Scrapped carbon and a torn cleat serve as reminders of a sudden crash.

On Rule #64: The Sudden Drop

On Rule #64: The Sudden Drop

by / / 117 posts

The severity of a crash exists on two planes, the physical and psychological. The physical is the most obvious and one we busy ourselves with in the immediate vicinity of coming down. Our bodies need time to heal, our kits may need replacing or mending, and our bicycles may need repair work. For weeks and sometimes months, we may carry with us the scars that result when our bodies, bicycles, and tarmac momentarily occupy the same space.

We endeavor to reach a point where the mechanics of bike handling has moved into the subconscious. An experienced Cyclist no longer thinks in terms of steering or pedaling; instead, we exist in a stream of subconscious consciousness where our senses are heightened, yet none of our actions exist on a plane of explicit thought as we make subtle adjustments to our stroke, steering, and balance. As our experience grows, the bicycle becomes an extension of our physical selves; it is through finding this harmony that we are able to live on the razor’s edge between grace and disaster.

When disaster does strike, we are faced with scars beyond the physical that take much longer to recover than do our equipment and flesh. In the space of a single moment, the trust we felt in our machine and our ability to control it evaporates, leaving a hollow sense of betrayal that burrows away deeply into our minds. It stays there, far from view, only to surface during moments when we most rely on our confidence to avoid crashes; the sliding of a tire in a corner or the sudden interference of an object with our path – these situations require complete confidence in our machine and skills, yet during the time that our confidence is being rebuilt we doubt our instincts.

This is particularly true of cornering, where we are most prominently faced with the realities of our confidence, trust, and skills. Normally, we sense a crash approaching some time before it arrives. A problem with our trajectory or a slipping tire will give our minds a moment to react, even if our bodies are unable to. As we reflect on the crash afterwards, we’ll understand what happened, and what might have been done to avoid it; we use this knowledge to tell ourselves it was avoidable and tuck that nagging sense of doubt a bit farther out of reach. But a crash with no warning and no remedy sits naked in our minds and permeates every action and sensation as we struggle to regain our confidence.

This past December, I slipped on some black ice on a cold morning commute to the office. There were no signs of anything going amiss; there was only the crash. In the blink of an eye, I went from happily entering a corner to laying on the tarmac. The impact was so sudden, in fact, that the force of the fall was taken up by my hip and elbow – my hands never left the bars – and the impact so swift that my cleat tore apart as the impossibility of my occupying the same space as my bicycle and the road was resolved by my being separated abruptly from both.

My rides since then have suffered from nagging questions that flood my mind as I enter a corner, particularly in the wet; I no longer trust that I can judge the corner adequately or that my equipment will loyally carry me through. Logically, I know that while statistics suggest that one’s chances of crashing remain constant so long as environmental conditions don’t significantly change, I know shaken confidence ensures that crashes come in clusters as self-doubt overrides intuition cultivated over years of experience.

I must force myself to regain my confidence; the only path to doing so lies through ignoring my doubt and wrapping myself in the craft. Vive la Vie Velominatus.

// La Vie Velominatus // Technique // The Rides // The Rules

  1. @frank

    @brett

    @Deakus

    Er…@Frank what’s with the Time cleats…where have the Speedplays gone?

    He never used Speedplays, Gianni does.

    On the subject, I’m having some knee issues and am seriously contemplating the move to Speedplay. Such an expensive move to make, changing all bikes out, but it may be necessary…

    I rock Bonts (charred) and Speedplays and my knees don’t hurt anymore – ergo make the change

  2. @frank

    @brett

    @Deakus

    Er…@Frank what’s with the Time cleats…where have the Speedplays gone?

    He never used Speedplays, Gianni does.

    On the subject, I’m having some knee issues and am seriously contemplating the move to Speedplay. Such an expensive move to make, changing all bikes out, but it may be necessary…

    @Frank as you have stated on several occasions on other reverance articles, sometimes the upfront costs can repay the outlay over time and I would suggest speedplays are a case on point:

    1.  The float thing is a little wierd for about 10 minutes, then it is pure joy

    2.  The cleats last…a lot longer!  I know some complain that they clog easily but I have not found this, a little WD40 from time to time is all it takes.

    3.  The pedal is so simple, I have already dismantled mine and regreased them, they even give you the instructions in the box (which by the way is beautiful)

    4.  All parts are dismantable and replaceable seperately, you can get new bearings, shafts, outers, o-rings…the whole damn lot.  I imagine this will appeal to your sensibilities.

