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  1. #1
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    flat pedals shin injury problem

    hi all

    i think this is a wide spread problem whith flat pedals that really need to grip. they just become HU/ANGRY and want to taste some meet once in a while.

    so i have mutiple bruises on my shins. the serious one are on the front from crashes and bad landing when my foot slips and the pedal digs deep in my shin. the less serious ones, but much more frequent, are scratches on the backside (which are just unpleasant and leaves scars)

    does anyone has a solutuion? like some kind of a breathing material that can protect from bruises and scratches?
    i don't want a real hard-shell shin guard

    thanks
    victor

  2. #2
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    what kind of pedals and shoes are you using?

  3. #3
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    I know this has been said over and over again, but I use 5:10 shoes on flats (xpedo spry) and haven't been bitten once. The only time my flats got me was when I was wearing my trail work boots and got a little frisky coming out of the woods one day. Other than that, I haven't had any problems. Good flat technique, and good shoes, on good pedals, and you shouldn't have an issue.

  4. #4
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    this isn't just a problem of the foot slipping.
    it usually happens when you put your foot down and the pedal contacts the back side of the leg.
    i use nukeproof electron pedals

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    Don't use flats, easy.

  6. #6
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    Are you riding tech when it happens? Riding in skate parks, boulders and other tech will cause the pedal to take a bite. Obviously, clipless are not the solution for this style riding. I've used some neoprene Lizard Skins to protect my shins. They have a removable plastic plate (which I took out) and they work good enough with just the neoprene padding. You will sweat with them on.

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  7. #7
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    I had that problem too when I began riding all mountain style trails on flat pedals. My technique was primitive and I crashed quite often. My shins were always injured. I solved the problem buying very cheap soccer shin pads, using thick and long soccer socks and taking care not to contact the pins with the back of my legs. With time, my technique improved enough to allow me to quit using all that protection. Now I wear knee and elbow protection plus a full face helmet, but no shin pads. My feet never slips off the pedals nowadays and even when I crash somehow my shins never get hit.

  8. #8
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    As your riding technique improves, it will happen less. Meanwhile, wear soccer shin guards as already suggested for protection.

  9. #9
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    ComeOn now..... Chicks Dig Scars!! Man up and RIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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  10. #10
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    I have five ten and shimano saint pedal combo I only once have injured my shins on a bad crash, maybe try five ten shoes!

  11. #11
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    Pedal slips: Better shoes/technique

    Back of legs.... My studs are sharp took once to figure out how to even kick a pedal around without cutting up back of my leg. Only time they get me when riding is a crash.

  12. #12
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    Five Tens. EZPZ

    Although my wife wears Five Tens on her Deity Decoys and she still sometimes wears RaceFace shin guards. She says they are not hot at all... might want to look into those.

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    Had barely any of these problems since using DMR Vaults. My Nukeproof Neutrons seemed to catch me much more often.

    I just ride with DC skate shoes.

  14. #14
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    perhaps combo of tech and technique.
    meanwhile, throw on some tld 5450s while you get things sorted
    keep em on if ya like. light and comfy

  15. #15
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    If you're going to ride flats, 510's are the answer. I used to swear by Vans (bmx heritage) and didn't believe the thing about "sticky rubber". It's true, they grip like nothing else.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bamr33 View Post
    Don't use flats, easy.
    So... ride it like a balance bike then?

  17. #17
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    Same combo here with same results. 510's and saint pedals. Love we combo

  18. #18
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    flat pedals shin injury problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Fix the Spade View Post
    So... ride it like a balance bike then?
    Can if you want but I'd recommend a clipless system such as SPD.

  20. #20
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    5-10s and Chromag Contacts, I don't have issue's. I used to have issue when I had dull pins or wasn't wearing good shoes.
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  21. #21
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    Another vote for good pedals and shoes.

    I still have a knack for beating up my shins, a lot of the times pedals aren't involved. So I wear shin guards on more technical trails. I have tried several bike specific shin pads and they were all overkill, too big, bulky and hot. If you want or need shin guards do yourself and your wallet a favor and get some soccer shin guards. They are light weight and not hot. I like the Nike J guards and the Nike Mercurial Lite. You can either wear them with sleeves or tube socks. I like sporting them with dorky 70's style tube socks. Because in the 70's that was the only safety equipment required.
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  22. #22
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    I have used soccer shin protectors, and soccer socks, they seem to function well with movmeent from epdaling and do not slip down, and are not as hot as a hard shell full shin protector like launch pads. I have launch pads but they are too hot and too inflexible for normal riding, just use them for the bike park or long descents.

  23. #23
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    Wear shin guards, or some sort of thick long socks or lower leg sleeves. I've got a pair of G-Form shin pads after getting tired of too many pedal bites.

  24. #24
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    Anyone else think they've got it backwards?
    why don't they put the spikes on the shoes
    and the rubber on the pedals?

  25. #25
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    Re: flat pedals shin injury problem

    Quote Originally Posted by andytiedye View Post
    Anyone else think they've got it backwards?
    why don't they put the spikes on the shoes
    and the rubber on the pedals?
    I don't particularly want to be walking in the rocky terrain around here in golf shoes. Or in the pub after the ride.
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  26. #26
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    I think it's your foot position...

