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. #1
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    I keep falling over with clipless pedals, I might switch to flats

    I've been riding with clipless pedals for about 4 months now, off road and on road. I love them on road, but off road on the twisty trails and over roots etc, i feel to keep falling over where I can't get my foot out. I don't panic or anything, but I come to a stop at an obsticle where I do not think I can go through, I stop and fall over because I can't get my feet out all the time.

    I am thinking of going with flat pedals. I just can't keep landing on my right shoulder (I went OTB a months ago and it is still sore) its killing my shoulder again.

    Has anyone else experienced what I am experiencing?

  2. #2
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    Everyone is about to follow me with comments on how to adjust your pedals and cleats or changing the spring tension or practicing more or something, so I'll leave that to them.

    I've met plenty of people who just plain don't like clipless pedals and have gone back to flats for XC riding. Let's face it, if you don't feel comfortable then you aren't going to have the confidence needed to clean things like twisty trails and roots. I say put your clipless in the closet for a while and really get comfortable with bike handling. I'm going to try flats on all my bikes (except my singlespeed) this year. So as long as you can handle being bombarded constantly with people telling you that you should switch to clipless, then I say give it a try.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  3. #3
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    You can adjust the tension. I have my SPD pedals set fairly loose, and they are a breeze to get out.
    Bone stock Gary Fisher Piranha

  4. #4
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    Yeah I guess I am not all that comfortable in handling my bike. I might have jumped to clipless too quickly. I've only been riding a couple of months. Mainly I only went offroad like 4-5 times.

    I think I'm headed to flats for now.

  5. #5
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    Consider getting pedals similar to the Forte Campus pedals that are clipless on one side and flat on the other. That way you can ride clipless on road and flats off road.
    ↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → В А

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon76
    Consider getting pedals similar to the Forte Campus pedals that are clipless on one side and flat on the other. That way you can ride clipless on road and flats off road.
    Don't do this. You have clipless pedals, you don't need a split pedal. There is nothing worse than wanting to clip in while pedaling and hitting the platform side over and over. The idea is good, but the product isn't. If you wanted clipless on road, then buy a pedal wrench and learn how to not cross thread.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum
    Don't do this. You have clipless pedals, you don't need a split pedal. There is nothing worse than wanting to clip in while pedaling and hitting the platform side over and over. The idea is good, but the product isn't. If you wanted clipless on road, then buy a pedal wrench and learn how to not cross thread.
    I have Forte Campus pedals on 2 bikes right now. I ride an average of just over 3,000 miles a year (mostly commuting) and I haven't had any problems with them. I'd suggest that you do some research, read some reviews, and doing what you think is best for you. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
    ↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → В А

  8. #8
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    +1 on the avoid dual flat/clipless, they are bad flats and bad clippies.

    Do lots of searching on 5.10/kona wah wah.

    Cheap flats compared to SPDs is no contest, spds win.
    When you get a proper pair of shoes with a well designed set of flat pedals there isn't much in it.

    I used to be an SPD rider, I am now a 100% flat convert, the main reason is that I am no longer worried about falling, so take more risks and have more fun.
    Why would I care about 150g of bike weight, I just ate 400g of cookies while reading this?

  9. #9
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    solomon...play much contra back in the day did you?

  10. #10
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    Maybe ride on easier territory until your balance is good or you're used to the bike and practice clipping and unclipping while doing those rides.

    IMO they're well worth using. The extra efficiency and power gained from having them was for me far greater than I thought.

    If that really can't be done then use flats for a while until you're used to the tracks you ride then change over.
    If you go that way some pedal swapping will be of value i.e. go for frequent easy rides using the clipless. It's only a 5 minute job to change them.

  11. #11
    usually cranky
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    i think it helped me alot that i got really comfortable with all types of terrain on flats and then switched to clips. youre right, you may have rushed into it.

  12. #12
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    me riding clipless in ny is a suicide mission.

  13. #13
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    to each his own. it only took me 5 minutes to get comfy with clipless. so maybe switching to flats would be a good idea for you. 4 months is a long learning curve and you should be comfortable by now. however, if you haven't practiced clipping in and out much due to all of the road riding, that could be an issue.

  14. #14
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    i aggree with get more trail time with flats, get comfortable with your bike and the terrain, and THEN give clipless a try...

    trying too many new things at the same time in anything, especially extreme activities, is the perfect formula for NO FUN.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by tracerprix
    I've been riding with clipless pedals for about 4 months now, off road and on road. I love them on road, but off road on the twisty trails and over roots etc, i feel to keep falling over where I can't get my foot out. I don't panic or anything, but I come to a stop at an obsticle where I do not think I can go through, I stop and fall over because I can't get my feet out all the time.

    I am thinking of going with flat pedals. I just can't keep landing on my right shoulder (I went OTB a months ago and it is still sore) its killing my shoulder again.

    Has anyone else experienced what I am experiencing?

    Answer is simple...don't stop. really I've been riding MTB for over 20 years and clipless for the last 15. Once you get used to them you won't want to go back. I'd recommend that you switch out the SPD cleats to Shimano's multi release cleat if you're having problems realeasing quickly. The cleats that come with the pedals are not multi release. Using these cleats might make it easier for you to get out when you stop.

