated those but chose the PD-M647's ultimately. I haven't gotten the shoes yet, though....my LBS didn't have my size in a few styles, so I have to go back. In the meantime I looked around at a few other shops, but there is a lot to consider with shoes and a huge variance in prices (from $99 to $299).

I rode another trail today w/ the new pedals and just in my sneakers.....THAT doesn't work at all, so Monday morning I must seek and find shoes!

Here goes nothing.....

CYCLOKITTY's Photo CYCLOKITTY SparkPoints: (5,443)
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3/15/08 8:53 P

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I recently bought a pair of bike shoes and shimano double sided platform clipless pedals too!

I'm nervous about trying them out, but there is a park near my home and I figure I'll practice clipping in and out one foot at a time until I a) have the tension set to click in and out easily, and b) have time to get used to starting and stopping, clicking in and out. It's a good nervous since I'm learning a new bike skill.

I chose the double sided because I figure there will be days I will want to wear my skateboard shoes, or if someone borrows my bike and doesn't have bike shoes.

Good luck!

Hey, look at that fast cyclist!

2009 Cycling Goal: 2000 km

2008 I rode 1773 km!:

2007 I rode 1036 km!

2009 Swim goal:1 km in 1 hr.


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HERDFAN2's Photo HERDFAN2 Posts: 234
3/14/08 8:30 P

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Clipless pedals are definitely the way to go. I had trouble at first with fixed cleats for my road bike, but found I was much more comfortable using cleats and pedals that allow some float or movement.

Once you get used to them you will never go back.

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HEATHERANGELINE's Photo HEATHERANGELINE Posts: 1,370
3/14/08 5:15 P

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It was very, very easy once I got over the fear and went outside to do it.
Only fell once.
My mistake at first was not moving enough before I clipped in when I was trying to learn because I was afraid. I practiced at first holding myself up and being still, and wouldn't really recommend that because it hurt me far more than it helped.. but I guess people have different experiences there.

Overall, I feel clipless pedals are way easier than everyone makes them out to be.. and the best thing I ever did for my bicycling.

(Granted, I'm a road cyclist. It seems like it would be far more difficult off-road)

Edited by: HEATHERANGELINE at: 3/14/2008 (17:15)
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DRC2205's Photo DRC2205 Posts: 8,845
3/14/08 3:36 P

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If you don't have a trainer to mount your bike on to practice, use a doorway in your house. Position yourself so you can hold the doorframe and practice clipping in and out.

SPARTYJR3000's Photo SPARTYJR3000 Posts: 629
3/14/08 2:05 P

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A little note on terminology:
It is not supposed to be "clipping in" but clicking, locking or cleating. People say clipping in because of tradition. Since it used to be that way they keep calling it the same thing. It's like how my grandparents used to say look at the radio while we were watching TV. :P
The old pedals were called clip pedals because they strap was held in place by a clip on the side of the pedal.

A note on the efficiency.
The clip pedals locked your food in place and were really difficult to use. Again once you got used to them they were not that bad. I'm sure there are a few people from the 80s that remember the. I still have a set of the shoes and they will not let go at all. However, now since they are so hard to come by the shoes are rarely used and most people use running shoes or such. They are going to come out a little easier but then again your shoe is really trapped in there and the leather strap does not let go and is not forgiving.
The cleat allows your foot to be "locked" into the pedal. There is a lot less lose of energy with the clipless pedals. Since everything is locked in place and has direct contact it is way more efficient and allows you to even pull your pedal on the upstroke so you keep the momentum. The difference is huge! I can always tell when I get on my "time machine bike" from the 70s and have to use the clip pedals again. I'm so much more worn out even after only a few miles.

GG: If you find yourself getting in trouble your natural reaction will be to kick out and plant your foot. Yes, at first you will try to pull straight up but soon you will kick your leg out to the side.

I have to agree with W about something. It is harder to get back in rather then get out. I actually practiced getting out while standing next to a wall. I just sat on my bike, with one foot on the ground and kept locking in and kicking out. It was interesting and in time felt so natural that I didn't have to think much about it.
When I'm getting ready to stop I'll kick a leg out and slow down to a stop. I do this so I can slow down and stop safely rather then kick out at the last minute like some of my friends do. Once you figure out your own pattern you are normally going to be pretty safe and everything will be second nature. Good luck and keep spinning.


