How To Unclip – Avoid A Clipless Pedal Disaster!

How To Unclip – Avoid A Clipless Pedal Disaster!

They can be tricky at first, but using clipless pedals is a skill well worth learning. We show you how to unclip safely and easily.

Subscribe to GCN:
Get exclusive GCN gear in the GCN shop!

Being physically attached to your bike is a weird concept at first, and it’s understandable that many of us have had a bit of an embarrassing experience at traffic lights when first starting out with them! Stick at it though, and it’ll become second nature, and we at GCN firmly believe the positives far outweigh the negatives.

Start out slowly by practising the motion of unclipping while leaning against a wall, before moving onto a soft bit of ground and gradually coming to a stop. Once you’ve got it nailed you’ll be flying!

Watch more on GCN…
How To Set Up Cleats For Clipless Pedals 📹
Clip IN To Your Pedals 📹

About GCN:

The Global Cycling Network puts you in the centre of the action: from the iconic climbs of Alpe D’Huez and Mont Ventoux to the cobbles of Flanders, everywhere there is road or pavé, world-class racing and pro riders, we will be there bringing you action, analysis and unparalleled access every week, every month, and every year. We show you how to be a better cyclist with our bike maintenance videos, tips for improving your cycling, cycling top tens, and not forgetting the weekly GCN Show. Join us on YouTube’s biggest and best cycling channel to get closer to the action and improve your riding!

Welcome to the Global Cycling Network | Inside cycling

Thanks to our sponsors:

Alta Badia: // Maratona Dles Dolomites:
Santini cycling kit:
KASK helmets:
fi’zi:k shoes and saddles: and
Topeak tools:
Canyon bikes:
Science in Sport:
Ass Savers:
Orbea bikes:
Trek Bicycles:
Vision wheels:
Zipp wheels:

YouTube Channel –
Facebook –
Google+ –
Twitter –
GCN newsletter –

Leave us a comment below!


  1. Abdullah Yusuf on October 8, 2020 at 3:45 am

    I braked by going fast because traffic built up and flew over the handle bar ….face first and it was because of the cleats and my legs being clipped in

  2. Nicholas Jackson on October 8, 2020 at 3:47 am

    First ride with clips today. Approached a T junction, couldn’t get my left clip out… fell tragically to the wet floor.

    Two girls heard the flank of the bike hitting the concrete and shouted “are you ok” whilst a white van beeped and drove past.

    I replied to them on the floor, whilst still clipped in

    “It’s my first day, please don’t tell anyone”

    Later in the day I was attempting a climb. At the foot of the climb there is a traffic light. My riding partner went ahead… again I fell off but was too mortified to cry for help.

    He came back 5 mins later pissing himself shouting “a van just drove passed and said your mates just stacked it again!”

    Some day

  3. Duck4212 on October 8, 2020 at 3:49 am

    Just got my first clipless pedals today. I thought it was going to be easy to get used to. Oh man, was I wrong! While practicing the first day I went down 3 times. Painful and embarrassing.

  4. madmacMC on October 8, 2020 at 3:50 am

    Havent ridden in over a year, got a new bike, went out and on the 3rd ride, failed to unclip right cleat and fell 😡 came out with a scratched rear derailleur, damaged sunnies, bruised knee and a hurt ego

  5. cristi nel on October 8, 2020 at 3:50 am

    i dont see what kind of advantages of these pedals overcome the advantage to be safer.

  6. Antoine Frs on October 8, 2020 at 3:53 am

    I learned the hard way : my first clipless bike is also my first road bike (I’ve always ridden but on a mountainbike) and happens to be a fixie with a pretty low and narrow bar. I never practiced uncliping on the grass nor on a calm street, I just used to fall at every stops. I eventually figured out a way to unclip but I still fall sometimes because I’m still lacking muscular memory…

  7. B. S. on October 8, 2020 at 3:55 am

    The worst part of falling besides the embarrassment… is the huge scratch left on the bar and shifter. Hated that the most.

