1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by CS2 View Post
    Coming from a road background what are good shoes for platforms? I was too old for the BMX craze. So, I don't know much about their shoes.
    Five ten, nuff said


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  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    The pull stroke on a pedal is an emergency move, not an efficient cycling movement.
    True, but it also makes bunny hopping obstacles really easy without all those pesky years of practice.

    Seriously, both flats and clips are fun in their own ways. There's no way for a new rider to know what they'll like best until they try both.
    Everything in moderation. Including moderation.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayseakay View Post
    I don't know how anyone can deny that having a pull and a push does not increase pedaling efficiency. You only have a push on a platform...it's as simple as that. If it wasn't more efficient than everyone would ride platforms instead of the majority riding with clips.

    And that's for criticizing my riding style...even though you don't know me...or my bike...or my location.
    zebrahum beats me to it

    Pulling or upstroke is done by smaller group of muscles which overwhelm by larger group of muscles pushing on the down stroke. The transition where clipless would have yield more efficiency over flats is the bottom of stroke. If you work very hard at it you can fill the dead spot by scraping the pedal at the bottom and bring it toward 5 o'clock position and the down stroke of your other foot would do the rest. Repeat again and again til you master it.

    This is very difficult and requires a lot of focus before it becomes second nature. Most pros practice this, many riders do it, their hard work pays off. Average riders, weekend warriors? NO. Like CT said it takes a long time and lots of practice to get the coordination down. It's much simpler and more efficient to just push on the down stroke and rest on the up stroke.

    Some of the reason to use clipless would be the ability to be light and heavy on the pedals, with flats you have to weight the pedals most of the time. Clipless keeps your feet on the pedal and pedaling in circle, that's one less thing to think about.

    As for your riding style, hey do what you want. You were blaming the pedals for the lack of technique on a clipless vs flats thread, expect to be called out. You don't have to weight your pedals all the time when riding, but loosing control of your footing is just bad form, then blame it on the pedals? Have you heard of pumping? Check it out it would help your timing.

    I addressed the pros and cons of both type on the first page as well as efficiency myth. Check it out
    Last edited by mimi1885; 01-29-2013 at 03:58 PM.

  4. #54
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    Well i have ordered a set of vp001 flat pedals. Ive read they are decent but at 40 bucks they are decently priced and they will match my bike nicely. I tjink until i get more time out on the trails i will favor flats. Im especially shitty at making tight right hand turns but am great at the hard lefts. Also being a clyde means there are some steeper hills that are just nearly impossible to get up mainly because of traction issues not lack of power. Many of my falls have been caused by that.

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  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpfitness View Post
    Well i have ordered a set of vp001 flat pedals. Ive read they are decent but at 40 bucks they are decently priced and they will match my bike nicely. I tjink until i get more time out on the trails i will favor flats. Im especially shitty at making tight right hand turns but am great at the hard lefts. Also being a clyde means there are some steeper hills that are just nearly impossible to get up mainly because of traction issues not lack of power. Many of my falls have been caused by that.

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    On steep climbs I'd pretty much move my butt to the nose of the saddle, slight pull on the handlebar downward toward the bottom bracket. Pedal smoothly, and weight the rear tire enough to bite. We've all been there, just keep at it you'll be surprise how steep you can climb on the bike.


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  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885 View Post

    As for your riding style, hey do what you want. You were blaming the pedals for the lack of technique on a clipless vs flats thread, expect to be called out. You don't have to weight your pedals all the time when riding, but loosing control of your footing is just bad form, then blame it on the pedals? Have you heard of pumping? Check it out it would help your timing.

    I addressed the pros and cons of both type on the first page as well as efficiency myth. Check it out
    I apologize for noticing a significant improvement in my general riding style after switching to clips. I also apologize for having "bad form" during my first few months of riding by losing my pedals a few times. Hadn't ever ridden a mountain bike...ever...and had a hard time adjusting.

    And if they are not more efficient...why the heck don't the pros all just ride flats? Why don't road riders use flats as well? Your argument isn't based on fact. It's opinion. Which is fine.

  7. #57
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    I prefer clipless personally. Not really for efficiency but I just like having my feet secured to the pedals. I rode BMX for years before getting on a mountain bike so I was used to flats. With some of the rooted and rocky downhills here my feet always seemed to get forced off a pedal in some way or another when bombing down a hill as fast as I could on my hard tail. Maybe it wouldn't be as bad on an FS bike?