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WONGERCHI's Photo WONGERCHI Posts: 3,889
3/14/08 12:23 P

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GOOGRL:
Clipless pedals are the way to go. Once you get sorted on them you'll wonder how you ever rode a bike without. Lots of good advice already on here, especially practising on grass. I think of unclipping as a "heel out" motion and that works for me.

However, despite all those practice sessions, you'll still have one comedy fall. Mine was a red light - I cruised up next to the car that was stopped at it, unclipped my right foot, and fell over leftwards. After picking myself and the bike up from the front of the car, I look back, wave to the driver and we both start laughing....

I love my Shimano MTB pedals. Initially keep the tension adjuster as loose at it can go, so that you can emergency unclip if you have to. I've wiped out a goodly number of times taking my cross bike on the trails but I've always managed to unclip if I've backed off the tension. And putting a foot down when you're coming down a trail is pretty straightforward - start with trails you know first to get used to it.

I actually have more of a hard time getting clipped in again rather than anything.....


EDITED to add:

LADYPANTS:
I used to ride with toe clips way way back in the day and while you can pull up on them like clipless pedals they were SUCH a pain to get out of it was ridiculous. And I'd always get stuck at inopportune moments! Depending on what sort of riding you want to do, I'd either go with just straight platform pedals or a clipless system...

Edited by: WONGERCHI at: 3/14/2008 (12:26)
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GOOGRL's Photo GOOGRL Posts: 22
3/14/08 11:15 A

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Y'know, I was trying to figure out why they were called "clipless" if you're supposed to "unclip" yourself when you put your foot down....then I see that "clips" refer to the straps. Still, seems to be backwards terminology to me! But I get it....

Don't know WHY it didn't occur to me to practice on the grass. I live next to a park. Duh. I had already figured I'd be riding w/ one foot in and one out for a while.

BTW Sparty, I wasn't worried about getting sent OUT of the pedals if I hit a rock...I'm worried about hitting a rock (or a rut) and, in the case where I hit one too large and would normally put a foot down, not being able to do so. That's going to be the awkwardness for sure, but I know I'll get used to it.

Yes, the downhill thing on a trail I know will be MUCH better once I'm clipped in (to my "clipless" pedals, ha!). My trail ride this week was great, but coming downhill with wet and sandy feet, I was sliding all over my old pedals and couldn't get a grip at all. That's when I promptly went to the bike shop - to get the mud out and change the pedals.

Thanks all - I'll keep reading for more tips!

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3/14/08 11:08 A

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When street riding just don't wait until the last second to release. Develop a habit of always releasing the right or left foot first and putting it down.

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ANNICE_QUENTIN's Photo ANNICE_QUENTIN Posts: 46
3/14/08 9:41 A

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Once you have clipless you won't ever want to go back. I feel so much more secure on the trails because my feet stay put when I'm doing technical riding. Also, I have a more fluid pedalling stroke because not only do you push down, but also pull up - so your pedalling is more circular. Much more efficient.

Once, I thought it would be easier to go down this steep, rocky descent with my feet out of the clips - I bounced all over the seat and had NO control because my feet wouldn't stay on my pedals.

Chin up, face forward.


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DRC2205's Photo DRC2205 Posts: 8,845
3/14/08 8:36 A

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If you have a trainer, or your LBS has one, practice on that for a little while, even before you search out your grassy area.

And Ladypants--there really is a big difference between clips (that's what the straps are called) and clipless (called that because you no longer have the straps). First of all, the only way to get out of the clips is by pulling your foot diectly back, and hoping the sole doesn't get caught. With clipless, you just twist your foot--a motion you are more likely to do when about to fall. Second, there isn't the same amount of movement for your foot, so ALL your energy goes into the pedal stroke. So, much more efficient. I am sure there are more reasons, but at least that's a start.

