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  1. #1
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    Clipped in or platforms?

    So, like, we're not XC riders, that's for sure. But we're not freeriders, either. We straddle the line. That being the case, I'm wondering where most of you guys fall in regards to being clipped in and riding on platforms. I'm clipped in, coming from XC, but I do keep my spd tension very very light--just strong enough to keep me clipped in during the rough stuff, but definitely light enough so I can clip out for the quick bail.

    How about you guys?

  2. #2
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    I've always been a platform guy, but I just bought a pair of Malets and I'm trail testing them this weekend. So far they've been a snap to get in and out of, but I'm hoping I remember to do it I have to ditch the bike.

  3. #3
    JMH
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    Both!

    I use both depending on what I plan to ride. If I know I will be testing myself on technical terrain, I love flats. But IMO they suck on all-day rides or anything with lots of climbing.

    JMH


    Quote Originally Posted by stripes
    The Shimano PD-M647s seem to work fine for me.

    I found that running the standard clipless pedals didn't give me enough platform, and I was seriously thinking of switching to platforms until I got these.

    They work great when I'm unclipped too

  4. #4
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    I recently switched from platform to clipped in. For climbing, being clipped in helps a lot. For descending, it gives me additional control. When jumping, I also don't have to worry about keeping my feet on the pedals. Even when falling, I've clipped out automatically every time. So, generally, I like riding clipped in.
    That being said, I have trouble clipping in quickly enough, so it's awkward when I want to do a jump or get into technical stuff from stillstand. For that reason, I might try the mallets someday, just to have extra control when I don't have time to clip in.

  5. #5
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    I couldn't imagine myself riding clipless. Too many quick and unexpected dismounts for the type of riding I do. Maybe my reaction time is too slow and need to get better balance, but regardless, there's always that little bit of extra time needed to get unclipped. Hence, the platforms...get some Five ten impacts with a decent platform pedal if you want to try platform. I've only heard great things about them.

  6. #6
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    yup riding flats and 5.10 impacts. works great so far. i'll admit i'm too scared to ride clipless... and i've seen ppl in my riding group fall off the trail trying to clip in mid trail.

  7. #7
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    Clipped?

    Comming from years of being clipped in I've gone to platforms.I just did my first real bunny hop like 6" or so with flats.Live and learn.I'm as old as dirt..And I still don't know ****e.

  8. #8
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    Those are my pedals!

    Quote Originally Posted by stripes
    The Shimano PD-M647s seem to work fine for me.

    I found that running the standard clipless pedals didn't give me enough platform, and I was seriously thinking of switching to platforms until I got these.

    They work great when I'm unclipped too
    I ride the exact same pedals. I love that they make them in plastic now. Not much weight penalty. And I can be unclipped for a little while if I have to start uphill or something and still feel relatively stable.

  9. #9
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    After 12 years of being clipped in. I'm on platforms and really enjoy them. In all fareness these days I ride about 50/50 between dirt and pavement. Mtn bike shoes with cleats attached are hidiously uncomfortable walking around in. With a hectic work schedule, gas prices etc.... I'm just glad to get to squeeze in a ride.

    For epic rides or a lot of settle into the saddle and grind it out type climbing, clipped is great. Clipped in is much more efficient at keeping a smooth cadience (dare I say cadience in here).

    The one thing I really enjoy about platforms is my jumping technic has improved tremendously. Reminds me of my old BMX days. Clipped you get sloppy and try to do all the work with your legs while jumping.

    You'd actually be surprised how well a decent paltform and shoe hold your foot in. I've riden clipped forever and feel more comfy getting out of them than trying to get a foot off my platforms. Over time this well change I'm sure. HTH Good luck.

  10. #10
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    I've been "AM" riding for 25 yrs

    All in "clips/cages". I just bought my first FS bike 1 month ago and it came with clipless Shimano 520's. I've got them dialed as loose as they'll go but it's definitely a new learning curve. I can climb wayyyyy better, my feet are "locked down" on the tech stuff I usually ride and really let me feel the trail better.

