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Thread: Flats and shoes

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    Flats and shoes

    Dudes! Looking to try flat pedals and had some questions. I like to keep riding simple and uncluttered. Currently riding a singlespeed and using clipless spd's. I like the idea of flats because I do have to get off the bike some (muttering 'damn chain!' while I'm huffing up a hill), walking in clipless shoes blows, my feet hurt on long rides and I would rather wear one pair of (non-specialized) shoes to the trailhead.

    So, what do you think about flats with regular trail-running shoes? I'd be looking at something like the moove torque pedałs. Thanks, all!

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    Go for it! I have been riding for the past year on flats and shoes (DMR V8s with regular running shoes), just switched to clipless this morning. I am already missing the comfort while walking/hiking and the freedom to re-position my feet on the pedals. Not too say that I am not going to stick with clipless, I love the added control and efficiency but there is no reason that flats aren't great if that is what you prefer. No harm in trying it out. Well, a little harm when you slip off the pedal and the spikes take out your shins

    Quote Originally Posted by akaHector View Post
    Dudes! Looking to try flat pedals and had some questions. I like to keep riding simple and uncluttered. Currently riding a singlespeed and using clipless spd's. I like the idea of flats because I do have to get off the bike some (muttering 'damn chain!' while I'm huffing up a hill), walking in clipless shoes blows, my feet hurt on long rides and I would rather wear one pair of (non-specialized) shoes to the trailhead.

    So, what do you think about flats with regular trail-running shoes? I'd be looking at something like the moove torque pedałs. Thanks, all!

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    A good set of flat pedals will work just fine with regular shoes for the average rider. The stiffer the sole the better. Also, flat pedals tend to do a number on the tread of regular shoes.

    You may want to consider getting new clipless shoes or maybe even just new insoles as I personally don't have a problem with hike a bike (or even mild trail maintenance) in my clipless shoes. New insoles are sure going to be a lot cheaper than getting new pedals and potentially shoes.

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    It depends on how much traction you want.
    If you want magical, almost locked in feeling, = 5.10s paired with big pinned platforms.
    I have 5.10s and usually ride with Addidas low top basketball shoes which are flat soled/bottomed like a skate shoe. All the grip i need and don't have to lift my foot as much to move it.
    Running shoes or any with lugs are just not as comfy, predictable, or grippy. Especially if it has a separate front and back tread with a valley in between/under your arch as many do. So for me a minimal loss of traction when walking, to gain a lot more on the pedals is a yes.
    Round and round we go

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ride-Aid View Post
    personally don't have a problem with hike a bike (or even mild trail maintenance) in my clipless shoes.
    This is a good point, althou I don't agree with the rest of the post, including new insoles. If the shoe isn't good for walking, insoles won't do anything. Sometimes stiffer isn't better, especially with big flat pedals. With clipless, the smaller the platform the more important stiffer becomes and for comfort also. Because of that clipless shoes for mtbing becomes a personal preference/balance of pedal size/shape, and shoe stiffness both for walking and for the bike. Lotsa clipless shoes are made out of a stiffer rubber/plastic bottom so it's not only a matter of how much flex you have, but how tacky/soft/grippy the compound that the sole is made of. Then too much grip/lug depth can interfere with clipping in/out with some pedal combos.
    Round and round we go

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    I personally canít stand clipless. Each to their own and all that but personally I love the feel of a more dirt bike type ride, I like putting my inside foot out whilst taking corners fast etc, plus if I hit jumps/bumps wrong and I need to bail I can much more easily. I like wearing a nice pair of skate type shoes that feel like duvets around your feet.

    I donít have issues with pedaling, ever, so I have no intentions on changing whatís not broken.

    Each to their own though like I said so fair play to anyone who likes the whole clipless feel and being locked in.

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    So, does the large size of the flats give a comparable amount of stability that the stiff soles of clipless shoes are supposed to provide? I swapped my original spd pedals to shimanos with a cage around them, trying to get a larger surface area, hoping to relieve arch pain. There wasn't any improvement. Granted my trail shoes aren't near as stiff as my riding shoes, but I'm thinking the larger platform will make up for this?

