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  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpfitness View Post
    I dont know why this efficiency discussion continues. If i want to be fast and efficient i would be on my road bike. Im trying to figure out what will serve me best on the technical stuff and tight twisty stuff. Where I ride we dont have this flowy fire roady stuff

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
    I just want to acknowledge your much improve attitude, especially in such a potential blood boiling topic. That's just awesome, you are on point.

    That said, well, it's a very difficult topic to discuss without throwing out the term efficiency.

    I said a few times before, noobs look at clipless pedals as a "right of passage", something that proves they belong, and have moved up in the world of cycling. I doubt that they know or care about efficiency, I know that they are crapping in the pants half the time riding over tech sections.

    They know that they can now pull up on the pedal, the sensation is there, there's no denying but does the sensation translates to more efficiency? NO, unless you are grunting up the steep climb on a big gear SS.

  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    The misunderstanding of the phrase "pedaling circles" is probably one of the most destructive forces in rec cycling. Pedaling circles does not mean applying equal force to the pedal in all positions, it simply means smoothing the stabbing motion most people ride with from the outset.

    Now like I said there are plenty of good reasons to ride clipless like for you, adding confidence to your riding. And I will concede that during a 100 mile ride, any level of improved efficiency will become noticeable and will be welcome; but for the rec riding weekend warrior there is not enough difference to supersede the need for people to be comfortable with their equipment above all else.
    Agree

    I'm not against clipless either as the matter of fact, sometime I'd ride clipless exclusively for a few months before going to flats, it just depends on my mood. It's not really dictate by the trail I'm riding. I ride tech climb and descend with clipless, but riding with flats brings fresh feeling while improving my riding as well.

    One of my favorite group ride would be the noobs ride, I usually go with flats. The usual recommendation from noobs on the pedals, they'd suggestion that I should switch to clipless to improve my climbing ability, and efficiency. Oh yeah? How so?

  3. #103
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    To the OP.

    Play around with both and see what you prefer.

    That's the best answer someone can give you.

    You've seen how divided people are on the issue and that's because...at the end of the day...efficiency depends on more than your pedal.

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattnmtns View Post
    Sorry. Didn't mean to imply that you are. Just it's in the beginner forum and it seems some people are very apt to suggest clippless to people just starting out on mountain bikes.

    I think you just answered your on question though. Ride flats if you think you will be more comfortable with them. Not sure where you ride. I encounter enough rock gardens, drops, jumps, and chunky boulders where I am more comfortable with flats. There is also plenty of flowy xc style trails or fire roads where clipless would be hard to argue. I guess I am lazy though. For me flats are more flexible. I can to the technical or the flow and the same pedal works for me. Just comes down to what you like.
    I'm with you. Lots of people do suggest clipless too beginners such as myself. Which I now don't see as the method for a beginner. I've been riding since November and I was told "clipless" is a no brainer. Well, I didn't enjoy all the falling and cuts from my first day of clipless. Video for proof: Clipless Pedals = CRASH, FALL, OUCH.....ugh.... - YouTube

    Any who, it's about 70 days later and I'm doing much better and I rarely fall now. Truthfully though, I think I enjoyed the flats better for a few reasons: comfort in putting my foot down on turns and being able to prevent myself from falling when needing to bail quickly. The only thing I do like about clipless is that my foot never slips when doing a quick steep incline or when doing some sort of jump. Sorry if I don't know all the lingo. I'm a beginner with experience. Lol! Any who, the only reason I'm not going back to flats now is because I payed way too much money for these crank brother candy pedals and shoes and I'm gonna ride the hell outta them before I switch to flats one day.

  5. #105
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    Well, I went out for a ride on platforms and I must say, I can see merits to both. Incidentally it was my first ride out on a brand new build so I'm sure a lot of the improvements in my riding were from a better geometry and mentally trusting the frame that I had underneath me. There were pros and cons to both. There were times I was able to put my foot down into some corners and have a bit more trust. There were some rocky areas that i turned into a wuss on and took a leg off but still coasted through the trouble surprisingly easy. However, when you take a foot off and your not clipped in, you can't keep the pedals in the proper position so then I was banging around the other side. Then I took the bike off of a small jump. went back to hit it again and hit the edge of a rock that I couldn't see as it was hidden in the snow, it sent me off line right as I hit the jump. I landed, hit the brakes hard and put my leg out to try to steady myself. my foot slid on the ground then caught something and I felt my knee twist. The knee that already doesn't have an ACL in it. So now this morning I have a nice sprained knee I'm dealing with! Had I been clipped in, I'm not sure that I would have safely landed the jump, I may have bit it pretty hard on the frozen ground. In the end, I'm going to keep riding some with the platforms, but I can ultimately see myself going back to clipless at some point.