  8. Smulus workout guide on October 8, 2020 at 3:55 am

    I have too much problem finding the clit from the start…….so im going clitless………also i feel free without having to find the the clit every time i stop the bike. A cage is best for me!

  9. Cityzen MCFC on October 8, 2020 at 3:56 am

    If I reduce the tension on the pedal, do I get to unclip any easier?

  10. Andy Smith on October 8, 2020 at 3:56 am

    Got to say I’ve seen some videos on unclipping. After seeing some and getting really nervous I found this video calming me and looking forward to using them. Can’t wait to get out use these cleats/pedals. 👍

  11. rudy indra on October 8, 2020 at 3:57 am

    How to unclip properly when there is sudden brake stop in front of us?

  12. Mary Legare Whaley on October 8, 2020 at 3:57 am

    I crushed my first ride last year with my new clipless pedals! But when I came to a stop after my second ride…I stopped and just toppled right over! All was good, but I went the whole winter/spring without biking again until this August. My first ride…I started out, then thought "oh no! I haven’t set my watch!" and I slowed to stop but my brain/foot connection wasn’t where it was last year. I toppled over, and it was embarrassing. Note to self: don’t go 6 months without riding my bike.

  13. Sergio Garcia Gallego on October 8, 2020 at 4:00 am

    New to clip in pedals coming from flats, bought myself some speedplay zeros and can’t even get the cleats in!! I’ve pushed and pushed and finally got both my cleats into the pedals, leaving them on so hopefully they break in a little?

  14. Clint Leyva on October 8, 2020 at 4:00 am

    "instructions un clear" now i have no foot

  15. Pedro Figueiredo on October 8, 2020 at 4:00 am

    how curious that this popped up in my feed …. just came back from the bike repair shop as my mech hanger broke while stopping at a traffic light, caused from me failling to unclip

  16. Ivhqn on October 8, 2020 at 4:00 am

    You know it’s wrong when Matt teaches us how to use clipless pedals. 😂

  17. Rica's Homey Space on October 8, 2020 at 4:00 am

    Im watching this with my bike in front of me, with my clipless shoes on my feet, and a gazzillion prayers sent to all the saints and gods of the entire universe that I wont fall flat on my face while i solo practice with this 😅

  18. Chiraz Travel on October 8, 2020 at 4:01 am

    The video was helping I start practicing today , I fall down twice and I`m expecting more it is dangerous we just need to practice a lot before going to the road.

  19. Lee Suuton on October 8, 2020 at 4:03 am

    Went out for the first time with clipless and fell off !
    Also had a right turn that turned onto a hill ! Very scary trying to engage clipless pedals whilst trying to go up hill

  20. Guillermo Gallegos on October 8, 2020 at 4:04 am

    just got some clipless pedals and while practicing in my back yard I fell being stuck to the pedals and ended up scratching my new Shimano boots in the fall. lol. won’t lie they seem a bit intimidating just from my first experience but i wanna get used to them cause when I would ride fast on regular pedals hated that my foot would slip off.

  21. Umu-San on October 8, 2020 at 4:06 am

    My first day on clips I felt sideways as soon as I clipped my left. I also slowed down to do a turn and rolled off the road.

  22. ML Trends on October 8, 2020 at 4:06 am

    I clipped out on right and guess what happened

  23. Miggy LaChica on October 8, 2020 at 4:07 am

    Wait Matt is doing this video?! 😂

  24. Cycling Mad on October 8, 2020 at 4:07 am

    0:23 I loved it when he said getting out of your pedals then tapped his foot on the floor

  25. Jade Helene Flores on October 8, 2020 at 4:08 am

    Very much used to riding platforms on my fixed gear. One day, I decided to get some toe clips and straps. On my first ride with them I came to my first stop and fell to the side because I forgot I wasn’t riding platforms anymore.

