For many people the very notion of attaching their feet to the pedals seems like a crazy idea that creates fear, thoughts of danger and catastrophe.
Yet most road cyclists successfully make the transition to clip-in pedals. Clip-in pedals (confusingly also known as ‘clipless pedals’) are the combination of special bike shoes with cleats, which attach to the pedals via a sprung mechanism similar to ski binding.
Most of the fear of these pedal systems stems from the idea that you may not be able to get your foot out of the pedal when it’s time to stop.
The majority of people who switch to clip-less pedals will probably have experienced the dreaded ‘Clipped-In Moment’ – as you are approaching the lights or a junction you coast to a halt, forgetting that your feet are now locked to the pedals.
As you stop, you frantically try to pull your feet free as you slowly topple sideways to the floor. Fortunately these topples are mostly just embarrassing, but by following a little bit of advice and a bit of practice, you can save a red face and a few bruises, and before long clipping into the pedals becomes second nature.
In a bid to make sure you fully prepare yourself for your first 100 mile sportive Kerry Bircher, coach at Revolution Cycling is provide a complete list of articles covering everything you need to know from training plans to bike safety checks. Here she tackles the dilemma of clipping in for the first time.