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpfitness View Post
    Then I took the bike off of a small jump. went back to hit it again and hit the edge of a rock that I couldn't see as it was hidden in the snow, it sent me off line right as I hit the jump. I landed, hit the brakes hard and put my leg out to try to steady myself. my foot slid on the ground then caught something and I felt my knee twist. The knee that already doesn't have an ACL in it. So now this morning I have a nice sprained knee I'm dealing with! Had I been clipped in, I'm not sure that I would have safely landed the jump, I may have bit it pretty hard on the frozen ground.
    I would put my money on you being better off right now had you not been able to put your foot down to get sprained. As a general rule, putting a foot down to catch yourself while still moving with any speed is asking for heaps of trouble.

    I gotta ask: what were you thinking taking jumps in snow deep enough to cover the rocks?
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  7. #107
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    There's all sorts of anecdotes going both ways. I've torn my shin up on the pins on a platform, but it did give me peace of mind to put my foot down in an "oh **** moment". On the other hand, clipless gave me a better surface to press my foot against due to the hard sole of the shoe. (note that my toes used to cramp when on platforms on a long, 20mi+, ride)

    As a total noob, when you're trying to learn handling, pedaling, braking, shifting, climbing, turning, different surfaces etc... reducing the number of things you have to learn at one time, in this case unclipping, is not a bad idea.


    So my $.02, is that for a noob, stick with platforms to start with until you get a solid grasp of the basics, then introduce another variable. If you're not good at handling tough surfaces (sand, loose gravel, chunk) worrying about unclipping if you slip is only going to make you more nervous, and cause you to have poor form.

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    I would put my money on you being better off right now had you not been able to put your foot down to get sprained. As a general rule, putting a foot down to catch yourself while still moving with any speed is asking for heaps of trouble.

    I gotta ask: what were you thinking taking jumps in snow deep enough to cover the rocks?
    Snow wasn't that deep, only about an inch or so and the jump was pretty small, probably doesn't even deserve to be called a jump! As for being better off? tough to say, I really think I would have gone down pretty hard and on that frozen ground, who knows what woulda happened.

  9. #109
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    one of the challenges is that all the trails I have access to are pretty darn technical. the one beginner trail is quite short and certainly gets a bit boring fast. At this stage I really would love some nice flowy type stuff to simply work on my handling and turning skills but it just doesn't exist near me.

  10. #110
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    Highbridge Park?

    Check out Cunningham Park. It feels a bit like being in a Corona commercial to me - I'm in a scrap of woods, surrounded by Queens.

    There's more non-technical trails further out on Long Island, and there are some options along Metro North as well, but I never went to anything more than once. I had already left New York before the Wolfe's Pond trails were opened. So Highbridge and Cunningham were my main spots.

    Mountain biking is part of why I left New York.
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  11. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Highbridge Park?

    Check out Cunningham Park. It feels a bit like being in a Corona commercial to me - I'm in a scrap of woods, surrounded by Queens.

    There's more non-technical trails further out on Long Island, and there are some options along Metro North as well, but I never went to anything more than once. I had already left New York before the Wolfe's Pond trails were opened. So Highbridge and Cunningham were my main spots.

    Mountain biking is part of why I left New York.
    I'll try cunningham, I've heard it's pretty good. Highbridge got destroyed by sandy and I dont think it's very high priority getting it cleaned up. Sprain Ridge is where I've been riding and I've still got stuff to learn about the trails there. I live in spanish harlem so sprain and Graham are easy to get to, cunningham is probably a royal pain in the ass to get to since I don't have a car. I know there is stuff out in long island but it seems to be WAAAYYYYY out there. I'll check some of that stuff out in the warm weather months

  12. #112
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    I may have ridden Sprain, actually. Not sure.... I forget what my one Metro North foray was.

    Cunningham's actually not that hard to access. You take one of the subways to the end of the line, then ride for another mile and a half or so. It takes a while, but I preferred it to Highbridge, which ramped up from boring to gut check way too fast.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  13. #113
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    Clipless, commit, practice, you'll love them!

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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    cpfitness: if I'd come across this thread earlier, I'd have just recommended going with what you know, since you're already comfortable with clipless pedals, and flat pedals have their own learning curve, which will add one more thing for your mind to keep track of in your transition to mountain biking. Since you've bought the flats already, you'll learn another skill and you can choose for yourself which you prefer. Make sure you give them at least a month before deciding.

    Much of this is already covered, so I'll just add a couple random observations: as far as the conventional wisdom of clipless or XC; flats for DH - plenty of WC level downhill racers ride clipped in (e.g. Gwin, Hart). In fact, flat riders are still probably in the minority in the top 10, enough that it's not unusual to hear Rob Warner point out a rider on them (e.g. Hill, Bryceland). On the other hand, I'd guess most of not all freeriders/big mountain riders are on flat pedals. Then there are a couple disciplines where you absolutely have to be on flats: slopestyle and dirt jump. Hard to do a superman when you're clipped in...

    And mimi1885 and zebrahum are absolutely right about staying planted on flat pedals. Riding them WILL make you a better rider through the rough, because you'll have to learn to relax and get loose to stay on the pedals. If you feel like your feet are getting bucked off, that's a signal. Remember Lee McCormack's mantra of "heavy feet; light hands" and keep your weight on the pedals, centered over your bottom bracket.

