Random Rantings and Ravings from a Slow-Poke Runner in the Heart of the South. (A Weeekly (sort of) Blog about running and just about anything else)

Friday, April 06, 2007

New Shoes!

My birthday present came a couple weeks early this year. That’s because I got a bonus from work that burned a hole in my pocket! But I’ve wanted some cycling shoes and clipless pedals for my road bike so I just got them for my birthday – a few weeks early.

I have read in magazines that clipless pedals and shoes on a bike can help you be as much as 30 % more efficient. I need all the efficiency I can get so I was sold! But it was odd for me that the pedals are referred to as “clipless” pedals when you actually clip your shoe directly to the pedal. Of course, my inquisitive mind wanted to know so I researched the shoes over the internet.

It turns out that, in the olden day, cyclists only had straps to attach their shoes to the pedals on bikes, but the straps were mostly referred to as “clips”. When a new style of pedals was invented that allowed you to mechanically attach your shoe to the pedal, they ingeniously referred to them as “clipless” pedals. The brilliant name apparently stuck because they are still referred to as “clipless” pedals, although you do actually clip your shoe into them.

However, clipless pedals are also known for something else – they can be difficult to get used to. Those cyclists that convert to clipless pedals are known to suddenly fall over to the ground, even though they are at a complete stop. Obviously, this is because they can be hard to get out of. Thus, there was a little hesitation on my part; but, with the efficiency in mind, I bit the bullet anyway.

Being as mechanically inclined as I am, it only took me about 3 hours to install the pedals. I think they usually take others about 15 minutes. But when I finally got them on my bike I thought they looked really cool. I put the cleats that came with the pedals on my new shoes. They enable me to do the clipping part into the pedal. I put the bike in the stand, velcroed my new bike shoes on my foot, and I got ready for a spin. This was it. I was now official!
I had told my wife of the pedals’ notoriety for spills and I think she had a little fun in her head as she watched me mount my bike. Of course, the bike was in a trainer so there was no danger of me falling over, but I was less than graceful as I tried to clip in for the first time. I stumbled a bit but caught myself quickly, looking over at my wife and catching her rolling her eyes. “What?”I asked. She attempted to conceal her smile, “Oh, nothing. I can just see that you are probably going to hurt yourself with those.” I knew she secretly wanted to be there when I do but I would deny her the joy at least on this day.

I will try my shoes on the trainer a few times before I hit the roads. Hopefully, no one will be following me with a camera. Then again, if I were to fall, at least it would be worth something!


Blogger Dom said...

Hey, thanks for the comments on my blog. Still trying to lick the flutter (which sounds weird if you don't know the whole story).

Clipless is the only way to go. I have been using clipless since 1993. It does take some getting used to, but it will become second nature before you know it. I have fallen over at zero speed once or twice. Now the trick is to balance the bike at slow to zero speed without clipping out of a pedal. Then you become a clipless master ;-)

1:24 PM

Blogger Dom said...

By the way, I enjoyed your "down" story. Our comforter has the same effect and has essentially blocked me from trying to workout in the morning. I have since given up trying to be an "early" morning workout person and strive for lunch or after work (depending on the workout de jour).

1:26 PM

Blogger PLANET3RRY said...

I have clipless pedals for my mountain bike and have gotten used to them! Clipless means you are serious!

7:55 AM

Blogger Jim said...

I started "serious" biking last year and need to get my butt in gear this year. I went through the learning phase of the clipless pedals.

Rule 1: DO NOT unclip left, lean right.

Rule 2: DO NOT unclip right, lean left.

Rule 3: Become accustomed to unclipping with the same foot everytime. Personally, I prefer the left side since that is the side most likely to be slightly higher and on pavement.

Lots of luck with the biking!

10:26 AM


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