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  1. #1
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    Try Clipless on the cheap, or stick with flats?

    I need to find a pedal/shoe solution, and I want to try clipless. If this experiment is a fail I will move it over to my spin bike and go back to platforms.

    I have a budget around $175 for both, and will probably be buying from performance bike as I have a gift card from there and they are having a pretty nice looking sale right now.

    So do we split the $$ equally, or weight towards pedals or shoes?

    i.e. we could go with some Crank Bro's Candy 2 + something like Shimano M077s OR we could buy the house brand Forte pedal for 35$ and step the shoes up to something like the M162s. Or go for something like the M785 pedals, and dig some shoes out of the bargin bin?

    Any Arizona specific thoughts here for lower-intermediate level trails in and around phoenix?
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  2. #2
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    I like the M520 pedals. Not high speed, but they're cheap and they work okay. Shoes, get what's comfortable. If you're not to clipless, get Shimano M cleats. They'll release from any direction and you won't get stuck in them and tip over. I'd never ride clipless without M cleats.

  3. #3
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    I personally would never recommend CB pedals for beginners, as that is what I started on and never really jived with them.

    For the cheap I recommend starting with Shimano M520 pedals. They have the same mechanism as the higher end Shimano pedals but can be found online for as little as $35. Shimano pedals are also very easy to adjust the tension, also good for the learning phase.

    Shoes? Highly subjective as fit is most important. I suggest something with a walk-able rubber sole as opposed to racer-type hard as nails, plastic or cf soles. Those things suck for HAB'ing or walking on rocks here in AZ. I personally have been using Lake MX165's for years. They are heavy but plenty stiff and with a Vibram sole are great for HAB'ing.
    Go try some shoes on, many like the Pearl Izumi X-Alps. Shimano also has decent offerings in the sub $100 range. I think the 77's would be a good choice if they feel good.

  4. #4
    EDR
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    Wow, M520's even cheaper.
    Shimano M520L Mountain Pedals - Normal Shipping Ground

    These are M520L. Not sure how they differ from the M520's I had, if at all.

  5. #5
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    Why do you need clipless set up again?

  6. #6
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    At least give these a read before making your decision.

    http://www.bikejames.com/strength/fl...ipless-pedals/
    http://www.bikejames.com/strength/im...o-flat-pedals/
    http://www.bikejames.com/strength/th...h-flat-pedals/

    I would never reccomend clipless to a beginner (or advanced rider). I know I am the minority, and I know this is an unpopular position. I tried clipless and HATED it. Riding Diety Decoy flats, and 5.10 sticky rubber shoes and never looking back. I guess someday if I feel they are holding me back I MAY switch, but I really do not see that day ever coming.

    By the way, stock pedals and tennis shoes does not = riding flats. You must invest nearly the same amount in shoes/pedals as you would with clipless to get the full benefit. And don't let them scare you with the "thats going to hurt when those pedals whack your shins" argument. In 2+ years of riding flats, I have never slipped a pedal, but I have seen tons of riders wreck because they could not "get unclipped".

    Just my two cents, take it for what it is worth, just putting it out there. Not looking to get into a flats vs. clipless argument.

  7. #7
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  8. #8
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    Flats suck! Go clipless!

    Kidding.

    If you do decide to go clipless, though, I also recommend Shimano. They are adjustable, very important to a beginner. Also, do a road ride or 2 on the mountain bike to get used to it. If you do decide flats, get ones with replaceable pins. We have a few rocks here, as I'm sure you've noticed. Sticky shoes do help prevent your shins from looking like my shins.
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  9. #9
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    Gonna echo what MTBDennis said. I tried it on the MTB, and couldn't stand it. It's more of a mental thing for me. I was always worried about not being able to get unclipped - so much so that it dominated my thought process on the trail whenever it got the slightest bit of tech. No matter what I couldn't get over that and I wasn't having fun at all. So I switched to flats and 510's and all that stuff went away and I was having fun again. So now I only ride clipless on the road bike.

  10. #10
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    I have some shimano pedals lying around that I do not use and some Specialized shoes (9.5 i believe) that you can have for free to try out. All I ask is if you do not use tham to pass them on to someone else.