    I've ridden flats all my life and have only ever scraped my shins two or three times TOTAL! I was always confused as to how so many people always talked about scraping their shins, until a couple of years ago, I think I figured out why it happens to most people, but not to some.

    I was riding with someone who had just scraped their shins on their pedals, and was whining about it, and so I let them go first, and rode behind them and tried to observe how they did it. After about thirty minutes, and a couple of stops at some slickrock playgrounds, where I could just stop and observe their riding technique from all angles, I came to the conclusion that they rode with the balls of their feet centered over their pedal spindles, where the cleats on clippity-doo pedals are usually positioned; where I ride with my feet an inch to an inch and a half further forward, so that the pedal is more under the arch of my feet; thus when I slip a pedal, my foot slips off the front of the pedal, and is usually moving so much farther forward than the pedal is, that I don't even scrape the back of my calf; where they (and most of the other riders that I have observed, stand so far back on their pedals, that their foot slips off the back of the pedal and slides their shin straight down their pedal.
    If more people rode more bikes, more places, more often, the world would be a more better place!

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by bamr33 View Post
    Don't use flats, easy.
    Indeed. Say goodbye to mangled shins. But say hello to broken arms and collarbones!!! Great advice!

    Threadstarter -- get some 510s and a decent set of pedals ( didn't look to see what you have for pedals). I've been using Twenty6 pedals for a long time now and have NEVER slipped off of them. With 510s I can practically pull UP. In any case, I can pedal just as efficiently as I can clipped-in, making it a no-brainer.
    Last edited by cookieMonster; 02-15-2015 at 10:50 AM.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookieMonster View Post
    Indeed. Say goodbye to mangled shins. But say hello to broken arms and collarbones!!! Great advice!
    ~18 years riding all sorts of stuff clipped in and haven't had that issue. Like banged-up shins with flats, if you're having problems unclipping you need to improve your technique.

  29. #29
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    ...or, just get a motorocycle, or electric bike, or an off road vehicle...there was a very helpful post a couple up on foot placement with flats. You don't have to be constantly banging shins, but you can also ear some minor protection for when you do. If you orefer clipless then problem solved, just learn to clip out from any position at any time, in any situation. The latter is definitwly possible but it takes a lot more time for some riders to master and the process may not be worth the marginal benefit.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookieMonster View Post
    Indeed. Say goodbye to mangled shins. But say hello to broken arms and collarbones!!! Great advice!

    Threadstarter -- get some 510s and a decent set of pedals ( didn't look to see what you have for pedals). I've been using Twenty6 pedals for a long time now and have NEVER slipped off of them. With 510s I can practically pull UP. In any case, I can pedal just as efficiently as I can clipped-in, making it a no-brainer.
    you might get away with broke ankles or sprans etc, but arms and collarbones?? What are you talking about?.

    Riding for 19 years, and I may have fell over a few times the first year due to pedals, but I can't remember the last time my pedals caused me to crash.

    Not haten, just sayin.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by man.cave View Post
    you might get away with broke ankles or sprans etc, but arms and collarbones?? What are you talking about?.

    Riding for 19 years, and I may have fell over a few times the first year due to pedals, but I can't remember the last time my pedals caused me to crash.

    Not haten, just sayin.
    25 years of riding all kinds of stuff clipped-in and with flats. I have fallen a few times even with tons of experience -- usually while climbing something very technical. Luckily I've never been injured. But in the majority of those falls, people put their hand out and that's when they break something (arm or collarbone). I've known MANY people who this has happened to.

    With modern flats and grippy shoes made for them, I don't know why anyone would still chose to ride clipped-in, especially on highly technical terrain.
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookieMonster View Post
    With modern flats and grippy shoes made for them, I don't know why anyone would still chose to ride clipped-in, especially on highly technical terrain.
    Because I'm completely confident riding where I ride clipped in and don't feel any disadvantage from it?
    I would like to give flats a try again (I used to ride them on my HT about 16-17 years ago because I was young and wanted to be cool like the Dual Slalom pros) but I think I'd miss being clipped in on the forestry road climbs and all day trail rides, and don't feel like handing over the cash for good pedals and shoes when I don't feel like I'd gain anything.


    Sorry for the OT!

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    flat pedals shin injury problem

    Quote Originally Posted by cookieMonster View Post
    25 years of riding all kinds of stuff clipped-in and with flats. I have fallen a few times even with tons of experience -- usually while climbing something very technical. Luckily I've never been injured. But in the majority of those falls, people put their hand out and that's when they break something (arm or collarbone). I've known MANY people who this has happened to.

    With modern flats and grippy shoes made for them, I don't know why anyone would still chose to ride clipped-in, especially on highly technical terrain.
    If u break a bone going that slow u would break it just about anytime. I've rode plenty of black Diamond tech trail where u have to quarter crank ur cranks and balance and I did it all with clipless. And yes I have had to put a foot down every now and a then but NEVER had an issue putting it down.

  34. #34
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    flat pedals shin injury problem

    Bonus of the shin damage, when kickboxing I can go shin to shin and it doesn't hurt.

