How to Ride with Clipless Bike Pedals
Tip #4: Move your bike to a trainer or along a wall and practice clipping in and out.
To get the feel for what it is like to be in a riding position while clipped in, attach your bike to a
trainer. If you don't have a trainer or access to a trainer at your bike shop, you can do this next
to a wall. While lightly leaning against the wall with hands on brakes, practice your clip and release numerous
Say "twist" each time you release your foot to verbally drive home the point. The natural inclination with
non-clipless pedals is to simply pull your foot up and off, but this motion is no-go with clipless pedals as
they are specifically designed to avoid release with this movement. You are learning a new motion and building
new neural pathways in your brain to support this movement automatically without thinking. It takes time
to reprogram yourself to unconsciously perform this task.
Tip #5: Do your first field test on soft grass.
Now that you are graduating to the great outdoors find a grassy space to practice. A slight
downhill where you can slowly coast is ideal as you can concentrate on clipping in and out without having
to worry about pedaling as well. Clip in, pedal for a few strokes and clip out. Practice doing this while
moving and while coming to a stop. Now repeat this with tip #6.
Tip #6: Practice clipping in and release with your non-dominant foot.
Take some time to practice clipping and unclipping with your non-dominant side. At many points
in your biking career you will find yourself needing to unclip from your weak side. You will be amazed at how
different it feels from your dominant side. It is best to get the feel for this action before you topple
into the brand new BMW sitting beside you at the intersection.
Tip #7: Practice clipping in and out by feel without looking down at your pedal.
This is actually a very important tip. You have enough to worry about when riding in traffic
without looking down to see where your pedal is. When you look down your bike has a tendency to wander and this
can be painful if you wander in the wrong direction. Learn from the get-go to clip in by feel rather
than sight. It won't take long to find the slot or engagement point of the pedal and then a quick push and
click to engage. Be careful to clip in before you start pedaling with force or your foot could slip
off the front and things could end badly.