View Poll Results: Flats or Clipless

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  • Flats

    126 45.16%
  • Clipless

    99 35.48%
  • Both

    54 19.35%
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  1. #1
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    Flats or Clipless?

    Which do you use and why?

  2. #2
    jco
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    Most of what I ride is foresty singletrack with no jumps and little downhill work, so clipless make more sense for me.

  3. #3
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    Clipless for efficiency and pounding out long miles. Flats for practicing my handling skills.

    When it gets rough and nasty, I always feel more secure clipped in.
    Loud hubs save lives. http://about.me/splat/

  4. #4
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    I've always prefered clipless for general MTB trail riding and XC racing (SPD). Better power transfer, almost always better shoes, more control in chattery/technical stuff.

    I ride flats with half-toe clips (no straps) on my city fixed gear, and Time clipless on my road bike. Back when I rode BMX street and dirt, and if I ever got into DH or more freeriding, flats all the way for that stuff.

  5. #5
    J-Flo
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    Flats for technical stuff that is beyond my fairly limited confidence level, and clipless for all easier trails. Basic rule -- if I need to dab my feet often or bail off the bike a lot, I feel more confident on the flats and am willing to trade the efficiency loss for increased confidence, which leads to a better, more fun, and safer ride. Flats are also terrific for practicing basic handling skills especially relative to pumping and hopping. They force you to do it right via weight transfer rather than "cheating" by pulling up on the pedals, and make you a better rider as a result. If I feel confident enough in my ability to handle the trail that I am going pretty fast, clipless pedals are better because they prevent me from flying off the pedals.

  6. #6
    Uphill? What's that
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    XC = clipless ..DH = flats + 5.10's

  7. #7
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    I can bunny hop 18"+ with flats on my MTB, I have no problems keeping my feet on the pedals or the pedals under my feet. That said, I ride clipless everywhere.

  8. #8
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    Clip less, but with the 'm' cleat from Shimano. Easier to get feet off the pedals when needed. Still secure when you want it to be.

  9. #9
    puts the FU in fun
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    Clipless offroad because I can ride longer and faster that way. Flats for commuting/around town simply for convenience.
    Everything in moderation. Including moderation.

  10. #10
    F2a
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    Clipless because it's so much more efficient for climbing. I also feel more secure about my feet not coming off on technical stuff. It sucked when I was getting used to them though I fell on my elbows a lot. Consequently, I love elbow pads.

  11. #11
    ONE speed under God.
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    I am not about efficiency. I am about ease and convenience. The ease of getting on my SS and starting to pedal compared to getting locked in. The convenience of not having to jack with another pair of shoes when I go ride... And the convenience of not having to walk around in stupid uncomfortable bike shoes after the ride.
    Nashbar SS 29er
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    Cannondale R600

  12. #12
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    Have to say I was sceptical about going clipless but made the swtich a year ago and find them amazing for general trail riding etc. I do very little DH stuff but when I get the chance I do throw on the flats

  13. #13
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    Mostly clipless, but I will put on the flats when riding a new trail that I'm unfamiliar with.

  14. #14
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    rode clipless most of my life, just started using flats for the last couple months, going back to clipless. Nothing I ride gets rough enough for clipless but it only takes one junk to the top tube then it is clipless all way.

  15. #15
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    phlatforms. 24/7 . like the freedom of it all. perhaps not as "efficient" on long non-tech climbs but those are boring as f anyway (the effort not the scenery). unclipped good enough for dj, trials, and moto so good enough for me.
    i'm on my Last Herb
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  16. #16
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    Clipless because it gives consistent power transfer, allows better control, and keeps you from slamming your shins into the pedals which hurts like a $%*!@
    Will someday be living in Alaska with 2 pooches

  17. #17
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    I am using dual pedals. I love them! I'm not a hardcore trail rider though.

  18. #18
    local trails rider
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    Clipless.
    I ride singlespeed and on some uphills I need all the help I can get.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  19. #19
    Drew
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    Rode about 13 years on clipless and read some of bike James articles on flats. Made the switch this year to flats and will never go back. I don't believe for a second that clipless equates to more power. In fact I actually climb better with my flats. Once you learn how to ride flats you can go over rocky terrain without any worries of coming off your pedals. I actually ride more technical stuff now because if I need to bail, it's pretty easy. Going up steep climbs where everyone gets stuck I find it a lot quicker to get back on the bike and start moving again without trying to get clipped in.

    I ride a ss on the front range of co. My 2 cents.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by tallguylikacurry View Post
    ...ride flats... ...rocky terrain without any worries of coming off your pedals.
    Is this even a worry for anyone but complete rookies?

  21. #21
    Picture Unrelated
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    Flats for my every day ride, clipless for that critical power to get me over the big hills when I'm riding SS. If you can ride a bike, you can ride a bike no matter what pedals are attached to it. I find more enjoyment out of riding flats so they go on my every day bike which I ride 95% of the time.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  22. #22
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    Both... for all the reasons stated above!
    I live in my head...

    Just having fun... Sorry to piss you off...

  23. #23
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    Currently flats, but that's mostly since In don't have the cash for a set of pedals and shoes.

  24. #24
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    My 1st mtb I bought used it came with clipless pedals didn't want to look like a dork riding clipless pedals in tennis shoes so i bought some cheap clipless shoes and cleats and learned simultaneously how to ride off road and on clipless pedals.

    looking back 16 years i probably would of saved a lot of embarrassment and pain if i had tried flats for the first dozen rides but necessity and stubbornness had me on clipless from day one and i can't ever imagine riding any bike with flat pedals.

  25. #25

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