Is it a wise idea to switch to clipless pedals just 5 weeks before a race. Is this enough time to practice and get used to them. I am have been scared off by all the talk of falling, but I also am attracted by all the talk of how much better my ride will be.
Absolutely! Five weeks is plenty of time to get used to getting out of your pedals. It's a little nerve racking at the start but you will get the hang of it quickly and the benefits are enormous. Good luck to you.
Like everyone else stated 5 weeks is plenty of time to get used to them. Once you get past the initial nerves, you will be fine. Although, I still get nervous to date, and I've been clippless for two years.
You will fall though, so prepare yourself for that. I fell the first 2 times, and another time when I was trying to get fancy and unclipped with my non-dominant leg.
What is the distance of your cycling race?
For road racing, definitely yes.
For mountain, perhaps. Get lots of practice first.
Either way, adjust them so the release is a little easier. When I started, I had mine on full easy, then tuned them back as I got better / more confident. Have fun in the race!
You definitely want to make the switch. The fear of falling can be daunting at times but quickly passes once you begin riding. My wife purchased a bike to ride with me and I insisted she get these pedals for a more efficient ride and better workout. She did - and she fell immediately on her first time out because she had already had her mind made up that she couldn't ride with them because she was afraid of falling. Well, she scratched her knee, cried, and got pissed at me. Then, after about an hour or so when she cooled off, she admitted that it felt good but she was just too scared of falling while we were zooming down a hill or something. There was nothing I could do to convince her that once she got moving it was likely she wouldn't fall unless she forgot to click-out at a stoplight or something. Long story short, my 15yr old uses them now and goes on many rides with me and she hasn't fallen at all. Switch em, it will be the best change you've made to your bike! Hope this helps.
Switching is a definite "yes" as pointed out by everyone else. The one aspect to the transition that benefits you most, especially in a race, is the ability to engage more leg muscles and consequently more power. One thing that you will want to work on, after you get comfortable in them, is actually being able to "pull up on the pedal" as you develop more and more comfort. When you're able to maintain that type of muscular engagement consistently (without to actually have to think about pulling up on the pedal) you'll develop a smooth cadence and spin which is something you really can't do without them.
Whether it's Crits that you do or road races, your ability to spint as well as climb hills will improve dramatically. The one thing not mentioned by you is: How often do you ride? If you don't ride frequently during the week, or ride mainly long weekend rides, 5 weeks is "ify". I had been on them for two years before I had my first fall.Although I train indoors 1 or 2 days a week and ride a minimum of 30 to 50 miles 2 or 3 days a week, I still remember the first time I went down and couldn't unclip fast enough. But, like all things, you'll learn and adapt accordingly. Long story short, the change will benefit you in so many other ways.
Have a super season!
I have been using them for years, and love them. The only times I have problems is if my chain falls off (because of stupid shifting) or more recently, when my chain broke going up a hill. Any unexpected need to stop very suddenly can get tricky. But the benefits far outweigh the pitfalls (excuse the pun).
i agree. i think you just need to forget it once and fall over, that you will never forget it again . fortunately this happens when you are stationary (hill, traffic light,...)
The person who sold them to me advised me to start and stop 25 times somewhere quiet before going out on a ride. I did this but I wore trousers and elbow protection. Good thing cuz I did fall a couple of times. Another person suggested practicing panic stops a few times in a parking lot. That turned out to be a good idea too.