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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    New question here. Platforms or Clips

    Ive done alot of road riding with clip-ins and im still new but getting into mnt biking .. and was wondering what would be best for a starter..

    I am interested in doing trail riding atm, and when I purchased the bike, the guys at the store suggested to do platforms for awhile.

    What type of shoe are recommended for either or type Platforms/Clip-ins

    Any feedback is greatly appreciated thanks!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by mest22 View Post
    Ive done alot of road riding with clip-ins and im still new but getting into mnt biking .. and was wondering what would be best for a starter..

    I am interested in doing trail riding atm, and when I purchased the bike, the guys at the store suggested to do platforms for awhile.
    If you're talking jumps/drops/etc. you might want to go platforms; but considering you're used to clipless, I'd stick with them. Unless you're just DH/freeriding, you're probably going to want to run clipless eventually anyways so you might as well start now.

    Quote Originally Posted by mest22 View Post
    What type of shoe are recommended for either or type Platforms/Clip-ins

    Any feedback is greatly appreciated thanks!
    It mostly depends on how much you want to spend.

    For clipless, my Sidi dominators have served me well. They're stiff; but comfortable, and they've last way longer than I would have expected. I've heard that they can be tight if you've got wider feet, though.

    For platform, fivetens are the sh*t, IMHO. I've got a three-year-old pair of impact high-tops that won't quit, even after heavy abuse and lots of trailwork. They're cushy for the drops, and the soles are super-sticky.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
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    As far as I'm concerned, if you can't bunny hop with platforms, you can't bunny hop. If your stock pedals are the awful plastic ones, either pedal will be a big improvement. I went clipless early on and then went back to flats for a while to tidy up my skills. I think that everyone can benefit from some time on both systems. It's up to you to figure out which order you want to do it in and how much you want to spend on the different systems - I just have $18 flats, still a lot better than stock, that I ride with running shoes when I'm doing that, while I've spent a lot more on my preferred system.

    If your road system is a SPD-compatible system, it doesn't have to cost you very much to try clipless on the MTB.

    I do think there's something to be said for spending a decent amount of time and developing some decent skill at some of the handling tricks before going to clipless. But at the end of the day, I don't think it's terribly important one way or the other.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    As far as I'm concerned, if you can't bunny hop with platforms, you can't bunny hop. If your stock pedals are the awful plastic ones, either pedal will be a big improvement. I went clipless early on and then went back to flats for a while to tidy up my skills. I think that everyone can benefit from some time on both systems. It's up to you to figure out which order you want to do it in and how much you want to spend on the different systems - I just have $18 flats, still a lot better than stock, that I ride with running shoes when I'm doing that, while I've spent a lot more on my preferred system.

    If your road system is a SPD-compatible system, it doesn't have to cost you very much to try clipless on the MTB.

    I do think there's something to be said for spending a decent amount of time and developing some decent skill at some of the handling tricks before going to clipless. But at the end of the day, I don't think it's terribly important one way or the other.

    So your saying going with clip-ins in the beginning is better off ? vs flats ?

    Edit: read that wrong lol .. so going flat first is what your saying

  5. #5
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    LOL, sorry. Yeah - the tl;dr version is go with flats first. Just don't spend an arm on a leg on them if they're not where you see yourself in a year.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  6. #6
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    LOL I figured thats what you meant, my bike came with some pretty decent wide flats, they should do until I find something I like .. now gotta get a pair of fivetens, and other gear, and finding trails lol

    thank you again for your time

  7. #7
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    Check these skills videos. Once you learn the low heels technique for riding flats any good trailrunner or skate shoe will be very sticky.
    Straight Lines with Fabien Barel - YouTube
    And this one for cornering-
    .Cornering with Fabien Barel - YouTube
    Practice the slaloming technique on paved flat areas then on paved hills and then on grass hills with braking thrown in at the end. A bit more of a learn curve than the low heels technique.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    Check these skills videos. Once you learn the low heels technique for riding flats any good trailrunner or skate shoe will be very sticky.
    Straight Lines with Fabien Barel - YouTube
    And this one for cornering-
    .Cornering with Fabien Barel - YouTube
    Practice the slaloming technique on paved flat areas then on paved hills and then on grass hills with braking thrown in at the end. A bit more of a learn curve than the low heels technique.
    Awesome thanks! Still trying to put together some gear n I will be good to go next season, cause gets cold out here in NY don't think much riding going on.

