Going Clipless

by Angela Brown

Post written by Angela Brown

Last year I changed my pedals to clipless and I have never looked back. I enjoy the control and extra power that I get from being clipped in to my pedals. I have a friend of mine that changed just this year to clipless and is also finding the new pedals to be a big improvement over her standard bike pedal. She was asking for some pointers and to keep her in mind as she started off on this new endeavor.

As for my transition into the clipless world of mountain biking, I was changing from toe clips to clipless and had to retrain my brain on how to get out of the pedals. With toe clips, you pull your foot backward and the clipless is more of a side step motion, so my brain had a disadvantage to begin with. I also made the mistake of riding clipped in all the time and not gauging when I should be clipped in or when I should just pedal without being attached. I had to learn to predict my dismounts and not just stop and then worry about removing my feet. “Trust me,” this little detail led to several funny tumbles at 0-1 mph.

I was in my local bike shop a few times, and they offered to let me ride the rollers for as long as I needed to get the hang of it. Thanks guys, but I need to master this with as little of an audience as I can and in a busy bike shop was not my idea of private! Then one of the guys told me to remember “reverse Dorothy.” Instead of clicking my heels together, I needed to move them apart. I thought this was funny, and actually, it stuck in my brain, “could this be the key?”

My rides after that resulted in fewer mishaps, and I could actually tell that I was getting the hang of it. So after blaming the pedals for being the wrong ones, my clips on my shoes being in the wrong place, it was the mud, a rock was stuck… I finally decided that the pedals were fine, the shoes were fine, it was just my learning curve that needed to end. I can’t imagine riding any other way now. I always thought in the back of my head that people that used these types of pedals on mountain bike trails were just crazy, or they were just begging for a broken neck. Now I understand why they are so great, and why everyone that bikes should eventually move up to using them. You get more for your pedal stroke, and you can pull and push at the same time, which is tremendous when you are climbing or accelerating down a trail.

As for my friend and her new pedals, I think she is doing pretty good with them and already can tell a difference in her rides, so look into clipless pedals. You can get a good pair of Crank Bros. starting for around $35+ and they work like a dream.

5 comments

5 comments

Sultan al Nouaimy December 1, 2010 - 5:53 pm

Thanks Friend for posting such a nice post.

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Rod Y October 14, 2010 - 7:28 am

i’ve been riding those normal type of pedals for 11years now(Since i was 3 riding a two wheeler Xp) I got a proper mountain bike and thought of going clipless (14 years old now) but dun want to spend to much on the shoes and pedals what’s the cheapest out there?

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tornadoes28 June 20, 2008 - 11:43 am

Clipless is the way to go. I’ve been riding them for 14 years (damn that’s along time). I also remeber the slow speed tip overs and thinking there was something wrong with the pedals. But once I got the hang of it, I can never ride without them. Even in the most technical sections I stay in them as it is juts second nature to quicly get out if I need to.

tornadoes28s last blog post..Crazy Utsunomiya Man

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198 June 19, 2008 - 7:33 am

@Tomasz: It is getting to the point now, that I am considering running clipless for my freeride/dh duties. I can get out of them fast enough, it is the tech starts that get a little shaky.

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Tomasz June 19, 2008 - 7:30 am

It’s very common around here – everybody who tries clipless pedals and get through initial stage of learning how to take their foot out without crashing seems to come to the same conclusion – “there is no going back to any other form of attaching (or not) yourself to the bike” 🙂 I’m yet to hear any other comment.

Tomaszs last blog post..Chart freak

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