    I keep going back and forth, switch the pedals to platforms, or just learn the new skills. I've been riding the clipless for a month, now, and getting more confident using them w /every ride. But I still unclip way too often when I "think" I "might" have to unclip to avoid a fall and it's still in the back of my mind, always, and really hinders my riding. I'll keep trying clipless for this summer to give it the advantage of a doubt, or look towards a hybrid pedal.
    Last edited by onbelaydave; 07-05-2006 at 09:11 PM.

  11. #11
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    Try Shimano 646/647 and soft soled shoes

    another vote for shimano 646/647 pedals, and try using "lower-end" shoes with a softer sole. Best of both worlds. Another bonus to using "low-end" shoes is that most of them come with laces, so you get a better fit with them than the "high-end" xc race velcro/strap things, and you can usually get them for under $50.

    I tried platforms and Vans for while and while I loved the way they felt unti I rode through rock gardens aorother technical terrain, and climbing with them sucked. The older I get the less I can stand the pain of adding to the scar tissue covering my shins from my mispent youth spent on skateboards.

  12. #12
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    All my serious mountain biking is done while clipped into Mallets. The big platform is great when you have to clip back in going up or down a steep hill. I ride platforms on my city bike though. I improved my trackstand immeasurably on the platforms, as well as my bunny hop. My wheelie still needs a lot of work though.

  13. #13
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    All my serious mountain biking is done while clipped into Mallets. The big platform is great when you have to clip back in going up or down a steep hill. I ride platforms on my city bike though. I improved my trackstand immeasurably on the platforms, as well as my bunny hop. My wheelie still needs a lot of work though.
    Im with GF Mallet Ms better control efficency the list goes on falling clipped in dosen't stop ya crashing it may help prevent a crash cause you have more control but then thats a state of mind, clips are like Ski bindings, never had a problem coming out when Ive crashed with Crank Bros or Times, Shimano well Im anti the big S so I won't flame them.

    Whatever floats ya boat but if ya don't try you'll never find the benefits, choose wisely and enjoy.
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  14. #14
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    I use both, depends on what I'm riding, only takes like a minute to swap pedals. Mallets when I have to do any amount of climbing or XC type stuff, 5050's when I'm going to be hitting a lot of drops or jumps. But I can use either for either type of terrain if need be.
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  15. #15
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    I switched from platforms to clips this year. I am using Time ATAC Alium pedals. I am also using them on my commuter, so I know how they feel. It took some getting used to, fell over a number of times just forgetting to unclip. But I have to say that now, I am getting out no problem. But, as peteblues mentioned, getting back in quickly is more of a problem. I try and find a tree to lean on instead of stopping and popping out. It's really helped me pull through some tougher sections, as I am less likely to just dab my foot. Being clipped in I will give the effort a little longer before I bail (unclip and walk). I did need to play around with my shoes a bit (Pearl - Vagabond M3) to get the right tension on the straps. If I made them tight, they hurt my feet. I am cool now, rode about 5hrs last weekend, no foot pain.

  16. #16
    I already rode that
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    I only use shimano clips for where I ride. Going platform doesnt really offer that great of an advantage for the few stunts I bother riding. I have mine set to be as tight as to be able to bunny hop without the pedals likely to let go. I have no issues either when needing to unclip in a rush, its like as soon as Im about to fall or such I'll be unclipped naturally.
    Riding F/S since oct 94'

  17. #17
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    New Years resolution: No more clipless

    It's interesting on this thread how many people used to use one and have switched recently to the other format.

    For me, it's been a gradual shift from clipless to platforms. I broke my leg pretty bad a few years ago in a crash where I would have walked away if I had been on flats. From there on out I've been riding flats on anything with a big descent but I couldn't manage to give up the Mallets for technical riding. My technical climbing skills suffered without them.

    Finally this year, I gave away my Mallets and haven't used clipless at all (other than commuting). It took a little time, but I'm finally to the point where I can climb anything on the flats that I used to be able to climb clipped in. In the beginning of the summer, I bought a pair of Five Ten Impacts, and as others have mentioned, they are silly grippy. I'm glad I learned how to climb on flats with regular skate shoes because it helped my skills, but the Impacts make keeping my pedals a whole lot easier. I will never go back to clipless, and I really hope that Five Ten never stops making mountain biking shoes!!!