  35. #35
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    I've been running clipped in for many years and do not understand how I could get injured because of that. After getting used to it clipping out is never the problem. I just slide my foot sideways heel first. On flats I need to lift to get off.
    Why I want to switch to flats is I sometimes have problems clipping back in on technical parts. But I would not want to scratch my shin every time I slip!

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by cokratex View Post
    I've been running clipped in for many years and do not understand how I could get injured because of that. After getting used to it clipping out is never the problem. I just slide my foot sideways heel first. On flats I need to lift to get off.
    Why I want to switch to flats is I sometimes have problems clipping back in on technical parts. But I would not want to scratch my shin every time I slip!
    It may not ever happen. I've ridden every possible configuration of pedals over the years; toeclips, clipped-in, flats, etc. I don't crash very often. But even with decades of experience riding clipped-in, I've still had trouble getting out of them a few times -- in awkward situations such as climbing up and over rocks and roots and suddenly stalling out on one. You lose your balance on the side of whatever pedal is up, and it's hard to twist out of a clipless pedal in that position. When there's a sharp dropoff on that side of the trail, that's when you get hurt. I have seen, over a dozen times, EXPERIENCED riders not able to get out of clipless and crashing hard. Those of you who don't think it can happen, it WILL -- just give it time.

    I can't say I ever had trouble getting out in a high speed crash though. But as you mentioned, getting back IN is a problem too. That is actually my biggest complaint about clipless pedals.

    Anyway, my original point in this thread was in reference to the guy who mentioned just switching to clipless. Trading shin injuries for possibly worse injuries is not a good tradeoff IMO. With modern flats/510 shoes, I can pedal in perfect circles and the difference in power-output between that and clipless is nill. For technical riding, I will never go back to clipless. There's just no advantage to them, IMHO.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bike Doc View Post

    I was riding with someone who had just scraped their shins on their pedals, and was whining about it, and so I let them go first, and rode behind them and tried to observe how they did it. After about thirty minutes, and a couple of stops at some slickrock playgrounds, where I could just stop and observe their riding technique from all angles, I came to the conclusion that they rode with the balls of their feet centered over their pedal spindles, where the cleats on clippity-doo pedals are usually positioned; where I ride with my feet an inch to an inch and a half further forward, so that the pedal is more under the arch of my feet; thus when I slip a pedal, my foot slips off the front of the pedal, and is usually moving so much farther forward than the pedal is, that I don't even scrape the back of my calf; where they (and most of the other riders that I have observed, stand so far back on their pedals, that their foot slips off the back of the pedal and slides their shin straight down their pedal.
    This. I also put my feet more centered over the pedal axle. I made that change a long time ago when I was doing huge drops and jumps and occasionally landing hard. If you have the balls of your feet over the axles when you encounter a huge hit, you WILL hurt your ankles/achilles tendons. Not so if your foot is moved forward a bit. But also, I NEVER slip off my pedals.
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  38. #38
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    U walk on the ball of ur feet so why wouldn't u pedal on the ball of ur foot. Not trying to pick an argument just asking the question

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by cokratex View Post
    I've been running clipped in for many years and do not understand how I could get injured because of that. After getting used to it clipping out is never the problem. I just slide my foot sideways heel first. On flats I need to lift to get off.
    Why I want to switch to flats is I sometimes have problems clipping back in on technical parts. But I would not want to scratch my shin every time I slip!
    Up until two weeks ago, I thought the exact same way. Clipping back in on steep terrain is sometimes a problem for me as well. I have seen what flat pedals can do to shins so I have always been fearful of transitioning to flats. My opinion has changed due to what happened to me a couple of weeks ago. The short story is, my rear tire slipped as I was climbing some steep slickrock and I lost my balance. I have always been able to clip out when this happens but for some reason, my right foot stayed clipped in and I ended up with a Grade 3 tear to my MCL. Fortunately, I just need to wear a knee brace for the next 3 weeks.

    This is just my experience after riding steep slickrock for years that has changed my opinion on flats. I would rather wear the shin guards for awhile until I get used to the flats then reinjure my knee again.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by man.cave View Post
    U walk on the ball of ur feet so why wouldn't u pedal on the ball of ur foot. Not trying to pick an argument just asking the question
    you'd be tiptoeing not walking. you have to scoop the pedals to bunny hop over obstacles or pop of a lip of any sort. harder to do that just with the balls of your feet. you also have way more support for your legs/body when you drop your heels as you should when looking for grip or landing a jump or drop when you're a little further back towards your arches. alot of SPuD riders could probably benefit from slamming their cleats further back.
    clipless to connect flats to engage. hehe
    Last edited by 53119; 02-16-2015 at 05:21 PM.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by 53119 View Post
    you have to scoop the pedals to bunny hop over obstacles or pop of a lip of any sort. harder to do that just with the balls of your feet. you also have way more support for your legs/body when you drop your heels as you should when looking for grip or landing a jump or drop
    Dropping your heels is crucial when in flats. I also agree with sliding your feet further up on the pedals. Seemed to work out for me.