  11. #11
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    I use shimano M535 pedals. These are old pedals that are similar to today M520. You don't need fancy XT pedals out here, but do need durable ones. Pedals are a place where I will add some weight to get durability. I have had many pedal strikes on my M535 over many miles and they still work fine. I had used some lighter SPD pedals only have then break when had a pedal strike on a rock.

    Now when you try these pedal remember that they some time to the muscle memory down. So the first few rides will feel odd and you may fall when you come to a stop. Once you get familiar with them you can get out of them very quickly even in tough terrain.

    If your rides see you pedal for 75% or more of the ride then clipless are good. If you rides are constantly working really tough obstacles where you on the pedals and off every couple minutes then clipless can be a pain. For me a good ride means not putting a foot down for miles at time.
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  12. #12
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    Shoes are much more important than pedals; you might get lucky and find something like a Mavic Razr on sale for <$100 (I did, bought two pairs). I'm an eggbeater fan, I use them on my mountain and road bikes so I can use the same shoes for both; eggbeater 2 is my preference. However, SPD or Time ATAC work pretty good too. Bear in mind that if you haven't ridden clipless before it's a painful learning curve! You will forget to unclip and fall over, often. However, once it becomes "muscle memory" you will never look back.

  13. #13
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    Shimano 505s (?) came on my bike. I have beat the crap out of them for 10 years and they still work great.

    However, when I took the bike home I knew almost nothing about riding and the shop adjusted the tension to whatever it was, which was too tight. My first ride was harrowing. I had a classic fall on my side when I whiffed stopping and grabbing a fencepost. Hurt.

    I figured out the tension adjustment and dialed it down as far as it would go. It was basically cake to get up to speed on clipless after that. I never increased the tension.

    So whatever is the cheap Deore type quality Shimano get my recommendation.

    And the vibram hike-capable shoes are, imho, the way to go for a beginner and for just enjoyment trail riding.

  14. #14
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    Try Clipless on the cheap, or stick with flats?

    M520s. Same as the xt/xtr pedals except for heavier - and therefor way cheaper. Can't go wrong - have them on all my bikes (even road!)

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eazy_E View Post
    I like the M520 pedals. Not high speed, but they're cheap and they work okay. Shoes, get what's comfortable. If you're not to clipless, get Shimano M cleats. They'll release from any direction and you won't get stuck in them and tip over. I'd never ride clipless without M cleats.
    This. The mechanism is the same as shimano's high end XTR pedals, clears mud much better than previous versions, has adjustable tension, and they are rock solid (also lighter than the previous generation). I may have been doing 15-20 doubles and downhilling on them last weekend on them ;P These things literally go forever with no maintenance of any kind. Crank Brother's is hit and miss, the AZ rocks tend to kill them very fast, or the mechanism will just fall off the pedal like some of mine did...

    Also, don't go riding your favorite trail after installing the pedals, find a grassy field to practice, to take a few falls, to get the patterns down.

    Some kids asked me how I can do the big jumps at the resort on Saturday, because they were renting bikes and told that you can only ride downhill on flats, haha. It's really about what you are comfortable on and you can do it both ways. Neither is right or wrong and plenty of people do both. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.
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  16. #16
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    Find the shoes that you find to be the most comfortable, and spend the rest on pedals. I think the only real difference between cheap and expensive pedals is weight, where as there are tons of variables on the shoes.
    Personally I like Shimano shoes for a wide toe box and Crankbro pedals just because its what I've always used, and change is bad
    I agree with Jayem, practice clipping and unclipping before hitting the trail.
    good luck!

  17. #17
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    I like the M540 pedal and Specialized Tahoe shoes. If you shop around you should be able to get both for ~$120. The Tahoe is more of a sport shoe and is very comfortable than most out there because it is a lace up. I also own a pair of Specialized Comp MTB shoes but have only wore them a couple of times because I like the Tahoes better. The Tahoe is also great if you ever need to walk your bike as they have a rubber sole versus plastic. The M540 pedal is serviceable and you can buy new bearings fairly cheap from places like boca bearings. I have 3 sets of pedals and go about 1K miles before servicing. They are tuff as hell as I pedal strike all the time.
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  18. #18
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    Another vote for Shimano pedals and shoes. I have Shimano pedals from 10 years ago that still work like a champ. Easy to adjust and service. Just make sure you practice the first few rides on grass, you will fall down a couple times until you get the hang of twisting out of the pedal. And don't let that worry you, it quickly becomes second nature.

  19. #19
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    just putting this out there but when i started biking more and actually got a decent bike and wanted to try clipless so i went with forte campus pedals and shimano m-087 basically like most said i rode clipped in alot on roads and canal paths to get to trails. rode light trails clipped in and easy not tech stuff. On the harder sections i used the platform side on my left foot just in case i wasn't sure about unclipping i could still easily put my left foot down easy. as i rode more and more clipped in i noticed i was riding clipped in 100% of my trail rides and unclipping when necessary with out thinking about it all the time. just got the shimano pd-m520 last week and like clips on my fs 26. on my ht 29er however i swapped my campus pedals on that and mainly used the platform side since i only use it every once in a while to ride around with my wife around town and my shoes are normally not with me .

  20. #20
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    I am currently evaluating the Crank Brothers Mallet 3. It seems like a good compromise between both worlds.

  21. #21
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    I recommend the Shimano 520's also, just loosen them up...learn to kick out! After awhile you'll feel insecure not being secured to your bike! If you decide to go flat peddles, I'll make you a great deal on a pair of low top 5/10's size 10 or a pair of 5/10 high tops size 91/2 both worn twice...I'll even throw in a set of Kona flat peddles!
    Last edited by Ram-On; 09-01-2013 at 08:31 AM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Licketysplit View Post

    I am currently evaluating the Crank Brothers Mallet 3. It seems like a good compromise between both worlds.
    It's not. That's not what those pedals are for. Those pedals are wide with cages so you can use the outside and inside of your foot to influence the pedal and in turn the bike, it gives you more control, similar to flat pedals. What those pedals are not for is unclipping and riding technical sections "unclipped". That is basically guaranteeing you'll crash because you don't have the skills to be riding said section in the first place. When you try to do this the mechanism is protruding up above the cage surface, which means if you have a regular flat shoe, you have this protrusion you are balancing on, NOT the pedal cage, and if you are using it with clipless shoes, you have even more problems as the metal cleat interferes, gets caught on edges, causes you to "balance" on an even smaller metal part of the mechanism, etc. By unclipping or riding unclipped, you're taking away the ability to influence the edges and riding with far less control and security.

    They are good for beginners because the big platform makes clipping back in a cinch usually, and if you "miss" clipping in, it's easier to get back in the 2nd time, but I suggest the shimano 545 and 647 for that, they are spectacular due to the 30 degree "cant" of the mechanism. This really makes clipping in easy, as you can kind of just put your foot down and it naturally "finds" the mechanism. In the worst situations, you'll find that big platform is nice when you just can't get clipped back in (maybe super steep climb, etc). This is rare though.

    Learning clipless pedals is important. Learning to do it on a soft grassy surface is important. You don't "need" the all-mountain/freeride/downhill type pedals as a beginner, but they are easier to use and get used to. Learn confidence, learn how to handle a bike and not lock the brakes at the first sign of trouble, all those types of things will make your usage of clipless pedals smoother.
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  23. #23
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    Yeah, I should have worded that differently. The benefit that I saw was when trying to get going while stopped on an incline, having a larger surface to mash on then clipping in. But your right, I am on the edge of the beginner stage.

  24. #24
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    Re: Try Clipless on the cheap, or stick with flats?

    I'm a flat person myself atm at least. Haven't tried clipless yet cause I'm not where clipless will benefit me at all. I have studded platforms and nice soft sole skater shoes and never have an issue. And that whole shin shredding arguement is bs! I have one mark on my shin from a pedal all season, but why is because didn't duck low enough under a downed tree, pedal caught my leg when I hit the dirt. Not even bad scrape, little blood didn't even notice till I got back to trailhead.

    Pedals are preferance, anyone that argues that saying one is better than the other is wrong. Clipless have their upside and downside as do flats, and niether one is going to magically make u a better faster rider. I will say hard not to laugh when a rider tips over at low speed on slick corner cause they couldn't unclip fast enough. I always check them first then chuckle thinking "and that's why I like my flats". I have nothing against clipless intend to try them as its very rare I need to put a foot down now and clipless supposably help improve climbing. Basically they make the technique of proper pedaling not as important and easier. Plus the occasional pedal strike kicking my foot off does get annoying.

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    Re: Try Clipless on the cheap, or stick with flats?

    Ran shimano clipless for years and now it's Crank Bros Candy 2's on the cyclocrosser and eggbeaters on the MTB.
    You can clip out with your full weight on the pedal, no problem.
    I'm much more efficient clipped in than on flats.
    My totally unscientific test says 10-15% less calories burned and 2-3min quicker on a 45 min loop.

  26. #26
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    Try Clipless on the cheap, or stick with flats?

    It's been said before, but go with a good shimano pedal with the multi release cleats and you will be very happy. I started on flats, went to clipless, back to flats, and now I'm running m530 ( basically slx level) with the multi release cleats and couldn't be happier. I even just spent a day doing all out downhill riding at snow summit clipped in and I loved it. My first jaunt into clipless I used the normal cleats, and never could gain confidence in them. But these multi release cleats are just the answer I was looking for. In fact, if anyone in the Phoenix area would like a set of 11.5 5.10 impacts, lightly used, come get em and they are free, I no longer need em

  27. #27
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    Try Clipless on the cheap, or stick with flats?

    Quote Originally Posted by Skeeter97 View Post
    It's been said before, but go with a good shimano pedal with the multi release cleats and you will be very happy. I started on flats, went to clipless, back to flats, and now I'm running m530 ( basically slx level) with the multi release cleats and couldn't be happier. I even just spent a day doing all out downhill riding at snow summit clipped in and I loved it. My first jaunt into clipless I used the normal cleats, and never could gain confidence in them. But these multi release cleats are just the answer I was looking for. In fact, if anyone in the Phoenix area would like a set of 11.5 5.10 impacts, lightly used, come get em and they are free, I no longer need em
    Ill actually start a new thread for the free shoe offer now that I think about it

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    ...And that whole shin shredding argument is bs!...
    Consider yourself lucky. Both of my shins are ate up looking from having flats on my BMX bike as a kid (>25 yrs ago). Going clipless was one of the first things I did when I started MTBing.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireLikeIYA View Post
    Consider yourself lucky. Both of my shins are ate up looking from having flats on my BMX bike as a kid (>25 yrs ago). Going clipless was one of the first things I did when I started MTBing.
    Well, to be fair we are not talking about kids riding BMX bikes, and the pedal / shoe technology is quite different now. The shin strike argument is purely a scare tactic and just not true. I would never ride my MTB with the BMX pedals and skate shoes I used as a kid. I have nothing against clip less, but beginners need to know the TRUTH.

    I would guess that if you stopped a rider out on the trails riding flats and asked them about shin strikes, they would laugh at you.

    Ride whatever makes you happy. I just had to reply because this whole shin strike thing is total bs, anyone who experiences it on today's flats with sticky shoes, should probably work a little more on their handling skills before hitting the trails, and DEFINITELY should not look to clippers to cover up their lack of skills, they are headed for disaster.

  30. #30
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    +1 - I rode dirt bikes for 30 years before switching to MTB's, I like the freedom of flats, and the ability to bail out quickly if needed!


    Quote Originally Posted by mtbdennis View Post
    At least give these a read before making your decision.

    http://www.bikejames.com/strength/fl...ipless-pedals/
    http://www.bikejames.com/strength/im...o-flat-pedals/
    http://www.bikejames.com/strength/th...h-flat-pedals/

    I would never reccomend clipless to a beginner (or advanced rider). I know I am the minority, and I know this is an unpopular position. I tried clipless and HATED it. Riding Diety Decoy flats, and 5.10 sticky rubber shoes and never looking back. I guess someday if I feel they are holding me back I MAY switch, but I really do not see that day ever coming.

    By the way, stock pedals and tennis shoes does not = riding flats. You must invest nearly the same amount in shoes/pedals as you would with clipless to get the full benefit. And don't let them scare you with the "thats going to hurt when those pedals whack your shins" argument. In 2+ years of riding flats, I have never slipped a pedal, but I have seen tons of riders wreck because they could not "get unclipped".

