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View Full Version : Tips on going clipless... ICQ


K'Tesh
06-18-2009, 02:02 PM
Well, the writing is on the wall, and I've got to face it, I'm going to have to go clipless...

As a large cyclist, falling scares me... A LOT!!! But, I need to be able to do this in time for Cycle Oregon, without injury.

So, what suggestions do you have for making the transition as painlessly as possible?

Many Thanks!
K'Tesh

t27
06-18-2009, 02:16 PM
Why do clipless pedals have clips?

I like using mountain bike style clipless pedals (Crank Brothers) and shoes on my road bike. I like the choice of more walkable shoes sold for mountain bikes and the clips are generally easier to get in and out. The float, typical with mountain pedals, can make alignment less critical and save the joints. Adjust them loose so getting in and out is easier.

brock
06-18-2009, 02:32 PM
First, I'd look for an SPD or mountain bike type of clipless pedal. They'll be easier to get in and out of, and will allow many shoes choices from hardsole to casual to sandal that will allow you to move around comfortably off the bike than road shoes/pedals would.

Second, you will most likely fall a few times before you get used to it. By far the most common is when you successfully unclip the foot you intend to put down at an intersection, then fall the other way. But you never know, you might just have the coordination it takes already - you've been riding for a while and just being comfortable on the bike in terms of balance and such will go a long way.

Like many bike maneuvers, practice is probably best in a park on some soft grass. If you do fall, resist the urge to stick your arm out and let your hip and shoulder take the impact.

Some tips:

- Mountain bike pedals or the cleats themselves usually have some sort of adjustable tension. Set this as low as possible at first.

- This will look silly, but for practice go clipless with the foot you put down, and a regular shoe on the other pedal that is not clipped in.

- Unclip your foot down side while you are still slowing, 5mph or so. After a while, you won't need to do this.

- Make sure you are not overgeared when you stop, if you have to push to big a gear while trying to get your foot clipped you could go down, or have the pedal not engage and your foot slip off (ouch, shins).

- Practice unclipping quickly and smoothly with both feet while not moving (on a trainer or holding a railing).

You will get it pretty fast I bet. The only times I tumble these days because of a botched unclip is on the fat tires, and that's because I stink when the terrain gets technical. Just be glad it's not the mid eighties - I seemed to fall once every few weeks with road cleats and clipped pedals. I can't imagine having to reach down to loosen a strap at every stop light anymore!

zpl
06-18-2009, 03:02 PM
I also know that Shimano mountain SPD cleats come in two variations - one of which allows you to unclip using more types of foot rotation. You could use those cleats if you find them more reassuring.

I love clipless pedals, and I'm sure once you get over the initial learning curve you'll wish you had tried them sooner given all the riding you do.

Scott

the Wumpus
06-18-2009, 06:09 PM
I've got spd pedals I'm not using any more, if that's what you're looking for...

I rode around with them for a couple years. Now I'm on pinned bmx platforms. Foot support's better, no changing in and out of special shoes, and I can't pull on the pedals. (that's a good thing, pulling pedals is bad for my knees) Other than the pulling, foot retention is just as good as clipless!

But if ya just gotta go clipless, I'd recommend spd to start with. You can get shoes (even sandals!) with recessed cleats so you can walk like regular folk.

Haven_kd7yct
06-19-2009, 08:42 AM
You definitely want to look into some sort of mountain-shoe as opposed to a road-shoe. I love mine, got 'em at REI for a good price on sale. Comfortable, and I can hike-a-bike if I need to (aka walking up the hill-- there's no shame in walking).

One of my bikes has dual-sided pedals so I was able to work up to full clipless. That helped my confidence a lot when I was just beginning to figure it out.

Lots of good advice has been passed on in this thread-- Practice makes perfect! Plan ahead for your stops and clip out early. Float is good.

roberte
06-19-2009, 09:13 AM
A few advantages of clipless are:
getting the stiffer sole which spreads out pressure on bottom of foot
better integration with bike / smoother and faster pedal stroke
pulling up, esp on standing during climbing

So, be careful in shoe selection. If you're spending 80-90% of your time on the bike, the walkability is not so important. Esp if that results in more difficult release. Covers are available for non-recessed cleats and are handy for the restroom ect. stops.