  18. #18
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    Time Control Z with FR/DH clipless shoes. Great control, easy to clip in and out, nice heal float and easy on your knees.

    I can jump bunnyhop unclipped, they give so much support.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by xdefx
    fell over a number of times just forgetting to unclip.
    sounds like user error.
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  20. #20
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    SPD's for the majority of my riding regardless of terrain. Platforms for when I hit the ski resorts in the summer.

    I will also now use platforms during the winter since I can't find a winter shoe that I'm happy with. So now I'll just use my insulated boots and platforms for when the temps get into the 30s and 20s.
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  21. #21
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    I've done both....

    Look, if you are doing an all day epic ride, you'd be crazy not to use clipless. I use Mallets, so I have a nice platform, AND can clip in. The fact is, clipping in helps tremendously when pedalling and climbing. Now if you are just freeriding, and not really climbing much or just out there to huck, then platforms are fine. But since this is the All Mountain forum, and not DH/FR, then I assume you are like most of us - riding 5"-6" travel bikes, going up and down, and small drops, jumps etc - then you should be using an All Mountain pedal - like the Mallets.

    Sure, you could use platforms and Five - Tens, which is what I used to do with my Bullit and ride everywhere. Sure they were amazingly grippy, but the simple fact is that you still cannot pull up on the upstroke while pedalling - which tremendously helpful while climbing. Thus climbing suffers because all you can do is push down on the downstroke while pedalling.
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  22. #22
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    always flats. no exceptions. i like to adjust my stance/ position on the bike alot, including a posible foot off in a burly down hill turn or hang a hip out. i have wellgo mg1 magnesium pedals and have never had to worry about a foot slipping off. if my foot comes off, its a sign im not pushing on the pedals enough. i learned to jump and bunny hop the right way, which is with your upper body rather than pulling your feet up. i can spot a guy jumping clipped in a mile away and its not pretty.

  23. #23
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    another vote for Mallets! at first i was scared to take the plunge and they took some getting used to, but now i wouldnt be without them.

    i took two bad spills off of some 2-3' drops and i automatically came unclipped (thank god) so i havent had any real tragedies thus far.

  24. #24
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    Time Z also

    I can't stand riding unclipped so I tried the Time Z which is a clipless platform pedal and found they work very well. The large flat pedal allows me to put my foot down and pedal when a situation arises where I have trouble clipping in.

  25. #25
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    Used clipless (SPD, EggBeaters, Ritchey V4) for years. Since a month I'm running DMR platforms for two reasons:

    1. I wanted to learn to wheelie or even manual, didn't make much progress and felt that being clipped in held me back - I'm still slowly progressing but the flats didn't make a difference here, never fell with the SPD's anyway.
    2. Someone stated on a forum that it was easy to hop with SPD compared to flats. I learned this back when I was 12 on a BMX bike, and as it turned out it didn't make a difference for me, so I must have used proper technique anyway. I just wanted to confirm I did it the proper way.

    Never had problems getting clipped out fast enough, even when small tricks go wrong.
    Getting out of SPD's on technical trails, on hills or when doing trackstands is just a matter of sorta 'jumping up', getting light on the pedals then clicking out, it's just one move.
    I set the spring tension quite high because it's often even more dangerous to clip out accidently, e.g. when jumping.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMH
    I use both depending on what I plan to ride. If I know I will be testing myself on technical terrain, I love flats. But IMO they suck on all-day rides or anything with lots of climbing.

    JMH
    Me too, except some of my long-climb rides also have steep/techy descents, so it depends on the downhill risk and exposure mostly.

  27. #27
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    this debate has been going on since the introduction of clipless pedals. ride what you like. i grew up on flats. its not even a question when building a bike. probably the part i least think about.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by namaSSte
    sounds like user error.
    Sure, but it never happens with platforms.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by bullit71
    .

    Sure, you could use platforms and Five - Tens, which is what I used to do with my Bullit and ride everywhere. Sure they were amazingly grippy, but the simple fact is that you still cannot pull up on the upstroke while pedalling - which tremendously helpful while climbing. Thus climbing suffers because all you can do is push down on the downstroke while pedalling.
    Dare I mention cadience again.