    Just my two cents, take it for what it is worth, just putting it out there. Not looking to get into a flats vs. clipless argument.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbdennis View Post
    I would guess that if you stopped a rider out on the trails riding flats and asked them about shin strikes, they would laugh at you.
    Yup, like the guy on the 40lb 6" travel bike that stops another downhill rider and says: "OMG, you're riding clipless HERE!?, you can't do that!"

    There's perceptions by both sides. On an elevated skinny with turns and small landing spots, I'd want flats. During winter, I'll have to switch to flats, because they don't make shoes insulated enough for clipless and putting your foot down in snow is a bit different. On the other hand, clipless are fine for doubles, drops, rock gardens, anything else. You don't "need" flats to ride them, nor do you have to "learn" on flats. You also don't "need" to learn on clipless, but there's nothing bad about starting that early. Just like any other aspect of riding, there's a learning curve. If we accept that we can never fall or mess up while we are learning, we'll never do anything but roll down the paved bike path at slow speeds.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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    Glad that's settled.
    Nice KOM, sorry about your penis.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrwhlr View Post
    Glad that's settled.
    LOL! I am out of this discussion. Really just wanted to make the OP aware of the options, never wanted to turn this into a Flat/Clipless war, as there have already been plenty of those The Flat vs Clipless war will go on forever, now lets get back to talking about Sedona.

  34. #34
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    Re: Try Clipless on the cheap, or stick with flats?

    I get 2nd hand pedals and shoes.
    I'm cheap.

    If I was learning again and starting on mtb's, I'd go for flats to start with.

    I started on road bikes with cages, straps and slotted cleated SIDI shoes (still have them). Clipless are infinitely easier to get out of...

  35. #35
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    Try Clipless on the cheap, or stick with flats?

    My solution- get dual pedals, flat one one side clipless on other.
    I had the pedals for years but finally got some mtb shoes... Walkable tread clear the cleats and can ride the flats without any issues.
    I JUST started using the clipless and find that I use them in non-tech (for me) terrain and on climbs. For desent I'm on the flats.

    I guess my reply doesn't answer the question..... So, try them on the cheap, I ya like em you have options! Dual platform
    Pedals are cheap!

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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbdennis View Post
    Well, to be fair we are not talking about kids riding BMX bikes, and the pedal / shoe technology is quite different now. The shin strike argument is purely a scare tactic and just not true. I would never ride my MTB with the BMX pedals and skate shoes I used as a kid. I have nothing against clip less, but beginners need to know the TRUTH.
    The pedals were basically the same as what is used today... Large flats with removeable spikes... I did think they were great but to be fair I was the kid who always crashed at the track.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by NordieBoy View Post
    Ran shimano clipless for years and now it's Crank Bros Candy 2's on the cyclocrosser and eggbeaters on the MTB.
    You can clip out with your full weight on the pedal, no problem.
    I'm much more efficient clipped in than on flats.
    My totally unscientific test says 10-15% less calories burned and 2-3min quicker on a 45 min loop.
    !How exactly do you achieve 10-15% efficiency using clipless - unless you don't know how to use flat pedals.
    you are still accelerate the same weight over same time, you may engage different muscle groups but the amount of energy expanded is still the same -
    the argument that hard soles are more efficient that soft soles makes sense for all rigid road bikes running high PSI tires - but on a mountain bike with suspension and low pressure tires, the compression in soles make a very little difference

    My time on trail segments improved no matter what I have ridden - flats or clipless.
    Riding flats definitely helped to improve my downhill times... just having the confidence that one can bail easier.

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    Re: Try Clipless on the cheap, or stick with flats?

    Quote Originally Posted by metalaficionado View Post
    !How exactly do you achieve 10-15% efficiency using clipless - unless you don't know how to use flat pedals.
    I did say, totally unscientific...
    There's a couple of long climbs on my test loop and I'm more efficient up those clipped in than on flats. The other bits aren't technical enough for flats to be of any advantage.

    My lowest calories and fastest run on the same track is on my CX bike. A lot slower on the rocky bits but more than makes up for it in the smooth single track. Absolute crap over tree roots though...

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by NordieBoy View Post
    I did say, totally unscientific...
    There's a couple of long climbs on my test loop and I'm more efficient up those clipped in than on flats. The other bits aren't technical enough for flats to be of any advantage.