    Also recommend decent pedals and five tens. I swapped from Deity compounds and Teva Pinners. Five tens and compounds weren't bad. Five tens and Spikes was a whole new level of grip. That said, throwing money at the problem is easy, but dropping your heels and foot position is more important.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by matadorCE View Post
    Wear shin guards, or some sort of thick long socks or lower leg sleeves. I've got a pair of G-Form shin pads after getting tired of too many pedal bites.
    I love mine
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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by vichila View Post
    this isn't just a problem of the foot slipping.
    it usually happens when you put your foot down and the pedal contacts the back side of the leg.
    i use nukeproof electron pedals
    I am not quite sure I understand how your are injuring the back of your leg. What is the situation when you put your foot down?

    As far as the foot slipping, you may want to try some pedals with more spikes and spikes that are placed in the center of the pedal.

    The pedals you are using have 2 spikes really close to where there is a hump from the axle. Those 2 spikes are probably not griping your shoe very well due to the that hump which leaves only 6 spikes that really provide grip and there are no spikes in the center where the pressure from the ball of your foot sits. Also, they don't look like they would grip very well when moving your foot forward on the pedal.
    flat pedals shin injury problem-image.jpg

    Below is just an example of some pedals with spikes in the center and no hump over the axle. All 13 of the spikes on these pedals will grip the shoe and it has spikes in the center where there is pressure from the ball of your foot. They also look like they would grip well when you want to place your foot more forward on the pedal.
    flat pedals shin injury problem-image.jpg
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  44. #44
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    Man I wish they would invent a pedal where u foot was attached and wouldn't let your foot come off and smack the living cap out of u. We put a man on the moon but can't figure this out. A pedal that attaches to a shoe, that would make somebody some money.

  45. #45
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    Um, they do, there called clipless pedals, but the OP wants to ride flats and figure out why he is slipping off the pedals and getting hit in the back of the leg when he puts his foot down when most who ride flats don't have this problem.

    Your lame comment does nothing to help the op with his problem.
    Get out of the gutter and onto the mountain top.

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    Lol neither does yours

  47. #47
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    Don't understand how you think my comment about how the spikes on his current pedals might not be enough to effective grip to his shoe and he may want to try a pedal with more spikes placed in better locations on the pedal is not trying to help out the op. I even posted a picture of the example so he could see what I was talking about.

    How exactly did your comment helps the op?
    Get out of the gutter and onto the mountain top.

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  48. #48
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    Good grief. It was just a joke, and that wasn't the post I was referring too. It was the one answering my light hearted post. I swear it's like dealing with women during pms

  49. #49
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    Hard to tell that was a joke because it wasn't even close to funny. But whatever makes you feel good about yourself.

    OP, I would also agree that foot placement is a big part of the issue. I had to learn good technique when I switched from clipless to flats. At first flats felt very unsecure and I was uneasy on them being used to having my foot attached to the pedal. But I now have no issue with the flats and prefer them over clipless on rough trails. I do like clipless for xC though.

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    flat pedals shin injury problem

    Quote Originally Posted by tahoebeau View Post
    Hard to tell that was a joke because it wasn't even close to funny. But whatever makes you feel good about yourself.

    OP, I would also agree that foot placement is a big part of the issue. I had to learn good technique when I switched from clipless to flats. At first flats felt very unsecure and I was uneasy on them being used to having my foot attached to the pedal. But I now have no issue with the flats and prefer them over clipless on rough trails. I do like clipless for xC though.
    I feel fine about myself. I own both types of pedals but prefer clipless on all 5 of my bikes except in snow. Alot of u guys need to get over yourself and don't lecture me about helping the op. Move on.

  51. #51
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    I was always tearing up my shins and the back of my calves with my aggressive gripped flat pedals. Sharp bramble bushes and thorny bushes on tight singletrack trails would also sometimes cut me up.

    I now use G-Form PRO-X Shin Pads. Problem solved! They are so comfortable that I usually forget that I am wearing them, even when it is hot out on long rides.
    Last edited by blundar; 03-05-2015 at 08:27 AM.

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    I've had a fair share of shin injuries, especially when dropping in with the saddle too high. This made me 'bump' off the saddle and my feet came loose from the pedals. Now I just drop my seat low enough for the higher drops and I have no problems anymore.

    I've bought a pair of 5.10's but haven't used them yet. When it's cold I prefer riding with my higher trekking/mountain walk shoes. Can't wait for spring to kick in!

    Kind regards,

    Clemens

  53. #53
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    a little trick i do... i removed the washers from the pins circled in red, to make those traction pins taller. yet to cut down on damage, (if i do crash and whack my legs), the rest of the pins are shorter. i still get pretty good traction this way, but i dont need tons where i ride

    Last edited by nauc; 04-04-2015 at 12:36 PM.

  54. #54
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    [QUOTE=Cinq;11813524]I've had a fair share of shin injuries, especially when dropping in with the saddle too high. This made me 'bump' off the saddle and my feet came loose from the pedals. Now I just drop my seat low enough for the higher drops and I have no problems anymore.

    I've bought a pair of 5.10's but haven't used them yet. When it's cold I prefer riding with my higher trekking/mountain walk shoes. Can't wait for spring to kick in!

