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How To Unclip Like A Pro – Use Clipless Or SPD Pedals

How To Unclip Like A Pro – Use Clipless Or SPD Pedals


– [Man 1] This is a video aimed primarily
at those of you new to the sport of cycling, particularly if you’ve just begun
a regular commute in a busy town or city. There, of course, you’re going to
encounter multiple junctions and traffic lights where you’ll need to stop and
unclip your pedals before continuing when it’s safe to do so. So here is
GCN’s guide on how to do that as smoothly and safely as possible. Before
you come to a stop, get yourself into a gear in which you’ll be comfortable when
you set off again. With a double chain ring, this would normally be the small
ring and well up the cassette at the back. As you’re gradually slowing down
towards the junction, remember to unclip your foot in readiness. This will avoid
any embarrassing moments when you finally come to a stop. I missed the bean bag. We
recommend always unclipping from the pedal that is on the inside of the road. So for
those of you in countries where you drive on the right, that means your right foot,
and for those of us who drive on the correct side of the road, the left foot.
If there’s a curb next to the road, stop near to it so that you can place your
foot on top of it. This should enable you to remain seated whilst you wait for the
light to turn green. In some cases there may be a pole, post, or fence which you
can hold onto so that you can remain clipped into your pedals whilst you wait.
However, don’t be tempted to prop yourself up on the car next to
you, or even a fellow commuter. Getting going again can be the tricky bit
if you’re just getting used to clipless pedals. This is where having it in the
right gear is really going to help. Push down on the pedal that you still have
clipped in, giving yourself enough speed and momentum to allow time to clip the
other foot in. Try and avoid looking down at the pedal if you can, as you
risk then drifting into the curb or, even worse, the middle of the road. If
you have one-sided road pedals such as Shimano, Look, or Time, then it
can take some time to get used to. You want to try and push the top of the
pedal forward with the front of your shoe, and then engage the front part of the
cleat with the front of the pedal. Finally, push down at the back to fully
engage. If commuting is how you spend the majority of your time on the bike, then
it’s worthwhile considering the use of mountain bike pedals or double-sided
road pedals such as Speedplay. This will make it much easier for
you to clip in each time, and also, if you go for the mountain bike option, it
will allow you to walk more comfortably and not wear the cleats out so quickly. – [Man 2] When you get to the bottom of
the pedal stroke, you should pull your foot back and then up. The technique here
feels like scraping your foot back. You should feel this effort in your
hamstrings at the back of your legs.

100 comments on “How To Unclip Like A Pro – Use Clipless Or SPD Pedals

  1. Gaz, if you are using clip less pedals for the first time, chances are the pedals will be new and stiff, and won't naturally fall with the weight part down. It takes a few hundred miles before they start falling into a convenient position

  2. Your advice is spot on!  I cannot emphasise enough the difference Speedplay pedals made to my cycling. Speedplay is the way to go, in my experience. 
    Thank you for these great [and at times humorous] videos. 

  3. If you're in a low enough gear as suggested, you can use one leg to do a few revs to get going before clipping the other in. I do this all the time

  4. You filmed this at bear flat, just below my school beechen cliff!!!! – just got a trek 1.1 and really looking forward to using it

  5. Can you tell a little more about look vs spd pedals? Diffrence, benefits etc. Beginers would be greatfull… : )

    greetings from Serbia…

  6. So I'm confused. I'm just buying my first road bike and it doesn't come with pedals.lol I've asked around as to what pedals I should get with the bike and all I get is "it's down to personal preference" but no one explains the difference. For instance what is a clipless pedels? And what is a clipped pedal? What's a platform pedal? What's an SPD pedal? Im so confused!!lol

    I'll tell you what a want. I want a pedal I can use with both normal shoes(trainers) and cycling shoes. I want the pedal to be duel side like the mountain bike pedal and not be to bulky. Any suggestions guys would be brilliant. Thanks

  7. Funniest thing happened to me. So I just purchased my clipless pedals, shoes, and cleats and I had a ride to get used to them. So the next day I was really comfortable with them and at the end of my ride while I was coming to a stop in my garage…. I wondered why my foot wouldn't come out (slowly tipping over). Totally forgot to unclip when I stopped and fell on my garage floor.

  8. is mountain bike pedals and cleats compatible for road bike? i purchase a road bike a month ago,i wanted to use mountain bike cleats,shoe and pedal  so that i can walk properly,not like a penguin. tnx.  

  9. My tips:
    Become proficient at unclipping with both feet (my OCD dictates that I alternate which foot I unclip to even out cleat wear)
    Clipping out the foot nearest the centreline of the road often makes it easier to balance, due to the camber of the road (MTB habit: always dismount to the uphill side)
    If you miss the clip when starting off, just keep pedalling to get up to speed, then try again. Don't dilly-dally in front of a queue of traffic.

  10. is it okay to have about half an inch or an inch extra space in the toes ? i mean the shoe fits tight on my foot .. and i cant move my foot in there in any way.. but there is a little extra space in front of my toes… is that okay ?? 

  11. QUESTION!!!! I feel it more comfortable twisting my foot towards the bike to unclip, and I am so used to it that I can't do it away from the bike. Is this a bad thing or is it user-preference?

  12. I just remember that you don't always have to be clipped in to ride, if i miss it the first time I just keep pedaling until it is safe to clip in again, vs trying to keep clipping in a falling over.

