Help with clipless!!

Liv2Ride

New Member
I've just started using clipless pedals for about 2months now and still very frustrated. I can unclip from them on demand about 90% of time but that other 10% when I need to unclip but cant is because I lost control trying to get over some obstacles or riding through techy terrain. Dont need to say more that if you're losing control and still attached to bike doesnt make for a fun time. I've taken some pretty bad spills too, thats why I'm frustrated to the point of wanting to put my flat pedals back on. Now I use Time Atac pedals that cannot be adjusted for tension and my shoes are Sette Element. Say I get new/more $$ pedals which the tension can be adjusted would that help me or would you just say keep getting back on the saddle till I perfect the set of pedals/shoes combo I currenlty have. Any advice would help. Thanks!!!
 

jimvreeland

Endurance Guy: Tolerates most of us.
Hmmm, 1 thing I know is that the Time's are a little harder to get used to than say if you had a pair of Shimano SPD's on your bike...Pedals like the Time's or even like Egg Beaters have more float to overcome in order to click out, it's not much more, but as a beginner it may be enough to give you some trouble...If you know someone with SPD's I'd give them a try, otherwise just keep practicing and you'll get the hang of it...

-Jim.
 

xc62701

Well-Known Member
Unfortunately the falling is part of the learning curve. Sometimes you go to slide your foot out directly to the side and it won't disengage. You need to get used to the motion of getting those heels twisted out. I've had the best luck with trying the crank brothers pedals. I've used only these and the shimano SPD's. The spd's were an early version that weren't the best. I tried the crank brothers and haven't looked back. The CB's aren't adjustable either but they just release very smoothly and consistently.
 

GSTim

Formerly M3Tim
LTR,

I would say stick with it. I just started riding last summer and went clipless a few months after starting. I think it takes about 4-6 months before you are really comfortable. I took some of the same falls at the start, it wasn't pretty.:eek: I was ready to hang it up also, but you soon get to a point where you can unclip without thinking about it. Even now, there are some times when I fall and can't unclip, but they are less and less frequent. I'm sure there are times I would have fell if I wasn't clipped in that the pedals helped.

I don't think having the tension adjusted is going to help that much, I have Crank Bros pedals that are fixed tension also, I think it's just time.

Bottom line, I wouldn't think of going out unclipped now, so just take your lumps and you'll be happy later.:D

Tim
 

Wobbegong

Well-Known Member
Hang in there, soon enough it will be second nature. Remember to lead with your heel and not your toes.
 

TommyCrash

Member
Soon, young Jedi, you will have the Force.... Fall in the meantime. I'm still falling, and will continue to fall and I know that I will. I've been falling (and loving it) since December. But there's no better feeling than getting your ass on your seat and feeling your pedals 'click' in, and you're ready to go! Know your limitations while still in your learning curve and you will eventually progress and not even think about it. I still fall, getting to a stop, because I knowingly unclipped my left foot but teeterd to my right. And we all, SirCrashalot, DirtyBert and myself still laugh every time. Because I laugh when they fall.
 

dursman

Member
I got a set of Shimano M520 clipless pedals for my first go and they've been great. They have adjustable tension (mine are still set pretty loose) and were $40 on sale at EMS. They regularly run at $50 for the set which I still think is a bargain. Riding with clipless pedals feels much more efficient and being able to get power from pulling up on the pedal as well as pushing down is just such a cool feeling.

If you are really uncomfortable with your current pedals I'd say try some adjustable ones, the money you have already spent was just so you could learn about another brand of pedal!
 

Liv2Ride

New Member
Thanks for all the advice. I'll keep riding with them(clipless that is) but I might consider checking out other brand of clipless pedals just to see if there is a difference.
 

ebineezer

Well-Known Member
i'm going through a similar situation, but enjoy the benifits of riding clipless...so i'm just gonna give it more time
 

Dusty the Whale

Mr.Chainsaw
i use the same pedals...time attac went thru the same shit you are...got a real comfortable pair of shoes and stuck with it...the pros greatly out weight the cons...my power level is way up can pretty mush climb anything with little problem from long to tech it dosent really matter energy is not really an issue anymore when with the flats id get tired...fast...so my advice to you is the same that a few people on the site gave me...stick with it you'll thank us in the end...oh yeah plus i feel cool when they make the click sound...
 

rocknrollgirl

Well-Known Member
I have shimano pedals, SPD's, but we changed my cleats from the standard to multi-direction release. It took 2 rides and I was comfy. You can pop out from any foot direction. You do not need to worry about twisting or leading with your heel.