    How long do you guys ride on average with the flat pedals? Are long rides problematic? Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by akaHector View Post
    So, does the large size of the flats give a comparable amount of stability that the stiff soles of clipless shoes are supposed to provide?
    Yes but not 100%
    Think the biggest help to your comfort is going to be being able to move your foot around. With flat shoes and flat pinned pedals it's ahh. With lugs some pins will contact and others will fall in between lugs.
    Round and round we go

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    TheMeat, thanks man. That makes sense about having some increased range of motion on the pedal. I'll definitely get a good set with replaceable pins and a nice broad platform.

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    Quote Originally Posted by akaHector View Post
    So, does the large size of the flats give a comparable amount of stability that the stiff soles of clipless shoes are supposed to provide? I swapped my original spd pedals to shimanos with a cage around them, trying to get a larger surface area, hoping to relieve arch pain. There wasn't any improvement. Granted my trail shoes aren't near as stiff as my riding shoes, but I'm thinking the larger platform will make up for this?

    How long do you guys ride on average with the flat pedals? Are long rides problematic? Thanks!
    Not at all sir i go out fo anywhere from 1hr to 4hrs but could go longer, foot pain is never a problem and the best bit is that theres no footwear changing between getting off my bike and going in the bar!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brockwan View Post
    the best bit is that theres no footwear changing between getting off my bike and going in the bar!
    That is an awesome reason!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by theMeat View Post
    It depends on how much traction you want.
    If you want magical, almost locked in feeling, = 5.10s paired with big pinned platforms.
    I have 5.10s and usually ride with Addidas low top basketball shoes which are flat soled/bottomed like a skate shoe. All the grip i need and don't have to lift my foot as much to move it.
    Running shoes or any with lugs are just not as comfy, predictable, or grippy. Especially if it has a separate front and back tread with a valley in between/under your arch as many do. So for me a minimal loss of traction when walking, to gain a lot more on the pedals is a yes.
    noob questions.. what the hell are 5.10s? ha and can u recommend a good pair or big pinned platforms?
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    Flats and shoes

    5.10s are a brand of flat shoes. The company started making climbing shoes only so they know their rubber. They are incredibly sticky. So much so that once you plant your foot on your pedals, you can't slide it around and will need to lift up to adjust the position. Many people swear by them. I think they're heavy and clunky and maybe even too sticky, but to each his own.

    As you can see in this post many people just go with skate style shoes, but bike specific flats have stiffer soles which do provide added power transfer. Nothing like clipless of course, but IMO better than other athletic or skate shoes.

    I just picked up a pair of Teva Links and I think they're great. sticky but not crazy sticky and still have a nice stiffer sole. And still plenty comfortable for any walking or hiking. Plus lighter and better ventilated than 5.10s.

    If you do want stickier but not as clunky, the 5.10 Freestyle VXi are a good option.

    For pedals you can spend above $100 easily for a Spank Spikes, but you can do very well starting out with Wellgo MG-1s or DMR V8 or v12s.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ralj View Post
    5.10s are a brand of flat shoes. The company started making climbing shoes only so they know their rubber. They are incredibly sticky. So much so that once you plant your foot on your pedals, you can't slide it around and will need to lift up to adjust the position. Many people swear by them. I think they're heavy and clunky and maybe even too sticky, but to each his own.

    As you can see in this post many people just go with skate style shoes, but bike specific flats have stiffer soles which do provide added power transfer. Nothing like clipless of course, but IMO better than other athletic or skate shoes.

    I just picked up a pair of Teva Links and I think they're great. sticky but not crazy sticky and still have a nice stiffer sole. And still plenty comfortable for any walking or hiking. Plus lighter and better ventilated than 5.10s.

    If you do want stickier but not as clunky, the 5.10 Freestyle VXi are a good option.

