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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    Keep Getting Knocked Off my Pedals on Uphills

    Okay, I'm a beginner to this sport and have enjoyed every moment I have on my bike except for on the uphill sections where it starts to get rocky, I'll often find that I have to keep pedaling and as my rear tire makes contact my feet will get bucked off and I lose all momentum and have to walk my bike past that section to continue my ride. The accent is relatively steep so I can't carry a whole lot of speed to be able to make it up the rocks without pumping away.

    My bike is an Iron Horse Quantum II which is a hard tail with Rock Shok Dart 1s up front. I have standard pedals and wear flat soled skate shoes while riding. I enjoy riding the HT as it's practical for me, the only issue I have with it is what is stated here and that I'll need to upgrade the forks.

    Is there anything I can do to alleviate this issue, or am I doomed to having to walk these sections due to owning a HT?

    Thank you for any advice on this matter.

  2. #2
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    this is exactly why most XC riders use clipless pedals like Shimano SPD or Crankbros Eggbeaters. or you could try some extra-sticky metal pedals and some sticky shoes like Five.Ten sneakers. however, when your shoes slip off the those sharp pedals on a rocky uphill, watch out for lacerated shins.

    I don't want to start another clipless/platform debate (we have two of those a we your week here), but I think that would the best solution. riding in platforms will definitely improve your technique because some people can and do climb, decent, and fly through any terrain on platform pedals, but really clipping in is a way to improve confidence and security on your pedals.

  3. #3
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    Good flat pedals/shoe combo or go clipless.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies. I was looking at some Five. Ten's online and my LBS carries them so that's a route I'll likely go. Clipless sounds like a good idea, but I feel that sometimes I wan't my feet to come off and when I need them to, that would be the time they don't. LOL.

    I'll look into getting some good shoes and some decent pedals, and I'll be sure to look out for my shins.

    Again, I really appreciate the advice.

  5. #5
    undercover brother
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    Quote Originally Posted by JWatIV View Post
    Thanks for the replies. I was looking at some Five. Ten's online and my LBS carries them so that's a route I'll likely go. Clipless sounds like a good idea, but I feel that sometimes I wan't my feet to come off and when I need them to, that would be the time they don't. LOL.

    I'll look into getting some good shoes and some decent pedals, and I'll be sure to look out for my shins.

    Again, I really appreciate the advice.
    I ride both. Flats require more skill, and clipless allows you to ride faster. Most people who don't like clipless say that they are afraid that they won't be able to become unclipped when they need to. After a little while, unclipping becomes a very fluent and natural motion and reaction. I have never had an issue where I was "stuck" in my pedals, and most who ride clipless will say the same thing. IMO, you should ride both.

  6. #6
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    for what it's worth, i can think of very few times when I have been unable to unclip and got hurt because of it. when I started riding and had platforms (sharp ones! with sticky shoes), there were many more times when I could not clean a climb or got ejected in a technical section because my feet just bounced off.

  7. #7
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    Clipless isn't the solution to this problem; it's a work-around, but it's not a solution. The main problem here is that you're not absorbing the impact you're getting from the rear wheel which is bucking your feet. I would investigate your tire pressure as a first step, do you know what it's set at and do you check it regularly?

    Skills:
    - Drop your heels when you ride, especially when you're in tricky terrain. You gain extra shock absorption through the ankles and you change the traction force of your shoes from front to back only to one that allows you resistance to your feet coming off the pedal upwards.
    - Get loose. Suck up those hits that move your feet. Let your legs get loose even when you're pedaling through the rough stuff.

    Equipment:
    - Buy good pedals. Cheap shoes grip good pedals much better than good shoes grip cheap pedals. You don't have to buy Straitline or Canfield (if you do, then you won't have to worry about buying pedals anymore) but don't settle for anything less than a pedal with removable traction pins.
    - 5.10 shoes are amazing; any flat pedal specific shoe is a good investment if you're going to run flats for a long time.

    If clipless pedals were the solution to rough terrain then you wouldn't see too many people riding flats. Turns out that it's all technique. There are plenty of good reasons to run clipless pedals, but never let them mask a skill deficiency.
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  8. #8
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    JWat, I'm in the same situation as you. New rider, feet bounce off flat pedals, walking parts of trails while watching friends power right through it.
    I have had the chance to try clipless SPD on the same trails I ride flats, and it does make a difference. I definitely had the fear of not coming out of the pedals. Going OTB once helped me learn that my feet will come out without much conscious effort on my part. It's just a huge mental issue more then anything.
    The first half of my ride clipped in, I rode horribly because I was afraid of not getting feet out if needed, just couldn't get it out of my head. By the end of the ride I was getting over the mental and cleared a couple sections that previously beat me.
    If your LBS has rentals with clipless pedals, see if you can get a hold of one for a couple days and try it out. That will give you an idea if you want to go that route or not. Take a little time to practice on easier trails first of course.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    Clipless isn't the solution to this problem; it's a work-around, but it's not a solution. The main problem here is that you're not absorbing the impact you're getting from the rear wheel which is bucking your feet. I would investigate your tire pressure as a first step, do you know what it's set at and do you check it regularly?

