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  1. #1
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    All-Mountain: Clipless, Platform, or Both?

    Hi AM riders -

    I'm kind of on the fence about using clipless pedals, and would like to hear your opinions.

    I'm recently new to the sport - I'm currently beginning my 3rd full season. I started by riding a low end full-suspension Kona with regular platform pedals. I quickly became addicted to riding so traded in the Kona for an Epic by the end of the season. I continued riding my second season with clipless pedals and swore I'd never go back. My riding style progressed quickly from strictly XC trail riding, to much more aggressive AM riding, with drops and jumps, etc. Naturally at the end of the season (December 2008), I traded in the Epic for an Enduro, and I love it!

    So here's my question: I've now ridden the Enduro with both clipless pedals and regular platforms. I haven't had the bike long, and with the weather making it difficult to get a real feel for the bike, I'm still trying to dial it in. I realized quickly that the Egg Beaters I had been using on the Epic felt too flimsy for AM riding, and tried Candy's instead. The Candy's feel much more stable, but I still switch back to the platforms (50/50's) fairly frequently just to "see the difference."

    I'm not sure which I like better. Clipless feels great for power on the trails, but they almost seem unnecessary, and somewhat of a hazard when doing more aggressive riding. My seat is significantly lower on the Enduro than it was on the Epic (consequently I spend MUCH more time out of the saddle), so I'm wondering if I even reap the full potential/benefits from being clipped in.

    What do you guys use? Clipless? Platforms? Or do you switch depending on the day and where your're riding? Remember, I only have one do-it-all MTB bike...

    (Oh, and, I'm not a big fan of the idea of using "Crank Borther's Mallets" as a way to have both.)

  2. #2
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    I have both and use both. Can't see the problem to switch pedals depends on your riding plans for today, especially if it takes 5 minutes to replace. But when i'm learning i stay only on platforms.

  3. #3
    Sheffield,South Yorkshire
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    Oh, and, I'm not a big fan of the idea of using "Crank Borther's Mallets" as a way to have both
    Why not?I use them on my Enduro after 3 years with Candys on both my old Enduro and the new one.Mallets make more sense to me on the technical stuff,especially climbs if i have to "dab"i then have a platform to grip my shoe to restart and then just naturally clip in after a few strokes.If it gets REALLY techy on the downs i can unclip if i feel uncomfortable(but generally don't)

  4. #4
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    I have Candy's on my Enduro, and for trail riding I love them. I am going to try flats when I do some lift served stuff this summer to see. I used to ride dirt bikes, and putting a foot down in the corner just comes naturally to me. I'll try them out and see what happens.

  5. #5
    oh Lucky me
    Reputation: Exodus11's Avatar
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    i have candy's and love them, my seat is probably lower than it should be but most of my riding is out of the saddle anyways, i would actually like to have mallet's instead because of the reasons both 'ibbo' and 'hitek79' quoted (a platform to grip the shoe to, to restart and because the foot down in the corner is natural) [i too come from a moto background].

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  6. #6
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    check out my post Pedals for AM. Only a couple days old and lots of posts
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  7. #7
    Edibles
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    I stay clipped in all the time, the only time I come un-clipped is when I fall.

  8. #8
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    When buying my SL Enduro I went all out and bought some XTR's ( having ridden Wellgos, a long long time ago then Candys more recently on my H/T ) I was instantly impressed with the ease at which you could click in and out of the XTR's but found that as my riding progressed to more air time and faster descents I went looking for more of a platform with more float and settled for a pair of Mallets....6 months pass, the Mallets held up well and performed pretty much how I expected but.. I still was'nt satisfied or curiosity got the better of me and I bought some DMR V12 magnesium platform pedals on sale and man do I love riding on flats. I've found my riding has progressed even more and I now have no fear doing manuals and wheelies or riding skinnys and catching air. Now all I have to do is spend $200+ on a pair of 510s (ouch, have never paid that much for any pair of shoes) and I can have the best of both worlds.
    Though before I break out the wallet I'm going to get my mates father who repairs shoes to grind the sole off a spare pair of MTB shoes I have and stick some skate type soles on and give that a go.
    Like others have said it depends on where you're riding and what terrain you're riding on the day. Granted I find the hill climbs a little harder without clips but the confidence I gain on the descents is well worth it

  9. #9
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    I only use platforms when i do north shore style stuff now.

  10. #10
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    I prefer clipped in on everything except elevated skinnies.

  11. #11
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    I'm kind of on the fence about using clipless pedals, and would like to hear your opinions.
    Forgive me but I didn't bother reading any further than this. Mostly b/c it comes up all the time.

    To answer the question about clipless or not for hard riding I'll just tell you that I,and everyone I know....and almost everyone I come across ride clipless pedals all the time. For me the gnarlier and chunkier and more technical the terrain, the more I want to be clipped in. Seems counter-intuitive I know. To each his own. If you've been riding for years and aren't committed to clipless yet, then maybe it's not for you. That's fine. Plenty of folk like platforms. I feel naked on them.

  12. #12
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    ^^^^^^^^ What he said, but I find myself going the other way... The rougher and gnarlier the better I feel on flats. Nice gentle XC rides and I dont have to much of an issue being clipped in. Confidence thing with me- will attempt more stuff on flats than clipped in.

  13. #13
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    Believe it or not, after reading these, I'm actually leaning towards the Mallets... Even though I started by saying I'd rather have "one or the other," not a combo pedal...

