Triathlon tips - CYCLING: how to get used to clipless pedals

How to get started with clipless pedals and how to get used to them? That's the subject of my new video. I shot it while we still were in California but I didn't find time to make the mounting before last week. Sorry about that. I hope it will still be useful for some of you (even if summer is almost over).

You witnessed my first steps with my clipless pedals (Pimp My Bike - at the end, around 4:20). It wasn't pretty. That the least we can say. Hopefully, I got better at them. To get there, I took some advice from cyclists and/or triathletes and from the internet. I tell you what worked for me.

The video is in French, so here is the recap of my tips:

TIP #1:
Get sure of the first foot you intuitively put on the ground.

Do that before putting the shoes on. It will be the foot you'll unclip every time you want to stop briefly (traffic light, stop sign). The other foot will stay clipped on the pedal.

It's good to be aware of it as, once you are clipped on your pedals, you may panic and not act intuitively anymore. That's when you fall!

TIP #2:
Break your pedals in.

If they are brand new, they will be tight and it will be hard to clip in/off.

To break them in, just clip and unclip multiple times on the bike without mounting on it. You do that on one pedal, and then the other.

TIP #3:
If available on your pedals, put the tension to the lowest position.

It's an option on some pedals. So, if it's possible, do it, at least for your first rides with the new pedals.

TIP #4:
Practice clipping in and off on a trainer or with the help of someone to hold your bike in place.

It will help you get used to it without fear of falling.

TIP #5:
Get aware of all the steps you'll have to follow to clip in, ride and stop with the pedals.

- 1: Clip in the foot which will stay clipped on the bike.
- 2: Get moving.
- 3: Clip in the other foot.
- 4: To stop, unclip the foot you'll put on the ground.
- 5: Brake.
- 6: Get out of the saddle. Put your weight on the unclipped foot side. Put your foot on the ground.

These steps are usually intuitive but, with the pedals on, it's easy to panic and forget how to do. Thinking about these steps will help you stay calm... and don't fall!

TIP #6:
Anticipate your stops. Unclip your foot well in advance.

When you see a traffic light, a stop sign or an intersection where you may have to stop, unclip your foot well in advance. Even if there is no car or if the light is green, unclip. You'll be sure not to panic if you have to stop at the last minute.

Here for all the things which worked for me. If there are cyclists around, don't hesitate to share your own tips! I'm also willing to hear about your stories with the pedals... come on, we all have at least ONE story.

I hope it will help at least one of you to get rid of the "clipless pedals fear". We've all been there. But, don't forget: if I managed to do it, you can do it too. Everyone is a beginner at first. So, good luck and let me know how it went!

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Next races

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Miles / km

  • 1 mile = 1.6 km / 1 km = 0.6 mile
  • 5K = 3.1 miles
  • 10K = 6.2 miles
  • half marathon = 13.1 miles = 21.1 km
  • marathon = 26.2 miles = 42.2 km