The inquest into the death of a 42 year old man on Jersey last summer has found that using clipless pedals was a factor in his accident.

According to the inquest’s finding published on Monday, Neil Blood, 42, from Stoke on Trent, died after losing his balance and the control of his bike “and was unable to release himself from his cleated pedals”.

He fell under the trailing rear nearside wheels of a passing transit van which went over him. He was pronounced dead at Jersey General Hospital due to severe chest injuries.

The inquest heard that Mr Blood had been unable to unclip from his new pedals to steady himself after striking a lamppost and losing his balance at low speed.

According to the Jersey Evening Post, Mr Blood’s father, Geoff, had told the inquest that he thought clipless pedals were dangerous and had asked his son not to use them before he left for Jersey on holiday in July last year.

The BBC reports that Deputy Viscount Mark Harris described Mr Blood’s death as a “tragic accident”.

He added he would be writing to Shimano to bring the verdict to the pedal manufacturer’s attention.

The driver of the van had told the inquest he’d been driving at about 25mph in a 30mph zone.

Mr Blood had been riding with his cousin Ruth at the time of the accident on a cycle path adjacent to a main road in St Helier.

  • goobernutz

    I think we should also share the blame on Heavy Metal music. And video games. Oh yea, and his water bottle was probably larger than 100ml, and we all know 100ml of any liquid is likely to cause massive loss of life.

    /end sarcasm

  • Morgan Rees

    This is only one incident, and such pedals should not be condemned based solely on this.

    I can attest that having clipless pedals actually SAVED my life, when I was hit by a London bus (July ’97) in Oxford Circus – I went under the bus between the front and rear axles, and it was my pedals, (with me attached to them) getting caught up in the underframes and being dragged into Regent Street until the bus (finally) stopped that saved me – had I not been dragged, then the rear wheels would have rolled over my pelvis area – goodnight!!

    Until changing to Look pedals, I used toe-straps and flat-soled cycling shoes (no blocks), and my feet would have slipped out immediately, with fatal consequences.

    I do remember when I first used clipless pedals (2nd day) that when I stopped at traffic lights I forgot to unclip and gracefully fell over to my right. Fortunately, there was no other traffic alongside, otherwise I could have been hurt. I only did that once!!!

  • Colnago dave

    I would be interested to know how the coroner arrived at the conclusion that the death was due to the rider being unable to release his feet, did he arrive at the conclusion simply because he was still clipped in. Did he also consider that perhaps the van driver was also to close to the rider, I see no mention of that. Writing to Shimano will have no effect as most pedal manufacturers do state that you should ensure that you are competent in the use of clipless pedals.
    Are we now going to be like the Americans who tell you not to dry your pet in a microwave?

  • antony

    I saw many cyclist having problems with clipless pedals, even at the time before the clipless, toe-straps where used only in the final of a race, an open cage pedal is much secure and confortable, specially for training or no-expert cyclist.

  • Graham Knowles

    clipless pedals are very safe they where probably set to tight and if new probably hadn’t got used to using them and how to unclip

  • dave

    He can hardly use toe-straps now he is dead Ken

  • Steve Jones

    As sad and tragic as it is, it is hardly the fault of Shimano. The tension release is adjustable on almost, if not all clipless pedals as we all know, Maybe the tension could or should have been looser and this may have helped prevent this tragic accident.

  • Brian Smith

    Seems to me it was the INEXPERIENCE with clipless pedals, not the pedals themselves that was to blame. Since converting from toe-straps, clips & plates to SPD pedals many years ago I have never had a problem disconnecting, something that I remember all to well in my earlier days. As long as the pedal tension is properly adjusted, a quick flick of the ankle and I am out, whatever my speed.

  • Ken Evans

    If he thinks clipless pedal are dangerous, then he should try using toe-straps !