    But in the end, at our level, it's 100% personal preference.
    Many WC DH riders are using clipless in competition, but still train and ride on flats. They clip in because a pedal slip due to slip a technique can be the difference between a podium and mid pack finish. Everyone has the occasional technique fart. If you're hitting heavy downhill rock gardens at speeds greater than 20 MPH there would be an advantage to being clipped in. I wouldn't consider this an inditement on flats.

    I find that flats actually improve technique. In order to keep your feet planted over technical sections you have to have your heels low, otherwise your feet will be moving around on your pedals. Having your heels low actually loosens up your lower body, which really smooths out the trail and increases your ability to ride fast and smooth. Using Clipless as a crutch for bad technique will help keep your feet on the pedals, but you aren't improving as a rider.

  15. #115
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    I hate the feeling of being clipped in, Im a newb though so no real advice to offer.

  16. #116
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    Even as a beginner, I knew I would appreciate clipless. I got myself a pair and can't switch them out for platforms for anything.

    You can try some out some used ones on eBay first...

  17. #117
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    Thanks for all the info guys! I was trying to figure out which way to go myself. Now I know but I'm not telling

  18. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by efox View Post
    Thanks for all the info guys! I was trying to figure out which way to go myself. Now I know but I'm not telling
    Seriously? I read through all these posts, and then this? You have got to be kidding! BTW, Flats for me all the way, but to each their own. Choice and options is a good thing. Personally I think pointing beginners to clips is a mistake (I know the history of why they are called clipLESS, but I refuse to carry on the tradition, they are not without clips, they ARE clips, call them what they are - LOL).

    For me: Flats + 5.10's = Fun & Less Injuries = More ride time

  19. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by efox View Post
    Thanks for all the info guys! I was trying to figure out which way to go myself. Now I know but I'm not telling
    Nice first post... Thanks for the help guys, you helped me but I am not going to tell you what I decided, LOL. You know there are probably other beginners on here that may be interested in knowing what you decided (hopefully it was flats).

  20. #120
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    Given how contentious the subject can be, I think efox is probably right to keep his mouth shut. You devoted two posts to berating him without him giving an opinion.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  21. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Given how contentious the subject can be, I think efox is probably right to keep his mouth shut. You devoted two posts to berating him without him giving an opinion.
    I assume you are directing this at me. I appologize for the duplicate posts, mtbr gave me an error on the first one and I thought it was lost, so I posted again. Sorry about that.

    You can clearly see in my first post that I indeed did give an opinion, I ride flats:

    Quote Originally Posted by mtbdennis View Post
    ...For me: Flats + 5.10's = Fun & Less Injuries = More ride time ...
    And beginers should not be on clipless:

    Quote Originally Posted by mtbdennis View Post
    ...Personally I think pointing beginners to clips is a mistake...
    Carry on...

  22. #122
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    mtbdennis, I meant without efox stating his opinion.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  23. #123
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    jesus christ guys, can't you see that he was making a joke about how retarded people get about clipless vs flats??? lol

  24. #124
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    Thanks, I deserved that.

    I was all set to go out and get some clips, but this thread helped me decide to stick with flats. I've also found I can get pretty good push through about 260 deg. of the rotation. Being a cheapskate, it was easy for me to accept that as good enough, especially since I ride only for fun and exercise.

    Switching gears, anyone know a good thread with current info on tires?

  25. #125
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    Tires are almost as bad. Also, there's a whole forum dedicated to the topic.

    If you're not competing and you ride off-road, 2.3" tires with a full knob and a 60 or 120 tpi casing and call it a day. Tread pattern isn't as important as we all want it to be, but knob size does matter quite a lot. Rubber compound matters too, but there's no consistency in how anyone reports it.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  26. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Tires are almost as bad. Also, there's a whole forum dedicated to the topic.

    If you're not competing and you ride off-road, 2.3" tires with a full knob and a 60 or 120 tpi casing and call it a day. Tread pattern isn't as important as we all want it to be, but knob size does matter quite a lot. Rubber compound matters too, but there's no consistency in how anyone reports it.
    Thanks, Andrew. I've read more tire threads than I ever wanted to without any notable success. Now I can walk into a bike shop and act like I know what I'm looking for. OR, you could have set me up for a good laughing-at! Only one way to find out...

  27. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by efox View Post
    Thanks, Andrew. I've read more tire threads than I ever wanted to without any notable success. Now I can walk into a bike shop and act like I know what I'm looking for. OR, you could have set me up for a good laughing-at! Only one way to find out...
    You could always use the shop to help you find what would be good for you instead of acting like you know what you're looking for. Your shop will probably stock tires that people in the area buy which is usually a good indication of what people are using and if people are using it then it's probably decent for your area. Talk to someone, tell them where you ride and what you ride or what you're looking for in a tire and they'll probably point you toward something appropriate.