    It makes it easier to pedal on these rough down hills too. I like going as fast as possible . After using them for a little while slipping out of the pedal to dab a foot down hasn't been an issue with the Crank Bros Candy 2 pedals I'm using.

  8. #58
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    jayseakay, just remember heavy feet light hands. when ur feet are well planted and hands are barely holding the bars, ur in sync with the bike.

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  9. #59
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    I think you just sold me. For 20 years I related my mtb to have my clipless petals because they are efficient, but I would race and ride BMX with "flats". I have fun on flats. I dont plan to win any XC races where I need to be efficient. I will start having fun on my mtb with flats.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayseakay View Post
    I apologize for noticing a significant improvement in my general riding style after switching to clips. I also apologize for having "bad form" during my first few months of riding by losing my pedals a few times. Hadn't ever ridden a mountain bike...ever...and had a hard time adjusting.

    And if they are not more efficient...why the heck don't the pros all just ride flats? Why don't road riders use flats as well? Your argument isn't based on fact. It's opinion. Which is fine.
    Actually studies have been done that do show that using the upstroke (pulling up) is NOT more efficient.

    There is a way to make clipless more efficient, however it is very unlikely that anyone that isn't devoting their entire day to riding would be able to achieve this (professional). I have a friend that is a pro and she laughs when she reads about how pulling up on the pedals is proper form. Sure it can be used in an emergency situation to get to the top of a hill but it's no way proper form as you are using the wrong muscles to pedal.

    Keep in mind that Pro riders spend countless hours in practicing technique that most of us don't have the time for. Not too mention the slight weight advantage which means a lot to them.

    Clipless is more of a preference and while there may be benifits pedaling efficeincy isn't one IMO. One tip I learned on here was to keep the heels down when decending and I honestly couldn't believe the difference it made. No more bouncing off the pedals lol.

    Don't take offense to Mimi, he knows his stuff and this topic has been beat to death on here and 99% of the time ends up with the same reasoning.

  11. #61
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    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.
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  12. #62
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    Hello and good morning everyone. Please excuse me for jumping in. I'm new with alot of questions. Ivee never used a site like this before and I'm unsure where to start. My 12yr old daughter wants a bike. We were looking at the mongoose XR100.Can anyone tell me anything on this bike or recommend anything. I don't have alot on money to spend do realize you get what you pay for...which is why I don't mind buying used. Please help

  13. #63
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    I vote for clipless. Just because the effeciency and because your feet won't slip down on a bigger hit, or rough terrain. Sure you have to get used to the clipless riding and train how to clip out in different situations, but it worth to try out. It is used mostly on XC, Marathon, Trail and some All Mountain bikes, but some use it on his(/her) Downhill bike. You can find pedals on the web that is both clipless and flat, for example Crank Brothers Mallet. (I think it's usable with normal shoes)

  14. #64
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    Re: clipless vs platforms

    Quote Originally Posted by CURIOUS LYNN View Post
    Hello and good morning everyone. Please excuse me for jumping in. I'm new with alot of questions. Ivee never used a site like this before and I'm unsure where to start. My 12yr old daughter wants a bike. We were looking at the mongoose XR100.Can anyone tell me anything on this bike or recommend anything. I don't have alot on money to spend do realize you get what you pay for...which is why I don't mind buying used. Please help
    No offense but you should start a new thread within the beginner forum to get this answered. Proper etiquette is to keep responses within a topic soecific to that topic

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    I couldn't figure out how to start a new one. Sorry & good bye.

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpfitness View Post
    Its not like im a beginner to cycling tho. Im comfortable riding clipped in i guess I just feel like riding wise are there techniques in some types of riding that dictate being clipped in is better? I suspect that i just need to improve my skills. Another example where i struggle greatly is making tight right hand turns, apparently bei g lefty or righty matters in cycling too

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    I would say yes there are times. i switched to platforms to work on wheelies and manuals and really enjoyed the benefits of platforms. However there are a number of very technical climbs on a particular trail that when I switched back to clipless I could throw down the bit of extra power to clean them. It wasnt a huge difference, but if there were 30 things that I couldnt clear I could clear an extra 5.

    I never hamburgered my shins on platforms but on our very technical trails starting from a stop on technical terrain I often times just nicked my legs on the platforms. Not enough that it hurt, but enough that I have small dot scars all over my legs.

  17. #67
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    Uh-oh, another clipless vs. flats thread.

