Fell hard on pavement! Couldn't get foot out of clips🤬

Ride all the time in clips on my spin bike and a couple times on a quiet road so I can get used to them. I fell nice and hard yesterday because I couldn’t get one foot out of the clips😡, even though I anticipated it! I’m pretty sore today! Everything hurts but I climbed on my spin bike, logged on to my Zwift and peddled away!! What’s the secret timing to unclipping when you’re out on the road? I don’t need to be falling on my face!!! I have the clips with 2 screws. Are the 3 screw clips better?

You need to twist you ankle lateraly out in preparation of stopping. As much as it hurts, falling like this is sort of considered “right of passage” (which I am sure you were glad to pass…) In short, happens to a lot of riders.

Solution? Practice on soft surfaces, riding slow…

Hope you recover soon!



Also, depending on the type of pedals you have, check if you can adjust the tension needed to unclip. Many pedals have this and therefore your feet are not held in place as tightly, meaning it is easier to unclip.
It’s also all about anticipation - unclip before you come to a standstill


Yup, a right of passage when using clipless pedals. One top tip is to always unclip the same foot (drivetrain side for me) so you could potentially have this pedal tension a little easier to start with.

As you get used to them you will learn to anticipate when you need to remove a foot at junctions and it will become second nature. You could also pratice track standing (in normal trainers at first) so you don’t have to unclip.

My best fail was after passing a long queue of cars at a level crossing (railway crossing) getting to the front and forgetting to unclip. I then had to stand there for a few minutes waiting for two trains to pass while those cars behind me laughed and heckled me. Ahhh, good times!


Yeah, the secret is to anticipate when you’re going to stop. And how do you remember to anticipate stopping? Fall a couple times and you’ll remember! Negative reinforcement isn’t the most pleasant way to learn, but it’s incredibly effective.

The episode that cemented that lesson for me was: I came to a stop at the head of a line of traffic and unclipped one foot and set it down. All’s well, right? Nope. I shifted such that my body weight was on the opposite side of the bike–the side with the foot still clipped in–and made a slow, elegant, arcing fall onto the pavement!

You don’t forget those lessons, and that’s how you get used to unclipping.

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Ornoth, that’s EXACTLY what happened to me :sweat_smile::laughing: Yes, ouch was in full force when the pavement greeted me lol!!! And…the handlebars smacked my collar bone :roll_eyes:. Bruises and scrapes everywhere. But, it’s cemented in to my brain now!!! :laughing::laughing::sweat_smile:

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The tension on the cleats can be adjusted to make it easier or harder to clip out, there should be a tiny hex screw near the back of the pedal

Also if even minimum tension is too stiff then Shimano makes an easy release cleat SH-56 (regular is sh-51). I doubt you’d need to order these though, usually adjustment of what you have and practice will be enough

Had a friend set up his wife on clipless and every time they stopped she fell over because he had the tension set up really tight. Fortunately it was on dirt so it was mostly emotional pain not physical harm.

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Thank you!!! My mistake was that I switched my regular clip pedals with the crappy ones on the spin bike. I thought… Eh, it’ll be ok for this short ride. NOPE lol!!! The clip pedals that came with my bike were a joke! Lesson for sure learned! I wish I fell on dirt lol!

three things i did:

  • practiced clipping in and out while i was still moving. don’t wait till stop time, practice before then! it’s a “heel flick” motion.
  • always use the same foot in the beginning. (my right is always first out last in)
  • learned on a mountain bike first. off-road tip-over seems more forgiving. also, you’re usually not moving as fast.
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It ain’t no rookie mistake - I do it at least once a year, and usually it’s because I let my mind drift off instead of being in the here and now. Last year I posted a good time up a 2000ft climb, got to the SAG stop at the top, fell over like a sack of potatoes. It’s best to unclip before taking in the sweet aroma of honey waffles.

It occasionally happens indoors too, so I’ve improvised a “crash bag” so I don hurt the floor.


Hope you are OK.

Using clips (cleats) is a motor skill that is very much like learning to ride a bike in the first place. The process isn’t, in the beginning, natural or instinctive and has to be a deliberate controlled action. Outside the mind has a lot of other things to deal with and its really easy to get it wrong and fall over. Using clips on a stationary bike doesn’t give you the practice you need as the bike can’t fall over.

Falling off when learning is a ‘right of passage’, it happened to me twice. If you can pick quiet roads or paths and practice unclipping early it does help and will come to you naturally and without consciously thinking about doing it very quickly. Do stick with it and best of luck.

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Best thing to do is to learn how to fall over without hurting yourself!

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:laughing: Oh, that’ll be a while lol