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.
mtn. biking 101
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.
Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    42

    is this a good reason to switch to clipless?

    Been riding for one season now and just started my second season of riding. I've been on flats with 5.10 shoes the whole time.

    I've been thinking about switching to clipless this year because of the issues I have with the flats. Mainly it's because I have trouble getting the right foot position on the flat pedals. The 5.10 shoes are so grippy that I can't just slide my foot into the correct position but I have to lift it off the pedal and place it back down to move position. This gets really awkward while going downhill over some really rough terrain and my foot gets bumped off and I have to get it back into position again quickly. It just messes me up and any kind of flow I had going is lost focusing on getting my foot back on the pedal in the right position.

    Would clipless be a good solution for this? I don't really care about the pedaling efficiency benefits but it's a nice bonus I guess.

    My main concern with going clipless is that I wouldn't build up necessary skills first on flats. For example, I suck at bunny hops and the like and I'm worried I'll start "cheating" with clipless.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,118

    is this a good reason to switch to clipless?

    This has been discussed to death in the forums - take your pick of threads to read more opinions than you could possibly want.

    In short, if you are having problems keeping your feet in the correct position on the pedal, then yes, clipless will certainly solve that problem. They probably won't help your' hopping technique


    Quote Originally Posted by Jave View Post
    Been riding for one season now and just started my second season of riding. I've been on flats with 5.10 shoes the whole time.

    I've been thinking about switching to clipless this year because of the issues I have with the flats. Mainly it's because I have trouble getting the right foot position on the flat pedals. The 5.10 shoes are so grippy that I can't just slide my foot into the correct position but I have to lift it off the pedal and place it back down to move position. This gets really awkward while going downhill over some really rough terrain and my foot gets bumped off and I have to get it back into position again quickly. It just messes me up and any kind of flow I had going is lost focusing on getting my foot back on the pedal in the right position.

    Would clipless be a good solution for this? I don't really care about the pedaling efficiency benefits but it's a nice bonus I guess.

    My main concern with going clipless is that I wouldn't build up necessary skills first on flats. For example, I suck at bunny hops and the like and I'm worried I'll start "cheating" with clipless.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: One Pivot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    4,123
    Its an easy topic that people like to complicate.

    Do sticky shoes and pedals help keep your foot in place? Sure... is it nearly as secure as mechanically bolting yourself to the pedals? No! Not at all! clipless keeps your feet secure when things get rocky.

    At the same time, your feet are mechanically tied to your pedals. This means its harder to twist, dab, tweak and get some funk in the air. Its less playful, your feet are in x-position and you have at best 20 degrees or so of twist before you pop out. This is good and bad.

    Do you want to be planted, or do you want your feet to be able to move?

    Its 100% preference and depends on what you're trying to do. Yes, clipless is better for plowing rocks as fast as you can. Yes, clipless is worse for jumps and tricks.

    When I hit a rock garden im glad im clipped in. When i hit a jump I wish I wasnt. Neither is right or better.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mevadus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    141
    There are flat pedals, like the mallets, that are clipless And have studs. My buddy rides mallets, and he loves them. I prefer xt pedals. You probably shouldnt take opinions to heart, but instead find out for yourself. Worse case scenario, you dont like the clipless and decide to sell the pedals on eBay, and probably only lose $20 or so.

  5. #5
    Rep Power: Infinity
    Reputation: NateHawk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    11,895

    is this a good reason to switch to clipless?

    All pedal systems have a learning curve to use them best. Clipless pedals are notorious for their learning curve that results in many embarassing low speed tip over crashes. It sounds to me that you are simply experiencing the learning curve of platform pedals.

    Ride more and practice your technique until it becomes second nature. If you still want to try clipless, then give them a shot. But if you don't have the patience to work through the learning curve of platforms, I can tell that clipless will frustrate you

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: JoePAz's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    2,125
    Quote Originally Posted by Jave View Post
    .. Mainly it's because I have trouble getting the right foot position on the flat pedals. The 5.10 shoes are so grippy that I can't just slide my foot into the correct position but I have to lift it off the pedal and place it back down to move position. ...
    My main concern with going clipless is that I wouldn't build up necessary skills first on flats. For example, I suck at bunny hops and the like and I'm worried I'll start "cheating" with clipless.
    Yes the clipless will put your foot in the right spot every time. That to me helps form as only allows you one position. It is also less likely to be kicked off the pedals. As for skills... I suck at bunny hops too, but so what? I don't think you need to master that skill to be good biker. Even so you can always swap pedals when you want practice skill development and use the clipless when you are on an actual ride.


    As for the learning curve of clipless... You will fall over. 100% certainty, but you will get over it too. I started on flats and moved to clipless at about 3 years in. Great move for me, but I did have alot of low speed tip overs. Then I got good and not so many. Then I stopped riding for 8 years and I when I started back up it was straight to clipless. Guess what.. I had a bunch of low speed tip overs. Then I got the hand of it again and have not had an unable to release incident in months even when tacking tough technical trails.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,118

    is this a good reason to switch to clipless?