    My lowest calories and fastest run on the same track is on my CX bike. A lot slower on the rocky bits but more than makes up for it in the smooth single track. Absolute crap over tree roots though...
    I think "efficient" is not the right word. Efficiency is a matter of calories and distance here, and pedaling only on the "down" stroke is going to be nearly as, if not just as, efficient as pedaling with more muscles in a rounder stroke, EXCEPT you're going to fatigue the muscles on flats faster and be slower due to not utilizing the others.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

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    Good conversation going on here. Im trying to go from flats to clips. So far after 3 weeks in clips my bloody and beat up knee is telling me to stick with flats.

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    Thanks for all of the input everyone!

    The clipless experiment was a complete fail. The shoes/pedals I picked up were promptly returned.

    Platforms on the bike now, and trying to decide between some 5/10s and some Tevas. I think I would prefer the 5/10s but I have a hookup at Teva who can get me 80% off, but he is off the grid for a while.

    I will eventually pick up a road-bike and intend to endure the clipless learning curve there. You know, with a carbon frame and cars to worry about.
    2013 Rockhopper Pro 29er

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    What went wrong?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TBoneAz View Post
    Thanks for all of the input everyone!

    The clipless experiment was a complete fail. The shoes/pedals I picked up were promptly returned.
    ..
    If you tried them once or twice and fell that is just going to happen. You can't expect to have all the muscle memory down in a couple rides.
    Joe
    '12 Santa Cruz Highball 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", Fetish Fixation SS 26" XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

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    Did you loosen the clipless pedals all the way? I wouldn't ride a MTB without having a easy way to twist out my feet.
    You are not missing too much. I go back and forth between platforms and clipless. I tend to write the latter more because with clipless shoes last longer, pedals are smaller so I get thru tighter spots and helps me sprint a bit. There is some advantage if you are in to XC racing.
    I can also cheat on bunny hops, by lifting they bike really easy.

    But don't buy in to the whole EFFICENCY CRAP, IT's NOT TRUE.

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    Re: Try Clipless on the cheap, or stick with flats?

    Quote Originally Posted by metalaficionado View Post
    But don't buy in to the whole EFFICENCY CRAP, IT's NOT TRUE.
    How many of the XC riders at the Worlds were on flats?

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    did you read my entire post or just the last sentence?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Licketysplit View Post

    It seems like a good compromise between both worlds.
    This is not a compromise of both worlds, these are the WORST of both worlds. The platform is known to make it difficult to clip in, and if you have shoes with any amount of grip (NEEDED for good contact on flats), then it makes it difficult to UNCLIP. Making these a HORRIBLE solution to this problem. Pick clipless or flats, get good shoes and pedals, not these. It is also fairly easy to swich out pedals and many riders swich back and forth between the two (depending on where / what type of riding, and to improve skills on both platforms).

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    Re: Try Clipless on the cheap, or stick with flats?

    Quote Originally Posted by metalaficionado View Post
    did you read my entire post or just the last sentence?
    Ok, how many of the DH racers were on flats?

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    Quote Originally Posted by metalaficionado View Post
    did you read my entire post or just the last sentence?
    It appears not. There is no argument that clipless can improve performance at competivie levels to some degree for a lot of riders. We are not talking about those riders here, however. We are talking about new riders and every day weekend warrior types that are not really worried about shaving 30 seconds off their 1 mile lap time.

    I personally have a lot more fun on flats than I ever did with clipless. However, I am getting into racing and as I progress if I feel the Flats are holding me back I will likely consider returning to clipless for racing.

    This topic is almost worse that religon or politics! I really don't get it. Just present new (and existing) riders with BOTH options and let them evaluate the positives and negatives of both and make their choice. It just seems that most of the cycling world tells beginners that clipless is the ONLY option, and that bugs me. There are two solid choices, and the individual rider should make up their own mind which one works best for them.

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    I just went back to flats after about 4 months on clipless. I was using the Shimano M530's with the multi-release cleats. I simply spent too much time thinking about how/when/where to unclip in case things went wrong that riding stopped being fun. However, that's me. I did notice my foot position and pedal efficiency was markedly better on clipless, but if I'm too worried and not having fun, what's the point?

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