    The advantage to a smooth cadience is a more efficent engine ( the human heart, lungs and muscles). A smooth cadience is 360 degrees around the pedal stroke. Not mashing on the down stroke then yanking on the upstroke. Constant smooth stroke throughout the revolution.

    Theres no doubt clipless are more efficient than platforms for epics and long range rides. Otherwise we'de be watching riders in the Tour De France in Vans and much cheaper generic platform pedals.

    On the other hand, an experienced rider on platforms and a basic understanding of cadience can easily hold his/her own.

    The majority of people on this board are going to freak out and wanna flame. However, I'm going to say it anyways. If you want to improve your mtn biking skills. Buy a road bike and ride the road. You'll be surprised at what you learn and how much you progress.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by washedup
    this debate has been going on since the introduction of clipless pedals. ride what you like. i grew up on flats. its not even a question when building a bike. probably the part i least think about.
    Well, it will probably going to remain a hot topic on this forum. AM is the cross-over between XC (clips) and FR (flats) so pedal choice will be a compromise. Since both types of pedals require special shoes it's either clipped in or flats, no real good alternative.

    Also discussed here

  31. #31
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    I never rode clips until about 5 months ago, and I can't see going back to flats. I have better control, more efficiency climbing, and less fear of rough turrain. If I fall, my Time ATAC pedals unclip every time far before I hit the ground. I had a set of Shimano SPD pedal at first and they didn't seem to unclip as well. No injuries, and much more confidence, for me clipless is the way to go.

  32. #32
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    [QUOTE=djska]. Since both types of pedals require special shoes it's either clipped in or flats, no real good alternative.



    one of the best things about flats is that they dont require special shoes. since we are on the topic of shoes, i will state that gum sole , such as vans, are the "best AM shoe."

  33. #33
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    [quote=washedup]
    Quote Originally Posted by djska
    since we are on the topic of shoes, i will state that gum sole , such as vans, are the "best AM shoe."
    Try a pair of 5.10 Impacts, you'll change your mind.

  34. #34
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    magneisium (sp!) platforms, grippy as hell and light...veryyy light

  35. #35
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    I like my flats in the mountain with some beat up skate shoes. I may have to pick up a pair of the 5.10 impacts when I'm done with these.

    I tried clipless and while it pedals a whole lot more efficiently on the roads and on the straits, I find I just prefer flat pedals.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by washedup
    Quote Originally Posted by djska
    . Since both types of pedals require special shoes it's either clipped in or flats, no real good alternative.
    one of the best things about flats is that they dont require special shoes. since we are on the topic of shoes, i will state that gum sole , such as vans, are the "best AM shoe."
    Sure, but that's another type of shoe from your average XC-shoe with cleats isn't it?

  37. #37
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    Back and forth for me. Two knee surgeries have me staying on flats for the time being. Clipless is more efficient, but feeling safe and comfortable is more improtant for me. Don't even think about using clipless on skinnies. Well, go ahead and try it and see what happens.

    I am currently using Shimano lo Pro mag flats. Gold. Very light, not too thick, and durable. The nicest flat pedals in the bizz, imo. Using a stiff soled spd shoe on platforms is more efficient than regular sneakers.

  38. #38
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    I rode platforms for a good while but finally decided to give clipless a try. I went with Mallet M's and have been pretty happy with them. I currently wear a traditional shimano MTB shoe. It has a pretty rubbery bottom so they have a chance to hook into the platform when I am not clipped in. However, riding unclipped with these shoes is hardly like regular platforms and a rubber bottom shoe. I had tried a pair of Pearl Izumi's that I loved the way it fit my foot but the bottom was just hard plastic so it had no chance of giving me any traction on platform. I want to try a pair of Launch SPDs, I expect they will perform better on the unclipped side of things. I have heard that wearing "skate" type shoes on long trail rides can cause them to become big sponges after a few creek crossings.

