One of the biggest challenges faced by people when they transition from traditional pedals to clipless pedals is how to clip and unclip the cycling shoes before starting the ride.
How to unclip Peloton shoes is one of the most researched topics on the internet because Peloton has become a fairly popular bike in recent years. Although the process is simple and straightforward, sometimes people do get into a bit of trouble especially when they try to unclip the shoes.
The problem can be a faulty installation of cleats or using cleats that are not compatible with the Peloton bike. Yet another reason could be an issue with the pedal tension; it is either too loose or too tight.
Since this problem is faced mostly by new bike users, it is recommended not to play around with adjusting the tension too much. This may damage or ruin the pedals altogether. So, the best thing to do is to learn how to unclip Peloton shoes the professional way.
If you want to know the easy method to achieve this, keep reading on.
Table of Contents
- Why Is It Difficult to Unclip Peloton Shoes?
- How to Unclip Peloton Shoes from Pedals?
- Unclipping Your Shoes When You’re Stuck
- Choosing the Right Cleats
- Still Having Trouble?
Why Is It Difficult to Unclip Peloton Shoes?
While clipless pedals offer a lot of benefits over traditional pedals, especially in the context of indoor cycling and spinning, clipping in and out of these pedals can become a hassle for many people.
So, here are a few points you should check to make sure they are done properly.
Fitting New Cleats
The first thing you need to check if you’re having a hard time unclipping the shoes is the cleats. Make sure they are properly installed and are screwed tightly.
Fitting the cleats onto your new cycling shoes using the right way is not only important for clipping in and out effortlessly but also to avoid any injuries while you ride.
First, you need to feel where the balls of your feet are located. This can be achieved by putting the shoes on and feeling along the side of the shoe until you locate your side bone sticking out.
Now do the same on the outside of the shoe and mark this point with tape. Remember, you need to mark both sides and then using a permanent marker, mark the exact location. This helps to install the cleats in a natural position.
Tightening the Screws
Attaching cleats in the right position is an important step but equally important is how much to tighten the screws in order to ensure a smooth and safe ride.
When you’re done setting the washers into the recesses of the cleats and placing a screw into each hole, it’s time to tighten the screws. However, it is recommended to check that the middle of the cleat lies across the ball of your foot and the cleat is positioned close to the inside of the shoe.
Now use a hex key to tighten the screws. Make sure to tighten them to a point where the cleats are securely attached to the shoe. Not only is it required to do this step the first time around but also occasionally because over time they will loosen.
Clipping In Properly
One of the reasons why clipping out becomes a hassle is not properly clipping in. However, it’s the easier part and shouldn’t have any issues especially if you attach the cleats properly.
Put on your Peloton shoes and get on the bike. Now rotate the pedal down and make sure your foot is aligned straight with the bike. Position the cleat and then push down the heel to snap it in place.
Repeat the process with the other foot. You can view this step as something similar to putting a ski boot into a binding or even stepping into a pair of high heels. If you have done either of these in your life, clipping into Peloton pedals wouldn’t seem much of an effort!
Once you hear the clicking sound, wiggle your shoe from side to side to find out if it has been securely attached. This step is important to avoid any injuries once you are pedaling with full force.
How to Check If You’ve Clipped In Properly?
In order to determine if you have performed the above step correctly, check if your cleat is properly aligned. Once you have both your feet clipped in, start pedaling. While doing so, feel where the pressure is falling. If it falls in the ball of your feet, you are properly clipped in.
Remember, the ball of your foot should be aligned parallel to the pedal axle. If you’re not properly clipped in, you might experience some discomfort or even pain in your feet and knees while pedaling.
If that’s the case, unclip from the pedals and straighten the cleats. Once you get them in the right position, tighten the screws. Or simply, unclip from the pedals and tighten the screws and test ride once again.
How to Unclip Peloton Shoes from Pedals?
A lot of people struggle with unclipping from the bike even after having the above steps done correctly. So, here is a step-by-step guide on how to unclip your shoes from the Peloton bike.
Step #1 – Stop Pedaling
When you’re ready to clip out, the first step is to bring the bike to a halt. You can achieve it manually by slowing down on your pedaling first and then waiting till the bike becomes stationary. Or, you can also decide to press down the resistance knob so the bike comes to an immediate stop.
Step #2 – Rotate the Pedal to 6 o’clock Position
Now it’s time to rotate the pedal down to a 6 o’clock position so you can exert some force on it to clip it out. Kick your heel outwards with moderate force when the pedal comes to a halt in the 6 o’clock position.
There will be some resistance because we have made sure the shoe is securely clipped in. If you think you are having trouble at this stage, it is recommended to press down the resistance knob so you can put your full weight on the pedal.
Step #3 – Clip Out the Other Foot
Now get off the bike while the other foot is still clipped in. Twist the other foot outwards just like you did with the first one to clip it out. It shouldn’t be as difficult as the first one.