    5.  Dual sided, I know we all love to think we clip in to our looks and time pedals everytime in split second..but really?

    6.  O..O….O…no creaking, squeaking….just a small contribution to the principle of silence

    You know it makes sense!

  3. @Gianni

    When it rains, it pours. Or something like that. Three crashes yesterday on Maui, none car related. Two from the damp slippery white line on a road that that does not get too much rain and the third from an overcooked damp corner. Two riders with broken femurs, one of them was Peter from the East Maui Cogal ride. Faaaaaaaack.

    A lot of the cornering I do is on well washed roads and no one crashes there (well not many). I think it’s the roads that don’t get much rain are the really dangerous ones when it is a little wet out.

    @wrench

    That’s a chilling story, it could be any of us. I hope the recovery is smooth and your tyres are singing on the pavement soon.

    Why do things like that always come in threes?

  4. @Nate

    @frank

    @eightzero

    My Rule (that I have been ridiculed by the common sojery here) is that I don’t ride in the rain, and I don’t ride in the dark. It’s. Too. Fucking. Dangerous.

    As it turns out, you can do both of those things quite safely provided you don’t also add freezing temperatures into the mix.

    Frank, what is your preferred rim/brakepad combo for rain?

    I like the getto Kool Stop pads in Salmon on any alu rim; I’m rollin’ my Mavic Open Pros right now and they work great, but I don’t notice a performance difference between that and my old rain wheels which were Ksyriums.

    I actually thought my carbon climbing wheels did pretty well in the wet – so long as I rode the brakes for a second before needing them so the works warmed up enough that there was enough heat for everything to work. Not ideal for a panic stop!

    I hate that feeling when you hit the brakes and your bike appears to do nothing but speed up for a moment.

  5. @itburns

    @frank

    Does Time make a floating cleat like Shimano? I have all the float I want (3 degrees each way) on my SPD-SL’s. I would think Time has a similar solution.

    Yup, they have float, and I’ve always been happy with them, but since the crash in question my right knee has been screwy and after Haleakala the other knee when wonky as well, but in a different place. Speedplay just seems like a good design as far as riding goes, but a shit design as far as being off the bike goes.

    I’ll take the riding performance over the shitty mud-sucking cleat design…

  6. @frank

    Thanks on the pads.  I’ve run that combo before.  I’ve notice that when it’s really raining my braking performance is adequate, probably because there is enough water to flush the rims relatively clean.  The real problem is riding in the damp, when it’s wet enough to slick and gunk up the rims but not get them clean-ish.

    Re your knees maybe you should see a good fitter before you invest in a new pedal system.

  7. @frank

    @itburns

    @frank

    Does Time make a floating cleat like Shimano? I have all the float I want (3 degrees each way) on my SPD-SL’s. I would think Time has a similar solution.

    Yup, they have float, and I’ve always been happy with them, but since the crash in question my right knee has been screwy and after Haleakala the other knee when wonky as well, but in a different place. Speedplay just seems like a good design as far as riding goes, but a shit design as far as being off the bike goes.

    I’ll take the riding performance over the shitty mud-sucking cleat design…

    Just remember to take the cafe covers and all is well

  8. @Deakus

    @frank

    @brett

    @Deakus

    Er…@Frank what’s with the Time cleats…where have the Speedplays gone?

    He never used Speedplays, Gianni does.

    On the subject, I’m having some knee issues and am seriously contemplating the move to Speedplay. Such an expensive move to make, changing all bikes out, but it may be necessary…

    @Frank as you have stated on several occasions on other reverance articles, sometimes the upfront costs can repay the outlay over time and I would suggest speedplays are a case on point:

    1. The float thing is a little wierd for about 10 minutes, then it is pure joy

    2. The cleats last…a lot longer! I know some complain that they clog easily but I have not found this, a little WD40 from time to time is all it takes.

    3. The pedal is so simple, I have already dismantled mine and regreased them, they even give you the instructions in the box (which by the way is beautiful)

    4. All parts are dismantable and replaceable seperately, you can get new bearings, shafts, outers, o-rings…the whole damn lot. I imagine this will appeal to your sensibilities.

    5. Dual sided, I know we all love to think we clip in to our looks and time pedals everytime in split second..but really?

    6. O..O….O…no creaking, squeaking….just a small contribution to the Principle of Silence

    You know it makes sense!

    Irealise you use different shoes on different bikes but you could try a few pairs of cleats and swapping over the pedals as it would only take a few minutes to swap.