  13. Hi GCN. I have just bought my first road bike and it has foot holds and straps on the pedal. I don't want to move to cleats yet because I don't feel confident yet. Can you tell me how to properly adjust the pedal straps (as my foot aches on the sole) and maybe suggest affordable cleats that I can move to or the best kind to have for easy unclipping.

  14. Just had my first goof up with Clipless pedals. Funnily, it had nothing to do with taking my foot out before I stopped. I was riding my road bike out on the actual road for the first time after practicing loads in the cemetery. Decided to stop up and have a sip of water. Unclipped my left foot, thought I would get off the bike, tried to lift my right foot and promptly fell down. Ended up breaking my rear derailleur. Probably the dumbest thing I've ever done.

  15. I now know how Daniel Lloyd felt when he fell. Stopped on the shoulder of the road to check my tires, start riding again have both my feet Clip in when I hit a thick patch of dirt on the shoulder of the road and fell down on my side. Could not unclip while lying down on the road as the traffic drove by. Embarrassed as I was I have to remove my shoes before I can unclip by
    hand. A few concerns motorist stop to see if I need your help, luckily I did not and thank them. Even luckier no damage to the bike minus getting some dirty in the pedals.

  16. Just bought clipless pedals, just fell off my bike. I un-clipped my non-lead foot and sub-consciously leaned to my left, lesson learned.

  17. I'm having problems clipping out. I've set the pedal tension to the lowest and it still feels too tight. I've practiced clipping out stationary, with one cleat/regular shoe, rode in a parking lot. Practiced, practiced, practiced. The cleat seems to have move a bit because I'm violently clipping out. I can only clip out on the down stroke. Is that bad? Would a little grease on the contact points help? Or should I just wear the cleat in more?

  18. There is no reason you should be using these while riding around in traffic. It is ridiculously dangerous. They encourage riders to not stop and stop signs and run lights. Also, you often have to stop suddenly to react to cars and pedestrians. The small benefit of slightly increased cycling efficiency or whatever the hell the purpose of these crappy things are it not worth your life.

  19. Can't help but laugh at 0:35; something very similar just happened to me, abrasions included. Guess this clipless pedal newbie should have practiced or at least read the directions… Ouch!

  20. I bought the shimano ones with clips one side and normal pedals the other side so I can ride with normal shoes if I need to.

    Kinda nervous about the embarrassing moment that everybody apparently gets since it almost happened when I got blown away from the pavement. Not really looking to get squished by a lorry that hasn't seen me in case I haven't recently deleted my browser history.

  21. I bought the SPD PD-A530 pedals since I wanted both a clip in side and a flat regular shoe side. I'm coming from SPD-SL pedals. Is the system much different? Is it worse?

  22. I watched this video as I have just started using SPD pedals. I find it more convenient to turn my foot towards the bike to release. However, it's a good idea to unclip before you need to. I approached a junction and forgot to unclip and so let gravity get the better of me. I didn't have a cushion to fall on.

  23. are all spd style pedals compatable with eachother? ive got an old pair of sampsons that i wanna use, but dont wanna order a new pair of shimanos and have to spend more cash on a new set of pedals

  24. Doesn't falling on your side like that cause serious damage to the frame if your pedal on the side that yo fall to is on the top of the stroke? Especially while in the saddle, quite a lot of your weight is put through the cranks, twisting the spindle out of plane in the frame.

  25. I don't agree that you should stop and put your foot on the kerb. That leaves you very close to the pavement when the lights turn green and any cars will zoom past you too close for you to safely get moving again. I prefer maintaining my road position 1 metre from the kerb. But then again I don't use clipless yet so if it really is a lot easier then maybe I'll end up doing it too…

  26. Always try and get your foot out of the pedal a good ten feet before your stop in case your foot doesn't come right out you'll still have time before you come to a stop.

  27. that video din't answer how to unclip, it just answered procedure to prep for unclip and best place to be when unclipped.

  28. 0:42
    I'm an asshole who finds it hard to laugh at things most of the time, but that was really fucking funny lol

  29. My first trip out, I unclipped one foot, but lean’t the wrong way! V lucky no on coming traffic as I ended up in middle of road.

  30. 1. Don't unclip both sides. Chances are you won't have any support for when gliding from the saddle.
    2. Don't stop on the side of the road. That invites reckless car drivers to suddenly overtake you, risking a collision with you. Middle of the lane it is!

  31. but the
    "right side" of the road is the "right side." that is why the call it the right side. Great Britain should pick a day and just change to the "right" side.

  32. Unclipping at or near the top of the pedal stroke, with a bent knee, puts a lot less stress on the knees. Even better, try twisting the heel to the inside, but be careful not to kick it into the rear wheel. This doesn't work for Speedplay.

  33. clipless pedals are like a mad initiation ordeal into the 'serious cycling tribe'. in human world, to do the sacred but mad thing of the tribe makes one belong. you have passed the test and are now trustworthy. to refuse makes you an annoying and dangerous challenge to the authority of the alpha leaders. must conform to the groupthink or risk being shunned which could even end in death. in primative tribes a mistake like that could be fatal. humans rarely value radical outsiders even when they speak sense. refraining from going clipless is a bit like saying to more ordinary normies that you refuse to drive a car or fly because of global warming. both are completely sensible but are outrageous slights to the tribe because accepting mad or reckless ideas is a societal glue in our insane species.

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