    I need more time on this style bike. Once I went clipless, I swore I'd never go back to platforms, but I suppose both have their advantages...

    Melt, snow, melt...

  14. #14
    Sheffield,South Yorkshire
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    Its one of those tyres type arguments......everyone has their preference and will defend it to the death Just go with what you feel most at home with

  15. #15
    hithard
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    I say if you are riding flat stuff the 50/50's are fine. If there is a good amount of climbing stay the the Candys.
    Specialized Pitch for the win!!

  16. #16
    attending to my vices
    Reputation: moshelove's Avatar
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    I'm curious how many clip-less users have unclipped and walked a section of trail that was so steep, so impossible to ride without either ditching the bike or taking your feet off for emergency stopping situations etc.

    My riding group is half-half, but the 2 or 3 most technical parts of the trail, where someone usually bails because it is so tricky, never gets ridden by my buddies with the clip-ins and the 3 of us on flats always go for it, and to be honest, those are my favorite sections. The ultra-tech, slow downhill navigation. Trying to ride something without putting your feet down or stopping, but knowing you have the freedom to do so is confident inspiring. Sure you could ride 70 percent of the trail clipped in, but what about the best parts? I would never want to have to walk a section because it was too dangerous clipped in.

    so can any of you clippers admit to walking sections that you might try with flats?
    OVER THE LINE SMOKEY!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by moshelove
    so can any of you clippers admit to walking sections that you might try with flats?
    Yup. I'm one. That's why I started this thread...
    Last edited by SurfSailRide; 03-06-2009 at 09:06 AM.

  18. #18
    Sheffield,South Yorkshire
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    I will try everything clipped in if i fall,i fall.The last time i tried a rutted/techy descent on flats i was actually saying outloud "I SHOULD BE CLIPPED IN!!!"

  19. #19
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    If someone can invent a system where you can go back and forth from clipless to platforms and 5-10's at will while riding they are going to make a ton of da $$.

    Hmm....

    Hmm......

    I've got nothing.

  20. #20
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    Anyone ever tried those power grip strap thingies?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster Bluth
    Anyone ever tried those power grip strap thingies?
    If you're referring to those old school toe strap/cages (they're called "toe clips" - hence pedals that you "clip" into are called "clipless," since they don't use "toe clips"), then they're even more of a hazard than regular clipless/clip-in pedals. Think about it; with clipless pedals if your need to get out in a hurry (or if you take a spill), enough force in any direction will pop them out (much like ski bindings). With toe clips/cages, you have to move your foot rather precisely in the "out" direction to clear the cage.

    I've NEVER seen nor heard of anyone using this on a mountain bike - only on vintage road bikes, and even then, most people still upgrade to clipless...

  22. #22
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by SurfSailRide
    If you're referring to those old school toe strap/cages (they're called "toe clips" - hence pedals that you "clip" into are called "clipless," since they don't use "toe clips"), then they're even more of a hazard than regular clipless/clip-in pedals. Think about it; with clipless pedals if your need to get out in a hurry (or if you take a spill), enough force in any direction will pop them out (much like ski bindings). With toe clips/cages, you have to move your foot rather precisely in the "out" direction to clear the cage.

    I've NEVER seen nor heard of anyone using this on a mountain bike - only on vintage road bikes, and even then, most people still upgrade to clipless...
    EDIT: I think I misunderstood. Did you mean these?

    http://aebike.com/page.cfm?action=de...=30&SKU=PD5011

    I've never seen these before, but it seems to me that my complaint about toe clips would also apply to these straps, possibly to a lesser extent.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by SurfSailRide
    EDIT: I think I misunderstood. Did you mean these?

    http://aebike.com/page.cfm?action=de...=30&SKU=PD5011

    I've never seen these before, but it seems to me that my complaint about toe clips would also apply to these straps, possibly to a lesser extent.
    Yeah, those are what I meant. I suppose someone could mount them to platforms and use them when climbing and for the rest of the ride flip them over but there would be issues with them scraping the ground/rocks/roots when upside down. Also, since I wear 5-10's with platforms and they are sooo sticky it would probably be extremely difficult to slide out from them anyway.

    I really like the 5-10's and depending on where you ride in my area (Vancouver) they are quite common (especially on the North Shore) but my riding is more aggressive XC than Freestyle and my friends with clipless kill me on the climbs.

  24. #24
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    WTF does all mountain mean to you? Me and my bros have been riding everything on one bike since we started mountainbiking in 1990. Some on clipless some on flats. Like eatdrinkride says if you normally ride flats stick with em same with clipless. Just cause you bought a bike that is considered "All Mountain" doesn't mean you should change pedals All these categories are f*cking retarded. I consider myself a mountain biker. What about you
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff spicoli
    WTF does all mountain mean to you? Me and my bros have been riding everything on one bike since we started mountainbiking in 1990. Some on clipless some on flats. Like eatdrinkride says if you normally ride flats stick with em same with clipless. Just cause you bought a bike that is considered "All Mountain" doesn't mean you should change pedals All these categories are f*cking retarded. I consider myself a mountain biker. What about you
    Relax.

    I'm not concerned with the type of bike. I'm concerned with getting the most out of it's potential performance and progressing my own abilities as a biker.

    You and your "bros" have about 18 years more experience than I do. That's why I asked. Your input is appreciated.
    Last edited by SurfSailRide; 03-06-2009 at 01:36 PM.

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