  9. @the Engine

    @frank

    @itburns

    @frank

    Does Time make a floating cleat like Shimano? I have all the float I want (3 degrees each way) on my SPD-SL’s. I would think Time has a similar solution.

    Yup, they have float, and I’ve always been happy with them, but since the crash in question my right knee has been screwy and after Haleakala the other knee when wonky as well, but in a different place. Speedplay just seems like a good design as far as riding goes, but a shit design as far as being off the bike goes.

    I’ll take the riding performance over the shitty mud-sucking cleat design…

    Just remember to take the cafe covers and all is well

    There are cafe covers that can stay on while riding.

  10. I hope you like it.

  11. @the Engine On topic of the speed-play, Did you set them up or have the LBS help out. I to roll with Bonts but w/ look. I have run all three of there cleats, conceding to live with the out come. It’s time for change i think.

  12. @Cyclops  Now thats true sportsman ship.

  13. @snoov

    @the Engine

    @frank

    @itburns

    @frank

    Does Time make a floating cleat like Shimano? I have all the float I want (3 degrees each way) on my SPD-SL’s. I would think Time has a similar solution.

    Yup, they have float, and I’ve always been happy with them, but since the crash in question my right knee has been screwy and after Haleakala the other knee when wonky as well, but in a different place. Speedplay just seems like a good design as far as riding goes, but a shit design as far as being off the bike goes.

    I’ll take the riding performance over the shitty mud-sucking cleat design…

    Just remember to take the cafe covers and all is well

    There are cafe covers that can stay on while riding.

    Ah – here’s a thing – always remember to take the cafe covers off before you get on the bike as the effect of not doing so – whilst hilarious to passers by – is less hilarious if you find yourself trying to pedal slippy pieces of plastic

  14. I guess I’ll just have to replace the Bonts with these.

  15. @Russ M

    @the Engine On topic of the speed-play, Did you set them up or have the LBS help out. I to roll with Bonts but w/ look. I have run all three of there cleats, conceding to live with the out come. It’s time for change i think.

    LBS – but then I’m utterly useless at spannering anything.

    I wrote acres of pish about this last summer when I had a Speedplay failure (cleat tore away from shoe). Keep em clean because if they get sticky and you force your shoe out you’ll stress the attachment to the shoe and the cleat attachment will eventually break if it’s a cheap shoe – any lateral flex in the shoe makes things much worse – Bonts being super rigid don’t suffer from this fault but anything with a bit of play on the sole or a slightly baggy fit probably will – hope this makes sense.

  16. @frank

    I guess I’ll just have to replace the Bonts with these.

    These may be the perfect shoe – however my present Bonts are as indestructible as yours as well as comfortable so absent a sponsor giving me a pair there’s no fear of me being able to justify them to the VMH and my starving offspring

  17. @wrench this sounds like the first month or so of my recovery last year, although on a slightly smaller scale. I ‘only’ broke my collarbone with the crash but know the feeling of reliving the accident in your head over & over. There were plenty of nights where I’d have what would start out as pretty cool dreams about riding end up waking me up when I’d crash & get the feeling of bone breaking again.

    One thing I found that helped rekindle the fire was watching & reading about cycling, just stay clear of any crash compilations!

  18. @the Engine

    @Russ M

    @the Engine On topic of the speed-play, Did you set them up or have the LBS help out. I to roll with Bonts but w/ look. I have run all three of there cleats, conceding to live with the out come. It’s time for change i think.

    LBS – but then I’m utterly useless at spannering anything.

    I wrote acres of pish about this last summer when I had a Speedplay failure (cleat tore away from shoe). Keep em clean because if they get sticky and you force your shoe out you’ll stress the attachment to the shoe and the cleat attachment will eventually break if it’s a cheap shoe – any lateral flex in the shoe makes things much worse – Bonts being super rigid don’t suffer from this fault but anything with a bit of play on the sole or a slightly baggy fit probably will – hope this makes sense.

    It sure does thanks, Comfort is a big thing for me, not just in the actual feeling of the way it fits  but peace of mind. To know that every aspect of my machine and accessory’s are in good working order will allow me to lay down full “V”in pursuing     the man with the hammer!

  19. @frank

    @The Pressure

    @Ron

    The photo hurts. Frank, your optimism is always inspiring.

    I was cycling to a music show a few years back when I had my own black ice encounter. I was riding along, not corner, but suddenly realized I was on a huge patch of black ice I had not seen. I knew I was fucked and simply tried to take off as much speed as possible before my rear wheel eventually slid out. As opposed to not having time, I had enough time to get my hip and shoulder out, kind of laying it down as gently as possible and protecting the steed. All in all, not so bad but the feeling of being on black ice & traveling far too fast ain’t fun.