    For pedals you can spend above $100 easily for a Spank Spikes, but you can do very well starting out with Wellgo MG-1s or DMR V8 or v12s.
    Thanks for all the good info!
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    Flats and shoes

    I just got a pair of giro shoes that can be used clip less or flat. So far I really like them and they are very comfortable to walk in but stiff enough to give the right amount of support for riding.

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    If your pedals have pins in them they will tear up the soles of skate shoes, trail runners, cross trainers, light hikers etc. pretty fast. One huge plus to 5.10s and Tevas is that the sole rubber resists ripping and tearing. I have Spank Spikes with 5.10 flats and I think it's the perfect combo but I jump on my bike for short rides with just about whatever is on my feet and I've got a lot of chewed up soles to prove it. Nothing lasts like purpose built riding flat shoes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by senorjax View Post
    If your pedals have pins in them they will tear up the soles of skate shoes, trail runners, cross trainers, light hikers etc. pretty fast. One huge plus to 5.10s and Tevas is that the sole rubber resists ripping and tearing. I have Spank Spikes with 5.10 flats and I think it's the perfect combo but I jump on my bike for short rides with just about whatever is on my feet and I've got a lot of chewed up soles to prove it. Nothing lasts like purpose built riding flat shoes.
    This may be true but not enough to matter. Once your shoes get torn up to the point were it does matter, they probably way stink anyways so buy some new ones. i usually buy new ones, wear them for not riding for a while till they're not so fresh looking, then ride with em. Whatever, it's a free country, just don't get the hype about how fast they get chewed up.
    Round and round we go

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    I might try a lighter model of skate shoe. I have the five tens and agree that whilst they grip/stick great they are heavy, chunky and stiff and quite uncomfortable for me. The stiffness of them makes my feet go numb on most rides of 30 minutes or more. Tried several different sizes with the same results. Never experienced this problem when I used to ride in a lightweight pair of Asic cross trainers.

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    @ theMeat, I was thinking the same as you about some beater trail runners I've got now. I really don't care if they get shredded because they're relegated to grass cutting, stomping around the yard and running in the mud! I know I've got to spend some $$$ soon on something to get my feet some relief, wether its new flat pedals or new clipless shoes. I'd honestly rather try something new. And with flats I can just hop on the bike for a neighborhood jaunt with the kiddos.

    Hey, about the flats themselves - what is the tangible difference between plastic and metal, both with pins? Do you feel the difference in your feet? Thanks again, friends.

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    Never tried plastic so can't say how they feel but they don't deal with bottom strikes well and plastic pins wear and can't be replaced.
    Can't go wrong with Wellgo mg1. Can be had all day on ebay for around 40 bucks shipped.
    Round and round we go

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    I liked the looks of the Moove Torque pedals - nice, pretty colors and metal pins. I get some pedal strikes now, so I think I'll stick with metal. The wellgos look sweet! And plenty of color choices to give my ride some flair!!!

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    There are different pins for various uses. Thin, long, sharp pins for 5.10s and DH/freeride and jumping. Short or stubby pins don't tear up trailrunners and are goodName:  flat iron.jpg
Views: 742
Size:  18.2 KB for trail riding and XC.

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    That makes sense about the different pins. I have seen some pedals that come with two sets or the choice between one or the other. Thanks, man.

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    Use the 'low heels' technique and you will stick like glue with trailrunners and stubbies in almost all conditions. Another bonus is less heat buildup in trailrunners.
    Straight Lines with Fabien Barel - YouTube
    There is a very short learning curve.

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    Skate style shoes or 5.10s with relatively flat soles provide the greatest amount of traction on platform pedals. The amount of stiffness is personal preference but I like a medium stiff shoe like the Teva Links which transitions some power into the pedals and supports the foot more than a pair of Vans, which is good if you're logging a lot of miles. Although trail runners are great for pushing your bike up the occasional hill, the raised lugs make it so that perhaps only half of the pedal pins are stuck into the sole of the shoe and the pins that are stuck are in a lug that has far more flex than an indentation in a skate style sole. So I don't recommend trail runners, they feel squirrely on the pedals. Good compromise shoes that would allow you a fair degree of both walking and pedal traction while also providing a little bit of shank stiffness would be the Merrell Proterra or the 5.10 Guide Tennie.

