For anyone unsure about clipless pedals, ask your LBS if they will put your bike on a trainer and let you practice clipping and unclipping before you leave the store. My LBS did this, even let me practice after they closed and they were cleaning up because I came in at the end of the day. Ask them to show you how to clip in and watch you do it so they can correct it. I haven't fallen since going clipless and I credit my LBS's advice and attention when I bought them.
I also think I am too much of a klutz for this. The guys at the bike shop keep trying to convince me, but I am just not ready. I'm glad you are making good progress! Maybe there is hope for me some day!!
When I go biking, I repeat a mantra of the day's sensations: bright sun, blue sky, warm breeze, blue jay's call, ice melting and so on. This helps me transcend the traffic, ignore the clamorings of work, leave all the mind theaters behind and focus on nature instead. I still must abide by the rules of the road, of biking, of gravity. But I am mentally far away from civilization. The world is breaking someone else's heart. ~Diane Ackerman
Using the string and plumb-bob will get you a static starting point. I like to put sticky dots over the critical areas and have them ride. Then use a video camera, freeze frame and look at the alignment under load, front, rear, and side. You can put it into a CAD program and get the angles. Then take a Serotta T square and record the X/Y dimensions for future reference.
The camera will show any issues in form and position. Have fun.
Assuming the seat and bar height is good, I tend to use the drop a weighted string from the front of the lead knee while the pedal are horizontal to the ground. The string should be in the center of the pedal shaft. That will get you close to where you need to be.
Could always get fitted @ the LBS or get a book with some bike fitting pictures and descriptions.
For cleat position make sure you are not on the balls of your feet. Depending on the system and shoe you will want the cleat moved closer to the arch than toe. If your cleats are too far towards the tip of the toe you run the risk of an Achilles or calf injury. Fi you have such an injury the PT will slide them all the way towards the arch.
Vargus and Valgus? A good LBS should be able to check you for this and it can be corrected with a shim or orthos. I have the tool and wear cycling orthos. It will help keep the line of force aligned. Hip, knee, foot all over the pedal. You can video yourself on a trainer front and rear to see if anything funky is going on.
Can you put your shoes in the cleats without being in the shoes? Don't try to make it feel natural, align them so you have the correct line of force. You might need to bring the saddle up or down, fore/aft and you will adapt.
Its starting to become second nature, havnt fallen a second time, but leaned a little too far a few times before catching myself. Each ride gets better though. Now, I am just trying to figure out cleat position, and foot position. I have adjusted the cleats a few times so my foot feels more “natural” on the pedals as before. Getting closer with that as well.
I just switched a few weeks ago and had a great first ride. But, then tried a group ride 2 days later. I didn't make it out of the parking lot! I was banged up GOOD! But, I hoped back on & rode. I'm getting a lot more comfortable after only a handful of rides!
Dana, Half Fanatic #1693
Completed 2013 Events: Feb 9 - Pedaling the Prairie, 45 miles Feb 16 - Lions Club Bike Ride, 46.5 miles Mar 3 - The Great Plane Ride, 25 hilly miles Aug 18 - TriGirl Sprint Duathlon Sept 2 - Dam Ride, 32 miles
current weight: 147.0
Fitness Minutes: (89,233) Posts: 1,832 8/22/11 10:10 A
Well, I went out for my first ride with the new shoes and pedals. Finally decided to brave it and go clipless. As I was thinking how awesome I was doing, a few stops, remembered to unclip and put my feet down, wham, next thing I know, I am laying on the ground.
Well, I guess thats how you learn. Sore wrist, but no bike damage!
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