    I’ve been hit twice by cars & both of those resulted in analyzing what I had done wrong & some shaken confidence. I’ve adopted my own mantra that I utter when riding in heavy traffic, along the lines of some advice given to Rick Kane in the esteemed “North Shore”: when the bus (wave) turns (breaks) here, don’t be there. Or, you’re gonna get drilled.

    Last summer whilst laying down some serious V, my wheel-sucking mate yelled, “He’s turning!” As the road ahead in both directions was clear I was puzzled…until an overtaking van appeared and proceeded to cut into a parking lot in front of me! In the “safety” of the bike lane I applied front and rear brakes to only to discover that at high speed, stopping is not happening soon enough. Fortunately I struck the van’s side at an oblique angle and proceeded to tear a gouge (or is it a scrape or a scrap?) the length of the vehicle with my bars. I would have been completely unscathed had I not picked off the van’s mirror with my shoulder. After a very shaky ride home and a trip to the LBS, my bike was unharmed save for shredded bar tape and two broken seat rails (must have clamped down before impact!)

    The moral: Don’t be where the van is…and you aren’t safe in the bike lane!

    Overtaking vehicles who then proceed to turn are unbelievable; they know they passed you, so how could they think you’re not there? I am always looking for blinkers from my peripherals to see what a car might be doing. It’s one of the many hazards riding on the road.

    I went through a rear window many years ago in the same situation; a woman passed me, then cut into the bike lane and slammed on the brakes. I had no alternative but to fly through her window. Massive suck.

    Van driver’s first words, “Where did you come from? (He had just past the two of us).”  Then, ” Look at the damage to my van!”  As my riding buddy proceeded to rip into the douchetard, all I wanted to do was ride home.  Shaken, but almost un marked, I learned to re-focus my “spider-senses”!

  20. @frank

    @brett

    @Deakus

    Er…@Frank what’s with the Time cleats…where have the Speedplays gone?

    He never used Speedplays, Gianni does.

    On the subject, I’m having some knee issues and am seriously contemplating the move to Speedplay. Such an expensive move to make, changing all bikes out, but it may be necessary…

    Just a shot in the dark here;

    Could it be a biomechanical issue that you’ve developed rather than a component issue? I presume that you have been riding with the same setup for a number of years. 

    I have been very fortunate over the years never to have had knee problems (touch wood).  However, a couple of months ago I began to have twinges in my right knee, primarily when climbing stairs.  It never seemed to bother me whilst riding though.  What I discovered was that (through the wonders of the interwebs) that I had a tightening ITB.  I found that with some focussed stretching over a three week period, the issue has disappeared.

    Have you had any advice from a biomechanical perspective? (ie. Physio, Osteo)

  21. @mouse ahh the old ITB, one of my faves…have you introduced yours to a foam roller yet? New definition to the word pain.

  22. @Gianni

    @Mikael Liddy

    @Deakus

    Thanks for replying. Through sites like this I’m somehow maintaining a sense of humor and trying to focus on the riding that is to come, even if I won’t be pining on a number anytime soon.

    Banksy pretty much says it all…

  23. exception 'ImagickException' with message 'unable to open image `/nas/wp/www/cluster-40013/velominati//wp-content/plugins/dm-albums/php/image.php?degrees=0&scale=yes&width=600&height=700&quality=85&maintain_aspect=yes&rounding=nearest&image=/home/frankdstrack/velominati.com/wp-content/uploads/readers/wrench/2013.02.01.03.27.46/1/lifestyle4.jpg': No such file or directory @ error/blob.c/OpenBlob/2638' in /nas/wp/www/cluster-40013/velominati/wp-content/themes/velominati/generics.php:1224 Stack trace: #0 /nas/wp/www/cluster-40013/velominati/wp-content/themes/velominati/generics.php(1224): Imagick->__construct('/nas/wp/www/clu...') #1 [internal function]: dm_replace_image_embeds('

    start_el('?display_element(Object(stdClass), Array, 1, 0, Array, '?@wrench

    Banksy pretty much says it all…

    Yes. He was channeling the Buddha, there, wasn’t he? It’s Dukkha-ville, bitches, and we get to apply Rule V.

    Wishing you (and @Rob) the fullest, most comprehensive, and speediest recovery.

  24. Wow, my crash story is completely inadequate when compared to what some of you guys have been through. Chapeau for getting back on the bike at all.