  26. Melvin Espinal on October 8, 2020 at 4:11 am

    PLEASE HELP!!!!! I’m new to cycling and I upgraded to shimano cleats. I am able to unclip from my left pedal with no problem but I cant do it with my right foot. The only way I’m able to unclip from my right pedal is my doing inward instead of outward. I can scratch my bike frame by doing the unclip inwards so I want to figure out what’s the issue. Also The tension on both pedlas are set to the same level so at least I know the tension is not the issue. Could Anybody tell me what is that I’m doing wrong???? Thank you

  27. J P on October 8, 2020 at 4:15 am

    well there is one place when I ride and want to unclipp and I always fall… da hell is wrong with this spot?!

  28. Barun Biswas on October 8, 2020 at 4:17 am

    Yesterday I fell of my bike, because I couldn’t unclip in time as mud had entered my clips.

  29. Joep Vaessen on October 8, 2020 at 4:19 am

    My first ever time unclipping: right foot unclipped, fell over to the left side, broke my wrist

  30. William Le on October 8, 2020 at 4:22 am

    July 13,2020, just a few hours ago, my 1st time ever clipping and unclipping on a road bike. So I stop at the 1st stop signs, failed to unclip => falled down once. With a look red cleat. Then, a few minutes later, another failed, welp, another fall. I look at myself, some small scratches, ya sure, I don’t care about it. Checking the bike, it’s still safe and soundly, goodness it’s ok. Lol, what a 1st day riding with cycling shoes + cleats + clipless pedals lol. But not giving up since once i clip in, it’s just better in speed and performance lol. That is just more than just enough to trade for some scratches on my legs. Happy riding and Godspeed! Yall.

  31. Jose Gimeno on October 8, 2020 at 4:23 am

    Rode with a club in Long Island, New York. As we came to a stop at an intersection I tried to unclip my right shoe but for some reason it didn’t unclip no matter how hard I tried. So I pulled on the brakes and held on to the nearest rider. He was startled of course! Upon checking my cleats I saw that one of the screws was missing and the other two screws were not tight causing the cleat to move & twist making it hard to unclip. I have the red Look cleats. When we stopped for a break I was able to tighten the other screws and was able to make it back with two screws only. Of course I immediately bought a set of screws with some spare & installed it.
    Note: Do not use grease on the screws when installing the cleats(I think that what the bike mechanic used when he attached my cleats). Use either anti-seize lubricant or even better the blue(mild strength) Threadlocker so the screws don’t loosen with use.

  32. David Gourde on October 8, 2020 at 4:26 am

    I’ve been using clipless pedals for a while now, but still fall on the side sometimes when I have to brake quickly to a stop without having any time to unclip one foot before. As an example, last time I went for a gravel ride, I ended up on a pretty rocky single track and came to a stop while climbing. When I’m trying to unclip and I am already stopped, I tend to panic and end up falling on the side. I’ve never hurt myself, but it’s really annoying. I should defined practice to stop completely, then try to unclip really fast before I lose my balance, to gain some muscle memory.

  33. PowerOf One on October 8, 2020 at 4:30 am

    Came to a stop, unclipped my left and right foot, fell over a cliff….

  34. markus martin on October 8, 2020 at 4:30 am

    Whoever invented this thing should be shot dead.

  35. Shrikant Patel on October 8, 2020 at 4:30 am

    This video was very helpful. I would also like to share: that i find unclipping easy by twisting ankle inside instead of outside. So instead of unclipping at bottom, i unclip at top. Let me know if this a wrong practice.
    Also, I have felt down couple of time. Thankfully away from moving cars.