Good Luck
 

mike_243

JORBA Board Member/Chapter Leader
JORBA.ORG
two quick points
1. keep at the pedals go out and just ride in a flat area just clip in and clip out then pedal with one foot in and one out then switch to the other foot.
2. as Mr. chainsaw has stated the uphills are alot easier while clipped in. just do not stop pedaling at the top of the hill you will fall trust me on this... :)
good luck you will get it....
 

anrothar

entirely thrilled
if you aren't coming from a bmx or mx background, look at the falling for the positive that it is. you are mtb'ing, you need to learn how to take a fall. in addition to learning how to absorb the fall without hurting yourself, falls strengthen your bones and promote stronger bones in general. i'm not kidding here. as far as awkwardness and embarrassment, EVERYONE that goes clipless deals with the same thing. i fell over a bunch of times when i first went back to clipless. a bunch of mtbnjers witnessed this on my first group ride with them a year and a half ago.

i remember when i first started mtbing back in the early nineties, i had toeclips and fell over all the time. i've never thrown an expensive bike so much before or since. it's just something you get used to. the benefits are undeniable.
 

ArmyOfNone

Well-Known Member
in addition to learning how to absorb the fall without hurting yourself, falls strengthen your bones and promote stronger bones in general.

its like drinking milk! just get on your bike and jump off!

I make a joke of it but learning to to take a spill is key. Im not sure what exactly I do, but today i took what really should have been a nasty spill and thanks to my "experience" I came out on top compared to the others who went down with me.
 

Fogerson

Former Resident Nerd
if you aren't coming from a bmx or mx background, look at the falling for the positive that it is. you are mtb'ing, you need to learn how to take a fall. in addition to learning how to absorb the fall without hurting yourself, falls strengthen your bones and promote stronger bones in general.

I know my bones feel stronger after my tumble down the "Wall" at Mahlon yesterday ;) 'Came away w/o a scratch--ripped seat and snapped der hanger for the Turner though (and my spare was in the Camelbak...at home) :( I think my rear wheel got a little borked too. It was a nice walk home, well, until it started raining.

My pedals weren't an issue; I was unclipped and 10-15 feet away from my bike when the action stopped...and I didn't even try to unclip. Pitchin' yourself over the bars going down the Wall is a pretty gnarly thing to do.

This is the second hard downhill-endo-get-off I've had in the last six months. Nothing more than a bruise or two; 'guess I have to credit instincts built during my MX racing youth for helping protect my now geezer body. Ironically, most of the aches and pains my geezer body has these days are the result of my MX racing youth...
 

stb222

Love Drunk
Jerk Squad
if you aren't coming from a bmx or mx background, look at the falling for the positive that it is. you are mtb'ing, you need to learn how to take a fall. in addition to learning how to absorb the fall without hurting yourself, falls strengthen your bones and promote stronger bones in general. i'm not kidding here. as far as awkwardness and embarrassment, EVERYONE that goes clipless deals with the same thing. i fell over a bunch of times when i first went back to clipless. a bunch of mtbnjers witnessed this on my first group ride with them a year and a half ago.

i remember when i first started mtbing back in the early nineties, i had toeclips and fell over all the time. i've never thrown an expensive bike so much before or since. it's just something you get used to. the benefits are undeniable.

excellent points...i think one of the main things is to not have your arms and legs flailing all over when you fall..tuck and roll....keep in mind, it takes years of falling to learn how to fall...
 

cem

Member
I've just started using clipless pedals for about 2months now and still very frustrated. I can unclip from them on demand about 90% of time but that other 10% when I need to unclip but cant is because I lost control trying to get over some obstacles or riding through techy terrain. Dont need to say more that if you're losing control and still attached to bike doesnt make for a fun time. I've taken some pretty bad spills too, thats why I'm frustrated to the point of wanting to put my flat pedals back on. Now I use Time Atac pedals that cannot be adjusted for tension and my shoes are Sette Element. Say I get new/more $$ pedals which the tension can be adjusted would that help me or would you just say keep getting back on the saddle till I perfect the set of pedals/shoes combo I currenlty have. Any advice would help. Thanks!!!

Didn't see that anyone else mentioned it, but check to see the shoe is binding on the pedal. Never used time pedals and not sure how they work. But, when my girlfriend was learning to ride clipless. I'd watch her struggle to get out and fall over like a cut tree, NFG. Ended up shaving some of the sole away, so the shoe moved freely.

-cm
 

Liv2Ride

New Member
Hey thanks guys for all the advice and support!!! I have mentioned I was thinking of picking up a new set of pedals and indeed i did. I got a set of shimano m540 w/ adjustable tension from my lbs. I made a slight adjustment to loosen the tension and it feels ok. I have yet to take it to the trails, picked em up saturday but it became too late to hit the trails and yesterday rained so I hit the road with them and felt good. Hopefully these work out better than my old Times. By the way, any trails out there that might be a good place to build confidence using clipless. Since I started I've only been going to Chimney rock and to me that place is pretty painful when you hit the dirt or rocks. Thanks again.:)
 
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