Spin is good, esp on long days and multiple days (and multiple long days...)

If it helps in getting up the hills,.....

I'm a SpeedPlay user. Big platform coupled with a stiff sole (mid-level Sidi) makes a comfortable combo for long multi-day riding.

Easy click in which is more important than getting out. Really, you don't want to be fumbling around looking at your feet in the middle of an intersection or the middle of a climb after stopping to take pictures.

Easy release - you will feel it 'bump up' at the point before release. Easy to get your foot there as you're coming to a stop. Easy to do a quick full twist in an emergency.

Grass works, but isn't really that much softer (and if it were, it would be pretty tough going). I'd opt for a few sessions on a trainer. Or at least somebody holding the bike seat and straddling the rear wheel while you practice the clipping in and out routine.

Spectre
06-19-2009, 10:08 AM
I really like the speedplay Frogs because they give your foot so much freedom on the pedal (float) and keep my knees happy. I found them to be much easier to get in and out of compared to the SPDs and they are a much more simple set up.

I fell a few times learning, they all involved not thinking about clipping out early enough at stops. I once fell in the pearl district at a stop sign. I felt like a beetle stuck on its back, the bike was still stuck to me and I couldn’t get the pedals to unclip, real classy!

Good luck!

wsbob
06-19-2009, 10:43 AM
I've been trying to decide to break loose with cash to buy a new pair of cycling shoes that are spd compatible...got the pedals already...somewhat amazingly, it's been working out to just use my old running shoes with them.

I put a lot of miles on an old pair of Look clipless pedals...an early model. They weren't perfect, but they worked. I never had a problem getting out of them; just turn your heel outward a little....easy. I thought regular cleated shoes with toe-clips was far more of a hassle.

As I decide which shoes to get, for the riding I do, I think I'm leaning towards road shoes, despite the annoyance of the projecting cleat. It's nice to be able to get off the bike and walk around like a normal person...(ka-boom !)...that's been one of the luxuries of the running shoes.

After getting back in shape somewhat, I now notice that with just the running shoes, I'm not able to take advantage of all the energy and renewed conditioning I have. Toe-clips-clipless, as others commenting have pointed out, allow the rider to apply power to the pedals over a greater number of degrees in a revolution of the pedals. Right now, I'm noticing it mostly in climbing. Watching the pros ride, they clearly are getting the advantage from clipless, whether they're on climbing, on the flats, or downhill. Powering through the spin.

Road shoe designs try to be as light and stiff as possible. Keeping revolving weight down can be advantageous. If extra weight isn't needed, get rid of it. The extra weight of a lugged sole is worth it to off-roaders. Casual shoes have extra weight in wallking soles...who needs that when on the bike?

lynnef
06-19-2009, 12:36 PM
For Cycle Oregon, you'll want more of the MTB shoe style. You'll ride by areas where you'd like to get off and explore a bit, or walk around at rest stops, and road shoes just don't support that kind of activity well.

+1 on the Speedplay Frog pedals.

I practiced in a doorway for awhile, then graduated to the driveway, then around the neighborhood. Only 2 falls (Arte-Johnson-style) in the 6 years I've been riding with clipless pedals.

scdurs
06-19-2009, 01:37 PM
For those of you who weren't into cycling when 'clipless' pedals first came out, here is the origin of the term.

'Platform pedals' refer to a flat, double-sided pedal. In the old days, platform pedals came with a 'toe-clip' or a 'basket' on the front that the toe of the shoe goes into.

The next variation was the 'toe-clip and strap' where you cinch down a strap to hold your shoe onto the pedal. You could still pull your shoe out if not strapped in too tight. The strap had a releasing buckle that you simply flip up to release the tension for a quick escape. Toe-clips and straps are still available for the retro-grouches out there.

The next level was to have cycling shoes with a cleat screwed onto the bottom. The cleat had a slot perpendicular to the length of the shoe that fit over the steel frame on the back of a platform pedal. Combined with the toe-clip and strap, you were 'clipped-in.' I fell over once because I forgot to release the strap.

