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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    old school toe clips

    Anyone using toe clips on their bikes?

  2. #2
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    Not any more, but I ran them for many years. Other than the fact that they're no longer sylish, I can't really say there's anything wrong with them. It's just a matter of what you get used to. Others will disagree.

  3. #3
    Pimpmobile
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    I use them on a commuter-ish hybrid bike, just so I can wear street shoes on my very short ride to work. (2 miles).

    Used them exclusively back in the early 90's, when clipless was more of a roadie thing.

  4. #4
    pants on head retarded
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    I used them solidly up until last year and am considering using some on my commuter. Clipless for me is easier to deal with and provides more confidence. Nothing wrong with clips though.

  5. #5
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    tduro and Hamfis T..... I used them back in my road days (80's) I use my bike for commuting to work, joy rides around the neighborhood, as well as off road on the trails. I like the thought of going on a camping trip... taking the bike.... hiking one day and riding the next and not having to bring two pairs of shoes. and the using just platform peddles seems to scream calf and shin rake with my luck.

  6. #6
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    yurtinus... I am quickly talking myself into it. who knows I could reignite a trend... probably not...

  7. #7
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    Also used them for quite a few years on my last bike. Went clipless on this bike but would have no problem using them again.

  8. #8
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    I switched to platforms and Five Ten shoes. I feel like it is a safer option on the trails, but I used to use clips in the 90s.

  9. #9
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    There are pros and cons to both. It all depends on which pros you choose to embrace. If you enjoy lighter weight, lower cost, hike-ability, and versatility, then you'll be just fine with toe clips. On the other hand, if you're willing to sacrifice the above for an adjustable release mechanism (on some brands), a tighter connection to your pedals, and a few style points, then go clipless. They both get the job done well.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heavy Hitter
    I switched to platforms and Five Ten shoes. I feel like it is a safer option on the trails, but I used to use clips in the 90s.
    I think I will put a set on this weekend and try them in a parking lot. Hey if I don't like it I am only out $12-24.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tduro
    There are pros and cons to both. It all depends on which pros you choose to embrace. If you enjoy lighter weight, lower cost, hike-ability, and versatility, then you'll be just fine with toe clips. On the other hand, if you're willing to sacrifice the above for an adjustable release mechanism (on some brands), a tighter connection to your pedals, and a few style points, then go clipless. They both get the job done well.
    Style points are not an issue for me and for the versatility I think I am going to go for the clips.
    Thanks for the help

  12. #12
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    I ride my hardtail with toe clips on and off road, they give my foot a more flexible motion than clipless does,as long as i am comfy and enjoy my ride thats all that matters.

  13. #13
    trail addict
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kram Rebbibnav
    Anyone using toe clips on their bikes?
    I tried them out because I was thinking about clipless and my buddy had a spare set lying around. Long story short... clipless is sooooo much better. The toe straps held my foot too rigid and cause knee pain (loosen them a little bit and they were worthless). Even shimano clipless has enough float that my knee problems went away instantly. Also, clipless is kinda intimidating at first, but once you are used to it, you will unclip instinctively much faster than you can get out of tight toe straps.
    You better just go ahead and drop that seatpost down to the reflector... the trail gets pretty rough down there.

  14. #14
    Picture Unrelated
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kram Rebbibnav
    Anyone using toe clips on their bikes?
    DON'T DO IT! IT'S A TRAP!

    They're awful, provide little benefit without being tight and when they're tight, they're difficult to get out of. The natural reaction to a fall is to put your foot out to the side, well clips don't release that way. I've never had a moment on either my flats or clipless where I wished for toe clips. Power Straps are a better intermediate step, but there's no substitute for clipless pedals. Most people who do a lot of biking are on clipless or flats, I assure you that it isn't because they're trying to look cool. But hey, at least they're cheap and they make your bike go forward, so they have something going for them.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  15. #15
    usually cranky
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    used to when i started out. must have been a sight, stp with the post all the way up and toe clips. lol.

  16. #16
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    Toe clips really suck for mtb. I ran them for years before going to clipless back in the mid 90s. It has nothing to do with style, it's all about functionality. Clipless are simply more secure and easier to get into.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailville
    Toe clips really suck for mtb. I ran them for years before going to clipless back in the mid 90s. It has nothing to do with style, it's all about functionality. Clipless are simply more secure and easier to get into.
    Did they really suck that bad for all those years? I spent 16 years in clips, and never once thought they sucked. Well, maybe for the first year, until I got the hang of quick entry. I've spent just over a year in clipless. I'll stick with the clipless, but to be completely honest the clips never sucked for me. Easy in, easy out, no unintended releases. They were much lighter, much cheaper, and allowed me to use my trail running shoes on warm days, and light hiking boots on colder days. I have some buds that still use them, and they don't seem the least bit disadvantaged by them. Nor do I feel advantaged in comparison while using the clips.

