When to get clipless pedals (Read 1482 times)


    I recently took up biking to improve fitness. I've really been enjoying it and would eventually like to train up towards longer distances. Currently I ride 5 days a week, up to 20 miles a day and on a training schedule to work towards longer runs. I'm hoping to eventually work up towards a century. I've been considering investing in clipless pedals but not sure if it's worth the trouble learning the system at this point. Is there some distance or effort level when I should say "it's really time to get new pedals"? BTW, I'm currently riding a cheap mountain bike on paved roads. The bike isn't "century-worthy" but I figure I have time to worry about that later.
      With clipless pedals and cycling shoes you will loose much less energy through your feet and more importantly be able to pedal in a circular motion. I would recommend, before doing any big distances to start using either clipless pedals or toe clips so you can get into the habit of doing the full circular motion. If you already use toe clips/straps, I wouldn't worry much about clipless until you upgrade your bike or just before so you don't train on your new bike with clipless pedals. You can get the right pedaling technique with toe clips and as far as efficiency your mountain bike is what would be were you'd be losing the most. - R

        Once you go clipless you will not look back. If you know that you enjoy riding I would suggest you just go and grab pedals and shoes ASAP. I would suggest that you might want to look at the cheaper shimano SPD's - they are simple, robust and double sided. I use them on my road bikes and MTB's and have never really seen the point in going full roadie - I can walk in my shoes and its easier to commute on double sided.
          Just make sure youi practice stopping, unclipping and putting your foot down. I cant count the number of times I tried to just take my foot off and put it down and then fell at a traffic light. also, you need to practice clipping in because if you miss that, you can fall too. It doesnt hurt but can be embarassing. Big grin


            see the "1st crash with new bike" link in this forum

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            Wild Beast

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                The sooner the better.
                Agreed. I think they're safer/easier getting into/out of, unless you leave the straps SO loose as to be ineffective for pedal power, if you even have strap pedals. I fell/had more trouble with straps than w/ my first set of LOOKS, which was about 22 years ago.

                Running Dad

                  The sooner the better.
                  Soooo True.. I switched over after putting about 125 miles on my bike and have not regretted it ever. Crank Brothers make some nice pedals, what I have, like the egg beaters. 4 sided entry, some float and 2 release angles. You can't dial it in but if you really need that much precision then you already know the answer to your question. Pedals are also on of the easiest thing to move over to a new bike. Better to learn to fall on an old one.
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                    Agree that soon is good! I had a bit of a learning curve last September when I got mine. I was still not that confident at the beginning of the season this spring, either... but have gotten it pretty well figured out now. Be prepared to fall/tip over a few times when you are getting used to them. Everyone does it and it can be embarrassing, but you'll get the hang of it. Frankly, I was more pissed off about my new road bike getting scratched when I fell than I was about me getting banged up and scarred! Undecided To answer your original question... I don't think there is any "right" time that is a general rule. If you are thinking about them, you are probably "ready"!! Good luck!

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                      When I bought my first road bike, I also put on clipless pedals. Had never used them before and decided that if I was going to dive into triathlon that I might as well get it over with and learn how to ride clipless right away as well. Did I fall over? Yep. Was it as embarrassing as everyone says it is? Yep. Am I glad that I chose to go clipless right away? Absolutely! Do it now! You won't regret it!

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                        unsolicited chatter


                          Simple solution...get the clipless pedals, set the tension low and tape a note on the handlebars with big letters..."UNCLIP"...after a while it will be second nature to pull the brake lever and kick out your heel. Good luck Bob http://bobrunner.blogspot.com
                            I would agree with all above and say that as soon as possible. It makes a huge difference. Did I fall when I first got mine - absolutely. Was it embarrasing - yes, especially as I was stopping to let a large bunch of cyclists past me. One of them shouted that I could not call myself a cyclist until I had fallen 3 times. Well I can call myself a cyclist (but prefer to be called a runner).


                              Go clipless. Way better for hills and general use of all the energy your legs are putting out. Since you have a cheap bike now, I'd still say get the pedals, you can always have them taken off and put on a new bike should you get a new one.

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