So 'clipped-in' is an old term that pre-dates clipless pedals. The term 'clip-less' actually refers to the elimination of the 'toe-clip' or 'basket' on the front of a platform pedal. Today, everyone mistakenly says "I was clipped-in to my clipless pedals" which doesn't make any sense.

FWIW - I currently use double-sided SPD pedals with mountain style shoes and have for the past 12 years. I have yet to fall trying to get out of them, but I've come real close a few times.

bp071117
06-19-2009, 02:52 PM
Why limit yourself to one option? You can get pedals like the Shimano PDM324 that have SPD on one side and a platform on the other. You can stop and start on the platform side and then clip in once you get going.

http://www.nashbar.com/images/nashbar/products/medium/SH-PDM324-NCL-ANGLE.jpg

bonny790
06-19-2009, 03:06 PM
Although I currently use cages with straps, I'm a big fan of Speedplay Frogs. The float is nice, easy entry and exit, greasable, and rebuildable. I think I've fallen once or twice but not while learning, more of a track stand gone bad. When I used to mt bike there were one or two crashes where one didn't unclip, but for the most part, you don't have to think about it. Your foot just naturally comes out when the need arises. I don't know if it is a muscle memory sort of reflex due to practice and repetition or what, but it's never been an issue. I can't compare the Frog with anything else because they're all I've ever used since the mid 90's.

hemp22
06-20-2009, 01:31 PM
Lots of good advice above, so this is nothing new - just re-iterating what I think are important points:

When learning, practice in a grass field at first - and just keep clipping in & out. Once you get the motion down, then add in complexity like unclipping while making a sudden stop. Then, ride on the fanno creek trail where you won't get run over by a car if you do fall, and keep practicing. After a couple days, it really does become second nature.

Definitely going with Mtn bike pedals & shoes is a good way to start. I use Crank Bros pedals, and when you're putting the cleats on the shoes, you can do so in the "easy release" setting. Adding the shim helps making unclipping easier too. Whichever style you get, just set the pedals+cleats up to the easiest setting.

They're great for daily commuting because you can use casual shoes, or sandals...but for cycle oregon or other long rides, make sure you get some shoes with a good stiff sole to spread the pressure evenly over your foot. (and don't bother with cleats on your mtn bike shoes for the purpose of cycle oregon or road rides).

K'Tesh
06-21-2009, 09:45 AM
Thanks for all the info/suggestions, and the couple of offers...

I'm leaning towards a MTB hybrid (platform & clipless) pedal, and shoes that I could walk on after riding.

My settlement (from the Oct 2007 crash) is due to pay out just after the first of the month (July, 2009), and it will be then that I can afford to make the "switch".

Rubberside Down!
K'Tesh

Shimano PD-A530 SPD pedals PD6500

http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/images/pd6500.jpg

fredlf
06-23-2009, 03:52 PM
The downside to hybrid pedals is you may have to flip them around to get the cleats pointed up. It can be a real pain getting started in traffic, esp. when you're learning. Double-sided pedals let you just put your foot on and clip-in with no fuss. Have you looked at DH style SPD pedals? They have a nice wide platform so you can ride them with street shoes, but they still have bindings on each side so you never have to flip them "right side up".

Psyfalcon
06-23-2009, 05:05 PM
http://www.crankbrothers.com/acid.php
Large platform eggbeaters. You can clip in to all four sides of the eggbeater which means that either end of the platform is up. The platform is basically flush with the click in point for non cliped in clipless riding.

K'Tesh
06-23-2009, 07:35 PM
The downside to hybrid pedals is you may have to flip them around to get the cleats pointed up. It can be a real pain getting started in traffic, esp. when you're learning. Double-sided pedals let you just put your foot on and clip-in with no fuss. Have you looked at DH style SPD pedals? They have a nice wide platform so you can ride them with street shoes, but they still have bindings on each side so you never have to flip them "right side up".

I understand what you're saying about the "orientation" of the pedals, but I've ridden with platform style pedals that had an orientation before. I'm still a little worried about your mention of the learning curve.