    Skills:
    - Drop your heels when you ride, especially when you're in tricky terrain. You gain extra shock absorption through the ankles and you change the traction force of your shoes from front to back only to one that allows you resistance to your feet coming off the pedal upwards.
    - Get loose. Suck up those hits that move your feet. Let your legs get loose even when you're pedaling through the rough stuff.

    Equipment:
    - Buy good pedals. Cheap shoes grip good pedals much better than good shoes grip cheap pedals. You don't have to buy Straitline or Canfield (if you do, then you won't have to worry about buying pedals anymore) but don't settle for anything less than a pedal with removable traction pins.
    - 5.10 shoes are amazing; any flat pedal specific shoe is a good investment if you're going to run flats for a long time.

    If clipless pedals were the solution to rough terrain then you wouldn't see too many people riding flats. Turns out that it's all technique. There are plenty of good reasons to run clipless pedals, but never let them mask a skill deficiency.
    Thanks for the info. You snuck this in between the time I clicked on the thread and posted my response, so I didn't see this before posting. It looks like I have some technique to work on as well.

  10. #10
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    Here's the video for low heels techique.
    Straight Lines with Fabien Barel - Best quality!
    Until you get better pedals, use some shoes with light lugs, like trailrunners, if you have some. They will help you stick to cheaper pedals with cast pins if you use the low heels tip.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    Clipless isn't the solution to this problem; it's a work-around, but it's not a solution. The main problem here is that you're not absorbing the impact you're getting from the rear wheel which is bucking your feet. I would investigate your tire pressure as a first step, do you know what it's set at and do you check it regularly?

    Skills:
    - Drop your heels when you ride, especially when you're in tricky terrain. You gain extra shock absorption through the ankles and you change the traction force of your shoes from front to back only to one that allows you resistance to your feet coming off the pedal upwards.
    - Get loose. Suck up those hits that move your feet. Let your legs get loose even when you're pedaling through the rough stuff.
    Absolutely.

    The keywords for me is beginner and Hard Tail. You don't have the added shock absorption from having a rear shock riding a HT like you do with a FS bike. So bumps as described takes a little more understanding and skill set to over come. Adjusting the tire pressure in the rear tire is a good way to achieve this and help absorb shock. It's going to take some saddle time but you will get the hang of it. Changing out your standard pedals for some with better gripping isn't a bad idea either. I don't recommend clipless for beginners but that is another story.

  12. #12
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    If you wanted to try both look at Shimano m324 pedals. Flats on one side and spd on the other.

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by rynoman03 View Post
    If you wanted to try both look at Shimano m324 pedals. Flats on one side and spd on the other.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
    I rode a bike with those dual pedals last week. Personally I didn't care for them, as I found myself constantly fighting with which side the pedal was on. I think what compounded my problem though, was that the clipless side was raised above flat pedal level and so I could feel it each time the pedal rolled to that side since I was riding flat.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by joshh View Post
    I rode a bike with those dual pedals last week. Personally I didn't care for them, as I found myself constantly fighting with which side the pedal was on. I think what compounded my problem though, was that the clipless side was raised above flat pedal level and so I could feel it each time the pedal rolled to that side since I was riding flat.
    Well i have been looking at them myself. I just went clipless last week. Some folks really like that pedal. I understand your dislike though. Forte makes a decently priced flat too.

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  15. #15
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    zebrahum hit it on the head, Drop your heels (this is critical while at speed aswell, if your on your feet are level with the trail you will get bucked off at speed, and thats bad). but the hardest thing when your new is keeping a steady fluid motion for your peddling as the trail gets rough and punchy, sometimes you gotta kinda squat just getting your butt up off the seat and inch or so. But the biggest key is keeping your peddle strokes even paced and even strength, this will also help your balance.

    Bigger flat peddles with aggressive pins help too (although can be hard on the shins), and "sticky" flat shoes can also help a bit.

    But technique i think is what you need to work on, which is awesome because it means you get to ride more .
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  16. #16
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    Oh, one issue I have run into the few times I have put the ball of my feet on the pedals and lowered my heels: Clown shoes hit the ground. I have size 13 US, 48-49 EU (depending on brand) and I have drug my heels more then once when rolling my feet back like that. Just more technique for me to work on.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    Clipless isn't the solution to this problem; it's a work-around, but it's not a solution. The main problem here is that you're not absorbing the impact you're getting from the rear wheel which is bucking your feet. I would investigate your tire pressure as a first step, do you know what it's set at and do you check it regularly?
    this! i prefer riding clipless pedals, but clipping in is certainly no solution to bad technique. I can probably clean most of the stuff with platforms that I do with my SPDs, but it would take some un-learning to get used to the platforms at this point. work on technique, then, if you want to, go clipless to accentuate your bike-handling skills.