    My only major crash involved a porsche 911 pulling out of a side street as I was coming down hill. He saw me and stopped but it was too late for me to pull up and I went over the handlebars of my MTB landing flat on my back on the bonnet of the porsche before sliding off onto the bitumen. Needless to say all 188cm and 85 odd kg of me did a number on the porsche’s bonnet while a bottle opener I had in my pocket (was riding to my uni bar job) put a beautiful white scratch 3/4 of the way across said bonnet.

    Apart from a bruised arse and some knee and elbow skin donated to the road I was ok while my 80s steel framed MTB was untouched except for a slightly buckled front wheel.

    The driver was beside himself and thought he’d killed me, couldn’t believe it when I rode off to work. Thankfully I got the day off and a couple of free drinks from my boss to calm me down.

  25. @frank

    I guess I’ll just have to replace the Bonts with these.

    I guess I’ll just have to replace the Bonts with these.

    Frank does your love affair with Bonts know no ends!  Well I guess if you have found that armchair feel in a shoe, you would probably be pretty loyal.  Just one point to note, the next time you crash, and there will be a next time, those Boa buttons will be destroyed and another fine set of £200+ shoes will be totalled…………….and you are worrying about the cost of Speedplays?!

    It was one feature I liked about the Lake shoes, they put the Boa on the heel which not only kept it out of the way in a crash (and was just as easy to adjust on the fly) but also meant the tightening extended around the side of the foot as well to give less pressure points.

    Anyway in the end I went Sidi again but went from a 46 to a 47 mega and peace and traquility are starting to be restored to my feet at last!

    If you insist no falling off, then may I recomend!

  26. @Deakus last sentence *on

  27. @Deakus

    That helmet has the unfortunate side effect of emasculating the wearer.

    However, if it turns you into a really hot chick, it could have its benefits.

    http://youtu.be/3U8SKJwMNA8

  28. We’ve all been there. As cyclists it’s a matter of when not if we’ll prang, crash, shunt. It’s when you lose your mojo is the biggest problem is recovery. It took me ages to corner hard in the wet after Id’ broken my elbow, and skinned my face, arms and legs. The worse is being clobbered by negligent drivers who say SMIDSY! Fucked my front wheel and my ankle.

    @Frahnk at least you can bore your office with tales of your crash and squeeze the pus out of your road rash.

    @wrench was that photo taken near Commercial Rd/Limehouse?

  29. @the Engine

    @snoov

    @the Engine

    @frank

    @itburns

    @frank

    Does Time make a floating cleat like Shimano? I have all the float I want (3 degrees each way) on my SPD-SL’s. I would think Time has a similar solution.

    Yup, they have float, and I’ve always been happy with them, but since the crash in question my right knee has been screwy and after Haleakala the other knee when wonky as well, but in a different place. Speedplay just seems like a good design as far as riding goes, but a shit design as far as being off the bike goes.

    I’ll take the riding performance over the shitty mud-sucking cleat design…

    Just remember to take the cafe covers and all is well

    There are cafe covers that can stay on while riding.

    Ah – here’s a thing – always remember to take the cafe covers off before you get on the bike as the effect of not doing so – whilst hilarious to passers by – is less hilarious if you find yourself trying to pedal slippy pieces of plastic

    This is what I mean.

  30. I’ve seen them somewhere for sale but the ones above are home made.  Here’s the article.

    http://www.bikeradar.com/gallery/article/budget-bike-tech-add-some-grip-to-your-speedplay-zero-cleats-33506/1

  31. @snoov – Good idea although it doesn’t stop shit getting into the mechanism

  32. @the Engine

    @Russ M

    @the Engine On topic of the speed-play, Did you set them up or have the LBS help out. I to roll with Bonts but w/ look. I have run all three of there cleats, conceding to live with the out come. It’s time for change i think.

    LBS – but then I’m utterly useless at spannering anything.

    I wrote acres of pish about this last summer when I had a Speedplay failure (cleat tore away from shoe). Keep em clean because if they get sticky and you force your shoe out you’ll stress the attachment to the shoe and the cleat attachment will eventually break if it’s a cheap shoe – any lateral flex in the shoe makes things much worse – Bonts being super rigid don’t suffer from this fault but anything with a bit of play on the sole or a slightly baggy fit probably will – hope this makes sense.

    Its interesting; everyone talks about how simple and light the pedals are, and then discuss at length the various issues with the big, heavy, complicated cleat.

    The complexity is going to have to come out of the length or the width, I suppose.

