General Discussion Triathlon Talk » clipless pedals : how long to expect to "get it" Rss Feed  
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clipless pedals : how long to expect to "get it"
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1 month1 Votes - [1.3%]
2 weeks1 Votes - [1.3%]
1 week1 Votes - [1.3%]
3 days24 Votes - [31.17%]
I got it immediately48 Votes - [62.34%]
over 1 month2 Votes - [2.6%]

2013-03-08 9:01 AM

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Subject: clipless pedals : how long to expect to "get it"
How long did it take you to remember to unclip as if it were automatic second nature, and you stopped falling over? My newbie friend is dragging her feet buying her pedals and her first ever sprint is on April 21st. Her biking skills are already very weak and I'm worried she won't have enough time to practice, or worse yet is she skins her elbows she will lose valuable swim time and have to race that way.


2013-03-08 9:06 AM
in reply to: #4651602

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Subject: RE: clipless pedals : how long to expect to "get it"

It depends.

Go to a parking lot and practice stopping/starting.  Every 20 feet stop and then start up again.

If you do that, I suspect you could "get it" in an hour or less.

2013-03-08 9:19 AM
in reply to: #4651602

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Subject: RE: clipless pedals : how long to expect to "get it"

I would think you would "get it" when you got tired of falling on the ground.  However....my fiance is also, how should I say, not so great on the bike.  If she were to want to go clipless, I too would be aprehensive for her.

I guess if your friend wants them, no harm in buying them and if she doesn't feel comfortable, just put the old pedals back on the bike. 

2013-03-08 9:26 AM
in reply to: #4651602

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Subject: RE: clipless pedals : how long to expect to "get it"
^---- this.  It finally sunk in when I fell at a busy intersection.
2013-03-08 9:34 AM
in reply to: #4651602

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Subject: RE: clipless pedals : how long to expect to "get it"

I voted for 3 days.  However, since this is her first sprint, if she is really nervous about it, I'd say go without clipping in.  Lots of other things to think/worry about in a first race, and it's pretty easy to get stressed at the mount line anyway.  She will likely come out of this first race feeling more confident overall, then adding clipping in/out for the next one might seem like less of a big deal.

2013-03-08 9:45 AM
in reply to: #4651602

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Subject: RE: clipless pedals : how long to expect to "get it"
If she is totally new to riding I would pass on them for now. I'd suggest just riding in running shoes with toe clips really loose or maybe no clips at all.


2013-03-08 9:54 AM
in reply to: #4651724

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Subject: RE: clipless pedals : how long to expect to "get it"

indianhillsted - 2013-03-08 7:45 AM If she is totally new to riding I would pass on them for now. I'd suggest just riding in running shoes with toe clips really loose or maybe no clips at all.

This.  It only takes a day or two to get used to clipless pedals, but thats after you're already fairly confident riding the bike without them.  If your first race is just around the corner its probably better to just stick with the flats for now.

2013-03-08 10:22 AM
in reply to: #4651602

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Subject: RE: clipless pedals : how long to expect to "get it"
I didn't clip in at all last year, got my shoes over the off season, and I feel like I made up time in T1 because all I did was grab my helmet and bike and get outta there!

If I were her, I would practice clipping in but race with the pedals til everything else about race day become second nature.

Patti in NJ
2013-03-08 10:57 AM
in reply to: #4651602


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Subject: RE: clipless pedals : how long to expect to "get it"

The only way to get comfortable is practice practice practice.  When I first used clips, I could clip in and out pretty easy.  My problem was remembering to clip out when I came to a stop!!!  A few of those falls and I didn't forget anymore. 

My first couple of sprints I didn't use clips.  I had enough anxiety about everything else.  And I wasn't trying for a podium finish, so it didn't matter.  I'd suggest she practice with clips, but plan pedals for her first tri.

2013-03-08 11:27 AM
in reply to: #4651602

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Subject: RE: clipless pedals : how long to expect to "get it"

You gotta break that question down more:

How long did it take you to remember to unclip - immediately

As if it were automatic second nature - months

And you stopped falling over - years

2013-03-08 11:44 AM
in reply to: #4651602

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Subject: RE: clipless pedals : how long to expect to "get it"
I was obsessed with fear when I started clipping in, so I never went through the phase when I forgtot at intersections.  However, it took a few tries to get the motion to be smooth and fast.  I did fall over a couple times because I was pulling instead of twisting out.  If she has more than a month, I don't see why she shouldn't get used to them.  I did the MS150 just a couple weeks after I started clipping in.


2013-03-08 11:46 AM
in reply to: #4651937

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Subject: RE: clipless pedals : how long to expect to "get it"

My GF just said; 2 weeks for her

1984 (first Look clipless pedals) has been way to many years ago for me to remember how long it took me to "get it" Smile

2013-03-08 3:10 PM
in reply to: #4651602

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Subject: RE: clipless pedals : how long to expect to "get it"

I think your friend should become a better biker before they worry about new pedals.  Clipless are easy once you are very comfortable on a bike.  Shouldn't take more than an hour in a parking lot like was mentioned above. 

Just let them enjoy their first sprint.

2013-03-08 10:24 PM
in reply to: #4651602

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Subject: RE: clipless pedals : how long to expect to "get it"

Have your friend get better at riding a road bike first, then do a lot of "rehearsal" unclipping with regular shoes when going on normal rides (where before coming to a shop, you twist one foot out and have it ready for touch down), then get her clipless gear and practice in an empty parking lot.  THEN take it to the road.