I'm not going to want to ride clipped in everywhere I go, so I need something with a platform to it. I tried stepping on a DH style pedal before, and I didn't like the feel (with street shoes), it felt odd with that pressure point in the middle of my foot.

As for psyfalcon's suggestion of egg beaters, I've thought of those too. However, I don't want to wear biking shoes all the time, so I'm going to pass on those.

In looking over the A530's I'm pleased that the pedals can be taken apart and rebuilt, and the sealed outer end means less chance of losing a dust cap and having road grit foul the bearings.

Still, Thanks for all the suggestions!
K'Tesh

Bent Bloke
06-24-2009, 10:04 AM
It looks to have a standard MTB platform on one side, SPD on the other. Looks like you could even put toe clips on the platform side.

http://bike.shimano.com/publish/content/global_cycle/en/us/index/products/pedals/mountain/product.-code-PD-M324.-type-pd_mountain.html

This is an interesting thread for me. I've been contemplating going clipless, too. I'll be interested in your final choice and how you adapt to them.

Haven_kd7yct
06-24-2009, 10:25 AM
K'tesh-- regarding the learning curve--

I have to say that I must be extraordinarily coordinated or lucky, I didn't have any trouble learning how to use the clipless pedals.

My commuter bike has double-sided pedals, which helped in learning. I've only had a couple of instances where I forgot to unclip coming up to a stop, but I got unclipped before falling over.

I did spend about half an hour with my bike on the trainer clipping in and out, getting used to pedaling clipped in, making sure my cleats were positioned correctly.

The learning curve may be steep for some but it's not steep for everyone-- you may end up like me, not having any problems at all. So don't be put off by everyone's warnings... although, they are good warnings! Forewarned is forearmed! :)

RonC
06-24-2009, 01:39 PM
I second Haven_kd7yct's thoughts. After a VERY brief session on a stationary trainer you should not have any problems, and the safety of your feet not accidentally slipping off the pedals far outweighs the issue of 'forgetting' to unclip at a stop. Just plan ahead of each stop, and you'll have no problem. Soon it will be second nature.

That said, you can have problems if the cleats aren't positioned correctly, tightened down fully, or there is interference with the shoe sole (which may need to be trimmed back with a razor knife to work with certain pedal/shoe combinations). So just make sure that you're cleats are positioned properly and tested on a trainer before you go out on the road.

K'Tesh
06-24-2009, 02:29 PM
It looks to have a standard MTB platform on one side, SPD on the other. Looks like you could even put toe clips on the platform side.

http://bike.shimano.com/publish/content/global_cycle/en/us/index/products/pedals/mountain/product.-code-PD-M324.-type-pd_mountain.html

This is an interesting thread for me. I've been contemplating going clipless, too. I'll be interested in your final choice and how you adapt to them.

Yes, actually I spent some time yesterday looking at those, but the dust cap is something that caught my attention... IMHO that could be a weakness that could lead to failure.

BTW... I'm not a person who shaves each possible gram off of my bike, but I found that the A530 was a little lighter.

Rubberside Down!
K'Tesh

fredlf
06-24-2009, 07:32 PM
Gotta agree with Haven here. It's remarkably easy to learn, esp. with double-sided pedals. After a week or two it will be completely second nature. Then you'll be grumbling about always having to flip your pedal when you start out!

Just don't do what I did and go for your first clipless ride ever on your brand-new mountain bike down a very technical, rocky single-track. That was perhaps not a great decision. :D

wsbob
07-11-2009, 11:11 PM
Got some time tonight, so I'll talk some about my pedals.

I'm back riding clipless after a long time going easy-laid back riding with my old running shoes. I'd never ridden much with running shoes before this. For just toodlin' around, they worked pretty good really. Not so good though, for any kind of speed or power.

Used to ride with an old pair of Look road pedals. No float except what you got after wearing out the cleats some. They worked, but never were quite right for me.

The bike I'm riding that I rescued has Shimano spd 520 mountain pedals. I debated a long time about whether I should get road pedals-road shoes...stay with mountain pedals, get mountain shoes for walkability... . Too many decisions. It gets ridiculous.

I'm not a racer, never have been, not interested in doing that. With my typical usage, a little extra weight for lugged, walkable shoes is not a big issue. Don't really need the bigger platform of a racing pedal.