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    On long 7mm+ pins trailrunners will be torn up. So don't buy those except for your dh bike if you have one. My Asics trailrunners have been perfect for even cheap Walmart aluminum flats with cast short pins-- as long as you employ proper 'low heels' technique. Get that worked out and you'll be fine on just about anything with pins. Azonic Flatirons come with both stubbies and sharps, but less expensive pedals off ebay will work as good with the lugs on your shoes it's technique not equipment.

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    I myself have a comfortable pair of airlwalks that I use with my DMR V8 pedal

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    Thanks for the video link. I've watched that before and been amazed by what he does on a bike, regardless of the type of pedals he uses!

    I definitely do not have a downhill bike, so the equipment better suited to that style of riding isn't what I'm looking for. I've got a rockhopper set up SS as my primary ride (soon to be bubba'd up as a 1x8 so I can commute on it as well). For my intended xc/trail/urban hooligan purposes, how can you tell the size of the pins when only one set is given? I'm leaning toward the dmr v8 or wellgo mg1. As always, thanks again, guys!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ralj View Post
    5.10s are a brand of flat shoes. The company started making climbing shoes only so they know their rubber. They are incredibly sticky. So much so that once you plant your foot on your pedals, you can't slide it around and will need to lift up to adjust the position. Many people swear by them. I think they're heavy and clunky and maybe even too sticky, but to each his own.

    As you can see in this post many people just go with skate style shoes, but bike specific flats have stiffer soles which do provide added power transfer. Nothing like clipless of course, but IMO better than other athletic or skate shoes.

    I just picked up a pair of Teva Links and I think they're great. sticky but not crazy sticky and still have a nice stiffer sole. And still plenty comfortable for any walking or hiking. Plus lighter and better ventilated than 5.10s.

    If you do want stickier but not as clunky, the 5.10 Freestyle VXi are a good option.

    For pedals you can spend above $100 easily for a Spank Spikes, but you can do very well starting out with Wellgo MG-1s or DMR V8 or v12s.
    I ride in a pair if Emerica G6 "skate" shoes on HT flats. I prefer the set up to my old clipless peddles. Modestly less efficient on the climbs but everything else is better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by akaHector View Post
    For my intended xc/trail/urban hooligan purposes, how can you tell the size of the pins when only one set is given? I'm leaning toward the dmr v8 or wellgo mg1. As always, thanks again, guys!
    Wellgo Magnesium Pedals MG 1 Black | eBay
    MG-1s are fine
    These B190s have stubby pins.
    U Z Bike New Wellgo B190 MTB Bike Pedals Set of 2 Black | eBay

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    Eb, thanks for the links! I'll go with either the mg1s or dmr v8, whichever is cheapest that I can find in red! I'm feeling the need for some bling on my ride.

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    Hey, hey, folks! Posting back with an update! Picked up a pair of red DMR V8s from amazon. First impression is all good! I loved them! I was very impressed with the grip, the ease of use vs clipless and the amazing comfort. My left foot was always sore after 20 minutes on spd's and I never was that good getting clipped in at the first attempt. Riding the flats was totally refreshing! Instant engagement, flexibility to move my feet around, really stable platform - I felt instantly connected to the bike and trail. I'm sold!

    I had a few instances where my foot slipped off during upstroke, but I think that is a reflection of a bad habit I had with clipless of really pulling up rather than simply unweighting that foot. That's an issue of technique on my part. When I employed the low heel technique, all was good!

    Thanks, all, for your help! Pics to follow.


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    More pics of the SS rockhopper!




