I bought the Cervelo R3, and finally got it out on the road today after many weeks of rain. I am a newbie to the world of clipless pedals. Everyone tells me that I will crash or fall.
I tried the bike with the clipless pedals indoors in my galley kitchen, and avoided falling inside. This morning the weather cooperated, and I took the bike into the parking lot behind my building to try getting into and out of the pedals. I had been successful getting out of the pedals quickly while practicing indoors, but was having a hard time getting into the pedals. Once outside, I decided to focus on getting one foot into the pedal, and then practice getting pur of the pedal.
I had been a bit overconfident in my ability to disengage my shoe from the pedal based on what I had done inside. I promptly fell in my training loops in the parking lot as I waited until I had stopped completely before disengaging the shoe from the pedal. i fell even though the other foot was not clipped in, as I became unbalanced on the wrong side. No damage except a bruised ego.
I decided that I would go for a ride in the neighbourhood even though I hadn’t got both pedals clipped in. The first thing I realized is that it is not that difficult to pedal on flat ground with neither foot clipped in. Secondly, I was able to maintain a decent speed pedalling with only one foot clipped in, as this allows you to do complete pedal rotating on both the up and down stroke. Once I got this figured out, I became more relaxed,a s I realized I could navigate the busier streets at slow speed in a fairly safe manner.
I got to an adjacent neighbourhood, with longer quieter streets which had a few hills. The most impressive thing was the ability to pedal uphill effortlessly once both feet were clipped in. These weren’t long or steep hills, but it was so much easier than my other bike with the toeclips. I ended up cycling around for about half an hour practicing disengaging and clipping in on the quiet streets, as well as changing the gears and just getting a feel for the bike. Despite the harder seat than what i was used to, and the bumpy asphalt, the ride was remarkably smooth. The other benefit of the light bike, is when I fell, there was barely any weight of the bike falling on my body which made it much less uncomfortable than it might have been otherwise.
If the weather is dry next weekend, I plan to go for a longer ride to compare this with what I had done with my other bike last fall. Stay tuned.