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 16 of 16
  1. #1
    "Oldfart from Wayback"
    Reputation: onbelaydave's Avatar
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    Not a newbie to MB but a potential newbie to clipless

    I've been "all mountain riding" since '88, all on the same old DiamondBack, with way too many rebuilds. I stuck toeclips on my flat peddles a few weeks after I bought my bike and have ridden it that way ever since. I was falling over because I couldn't keep my feet on the peddles when I needed too. I can't remember a time since then, that I couldn't get my feet out of the clips when I "thought" I was going over. I've wrecked too many times to count when I just wouldn't give up or just plain crashed, but never from being able to unclip from my toeclips when I needed to.

    I just decided to get a major upgrade this past weekend, and have a FS bike coming this week, that comes stock w/clipless. I'm torn to just sticking w/my old pedals and clips or "trying" a clipless pair of shoes. How much of a difference is there between ridding "in clips" and "clipless" ?

  2. #2
    ride hard take risks
    Reputation: dogonfr's Avatar
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    Thats a tough call. Im a original BMX'er from 27 years ago got into MTB 7 years ago riding DH/AM & am to chicken to try clipless. I ride flat pedals with pins.

  3. #3
    local trails rider
    Reputation: perttime's Avatar
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    I cannot remember clipped(?) pedals that well but...
    clipless seems to hold the shoe very well and getting out is always fast. The movement to get out of clipless is very different from what you need to do to get out of clips: you just move (or twist) your heel away from the bike.

  4. #4
    Full of holes
    Reputation: SwissBuster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onbelaydave
    How much of a difference is there between ridding "in clips" and "clipless" ?
    Quite a bit.

    It sounds like you are using your clips without cleated shoes (back in the day, you had a metal plate hammered into the soul of the shoe with a grove in it. The grove caught the edge of the pedal so you were effectively clipped in). This allows your foot to move on the pedal somewhat and you will be able pull your foot out in an emergency without undoing the toestrap.

    The clipless pedals hold your foot better (position is correct and the grip is firm), and there is a quick release mechanism that allows you to pull your foot out in an emergency (once you learn that trick!). The downside is learning this trick - most people take a couple of spills before the unclipping becomes autmatic.

    If you have the cash, I'd advise that you try clipless!

  5. #5
    Nice no rass
    Reputation: Too Rass Goat's Avatar
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    I rode flats with clips for years myself. My new dually came with clipless so I gave them a shot as soon as it arrived. I gotta say, it's as easy or even easier to come out of these than cages. Getting clipped in is taking some practice, but coming out is not a problem at all.

    Mine came with cheap Shimano 505's (so I'm sure they aren't the easiest/smoothest to operate), ordered a pair of eggbeaters and will replace the 505's as soon as the eggs arrive.

    You'll like the clipless with the exception of the gay looking shoes

  6. #6
    Collector of Scars
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    Quote Originally Posted by Too Rass Goat
    You'll like the clipless with the exception of the gay looking shoes
    They don't ALL look gay, maybe it's just your taste when buying shoes?

    Nah, seriously, tho, I rode flats for about 3 months, then swapped for cages for about 1 ride. When I biff, at least, my foot doesn't seem to come out of the cages and I end up hurt more than I needed to be. With the clipless pedals, you get all the benefits of being connected to the bike, but you're still able to pop out of them when you need to. I don't think you should have much trouble with the transition, especially if you've been riding cages as long as you have. It should be a breeze for you, and I think you're gonna be more comfortable with the shoes and pedals.

    Ross
    "I don't wanna die without any scars. So come on, let's do it before I lose my nerve" - Tyler Durden (Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk)

  7. #7
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    you won't regret clipless, they take a bit to get used to but it's worth a couple crashes. It'll improve your riding even if you think you can't improve anymore

  8. #8
    Work Hard, Play Harder
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    Yeah go for the clipless. In my opinion it's way more efficient. I threw a set of shimano 520's on my bike and dove into the clipless scene head first. I had a few spills but nothing major. They have definitely made me a better rider and I would never even think about going back to toe clips again.
    06 Rocky Mountain ETSX - Full XTR, Fox Shox, Crossmax XL Wheels

  9. #9
    "Oldfart from Wayback"
    Reputation: onbelaydave's Avatar
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    My new bike comes w/ Shimano 520's

    I'd like to give the clipless a go. I can always swap out the pedals if I'm too old to learn a new trick or two.

  10. #10
    local trails rider
    Reputation: perttime's Avatar
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    I am not exactly a kid (except to my parents) and I managed to learn to live with my Time pedals...