    Kind regards,

    Clemens[/QU

    what about if you cant use 5ten or others specfic mtb shoes(my feet are too big size 16) using regular nikes

    kobe 8 to be exact is there a pedal that works rally well without mtb shoes .......im helplessly lost.please give advice thanks guys.........(may not be the correct forum , inthe pedal forum it was like your little sisters arguing .nothing helpful)
    Ride hard everytime....or take up hiking...........lol

  55. #55
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    what about if you cant use 5ten or others specfic mtb shoes(my feet are too big size 16) using regular nikes
    I would try to find a pair of skate shoes that fit. In fact, I thought skate shoes were the best thing going until I tried 510s. The grip is fine, they just don't offer the support of 510 so I get a plantar fasciitis with skate shoes.

    Regarding the cuts and scrapes to the shins...I have my share. Grippy shoes, grippy pedals, and experience mitigates them completely.

  56. #56
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    I made the switch to flats about a year ago. Still have my XT SPD's, and thought I would use them for XC centric trails, but I've just never felt the need.

    I will say that for trail/endudro/AM riding minimizing the profile of the flat pedal is key. I chose the Canfield Crampon Mags. 260g and 6mm leading edge. They have a lower profile and weight than my XT SPDs. I even had to lower my seat post a bit to maintain my leg extension, and strikes have been minimal. I will add that they have taken a beating and keep on going. Amazing pedals!

    Back to topic: In the past year the only shin hit it have had was when I had the balls of my feet over the spindle of the pedal. It was a generally XC trail and I was in spin mode. Then I spied a nice kicker coming out of a wash. I hit it just fine, but the ball of my foot rotated backwards on landing, my foot came off, and I got whacked. I was being lazy and normally, had I known the trail, I would have positioned my foot centered on the spindle before the kicker (like the hundreds of miles before). Lesson learned.

    I will say that I feel there is a bit of peer pressure to run clipless and somehow you're 'less than' if you don't. Occasionally I feel that people look at me as some 50 year old DH wannabe with flats, and I inevitably get a comment or two about how much harder it must be to do grinder climbs, that they're not as efficient, that Joe and Sally are the fastest and they run clips, flats are for beginners, etc. When I hear something like that I ask them if they ever rode a bike when they were kids, and how did they do? The best is when I politely ask to pass them on a chunky up or down littered with 180deg switchbacks. They agree and from that point on I can hear them frantically unclipping and then trying to clip back in at every stall-out. I just smile and ride on.

    For me the last year has shown me that pedal choice is all about what makes you feel confident and solid on the trail. Heck I've see guy's with straps every now and then that are shredding surgeons on the trail. I always give them a thumbs up regardless of pedal choice!
    Santa Fe, NM

  57. #57
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    I haven't bashed a shin/calf except in a nasty crash since I was a kid on a Walmart bike and that's been a longggg time ago. Saints and DC's and no issues.

  58. #58
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    I use Saints and Spank Spikes on my bikes, and wear mostly Freeriders. I wear minimal knee protection during my trail rides - SixSixOne Rhythm knee/shin pads review - BikeRadar

    Only slips were from Saints, which I'll be raising the pins.

  59. #59
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    I have a scar on my right shin with 3 or 4 parallel grooves from when my bmx style pedal hit it when I was about 8 years old. I'm 45 now.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fix the Spade View Post
    So... ride it like a balance bike then?
    Excellent underrated post

  61. #61
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    i use to race bmx with these, but i sharpened the cage peaks to a point with a file. had 2 big tiger claw marks on my calve for a couple months after crashing one day. the good ol days


  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by nauc View Post
    i use to race bmx with these, but i sharpened the cage peaks to a point with a file. had 2 big tiger claw marks on my calve for a couple months after crashing one day. the good ol days

    My 45 year old shins look like they've been through a meat tenderizer from those, sharpened to a point! I've been to the dermatologist about them and I was just told it was from all the scarring. I got smart and would wear soccer shin guards when racing but I'd always seem to forget them when tearing up the woods or doing tricks. I've started looking at clip ins but it's hard to change after 40 years of riding/racing and I don't think they fit my riding style.

  63. #63
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    Why don't they invent a pedal that's got holes in it and put the spikes on the shoes?..

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Why don't they invent a pedal that's got holes in it and put the spikes on the shoes?..
    they have those...




  65. #65
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    More random input: you get to lower you seat when you ride with your feet in the proper position ...slid forward with pedals in your arch. So your lower and feel safer. You can do awesome foot dabs on purpose to get over really big rocks too.

    Just to add to the great observations on when and how shinners happen. Only happen to me when I'm bunny hopping and foot loses grip. Never caused a crash.

    When I rode with clipless, i would often come to a stop and intentionally catch the pedal with my calf to stop with one pedal straight down. It took a few weeks to fully stop doing that

  66. #66
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    I am way too lazy to go through all 3 pages, but a friend of mine uses the g-form knee pads as shin guards. He digs it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fuglio View Post
    You guys suck im all bummed now

  67. #67
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    clipless is nice for distance, but common sense tells us clipping in over extreme technical areas has its ups and downs. maybe it holds you in better yes but you cannot quickly withdrew foot to tap obstacles to avoid a possible fall/ quick correction as you could easily do with flats. you have to have much practice with clipless to have zero apprehension hitting a brand new very technical trail/ quick downhill that you may not have ridden. I prefer to rock the clipless where I am comfortable with trails I have much experience one, and flats for terrain I am not as practiced at with riding. each has pros and cons much like everything else

  68. #68
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    I ride with soccer socks all the way up the knee. Is that makes me weird> They do offer some kind of protection

  69. #69
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    For those on flats with virgin shins, I mock your riding style no way you can let it hang out and avoid the occasional shin bash. I've got a huge local sample size and we're all bashed up.

