How to Learn to Love Clipless Pedals Featured

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to clip or not to clip: the battle rages. to clip or not to clip: the battle rages. Shimano

It wasnt long into my cycling hobby before I learned about clipless pedals. After doing a bit of reading I decided to take the plunge and purchase a pair. At first it seemed beyond scary; I thought I would just fall over at every stoplight! But with a bit of practice and watching a few videos online I turned the corner, and I can honestly say that I love being "clipped in".

LED-Flash-Bicycle-Pedal-JL-002-pedalclips clipless

Before we get into it, let us first let's review pedal terminology, since it can be a bit confusing. First, there were basic pedals (like many of us had on our bikes when we were kids), then came pedals with toe clips (or toe baskets) to help the foot stay put on the pedal. These evolved into clipless pedals. These consist of two parts, a cleat that is secured to the bottom of special shoes, and the pedal. The pieces click together like a puzzle and when the shoe is attached to the pedal, you're clipped in.

 pedaling-technique-2

Cycling with my feet attached to the pedals makes me feel like one with my bike, and it's way more efficient. With the foot attached to the pedal, you begin to use all of the muscles in your legs to power the bike instead of relying solely on your quads to push the pedal down. Pulling up on the pedal works your hamstrings like nobody's business. Pedaling with the entire leg distributes the work so your muscles fatigue much more slowly, which means you can ride longer. Standing on the pedals, like when climbing a hill, is safer when you're clipped in; you're much more secure because your feet won't slip off the pedals. One last argument for going clipless: these pedals are actually safer than using the foot baskets. It is considerably faster, not to mention easier, to unclip than it is to slip your foot back and out of the pedal basket.

So lets get into learn how to start riding with clipless pedals...

Like most new skills, overcoming the fear factor simply takes time and practice. Ride around on a quiet street or in a parking lot, and clip in and out repeatedly, until you feel comfortable doing it, this will get your body used to the action and build muscle memory. You can practicing in a park on a trail lined with grass to soften possible falls as well. Another method for practicing is on a trainer, but since this might give you a sense of overconfidence, make sure to experiment outside before hitting the road for a long ride. Clipping out is an easy maneuver, just turn your heel away from the bike.

So who is with me? Do you ride clipless? Are you considering it? We've reviewed some clipless pedals if your looking for a recomendation.

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