CTC Forum - On the road

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Updated: 18 min 7 sec ago

Re: Please help!

25 June 2015 - 7:49am
I ride with clipless pedals and my wife rides with plain pedals with mini toe clips (the ones without straps). We can both ride long distances at a good pace, so pedal type should not be a cause of stress. If worries about clipless pedals are getting in the way of your enjoyment, switch.

Get a bike mechanic to look at ways of lowering your gears for the hills.

And you will get stronger, faster and more confident over time. You are still a newbie and your body has only just begun to adapt.

Re: Please help!

24 June 2015 - 11:04pm
I can appreciate the feeling as I got/have it a bit using toe-clips. When I started with them I did fall off a couple of times through just forgetting to slide my feet out e.g. stopped in front of house gate, bike stationary and then just fell to ground as I could not get my feet away from pedals - as I'd forgotten I had to slide them back.

I have got more used to them over the last year but I do still think about removing them. When I approach some hazard (or traffic) I tend to slip one foot out "just in case".

I suspect everybody is different. It's taking me a long time with toe-clips (1 year+). Others probably love them 1st ride.


Re: Please help!

24 June 2015 - 10:57pm
eileithyia wrote:You can clip in ok ..Success.

You can unclip ok .... even better success!!!! You've mastered it.
I'd dispute that. It's a bit like saying, because you know how to change gear, you've mastered driving a car. I mean no disrespect to the OP, but he/she has to be confident about every situation involving clip-in pedals. For some people it takes years. Others, only a day or two. The same is true of toe clips/straps, true - and I have had that experience, though in nearly 60 years of cycling I can recall only one 'off' that I'd definitely put down to toe straps. And that was years after first using them.

We just need to let the OP follow their own path.

Re: Please help!

24 June 2015 - 10:27pm
You have just answered what would have been my first question, and something no one has actually asked, what are the specific issues.

You can clip in ok ..Success.

You can unclip ok .... even better success!!!! You've mastered it.

Unclip quickly when you suddenly have to.... to be honest until you do it you will not appreciate just how easy and automatic it becomes without even thinking about it.
Trust me I learnt to clip and unclip in a fairly hefty stop n start commute situation, and you learn very quickly. I have had a few offs with different types of clip in pedals, and i know the bike and i become detached... and never even think about it these days.... I have been in situations with toe straps where i felt less in control.

But ultimately you have to go with what you feel happiest with, but remember you learnt to ride a bike, what is more scary than balancing on 2 ultra thin wheels.... and you do not give that second thought when you are out.

Can't help with the ride, maybe you are just expecting too much too soon? But i would suggest you reconsider whether or not you have low enough gears.

Re: Please help!

24 June 2015 - 10:12pm
Then it is just a matter of confidence. If you can clip in and out ok the 'problem' is in your head. This isn't a crticism by the way. Can you not find a quiet road and practice clipping in and out, then trying to stop and clip out. It really does become second nature quite quickly & I'm a clumsy git at the best of times. (Or is the problem that it makes you feel unstable as you are riding? That would be an odd one). You don't actually need them by the way, but they do make you a bit more efficient.

Please help!

24 June 2015 - 9:58pm
Thank you for your advice, I think i will. I just want to feel safe and comfortable on my bike, which is the complete opposite of how I feel at the moment!

I'm perfectly fine clipping in and out. I just feel unstable when I am clipped in. Particularly around traffic etc. I panic at the thought of it and I don't feel like I could stop suddenly if I needed to.

Re: Please help!

24 June 2015 - 9:56pm
rachashaw wrote:Should I ditch the clipless pedals?Stepping into a minefield here! Adherents of clip-in pedals (wrongly called 'clipless') are usually ready to go to war against those - such as myself - who still obstinately stick to the older flat pedals with (or without) toe-clips. I advise you to follow torquerulesok's advice - go to flat pedals, then phase in toe-clips, then clip-ins if and only if you feel you're ready. Don't let anyone tell you what you 'ought' to be riding. It's your choice. My opinion is, racing apart, clip-ins convey little advantage.

Should I drop out of the event?
There's no point in going in for an event if you feel you'll under-perform and embarrass yourself. So my answer to that would be 'yes'. If you're new to road cycling, go out on your own (if you feel comfortable with that) or with friends in a non-competitive atmosphere. Cycling is meant to be enjoyed. Sweating it out is the next phase!

Hope this helps.

Re: The People you Meet

24 June 2015 - 9:48pm
One person I always remember was an 84 year old cyclist who I met in Wensleydale on a ride from Lancaster to Leyburn on a very hot summer's day.

He had a superb old bike from the 40s 0r 50s and he was lean, fit and looked much younger than 84.

That was in 1984, so he's probably not cycling mow.

Re: Please help!

24 June 2015 - 9:36pm
You've got to work with what you feel comfortable with. My other half could never get on with SPDs despite my best efforts at explaining how I use them and how I benefit from them; she gave up on them years ago and is happy without.

I love them. On my workhorse bike I had a pair of pair of dual pedals fitted - SPDs on one side, plain pedal on the other - after several years I realised I had never used the flat pedal, the momentary inconvenience of changing shoes being well worth the benefit of the SPDs. I swapped those pedals to two-sided SPD.

I've kept ordinary flat pedals on my Brompton because I want to be able to wear ordinary shoes but I feel nervous on it, I miss the security of being clipped-in. I'm actually considering putting SPDs on the Brompton too.

I do remember the shop who originally sold me my first pair telling me I would fall over twice when learning to use them. They were right. But that was yonks ago and I haven't fallen since.

You don't mention if you've fallen. What exactly can't you get on with? Is it the action of clipping-in? Is it fear of not being able to clip-out? Are they awkward to clip-in and clip-out?

