It takes practice to be able to clip into and out of pedals like SPDs that don’t have a heel or toe clip. It’s also a very important skill. How to clip into and out of SPD pedals is very important for many different types of riding.
Suppose you want to get off your bike to avoid a crash. When you’re riding a berm at high speed and need to put your leg out to get back on your feet. Or at a stop sign. Or when coming to a stop for whatever reason.
In this post, you’ll learn how to use clipless bike pedals. The process is the same whether you’re a mountain biker, a road biker, or are riding a spin bike. A summary and some videos are on this page:
If you have SPD pedals, slide the front part of your cleat-equipped bicycle shoe. When you feel the cleat getting stuck in the pedal, shift your weight to the heel until the back of the cleat gets stuck. There, the cleat should click into place.
Turn your heel outward to get off the bike.
Learn how to ride a stationary bike.
It’s true that it can be hard to get used to riding your bike with clipless pedals. Somewhere at the back of your mind, there’s always the knowing that you’ll fall if and when unclipping fails. Let me say this: You’ll fall. It’s a lie if someone says they can ride clipless after the first time and haven’t eaten anything bad since.
So, set your bike up on a trainer so you can work on your skills, then. Or, you could do it in a place with walls, like your garage. The counter in your kitchen should also be cleaned. It doesn’t even have to be in front of a truck or a tree for you to practice. As you learn how to clip in and out of your SPD pedals, you need something to stand on.
How to clip into your SPD pedals.
If you have a trainer, you can put your bike in it to keep it steady as you work on it. I think this is the best way to learn, but if you don’t have a trainer, don’t worry. Practice next to a wall, so you can use it as a support while you learn how to do things on your own
When you learn how to clip in and unclip, there are three steps:
- Place your bike in a trainer or stand next to a stable surface like a wall.
- Slide your toe forward until the front of your cycling shoe’s cleat gets stuck in the pedal, and then slide your toe back.
- Shift your weight toward your heel while putting down pressure on the back of the cleat until it gets stuck.
It’s time to get on your bike.
Now, get on your bike and hold on to the wall or whatever else you’re using to keep yourself steady. Ready to start? To do this, slide your toe toward the front part of the pedal, and keep it there.
When the cleat on your SPD pedal catches, keep sliding your foot toward the front lip until your foot gets stuck. You’ll be able to tell when the cleat hits, and there’s no need for an explanation.
If you want to kick a ball, start with your dominant foot, the one you use most. Why? Why do you start with your stronger leg? That gives you the momentum and stability you need as you clip in with your weaker foot.
Shift Your Weight to the Heel
To do this, move some of your weight to your heel. This is the next step. Make sure you push down on the pedal with your body weight until you hear a distinct click. There is no more work to do. Simple, right?
But don’t worry if your foot keeps moving forward. When it comes to learning how to clip into SPD clipless pedals, practice is the best way to get better. I had a hard time at first, but I was able to figure out where my cleat got stuck in the pedal and became fully engaged.
Make sure you do the same thing with the other leg after the one that worked well.
In this case, you should clip in with your non-dominant foot.
Congrats! You did a good job of securing yourself to the wall. It’s time to cut.
When you push off against the ground with your dominant leg, you’re now doing it. As that pedal turns around in the clockwise direction, the other pedal starts to rise back up again, too.
At 12 o’clock, step on the pedal with your other foot. This is a little different than how you did it with your stronger foot.
So, slide your toe forward so that the front of the shoe’s cleat hooks into the pedal at the front. Push down on the pedal once that happens, and then you can go faster. That downward movement should automatically make your cleats work, and that’s about all there is to it.
Why Ride Your Bike Caught in
Beginners have a hard time using SPD pedals or any other pedals that don’t have a clip on them. Even after you learn how to clip in and out of these pedals, you can still fall over. So, why bother with pedals that are hard to use when you could just use flat-platform pedals?
Finally, last word.
Clipless pedals aren’t easy to use for people who are new to riding. At least six good reasons exist to stop using flat pedals and start using clipless pedals.
Then, get on your bike and stay close to a wall or countertop, or set your bike up in a trainer, so you don’t fall off. To learn how to clip in and out of your pedals, you should then learn how to do this.
You’ll have a hard time at first. If you go for a few rides, you’ll love how small and powerful your pedal strokes feel.