    I found a new negative to being clipped in yesterday. As I was coming down a nice twisty single track I saw a copperhead snake coming up on my left side. My instinct was to pull up my left foot as I passed it by, I had no chance to do anything other than continue with my line by the time I saw it. When my brain realized I could not get my foot out of the way I let out a girly whimper as I coasted by the snake. It was pretty comical. So stay with flats in high snake areas.....

    When I had platforms I pretty much always wore shin guards. My shins have many dents from my skating years. Is this pretty common? Most of the people around here are clipped in so I was the only guy with the shin protection on.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by djska
    Sure, but that's another type of shoe from your average XC-shoe with cleats isn't it?
    No, 5.10 was originally a rockclimbing shoe mfg. Then Intense found out how awesome there soles were for grip and decided to have them make an Intense shoe. The description most used for how the soles feel is "it's likes riding clipped in, but without the hassle". Seriously, if you have a chance to check them out I highly suggest it. Also do a search for 5.10 and read the opinions.

  40. #40
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    I ride Mallets, and I can ride comfortably either clipped or unclipped from them.

    Plus, the shoes that I wear are almost a perfect match for the Mallet pedals.... The cleat engagement is always clean, and didn't require any shims. I've also never gotten "hot spots" under my feet from being clipped-in.

    You guys should really check out these shoes.... I walk around in 'em even when not biking, they're comfortable like a pair of cross-trainers. They don't click-click-click on hard ground, and won't get your cleats torn up from being too exposed.

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  41. #41
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    i just got the shimano m647s and i took the clipless hardware off of one side, so i can clip in and and have flats in one pedal, its working pretty good so far

  42. #42
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    shim m545 pedals on both bikes.
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  43. #43
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    i love my clips. steep/slow/uphill/technical climbs are the only time i get a little worried, but in every instance in every run im happy that ive been riding clipless for years.

    plus whats the big deal about falling once in a while? everyone knows the old "clipless stall and fall over", it doesnt hurt, and its pretty much the only time clips might get in the way. If your gonna fall while riding chances are the clips didnt make it much worse and you would have fallen in fact mostly clips help you not to fall IMO.

    So for 98% of the time clips rule.

  44. #44
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    toeclips.

  45. #45
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    everyone knows the old "clipless stall and fall over", it doesnt hurt, and its pretty much the only time clips might get in the way.
    here, in poison oak infested areas, it doesn't hurt, but itches like hell a couple of days later

  46. #46
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    Flat

    12' drop on to a 6 ' high north shore while cliped ....went wrong..... tried to bail went over the edge still cliped landed on my head... fractured my spine .................now i ride FLAT.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by peteblues
    here, in poison oak infested areas, it doesn't hurt, but itches like hell a couple of days later
    haha, ok unless you do that!

  48. #48
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    In Patapsco trails in Maryland, I was at the top of a long rocky descent politely letting these folks grind it uphill. One girl went tumbling down clipped in, feet trapped. She landed sideways. Was not too badly hurt. Man, she was cute, though. Spandex loving X-country type. You all know what I mean?

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mojo Troll
    Dare I mention cadience again.

    The advantage to a smooth cadience is a more efficent engine ( the human heart, lungs and muscles). A smooth cadience is 360 degrees around the pedal stroke. Not mashing on the down stroke then yanking on the upstroke. Constant smooth stroke throughout the revolution.

    Theres no doubt clipless are more efficient than platforms for epics and long range rides. Otherwise we'de be watching riders in the Tour De France in Vans and much cheaper generic platform pedals.

    On the other hand, an experienced rider on platforms and a basic understanding of cadience can easily hold his/her own.

    The majority of people on this board are going to freak out and wanna flame. However, I'm going to say it anyways. If you want to improve your mtn biking skills. Buy a road bike and ride the road. You'll be surprised at what you learn and how much you progress.
    Aaaahh so true
    When your girlfriends Mother french kisses you hello....Now that's friendly!

  50. #50
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    39
    I like the shimano 959's so much there on my road bike. Shimano 545's on the mountain as the platform is much needed and liked. What about toe straps. They work excellent while still being able to eject quickly. The probability is infinite on will make you go down and how you are going to go down. Ride what makes you comfortable.
    When your girlfriends Mother french kisses you hello....Now that's friendly!

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