You can adjust the spring tension. I would recommend winding the tension down to the lowest and lubricate them well; you'll find this will allow you to clip-in and out with ease.

Re: Please help!

24 June 2015 - 9:22pm
Why not take this on in stages?

1. Go back to flat pedal without toe clips?
2. Once you're confident with those, add toe clips ( without straps)
3. Once you're comfortable with that setup, add toe straps ( don't tighten the at first
4. When that works for you, swap for SPDs. Shimano M520 pedals are great and available on line for £16 a pair. Practice first on a deserted parking lot!
5. SPD-SL pedals (road clip less pedals) offer few functional advantages over MTB SLs, but the cleats are a BIG pain to walk in and clipping in is definitely more difficult because they are single-sided wheel SPDs are double sided.

My advice would be options 1 or 2 for your big ride. Better safe than sorry.

Good luck!

Re: Please help!

24 June 2015 - 9:14pm
I ride in running shoes and flat pedals. Used clipless for a while and decided they were pointless and did nothing for (my then) 30 mile commute.

If you don't like them don't wear them, don't be bullied into thinking there's something wrong with you.

Re: The People you Meet

24 June 2015 - 8:59pm
Yes, but I'd already done 40odd (hilly) miles and he'd only nipped out during his lunch hour.
He lives in Boscastle and was only about 6miles into his ride.

I was just pootling along without a care in the world and enjoying the June sunshine.

Re: The People you Meet

24 June 2015 - 8:00pm
And he caught you up did he....

Re: Not even an 'are' you OK!

24 June 2015 - 7:35pm
Stradageek wrote:Thanks for your reply TonyR, it cheered my wife up no end.


Thankfully she came home with the Josie Dew, 'Wind in my Wheels' attitude, "I'm not letting one stupid man stop me cycling!"

There's many more than one out there trying.

Re: Please help!

24 June 2015 - 6:53pm
The fault may be in your equipment. I had some clipless pedals that wouldnt let me out unless they were well oiled. Shimano SPD (MTB style) come apart without even thinking about it (they sometimes re-connect just as easily).

Re: Please help!

24 June 2015 - 6:49pm
1/ My advice is to persevere with the pedals. It might be useful to understand that you can't just fit them in the hope they will be okay - the cleats need adjusting correctly. Correct adjustment makes for easier pedalling, and sometimes poor adjustment can cause problems when engaging/disengaging. Did they come with instructions?

2/ You might benefit from lower gears. They can help you ride up hills.

Please help!

24 June 2015 - 6:32pm
I have just got into road cycling. I have a trek lexa and I love it but I have just started experiencing issues and need some advice.

I have been trying out clipless pedals for about two months now and I can NOT get on with them. I feel so vulnerable, like a child that's just had their stabilisers removed! They have done nothing but knock my confidence. This is a huge issue and leads on to my next point...

I have signed up for Ride London at the start of August and I am nowhere near ready. I tried to cycle up a huge hill near me which I believe to be similar to the hills in Ride London, couldn't make it. Physically, I am fit (I think). I'm a very sporty person and have transitioned from running to cycling.

I am looking for advise really. Should I ditch the clipless pedals? Should I drop out of the event? If I ditch the pedals do I have even less chance of being able to complete it? I just hate them, I dread them for my commute to work and I dread them for my long rides. I have fallen off a lot since having them on and I am more scared of cycling on the road than I was before.

Please help!

The People you Meet

24 June 2015 - 6:00pm
The other day, I met a chap in Bridestowe Devon, and he had a wonderful Rolls Royce Silver Ghost. I was enthralled by it and he chatted for ages about its history and how he had spent a small fortune in restoring it. For most of its life, it was owned by a maharajah in India, and then came to France where it languished in a barn for decades.
http://vandpcars.smugmug.com/Cars/1920- ... ver-Ghost/

Today, I met a doctor. Not just any doctor. He caught me up on the A39 north of Camelford and rode with me a while over Davidstow Moor airfield. We got chatting.
His name is Chris Jarvis.
http://www.uci.ch/inside-uci/organisati ... ommission/

Re: Why do Daily Wail Readers Hate Cyclists?

24 June 2015 - 5:52pm
To play Devil's advocate, that is a bit of an oversimplification. Sure, there are plenty of Daily Mail readers who are likely full of contempt for the "other" just because they are other, but are they not at least somewhat of a (over)reaction to the politically correct Guardian readers and columnists who seem to say (if not necessarily overtly) that you can never criticise immigrants, brown people, women et al for to do so would be, de facto, racist, sexist, bigoted and so on. Many would sooner lynch their first born son, than criticise someone from what they consider a victimised group.

Just look at the recent Sir Tim Hunt situation for an example of relatively timid criticism, now known to be part of a longer joke that didn't go fully reported, which has caused all kinds of trouble for the man because he criticised the wrong group of people and expressed unfashionable opinions (even though only part of an ironic joke). This kind of furious censorial attitude I find no less distasteful than the fury exhibited by the Daily Mail readership. I suppose at least with the Daily Mail lot, you know where you stand; with the politically correct social engineers, the whole point seems to be you never quite know when you have said something verboten, for the goal posts are always moving. One who doesn't purvey forever changing, socially acceptable ideas in the right way is labelled a bigot and summarily torn to shreds, purely through their ignorance of the latest fashions, rather than through any real malice on their part.

Re: Not even an 'are' you OK!

24 June 2015 - 5:41pm
Thanks for your reply TonyR, it cheered my wife up no end.

Thankfully she came home with the Josie Dew, 'Wind in my Wheels' attitude, "I'm not letting one stupid man stop me cycling!"




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