The 'float' issue can be confusing. The word as used, to indicate the number of degrees your foot can rotate on the pedal away from its basic pedaling position isn't a commonly know term. It's hard to even express what this means. Basically, as you're on the bike, looking down at your foot on the pedals, 'float' refers to how many degrees you can pivot your foot by turning your heel away from the bike...before your foot unclips from the pedal.

Eventually, I figured out I didn't need a lot of 'float', that some pedals such as Speedplay offer. When I'm riding, the position of my foot on the pedals tends to consistently keep my heel fairly close to the crank spindle. That meant to me that giving the simple spd 520 a try was worth a try for my needs.

So I've got a low priced pair of mountain shoes...identical to a road shoe of the same model, but with the cleat set slightly above the sole lugs so I can go to the grocery store and walk on the linoleum without feeling like a handicapped figure skater.

I'd forgotten how much greater stability on the pedals and fluidity of power distributed around the revolution of the pedals was with cleats. It's like going from Briggs and Stratton to Mopar Hemi.

It's been really easy to establish positioning of the cleat on the shoe so the ball of my foot is over the pedal spindle where it feels like it needs to be for optimum power given my present riding style. The shoes seem to fit excellent too. The cleats are working out much better for me than the old Look pedals and cleats did.

Thorlak
07-12-2009, 09:54 PM
Just this week I went clip less and without being used to them and I rode a 200k and now the balls of my feet and the the second toe on each foot are numb. I went to clip less because I thought the toe clips and soft soled shoes were what was causing the tingling in my toes after a long ride. Now I am not sure if I just don't have them adjusted correctly or if my saddle is pinching a nerve.

K'Tesh
07-12-2009, 10:27 PM
Just this week I went clip less and without being used to them and I rode a 200k and now the balls of my feet and the the second toe on each foot are numb. I went to clip less because I thought the toe clips and soft soled shoes were what was causing the tingling in my toes after a long ride. Now I am not sure if I just don't have them adjusted correctly or if my saddle is pinching a nerve.

Who attached your cleats?

Me, I've got the shoes, and the pedals, now I'm waiting for my bike fit appointment, which will help me get the position of the cleats (forward/back, side-to-side, and "float") right for my needs.

Hope things improve for you.
K'Tesh

wsbob
07-12-2009, 11:07 PM
Thorlak, sorry to hear you're having some numbness issues. I hope you figure out the problem. Seems like amongst all the people checking in here, there must be a wealth of knowledge related to why you might be still having numbness. I think they'll be wondering right away though, just how well conditioned you were to be doing a double century, and whether consequential fatigue from it might be a major factor that caused the numbness. I did the STP-one day, just once...I was in pretty good condition for it, and felt sore and numb all over after it....no Lance am I.

Just prior to transitioning to clipless most recently...just last week actually...with the running shoes, I was starting to have numbness problems with my left foot. The stiffer soled cycling shoes feel much better on the foot and have alleviated that problem.

For my needs, the fit to my bike that I've been able to manage on my own has worked out well enough. I wouldn't discount the value of a pro fitting though. Barring that, very careful reflection on your own about how your bod feels relative to the different points of your steed. Everything has to be fairly close to right on if your bod's going to be able to do its part to complete the finely tuned, optimally performing machine.

Thorlak
07-13-2009, 10:15 AM
Wsbob, your are correct with your questioning of physical fitness and bike fit. It's funny. I have a dysfunctional relationship with my bike. I love it so much and find it hard to get rid of it even if she treats me like crap on the long rides. I have managed to adjust some of issues but my mistake I think was not putting enough miles on with the new pedal system before going on a long ride to identify possible problems. Kind of in the same vane as going on a long hike before your shoes are broken in. I probably would have reconigzed some issues had I put at least 60 miles under me the 5 days between when I bought the pedals and the day of the 200k. I think if I did the STP, I would have been in better shape. Instead I did my first Brevet with Oregon Randonneurs which featured 7800 feet of climbing along with the 128 miles. The combination of distance and climb is what did me in as well. I didn't train as well as I should have but have 2 weeks to get ready for the 300k. Yea right, as if !:)

wsbob
07-13-2009, 11:25 PM
Thorlak, I don't know about anyone else that might be reading this thread, but I'd be interested in hearing what the issue responsible for the numbness you've experienced is, if you should happen to discover it. So let us do know if you figure it out.

