Can't seem to progress on clipless..

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Can't seem to progress on clipless..
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Posted: Nov 18, 2022 at 15:51 Quote
islandforlife wrote:
I go back and forth... but seem to be preferring my flats more and more. I'd say work on your technique with flats. Anything that's bouncing you off your flats generally comes down to technique and masking that with clips isn't good for your progression as a rider.

I'm starting to only ride clips in the lead up to enduro races (get used to them again) and for enduro racing as keeping my feet, and getting my feet back, into the exact right spot every time is important while racing.... as is just being able to hammer my pedals while breathing through my eyeballs without having to worry about my feet moving.

But for general riding, I prefer my flats. I much prefer them for technical climbing, I find they give me the confidence to push to the very very edge knowing I can drop a foot in any direction in less than a split second if needed. I've never found clips help me with tech climbing anyway. I also prefer them for scary double black sketchy lines (just more confidence inspiring) and jumping... so, it seems I prefer them for most of my riding!

I also like the freedom of foot position with flats. Sometimes while climbing, I like a more ball of the foot stance and sometimes while descending I prefer a more mid-foot stance... sometimes I move between them depending on my needs and what I'm trying to do.

You don't have to ride clips... and riding flats more, forces you to work on your technique. I grew up wearing flats and so can j hop, bunny hop, manual, rear wheel lift and move my bike around on flats just fine. And anything that tends to blow my foot off my flat pedal these days would blow me out of my clips as well.

But again, for racing, when a slightly imperfect foot placement = seconds on the clock, I put my mallets back on.

Honestly at this point in my riding career, I'm not too concerned about my technique. I can do all of the above on flats, and there isn't a sanctioned trail on the shore that I can't ride. I think for me it's more about trying something new and that feeling of discovery again. It's super refreshing, and I love learning! Just mid frustration phase I guess.. haha. Totally agree that clipping in won't fix any technique that isn't happening correctly already. Smile

Posted: Nov 18, 2022 at 17:40 Quote
Two thoughts:

1) In the early days, think about rotating your heel outwards, that's how you release. After lots of riding it will become second nature but early on focus on that motion to get your foot unclipped. Practice it whenever you go to put your foot down, be deliberate about it when you have the time to think about it so that it just works when you don't have time to think about it.

2) Check your pedals/shoes for interference points (pins, shoe lugs that foul the cleat from rotating, etc.), new shoes always seem to take me some time to 'clearance' until they are easy to release. I run old-school pedals with no platform so nothing to hold my shoes from rotating except where the cleat channel isn't wide enough.

I learned this October that to 'loosen' up your cleats grind away part of the rear nub (Shimano) - my cleats stopped staying clipped in and when comparing against new cleats you could see that was the worn part of my old cleats.

Expect lots of falling over while you learn, it's part of the game and everyone goes through it.

Edit: oh yeah, sand is your nemesis, especially wet sand that sticks to your pedals or shoes, friction goes through the roof! Mud isn't nearly as bad these days but back in the early days of clipless a muddy shoe/pedal interface was a death sentence. I still have a can of Pam spray in my bike toolbox that I used to use to make sure mud wouldn't stick to the cleat face on older Shimano pedals.

Posted: Nov 19, 2022 at 5:14 Quote
I went through something pretty similar. I switch between shimano spd and flats quite regularly. SPD has never given me any kind of issue, never used to be worried about unclipping on tech climbs and enjoyed being clipped in and was never to worried about the "oh no I might not be able to unclip on this uphill"
And then this summer I tried...CB Mallet E LS.
While I absolutely loved the feel on flats and DHs, I experienced the same thing, with not being able to unclip in tech climbs. After a couple weeks of giving them a go, I went to a new zone to ride that was full of super rooty rocky tech climbs. I struggled bad that day to unclip. Beat up my ankles, thighs, bike etc that day. I had never toppled over so many times in a ride lol. Got home and promptly listed them for sale the next day

Posted: Nov 19, 2022 at 9:42 Quote
I switched from flats to clips this season too. I have been on Mallets. It took me a few months to really get comfortable with them. I still have a cow tipping moment once in a while, but not nearly as often as I did in the beginning. I'd say it took me a good 3-4 months to get used to them. There is a big difference between new cleats, and worn cleat on the crank brothers. New cleats are tough to get in and out of. But once they break in after a few rides, they are great. My times have gotten so much faster since riding with clips. If speed and time are what you are after, it worth it to stick with the pedals and get used to them.