    The fastest way to get laughed at in a bike shop is to talk a lot about something you don't understand. See what they have, see what they recommend, and ask questions if you have them. If your shop is any good they'll take care of you.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  28. #128
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    I am fairly new to mountain biking and went with clipless pedals because that they are what I was used to from my road biking. After a swollen left elbow, several bruises on my left leg and one ridiculous pic taken by my buddy of me stuck looking like a turtle flipped over on its back...I backed my cleat tension way off. I am riding Shimano XT pedals and have the tension only 3 click from the easiest setting. I am able to bail if need be/forced to (thankfully my comfort level is increasing and I don't have to bail very often) and I like the security of being clipped in. If you continue to ride clipless just back off the tension - if at all possible.

  29. #129
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    I hit the local trail for the very first time with clipless pedals a few weeks ago and regretted it, even though I had been riding clipless around my neighborhood for over a month and thought I was comfortable. I went with a buddy who has years of experience and even he said I should have started with flats. As he was watching me struggle through some technical parts, he could tell I was spending too much time worrying about whether or not to clip out. In the future, I'd love to get confident enough to go back to clipless but I just got a set of Shimano Saint flats and plan to try the trails again this weekend.

  30. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmtnt View Post
    I hit the local trail for the very first time with clipless pedals a few weeks ago and regretted it, even though I had been riding clipless around my neighborhood for over a month and thought I was comfortable. I went with a buddy who has years of experience and even he said I should have started with flats. As he was watching me struggle through some technical parts, he could tell I was spending too much time worrying about whether or not to clip out. In the future, I'd love to get confident enough to go back to clipless but I just got a set of Shimano Saint flats and plan to try the trails again this weekend.
    Just an FYI, just like with clipless the pedals are only half the equation. You need to get a pair of shoes that are designed to work with flats, it really does make that much of a difference. Too many people try flat pedals with regular tennis shoes or whatever and do not like it because their feet slip off / move around too much. I highly recommend getting a good pair of sticky rubber shoes (I use the 5.10 Impact Low's -- Five Ten Impact 2 Low Shoe > Apparel > Shoes and Footwear > Mountain Bike Shoes | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop). Once you experience Flats (with good pins) and a good pair of sticky rubber shoes you will see the difference. I tried two years ago and have never once thought, geez these are holding me back I really should put those clips back on my bike. Good luck and enjoy!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbdennis View Post
    Just an FYI, just like with clipless the pedals are only half the equation.
    Thanks, forgot to mention that on the wonderful advice from this forum, I ordered the very same 5.10's from Jenson, they got here a few days ago.

  32. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmtnt View Post
    Thanks, forgot to mention that on the wonderful advice from this forum, I ordered the very same 5.10's from Jenson, they got here a few days ago.
    Awesome! I think you will enjoy. Mine are about worn out and about to pull the trigger on those from Jenson to replace my old ones They have held up very well to two years of abuse. I have done a bunch of HAB with them, and lots of miles. I have been surprised how well the rubber has held up to those pins. I had expected the rubber to be chewed up from the pins, but nope, still holding strong. I am in AZ and I think the heat has dried out the rubber a little and they do not grip quite as well as they did when they were new, but then again I am probably just looking for a reason to get some new ones Enjoy your setup, you got good stuff.

  33. #133
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    Both! Start with flats (with five/ten shoes) to learn the basics. Switch to clipless to get more performance. If you are going on a more hairy adventure on new terrain...switch back to flats. Learn the new terrain and back to clipless to max out performance.

  34. #134
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    Great thread for a n00b like me to read.

  35. #135
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    Go clipless and get technical!

  36. #136
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    Go FLATS and get technical!

  37. #137
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    ROFLMAO at some of the answers, comments, and arguments.

    Junk the pedals and learn to walk ... And don't wear those 5.10 shoes some like to rave about.

    Beginner section ... Expert section ... It's a freak'n bicycle, and it's supposed to be about safely having a good time.
    Professional racers and idiot daredevils need not apply

    It's a freak'n bicycle


    Have Fun !!!

  38. #138
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    ^^^^ ftw

  39. #139
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    Name:  flat iron.jpg
Views: 298
Size:  18.2 KBPins, flats and shoes can be put together in several ways depending on the trail. You can stick fine with trailrunners or tennis shoes with the knobby pins on some Wellgo or Azonic pedals. You can use shorter, 3mm small diameter pins with the edges rounded for those shoes and not tear up the bottoms. You can add or remove pins as needed.
    If you tune the setup and ride with your heels low you can control the stick.
    Speed and jumps and DH says tune with higher pins and 5.10s.


    These Flat irons come with the "fat pins" you see and a set of set screw type small diameter pins for 5.10s.
    Last edited by eb1888; 02-20-2013 at 11:12 AM.