Putting on the miles that you do, it sounds as though you surely must be well conditioned. So the numbness might be related to some other small thing; a little too much extension here or there....legs...back...too much lower torso rotation... .

Haven_kd7yct
07-14-2009, 10:22 AM
I've found that, recently, I get numbness in my two smallest toes on each foot. I also get some pain/pressure where the cleats are under the ball of my foot.

We've discovered that it's because of the cleat placement. So, when I get my new shoes this summer, we'll be having the professionals doing the cleat placements! :)

Thorlak
07-14-2009, 11:47 AM
I did some research and came up with the likely cause. Morton's neuroma seems to be the culprit. While I wholeheartedly agree with what wsbob said about fit issues and most recently what Haven_kd7yct mentioned about cleat placement, it is also caused by the toe box being too narrow in the shoe in the case of nerve inflammation for cyclist. When I had mentioned what I had found out to my wife, she recalled me commenting on how I thought my shoes felt a little narrow after I had bout the shoes. I bought the Shimano MT 21 (billed as as touring shoe but more like a mountain shoe) and they have plenty of room in front of the toe but were snug in the width andI am thinking they are not really designed for long rides or touring. My thinking was that sung would be good because you don't want alot of flop between your foot and the shoe. I am happy with the cleats I bought; the Crank Brother Candy C which is also billed as a road/mountain platform, but I think I am going to have to go with a higher end shoe like the Sidi because from what I understand they are a little wider.

wsbob
07-14-2009, 12:13 PM
When I had mentioned what I had found out to my wife, she recalled me commenting on how I thought my shoes felt a little narrow after I had bout the shoes.

When I decided to go clipless again most recently, it turned out I wasn't able to use my old bike shoes on the shimano mountain pedals. In shopping around for new shoes, I tried on a bunch of different brands and models. Sidi wasn't one of them...can't really justify the price right now...got an ancient pair I put a lot of miles on. They worked well but they're toe clip shoes. It would have been tough or destructive to make em do clipless.

In shopping for new shoes, I observed that the toe box of shoes varies between brands. Tried on the Shimano 86L(?). Nice shoe...didn't like the fit...pointed toes. Once I lowered my nose and tried on Performance's Forte brand, I had a nice surprise...those shoes have a round toe box. My feet feel good in them. Sidi quality is better, but Forte looks like it'll work for my fairly easy riding. I think Louis Guarneau has the round toe box too. Pointed toes look more racy-like to me, but it's not worth having uncomfortable feet.

nuovorecord
07-14-2009, 03:00 PM
(snip) Used to ride with an old pair of Look road pedals. No float except what you got after wearing out the cleats some. They worked, but never were quite right for me. (snip)

Just wanted to clarify this statement somewhat, for the benefit of those who may not be familiar with Look pedals. Older generations of Look pedals do have the capability of providing "float", provided you use the Red Delta cleat with them. The black cleats lock your foot into place, as wsbob alluded to.

In addition, later models of Look pedals had adjustable levels of "float" built into the pedal body itself. Finally, the most recent Look pedal design, the Keo, also provides float.

I say this because I've ridden Look pedals since they hit the market in the mid-80's and I swear by them. They're on all my bikes. Nothing has proven to be easier for me to get into and out of than Looks. Plus, they provide a wider foot platform than most other pedals, which can help relieve hotspots and other problems associated with a small pedal surface.

I've tried other systems and never cared for them. The issue of walkability is overrated, in my opinion. I wear Sidi road shoes and have done countless rides in them, including CO. I put a set of cleat covers on at rest stops and I'm good to go. Sidi's have a replaceable heel pad, so wearing out your shoes isn't likely to happen. So I don't necessarily have the opinion of others that mtn. bike shoes are de rigueur for Cycle Oregon.

