How To Unclip – Avoid A Clipless Pedal Disaster!
If you’re just starting out in cycling, getting yourself a pair of clipless pedals is one of the best upgrades you can make. But, let’s face it, being attached to your bike is also just a little bit daunting. But we think the benefits of clipless pedals far outweigh this. So here is our hard earned guide to unclipping, or, getting out of your pedals. Pretty much every cyclist has fallen off when they have failed to unclip It’s almost a rite of passage. But, there is a way around it and that is to practice when you’re not moving. Find yourself a wall or something similar, something sturdy that will support you Simply practice the action of twisting your ankle outwards, thus releasing the cleat from the pedal Repeat it as many times as you need to, to make sure you get comfortable with the action ‘cos at first it can feel just a little bit unnatural. Make sure you practice on both sides too 99% of the time, you’ll be rolling to a stop and unclipping Most likely at a road junction, or traffic lights, for example So if you can practice this skill in a traffic free environment, it’ll be far safer for you to do Once you’ve built the belief that you can unclip from your pedals Find a quiet stretch of road, or patch of grass to practice on Somewhere with the softest landing and no traffic is definitely best It’s easiest to unclip if the foot that you are unclipping is towards the bottom of the pedal stroke It’s also likely that you’ll have one foot that you will normally unclip first and this will be your weaker side So that you can then accelerate away faster from any stop as your stronger side is still clipped in As you begin to slowly roll to a stop, bring the leg that you’re going to unclip towards the bottom of the pedal stroke Then twist your ankle outwards. You should feel the clip mechanism on your pedal release. There may even be a little click As you come to a stop, then put your foot on the ground It’s really important to get this skill nailed, especially if you often cycle in heavy traffic, commute to work or school on your bike Or if there are plenty of stop lines in your area Once you have it dialled at slow speed, gradually build up the speed you’re able to deal with and still be able to unclip safely. Remember, we’ve all had our unclipping incidents So, with your technique dialled in, there are a few practical things you need to look at In relation to the equipment or your pedals First off, different brands of pedals have different amounts of ‘float’ Float is the amount of movement the pedal will give you, in relation to the cleat, before you disengage The amount of float doesn’t actually make it any easier to unclip But, a cleat with medium float is a good place to start if you are new to clipless pedals So, that’ll be a grey cleat if you are using Look pedals, or a yellow cleat if you are using Shimano pedals Another thing to look out for, is wearing your cleats out. Most cleats will actually have a wear indicator built into the cleat itself So you can see exactly when it is time to replace your cleats It’s actually pretty dangerous to ride with cleats that are worn out It will make it, firstly, harder to engage in the pedal (to clip in) and also sometimes make it easier to unclip (out of the pedals) Furthermore, if your cleats are really worn out, you could actually unclip when you don’t want to Which could be just a little bit embarrassing/dangerous Finally, another thing that’s very important to look out for is the tension adjustment Which you”ll find on most varieties of clipless pedals The tension adjustment basically makes it harder or easier for you to unclip So, make sure if you’re new to riding with clipless pedals, you don’t have the tension too high Unclipping, fully dialled in. Now, we’d love to hear about your unclipping disasters Don’t worry, we will be sympathetic! You can do that in the comment section below Now, if you haven’t already subscribed to GCN, you can do that by clicking on the globe It’s great for everybody that’s new to cycling. Also don’t forget, if you like this video, to give it a thumbs up and a bit of a share, too. Now, for how to set up your clipless pedals, how about clicking just up here *points* For how to get out of your clipless pedals, unclipping, click down here *points*