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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    New here, need some help.

    Alright I have been wanting to get back into bicycles for a while now. I use to do more BMX with the Mongoose Supergoose but that was years ago and now I am more for the mountain bike thing. After owning a Jeep the off road thing is the way to be. So I got a Trek 4500 and the girlfriend decided to join me and got a Gary Fisher Marlin. Bikes are awesome! Just a little confused on stuff.

    We don’t plan to be heavy into jumps, wood bridges, and all the other more extreme stuff for now. When I say for now… probably a year from now. We will do more of trails and such and I will use mine as well for my 2.5 mile commute to work. So I got two things we cant figure out.

    1. clip in pedals or not? For our style of riding we plan to do would they help any or hurt more? My girlfriend has the simple toe in style right now that just bolt on the front of the pedal because her feet tend to slide around.

    2. Sit down or stand up??? SO confused here. In my old world of bikes you stood up like 90% of the time to get power, speed, tricks, obstacles but not sure now. I watch videos and I see people sitting a lot, including climbing hills… SO for the situations at hand what is the most normal thing to do and why

    Climbing a hill:
    Descending a hill:
    Rock garden up:
    Rock garden down:
    Any other situations we might encounter:

  2. #2
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
    Reputation: crisillo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    about clips...maybe get some cheap ones first and give it a shot..I like them..but you might not....

    about seating/standing

    on flats or climbs I usually sit and spin (only get up to get a bit more speed but not for prolonged periods of time), anytime the trail points down, or there are obstacles, I stand...

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Toe-in straps are a pain. Get rid of those, they only cause issues. Clip in sounds scary at first, but when you get it, you can get out just as fast as if you used flats. So I say, go clip. But they are hard at first and you may fall a lot. So here is some advice. It's hard enough to get out of the pedal when you are new, but if the pedals are new it's even harder. Either borrow or buy used pedals on ebay with worn cleats. They will be easier to get out with. Then when you get the hang of it, you can buy some of your own. I don't suggest getting cheap pedals. You will have a hard time clicking in and out, and you are going to hate it.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: MrMook's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    For clarity's sake:
    "Toe straps" are known officially as Toe Clips.
    Clipless pedals are the "clip in" kind that requre special shoes. Named so because they eliminate the inferior Toe Clip.

    Ok, now down to business. Go clipless. It's simply the best way to ride. If you discover otherwise, then that's fine, but I'd bet money that you're going to love riding clipless once you get the hang of it.

    Sitting and standing is a matter of preference, style, and terrain.

    Descending: Stand
    Not only do I stand for shock absorption, I'm also keeping my weight back for balance and stability. I may sit back down if I'm on a smooth descent, and I want to mash the higher gear for speed.

    Climbing: Sit
    In general, on steep climbs, I keep my butt almost on the nose of the saddle. This gives me consistent power without bobbing, and it keeps my weight fairly centralized, so my front tire doesn't pop up, and my rear tire doesn't loose traction and spin out (like when you stand and climb). Weight forward is especially important when climbing rock gardens, because those babyheads will cause you to wheelie right off the ground if your weight is too far back.

    You may need to adjust accordingly, given your specific terrain. Also learn your gears, because they make a big difference when climbing. I ride singlespeed, so I stand a lot more on climbs, but with gears, you just sit and spin.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: spazzy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    well for you since you have had bmx background i would say go flats it will feel 100% natural to you, i prefer flats instead of clipless, if you had some good flat soft soled shoes they grip awesome, i ride in skateboard style shoes, the dc pill pattern or vans waffle sole fit nicely with pedals, here is an example of some not so expensive but awesome flats

    they are around 30 bucks and have some replacable pins and come in several colors

    and you dont have to have seperate shoes to commute to work with, just hop on the bike and go

    the only negative with flat pedals is if you slip you get some pins in your shin so i would recommend investing in some leg pads also if you start riding rougher more technical trails

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    nice pedals. Yeah right now the shoes I ride with are just some New Balance shoes. I have a problem finding 14 size shoes so I go with what I can for now.

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