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3/14/08 8:33 A

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I got my first ones last year and definately was leary of using them in public. The guy at the bike shop insisted I ride them around the outside of the shop a few times, first with just one foot clipped in and then clip in the other and unclipping well before stopping. I was extremely nervous to start(I wanted to just go and ride by my lonesome on the bike trail so I would only fall in front of me) but have ridden for years and was quickly comfortable. I then took my bike and new pedals out to the bike trail and put in miles clipping and unclipping until I felt comfortable. It didn't take long and after a while I wondered why I had waited so long. We will see how this summer goes. One thing the guy at the bike shop mentioned was the same thing mentioned below. Make sure the foot you unclip is the foot you put down.

I still make sure to unclip well before any breaks in the trail where I may have to stop. And all my 'biking' friends tell me I will definately fall at least once. One of the guys who has been riding his clipless for years told me of the time he fell. He was riding into the parking lot for a bike club ride and there were a lot of people there waiting for the ride to start. He goes to stop and can't get unclipped for some reason and down he goes in front of everyone. I will keep that in mind while riding. I am not the only one, it happens to most at least once. Even those with clipless experience.

Best of Luck
Anne


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LDJONE2 Posts: 71
3/14/08 8:16 A

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There's a pretty good chance you'll fall down a few times while you are getting used to the new pedals. Everybody seems to do this. I'd suggest finding a large grassy area you can practice on for a bit. Practice starting and stopping - getting in and out of the pedals. Pretty soon it will be OK. And if you fall down on the grass, it won't hurt so bad.

 
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ANNICE_QUENTIN's Photo ANNICE_QUENTIN Posts: 46
3/14/08 8:15 A

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I have to agree with SpartJr3000 that clipless pedals are easy - once you get used to them. I fell a number of times on the trails getting used to them - one of my biggest problems used to be unclipping one foot, then falling the other way - still clipped in!

My husband had real problems with his first set of clipless pedals - falling all the time and really getting scraped up. His problem is he's duck footed and did the twisting motion all wrong. When he bought his new bike, the pedals were a different brand and he's not had problems since.

I agree that you should start on a grassy area. I fell once at a red light - so embarrassing! The people in the car next to me couldn't stop laughing emoticon

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LADYPANTS85's Photo LADYPANTS85 Posts: 356
3/14/08 8:13 A

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I was just having this debate with my boyfriend actually. We bought a couple of street bikes which came with pedals that have straps you can just tighten over whatever shoes you were wearing. But he wants to get these "clipless pedals" with the locking cleats because he thinks it will make a big difference in our efficiency on long distance rides. Is there really that much of a difference? Do the straps not serve the same purpose?

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SPARTYJR3000's Photo SPARTYJR3000 Posts: 629
3/14/08 7:54 A

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G: I must start by saying that the pedals that you bought are called "clipless" pedals. The shoes use "cleats" to lock into the pedal.
Although this idea seems to be very difficult once you are used to it, it is very easy to do. When I would sell them to people I kept telling them to find a grassy area to practice. The truth is that you just may fall down. DO NOT TRY THIS FOR YOUR FIRST TIME IN TRAFFIC! For some reason some people do not follow this rule of NOT IN TRAFFIC. After you are proficient then it is fine to go out into traffic. Set your pedals to the lowest level possible for a while. This will make it easier to practice and get out of the pedal when necessary.
I have never heard of someone getting sent out of their pedals when hitting a rock so I don't think that is very likely. It requires a twisting motion to get out of them. So while you are riding don't kick out and your foot will stay in.
If you have any questions about setting your pedal just ask your LBS that sold them to you. I hope this information helps. Good luck and stay safe.


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GOOGRL's Photo GOOGRL Posts: 22
3/14/08 12:12 A

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Curious what others' experience has been. I'm a mtb'er, but still ride the bike path for weekly exercise. My Rockhopper has it's first birthday next week (woo hoo!), and I celebrated by upgrading my pedals from the stock el cheapo's to Shimano's (w/ a platform) with clips.....now just need to find the right pair of shoes.

So - how hard was it to learn how to ride w/ your feet nailed to the pedals for the first time? I'm quite a bit wary, although fully aware of the benefits and know I will eventually be a rock star on them...

Being on the bike path will get me comfortable, but oh dear....the thought of my first trail ride (like JPL's Prieto Trail) going downhill and no hopping off if I hit a rock wrong........Ack!

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