    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    As for the learning curve of clipless... You will fall over. 100% certainty...
    ...often when you stop, usually in front of a group of strangers. Or maybe that was just me. Nothing like bailing at the trailhead when you don't clip out in time as your bike falls over. The embarrassing phase passes quickly though.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    55
    I remember my first fall using clipless. My brain was telling my ankle 'Twist damn you twist' but alas to no avail and I gracelessly toppled sideways...

    Cheers

    Danny B

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    171
    You will fall down at least twice on a perfectly flat surface. It will be worth it! IMVVVVHO...

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    42
    Thanks for the replies. I think maybe I'll stick with flats for a while longer as I'm worried I won't get certain techniques down if I switch to clipless now.

    I might try to borrow a buddy's bike and shoes to give it a try at least. Not worried about the slow speed tip overs though, that's what pads are for

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,118

    is this a good reason to switch to clipless?

    See if you can borrow just the pedals (and shoes, of course), so you can get the feel on your bike. Fair warning, at first it will seem like the worst idea ever. You need to go on a number of rides before you can decide if clipless is "worth it"

    Quote Originally Posted by Jave View Post
    Thanks for the replies. I think maybe I'll stick with flats for a while longer as I'm worried I won't get certain techniques down if I switch to clipless now.

    I might try to borrow a buddy's bike and shoes to give it a try at least. Not worried about the slow speed tip overs though, that's what pads are for

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: DEALAH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    45
    Ha ha ha! I thought I was the only one. Still have the scar where my calf was impaled on my chainring... Of course this happened in the driveway. Small price to pay though, clipless is the only way for me.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    5,054
    You may be setup with flats with too much stick for your terrain. You can vary the height of the pins to reduce the stick.Take them down to 3mm and see how that works. They're tuneable. As an alternative you can use pedals with fatter knobby pins and trailrunners for enough hold for lots of trails when used with the low heels technique.
    You decide how much grip you need.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: bigfruits's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    778
    give them a few more rides. i dont think about moving my foot anymore on 5.10/flats. you get used to the slight lift and slide.

    if you have the money and patience, try clipless. on some trails id rather wear those.

  15. #15
    T.W.O.
    Reputation: mimi1885's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    8,011
    Quote Originally Posted by Jave View Post
    Thanks for the replies. I think maybe I'll stick with flats for a while longer as I'm worried I won't get certain techniques down if I switch to clipless now.

    I might try to borrow a buddy's bike and shoes to give it a try at least. Not worried about the slow speed tip overs though, that's what pads are for
    Most technique would transfer from flat to clipless but not the other way around. If you can borrow your friends set up for a few ride then it would be a good idea. Using both can relly improve your riding skills.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Fuglio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    2,624
    Quote Originally Posted by Jave View Post
    I suck at bunny hops and the like and I'm worried I'll start "cheating" with clipless.
    What? if that's the only thing keeping you from clip-less then go for it! but like nightnate said,"Your still learning how to ride flats!".... What pedals are you using, can you take some pins out? some flats are just way to sticky shorter pins could also help

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,245
    umm, if you have trouble getting your feet in the right spot on a flat pedal during bumpy trail riding, you'll have a worse time trying to clip in. I ride clipless,and unclip a leg going around tighter switch backs, for just in case situations and also shift my weight. The time I spend clipping in is the worst part of clipless. Going down drops, and technical terrain that's not a switchback, I love the clipless keeping the bike attached to me.

  18. #18
    'Tis but a scratch
    Reputation: huffster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    1,894
    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885 View Post
    Using both can really improve your riding skills.
    ^This. I tend to ride flats in the winter so I can wear warm, waterproof hiking boots. When it warms up, I go back to clipless. I truly think that being capable with both has helped improve my riding skills.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    4
    I'd say give clipless pedal a try, in my opinion, clipless is way more stable on fast straight line, they keep you on the bike. Switchback might be hard in the beginning with clipless pedal but you will probably get used to it.

    I know you said you didn't cared about pedaling efficiency but the gain is not neglectable. When pedaling you will quickly see you have more power with clipless pedal.

Similar Threads

  1. Wow, If this ain't a good enough reason...
    By iBallz in forum Nutrition and Hydration
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-10-2012, 06:45 PM
  2. Make the switch to clipless after wreck?
    By jrk07 in forum California - Norcal
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 11-09-2011, 05:34 PM
  3. Convinced myself to switch to clipless (M530) ... it's SHOE time
    By fda47 in forum Apparel and Protection
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-16-2011, 06:41 PM
  4. Replies: 9
    Last Post: 05-18-2011, 08:16 AM
  5. Tried to switch to clipless, didn't even make it 1/4 mile
    By caspio in forum Beginner's Corner
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 02-03-2011, 12:30 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •