Author Topic: 25 years on....  (Read 1702 times)

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Offline Big Al

25 years on....
« on: April 11, 2010, 06:00:11 pm »
I have bought my first bike for 25 years. I used to cycle everywhere in my youth, but have been driving ever since. I bought a Dawes Ultra Galaxy touring bike and it's my intention to put in some serious miles to try to regain some measure of fitness.

One thing I thought might be a problem was SPD pedals, which I have never met before. I have read all kinds of posts about how you will fall off, and how you must practice clipping in and unclipping for hours, over and over again...

Well, I loosened the pedals off a bit (not all the way), practiced twice and set off down the road. I did an emergency stop, and several others and had absolutely no problem unclipping at any time, or clipping back in.

They are great! I can't believe how secure I feel clipped into the pedals and how the abilty to pull the pedal up adds to the speed and smoothness of the ride.

I think I'm going to enjoy this!

Offline alfonso

Re: 25 years on....
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2010, 07:23:44 pm »
I think you're going to enjoy it too, Big Al.

I agree with you about the SPD pedals. I ride with them set as loose as possible - as a commuter, it's a good idea to be able to get off the pedals at very short notice. I've had only one fall attributable to the pedals in several years of riding with them.

Shimano sell pedals that allow you to use ordinary shoes on one side and cycling shoes on the other. I'm thinking of them for my next bike.

Offline whittierider

Re: 25 years on....
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2010, 09:15:36 pm »
You'll never go back.  Before clipless, I used cycling shoes and toe clips and straps, but for good performance, they were never tight enough unless they hurt, then of course to get out, you had to reach down and bump the buckle toward the outside.  I learned to track-stand, even no-hands, so that in traffic I virtually never had to put a foot down at stops.  Still, the fear of falling with the clipless pedals was so great so as never to leave me long enough to forget and fall, so I never did.  Now years later of course it's second-nature (although I still don't unclip at traffic lights).  We trackstand on the tandem too, but it's harder.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: 25 years on....
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2010, 09:56:50 pm »
And for more smoothness and power, think about ankle rotation so that you are pedalling in a circle motion.  On the bottom of the stroke, the motion is like scraping mud off the bottom of your shoes on a welcome mat at the door.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline MIBIKER

Re: 25 years on....
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2010, 10:56:18 pm »
When I am coming to a stop light, a stop sign,  or loose gravel, I unclip one of the pedals so I can put a foot down quickly.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: 25 years on....
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2010, 11:59:29 pm »
That, too, will be automatic soon.  Once, I did that with my right foot, as usual, and was hit by a gust of wind that blew me over the other way and I fell almost against a pickup truck that was also waiting there for a red light.  Embarrassing.  That was in Sausalito, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge near San Francisco.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline rvklassen

Re: 25 years on....
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2010, 01:12:04 pm »
One thing I thought might be a problem was SPD pedals, which I have never met before. I have read all kinds of posts about how you will fall off, and how you must practice clipping in and unclipping for hours, over and over again...
Practicing clipping in and out for hours is neither necessary nor necessarily useful.  The time that you will fall off is when you forget to unclip until the bike is at or near a stand-still.  Been there.  Done that.  Probably at least twice.  So far never as captain on the tandem.  With luck, you can avoid having this happen at an intersection, where others see you.  But perhaps you are less easily distracted.

Offline jimbo

Re: 25 years on....
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2010, 10:40:57 pm »
Good question...my learning curve took several months and two falls. It happens when you least expect it. ( Which is why it happens maybe)