Just sharing my experience; not saying others are wrong. :)

wsbob
07-14-2009, 09:54 PM
nuovorecord, good that you mentioned that about the red cleats. My old Looks probably date back to the 80's. I just used them and used them and used them, so even if they weren't quite right for me, they didn't cause major problems. I might have tried the red cleats, but as I said, I wore a certain amount of float into them, so that action wasn't a big issue . It wasn't until just recently that I was aware of the red cleat. Never got around to checking out whether my old Looks will accept them. If they do, trying them is still a low cost option for me.

I think I may have had another problem with the looks though. Can't think of the term to describe the positioning of the foot, but what would happen over a period of of use, is that the outside edge of the cleat would wear more relative to the inside edge. So in time, the cleat would take on a wedge profile. My ride position would then feel more natural.

With new cleats, the soles of my feet more or less being forced to be parallel with the ground kind of wanted to move my knees a bit too close together. I suppose there's things that can be done about that...inserts for the shoes. Never got around to trying it.

Never used the cleat covers. For the kind of riding I was doing then, I never really felt the need for them. When I studied most recently about pedals in order to decide which way to go, I read some related threads on bikeforums. There were mixed experiences with the cleat covers. Like many things, they seem to have worked for some people and others, not.

K'Tesh
07-14-2009, 11:26 PM
My cleats are attached, I was able to mount and dismount almost without incident. I felt like I was almost falling, on my VERY first ride attempt with them, but my foot released, and I managed to get the foot down without incident.

I feel that my prior forte pedals (which did have an "UP" side) provided some much needed knowledge for flipping a pedal into position (one side is a platform, the other is clipless).

Some observations:

I might be completly delusional on this, but I feel that I've gained about 2mph in my accents, based on the one climb I did tonight exiting Portland. I'm clearly faster on flats.

I'm a little concerned about feeling some discomfort from the muscles that, until now, haven't been used to their full potential. As a preventative, I took some advil before riding, so no discomfort now.

Thanks for all the suggestions!
K'Tesh

K'Tesh
07-15-2009, 09:26 AM
Well, I guess it's true, you are going to fall when making the switch to clipless pedals.

Peter, my friend and co-commuter, was waiting on the WES platform today when I rolled up, and asked him if he wanted to ride the bike instead (he typically takes WES into work, then bikes home). Now it's early, I'm trying to ride real slow, looking at a tall guy who's standing 6' above me, with the sun in my eyes. I didn't stand a chance.

Down I went, dumping my entire bucket in the process... I didn't have a chance to "brace for impact" so I didn't break a wrist. I'm stiff, I'm a little sore, and I have a few minor scratches, but I think I'll live.

I ment to do that...
K'Tesh

Psyfalcon
07-15-2009, 07:23 PM
Still better than my stoplight incident on your Glutton for Puns ride?

Almost a year with clipless, one fall to that point, and I dumped it at a stoplight, over the wrong side!

shnshni
08-06-2009, 10:46 AM
regarding the numbness, I reide wth toe clips (hopefully switching soon!) and my right leg is about 13 mm shorter than the left. I get numbness in my right foot after some good miles. I will look into the "narrow cage" idea, but I think it might also have something to do with the saddle pinching a nerve around my gooch. Anyways, this is getting off-topic, but if anyone has ideas on this.........


h

Alan
08-06-2009, 02:31 PM
I get numbness in my right foot after some good miles. I will look into the "narrow cage" idea, but I think it might also have something to do with the saddle pinching a nerve around my gooch. Anyways, this is getting off-topic, but if anyone has ideas on this...

Saddles are very personal and the only way I know of to get a good fit is to try some of them. I'm presently having good luck (comfort!) with two: "The Seat", the gel-with-Lycra model at http://www.thecomfortseat.com/, purchased at Coventry, and a Serfas RX Gel I got at CityBike. The Serfas has a cut-out center to relieve perineal pressure. 'The Seat' looks weird and takes a little riding to get used to the feel, but so far I'm liking it.

There are *many* other choices and your Local Bike Shop would be a good place for testing a few of them. They might have other ideas about the numbness, too, maybe something as simple as some fit adjustments.

These web sites interested me:

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/saddles.html
http://painfreecycling.com/
http://www.realseat.com/