  16. #16
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    I agree partially with was98strat. Just keep using them and eventually you'll get used to them. I bought some cheap Shimano 520's and from the first day I set them at the lowest tension so I could get out of them. I could easily get out of them if I had time to think about it while slowing down but if I came to a sudden stop I'd almost always forget to unclip and I'd fall over. Same thing with going up a hill and running out of steam or momentum. This went on for months! Eventually unclipping became something I stopped thinking about and instead became something I did naturally. Just like lifting my foot off a flat pedal to clear the studs. Now I can get my feet down just as fast as with my old flats. It just took a long time to get there. My only disagreement is with the multi-release cleats. I bought a pair of them thinking they would be better since I could release at more than just one angle. And that's exactly what happend. If I slightly twisted my foot in any direction I would unclip. Sometimes just pulling up sharply would cause me to unclip. All the advantages of being clipped in just disappeared. Stay with the regular cleats and keep practicing. One other word of note: make sure you keep your pedals clean of dirt and your cleats clean as well. I found that dried mud around the edges of the cleats make it harder to unclip.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by was98strat
    Answer is simple...don't stop. really I've been riding MTB for over 20 years and clipless for the last 15. Once you get used to them you won't want to go back. I'd recommend that you switch out the SPD cleats to Shimano's multi release cleat if you're having problems realeasing quickly. The cleats that come with the pedals are not multi release. Using these cleats might make it easier for you to get out when you stop.
    Yeah, but here's the difference. You were mountain biking for 5 years before you switched, the OP has been riding for 4 months. Clipless have benefits, no doubt. But the OP needs to get their bike skills up to a level where they can start cleaning some of the technical sections. And that's not going to happen if someone is concerned about falling over attached to a bike if they try something. You can bail easy on flats, clipless once the skills come up to the level of the riding you're trying to do.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  18. #18
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    What pedals are you using? This is very important for us to know to help you. I only use Shimano SPD's and if you turn the tension all the way down I don't see how you couldn't get your feet out in time.

    BTW I also can't stand combo pedals.

  19. #19
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    You know, I always wondered if that's true. I rode for more than 3 1/2 years on flats before I switched to clipless. The guys at the bike shop who sold me the bike told me to go clipless right off the bat and I thought they were crazy! Just two weeks ago and old friend of mine started riding mountain bikes for the first time and he's using clipless. Obviously he's wrecking quite often but most of the time it's not because he can't unclip. It's usually being in the wrong gear, taking a turn to fast/slow, or bad form. I hate to admit that he's having less trouble learning to unclip than I did. The trails we're riding on are not beginner trails either. Well, not entirely. There are some intermediate features on all the trails we ride and he tackles them with aplumb. Perhaps my friend is the exception and not the rule.

  20. #20
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    I have the SPD M520's. I will try to adjust the tension. Does it stop when you get to the tightest and the loosest adjustments? Maybe I will adjust these loose and try it again.

    Maybe I will pickup flats and try that to see which I feel more comfortable with.

    I could keep swapping out pedals too.

  21. #21
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    I'm pretty sure that the tensioner adjustment will stop once you reach either the maximum or minimum setting. As for which pedal will feel more comfortable I can tell you right now the flat pedals will. We all grew up riding on flat pedals so we have experience with them plus the thought of being connected to the bike is not an easy one to get use to. But with flat pedals you won't have all the advantages of being clipped in. And trust me, it's worth the learning curve to stick with clipless pedals. They will help you become a better rider.

  22. #22
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    Obviously I am undecided, but I figure I should adjust it to just see what happens. Thanks.

    Mike

  23. #23
    LWP
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    I'm 100% comfy with clipless, I use them on my road bikes and used them for years for XC. I now ride nothing but flats offroad. I've decided I prefer it for the type of riding I do, I really don't care what anyone else thinks or says about it (not that anybody has ever said anything about it outside of internet forums).

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum
    I've met plenty of people who just plain don't like clipless pedals and have gone back to flats for XC riding. Let's face it, if you don't feel comfortable then you aren't going to have the confidence needed to clean things like twisty trails and roots.
    Weird...I feel exactly the opposite, I don't have any confidence when I'm not clipped in--I'm always afraid my feet will slip off the pedals (and they do at times). Then again, I've been using clipless since the early 90s, and I used toeclips and straps before that (and on my road bike, I used cleats and straps--which you really can't get out of), so I'm used to them.

    I've ridden with lots of guys who prefer flats, and I respect their choice--I just don't understand it.

  25. #25
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    ... and if we just ...

    Quote Originally Posted by tracerprix
    I have the SPD M520's. I will try to adjust the tension. Does it stop when you get to the tightest and the loosest adjustments? Maybe I will adjust these loose and try it again.

    Maybe I will pickup flats and try that to see which I feel more comfortable with.

    I could keep swapping out pedals too.
    There should be two screws on each pedal. You turn each screw counterclockwise to loosen the tension. While turning the screw there will be a washer shaped piece of metal that gets closer to the head of the screw. When this bottoms out on the pedal housing the pedals are fully loose. If you do this I bet you will no longer have problems getting unclipped.

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