You are hereForums / By Discipline / Mountain (off road) / MTB Gear / Clipless practice

Clipless practice

Rob's picture

By Rob - Posted on 26 June 2010

There are often questions about clipless pedals here. Yes, rather strangely named as these are the ones that you clip into as opposed to flats.

Anyhow, people often ask, "Are they hard to get used to?", and, "Will I fall off?".

Invariably the answers are: "Sometimes" and "Yes!"

Just wanted to share our experience this arvo with Pratiwi having her first attempt at clipless on the MTB. We went to a local park and cycled about 10 laps of a soccer field. The ground was damp so nice and soft. And lucky too, she was on the floor very soon Eye-wink

However, with a bit of practice things came good and given the soft surface not a drama.

Point is - this is certainly the place to try these things. Hope someone finds this advice useful.

P.S. I spent the time practising wheelie and track stand skills so not as dull as you'd think Smiling

Brian's picture

That was a good choice of venue. I mean, you wouldn't want to test a schmick new roady if you haven't clipped in before Eye-wink

Rob's picture

Ah... despite the little test, the schmick new roady has flats on at the moment. It's so very wrong, but hopefully it'll only get one ride like this.

Slowpup's picture

my 9 year old got CB's on his MTB this weekend. Being the caring Dad that I am, I sent him out to practice on the concrete.

Three stacks was all it took, and he is clipping and releasing like a ?pro?

The biggest concern he had was that he scratched his Smartys, and scuffed the new shoes in one stack. Also was the final hurdle to get him to learn to tie his own shoelaces.......

Rob's picture

Concrete? Soft!

<Yorkshire>When I were a lad... we learned to ride on rail tracks and motorways!</Yorkshire>


homerj's picture

motorways! Bloody luxury. Our father would lay tacs all over the ground and then throw tools at us. Sid it were good for our concentration and his darts arm.

muvro's picture


Rob's picture

<Yorkshire>Tools? Looooookshirey... when I were a lad we had t' dig in slag 'eap baar wurks fur pieces ot scrap... then bang 'em t'gether 'til they luke'd like 'ammer 'n screwdriver 'n such...</Yorkshire>

... one of my cousins might have gone on like this for some when I was younger... don't get me started on t' cardboard box we used to live in! Eye-wink

Jonathan's picture

Ive only recently started clipping in and i found i can clip in and out perfectly on the road and oval and whatever but off road is a completely different story...On a really technical piece of trail i found i stacked (not because of my pedals, but because there was an off camber wet and slippery rock) but the amount of distance it took me to clip back in was too much (over 1m) which completely thru my flow off and i wasn't gonna risk myself clipping in whilst going over a 3/4m rolloff/drop Sticking out tongue

So honestly im contemplating getting rid of them and getting massive flat pedals instead. And to be honest i haven't noticed the bike being any easier to ride with clip ins.

Just my 2 cents worth as a noob to clip ins.

hawkeye's picture

... young padawan.

You can still pedal without your clips being clipped in to the clipless pedals, and then clip in later.

I do this quite often on the trail, especially if I've had to stop on technical sections becasue I've gotten off line or the guy in front has stalled. Eventually the clip engages with the pedal - just keep pedalling.

Some mates of mine rode well known 3-4m vertical rolloff at Ourimbah called The Drop Zone a couple of weekends ago, and both remarked they were only clipped in on one pedal when they went over the lip.

Yes, you can get off and on again more easily with flats, but the fact that most XC racers use clips should be a clue that there is an advantage to their use. Steve Peat, World DH champ also uses clipless (ie, clip-in) pedals. His also have a platform around them.

It took me quite a while to get comfortable - you have a big head start on me with bike skills compared to where I was at when I started with clip-in pedals. Your pedalling style will need time to adapt to make the most of being clipped in - but it will come. Hang in there.

Noel's picture

I sure find the SPD ones easier than I found the CB's as I can adjust them loose to make it even easier to get in and out. The SPD's have about 20 "clicks" of adjustment. SPD's without the platform also sit nice between the two ' rails' on the sole when unclipped. I'm riding tricky bits mostly un-clipped and then as I get my confidence back (in time) I'm staying clipped in more and more. I gave up on the CB Candy C's (sold em) but these Shimano XTR ones are awesome.

Buzzy's picture

Persevere with it.
When I started using a clipless setup I wasnt overly keen to keep going either.
However I did and have not looked back since. I couldnt ride not clipped in it!

Scottboy's picture

took a while to get confidence , won't look back now but am a fan of the crankbrothers with a little platform around them , I have them on hybrid & mountainbike now

Jonathan's picture

there easy enough when i've got them on the loosest setting but ive got the double sided ones which are flat on one side, i find there very slippery when not clipped in.

hawkeye's picture

... yes, the single sided ones are a pain. I remember the ones you had on the last ride: one side SPD, one side flat pedal.

My thoughts on those are ... they are the worst of both worlds. Talk about an idea that's good in theory but sucks in reality, you've found it. LOL! Sticking out tongue

I had a set and hated them - and that was when I was commuting before I started riding trails. I was always having to look down to see which side was up. That's perhaps OK when on the road and the surface is predictable, but something of a disaster waiting to happen on techo trail sections. As you've found. Sad

Ditch 'em. Get the ones with SPDs on both sides. I believe Torpedo 7 has a special on Shimano M540's as I write this - $60? Very good deal.

If you want the option of riding them with just plain shoes, get the Downhill ones with a platform around the double-sided SPD pedal, like jacojoco has.

Jonathan's picture

Maybe ill chuck em on the classifieds section. Only problem is how do i get them off Sticking out tongue

hawkeye's picture

With a pedal wrench.

I hope you greased the threads before inserting? They don't need to be done up tight.

Jonathan's picture

They were installed professionally

Scottboy's picture

either by a 15mm open spanner or a Allen key 6mm I think you meed to be able to these sorts of thing Jonathon,it is a part of bike maintenance

Jonathan's picture

im slowly becoming more and more independent with bike maintenance, just need that little bit of help getting there. btw i went for a ride of cascades today and stacked it twice trying to clip out Sad

hawkeye's picture

We've all been there. Shall I bring my elbow pads tomorrow?

Jonathan's picture

lol! Im good thanks

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Best Mountain Bike