Also, just because you "get" it does not mean you're not going to eat it once in awhile.  Usually happens most when you zone out coming to a stop. XD

I don't think the "time saved" is worth it right now for a sprint when considering her weak cycling skills and and real possibly she'd fall and tweak a wrist or a knee six week out from her race.  Take time to get better, then, after the race, when she's feeling better with cycling skills, go for the above.



Edited by ayabrea 2013-03-08 10:29 PM
2013-03-08 11:09 PM
in reply to: #4651602

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Subject: RE: clipless pedals : how long to expect to "get it"

Getting is still giving me a hard time on roadbike pedals.

On mountainbike pedals I am al good.

2013-03-08 11:13 PM
in reply to: #4651602

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Subject: RE: clipless pedals : how long to expect to "get it"
More than enough time.

I'd go for mountain shoes and SPD pedals, very easy to clip into, cheap, and the shoes are easier to walk in for a beginner.

The difference will be substantial, and there is WAY more than enough time to get used to it!!


2013-03-08 11:13 PM
in reply to: #4651602

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Subject: RE: clipless pedals : how long to expect to "get it"
More than enough time.

I'd go for mountain shoes and SPD pedals, very easy to clip into, cheap, and the shoes are easier to walk in for a beginner.

The difference will be substantial, and there is WAY more than enough time to get used to it!!
2013-03-08 11:14 PM
in reply to: #4651644

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Subject: RE: clipless pedals : how long to expect to "get it"
herkimer81 - 2013-03-09 2:19 AM

I would think you would "get it" when you got tired of falling on the ground.  However....my fiance is also, how should I say, not so great on the bike.  If she were to want to go clipless, I too would be aprehensive for her.

I guess if your friend wants them, no harm in buying them and if she doesn't feel comfortable, just put the old pedals back on the bike. 

and this is me.  I in fact got so sick of my 'fear of not being able to unclip' I've gone back to my sneakers!  I will be the only IM competitor in sneakers.  I do not care.  I am tempted to get a basket put on the front of my bike, and carry a picnic cloth and a bottle of wine in it!



Edited by jobaxas 2013-03-08 11:15 PM
2013-03-08 11:15 PM
in reply to: #4651602

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Subject: RE: clipless pedals : how long to expect to "get it"
FYI, after 10 years off of a bike, and never having used clipless pedals, I bought a tri bike and clipless pedals.

Took about 10 minutes of messing around, and 2 or 3 intersection stop falls.

2013-03-09 7:56 AM
in reply to: #4651602

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Subject: RE: clipless pedals : how long to expect to "get it"

I voted for 3 days... but man did those 3 days suck.

I agree with the others, if she's not a confident/ skillful biker already, don't bother adding clipless into the mix.  

2013-03-09 8:25 AM
in reply to: #4652859

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Subject: RE: clipless pedals : how long to expect to "get it"

dfquigley - 2013-03-08 11:15 PM FYI, after 10 years off of a bike, and never having used clipless pedals, I bought a tri bike and clipless pedals.

Took about 10 minutes of messing around, and 2 or 3 intersection stop falls.

 

My exact experience. 



2013-03-10 12:45 AM
in reply to: #4651602

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Subject: RE: clipless pedals : how long to expect to "get it"

I would agree with some of the previous responses.  Your friend will be more relaxed if she doesn't have the pressure of being "clipped in".  I did my first sprint tri on a regular 'ol hybrid bike...had a blast

There is a difference between "get it" and second nature.  I got my road bike in October with clipless pedals.  I only ride on designated bike paths because I am so uncertain about being clipped in (although I have successfully completed a couple of bike events).  I feel anxious on the road with cars, so I don't ride on the streets...I can still fumble around starting and stopping and heaven forbid, something unexpected "jumps out at me"....ie: oblivious people walking across the path in front of me, or kids on bikes, swerving into my lane, loose dogs...I still do not have that automatic reaction where I could make a sudden decision to unclip and not loose my balance.  I guess that comes with experience....apparently, I need more ;-)



Edited by westsider 2013-03-10 12:50 AM
2013-03-10 9:06 AM
in reply to: #4651602


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Subject: RE: clipless pedals : how long to expect to "get it"

One option for her could be bmx style pin platform pedals.

She can ride in her running shoes and get grip from the pins. Not as much grip as clipless pedals, but some. As an added bonus, she's already wearing her running shoes when she gets to T2.

Some people run a stiff toe strap diagonally through the pedal and over the foot for extra grip.

My personal favorite for clipless pedals is the Look Keo. I rode to work for 6 years with SPDs and never found them easy to get into.



Edited by Seabeast 2013-03-10 9:07 AM
2013-03-10 3:38 PM
in reply to: #4651602

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Subject: RE: clipless pedals : how long to expect to "get it"

This poll is timely for me as I just went clipless.  I went out to practice clipping in and out yeterday for the first time.  Got my left foot clipped in and promptly fell over.  Tongue out   Got up with a bloody knee and tried again.  It went pretty well after that.  Today I will take my bike out on a mup for a short ride.  I am not ready to venture out into traffic yet.  Lol  I am really hoping to be able to add my vote here real soon after I get the hang of things. Sealed

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