Clipless all mountain??

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Posted: Sep 16, 2019 at 2:54 Quote
I ride all mountain/enduro. Always used flat pedals, enjoyed the safety of being able to hop right off during a nasty climb or post during a cornering decent.

Just switched to clipless, got some med grade endure Look pedals SPD system with some higher grade mtb shimano shoes.

First ride I went on a easier local mountain I ride called rigaud. Definatly didn't feel safe, bailed a few times due to being locked in, does this get better?

Fell a few times during failed climb section, went sideways off a rock edge.

And didn't feel comfortable after that riding the harder descents I know I could smash on my flats. Was scared of crashing and being stuck.

Does this change? I'm running lowest release tension on the pedals. Should I give them a chance?

Posted: Sep 16, 2019 at 6:39 Quote
Yes it does get better and least for me. You now have control over your back tire by your clipped in pedals. If your Look pedals are too hard to get out of I would recommend simply just buying standard Shimano SPD pedals, the bare minimum. Over about I month you and your bike become more in sync than ever before (at least that's what happened to me).

Posted: Sep 16, 2019 at 8:53 Quote
Good idea to just practice and get used to them first on a grass field. Just practice clipping in and out over and over. Then move to riding some chill xc type singletrack, then move to proper downhill shredding.

Posted: Sep 16, 2019 at 11:43 Quote
Literally everyone who switches from flats to clipless has issues. It's all part of the learning process. Instead of going balls deep, just find some green trails and practice clipping in and out in various pedal/body positions. That's the easiest and fastest way to get comfortable with them.

Posted: Sep 16, 2019 at 12:06 Quote
It does take a bit of getting accustom to riding an spd pedal or equivalent.

I crashed the heck out of my bike when transitioning to the first shimano SPD pedals. Slow speed crashes always seem to be the worst!

I even have SPDs on my fat bike. I can't stand not being attached to my pedals.

If anyone is looking for a pair of the original Shimano 737s for a vintage build or even regular use, I have a pair in very good condition plus a pair of spares for sale here.
https://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2541162/

Posted: Sep 16, 2019 at 13:42 Quote
I learned by doing track stands, waiting until I had to clip out. Over softer ground is nice too. I fell over a few times, just remember heal out takes practice, just a few times.

Posted: Sep 16, 2019 at 14:13 Quote
As others have said, there's always an unpleasant learning curve.

I switched from toe clips to clipless (that's where the term came from!) in the early '90s, which is a more difficult transition than flats to clipless due to the different exit paths for your feet.

It took weeks until I was reasonably confident and months until I could exit safely 100% of the time. Many bruised and scraped knees along the way.

Be patient and wear knee pads.

Posted: Sep 16, 2019 at 17:52 Quote
I rode two seasons on my Supreme operator on flats and for years on spds on my XC bike. Summer is about to start here and Ive switched to spds on my all mountain bike. I don't expect many issues but you definitely need to practice

Posted: Sep 16, 2019 at 18:18 Quote
R-M-R wrote:

I switched from toe clips to clipless (that's where the term came from!) in the early '90s, which is a more difficult transition than flats to clipless due to the different exit paths for your feet.

Exactly.
With toe clips you could always haul your feet out and back. With SPDs it was a rather steep learning curve to rotate out and to be able to do it quickly.

Posted: Sep 16, 2019 at 22:07 Quote
Two things 1) Trackstands. Lots of practice. If you use your bike around town, red traffic lights are good practice opportunities. On trail this will buy you time to think about you next move or even unclip safely should the need arise.

2) Commit. Uphill or down, commit to get through the tricky sections. Pretend that unclipping and stopping is not an option and go for it. Concentrate on keeping the bike moving. If you can clear something on flats there's no reason you can't on clipless. If anything, the opposite is more likely.

Remember, you can apply torque to your pedals at any part of the stroke, use this to your advantage to overcome obstacles that would have stopped you otherwise.

And don't forget trackstands!

Posted: Sep 18, 2019 at 23:28 Quote
Elemieux wrote:
I ride all mountain/enduro. Always used flat pedals, enjoyed the safety of being able to hop right off during a nasty climb or post during a cornering decent.

Just switched to clipless, got some med grade endure Look pedals SPD system with some higher grade mtb shimano shoes.

First ride I went on a easier local mountain I ride called rigaud. Definatly didn't feel safe, bailed a few times due to being locked in, does this get better?

Fell a few times during failed climb section, went sideways off a rock edge.

And didn't feel comfortable after that riding the harder descents I know I could smash on my flats. Was scared of crashing and being stuck.

Does this change? I'm running lowest release tension on the pedals. Should I give them a chance?

You feel comfortable, safe and you enjoy flats.
Now you are going clipless and you are experiencing learning process. It will get better.
In the end you will be riding clipless and you will feel comfortable, safe and you will enjoy.
Then you will ask yourself "why the hell did i even bother with clipless?" and you will go back to flats.
Seen that circle many times Big Grin

Posted: Sep 20, 2019 at 0:48 Quote
Yeah I guess practice is key, I definatly feel more nervous climbing clipped in. That moment when you stop and slip out on a sketchy rock face then eat shit cuz I'm clipped. Lol learning curves.

Posted: Sep 20, 2019 at 5:19 Quote
It is also important to replace your cleats every so often. Walking around on your cleats wears them down and make it harder to exit the pedals.

If you want clipless inspiration, check out a Jeff Kendall Weed video. That's where I recently got the advice to change cleats if you cannot exit easily. He states he cannot ride flats so he does insane trials stuff on clipless while crushing all kinds of sweet trails on new Ibis bikes. He says he rides everything with new cleats and only two clicks of tension on his pedals.

He did recently crack his pelvis though...

Posted: Sep 20, 2019 at 6:36 Quote
It will get easier, personally I find Crank Brothers Mallet DH to be the best platform clipless pedals as they have a bit more 'float' than most pedals ( small amount of rotation without actually unclipping ), a fair sized platform so they can be ridden whilst unclipped and mine have been pretty reliable. They don't have adjustable tension like most other brands but the angle reqd to unclip can be adjusted by the way the cleats on your shoes are fitted. Good point above about replacing cleats, as well as not being able to unclip when you want to, unclipping when you DON'T want to ( jumps or in the middle of a high speed corner being times that spring to mind ) because of worn cleats is just as much of a problem. On the down side it is easy to pick up bad habits/ techniques by using clips that won't happen on flats

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