    To the point, all my bashes are in a very narrow zone on my shin bone. I just need something about like a road bike chain stay protector to limit the damage. That doesn't exist so a ride with G-Form. They run small if you decide to order some.

  70. #70
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    i want these...

    i know my legs wont be happy tho






  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by nauc View Post
    i want these...

    i know my legs wont be happy tho





    Pins that have exposed threads will tear up your shims much more than pins without exposed threads. These pedals will probably tear you up pretty bad...

  72. #72
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    Rounded or stubby with trailrunners.

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  73. #73
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    Technique - pedal whip

    Recently switched to platform after years with clipless with intention of practice for bike-packing. Experiencing same problem with serious injury to back of leg/calves. This is definitely a technique problem that I was having recently with clipless as well but with less serious outcome, bruising compared to shredding, bruising. This should be forthwith referred to as pedal whip if it doesn't already have a name. I believe it is a result of being overly cautious in a bail situation on a climb, stepping forward off the pedal on the upstroke at the bottom of the rotation and not getting your leg off to the side far enough to miss the impending whip release from your other leg downstroke. Not sure how to unlearn this. Balance courses maybe. Practice balance on a small climb and releasing the downstroke leg at the same time. With clipless I would normally go to the bitter end until I need to take an arm and often used the pulling up to get me out of tricky situations. When I started trying to avoid the last second bail out is when this started to happen.

    I really like the idea of rubber pedals with golf cleat shoes as I really miss my clipless climbing cleats. This could be the answer for me as I'm not looking to walk around the pub in them. Also annoying when you are carrying or pushing your bike and get grazed by the pedal. Those suckers are sharp! In general could be a great approach to off-road bike packing. Would at least stop blood dripping everywhere. Really can't afford senseless injury on trips of that length that are that remote or really any time. The bruising was bad enough with clipless when it happened though. Only real solution is learn new technique to avoid dreaded pedal whip.



    Quote Originally Posted by vichila View Post
    hi all

    i think this is a wide spread problem whith flat pedals that really need to grip. they just become HU/ANGRY and want to taste some meet once in a while.

    so i have mutiple bruises on my shins. the serious one are on the front from crashes and bad landing when my foot slips and the pedal digs deep in my shin. the less serious ones, but much more frequent, are scratches on the backside (which are just unpleasant and leaves scars)

    does anyone has a solutuion? like some kind of a breathing material that can protect from bruises and scratches?
    i don't want a real hard-shell shin guard

    thanks
    victor

  74. #74
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    for what it's worth, riding with your arches centered over the spindle will give you less control and feedback over the bike and the terrain you are riding. difficult to describe, but more towards the ball of your foot actually gives you more control and "information" regarding contact to your bike, especially through thick-soled shoes like 510s.

    It also allows a few mm more "clearance" over your saddle, sounds funny, but try it. those few millimeters can be a big difference at times.

    Can't argue - you may feel more "planted" with the arch over the center, but when riding flats, that's not always the best thing. Being able to adjust your stance on the pedals, is a benefit of riding flats (plus, riding near the ball of one's foot allows you to dig your heels deeper when plowing through the rougher stuff).

    As far as getting pegged in the back of the leg... The fastest, cleanest way to disengage your feet off a flat pedal is to the sides.

    Good practice is to coast along the driveway or parking lot, unweight your pedals a little and jump slight UP (so that the pins are not piercing/grabbing your soles) and kick both feet out the sides - and return them as fast as possible - like a no-footed jump without the bike doing the jump. Once you figure the motion out, practice it. after a while, you'll be able to ditch a foot to the side almost instinctively.
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    this is all you need to know:


  76. #76
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    Avoid pain

    Agreed. Learn ditch to the side. Avoid pain.

    Quote Originally Posted by jhazard View Post
    for what it's worth, riding with your arches centered over the spindle will give you less control and feedback over the bike and the terrain you are riding. difficult to describe, but more towards the ball of your foot actually gives you more control and "information" regarding contact to your bike, especially through thick-soled shoes like 510s.

    It also allows a few mm more "clearance" over your saddle, sounds funny, but try it. those few millimeters can be a big difference at times.

    Can't argue - you may feel more "planted" with the arch over the center, but when riding flats, that's not always the best thing. Being able to adjust your stance on the pedals, is a benefit of riding flats (plus, riding near the ball of one's foot allows you to dig your heels deeper when plowing through the rougher stuff).

    As far as getting pegged in the back of the leg... The fastest, cleanest way to disengage your feet off a flat pedal is to the sides.

    Good practice is to coast along the driveway or parking lot, unweight your pedals a little and jump slight UP (so that the pins are not piercing/grabbing your soles) and kick both feet out the sides - and return them as fast as possible - like a no-footed jump without the bike doing the jump. Once you figure the motion out, practice it. after a while, you'll be able to ditch a foot to the side almost instinctively.