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    ^^^ Remove fun

  41. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    Name:  flat iron.jpg
Views: 298
Size:  18.2 KBPins, flats and shoes can be put together in several ways depending on the trail. You can stick fine with trailrunners or tennis shoes with the knobby pins on some Wellgo or Azonic pedals. You can use shorter, 3mm small diameter pins with the edges rounded for those shoes and not tear up the bottoms. You can add or remove pins as needed.
    If you tune the setup and ride with your heels low you can control the stick.
    Speed and jumps and DH says tune with higher pins and 5.10s.
    Thanks a lot for posting that picture. I was plenty happy with my current pedals (Diety Decoy's) until I saw that picture. Now I must have them! Love how thin they are!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbdennis View Post
    Thanks a lot for posting that picture. I was plenty happy with my current pedals (Diety Decoy's) until I saw that picture. Now I must have them! Love how thin they are!

    I rode BMX on these ... You people are spoiled

  43. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeabuser View Post
    ROFLMAO at some of the answers, comments, and arguments.

    Junk the pedals and learn to walk ... And don't wear those 5.10 shoes some like to rave about.

    Beginner section ... Expert section ... It's a freak'n bicycle, and it's supposed to be about safely having a good time.
    Professional racers and idiot daredevils need not apply

    It's a freak'n bicycle


    Have Fun !!!
    Ain't that the truff!!!!! LOL!!!!

  44. #144
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    I have opted for the middle of the road. Ive been using Power Grips for over 15 years. I have found them to be a solid option for those who desire more control than flats provide and less "constraint" than clipless. Its what I cut my teeth on and have never felt a need to "graduate" to clipless. To each their own, but definitely give then a look if you are on the fence.

  45. #145
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    Threads like this, as painful as they may be for the vets, are mother's milk to a relative noob like me. I've been riding road for a long time, but I've had only sporadic forays into mountain biking here and there. Lots of great info here, and it's helped me get over the inevitable "I don't want to look like a noob" insecurities that can make one set aside common sense, not to mention make riding less enjoyable. I'm awaiting some newly ordered flats, going to use them to try out some trails I'd be nervous about trying otherwise (which is most anything remotely technical, to be honest). So thanks to all the longtime posters who've shared a lot of good info on this thread.

  46. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanager View Post
    Threads like this, as painful as they may be for the vets, are mother's milk to a relative noob like me. I've been riding road for a long time, but I've had only sporadic forays into mountain biking here and there. Lots of great info here, and it's helped me get over the inevitable "I don't want to look like a noob" insecurities that can make one set aside common sense, not to mention make riding less enjoyable. I'm awaiting some newly ordered flats, going to use them to try out some trails I'd be nervous about trying otherwise (which is most anything remotely technical, to be honest). So thanks to all the longtime posters who've shared a lot of good info on this thread.
    Don't ever let someone make you feel like a noob just because you aren't riding what most people might be or whatever. Just ride what you like and feel comfortable with.

  47. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayseakay View Post
    Don't ever let someone make you feel like a noob just because you aren't riding what most people might be or whatever. Just ride what you like and feel comfortable with.
    +1+

    No matter what you think about any piece of equipment remember that there's someone out there who will rip your legs off on their fully rigid 80's Bridgestone with toe clips. Any person who tries to tell you that one type of bike or pedal or wheel size or whatever is the only way to go knows nothing about how to actually ride a bike.
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  48. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    +1+

    No matter what you think about any piece of equipment remember that there's someone out there who will rip your legs off on their fully rigid 80's Bridgestone with toe clips. Any person who tries to tell you that one type of bike or pedal or wheel size or whatever is the only way to go knows nothing about how to actually ride a bike.
    +++1 I could not agree with you more

  49. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    +1+

    No matter what you think about any piece of equipment remember that there's someone out there who will rip your legs off on their fully rigid 80's Bridgestone with toe clips. Any person who tries to tell you that one type of bike or pedal or wheel size or whatever is the only way to go knows nothing about how to actually ride a bike.
    +++++1 Amen!!!!

  50. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    +1+

    No matter what you think about any piece of equipment remember that there's someone out there who will rip your legs off on their fully rigid 80's Bridgestone with toe clips. Any person who tries to tell you that one type of bike or pedal or wheel size or whatever is the only way to go knows nothing about how to actually ride a bike.
    Yet again another +1

    Quote Originally Posted by jayseakay View Post
    Don't ever let someone make you feel like a noob just because you aren't riding what most people might be or whatever. Just ride what you like and feel comfortable with.
    It's so true, unfortunately from my experience this kind of behavior mostly comes from noobs who switch to clipless. Almost 100% of my Noob's ride I'd take the flat pedals, and never fail each ride I'd get at least one who would approach me and try to tell me to switch to clipless because they are "Sooo much better", more efficient and so on. Similar thing was said about 29er

    I remember the first time I noticed a rider riding flats on his trail bike, I thought what does he knows that I didn't. Sure enough it was the 5.10

    Ride whatever you want again for the hundredth time an there's no difference in efficiency between clipless and platform with sticky shoes, as long as you have a half way decent pedaling stroke.

  51. #151
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    You can only make an informed decision if you've used both. It's amazing the amount of people who talk like they know what they're talking about but have only ever ridden flats.