  36. Imty Imty on October 8, 2020 at 4:31 am

    I don’t know why but today whilst rideing my bike my clippless pedals kept and slipping out of the pedals
    I have the red cleats
    it was doing it on both sides
    And I don’t hear a click when they go in
    Do I need some new ones or wrong colour
    What I’m I doing wrong

  37. dan r on October 8, 2020 at 4:32 am

    Being a recreational cyclist since jan of 2018… I’m 34 YO stubborn too… that said I was like the guys wearing those tight spandex clothes to ride bike ill ever wear that…. without anyone talking me.into it…. this April 2020 I thought after seeing guys on YouTube talking about it I gave in….and what a awesome difference I feel better wearing a bib and jersey not just the "aero" feel I just feel good cuz i.look good okay and now if I wasnt going for jerseybib combo u all know I always have been against cycling shoes or cleats… a customer came in told me.his biking days did a century in 4 hrs and was telling me I need to get clipped in shoes its like.night and day and said to him but they look dorky… cuz that’s how I felt about them…and just not until recently I been hitting some long straight away trails maybe 2 to 5 mile straight away ya know.without interruption or stops so when pedaling I really am listening leg when the downstrok goes down and than also am telling my legs to bring up my knee like actually concentrating on both the down and the up strokes. And it dawned on me every up stroke could be me causing more…not power as much but yes lil lil power but it would just feel more fluent and efficient for that pulling up as well as pushing down…. almost more so for my leg muscles the underside that’s not really working as hard as tops the quads…

    I opened up a whole lot and that to.say I’m watching videos how to get into these cleats/clipping pedals… compatibility/ as well as how to twist in and out for on and off…. I’m all in now baby… I’m still against the helmet tho I’m still too cool for that. But now some cycling cleats here we come I cant wait

    My weapon of choice is
    Caad10 58 cm
    GP5000 28mm tires
    Ism 1.1 pn saddle
    ICAN Carbon wheels 40 mm deep
    5800 group set 11 speed
    1xchain ring 50 tooth
    11-28t cassette

    Basically a ba ba ba ba bad bike

    Gr8 vid GCN first time can see first hand how these cleats clip in and out. I want to buy and ride the exact style cleat he wwas using maybe differnt color shoes but same pedal and cleats

  38. Idelsia Peay on October 8, 2020 at 4:32 am

    Yeah today was my first day practicing on my Neighborhood And I felt, the funny thing is I felt more sorry for my bike because it got a little scratch😥.Thanks for all the good advice I really appreciate it!

  39. Dan Lesage on October 8, 2020 at 4:33 am

    Gravel trail crossing a road. Slowed almost to a stop waiting for a dump truck to pass, so balancing track stand style. Go to start again and with the handlebars turned to the left and my right foot forward to the left of the front wheel, I try to straighten the steering only to have my front fender flange get caught on my shoe, preventing further straightening on the steering and causing a slow motion spastic fall into the gravel. Luckily nobody around to witness the comedy. Scrapes and a bruised ego

  40. Brendon Thomas on October 8, 2020 at 4:35 am

    As a brand new clipless pedal user a small but important fact is on stopping always remember to lean the cycle in the same direction of the unclipped shoe.

    I’ve absent mindedly forgotten to do that once on each of my first 3 rides with clipless pedals and boy is it annoying! Painful too!

  41. Liberate tuteme ex inferis on October 8, 2020 at 4:36 am

    As for me, I failed to unclip at all and fell like a sack of potatoes on the pavement. Long story short, the woman who helped me up is now my beautiful wife 🙂

  42. Paul Richards on October 8, 2020 at 4:37 am

    Unclipped my non dominant side at a busy junction, went to pull away but noticed a car coming, slammed on the brakes. Weight enbed up on the clipped in side and simply fell over at the junction. Problem was with the bike on top of me still clipped in was trapped and couldn’t get out. Some people came to my rescue. Survived with a gashed knee, twisted seat post and shifter. No major damage but a bit scary being trapped in the middle of the road with the bike ontop. Any tips.?

