Commuting and clipping

Beating the system - the cycling commuting section

Re: Commuting and clipping

Postby ksteinhoff » Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:22 am

bura wrote:Hi all,

Cycling from Camberwell to the city (and back), hopefully four days a week. I've just bought Shimano shoes and am getting used to clipping in and out. Love the feeling while powering along but it also feels dangerous, particularly when a car swings out of a parking space, blocking everything but the tram lines etc..

Notice very few people using clipped in cycling shoes - wondering if it is worth it safety-wise? How many people here commute clipping in and out at every set of lights?

Any advice for someone starting out?


I've been riding with SPD or Eggbeaters for six or eight years now. Clipping and unclipping has become second nature, like some of the other folks said.

I really like the sound you hear when you first clip in to start a ride. That signals to me that good times are going to start. Like the old proverb, "A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step."

Stuff I learned along the way:

1. Decide which foot your going to unclip and stay with it. I live the U.S., so I unclip my right foot.

2. To make SURE I got in the habit of unclipping for stops signs and lights, would unclip and hold my right leg out at about a 45-degree angle when I slowed down. It looked funny, but made me more conscious of what I was doing. It also had the side effect of signaling to motorists at the intersection that I was going to stop. I don't swing out as far as I once did, but I've kept the exaggerated move.

3. Don't worry about staying attached to the bike if you go down. The one endo I did proved that you and the bike WILL come apart.

4. I've taught several folks how to get used to them. We go out on a road without much traffic and I'll holler, "STOP!" or "UNCLIP" from time to time until they get the hang of it.
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by BNA » Tue Aug 18, 2009 1:09 pm

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Re: Commuting and clipping

Postby Fletcher » Tue Aug 18, 2009 1:09 pm

I've been using my SPD clips for a couple of weeks now, and wouldn't like to go back to flat pedals. Unclipping hasn't yet become second nature but I'm getting used to it. I like the idea of taking a route with a bit more road, because the combination of bike paths and roads I"ve been using so far requires me to unclip at least a few times on the way to work.
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Re: Commuting and clipping

Postby nafe1982 » Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:03 pm

I just starting to use my bike a bit now and wanting to commute and also go for some nice weekend rides, for my first set of peddles and shoes most would recommend the MTB shoes??
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Re: Commuting and clipping

Postby 2WheelsGood » Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:49 pm

nafe1982 wrote:I just starting to use my bike a bit now and wanting to commute and also go for some nice weekend rides, for my first set of peddles and shoes most would recommend the MTB shoes??


That would be yes :)
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Re: Commuting and clipping

Postby trailgumby » Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:05 pm

Following from Ken's post, I'd like to add that once past the initial phase and I was comfortable enough to ride on the road with clipless, I worked hard at training my brain to be able to unclip on either side withut having to think about it, regardless of crank position.

It's probably more crucial for me as an mtb'er riding trails, but on the road I've had to come to sudden stops on a few occasions with the "wrong" pedal down. If I'd not prepared myself by learning to unclip either side, I'd have taken a very graceless tumble.

Just something to think about.

Even with these short term risks while learning, I'd never go near flat pedals for anything other than learning new technical mtb skills (eg, manuals and trackstands), and put the clipless back on ASAP.
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Re: Commuting and clipping

Postby Fletcher » Fri Aug 21, 2009 5:58 pm

nafe1982 wrote:
I just starting to use my bike a bit now and wanting to commute and also go for some nice weekend rides, for my first set of peddles and shoes most would recommend the MTB shoes??

That would be yes


x2, you won't regret it.
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