  52. #152
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    I'll just leave this here:

    bikejames xxx/strength/the-flat-pedal-revolution-manifesto-how-to-improve-your-riding-with-flat-pedals/]The Flat Pedal Revolution Manifesto: How to Improve Your Riding With Flat Pedals | Mountain Bike Training Programs


    cant post links so the x's are . calm of course

  53. #153
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    bikejames got beat up by a pair of clipless pedals when he was a kid.

  54. #154
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    Flats are fun. Clipless are fun. Going fast is fun. Jumping is fun. Riding bikes is fun. To each his own. I ride both, but prefer clipless because I said so.

  55. #155
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    Yeah, that's one guy's opinion. I've read most of that, and it's really just many of the most common theories you see bounced around stated as fact. He is just one more person that feels that since something worked better for him, it must be that way for everyone. There is nothing new or insightful in that article.
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  56. #156
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    I've done and liked both. Am doing the Barn Burner 104 in Flagstaff this year, and decided that some SPD shoes and pedals (AM45 shoes and PD-M647 pedals) are the way to go for something that long.

    I like that I can ride those pedals with those shoes and not be clipped in if it's sketchy or I am trying to get back on the bike uphill etc...

  57. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hogdog View Post
    You can only make an informed decision if you've used both. It's amazing the amount of people who talk like they know what they're talking about but have only ever ridden flats.
    im surprised after reading threads on MTBR the amount of people who have never tried flats! not saying they are posting on this thread (shame if they are). i would always recommend a beginner start with flats.

  58. #158
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    Surely everyone learned to ride a bike on flats?

  59. #159
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hogdog View Post
    You can only make an informed decision if you've used both. It's amazing the amount of people who talk like they know what they're talking about but have only ever ridden flats.

    This is the problem I have with Mr. Bjames, he preaches the virtues of flat pedals as if it were gospel yet it seems he has never really given clipless a go. I have read some of his stuff and a lot of what he advocates is solid, time proven (though not revolutionary) advice but he just can't seem to let go of his anger towards clipless pedals. In one sentence he'll say he has nothing against them and in the next he will infer that they are pure evil.

  60. #160
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    Both bikejames and Rivendell make exceptions for racing cyclists; Rivendell says something about "racer-like." I think the bikejames observation, something you can see in people's posts (especially the more rabid clipless advocates!) is that many mountain bikers never learn to manipulate their bikes very well because they can pull up on their clipless pedals, and never learn to pedal that well because clipless pedals will guide a rider's foot in a circle, whether his technique is good or not.

    I think a lot of people go to clipless pedals too early, regardless of which system they end up on most of the time long-term. Certainly I did. I'm sure I've said this on other page - this thread is going to monster lengths - but I'm not sure if the big, pinned, concave-surfaced flat pedals that people who ride them on purpose choose were even available when I was in college, and learning to ride mountain bikes. So it was caged pedals that aren't that stable, caged pedals with toe clips, or clipless. Not very hard to make a blanket statement like "clipless are better" with that as a basis for comparison.

    My attitude is that it's to everyone's benefit to learn both, and at that point, I don't need to tell them (nor do I presume to be able to predict) what to choose.
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  61. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post

    My attitude is that it's to everyone's benefit to learn both, and at that point, I don't need to tell them (nor do I presume to be able to predict) what to choose.
    That's kind of how I feel. Being Very new to all this and having used cages on a road bike when I wasnt quite old enough to drive... then clipless on a road bike, I just assumed clipless was the way to go. But as I'm learning about the actual skill necessary to maneuver a bike around a trail, I want to build those skills on platforms first.

    As a Very newbie example... doing a bunny hop is something I want to master, and it has to be SO much easier with your feet attached to the pedals, but the challenge of figuring it out on my own is attractive to me.


    as a point to the article I posted- the thing that stuck out the most to me was the data related to pedaling, esp in re to "pedaling in a circle"... I posted the article for that very reason, as several people made reference to that idea in their posts.

  62. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post

    I think a lot of people go to clipless pedals too early, regardless of which system they end up on most of the time long-term. Certainly I did. I'm sure I've said this on other page - this thread is going to monster lengths - but I'm not sure if the big, pinned, concave-surfaced flat pedals that people who ride them on purpose choose were even available when I was in college, and learning to ride mountain bikes. So it was caged pedals that aren't that stable, caged pedals with toe clips, or clipless. Not very hard to make a blanket statement like "clipless are better" with that as a basis for comparison.
    This is a good point. When I was learning I had the cheapest, crappiest pair of flat pedals ever. They were horrible. I also rode in tennis shoes. Naturally the switch to clipless (while painful for a couple of rides) was like night and day to what I started with. It hurt trying to figure it out at first yeah...but compared to the crap I was riding on before it was a 100 times better. If I had known of really good flat pedals and better shoes I might have tried that first.

