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Thank you for all the advice and for sharing your own experiences I still feel nervous but I keep on going! I definitely have healthy respect too lol.
I find it's best to keep the clip-less system clean and lubed if needed. Usually dry lube for SpeedPlay.
They can pick up a lot of grit and road dust. The cleaner they are the longer they last with more consistent operation.
There are just 2 types of cyclists according to the LBS: Those who have fallen off of their bikes and those who will fall off their bikes--it is just a matter of time.
I wouldn't trade my clipless pedals, but I do have a very healthy respect for them--I fell many years ago and broke my collarbone in the midst of a week long, self-supported bike trip. I keep the tension very loose so I can unclip quickly and I unclip very early anytime I come up to an intersection or think I'm going to have to stop.
Glad you didn't get seriously injured & that you're "back on the horse."
Edited by: 2WHEELER at: 6/11/2012 (09:52)
"It is a mistake to regard age as a downhill grade toward dissolution. The reverse is true. As one grows older, one climbs with surprising strides." George Sand
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Yup, we all fall, but we all get back up. My last was on the tandem, we were up and then we were on the ground. Didn't have time to let go of the handlebars, much less put arms out.
I actually fell once just trying to get my right foot un-clipped. But the pedal was cracked, so that wasn't my fault. It is still embarrassing to fall while at a complete stop.
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Clips are an advantage! They best toe clips. Learn how to use them to your advantage.
Stopping and starting is the biggest issue.
Stopping! If you come up to a stop sign, shift down! Be prepared to stop, even if you don't. Clip out and commit balance, come to a complete stop and put foot firmly on the ground, keep the brakes engaged. Remove other foot if needed.
Starting, bring your foot that is clipped in up so you have power coming off the dead start. Can you have you foot clipped in so you can cross the intersection using only one leg? If you practice one legged pedaling you will be ok. Focus on getting though the intersection, then work on getting clipped in.
Things to practice, ILT. Isolated leg training, one legged pedaling. Keep on the bike clip in and out while riding. Do 10 to 20 revolutions with each leg and clip in and clip out, repeat.
The better you can get in and out with either leg the better off you will be.
If you start to fall, usually at stopping or starting speed or on a hill. Keep your legs in the clips, move your hands in, tuck bring elbows into body. Hit on thigh and roll if possible. Check it out on the internet. MBT fall a lot and they know how to do it.
Check this out below. I might help in the future. It comes from the link below.
Just a bruise on my hip and a sore hand, but that was enough to trigger this reprimand:
“Hands on the bars at all times,” commented Mike Weiland, who should know, because he’s had his share of hard falls.
But that’s the problem. When you find yourself going down, what’s the most natural reaction? To put out a hand to brace yourself when you hit the ground.
“You brace, you break a hand or a collarbone,” said Mike. Or an arm, or dislocate your shoulder…
Okay, so I’m going to resist the temptation to brace next time (yeah, right). What can I do instead?
It depends on the type of fall. If you find yourself going over the handlebars, you can plan to roll on your shoulder. I did this in the first bad fall I had on my road bike, and although I was sore, I wasn’t hurt badly.
Ted Rogers, who runs the blog, Biking in L.A., urges cyclists to do two things: stay clipped in, and hold the handlebars tightly. He tucks his elbows into his body. “At the same time,” he says, “I tuck my head down between my shoulders, and round my shoulders to shape my upper body into a ball. My momentum will continue to move my body forward, rolling me over the handlebars, still attached to my bike, which helps me maintain my curved position.” With luck, you’ll be able to roll on your shoulder rather than fall on your face. If he finds himself going down sideways, instead of over the bars, he does pretty much the same thing. When I went down last week, I stayed clipped in (not intentionally). That may have prevented me from being hurt worse than I was.
The roll might work for low-speed crashes, says Mike Weiland, but at higher speeds, all you can do is just skid. “Of course the one a few months ago at 24 mph I ended up hurting my hand/wrist not from bracing, but more or less punching the ground as my hand was still in the drops when the bars made contact with the pavement,” he told me.
It appears the best place to land in a crash is on your side. Hitting your chest or back on the ground could mean worse injuries. “As you hit the ground,” said one commenter on a biking forum, “try to stay as loose as possible. If you’re tense or stiff, it’s easier to get hurt.”
I got back out there today! I was a bit nervous but I did fine. It poured down rain the entire time but I soldiered through. In fact I got my mph average up on today's ride. Probably because I wanted to get out of the rain quicker haha. I need to get a waterproof cycling jacket for sure. I'm in Oregon so it's impossible to avoid rain.
Falling off the bike is never fun. However, the clip-less pedals make such a difference in riding. I use speed-play pedals and just love them. I have fallen several times - not always because of the clips. I have metal in my left arm from my last major fall 2 years ago. It hasn't stopped me from riding. Yesterday, I rode around Lake Tahoe (72 miles).
Bummer! I'm glad you weren't hurt. I had the same experience my first time out. I haven't put them back on yet.
A man who wants something will find a way; a man who doesn't will find an excuse.
- Stephen Dolley Jr.
I fell many time because of clips. The last time I fell I was stationary, my right foot on the ground and my left foot still clipped, and I was taking a sip from my water bottle. Like you, I did not realize what happened, until I hit the ground on my left side. I did not have any damage except that the teeth of the chain rings scratched the back of my right leg. Very unpleasant feeling. Since then I am making a point of unclipping both of my feet whenever I come to a complete stop.
``Don't break the chain." -Jerry Seinfeld
``Moments of silence are part of the music." -Anonymous
Back the tension screws out and count the clicks until they have no tension. Add and count the clicks so they are the same. At least you will have a reference where your starting point is.
Keep them clean. Road grit can make it more difficult to clip in.
Thanks! Yes they are SPDs. I live in a very small town so no big parking lots but I do ride a paved trail. I thought I had cliping in and out down but I adjusted my cleats and now it's harder to clip in. I find myself looking down sometimes when trying to clip in which I did not do before. Clipping out has been easy though. I was nervous to mess with the pedal tension but I think I may give it a go.
Find a parking lot and a few friends. Practice stopping and starting. Use the parking likes as stop signs. Do some figure 8's and make the circles smaller and smaller.
Find a flat or bike trail. Pedal and clip one leg out, keep going with one leg, 20 circles, clip back in and unclip the other leg. Repeat. Are you using SPD's? Loosen the tension a little and keep them clean. You can add some tension as you get move comfortable.
Taught me how to fall huh? It happend so fast I did not realize I was falling until I hit the ground.
And you got up. LBS guy should have taught you how to fall.
Take care and practice getting in and out of those pedals.
Well I fell today for the first time. I actually was just taking off and had just clipped my left foot into my left pedal and before I knew it I was hitting the ground. Man it hurt! I landed on my arm just above my elbow. When I bought my cycling shoes the bike shop guy told me that everyone has a clipless pedal fall and it's always when stopping/taking off and you'll laugh at yourself as your going down and how it won't hurt. Well he was wrong LOL. I had just gotten confident too so now I'm back to feeling gun shy with these shoes/pedals. Riding home with a throbbing stinging arm sure stunk too. At least no one witnessed it haha.