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisof6 View Post
    Agreed. Learn ditch to the side. Avoid pain.
    Seconded. The ability to get off the bike without injury is more instinctive for some than others. It's a useful skill worth practicing. I say that as an ex-BMX'er with divots missing from both shins.

  78. #78
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    As others have said (here & numerous other places), good shoes & good flats and it's a non issue.

    I use 5.10's & Scudgood flats... I've never been bitten by this combo.

    In the past before I knew better I'd receive the odd gnaw marks.

    I've also received a doozie of a lump from a clipless coming disconnected from cleat & the pedal spun around & clocked me fair in the shin o_0

    The many bruises & contusions - on other areas of the body, from not being able to unclip in time are more numerous.

    Plus the fairer gender dig scars ^^

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  79. #79
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    It's healthy to bleed a bit now and again, don't worry about it, just clean the wound so you don't get infected.

  80. #80
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    I have enough scars. I went SPD. M520's on my commuter and T400's on my MTB.

    For now, anyhow.

  81. #81
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    One thing I have found that I haven't seen mentioned in this thread is the bearing tension of the pedals. Maybe that is not the correct term but what I am referring to is how fast the pedals spin around the shaft if you were to spin it by hand. I had some old wellgo pedals that I could get about 10 revolutions if I spun them. They would always find a away to hit my shin when my foot came off. I switched to a set of origin8 pedals that I couldn't get 1 revolution out of if I spun them and this significantly reduced the amount of shin impacts with the pins. That and the rounded pins pretty much eliminated my shins from being cut up. This was with regular tennis shoes
    2016 Yeti SB4.5c
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  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2AllBeef View Post
    I switched to a set of origin8 pedals that I couldn't get 1 revolution out of if I spun them and this significantly reduced the amount of shin impacts with the pins.
    You know that doesn't make any sense, don't you?

  83. #83
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    The type of pins installed on the flat pedals makes a big difference. Some of them have exposed threads, and others have flat sides.

    The pins with exposed threads will scrape and cut you up (and often make you bleed) very easily. The pins without exposed threads will most of the time not cut you and still grip very well to the bottom of your shoes.

    Most flat pedals can be retrofitted to pins without exposed threads regardless if they are surface mounted or thru mounted.

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  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    You know that doesn't make any sense, don't you?
    I think it does in context with the rest of the paragraph. At least in my mind. The pedals don't free spin on the bearings so they aren't rotating 90 degrees and hitting my shins or calf with the pins.
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  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2AllBeef View Post
    The pedals don't free spin on the bearings so they aren't rotating 90 degrees and hitting my shins or calf with the pins.
    But when your leg hits the pedal it is going to rotate it? There would have to be no bearings at all before you would avoid that.

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    But when your leg hits the pedal it is going to rotate it?
    Maybe, maybe not. There are several other factors which would influence that. The fact remains that I have experienced less shin damage on pedals with tight bearings verse those with loose bearings. Your results may vary
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  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2AllBeef View Post
    The fact remains that I have experienced less shin damage on pedals tight bearings...
    I'm thinking coincidence, you are riding better, a few things but I honestly doubt the relative drag of the pedal bearings has anything to do with it.

  88. #88
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    hair does not grow on my shins due to a lifetime riding bikes. and stuff.

    take those shin strikes and bleeding, 'cuz it's gonna happen w/o shin guards

  89. #89
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    Rethink your equipment and technique. Never had an issue banging my shins in ~5 years of riding. You are doing something wrong if you are regularly hurting yourself.

  90. #90
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    Rode park all season with no shin diggers and I ride SPD's for everything else. If your digging up your shins often riding flats your doing it wrong.

    FWIW I have those through pedal with no threads on the side pins in my Contacts. You could gut a pig with them, especially if they get some rock rash on them!
    I like to fart when I'm in front of you on a climb

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by akaBrowntown View Post
    Rethink your equipment and technique. Never had an issue banging my shins in ~5 years of riding. You are doing something wrong if you are regularly hurting yourself.
    you are right... in a way...


    OR he/she is pushing the envelope. when you ride the edge you fall off sometimes.
    doesn't happen just poking along at 'civilian' speeds
    Last edited by 127.0.0.1; 08-02-2017 at 05:26 AM.

  92. #92
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    5.10s are my jam, but anything with stealth rubber will make a hell of a difference. IMHO good shoes are the most important part of the pedal/shoe combo. I've done my own clearly non scientific test between my "family days" trek marlin with lame plastic pedals and my 5.10s, and them my m6 with multiple name brand flats and my adidas and I had better grip on the trek. Not saying a good set of pedals isn't important, but I'd bet you'd notice a big difference just stepping up to proper shoes.

    As others pointed out foot placement also makes a difference. You need to be closer to the balls of your feet. Best grip, best bike control, and quickest reaction time when you need to adjust weight and such(hence the term balls of your feet in sports).

  93. #93
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    5.10's and DMR Vaults. Stick like glue. Sometimes too good.

  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtrider76 View Post
    You could gut a pig with them..
    Steady on! :0.