    Interesting side note, no pain whatsoever on yesterday’s commute home. Odd.

  33. @mouse

    @frank

    @brett

    @Deakus

    Er…@Frank what’s with the Time cleats…where have the Speedplays gone?

    He never used Speedplays, Gianni does.

    On the subject, I’m having some knee issues and am seriously contemplating the move to Speedplay. Such an expensive move to make, changing all bikes out, but it may be necessary…

    Just a shot in the dark here;

    Could it be a biomechanical issue that you’ve developed rather than a component issue? I presume that you have been riding with the same setup for a number of years.

    I have been very fortunate over the years never to have had knee problems (touch wood). However, a couple of months ago I began to have twinges in my right knee, primarily when climbing stairs. It never seemed to bother me whilst riding though. What I discovered was that (through the wonders of the interwebs) that I had a tightening ITB. I found that with some focussed stretching over a three week period, the issue has disappeared.

    Have you had any advice from a biomechanical perspective? (ie. Physio, Osteo)

    Could well be; the issue started after this crash; my hip has been in various states of recovery since then. No pain yesterday, as I just mentioned, so maybe I’m just over-thinking this thing.

  34. @Deakus

    @frank

    I guess I’ll just have to replace the Bonts with these.

    I guess I’ll just have to replace the Bonts with these.

    Frank does your love affair with Bonts know no ends! Well I guess if you have found that armchair feel in a shoe, you would probably be pretty loyal. Just one point to note, the next time you crash, and there will be a next time, those Boa buttons will be destroyed and another fine set of £200+ shoes will be totalled…………….and you are worrying about the cost of Speedplays?!

    Actually, the buckle was destroyed on the Bonts I currently have, and they were clever enough to make them easily replaced. Good point though, those puppies, if not replaceable, will be truly fucked.

    It was one feature I liked about the Lake shoes, they put the Boa on the heel which not only kept it out of the way in a crash (and was just as easy to adjust on the fly) but also meant the tightening extended around the side of the foot as well to give less pressure points.

    Anyway in the end I went Sidi again but went from a 46 to a 47 mega and peace and traquility are starting to be restored to my feet at last!

    Sidi went to a Boa now as well – massive sex here too.

    If you insist no falling off, then may I recomend!

    Another gift given the world by the Dutch!

  35. @frank

    @the Engine

    @Russ M

    @the Engine On topic of the speed-play, Did you set them up or have the LBS help out. I to roll with Bonts but w/ look. I have run all three of there cleats, conceding to live with the out come. It’s time for change i think.

    LBS – but then I’m utterly useless at spannering anything.

    I wrote acres of pish about this last summer when I had a Speedplay failure (cleat tore away from shoe). Keep em clean because if they get sticky and you force your shoe out you’ll stress the attachment to the shoe and the cleat attachment will eventually break if it’s a cheap shoe – any lateral flex in the shoe makes things much worse – Bonts being super rigid don’t suffer from this fault but anything with a bit of play on the sole or a slightly baggy fit probably will – hope this makes sense.

    Its interesting; everyone talks about how simple and light the pedals are, and then discuss at length the various issues with the big, heavy, complicated cleat.

    The complexity is going to have to come out of the length or the width, I suppose.

    Interesting side note, no pain whatsoever on yesterday’s commute home. Odd.

    It’s system weight that matters rather than that of the individual parts and there’s likely not that much to chose between systems at a given level. Cleat seems about the same weight as my old Look ones though. The mechanism isn’t complicated its just vulnerable to dirt – I spray with ptfe and clean with a toothbrush and all appears well thus far.

  36. Downloaded this image — the crash that truly hurts.

  37. @frank

    I guess I’ll just have to replace the Bonts with these.

    I see they went with the Atop system.  Same as on my DMT’s.  The cable lace is thinner than the Boa system and the release setting is more pronounced – no tension on the cable.  I’m addicted to the “loose tightness” of cable systems.  My Lakes were perfect, but I had a freak warranty repair when a cleat attachment point cracked and no one seems to be able to get Lakes from the manufacture anymore.  Having their latest top-of-the-line model show up on Nashbar wasn’t a good sign of company health either.

  38. @Deakus

    @frank

    I guess I’ll just have to replace the Bonts with these.

    I guess I’ll just have to replace the Bonts with these.

    Frank does your love affair with Bonts know no ends! Well I guess if you have found that armchair feel in a shoe, you would probably be pretty loyal. Just one point to note, the next time you crash, and there will be a next time, those Boa buttons will be destroyed and another fine set of £200+ shoes will be totalled…………….and you are worrying about the cost of Speedplays?!