My advice is to choose a pedal and commit to it. Don't switch back and forth to different pedals.

Posted: Nov 19, 2022 at 9:48 Quote
Matt7082 wrote:
My advice is to choose a pedal and commit to it. Don't switch back and forth to different pedals.

I think this has probably been the biggest reason for my failed progression.

Posted: Nov 19, 2022 at 9:49 Quote
More seat time always helps. Fwiw, I was older than the OP when I first switched to clipless. I went with Shimano multi-release SPD and they're great, never looked back. I've been a big clipless convert ever since and for >10 years now. I can still get my foot down if very steep technical climbs go wrong, etc. And the only time I accidently unclip is when the side of my foot hits an obstacle while pedaling (which rarely happens).

Posted: Nov 20, 2022 at 2:04 Quote
If you’re used to using flat pedals then your instinct is to pull your foot up off the pedal at the top of the pedal stroke. That doesn’t work for clipless pedals.

The proper motion is to push your foot DOWN into the pedal, then twist OUT. Also, the best time to do it is at the BOTTOM of the stroke.

Think “down and out.”

Posted: Nov 30, 2022 at 11:46 Quote
Matt7082 wrote:
cow tipping

Very good.

Posted: Nov 30, 2022 at 13:48 Quote
Forget anything with Shimano type cleats, they're pants. Stick with the Mallets & if you see no improvement try Time, by far the best on all counts. Best/easiest entry/exit, best mud clearance, spring at the correct end, no tension adjustment, good amount of float bla bla bla, the rest is practice.

Posted: Nov 30, 2022 at 16:18 Quote
It's not your age. I started using clipless (dumb name, when you're actually clipped in,) at about age 44. Been using them for about 7 years now and I love the connected feeling. I still have some tip-over crashes now and then, but I've largely eliminated those by just getting good at hopping out of my pedals. Here are a few tips I've learned:

-Make sure your cleats are absolutely tight. If there's any "give" in them, they might just be rotating underfoot, which does not allow you to unclip.
-Run the lowest traction pads on your Mallets. I have Mallet E pedals and they come with options for the platform part. Lower platforms = less upward pull on the cleats = less tension to overcome.
-As stated above, use the heels out method to unclip. If it's easier to imagine, go "toes in," or "twist off."
-Practice, practice, practice.

Finally, there's no shame in admitting you like flat pedals better. If that's the case, just run flats!

Posted: Dec 3, 2022 at 14:03 Quote
Riding clipless is not a matter of weeks but years. Give it time, dont over rush and build slowly. Also clipless on slow riding means you should always have a bailout strategy.

Also, slow riding and clipless is not a match made in heaven which is just something to accept.

Posted: Dec 3, 2022 at 15:58 Quote
I was riding clippless with crankbrothers mallet e. Couldnt make it work and Switches back to flats for 1-2 years.
Than i tried again with shimano clips and it worked out for me. First with multi Release cleats. Kept uncliping while doing whips etc, ended up with pretty high clip tension. Switching to Single Release clips and running low tension worked better for me.

Not saying one System is better than the other but it could be worth to try a different pedal Brand or clip. Find a combo that makes you feel most comfortable and dort give up

Posted: Dec 4, 2022 at 7:00 Quote
I’ve been riding clipless pedals exclusively for 30 years now, and still keel over a few times a year on a technical climb. Don’t get discouraged! Techy climbs are just the most difficult situation to get unclipped. Like someone else mentioned, it’s easiest to unclip at the bottom of the pedal stroke, but unfortunately when you’re in a techy climb, sometimes you are going to stall out when a foot isn’t at the bottom! One tip I will give is, make sure the cleat is tight in the shoe. Any little bit of play in the cleat makes unclipping way more difficult than it should be.

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