Getting Used to Clipless Pedals on the Bike
I have done a few triathlons— including a half ironman, but still can't get used to the clipless pedals on my bike.
Do any triathletes out there have any suggestions on ways to get comfortable being clipped in to the bike with the clipless pedals? Help!
Have you ever tried Speedplay pedals. If not then try to borrow a set and try those. I am not a fan of clipless pedals but have never looked back since switching to Speedplay. They center easily and I can get out of them much quicker than any Shimano or Look pedal.
I love clipless pedals. They keep my feet on the pedals on rough terrain, are light, and they transfer power much better. That said, if yours bother you they may not be adjusted correctly or you should look at a different type. This is something that a good bike store staffer can usually help you with. Many will let you borrow or return pedals that don't work for you, but it's best if you let them help adjust them.
I actually do have the Speedplay pedals on my bike (I've used them once)! They aren't necessarily uncomfortable, I am just afraid I won't be able or remember to clip out and I'll topple over!
The folks at my local bike shop suggested using a trainer to practice clipping in and out.
My pedals have different tensions on them so I started with the easiest release position with mine. That might help but honestly I think many people fall at least once! I forgot that I was clipped in once...won't make that mistake again!
Have you tried riding around in the grass clipping in and unclipping? That can help you practice at slower speeds with a softer landing.
@Jake-M I have not, but I like that idea! Thanks so much.
*I actually do have the Speedplay pedals on my bike (I've used them once)! They aren't necessarily uncomfortable, I am just afraid I won't be able or remember to clip out and I'll topple over!
The folks at my local bike shop suggested using a trainer to practice clipping in and out.*
Or just get out there and ride your bike a lot. As someone who is primarily a cyclist, I can say it's really just a matter of getting used to clipping in and out of the pedals. It becomes second nature after a while.
I agree with the other posts, you just need to get out there and ride. At certain points along the way (not at stop signs or at traffic lights) clip out first, then slow your bike to a stop, start up again and try to clip in. Do each foot to see which side you are more comfortable with. And if you fall over...well, hey, we've all done that so don't be embarrassed. Good Luck.
I agree with the other posts as well. Need to get out and ride with the clip-less pedals and practice,practice, practice. Personally, I switched to Speedplays many years ago and I wont go back (to clip-less).
The Speedplays do take some time getting use to because the "locking mechanism" is in the cleat itself (not on the pedals) and instead of toe first-heel engagement (with clip-less), you step straight down (with foot in a horizontal position).
Thanks so much for all of the great advice.
Looks like I really just need to get out on the road and ride :-)
The feeling of being attached can seem a little scary at first. Practice in an obstacle and traffic free area, and not in a peloton. While riding, detach one foot and continue to pedal with the attached foot. Then re-connect and do the alternate foot. Do this until the operations are really comfortable and easy. Be sure that the pedals and your footwear are clean and properly lubricated.
The important matter while riding is to anticipate the need for a free foot. There are times when this doesn't happen. I usually dump over about once a year. I do wear gloves with wrist support for protection.