    It was one feature I liked about the Lake shoes, they put the Boa on the heel which not only kept it out of the way in a crash (and was just as easy to adjust on the fly) but also meant the tightening extended around the side of the foot as well to give less pressure points.

    Anyway in the end I went Sidi again but went from a 46 to a 47 mega and peace and traquility are starting to be restored to my feet at last!

    If you insist no falling off, then may I recomend!

    This is awesome. Helmet deployed; girl. Helmet packed away; dude. That’ll make things easier for me……..

  39. @frank

    Boas can be replaced, not sure about the Atop on the newer Bonts though.

    I have Lakes with the Boa on the heel as well, they are very comfortable, but uninspiring for some reason.  The reel on the back does look a bit odd under shoe covers though.

  40. @Mikael Liddy

    @wrench this sounds like the first month or so of my recovery last year, although on a slightly smaller scale. I ‘only’ broke my collarbone with the crash but know the feeling of reliving the accident in your head over & over. There were plenty of nights where I’d have what would start out as pretty cool dreams about riding end up waking me up when I’d crash & get the feeling of bone breaking again.

    One thing I found that helped rekindle the fire was watching & reading about cycling, just stay clear of any crash compilations!

    On Sept 15, I crashed and fractured my clavicle, broke a rib, had a concussion and partially collapsed right lung. Five days later I had surgery to repair the clavicle. I never saw the bump that took me down until later, when I walked back to the scene of the accident. At the time, I was riding with my hands loosely on top of the handlebars, and when I hit the bump my hands must have flown off the bars and down I went.

    I got on the bike again the third week of November. The first time out was really nerve-wracking for me. I was hyper- vigilent, with laser beam eyes scanning the road for any bump, crack or seam. My hands were almost death-griped on the bars lest I hit an unseen flaw in the road and lose control again. Gradually, I got my confidence back. Now, I never ride without at least a few fingers wrapped around the bars, and that practice has saved my ass a couple of times when I again hit an unseen bump, felt the violent jarring, but kept control of the bike.

  41. @frank

    @the Engine

    @Russ M

    @the Engine On topic of the speed-play, Did you set them up or have the LBS help out. I to roll with Bonts but w/ look. I have run all three of there cleats, conceding to live with the out come. It’s time for change i think.

    LBS – but then I’m utterly useless at spannering anything.

    I wrote acres of pish about this last summer when I had a Speedplay failure (cleat tore away from shoe). Keep em clean because if they get sticky and you force your shoe out you’ll stress the attachment to the shoe and the cleat attachment will eventually break if it’s a cheap shoe – any lateral flex in the shoe makes things much worse – Bonts being super rigid don’t suffer from this fault but anything with a bit of play on the sole or a slightly baggy fit probably will – hope this makes sense.

    Its interesting; everyone talks about how simple and light the pedals are, and then discuss at length the various issues with the big, heavy, complicated cleat.

    The complexity is going to have to come out of the length or the width, I suppose.

    Interesting side note, no pain whatsoever on yesterday’s commute home. Odd.

    My body was all out of whack after I crashed a couple years ago.  A few accupuncture sessions helped a lot to sort everything out.

  42. @frank

    @the Engine

    @Russ M

    @the Engine On topic of the speed-play, Did you set them up or have the LBS help out. I to roll with Bonts but w/ look. I have run all three of there cleats, conceding to live with the out come. It’s time for change i think.

    LBS – but then I’m utterly useless at spannering anything.

    I wrote acres of pish about this last summer when I had a Speedplay failure (cleat tore away from shoe). Keep em clean because if they get sticky and you force your shoe out you’ll stress the attachment to the shoe and the cleat attachment will eventually break if it’s a cheap shoe – any lateral flex in the shoe makes things much worse – Bonts being super rigid don’t suffer from this fault but anything with a bit of play on the sole or a slightly baggy fit probably will – hope this makes sense.

    Its interesting; everyone talks about how simple and light the pedals are, and then discuss at length the various issues with the big, heavy, complicated cleat.

    The complexity is going to have to come out of the length or the width, I suppose.

    Interesting side note, no pain whatsoever on yesterday’s commute home. Odd.

    No issues with speedplay cleats,even with a bit of dirt as long as you know how to look after them.Looking at the article photo I can definitely tell you that speedplay cleat is not that bigger and heavier.I always wondered how did you end up on Time pedal system? We’re all different but it’s the worst road pedal I’ve tried.

