open topic, for anything cycling related.
25 posts • Page 1 of 1
I thought I would seek some advice, i've fallen 3 times since using cleats and I had one VERY close call when next to a car at the lights (they came up right next to my right foot at the lights)
Running cleats for the first time, i was doing a right hand U Turn in the space of a footpath (stupid already I know) and happened to leave the right foot still in the cleat. I ended up falling on the grass luckily but it still hurt my ego.
First time on my track bike fixie (running freewheel instead) and ended up going down to my mates place and ended up falling literally outside his place as I couldn't uncleat my foot in time (literally rolled down the driveway, stopped and fell on the road). This time I didn't uncleat early enough
Riding through Beach Road I decided to take one of the bike paths near the beach, I did a sharp left and turn and the front wheel understeered on a patch of sand and I ended up falling again.
Nearly fourth occurance,
I was at the lights first as there was a red light, this car comes RIGHT up against me and actually pulls his nose further than my front wheel. Once the lights go green I barely had enough space to even push off and as next to the car as he took off. I was trying to get enough momentum in such a small amount of space and starting leaning right, so much that I nearly fell on the car as it was moving. This scared the crap out of me. I was really frustrated that the driver didn't hold back and let me have a bit more space, even more frustrating was that I was at the front and he snuck in. I was nearly ready to throw the towel in and pick up another interest after this occurance, thats how emotionally upsetting it was.
I see the main issue so far has been that 2nd, 3rd and 4th occurance has happened on the Fixie bike running a freewheel. I think the biggest issue has been not being able to downgear as I end up having to get up on the pedals to power off at the lights, while with the geared road bike I was able to take off and accelerate quite easily even sitting down on the seat maintaining my balance better.
I'm wondering if the Track bike/fixie could be a bit too big for me and I could be illfitting it and falling as a result.
Perhaps unclip earlier and clip in later? As in, don't worry about pedalling for a little bit not clipped in?
For these - you need a plan. that plan is always unclip a particular side, and flare the bike (turn the other way) so it falls to that side. That way your body will soon remember how to deal with usual unclipping scenarios.
Nope - biggest problem is not taking prime position at the lights. If you are first vehicle there, pull up in the middle of the lane, which will reserve you sufficient space to wobble safely. I do that even though I'm on a geared bike and am unlikely to wobble.
If the reach isn't uncomfortable and you don't hit the top tube with your private bits dismounting, its probably not too big.
Since you're using the freewheel anyway, why not use standard platform pedals instead of clipless?
My commuter has flat pedals and it's great. I just jump on it and ride without changing shoes or having to remember to unclip in traffic.
There is no shame in it.
Couple of those sound like freak accidents with not much you could do about it.
The quoted text though, seems to indicate to me that you didn't claim the lane at those lights. Next time, position yourself so there's no possible way for a vehicle to stop beside you.
2010 BMC SLC01
Perhaps you're just too unco?
Practice makes perfect clipping.
What is it with cycling? 30+ kmh and lycra???!!!
ensure the clipless pedal springs are backed off, so that unclipping is easier. get used to twisting out, rather than pulling up (they won't come out) - this takes time.
Lean yourself against a post or something and just clip in, clip out, clip in, clip out. Do this a couple of hundred times each side- I'm not kidding, and you'll have begun to develop the muscle memory that'll make it comletely automatic.
Also, as mentioned above, decide which side you're going to clip out first and stand on and stick to it. I use my left foot for various reasons but it's personal preference.
Last thing, make sure the cams aren't too tight, it's a good idea to loosen them right off while you're learning, if they're too loose you can always tighten them once you're used to it.
It won't take long for you to be wondering why you were woried...
[Edit] ^^^^ beat me to it!
1. operator error.
2. operator error.
3. operator error.
4. operator error. if you didn't have enough space beside the car, exercise patience and let him go through. the motorist seems to have been deliberately provocative. let the small man have his little victory. the rest of his life is probably a joke.
you need to be mindful your feet are in clipped in, so you cannot ride around as if they are not.
cleats have advantages and disadvantages. the latter being you want to avoid situations that require decleating quickly to stop from falling. this means avoiding doing things as you did in pts 1-3.
secondly, go and practise cleating and decleating. in one session, do it 100 times.
it is an acquired skill that doesn't just instantly come together for you.
thirdly, get an experienced cyclist or LBS to check your cleat and pedal settings are not too tight, or something is malfunctioning.
That's not always an option if your commute is long enough. A few years ago, while still using flat pedals, my commute changed from 8 to 27km (and a fairly flat commute, too), and I found that my Achilles tendons started to hurt. I then switched to cleats, and haven't regretted it because the tendon pain went away and stayed away. The continual effort your ankles exert to keep your feet on flat pedals can strain your tendons if you ride enough distance regularly.
Practice makes perfect with cleats. It takes that muscle memory to get it happening naturally. I still don't clip in on the left side perfectly every time, but I can get going without going over and get enough speed so I can sort everything out.
The first three are just those learning incidents. U-turns if you want? Er, maybe on roads, but not on narrow footpaths. I also reckon a good thing is to practice riding and doing turns at very slow speeds. If you've got a nice sized backyard or front yard, you can do this on the grass where it'll be a nice soft landing if you go over.
I understand you idea of using cleats, being clipped in is a lot nicer for pedalling, especially if you need to speed up really fast.
It's not that bad. Some people ride long distances with platform pedals.
Last edited by rkelsen on Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
+1 Check to see if this is the culprit, no sense having the springs tight if using them isn't second nature.
Also if you don't clip in straight away try concentrating on pedaling over clipping in, once the bike has momentum you can clip in without worrying about falling.
I find focusing on one thing at a time helps. Unclip while you're cruising to a stop, but keep one foot clipped. That way you can just glide to a stop and concentrate on stopping.
Pushing off, don't bother clipping in until you're clear of any traffic, and gained some momentum so you can afford the time to leisurely clip back in. Then pedal away.
I don't know what cycling-related injuries Heinz Stucke had during his travels, so I can't comment on the article. I do know that one of the reasons lots of cyclists switch to cleats, aside from the power and efficiency benefits, is because they provide better support to the ankles. Here's one of the articles describing the benefits of cleats: http://www.livestrong.com/article/95644-benefits-cycling-shoes/
Agree 100%. Practice and as someone else(jules21?) said, loose springs. Unless you're riding fixed, pulling feet isn't especially scary. Falling over, otoh...
Planning ahead is all very well, until the unexpected happens. So, practice unclipping on demand. Trying to trackstand worked for me. I still can't trackstand, but I can unclip in a real hurry.
Sounds like it's more to do with your bike handling skills than your un clipping skills. No shame in that. The more you ride the better you'll get. Just be conscious of where you are and where you want to go and plan ahead.
Don't get me wrong. Cleats certainly have their advantages, but they're simply not necessary for everyone in every circumstance. The >600,000km ridden by the gent in that article without cleats is proof of that. I'd suspect that he would be using them if he did have any form of injury.
Incidentally, I don't use cleats on my commute which is 22km each way. I must have strong ankles.
Thanks for all the comments, wow thats awesome.
I think I found myself on a new bike that i've only ridden for around 160 km now, and yesterday was the first time I rode the fixie as a road bike (Changed to aero brake levers and a drop bar), so there was a lot that was different on the bike and it would have changed the feel of the bike quite a lot.
I think it was all user error down to not enough practice to be honest, I put myself in the deep end for sure and came out hopefully a stronger person.
I have my cleats on the loosest setting, so i have it pretty easy at the moment haha
How old are your clipless pedals and the cleats on your shoes? If they are new, they are probably very tight. After a while they loosen up a bit and become a lot easier.
I don't get this obsession with cleats and the obsession with putting oneself in danger due to difficulties with them. If you can't operate cleats well you should practice and practice before riding with them everywhere. Cleats aren't necessary for riding, even long distances, it is not worth risking your safety.
(I use cleats quite happily and easily.)
The cleats are quite old by the looks of things, the bearings in them are rather noisy too. I can hear them squeeking along as I ride so that could also be an issue.
I think i'm just finding myself getting used to the bikes morseo. Getting on a new bike and with cleats is one of those things. I'm sure I have another set of Cleats somewhere. I'll have to swap them around at some stage.
Its all a mental exercise really, training my body to do the clipping and unclipping naturally.
I really appreciate everyones help. When i'm riding I love the feeling of cleats, and have no problems when i'm moving, its just getting used to sitting in the road bike position etc.
the opposite can also be true. particularly when they get a bit of corrosion in them, they can really stick. a bit of WD40 will release them (c) Kenzo
Once you get used clipless it’s not always easy to switch back to standard pedals, as I found out to my sorrow.
I borrowed my sons bike while mine was out of action, and in the process forgot about not having cleats and managed to damage my Achilles tendon on my right leg severely by slipping off the pedal while trying to put down a bit of power getting up a short steep rise.
The old "747"
Landing gear down
Landing gear up
Don't worry adrian_d, you've had your three clip-stacks. Should be all good now .
"My bicycle masters boardwalk and quagmire with aplomb. Those that doubt me... suck THUMB by choice."
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