    Get a feel for the motions you need to do, for clipping in and out, before you ride far from home. It took me some rides to feel confident that I can get out of the pedals.

  11. #11
    I play hard to want
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    They will take some getting used to, but after a few rides you'll really appreciate the power difference, and clipping in and out starts to come naturally. I, for one, will never go back to platforms.

  12. #12
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    even if you dont stick with the clipless, cycling shoes are better for riding in because of the stiff soles. they'll prevent arch soreness and improve power transfer. just make sure you buy shoes that fit well, most cycling shoes seem to be made on italian lasts that are narrower than normal feet.

  13. #13
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    I was a BMX'r back in the day and still remember all the times my foot would slip and I would walk around cursing for a few days. Even with gummy shoes like vans and good pedals like bearclaws it was only a matter of time until your shins were bleeding.

    When I first started Mt. Biking almost everyone used toe clips (cages as some refer to them) and there were a few guys that came from road biking that rode w/clipped in solutions. I remember that distictively because we used to make fun of them every time they fell. I would imagine that half the time it didn't have anything to do with the pedals but that's what we all blamed it on.

    None-the-less I just recently purchased a new bike w/clips too. My only advice is get a good pair of shoes. I originally tried on the $80 hiking shoe kind with cost and no need for a fashion show in mind. Before I purchased them I tried on a pair of the shoes that look more what I always associated with road bikers. Let me tell you the difference is like night and day.

    On the down side I did like the abilitly to move my foot around on the pedals back in the toe clip days and sometimes feel a little restricted with my clipped solution. I've only been riding with the clips for a few weeks and I have taken a few really good spills from not being able to get out in time. However I'm sure time will fix these problems. I also have had a little bit of a learning curve getting back into them when I may have stopped in the middle of an uphill. Once again I think this just has to do with my inexperience with them.

    All in all I'm really satisfied with them and feel like I get a lot more power out of them. Plus I like that you can really pull up with them. In toe-clips you could pull up but not as efficiently as you can with these. I hope that helps!

  14. #14
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    ... and if we just ... Some of us still use toe clips and straps

    Quote Originally Posted by smear3
    On the down side I did like the abilitly to move my foot around on the pedals back in the toe clip days and sometimes feel a little restricted with my clipped solution.
    This is one of the issues that I can not get past with clipless so I am old school and use toe clips and straps for off road and clipless for the road bike.

    During the long wet winter we had it was interesting to watch my buddies who ride clipless have to constantly dig out snow, mud, rocks from thier pedals before that could clip in. All I had to do stuff my foot in the pedal- I am so old school that I even have water proof covers that go over the toe clip part and keep alot of the muck off of you foot.

    The best change I ever made was years and years ago of getting a dedicated cycling shoe- the reduced foot fatigue and increased power transfer was well worth the cost of the shoes.
    I bike; therefore, I work

  15. #15
    "Oldfart from Wayback"
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    Some of my favorite trails for more info

    Anything in Horsetooth Mtn. Pk , W of Ft. Collins especially Mills, West Ridge, and Spring Crk , downhill from the Towers on a weekly basis. Youngs' up the Poudre, and Crosier up towards Estes, also W of Ft. Collins, are also an every month "must do". All the "good stuff" in Lory has been closed but it was glorious back in the day ! But at 51 yrs and counting, the ground ain't getting any softer. Are clipless the way to go on the really teckie, downhill,stuff, (my prefered riding), even if I'll be taking a performance hit on the climb up in my old "clips/cages" ?
    Last edited by onbelaydave; 05-18-2006 at 07:56 PM.

  16. #16
    Double-metric mtb man
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    Hey Dave,

    I made the switch last year and doubt I'll go back unless I start doing insane downhill type stuff. I do XC and AM type stuff as well as the daily commute on the same bike. Yes, there is a learning curve with getting in and, more importantly, out of clipless pedals. Expect a couple of "fall overs" before you get the hang of them. On the plus side, at least if you do "fall overs" you're not travelling that fast...just roll with the fall and the only thing that may be hurt is your pride if someone was watching.

    If you're doing a lot of gnarly stuff, you may be better served by a clipless pedal with a platform cage....you can unclip and ride "flat" when you may need to bail or body english a lot more, or you can be clipped in and get some massive power for speed or climbs by adding another set of muscles to your cranking power.
    As if four times wasn't enough-> Psycho Mike's 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

    Moran? Let your opinion be free -> F88me

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