  43. @TommyTubolare

    @frank

    @the Engine

    @Russ M

    @the Engine On topic of the speed-play, Did you set them up or have the LBS help out. I to roll with Bonts but w/ look. I have run all three of there cleats, conceding to live with the out come. It’s time for change i think.

    LBS – but then I’m utterly useless at spannering anything.

    I wrote acres of pish about this last summer when I had a Speedplay failure (cleat tore away from shoe). Keep em clean because if they get sticky and you force your shoe out you’ll stress the attachment to the shoe and the cleat attachment will eventually break if it’s a cheap shoe – any lateral flex in the shoe makes things much worse – Bonts being super rigid don’t suffer from this fault but anything with a bit of play on the sole or a slightly baggy fit probably will – hope this makes sense.

    Its interesting; everyone talks about how simple and light the pedals are, and then discuss at length the various issues with the big, heavy, complicated cleat.

    The complexity is going to have to come out of the length or the width, I suppose.

    Interesting side note, no pain whatsoever on yesterday’s commute home. Odd.

    No issues with speedplay cleats,even with a bit of dirt as long as you know how to look after them.Looking at the article photo I can definitely tell you that speedplay cleat is not that bigger and heavier.I always wondered how did you end up on Time pedal system? We’re all different but it’s the worst road pedal I’ve tried.

    While I can’t speak directly for Frank, I can say that both he and I rode on what was at the time, the greatest shoe/ pedal combo ever: Time Equipe Ti/ Mag pedals, and Time Equipe Pro shoes. They were the cat’s fuzzy ball sack. I guess when you are satisfied with a system you stick with it.

    I’ve since changed to Sidi Carbon slippers and Speedplay. Until they improve on that, I’m happy.

  44. @frank you jinxing fucker. Dropped it this morning on a descent – slid down on the low side shredded Knicks, jersey and fucked a buckle on my Sidis. Bike completely untouched. 100% rider error. Was just dreaming, took the wrong line too fast and had to lock up or end up in oncoming lane.

  45. @unversio 

    that’s made my morning. I wonder how long the blame game lasted

  46. Too bad.

  47. I hope you will overcome this moment.

    Unfortunately falls are an integral part of our sport.

    (Btw, total control is an impossible goal)

  48. @doubleR

    @Mikael Liddy

    @wrench this sounds like the first month or so of my recovery last year, although on a slightly smaller scale. I ‘only’ broke my collarbone with the crash but know the feeling of reliving the accident in your head over & over. There were plenty of nights where I’d have what would start out as pretty cool dreams about riding end up waking me up when I’d crash & get the feeling of bone breaking again.

    One thing I found that helped rekindle the fire was watching & reading about cycling, just stay clear of any crash compilations!

    On Sept 15, I crashed and fractured my clavicle, broke a rib, had a concussion and partially collapsed right lung. Five days later I had surgery to repair the clavicle. I never saw the bump that took me down until later, when I walked back to the scene of the accident. At the time, I was riding with my hands loosely on top of the handlebars, and when I hit the bump my hands must have flown off the bars and down I went.

    I got on the bike again the third week of November. The first time out was really nerve-wracking for me. I was hyper- vigilent, with laser beam eyes scanning the road for any bump, crack or seam. My hands were almost death-griped on the bars lest I hit an unseen flaw in the road and lose control again. Gradually, I got my confidence back. Now, I never ride without at least a few fingers wrapped around the bars, and that practice has saved my ass a couple of times when I again hit an unseen bump, felt the violent jarring, but kept control of the bike.

    Yup, know that feeling. Still hate the dappled shade/sun combination that comes from overhanging trees casting shadows on the road as it feels like it’s going to hide some massive bump perfectly.

  49. @Pedale.Forchetta

    I hope you will overcome this moment.

    Unfortunately falls are an integral part of our sport.

    (Btw, total control is an impossible goal)

    A-Merckx on the first line – and as for the third: Yes. This. Spot on, @Pedale. Thanks for that one. Shit will happen, no matter what. As I’ve mentioned before on this site: if I’m going to break the occasional bone, I’d prefer to have it happen as a cycling accident. People get badly hurt every day in their own house, after all – slipping in bathtubs, falling down stairs… I suppose everyone who decides to get out of bed occasionally, and move about on the planet, is putting him- or herself in the way of potential harm – we’re not in control of that. But we might as well have fun while being out there.

  50. Excellent read as this cycle n00b works his way to Century rides along not so forgiving roadways!

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