I have been quite keen to make the move to clipless pedals and after changing my pedals and attaching cleats. I was ready to try it out on the road. I had worked out that prefer unclipping using my right foot, especially as my left ankle is recovering from injury. I placed the cleats on the shoe centre/centre – right in the middle, facing forward

I had read that cleat placement is very important and incorrect position leads to undue stress on the legs and injury. I didn’t really fancy injury so I took a set of allen keys with me in case I need to adjust the cleats.

I set of clipping in ok, I unclipped approaching the junction out of my estate and re-clipped in without issue. After a mile, my left knee was noticeable painful. I walk with my feet slightly outwards and my running gait is the same. I stopped at the side of a busy bypass, found a concrete post to prop myself on and adjusted my left cleat. I had read that to make your feet face outward you point the cleat towards the big toe. I adjusted it slightly, tightened it back up and set off again.

Noticeably better. I got to 5 miles having unclipped and reclipped 4-5 times without issues. By this point, my left knee was hurting again so I stopped again and adjusted it a little more. The pain went away again. My left foot races slightly further out than my right foot. No one is perfect.

The 5 miles back were fine, I found myself spinning along nicely – I am not sure if I am getting any extra power.

 

cleatposition
SPD Cleat position showing slightly off-centre angle

 

The route was flat. I made it back home and unclipped. The back gate was locked so I reclipped and went to the front of the house to be let in. I unclipped as I approached my door. I had unclipped my right foot and the house was on my left. I slowed to a stop and leaned left expecting to take my left foot out and forgetting I was clipped in.

The world stood still for a second as the realisation set in before my body started falling. I fell to my left, instinctively my left hand came out attempting to cushion my fall. I fell painfully on my left hip and left hand before crashing into the floor narrowly missing the wall. Ouch. The other half had heard me and came running out of the house.

It took a couple of moments before I could move, fully away that at one of my neighbours must have seen me and was laughing their head off. Apparently, everyone falls. It’s a rite of passage. One that I don’t want to repeat.

36 hours on and my left hip is sore but unbruised. My left hand is painful but I don’t think it’s broken. One day I am sure our children are going to laugh at the crude clipless pedals that prevent your feet being removed in a pinch. One day I am going to invent a new cleat. But for today I’m going to nurse my war wounds.

 

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