  63. #163
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    I think the bikejames observation, something you can see in people's posts (especially the more rabid clipless advocates!) is that many mountain bikers never learn to manipulate their bikes very well because they can pull up on their clipless pedals, and never learn to pedal that well because clipless pedals will guide a rider's foot in a circle, whether his technique is good or not.
    I never really understood this viewpoint (not yours, AndrwSwitch, but the one you're talking about). Both pedal systems offer unique possibilities for manipulating your bike, and there's nothing wrong with giving a quick pull up on clipless pedals to clear small obstacles or move the back of the bike around. It's almost like some folks believe that your development as a mountain biker will forever be stunted because clipless pedals let you "cheat." Whether I'm on flats on a trials bike, or clipless on the trail, I'll use whatever options are available with each pedal system.

  64. #164
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonyk View Post
    I never really understood this viewpoint (not yours, AndrwSwitch, but the one you're talking about). Both pedal systems offer unique possibilities for manipulating your bike, and there's nothing wrong with giving a quick pull up on clipless pedals to clear small obstacles or move the back of the bike around. It's almost like some folks believe that your development as a mountain biker will forever be stunted because clipless pedals let you "cheat." Whether I'm on flats on a trials bike, or clipless on the trail, I'll use whatever options are available with each pedal system.
    LOL. It's my viewpoint too.

    I went from toe clips to clipless back when I was in college. I did all sorts of things with pulling up on the pedals. I also preloaded my suspension. I could negotiate trails okay, but I was relying on a lot of upper body strength and leg muscles that aren't the Prime Movers.

    When I started racing, one of the things I noticed really fast was that the fast guys flow over everything in their path with very little apparent effort or energy expenditure. I had to notice it fast because they weren't doing it near me anymore after the first lap... So I thought about how I was negotiating the same obstacles, did some reading, and resolved to learn to bunny hop, manual and wheelie, on flat pedals.

    I feel like I drive things much more from my core and legs now. I do prefer clipless pedals and I'd be lying if I didn't say that I do things better on clipless pedals - I do still cheat, some, and I don't need to put a lot of effort into staying attached to the bike, which I prefer.

    Similar to drilling cadence and then letting selected cadence fall where it may, I'm comfortable with drilling on the correct way to do a lot of these skills and then doing them how I do them. I feel I've seen a big improvement. I feel I work a lot less hard at handling my bike. As a side benefit, I don't have to do nearly as much to prepare for an obstacle, so I don't lose as much speed in technical sections, especially on trails I don't know.

    If you ride trials, I imagine you already do all of this stuff a lot better than me. And, I imagine that whatever "cheating" you self-select on clipless is just spending less effort, rather than practicing a slow and inefficient way to do things. So like I said earlier - I'm not that interested in which pedals you choose, I'm just advocating on both.

    I also don't think that having learned on clipless first has stunted my development (or would stunt someone else's) in particular. After all, I was able to just go back and practice on flats for a while. And, I think I came into that period with a lot more comfort and confidence on my bike - I don't think that what I learned before bolting on the flats was useless or counterproductive. At least, not mostly. (So I guess I don't think people can be forever stunted by anything they do on a bike, unless it's breaking a vertebra or something.)

    One might compare a clipless-dependent technique to a skiing technique requiring pivoting and skidding, vs. one that's all about edge control and carving. Pivoting and skidding can both be good tools for a strong skier, but they're a terrible thing to base one's technique on.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  65. #165
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeveW8 View Post
    That's kind of how I feel. Being Very new to all this and having used cages on a road bike when I wasnt quite old enough to drive... then clipless on a road bike, I just assumed clipless was the way to go. But as I'm learning about the actual skill necessary to maneuver a bike around a trail, I want to build those skills on platforms first.
    You and me both, brother. I went clipless first (and defied common sense in more ways than I'm yet prepared to share here), and one broken wrist/surgery/metal plate and screws/7 weeks off my bike later, I've got a pair of Azonics due to arrive today. (I'm back on the bike, btw, but sticking to stuff I'm capable of handling, nothing even *remotely* technical until I get those flats on. Once burned, twice shy, and all that.)

    It's experiences like this that make me appreciate just how much his mountain biking background likely contributed to someone like Peter Sagan's mad handling skills.

  66. #166
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    to new riders take a look at trials riders. They are doing amazing feats, climbing boulders etc all on flats.

    Flats definitely are used by advanced riders. I personally am more interestednin trials type riding over racing so practice a lot with flats.

  67. #167
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodmojo View Post
    to new riders take a look at trials riders. They are doing amazing feats, climbing boulders etc all on flats.