  95. #95
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    Use Specialized 2FO flats and never a slip..it's all in the shoes.

  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    Steady on! :0.

    Haha! My bad there Mr. Pig!
    I like to fart when I'm in front of you on a climb

  97. #97
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    Things I've learned.

    Shoe choice is a big deal. Athletic shoes are made to bounce... you don't want that bounce on a pedal. Skate shoes are too thin and flexible, especially vulcanized soles. 5.10 shoes are lauded for their "grip" but I find my trail running shoes are far grippier on every surface I come across--I'm thinking the true reason that they "stick" is due to the lack of rebound. They're definitely not pleasant to run home in, in case you have a mechanical and decide to hoof it.

    More pins is actually less grippy than fewer pins. Location matters too. Summed up, wider spaced pins grip better. Pins with a defined lateral edge (ex. flat top cylinder, as opposed to a rounded tip) grip better than ones with spike tips, especially once the spike tips round off like a pencil tip. On the other hand, being widely spaced with edges makes them grab flesh easier too.

    Things that worked for me:

    Getting bigger pedals and/or extending them outward. Might sound counter-intuitive, but this has almost totally eliminated issues. Could be coincidence, but take it for what it's worth; I'll call it sub-conscious training. I have 20mm pedal extenders that I use with my narrower (100mm or less) pedals, at least the ones with wrench flats. I use bigger pedals, like VP Harriers (other options include CB Stamp Large, Syntace Num9 Titan Large), without extenders. This has made me more conscious of the pedals, and whenever I come to a controlled stop, I find I almost always stick my foot out wide. The last time I didn't, was in a group ride where I was the 3rd rider in a line being led down a new trail, and 2nd rider stalled out at the apex of a steep punchy climb, and I almost collided into his rear wheel, and put my foot down in a bad spot while my other foot was in a bad spot in the pedal stroke, which then backpedaled with all my weight on it to 6 o'clock, bashing my shin that I had placed in the path of the other pedal coming around.

    Now, that doesn't stop me from getting shin damage from other stuff... bench-cut trails with roots sticking out mid-air in the middle of a turn that you can't see around, deciding to take it close on the inside... discovering 5.10s don't have the best grip when I decided to use them for an actual hike, climbing up all sorts of things while waiting up for others, while holding things in my hand (decided to hold onto my water bottle, rather than catch myself from slipping/tripping/falling with my hands)...

    For the record, I prefer the pedal axle to be midfoot too, rather than under the ball of my foot. I don't do the whole ankle-recruiting techniques though, like dropping heels, unless I feel like testing/experiencing what I'm missing out on by not using that technique. I prefer to rely on directing all the forces through my hips instead. Also, the reason for extenders is because I overpronate and my toes naturally point outward, especially my right leg. I find my foot would be half off the pedal with smaller platforms. I don't doubt I get more pedal strikes, but on the plus side, I stay surprisingly calm if I get pedal strikes and also in response to most any sketchy riding. The extra stability of a wider stance probably plays a factor in that though.
    We're all on the same ship, and it's sinking.

  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Losvar View Post
    It's healthy to bleed a bit now and again, don't worry about it, just clean the wound so you don't get infected.
    Just make sure your tetanus shot isn't 15 years old

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    Decided to go all in with flats on new ride after decades of toeclips & clipless mounts. 5.11's with canfield crampons REALLY grippy. Also a roadie and trend there has been to bring foot placement more forward as well. Not all the way to the arch over spindle, but a bit behind the ball of foot recommendation by lots of fit techs these days...feels right so far. I think correct foot placement on flats really depends on combo of what feels right to you, the attitude of bike (uphill/downhill/flat), and how you spin (masher or scraper). Either way it seems somewhere behind ball works best for me...and I used to be die hard balls of feet. Have already got a few bites, mainly on the calf from forgetting about the pins while stopping/starting. Found a decent pair of shin pads from POC that aren't too bulky or hot and will wear them until my technique improves and new system becomes 2nd nature. Got some shoes and XTR clipless pedals still new in box and will use when applicable, but for now I'm really enjoying re-learning good MTB technique on flats....did I say these are really grippy? I have good spin technique from many hours indoors on rollers(although jury's stil out on what really constitutes good technique....plenty of "mashers" absolutely crushing those claiming they have elegantly balanced circular spinning),and I swear with current setup I can get good pedal force already started well before twelve o'clock...but back to OP's ??(am sure he's moved by now...2yrs later), get some good shoe/pedal combo's and comfortable shin pads!
    Last edited by Jc5326; 08-25-2017 at 09:42 AM.

  100. #100
    mtbr member
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    After trashing my left shin 4 times this year I ordered some Nike Mercurial soccer shin guards. The last time I hit so hard it splattered blood all over my bike, shoes, etc and left a big, unfriendly goose egg. Plan to try the shin guards out as soon as the swelling permits. I get the thing about foot position, but I've ridden with the ball of my foot behind the spindle for more than 50 years so a wholesale change in foot placement just isn't going to happen. Would five ten's stay put better than basketball shoes? I see they make some reasonably priced high tops. Are they any good for walking and every day wear? I hate the idea of having special shoes for riding, it's one of the many reasons I could never warm up to clipless.

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