    Well, I'm out of things to do and want to procrastinate a little more before I go to school.

    I usually ride clipless pedals on my "serious" bikes. Do I think I'm more efficient on them? Sure. I have a pretty rapid cadence and a very light pedal stroke. I stay in the right place on my pedals, and they mate with my rigid-soled cycling shoes. Do I think I'm 10% more efficient? Hell no. Probably 1-2%. A small difference, anyway. Bear in mind that the jumps in gear ratio on a mountain bike cassette are 15%. I do think the shoes have a bit more importance, although again, it's on the order of 1-2%, probably that same 1-2% I just credited to the pedals.

    I was already on clipless when I learned to "bunny hop." It was a crappy, inefficient bunny hop, and I had to preload, so it was a bit slow. But yes, you can jump, then yank your bike upwards with clipless pedals.

    After I started racing and got to see more strong technical riders, I identified my technique as being a major area of potential growth (euphemism for suckiness...) So I bought some cheap flats and worked on wheelies, manuals and bunny hops. I can't balance a wheelie, but I now do my manuals and bunnyhops by pressing with my legs and moving my center of mass around. I can do both much faster and with much less effort. To be fair, I currently have a better bunny hop with clipless pedals than with flats. So I'm sure I'm still cheating some. But I agree with those who say that if you can't do a bunny hop on flat pedals, you aren't actually doing a bunny hop.

    As far as what other people should ride? Both. There are things to learn from both systems. Clipless pedal systems do seem to have a higher minimum cost, but I think someone who does some road miles could learn the same things in pedals with toe clips and the straps cinched down. Those pedals only cost $15. Clipless riders whining about the cost of another system need only spend $15 too. I'm sure the more expensive pedals are better - I thought it worthwhile to buy expensive shoes for riding. But as a training tool, why spend more than the minimum? Go ahead and shell out a bit more for good parts for your primary system...
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by CURIOUS LYNN View Post
    I couldn't figure out how to start a new one. Sorry & good bye.
    No worries, I believe you may have to make a minimum number of posts before you can start a new thread. it's either 5 or 10 posts i believe.

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayseakay View Post
    I don't know how anyone can deny that having a pull and a push does not increase pedaling efficiency. You only have a push on a platform...it's as simple as that. If it wasn't more efficient than everyone would ride platforms instead of the majority riding with clips.

    And that's for criticizing my riding style...even though you don't know me...or my bike...or my location.
    I don't know how anyone can claim anything without proof of said claim. Do some reading, I think there's some papers referenced in this article as well: http://www.bikejames.com/wp-content/...withLinks2.pdf
    Most people ride clipless because everyone tells them they should. If there wasn't a stigma about what pedals you need to ride if you want to be "serious" about mountain biking, I doubt that you could say the "majority" is riding clips (you meant to say clipless there).

    Quite frankly, Mimi was right to criticize your riding technique (not your style as you claimed). If your feet bounce off of flat pedals while riding, you aren't riding correctly for the use of flat pedals. Downhill racers often ride flat pedals and they don't bounce off the pedals so no matter where you're riding, you have the same capability if you knew how. Everyone has plenty to learn, it's not an indictment on anyone's ability or willingness to ride a bike it was simply pointing out that you're using clipless pedals as a crutch to mask a physiological deficiency when it comes to flat pedal cycling.

    I'm pretty certain no one knows how to stick to a flat pedal without a learning curve or some guided discovery. Flats: check 'em out.
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  20. #70
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    clipless vs platforms

    Quote Originally Posted by jayseakay View Post
    I apologize for noticing a significant improvement in my general riding style after switching to clips. I also apologize for having "bad form" during my first few months of riding by losing my pedals a few times. Hadn't ever ridden a mountain bike...ever...and had a hard time adjusting.

    And if they are not more efficient...why the heck don't the pros all just ride flats? Why don't road riders use flats as well? Your argument isn't based on fact. It's opinion. Which is fine.
    Thanks guys and zebra

    It's not my intention to bust your ball, but we are in a beginners forum and this topic is one of the most popular topic among noobs. Misconception like clipless gives noob more pedaling efficiency is just not true. Same can be said about hardtail is more efficient than FS, but that's another can of worm

    If you want to do the experiment yourself, you can just time yourself on the flat road, say 1/2 a mile. Ride one normally, then ride one with push down only, and lastly ride one with pull up only no help from down stroke. You'd have your answer. I did it but you probably want to prove it yourself. The focus of pulling up motion is enough distraction to erase any efficiency gain. Putting all the motion together into one perfect stroke is just as difficult. Do that a million+ times a year for a few years, then you'd have a stroke that's more efficient than flats.