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    Have you tried the Merrel Proterra's with flats? I will be using DMR v8's. Riding pretty light trails, looking for a good hiking shoe

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    Quote Originally Posted by akaHector View Post
    ...... but I think that is a reflection of a bad habit I had with clipless of really pulling up rather than simply unweighting that foot. ..... That's an issue of technique on my part....
    That is not a bad habit with clipless. It is pedaling efficency and proper technique, something you cant get with flats.
    Definitely a different technique between flats & clipless.

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    Some observations from riding a few months on flats:
    First, I enjoy the simplicity of them. No special shoes means the bike is ready to ride all the time. If I end up in a hike a bike, I'm good!

    Second, getting my feet knocked off the pedals in a rock garden really blows! I've come to appreciate the security of a clipless system.

    Third, I think I am a better technical rider in clipless pedals because I can use them to better move the bike up and around trail obstacles.

    I'm not sure I'll stay with flats if I can find a clipless system that keeps my feet from hurting. Having 12 year old shoes may have something to do with that particular problem, though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasoncharles17 View Post
    Have you tried the Merrel Proterra's with flats? I will be using DMR v8's. Riding pretty light trails, looking for a good hiking shoe
    I rode with the Etnies Rap CL shoe for the first time tonight. Its a crossover skate/BMX. It worked really well with my HT flats.

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    Quote Originally Posted by akaHector View Post
    Some observations from riding a few months on flats:
    First, I enjoy the simplicity of them. No special shoes means the bike is ready to ride all the time. If I end up in a hike a bike, I'm good!

    Second, getting my feet knocked off the pedals in a rock garden really blows! I've come to appreciate the security of a clipless system.

    Third, I think I am a better technical rider in clipless pedals because I can use them to better move the bike up and around trail obstacles.

    I'm not sure I'll stay with flats if I can find a clipless system that keeps my feet from hurting. Having 12 year old shoes may have something to do with that particular problem, though.
    With practice you will not get knocked off your pedals. That said new shoes would probably help the clipless pain. Also, you could try a combo pedal like the crank brothers mallet. It will give your foot mor support.

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    Thanks, LB. Not sure which way I'll end up. Might use both systems, depending on my mood. I'm not super picky - I just enjoy being on the bike!

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    I recently installed "campus" pedals so I would have the option on shoes.
    Jury is still out on if I like them.
    Getting the clips in seems harder even with the tension backed waaaay out. Could be just worn cleats.
    Havent tried them with regular shoes yet.

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    If you haven't bought anything yet try the basic old DC Pure skateshoe. The sole of this model is stiffer than a similar priced Vans shoe, but not quite as stiff or grippy as a Teva or 5.10 shoe with a similar overall design. However, you can get three pairs of DC Pure's for one similar styled Teva or 5.10 shoe. So you can destroy them on the pedals, as fast as you can, but in reality the shoe is pretty durable overall.

    In my opinion the Teva and 5.10 shoes do have a grippier soles and more sole stiffness, BUT not 3 times the amount of the cheaper DC pure. DC also make waffle pattern shoes with soles like Vans and a zig-zag pattern with soles like Nike or Enties. I've used many different brands and shoe models over the years and I don't feel a Teva or 5.10 will last any longer than most DC shoe models. Vans, Enties and Nike will certainly fall apart the fastest based on my experience.

    DC also make a shoe with a pretty neat, grippy sole, called the "Tactic-Mid". It costs more than the DC Pure, but less than a similar 5.10 or Teva. They also have a sole pattern in between the Pure and the Tactic-Mid, but I can't remember the model name, but it costs less than the Tactic-mid.
    I use forums as "what-if portals", primarily to explore theoretical approaches. You have been forewarned about what I post.

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    Thanks eb1888 - Just ordered some Welgo MG-1's from Ebay - $32.99 with free shipping.

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    Quote Originally Posted by momosgarage View Post
    If you haven't bought anything yet try the basic old DC Pure skateshoe. The sole of this model is stiffer than a similar priced Vans shoe, but not quite as stiff or grippy as a Teva or 5.10 shoe with a similar overall design. However, you can get three pairs of DC Pure's for one similar styled Teva or 5.10 shoe. So you can destroy them on the pedals, as fast as you can, but in reality the shoe is pretty durable overall.

