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Thread: Bike Fit and Clipless Pedals

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkel View Post
    Years ago when I bought a bike from Freshbikes, the purchase included a basic fit, and all I had to do was schedule it. That may not be their policy now, but if you aren't sure, it can't hurt to ask.
    Here's the Freshbikes Bike Fitting Page:
    http://www.freshbikescycling.com/page.cfm?pageid=65

    New Bike Fit Adjustment is free for bikes bought there. I haven't bought a bike there so I'm not sure exactly what they do. A for reals bike fit is discounted if you bought the bike from Freshbikes. The reviews of Clovis are all overwhelmingly positive.
    Last edited by Judd; 06-28-2017 at 09:43 PM.

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  3. #12
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    I know you asked about clipless pedals, but I'll throw out another option (as I often do ): platform pedals with pins. Platform pedals are flat like the one you have now, with no cleat holding mechanism. They're usually wider and longer, and have pins/screws/spikes that stick out a few millimeters to dig into the bottom of your shoes and hold your feet in place.

    PROS
    • No learning curve, just step on them and go. With clipless, it will take a while and a few inevitable falls before you master the in/out technique.
    • The pins allow a much better hold on your foot than (smooth) flat pedals.
    • Your feet aren't locked into the platform pedal like clipless, so you just have to lift your feet a few millimeters (to clear the pins), then it is free to stop the rest of your body from crashing into Earth.
    • Although I would recommend non-clipless cycling shoes (stickier rubber and firmer midsole), you can use normal shoes or sneakers. Special cycling shoes with cleat pockets are unnecessary.
    • You can place your foot easily anywhere on the pedal. With clipless, once you position and lock in your cleat on your shoe, that is the one position where it will stay (until you undo and redo it). THat said, most clipless pedals will give you float (rotation around the cleat's axis).
    • Funky colors are often available.


    CONS
    • You can't pull your foot straight up and expect the pedal to follow. There's a pedaling technique where you angle your feet and press down and back that you can use to help pull the pedal up, but clipless allows you to pull up the pedals more strongly.
    • Chance of poking/scratching your shin or calf with the pointy pins if your foot happens to slip or you are standing over the bike and not paying attention.
    • Wider platform of the pedal body has a higher chance of striking the ground when leaning over and pedaling.
    • Nice platform pedals can be more expensive than clipless pedals.


    There are a lot of articles that discuss platform pedals. Here're a few:
    http://www.bikepacking.com/gear/flat...g-bikepacking/
    http://enduro-mtb.com/en/flat-pedal-group-test/

    Oh yeah, I'm primarily a mountain biker, but I've used platform pedals on all my bikes (mountain, road, townie, fixie) with no issues. All that said, if I want to go fast or ride extra bumpy stuff, I'll use clipless because I like the locked in feeling. The main reason I like platforms is because I don't need special shoes for them.

  4. #13
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    +1 for flat pedals with pins

    I tried SPD clipless on my new bike after a couple years of commuting because I believed the marginal gains hype and I started wanting to go on more 50+ mile weekend rides and was told they would be necessary. Got myself into a few pretty dangerous falling-over-in-an-emergency cause I couldn't get the foot out in time type situations. And like Drevil I too dislike having to suffer that gear collection creep the SPDs induced. I ended up removing them and putting bennies on my hybrid commuter and they work great, even for century rides, no problems.

    That being said on my new-new bike, I'm riding some dual use platform/clipless made by MSW and have no complaints about em and switching between street shoes when I'm tooling around and clipless when I wanna go full roadie works well.

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  6. #14
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    I love MTB SPDs. My totally skientific experiments (compared using the flip-flop platform/SPD pedals Crikey mentions) prove to me that I get a 1 to 2 mph boost on the flats, and a lower mph boost but probably higher percentage on climbs when you can really pull through on the upstroke. No bias in that at all, no.

    I had a few falls in the city learning, some of which were embarrassing, if you care about that sort of thing. Once I fell over at a light and couldn't get unclipped while lying on the ground and had to take my foot out of the shoe to get out. Someone actually walked out from the sidewalk to help me. So I loosened the setting on the pedals, and I keep the cleats lubricated, especially after a rain, so that they slip out more easily when needed. I find the lubrication really helps and doesn't affect performance.

    Still feel a bit sketchy to me mountain biking, and if I'm going over a log I don't like the look of, I'll usually unclip and use the other side of the pedal, at least for the right foot.

