I remember the first time that I used pedal bindings decades ago and found the process somewhat intimidating. The first time any cyclist uses a pedal binding system after only using normal binderless pedals with shoes only, there is an initial period of uncertainty, discomfort, and fear. Each pedal binding system requires an initial period of getting accustomed to being locked into or secured to the pedals as well as learning the motions necessary to safely disengage the bound shoe from the pedal. At first, most cyclists feel unsteady and uncertain but with time and experience, the disengagement motion will become instinctive. However failure to do so can lead to catastrophic injury or even death. Therefore it is essential that you are properly instructed in the use and maintenance of your pedal binding system before riding.
Allow an Experienced Rider to Explain how your Pedal Binding System Works
Most serious road bikers use clipless pedals and tires to improve their efficiency. There are many different manufacturers and styles of clipless pedals on the market and each system requires a certain amount of expertise in fitting and selection. Therefore, I recommend purchasing pedal bindings or clipless pedals from an established and reputable bike shop that can properly fit and adjust the clips in a safe environment on a trainer’s stand. It is important that the bicycle store salesperson or clerk be experienced in these matters and be with an understanding of the style in which the rider rides and setting the ease of release. Proper instruction in lock and release should be explained.
Slow and deliberate riders require a low setting and strong and aggressive riders might want to have a stronger setting. The more advanced the pedal, the more aggressive the release setting will be and many times beginners should not start with expert level bike pedals with hard to release settings. Despite many bicycle shops interest in selling the most expensive model, the tension setting may be too high for your riding ability and lead to liability if an accident occurs. Be sure to ask questions when selecting a pedal binding system. Your questions can prevent serious injury or even death.
Erroneous Pedal Binding Information can Cause Injury or Death
Over the years as an avid bicyclist and bicycle accident attorney, I witnessed many cases where customers were erroneously informed on how to get on and off the bike. The clerk or salesperson would instruct them to mount or dismount the bicycle in a destabilizing fashion rather than with your weight equally balanced in the middle. In light of economic incentives for the clerk and shop, I do not believe it is always wise to trust store clerks in the selection of bicycle pedals.
Rather an experienced rider is more likely to provide accurate and unbiased advice. Recognizing your status as a road biking neophyte, an experienced rider might recommend a hybrid bicycle pedal. These hybrid pedals combine the best features of standard pedals and binding ststems. They allow for the use of a clip on one side and the use of a normal shoe on the other. These systems can be appropriate for easing into a binding systems without leaving the familiarity of a standard pedal. Once one becomes more comfortable with road biking and the use of shoe binding systems, they can upgrade to a more advanced and more difficult to use model.
Put our bicycle accident experience to work for you
If you have been in an accident involving the non-release of a bicycle binding, it can pay to contact an experienced bike accident lawyer. An attorney familiar with these issues can fully investigate your claim and enable you to make a full recovery for the injuries sustained and resulting loss of income. Contact The Reiff Law Firm today by calling (215) 246-9000 or contact us online.