Bike Shoes and Pedals

Reviews, Tips, and Tricks to Selecting, Buying
 and Riding Clipless Shoes and Pedals


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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 times.

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.

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 Bike Shoes and Pedals