    tire pressure is often assumed. on my first ever mtb ride, i had my tires at 65 psi on a rigid single speed 26" bike with platform pedals and skate shoes. being inexperienced and a 140 pound rider, I got bucked all over the place and nearly died in a rock garden. the riding buddy who was showing me through the trails laughed and I let my tires down to 30 psi and it made a huge difference!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by JWatIV View Post
    Okay, I'm a beginner to this sport and have enjoyed every moment I have on my bike except for on the uphill sections where it starts to get rocky, I'll often find that I have to keep pedaling and as my rear tire makes contact my feet will get bucked off and I lose all momentum and have to walk my bike past that section to continue my ride. The accent is relatively steep so I can't carry a whole lot of speed to be able to make it up the rocks without pumping away.

    My bike is an Iron Horse Quantum II which is a hard tail with Rock Shok Dart 1s up front. I have standard pedals and wear flat soled skate shoes while riding. I enjoy riding the HT as it's practical for me, the only issue I have with it is what is stated here and that I'll need to upgrade the forks.

    Is there anything I can do to alleviate this issue, or am I doomed to having to walk these sections due to owning a HT?

    Thank you for any advice on this matter.
    Skill issue, you need to go back and try each section once or twice during a climb...think about where the rear tire is (does not follow the front tire path)...think about popping the rear wheel over obstacles (bunny hop)....

    Cleated pedals will tend to make all of this easier.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by rynoman03 View Post
    If you wanted to try both look at Shimano m324 pedals. Flats on one side and spd on the other.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
    I don't recommend that pedal or any of the dual sided pedals. Best case, they function as a mediocre version of a flat or a clipless pedal; worst case, they are hopeless at one or both (usually the flat pedal side). They rarely have the side up you want and they're not light. Very frustrating in practice even though the concept is pretty solid.

    Buy two sets of pedals and a pedal wrench. Don't compromise on the most important part of a bicycle.
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  20. #20
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    Zebrahum nailed it. I am a beginner as well and use to have these issues. I am running the forte covert pedals. They have a nice large platform and tons of grip. Also they are low profile and cheap. Picked mine up for $45.00. Another thing that I found contributed to coming off the pedals uphill is if your pedaling/spinning fast when you hit an obstacle. You want to keep going but the bike wants to stop. It is easy to get that front tire up and over but you really have to time your pedaling to be able to unweight the rear and sort of hop the back tire over. You can practice that on any curb though. A couple weeks ago I converted to singlespeed. Strangely since then I have had less trouble with uphill obstacles. I attribute this to what I said above. Instead of being able to pedal fast I have to really power through obstacles.

    Hope this all makes since and helps you out. Again I am a beginner as well and these are my own observations based on what I have read and learned myself.

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  21. #21
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    I'm for trying some techniques before buying new parts. You say you're getting bucked off on uphill climbs? As in...you're pedaling through a rocky section, and the loose rocks sometimes make your rear wheel spin out and you loose forward momentum?

    That sounds like a common issue to beginners, so the fact that you're asking about it means you're headed in the right direction. I'm guessing you've got gears on your bike. Otherwise SS involves different technique.

    When climbing loose stuff, make sure you've got your butt planted towards the back of the seat. This puts the required weight on the back tire to give it as much traction as possible.

    Experiment with which low gear is best for that stretch of hill. We can't see the hill you're talking about, and riders with different experiences will choose different gearing to tackle a hill. This is simply about learning through experience. The more you ride, the more your brain will build a catalog of what gearing works for what hill. If you're a beginner, you're still building that mental catalog, so don't fret it.

    Powering up a hill is more than just blind hammering of one foot over another. The real trick to learn is applying power smoothly. Any sudden change in power will break your rear wheel loose and cause you to stall. This part is again just practice.

    At the end of the day, some hills just suck and require walking.

  22. #22
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    Most new bikes come with pedals that look something like this.



    A lot of new riders confuse those with "platform" pedals. When we talk about platform pedals, we mean something like this:



    In the case of platform pedals, I feel that the pedal is as important or more important than the shoe.

    I use pedals with good replaceable spikes and just any good flat skate-style shoe. I don't have any problems with my feet either bouncing or slipping off the pedals.
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  23. #23
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    This thread is total win.

  24. #24
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    There is another option that hasn't been mentioned ,cages and straps. They are people used before clipless. Very old school,when I started riding clipless wasn't around and I hated having my feet bounce off the pedals. They might be a little hard to find ,but they are cheep around 20$ . If you don't want to be in the cage then you can ride the other side of the pedal.

  25. #25
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    Make sure you're in the right gear going into the uphill. A lot of times I would bounce off my pedals when in the wrong gear... I'd hard shift in the uphill and when the gears would catch, it would bounce my foot off the pedal and I'd have to bail. Try some decent platforms and a good shoe and make sure you're in the right gear.

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