Congratulations! You have just successfully clipped out of your Peloton bike.
Unclipping Your Shoes When You’re Stuck
A lot of people recommend loosening the tension screw located at the bottom of the pedal if you are unable to unclip your shoes. However, this step is something Peloton doesn’t advise especially to new Peloton users. If you happen to loosen the screw too much, you might break the pedal.
However, if you are stuck and no other method seems to work, then simply loosen the buckle of the shoes and take your feet out. Now turn the resistance knob all the way to the right to make sure the flywheel and crank arm is locked. Flip the pedal over and locate the tension screw. It is the screw with a plus and minus sign above it.
With the help of an Allen wrench (also known as a hex key or 3mm Allen key), turn the screw toward the minus sign or counterclockwise. It is recommended to turn only one-quarter of a turn at a time. Once you have loosened the tension enough, get the shoes off the pedals and tighten the screw again.
Pedal tension can also be adjusted if you feel the shoes are a bit loose in the pedals. For this, you’ll have to turn the screw toward the plus sign or in a clockwise direction. This step is part of your monthly maintenance for the bike so the pedals keep running smoothly and there are no injuries or mishaps.
Choosing the Right Cleats
More often than not, if you’re unable to clip out of your Peloton bike, the culprit is always the cleat. Either you haven’t attached it properly or it’s not compatible with the Peloton bike pedals.
The first step in troubleshooting this problem is straightening the cleats and tightening them once again. If this doesn’t seem to work and you’re still having trouble clipping out, then you haven’t chosen the right cleats.
The Peloton bike uses LOOK Delta compatible cleats that come with a three-hole assembly to attach to the bottom of the shoe. Some people try changing the pedals so they are compatible with the shoes they want to wear. However, this step is not recommended.
If you are using Peloton shoes, you can buy a compatible pair of cleats separately. However, there are many other brands that offer compatible cleats and they have received very good reviews from users.
There is one factor you need to consider and it’s known as the float. Float ranges from zero to 9 degrees and it’s the ability of the cleat to rotate while clipped in. This allows the foot to position itself naturally while pedaling so there is no discomfort or pain.
Float also serves to address any discrepancies with the cleat position and alignment. If you are able to swivel your heel from side to side, you can easily adjust the position. However, remember that zero-degree floats do not have this capability.
Peloton cleats are generally color-coded to indicate the level of float they offer. The red ones offer the highest level of float, which is 9 degrees. Zero-float cleats, on the other hand, are black in color.
The recommended float is 6 degrees, especially for beginners. These cleats are generally yellow in color, but the level of the float may vary from 4 to 6 degrees.
Zero-degree floats are great for indoor cycling but they are only meant for fierce spinning. So, choose your cleats wisely and attach them properly. Once you have done your homework, the problem of clipping out will take care of itself.
Still Having Trouble?
Join the club. A few people would still have trouble clipping in and out of their Peloton bike even after getting all the above steps right. So, what’s the solution?
Peloton recommends using toe cages with your regular sneakers or any other cycling shoes that do not require cleats. Delta-compatible shoes offer a secure ride, there’s no doubt about that. Nevertheless, if they are not meant for you, then you can wear your sneakers with toe cages and still be able to enjoy the ride.
Another solution is to use a different pedal system altogether. It’s not very difficult to replace your pedals; in fact, it is a regular maintenance step recommended by Peloton. And once you have taken the original pedals off, you can attach just about any system without much trouble.
However, the point to remember is to use a 9/16” pedal connection so the pedals can work with your Peloton bike.
Let’s end this guide with a final remark on which pedal system is the easiest to get out of. Currently, Shimano and other pedals based on the original Shimano design are the easiest when it comes to getting the shoes out. It has also been found that they also retain the cleat with high integrity, which is very useful for beginners.
So, if you decide to change your pedals, go for Shimano and you won’t have any trouble clipping out. All the best!
Unclipping shoes from Peloton pedals is a problem faced by many first-time Peloton users. Although it’s possible to leave the shoes clipped in, it’s not very practical to do so since home bikes are supposed to be used by multiple members of a family.
Take solace in the fact that almost everyone faces this problem at least for the first couple of rides on their new bike. So, it’s nothing to worry about. If you have been having a hard time getting out of your bike pedals, this guide must be able to solve your issue.
We have discussed here in detail why this is a common problem among most Peloton users along with a step-by-step guide on how to unclip Peloton shoes the right way. Remember, if you’re having trouble with unclipping consistently, the cleats are not properly installed. Or, they might be faulty or not well-made so a better solution would be to replace them altogether.
Yet another solution is to replace your pedal system so the problem could be taken care of completely. Take a deep breath, go through the steps carefully, and get this issue resolved once and for all!
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