How to Adjust Clipless Pedals for Better Balance




Are you feeling nervous and scared that you’re going to fall off your bike when practicing the bike balance skills and control tips in clipless mountain bike shoes and pedals?  Or maybe you’re considering switching to clipless shoes and pedals but are worried it will be too difficult to ride your bike with them?

Don’t be! Try this super mountain biking tip that boosts your confidence and balance instantly. Or, if you know it already you can skip to the pedal adjustment instructions here.

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Loosen Up for an Easy Exit

All you need to do is adjust your clip less mountain bike pedals so that they are easier to get in, and most importantly, get out of.

Being able to release your shoes more easily from the pedals boosts your confidence.  Particularly for beginner mountain bikers, it puts you in a better state of mind to focus on performing the skills you’re learning, rather than worrying about falling over and crashing before you get your feet out.  You won’t feel as ‘locked in’ to the pedals, and twisting your foot to release the shoes will take less effort and force.

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Not Just for Newbies

Even experienced mountain bikers sometimes adjust their shoes for easier release when they’re attempting new skills or riding risky obstacles they haven’t before, such as long log crossings.  It just makes sense to do so when you need maximum focus for bike control and bike balance and minimum worry about getting your feet out in time if something goes pear shaped.  And,

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It’s Not Just for Bike Balance Skills and Drills

Adjusting your clipless shoes for easier release also inspires confidence in beginner mountain bikers learning other mountain bike skills and techniques as well, such as technical hill climbing.  Again, just knowing you’ll be able to get your feet out quick enough to stand on the side of the hill if your bike loses traction is a blessing when you’re learning.  You can start choosing the more difficult hills and climb them with all the skill and effort you’ve got, rather than not even try them because you’re fearful of not getting your feet out in time and crashing to the ground.

How to Adjust Mountain Bike Clipless Pedals

How you adjust your mtb clipless pedals depends on the brand and model of pedal you ride.  Listed below are the links to the Crank Brothers, Shimano, Time, Look, Speedplay, Ritchey and Bebop clipless pedal adjustment procedures.  If you ride a different brand simply google the make and model of your pedal and look for the adjustment procedure in the instruction manual on the manufacturers website.

Personally, I use Crank Brothers pedals on all my bikes.  I have used several other brands of clip less pedals of the years, but I’ve found that the simplicity and durability of the Crank Brothers Egg Beater pedal system really floats my boat.  It offers good retention, easy release, simple adjustment, easy maintenance, great durability and excellent mud-shedding capability.

Pedal Adjustment Instructions

Crank Brothers mountain bike pedals installation and cleat adjustment video for Egg Beater system

Shimano PD Pedals installation and pedal adjustment (choose the link prefixed with ‘SI’ under your model pedal)

Time clipless mountain biking pedals installation and pedal adjustment (choose your model then select ‘manual’)

Look clipless mountain bike pedals installation and pedal adjustment

Speedplay clipless mountain bike pedals cleat installation and adjustment

Ritchey clipless mountain bike pedals installation and pedal adjustment

Bebop clipless mountain bike pedals installation and cleat adjustment

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Super Tip - Wind Back the Clock. Remember to adjust the spring tension/ pedal clamping force back to a more normal and tighter position once you’ve improved your balance and don’t need your pedals releasing so easy. Failure to do so might result in your feet coming out unexpectedly…and you don’t want that to happen as you’re lifting up for a bunny-hop!

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New Heights

So, go adjust your clipless pedals today and find new confidence and bike balance skills with the mtbtips bike control tips.  And if you’re not riding clipless mountain bike pedals and shoes just yet, consider that while they take a little bit to get used to, once you are used to them they will take your mountain biking skill, ability and efficiency to new heights.  So much so that you’ll never ride without clipless again.