Newbie...

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Newbie...

Postby MAD GREEK » Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:44 pm

Hi,

I've just bought my first road bike - Scott S40.
It is also the first time I have used clipless pedals. Is there an efficient way to pedal using the clipless pedal, do I need to reteach myself to pedal.
As in do I push down with one leg and the opposite pull up?
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by BNA » Tue Jan 30, 2007 9:08 pm

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Postby mikesbytes » Tue Jan 30, 2007 9:08 pm

Hi, welcome to the forum.

It takes a little while to get use to the clipless pedals, you pretty much end up kind of circling the pedals rather than push and pull.

Just don't worry about technique, you will naturally adjust to clipless as your body gets use to them.
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Postby gdl_gdl » Tue Jan 30, 2007 9:21 pm

Hi,

I've had clipless pedals for six months. As per the previous reply, you'll develop your own style. I started out by pointing my shoes slightly down to the floor at an angle (as if I was scraping something off the end of my shoe). This got me into the habit of pedalling in a circular motion.

Also if you develop any knee pain then go straight back to the bike shop and have the bike or pedals adjusted. (I point my knees slightly towards the bikeframe and I've no problems since the initial fitting.)

As a last tip, remember to unclip at junctions when you stop! :wink: I concentrated really hard on my first trip out with clipless pedals. The next time I was more relaxed and I forgot and bang! I fell straight to the side when I came to a rest point, much to the amusement of the people around me :oops: (I can't be the only person to have done this?)

Cheers,

Gary
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Postby tuco » Tue Jan 30, 2007 9:41 pm

gdl_gdl wrote:The next time I was more relaxed and I forgot and bang! I fell straight to the side when I came to a rest point, much to the amusement of the people around me :oops: (I can't be the only person to have done this?)

Cheers,

Gary


Still haven't gone clipless and so far I haven't heard of a single person who has gone clipless not falling off at a set of lights.
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Postby europa » Tue Jan 30, 2007 10:02 pm

tuco wrote:Still haven't gone clipless and so far I haven't heard of a single person who has gone clipless not falling off at a set of lights.


Yes you have. I haven't fallen yet, and that's riding clipless with the Trek, the fixed gear and the Sow's Ear with me daughter hooked on behind :P Total distance now, over 1,000 km ... which, of course, mean's I'm about due
:roll:

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Postby timbo » Tue Jan 30, 2007 10:40 pm

Most people don't actually "fall off" if they can't unclip from the pedals in time. They tend to fall over while still staying attached to the bike. The only difference is they are now horizontal instead of vertical (and somewhat embarrassed).
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Postby europa » Tue Jan 30, 2007 11:18 pm

Mind you, toe clips saved my son's bike. A woman pushed him into the gutter and the next thing he knew, he was summersaulting into a bush. The clips brought the bike with him and we reckonned afterwards that if they hadn't, there was a good chance the bike would have skidded back onto the road. The woman didn't bother to stop either ... just drove straight past him :?

But toe clips aren't a problem. They're fun clipping in and out of on the fixed gear bike where the pedals are forced to rotate with the rear wheel, but not as much fun as trying to tighted toe straps as you ride on the fixed gear (you reach down and the pedals dodge your groping fingers)

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Postby Mulger bill » Wed Jan 31, 2007 8:39 am

timbo wrote:Most people don't actually "fall off" if they can't unclip from the pedals in time. They tend to fall over while still staying attached to the bike. The only difference is they are now horizontal instead of vertical (and somewhat embarrassed).



And it always happens in front of a crowd too. :roll: Took me four or five "failures to dismount" to learn the technique. Having the cranks near vertical as you try to unclip seems to guarantee a red face.
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Postby MAD GREEK » Wed Jan 31, 2007 9:07 am

So basically your legs are always spinning??

Also what is the recommend Cadence RPM?
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Postby tuco » Wed Jan 31, 2007 9:14 am

MAD GREEK wrote:So basically your legs are always spinning??

Also what is the recommend Cadence RPM?


90 is generally the accepted cadence. There's a great discussion on cadence in the 'bike computer' thread on the second page starting about a quarter of the way down. http://bicycles.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1009&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=25

It'll be easier to point you there an reiterate it in this thread.
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Postby europa » Wed Jan 31, 2007 9:15 am

A fixed gear bike, such as a track bike and the few the nits like me use on the road, has no freewheel ability like all sensible bikes - while the wheels are turning the pedals are turning.

Any bike you buy in a shop though has a 'freewheel' at the back - that means that the rear wheel can spin without turning the pedals but when you turn the pedals, they drive the rear wheel. You can coast along without turning the pedals if you wish, which saves on the old legs.

However, when riding, it's good practice to keep pedalling, even when going down hill as this helps keep the blood flowing through your legs which helps clear out the lactic acid so, although you are using energy to turn the pedals, you tend to be less tired (especially after climbing a big hill).

Cadence? 90 is the accepted 'norm' but the right cadence depends on your fitness, your strength, your body (genetics), what you're doing, the riding conditions, etc. Generally, try to keep it above 80 - you'll find that spinning beyond 100 is only practical for short distances (too much like hard work).

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Postby tuco » Wed Jan 31, 2007 9:32 am

MAD GREEK wrote:So basically your legs are always spinning??

Also what is the recommend Cadence RPM?


As Richard says 90 is the accepted 'norm'. Personally I find it to slow. Mine is between 95 and 105.

Once you learn about cadence you'll look at those who don't know the secrets of good riding struggling along at 60 cadence, usually into a strong head wind and you'll think, "Stupid bastard!" and you'll be tempted to get off you bike and slap then stupid (or stupider) and tell them they have 20 something gears, use them!!!

I drove pass an old guy riding into a 30km/h head wind riding at about 25-30 cadence and he was a mountain bike with 80,000 gears on it!! I felt like running him down and putting him out of his misery. Silly old coot.

It may take a little getting use to pedaling faster but your body will love you when can do it. I used to pedal at 75 thinking I was doing the right thing. Now I know better and I can ride further and faster.
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Postby mikesbytes » Wed Jan 31, 2007 9:32 am

I run different cadiences at different points in the ride, so to change the stresses on my legs. I wouldn't get hung up about it.
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Postby Hotdog » Wed Jan 31, 2007 10:41 am

tuco wrote:Still haven't gone clipless and so far I haven't heard of a single person who has gone clipless not falling off at a set of lights.

Like Europa I'm another one of the exceptions that prove the rule. I went clipless mid last year, and haven't fallen over yet (though I did come close on my first ride).
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Clipless...

Postby MAD GREEK » Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:11 am

I had my first fall with my clipless this morning.
I was going down Hutt St in Adelaide, light turned red, I unclip, no problems. It when the lights turn green, I went to straighten up, but over pushed myself and fell on my opposite side....only two cars on the road at the time, but still felt like a real wank!!!
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Postby europa » Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:13 am

Ahh, life's great isn't it. Still, no damage done, not even too much to the pride by the sounds of it. You'll get there. I had the advantage of riding for years with toe clips (done up tight) and all I had to do was learn a totally different release system.

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