    In my opinion the Teva and 5.10 shoes do have a grippier soles and more sole stiffness, BUT not 3 times the amount of the cheaper DC pure. DC also make waffle pattern shoes with soles like Vans and a zig-zag pattern with soles like Nike or Enties. I've used many different brands and shoe models over the years and I don't feel a Teva or 5.10 will last any longer than most DC shoe models. Vans, Enties and Nike will certainly fall apart the fastest based on my experience.

    DC also make a shoe with a pretty neat, grippy sole, called the "Tactic-Mid". It costs more than the DC Pure, but less than a similar 5.10 or Teva. They also have a sole pattern in between the Pure and the Tactic-Mid, but I can't remember the model name, but it costs less than the Tactic-mid.
    Try the Etnies Rap CL. Its a crossover Skate/BMX shoe with a protective rubber coating on the toe... It grips and will not fall apart.

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    "That is not a bad habit with clipless. It is pedaling efficency and proper technique, something you cant get with flats.
    Definitely a different technique between flats & clipless."


    That is a myth and is for sure bad habit

    Bike Fitting: The Myth of the Upstroke | Road Cycling UK

    http://www.bikejames.com/wp-content/...dal-Stroke.pdf

    Pulling Up On The Pedals. Right - Or Wrong?

    There is more just do a google search... your pedal stroke shouldn't change from flats to clips or visa versa and neither should your technique in manualing, bunny hopping jumping... ect

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    Quote Originally Posted by akaHector View Post
    Some observations from riding a few months on flats:
    First, I enjoy the simplicity of them. No special shoes means the bike is ready to ride all the time. If I end up in a hike a bike, I'm good!

    Second, getting my feet knocked off the pedals in a rock garden really blows! I've come to appreciate the security of a clipless system.

    Third, I think I am a better technical rider in clipless pedals because I can use them to better move the bike up and around trail obstacles.

    I'm not sure I'll stay with flats if I can find a clipless system that keeps my feet from hurting. Having 12 year old shoes may have something to do with that particular problem, though.
    1. get this dudes book it will change your riding Lee Likes Bikes
    light hands heavy feet. I never loose my feet in rock gardens, Flats will help you learn better, proper riding technique
    2. if you are that much better rider on clips over flats there are probably some serious areas in which you could work on your technique. give it some time. don't give up on flats yet. good flats- bigger thinner platforms will make a difference over cheap pedals and good shoes like 5.10s make a big difference too...

  46. #46
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    5.10s... You won't regret em.

  47. #47
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    I use the five ten shoes and can pull up but it is a learning curve. My feet don't slip off in rock gardens and when the time comes to exit the bike or the bike falls away I am left standing there not sitting there wiping up. I do now own several styles for different stuff. I just picked up the spitefire for a deal cuz someone on this site posted a link killer deal. They are a little softer but still stick like glue. As far as pedals I am now using a Forte Convert from Performance thin with a large platform and wait for the deals.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomfs View Post
    I use the five ten shoes and can pull up but it is a learning curve. My feet don't slip off in rock gardens and when the time comes to exit the bike or the bike falls away I am left standing there not sitting there wiping up. I do now own several styles for different stuff. I just picked up the spitefire for a deal cuz someone on this site posted a link killer deal. They are a little softer but still stick like glue. As far as pedals I am now using a Forte Convert from Performance thin with a large platform and wait for the deals.
    I use the Converts as well. Love the threaded pins, price and large platforms (I have WIDE feet), hate the weight and color selection. Might get something a little flashier down the line when it's time for a new set.

  49. #49
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    No plans to drop the flats at this point. I've really been trying to improve my techniques every chance I get. I think if I ditched the flats now I'd be giving up on them and myself, which I hate to do. So I won't consider going back to clipless exclusively until I feel truly competent on the flats. And when that happens, I'll probably stay on the flats. Ha!

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