Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So in my effort to become a better cross(dress)er, I picked up Cycle-Smart's DVD on technique and have been duely impressed and have been making improvements to my transition since it arrived last week. Kudos to Adam for making such a great instructional video. If you are like me and, love cross, but are all confuzzlebrained about the dismount/remount thingy...this is a great DVD. It breaks down transitioning very well

However, I was wondering how many people follow Adam's advice, clipping out of their left pedal first, balance on their instep, and then dismount. I am up in the air about this. It seems to work but adds another layer of complexity to the dismounting process. The grass at my local park was damp today and I slipped off my pedal (M959s) and almost dumped the bike. On the other hand, Adam makes a good point...what happens if you don't unclip that left foot going over a barrier...ouch. I've been there, too. Gliding at the barrier, caked with mud and hoping that I don't have a problem with my pedal.

Thoughts? Opinions?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
813 Posts
ummmm im no pro or anything, but ive never unclipped with my left foot first. I've found that if i unweight my left foot (after ive swung the right one over) by putting some weight onto my right hand which is on the top tube, then unclipping is no problem.

Yes, if the dismount is on sketch ground or wet ground, i'd think you'd want that left foot clipped in so you dont fall off prematurely.

j
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,194 Posts
Unclipping the left foot first is basically a bad habit, as far as I'm concerned. You can slip off the pedal, accidentally clip back in at the last moment, etc. using this technique and I think it's way scarier than just getting used to "jumping" out of your pedal. I can't understand why this technique is ever used now that pedals like Crank Bros and Time exist. I think it's like a left over from the toeclip days when the pedal had to be flipped on the way up to the barriers. I can imagine that if you're used to this on a flat pedal with toe clips the advent of early clipless pedals would seem pretty scary too, and you'd want to unclip early and stand on the pedal like the old style. Do yourself a favor and just get used to unclipping as you dismount- it will make you more versatile, quicker, and smoother.
 

· Number 2 on the course.
Joined
·
4,405 Posts
I use Eggbeaters. Per OP's description (of the DVD's description), you unclip and then rest your instep on the pedal, so no chance of accidentally clipping back in (or not clipping out when you need to). The spring retention mechanism of the Crank Bros pedals makes it very easy to do this smoothly. I've never had an issue with my instep slipping off the pedal.
 

· More Cowbell!
Joined
·
4,832 Posts
wunlap togo said:
I think it's way scarier than just getting used to "jumping" out of your pedal.
I was going to use the jumping idea also. You have your right foot in between your left leg and the bike already which begins to get your foot in the unclip position anyway. Then instead of just putting that right foot down and starting to stride, jump forward with your left. The jump does two thing:

1) Pretty surely disengages the cleat, and
2) Gets you moving forward faster and this either
a) allows you to dismount at faster speeds, or
b) jump starts your run on slower dismounts.

I think I'd spend more time getting my left foot unclipped and set than I would pedaling up to the barrier and taking it at speed.
 

· Number 2 on the course.
Joined
·
4,405 Posts
I've been riding Eggs for years -- to the point that I can unclip a foot and roll the pedal securely onto the instep in one clean motion without interrupting my pedal cadence. From there, I don't see how being unclipped impedes fast or slow dismounts. If anything, it is one less thing to think about at a critical moment and/or one less reason to be too cautious and lose time (and of course, one less way to crash out of a race).

Jumping off instead of stepping off sounds like that much more energy wasted per dismount. Assuming you are rolling faster than you are going to run, just lay off the brake a little. . .

Do what works for you, but it is possible to cleanly unclip.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,194 Posts
PeanutButterBreath said:
Jumping off instead of stepping off sounds like that much more energy wasted per dismount.
I know that you've seen people dismount this way- almost all of the fastest cyclocross racers (I know, I know, except for Adam H-M...) unclip in one motion as they approach an obstacle. It does not waste energy. It is a simple motion in the ankle that becomes effortless and thoughtless. There's a reason that so few top riders stand, unclipped, on their pedal before dismounting the bike- it's unnecessary. Reducing all unnecessary motions during racing cyclocross (or any type of bike racing) is a big advantage, as you know.

I'm not saying that you can't unclip this way and be fast. But I do think that if you're at the point in your learning curve where you have the chance to choose a habit, it makes sense to go for the simplest and most efficient way that's possible.
 

· Number 2 on the course.
Joined
·
4,405 Posts
I was responding more to the motion described as a "jump". I see fast racers making smooth, efficient motions. If I am mis-interpreting the recommended technique, apologies.

IMO, pre-unclipping can be done just as efficiently.

I've seen a lot of pros with impressively smooth transitions. I have also seen a lot of non-pros crash hard trying to run before they can walk. I don't think people should necessarily start out unclipping early, but neither do I think that they should be discouraged from doing so just because pros don't.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
PB-

I usually use eggbeaters during cross season. Right now they are on my MTB for the summer. So, when I switch them back...How do you to the one motion unclip-slide-forward on your instep. Do you twist your ankle outward or simply push your foot forward or a comdination of the two. The main problem I am having with unclipping the left is that the force required to unclip usually means I need to recenter my foot and that takes a little extra monkey-motion...wasted energy etc. What's your method for the smooth left foot unclip?
 

· Number 2 on the course.
Joined
·
4,405 Posts
I just twist the ankle out and then slide the sole forward slightly before I bring my ankle back in. I rode around trying to figure out if there was a trick to it, but that's really all there is to it.

It could be relevant that I never "advanced" to the later realease cleat configuration because I have never had a problem with unintended disengagement.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
810 Posts
I've seen this discussion before and my take is that besides the crossers that AHM has schooled in his clinics and videos, he's in a very distinct minority. I can't think of any top crossers in the PNW that use this method. I've done it both ways and much prefer being clipped in when cruising across bumpy ground. The most efficient transitions I've ever seen live have been performed by Dale Knap. He has one where he approaches the barrier - steps through with his right foot while unclipping the the left and simualtaneously steps over the barrier with the left foot. His left foot never touches the ground on the leading side of the barrier. Amazing. He has the grace of an Elk.

My proudest cross moment (not my best placing) was when I was racing Bs in a really fun Seattle race and had just given up 8th position, but I took it back over the barriers using the technique I learned by watching Knap.

BTW. Those Seattle races rock. I wish Portland and Seattle did a better job of coordinating their respective schedules so we could against each other more.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
519 Posts
I am a complete nonexpert and I'm too big a clutz to overcomplicate something like that. I don't pre-unclip and don't see a reason. I've been using a variety of Shimano SPDs of various quality and vintage and all have let go just fine and kept my foot in place in the meanwhile. There was one near-dirt moment when a pedal hung up a little after running through bark and mud. One near failure out of so many opportunities to go wrong has got to be more reliable than me standing balancing on a wet shoe sole instep.

Ron
 

· Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
If you have the time and motivation, A H-M technique is one more in your arsenal. I use it as he does in the DVD - to coast in really fast before a set of barriers so as to do one right foot plant before the barrier.

However ..... most of the courses I ride do not have fast grassy and smooth run in's to a dismount. They are often bumpy, muddy and generally insecure so I remain clipped in to the last second for security. I also ride the 3 Peaks Cyclocross - where smooth mounting and dismounting can save you a surprsing amount of energy over the 4 or so hours of the race. It is always so bumpy and treacherous that staying clipped in as long as possible is usually the only way to stay on the pedals and avoid a fall.

Experiment and have fun.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top