HOW TO ADJUST TO CLIPLESS PEDALS?
July 25, 2006
Back to questions
I recently put Crank Eggbeaters
on my 10-year-old Cannondale hybrid to get used to them
before my new Burley road bike (47 cm) comes in. I practiced
on grass and fell three times the first day out. Next time
I fell only once in the grass (unclipped left but leaned
right). I then rode around a parking lot, stopping and starting
with no incidents.
My husband and I then went for a
ride at a state parks 2.5-mile recreational trail
and I did fineuntil going up a hill, I switched gears
(probably too late) and my chain came off. Over and down
I went. Thank goodness for helmets! My head did a bounce
on the blacktop and I had a whopping headache. I now have
matching bruises from my three falls.
I have friends that will not use
these pedals due to fear of falling. (Well, it's a factyou
are gonna fall.) But I also see the advantage of using them
and I'd like to do a century ride some day. I actually PASSED
my husband on an UPHILL and we were in the same gear! That
has NEVER happened beforeit was definitely the shoes
Perhaps there is a better BEGINNER
pedal with easier out and tension adjustments that also
does not cost a fortune? The Eggbeaters were $50 and my
shoes $60. My husband would try the hand-me-downs if there
is something better for me.
We do weekend rides of up to 45
miles per day on hybrids currently. Thanks for your help.
P.S.: I am 47 years old and it is
not easy to learn something new where you KNOW you are going
to fall and get hurt, perhaps seriously.
Congratulations on reaching an age
at which you shun painful activity. Me, I got there at 19.
While your Eggbeater pedals dont
have tension adjusterstheir manufacturer blithely
claims that the spring tension is not what keeps you
from pulling out of the pedalmany clipless pedals
do. I dont recommend a particular pair (I avoid clipless),
but perhaps you wanna try some cheaper ones (such as the
products at the right) and work your way back to the Eggbeaters.
Or not. Almost everyone who switches
to clipless pedals goes thru what you haveso weve
lots of lessons about how to get used to them without hospitalization.
You did a smart thing practicing
on grass and then a parking lot. Unfortunately, that sort
of practice often doesnt teach you how to clip out
unexpectedly, as youve seen. So you might try a practice
that you dont completely control.
For example: Go ride around on grass,
as before. But have a partner on foot who yells, Left,
one, two. Your goal: By two, you should
have stopped and have your left foot unclipped and on the
ground. Have the partner unpredictably alternate left
and right, and speed up the count as you get
Another drill: Stand over your bike.
Clip in with one foot. Clip and unclip 30 or 40 times. Repeat
with the other foot. Repeat over several days. (A pedal
maker, not I, devised this torture.)
And dont stop wearing your