    Flats definitely are used by advanced riders. I personally am more interestednin trials type riding over racing so practice a lot with flats.
    I'll chime in from a noob's point of view..well I use to ride 15+yrs ago..then was flats "beartraps" with toeclips loosely straped...now I start a-new era for me on pinned platforms that stick to my shoe... love it.
    I like sliding around corners and the ability to drag a foot if I want..or even ride to the market and pick up a 12er..I just like the freedom of the platform pedel...any pair of shoes I own will work :-)
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  68. #168
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    LOL. It's my viewpoint too.
    Ha, touché. I see what you're saying, and I'm probably just caught up with my objection to the term "cheating." It makes it sound like pulling up on the pedals isn't part of proper mountain biking technique. It's a really useful skill to have, but like you said, it shouldn't be the only thing you know how to do. All riders (new and experienced) ought to commit to learning good techniques, whatever pedals they're riding. Flats are a good tool to help, but aren't critical. (Much like riding rigid can help you learn to flow over obstacles, but you can learn that fully suspended, too.)

  69. #169
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonyk View Post
    Ha, touché. I see what you're saying, and I'm probably just caught up with my objection to the term "cheating." It makes it sound like pulling up on the pedals isn't part of proper mountain biking technique.
    I agree.

    If clipless is "cheating" then so are gears, suspension forks, dropper posts, tubeless tires, handlebars, etc. For whatever reason a lot of people are extremely opinionated and righteous on this issue but really they are just another tool that some riders choose to use to their advantage. Riding a bike with suspension is a lot different than riding a ridged frame and it requires a different riding style to take full advantage of it, yet I never seem to hear anyone saying that it is "cheating" or that it creates "bad habits".


    For most of my adult life I have ridden with clips and straps and then clipless pedals until feet issues forced me onto flats about 7 or 8 years ago. It was different, and I felt I didn't have quite the same power on the hills as I did with clipless but I experienced none of the dreaded "bad habits" that I've been warned about here. Even with crappy plastic pedals that had no pins and a ridged frame and fork my feet stayed firmly planted on the very rough and rocky AZ. trails on my 1st ride with them, and I didn't seem to need to un-learn any of the "bad habits" I'd developed from riding clipless. If anything I would say that clipless can help form good habits.

  70. #170
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    Actually, I think people also form bad habits riding with gears and suspension.

    I still use them. I like being able to choose my gear ratio and and there's a certain point where I just can't be loose enough to absorb all the rattling.

    But I think we've all seen people who insist on shifting for every little grade reversal, and people who sit their bikes like corpses and plow into everything.

    Just as it's instructive for those of us on clipless to get some practice time on flats, I think that it's instructive for people to get some practice time off-road without suspension, without gears, and even on skinny little racing slicks. Not all at once, probably. I think a lot of people would be surprised at what they can still do on a rigid, singlespeed, or road bike, and I think it's also good for an appreciation of how much bigger the handling envelope is on a mountain bike, and how much more stable and forgiving mountain bikes are. Taking away some equipment capability can also point out spots where one is overly reliant on the equipment, and maybe point out some spots where one is even doing something self-defeating.

    tl;dr - ride more, different, maybe even inappropriate bikes off-road, get to be a faster, smoother mountain biker.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  71. #171
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Actually, I think people also form bad habits riding with gears and suspension.

    I still use them. I like being able to choose my gear ratio and and there's a certain point where I just can't be loose enough to absorb all the rattling.

    But I think we've all seen people who insist on shifting for every little grade reversal, and people who sit their bikes like corpses and plow into everything.

    Just as it's instructive for those of us on clipless to get some practice time on flats, I think that it's instructive for people to get some practice time off-road without suspension, without gears, and even on skinny little racing slicks. Not all at once, probably. I think a lot of people would be surprised at what they can still do on a rigid, singlespeed, or road bike, and I think it's also good for an appreciation of how much bigger the handling envelope is on a mountain bike, and how much more stable and forgiving mountain bikes are. Taking away some equipment capability can also point out spots where one is overly reliant on the equipment, and maybe point out some spots where one is even doing something self-defeating.

    tl;dr - ride more, different, maybe even inappropriate bikes off-road, get to be a faster, smoother mountain biker.
    I coudn't agree more with you... I have friends have who give me crap for riding singlespeed, and I have friends who try and convince me FS is the only way to go. I actually met these guys at the top of a descent, both had 6" travel full suspension bikes, with me on my steel hardtail. When I saw them at the bottom 3-4 minutes after I got there they were like "dude are you rattled, how do you ride a hardtail that fast". I just said I'm working on picking the smoothest lines, rather than the suspension plowing over everything. For some reason they just shook their heads...

  72. #172
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    "Skillz, yo."

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  73. #173
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Actually, I think people also form bad habits riding with gears and suspension.
    Agreed. I'm a cup half full kind of guy though and believe there are also lots of riders (beginners included) who strive to improve their technique and use gears and suspension to their advantage, which in turn can make them faster (if that's what they want) and enhance the ride experience.

    I'm not trying to be contrary, I agree with much of what you post and think you contribute a lot to this forum, your suggestion to ride inappropriate bikes sometimes to improve your form is a great example. I'm only trying to counterpoint the claim that things like pedals, suspension and gears will undoubtedly cause bad habits- or good ones.

  74. #174
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    Well, I like to think that I form efficiencies and not bad habits by riding bikes with a bit more tech to help me out. I did say right in the post that I use suspension and gears myself.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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