    On the other hand, you can just re-install the flats and see how much bad habits you have accumulated from clipless, like lifting your feet on the climb, jerky motion, etc and try to make the improvement from there.

    I came across a few studies on efficiency so Jay, if you still want the info pm me I'll google that for you. I'm not anti-clipless I'm using both love them both.

    Pedaling is a skill just like everything else, doing it is a no brainer, mastering however, may takes years. Do you still me to answer why pros are using clipless?





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  21. #71
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    Not this topic again. It appears that it is already answered. If you are very comfortable riding clipless then ride clipless. If you feel uncomfortable and need to put your foot down a lot do not ride clipless. It isn't for everyone. Do what you're most comfortable with. Once you gain more confidence on your bike you may want to opt for clipless again then.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885 View Post
    Thanks guys and zebra

    It's not my intention to bust your ball, but we are in a beginners forum and this topic is one of the most popular topic among noobs. Misconception like clipless gives noob more pedaling efficiency is just not true. Same can be said about hardtail is more efficient than FS, but that's another can of worm

    If you want to do the experiment yourself, you can just time yourself on the flat road, say 1/2 a mile. Ride one normally, then ride one with push down only, and lastly ride one with pull up only no help from down stroke. You'd have your answer. I did it but you probably want to prove it yourself. The focus of pulling up motion is enough distraction to erase any efficiency gain. Putting all the motion together into one perfect stroke is just as difficult. Do that a million+ times a year for a few years, then you'd have a stroke that's more efficient than flats.

    On the other hand, you can just re-install the flats and see how much bad habits you have accumulated from clipless, like lifting your feet on the climb, jerky motion, etc and try to make the improvement from there.

    I came across a few studies on efficiency so Jay, if you still want the info pm me I'll google that for you. I'm not anti-clipless I'm using both love them both.

    Pedaling is a skill just like everything else, doing it is a no brainer, mastering however, may takes years. Do you still me to answer why pros are using clipless?





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    Thanks for referencing the ball but I'm actually a girl

    Mid-twenties. No previous experience on bikes other than having learned to ride one when I was a kid. Obviously I started on flats. Yes...my feet flew off the pedals my first few months of riding. After that I was able to ride flats...without losing my grip on the pedals (you guys are preaching to the choir about learning). AFTER that...clips made me feel even better on the downs and ups. I'll never ride without clips again. It's a preference.

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayseakay View Post
    Thanks for referencing the ball but I'm actually a girl

    Mid-twenties. No previous experience on bikes other than having learned to ride one when I was a kid. Obviously I started on flats. Yes...my feet flew off the pedals my first few months of riding. After that I was able to ride flats...without losing my grip on the pedals (you guys are preaching to the choir about learning). AFTER that...clips made me feel even better on the downs and ups. I'll never ride without clips again. It's a preference.
    This has been my experience as well. There's no turning back for me either unless I thought I was going to be riding crazy stuff where I would need to bail in a moments notice. I do not ride like that, I'm an XC guy, so I just own my clipless pedals and shoes. There is a learning curve, but there is a learning curve to everything in life.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    This has been my experience as well. There's no turning back for me either unless I thought I was going to be riding crazy stuff where I would need to bail in a moments notice. I do not ride like that, I'm an XC guy, so I just own my clipless pedals and shoes. There is a learning curve, but there is a learning curve to everything in life.
    This...thank you!

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayseakay View Post
    Thanks for referencing the ball but I'm actually a girl

    Mid-twenties. No previous experience on bikes other than having learned to ride one when I was a kid. Obviously I started on flats. Yes...my feet flew off the pedals my first few months of riding. After that I was able to ride flats...without losing my grip on the pedals (you guys are preaching to the choir about learning). AFTER that...clips made me feel even better on the downs and ups. I'll never ride without clips again. It's a preference.

    Ha ha, no problem, I'm a guy, I know the user name, long story. Well keep at it, and keep an open mind, there's a reason(s) why many veterans start switching/adding flats to their rides.

    Some riders don't want to switch because it makes them look like a noobs, myself included, but seriously how hard is it to unclip after a few months of riding, I've been on clipless for about 10 yrs. it's not about that.

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