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    I'm a "clipped in at all times!" kinda rider although I did just order some platforms. I found out by mistake the other day that I can pedal wheelie like a boss in flip flops (I went up so high and so fast and so easily it scared me) but I struggle with it clipped in. Plus, it's time to learn to track stand and I'm not comfortable learning/perfecting either of those while clipped in.

    I've been riding SPDs for ages now and I still occasionally will have that "oh cruuuuuuuud" slow motion fall in public. More so on trails but it happened last year on the W&OD at a light when I thought my friend was moving out and he wasn't. Everyone who witnesses those kinds of falls will nod their heads in understanding, because they've been there.

    If I did more short trips I'd probably put flats on one of my bikes.

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    Thanks! I'm gonna check these out!

  10. #17
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    KLizotte is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Regarding your average speed, if you are riding in a lot of traffic, dealing with a lot of lights, on trails, around a lot of peds, etc. you will never average more than 12 mph because you can't (or shouldn't) go much faster for everyone's safety. When you have long stretches of road or trail without interference you can ride faster.

    I started with straps which I don't recommend because your foot may become trapped in a fall and they aren't as efficient as clipless. I then moved to SPD which I found nearly effortless. I use these pedals: https://www.amazon.com/Shimano-A530-.../dp/B00AAOIAQC This way I can wear clipless or regular shoes. I find the platform half to be invaluable when I need to start on a steep hill and can't get enough momentum/pressure to clip in at the start or if I'm following behind a group of people at walking pace.

    I once tried a generic brand of dual platform pedals and they were awful; the poor weighting meant they never righted themselves correctly when they came to the top of the pedaling circle (this is important when you are trying to clip in). They were also harder to get in and out of. Now I just pay for the Shimanos; the price differential is worth it.

    I keep them at a very low tension setting so clipping out is effortless; Shimano has an "M" category which means there are more angles by which you can clip out. I have crashed in them (not because I was riding clipless, rather, because of slippery boardwalk, groove in pavement, etc) and my feet automatically unclipped so I don't worry about that.

    I have only used SPD so can't comment on other systems. Wearing shoes with a very stiff sole helps a lot when biking; sneakers aren't good for long rides because your foot is flexing. Any of the clipless shoes will have stiff soles. It is much easier going up hills with clipless because you can pull as well as push; on the flats they make much less of a difference in terms of speed or effort. Personally I can't stand wearing normal shoes now while biking but everyone has their preferences. If you do decide to try clipless, be sure to ask the salesperson how to adjust them (it's super easy) and keep them at the lightest tension possible (I've never unclipped unintentionally despite the low tension), at least at the beginning when you are getting used to the feeling. The feeling of being clipped in at first is terrifying but once your brain figures out that you can put your foot down like normal it all becomes second nature and very comfortable.

    If you decide to go clipless, I would ask the bike shop for help with fitting (this may require going in on a weekday when they are less busy). That way you can sit on a bike in a stand and practice unclipping/clipping and they can check that your knees are lined up correctly (cleats are adjustable). This all sounds more complicated than it really is but it's good to get the best fit the first time; after that you can self-serve.

    But yeah, to echo what others have said, just keep riding and getting used to the bike, terrain, trail etiquette, etc. There is much to learn and enjoy! You should check out the Northern Virginia Casual Biking Group (NOVA-CBG) on Meetup. Lots of casual and semi-casual group rides and events are held with that group. Would be a good introduction to the community and the guy running it is a super awesome friendly guy.
    Last edited by KLizotte; 06-29-2017 at 09:39 AM.

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  12. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sujiro View Post
    Hi,
    I been biking for more than 2 months now. I improved my speed from 5mph to 11mph. However, I been stuck to that average speed for 2 weeks now. And I guess I wont see any improvement soon...
    Ride hills.

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  14. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by subby View Post
    ride hills with people that are stronger than you.
    ftfy.

  15. #20
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    Default Thanks for all the replies.

    I usually bike the whole Arlington Loop 3-4 times a week. It will took me 1hr 40mins to finish it. The problem is almost all bikers pass through me even grandmas and granpas. Lol. Not sure if I'm just really slow and using a fitness bike or the other bikers are all using road bike with clipless pedals. Or probably combination of both. I'm tired of being passed by a lot, that's why I'm thinking if clipless pedals will help me to go faster. But now I'm scared to use the clipless because I'm afraid to fall.

    I also feel completely drained after uphills in custis trails after I pedalled up. Do you have any suggestion on this?

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