  43. Minouche Marx on October 8, 2020 at 4:37 am

    Want to start with clipless using SPD with shoes you can walk into an office for commuting and tours, but also like the athletic aspect of daily cycling. Having used hooks without straps for decades I wonder how much the efficiency can be really improved as I feel the foot is pretty much pinned to a good point in those hooks (though you can’t pull up with those obviously). Can anybody give me a hint?

    Also, during those 4 decades I have been involved in two accidents: one on a street in Berlin in 1996 where a coke can wrapped around my front tire and got stuck in the fork forcing me to perform a salto over the handle bar. And then last 2019 with the same bike where a car hit me 90° into my right side with the bumper into the crank case. That was the end of that bike, but despite of crashing into the wind shield and thereafter falling head first from the cars roof onto the pedestrian pavement, both accidents went very mild for myselve. In both cases I was able to protect myself by rolling and a good portion of luck. However that would not have been possible with a bike on my shoes and indeed the bike had a completely different trajectory than me, landing in front of the car.
    Can anybody tell from experience in accidents, if cleats release or if you’ll drag your cycle with you? Especially for Shimano SPD there are two types of cleats: SH51 and SH56. SH56 is supposed to release inward, outward and up. Sounds as if that would release more likely in an accident?
    Any recommendations or tips? Any experience out there?

  44. Andr3s101 on October 8, 2020 at 4:38 am

    I fell cause I stopped suddenly right before a crosswalk cause a car came out of nowhere I don’t think I even had time to unclip either show so I fell on my right side on pavement I had to get stitches on my knee😞😞😞😞😞

  45. Michael Maher on October 8, 2020 at 4:38 am

    I always had a fear of going clipless as I have been knocked off my bike twice before, so liked the idea of being able to get off in a hurry. However, I eventually switched last month and it is the best thing I ever did. Decided to go SPD sh56 for now as they are apparently a bit easier to use and I haven’t fallen off.. Yet. Just set the pedals to mimimum tension at first and it almost becomes second nature… Just like riding a bike
    I can now stop the bike at a junction balanced on the pedals without having to unclip.. Winning

  46. Johnie Peralta on October 8, 2020 at 4:38 am

    On first time, I unclip on my right foot but fell off left – seems i need more practice thou

  47. Reflex8818 on October 8, 2020 at 4:40 am

    Last night I had my first real failure to unclip…. it was pitch black, had just adjusted my Flux 850 light, but didn’t secure it properly, but didn’t notice… I proceeded to the top of a hill as I made it to the top my light fell off, I panicked and tried to just stop 😂😂 causing me to turtle up with both feet still clipped and the bike directly over my head

  48. gimmeagig on October 8, 2020 at 4:40 am

    I’m 64 and I rode a lot when I was younger. I have always had toe clips. I am too worried to not being able to release on time and fall over onto hard pavement or a sidewalk edge. The older you get the more it hurts. I hit a pothole a while ago and went flying over the handlebars.Fortunately I’m in really good shape. I got out of my toe clips no problem and tumbled. I was not hurt at all. I was very lucky. Had I had clipless pedals I’m sure I would not have walked away from that fall. Yesterday an older guy ( like me) was riding maybe a hundred feet behind me on a flat paved road. I heard this clanking noise.I looked back and he had fallen off his bike. He said that a bee got stuck behind his glasses and I suppose he just freaked out and lost control over his bike. I asked him if his clipless pedals has released and he said no. He was hurt pretty bad. So maybe I’m a little slower on my bike but I feel much safer with my toe clips.

  49. Loud on October 8, 2020 at 4:41 am

    I’ve been on flats sign I learn to ride a bike and I’m working up the corrage to get my self some

  50. Jonathan Foster on October 8, 2020 at 4:43 am

    First ride out yesterday using clipless pedals…..managed to fall over 3 times – apart from a grazed knee, mainly my ego that took the bruising falling over a junction just by Buckingham Palace surrounded by many cyclists….lots more practise needed but has shaken my confidence a bit.