Clipless content – How do I train my brain…
…to unclip my right foot when falling to the right?!?!?
I’m a left foot forward, left foot unclip when at lights etc guy – part of that comes from being ‘regular’ footed and part from riding motorbikes when it’s always left foot down first as the right is on the rear brake controlling speed.
So, when I come to a situation when I’m stopped and instead of falling left, I fall right, my brain just doesn’t compute quick enough and I end up rolling down onto my side 95% of the time!!! It also feels very very weird unclipping with my right foot first, very unnatural.
So, do I get an old mattress/beanbag/something soft and lay it down on my right side then just fall to my right over and over and over again until my brain catches up? Or is there a better way to train my brain, after all it’s just muscle memory isn’t – it’s completely natural doing it with my left foot, I can unclip with ease without thinking about it.
And I’m using SPD’s with the tension almost at the minimum, cleats positioned correctly for my foot angle. The issue isn’t being able to unclip, it’s with my brain not telling my foot to unclip when I’m toppling over to that side!! 🙂Posted 3 weeks agovincienupSubscriber
I think that’s probably basically how it works. Having got used to clipless around town, my biggest problem is paying attention to how level the ground is before deciding which foot goes down when I’m stopping, but I still don’t love spds on mountain bikes. Mostly because I’ve never given them enough of a chance as I have flats and flat shoes well covered already.Posted 3 weeks agojoemmoSubscriber
The unclipping action shouldn’t need to be so deliberate that you have to think about it
If you were using flat pedals and falling right wouldn’t you stick that foot out to catch yourself?</span>
Couple of suggestions – go for a ride somewhere not on a road and just clip in and out and in etc. with both feet.
Secondly, give multi-release cleats a try. Some people are a bit sniffy about them but they just offer a different feel and easier clip out action.Posted 3 weeks agogeexMember
So, when I come to a situation when I’m stopped
Simply pracicce unclipping BEFORE you stop.Posted 3 weeks ago
And learn to hold a trackstand for any situation where you don’t have time to plan ahead of stopping.
Trackstanding gives you as long as you like to unclip (or not bother as you can trackstand until you need to move again)
That’s the issue, I need to be able to not think about it and unclip instinctively. If I know I’m about to stop, it’s fine as I have the time to think and know I need to unclip. it’s those split seconds when you go from 10mph to zero then losing balance just slightly wrong to need to unclip on the right side. At that precise moment my brain doesn’t even seem to react and my I don’t even try to unclip. Or on a slow technical climb when you stall and lose balance, then have to unclip sharpish.
I can trackstand for a couple of seconds, which is useful enough but yeah I could probably do with more practice. That’s not the issue but, it’s a separate skill which would help.
On my commute to work today there’s an underpass I go through which then splits left and right, it’s a split cycle/footpath with the cylcle lane on the right. I go through the underpass, then turn the corner going right, only to find 2 pedestrians walking side by side along the cyclepath side, right after the corner. Heavy braking to a stop as neither of them reacted, and I gracefully (having come to a complete stop from 10mph) fall over to my right side into a nice soft dirt flowerbed… 🙁 My foot never even moved to try and unclip! This is what I need to fix, tbh I might even fit the spd pedals to an old hack bike and just fall over onto something soft over and over until my foot starts reacting!Posted 3 weeks agowobbliscottMember
It’s more about un-learning your brain to lift the foot off the pedal. If you lift your foot at all then the mechanism sort of jams and makes it even more difficult to unclip. You need to get in the habit of twisting your foot and never lifting – in fact the motion isn’t even a twisting motion, its a lateral move to the right (for your right foot) and if your cleat is positioned at the balls of your foot then you’ll naturally twist at the ankle.
The only thing to do is practice.. it will become second nature.Posted 3 weeks agomikewsmithSubscriber
Practice Practice Practice, even simple things like unclipping that foot every time you plan to stop, clipping out when you don’t need to etc. this one is muscle memory – the common thing people riding clips say is you don’t ever remember unclipping or how you left the bike, it just happened.Posted 3 weeks agopirahnaMember
I’ve used clipless pedals since they were invented, on the road since the early 80’s and off road since SPD’s first appeared in the early 90’s. This year I’ve a good reason for using flats, despite a couple of thousand miles I still twist my foot off a flat pedal.
I think the answer is, you get used to it.Posted 3 weeks agowhatyadoinsuckaMember
How tightened are your pedals I find with the shimano m520 m530 m540 etc
loosen them to the slackest setting then two clicks back to tighten..
Ive not found an issue with my foot unexpectedly un-clipping
and I can count on one hand the times I’ve wanted to un-clip and failedPosted 3 weeks ago
Yeah I’m thinking it’s mostly just lack of practice, thinking about it I always unclip my left foot when stopping and when getting off it’s left then right, so on my 2 mile commute I might unclip my left foot 12 times, and my right foot 2-3 times. I’ll start unclipping my right instead of left to get my muscle memory going.
And I have no issues with the physical movement of unclipping, it’s just the brain to foot connection that’s lacking!Posted 3 weeks agodudeofdoomSubscriber
On my commute to work today there’s an underpass I go through which then splits left and right, it’s a split cycle/footpath with the cylcle lane on the right. I go through the underpass, then turn the corner going right, only to find 2 pedestrians walking side by side along the cyclepath side, right after the corner. Heavy braking to a stop as neither of them reacted, and I gracefully (having come to a complete stop from 10mph) fall over to my right side into a nice soft dirt flowerbed…
Ahh it’s not really an unclipping issue it’s an anticipation one, on a similar blind psychopath I tend to Unclip before and still pedal with clip on top of spd then clip back when clear. It’s a total farf but works for me, it’s not Idea but only talking about a few metres. (I trackstand other pinch points thou but one place always seems to encourage the numpties)Posted 3 weeks ago
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