    They both take getting used to, but once you do, either will do the job just fine.

  18. #18
    I Have Cookies
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    DEATHTRAP! Plain and simple..........
    The most important thing is what God thinks about it. He will have the final say. Joshua Stinebrink

    ____
    Kimo

  19. #19
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    I hope I am not being rude by not responding to all of the responses. I have been a little busy ... plus I have enjoyed sitting back and watching the "debate". I see that there are some that are are completely against them and some that have tried them and see that there is "some good" in them. I am still going to try them since I want to be able to hop on the bike in my "hikers" as well as hopping on in my sneakers to pedal to work on occasion. Who knows? I may hate them but i am only out $25 as opposed to buying the pedals and the shoes. I will let y'all know how is goes.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ae111black
    DEATHTRAP! Plain and simple..........
    Comments like this are really puzzling. I actually had a longer learning curve and more problems with clipless, including a separated shoulder.

    "Deathtrap" seems a bit of an exaggeration in your case, since you're still alive. Did you have a near-death experience with clips, or know anyone who did? Of course, MTBR is full of clipless crash stories, too.

    In all my years of mountain biking, I never heard a complaint about clips until I came to MTBR. Most of my riding buds and I eventually switched to clipless, but only because they came with later bike purchases. And the ones that didn't switch seem to be doing fine, with no complaints, or desire to switch.

    I don't think this issue will be settled until there are some hard statistics on injury rates with each type.

  21. #21
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    I never felt they were particularly dangerous when I used them. I adapted to getting out of them just like I later adapted to getting out of clipless pedals. But getting into them was a different story. Not that it was difficult, only that it was not all that quick or consistent (at least for me it wasn't). They were fine riding the road or easy trails, but when you get stopped on a techy trail, and need to get your feet back in quickly to get over the next obstacle or up the rest of the climb, they sucked. Or even if you pull a foot out to take a tricky corner, then have to flip the pedal back to get your toe in. Maybe some people got a lot better at it than i did, but I used them for several years and there were always those times when they got in the way. Once I got clipless pedals, it was a significant improvement. My toe clips were retired to boxes in my basement.

    When I want to wear regular shoes or hiking boots I use BMX style platforms.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  22. #22
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    Trailville, that sounds a lot like my experience as well, but I got used to them with some practice. It got so I could get both feet in the cages before pedaling away, and without looking down. Then I just stopped thinking about my pedals as the years ticked by. I was very reluctant to switch to clipless because I was perfectly happy with what had and didn't see anything needing improving.

    I'm now happy riding with clipless, except for the cost and weight. But I still sometimes have a problem where If my foot doesn't hit the pedal squarely on the first try, I find my self fumbling around until it engages. This isn't always welcome just before a difficult section of trail. I also sometimes clip out when I don't want to (separated my shoulder in a crash as a result). But I'm reluctant to tighten the tension, as I'm just now becoming proficient at clipping out in an emergency.

    If the OP is looking for convenience, shoe versatility, and low price, it's hard to ignore the benefits toe clips offer in those areas. Toe clips, or just platforms, also excel in bike-sharing situations, such as family camping, where you only have a few bikes to serve a large crew. Anyone can ride any bike, and you don't need an extra pair of shoes.

  23. #23
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    Same here.. I used them exclusively back in the thumb-shifter days. Got fairly proficient at getting my feet in without looking, but there was a few times every ride that just didn't happen that way.

    With clipless, I still have a fumble or two in a days ride, but I feel much more secure in them. I can say I've never been injured because I didn't clip-out in time, my feet just seem to know how they work.

    I use clips and straps on the commuter because it's only a 2 mile ride.. not worth changing shoes for.

  24. #24
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    Thanks to all who have thrown their advice my way. I see pros and cons for both clips and clipless because you guys have given me your experiences and have let me take the info weigh the pros and cons with my own application. Thanks for the civility and help!!!

  25. #25
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    I consider them dangerous. I've ridden with clips for years and years on both my work and recreational bikes. I have had straps snap under heavy pedaling load sending me swerving into traffic. I have had my feet slip out causing the clips to flip and snag on a protruding root, sending me over the bars and nearly shattering an ankle.

    If you're going to mountain bike and can't invest in clipless do yourself a favor and get flats. Even if you don't have the perfect shoe combination to go with them, scraped shins are far more desireable then broken bones or death. I've been riding my flats with just a pair of beater running shoes for a couple years now and I have had very few instances of losing my footing.

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