    Sent from my SGH-I747 using Tapatalk 2

  9. #9
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    Its personal preference. There are different schools of thought and both have their good points. I've ridden both and currently run flats mostly on my bikes. Do what makes you comfortable.

    Comfort and fit is key for shoes. As far as flats go, if the pegs on the pedals are good any good skate shoe will be sticky enough. I wear 5.10's but I have a pair of etnies that really lock on so good that it's hard to shift my foot around on the pedal.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mest22 View Post
    Awesome thanks! Still trying to put together some gear n I will be good to go next season, cause gets cold out here in NY don't think much riding going on.
    It's the same in MI but the trail can still be very ridable on regular tires if dry or frozen. Dress right and no problem, it's too warm for snowmobiles. Take it easy at first.

  11. #11
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    Thanks a lot for all the advise if money,gear,time permit I might get out sooner than later...

    Especially the NY weather lately feels like spring lol

    Sent from my SGH-I747 using Tapatalk 2

  12. #12
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    to avoid future confusion, this is a pedal with "clips"


    this is a platform pedal


    this is a "clipless" pedal (it's clip-less because it does not have a toe clip to attach your foot to the pedal.)

  13. #13
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    Mack-

    Thanks for that !

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  14. #14
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    You'd probably be fine due to your familiarity with clipless but I would suggest that anyone new to off road biking should start on platforms.

    As far as most people are concerned, the pedals that come with a bike are disposable and are attached only because the bike needs something on it for people to test ride in parking lots. Look for a pedal with removable pins for traction; there are so many options out there but it's hard to go wrong if you stick with that single buying point.

    As far as shoes go, anything with a flat sole will do. A skate shoe can be found in the discount section of nearly any chain footwear store and provide adequate grip with a decent pedal. If you want to get crazy, buy a cycling specific platform pedal shoe like the 5.10 Impact or similar.

    It has been my experience that spending money on a good pedal is more worthwhile than spending money on shoes. A good pedal will grip with most any shoe while a poor pedal may have traction issues even with the best shoes. I am riding Straitline pedals with 5.10 Impact shoes and the grip is insane. The Straitlines had great grip even with a pair of cheap DC skate shoes though; it's all about the pedal.

    If you choose clipless, I'd stick with SPD for a while. You get adjustable tension and you can run the very beginner friendly "multi release" cleats. Shoes are something with a stiff sole that fits your feet very well. I would suggest getting assessed for insoles and staying away from the hiking boot or sandal style shoes.
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  15. #15
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    Thank you for the info

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  16. #16
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    I like both.. I started on these, went full out clipless, then actually came back to them.. allows me to do what ever, where ever, any time I want...



    nice and strong to so if you are in a rocky area and like me bash them pretty regular they will out last basic clipless...

    I would recommend starting the first few real rides on flats, as most RR's don't understand the whole body movement thing right off, I took my brother out a few times who's a road racer, he clipped right in but went over the bars and took a few other falls because he didn't learn the get out of the seat thing quick enough... all were minor but made worse because he was clipped in...

    dual sided is best of both worlds...
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  17. #17
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    I would recommend starting with clipless first. The reason being is that you are going to start with beginner trails and the learning curve of clipless + beginner trails isnt too bad. Then move to flats after 6 months once you are doing more technical stuff and the clipless start holding you back (due to fear). Platforms are really helpful for learning things like wheelies, manuals and hucks which you need to do drops. Platforms will also force you to properly do bunny hops.

    Once you have the technical stuff conquered (mentally) move back to clipless to regain the efficiency.

    If you start with platforms on the easy stuff, then progress to challenging trails, when it comes time to switch to clipless it will be a much bigger gap because you have the full clipless learning curve on technical trails. You might need to drop to less technical boring trails for months to safely make the transition.

    If you start with clipless on the easy trails, you get the clipless learning curve out of the way while you are being challneged by beginner trails.

  18. #18
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    If you looking to ride Platforms for a little while, look at a cheap set of Primos, little heavy but very large surface area, tough and cheap.

  19. #19
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    With Clipless, a lot of the system is in the shoe.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomllama View Post
    I like both.. I started on these, went full out clipless, then actually came back to them.. allows me to do what ever, where ever, any time I want...



    nice and strong to so if you are in a rocky area and like me bash them pretty regular they will out last basic clipless...

    dual sided is best of both worlds...
    I got these on my bike atm. Almost never use the platform side, but I can if and when I want too and it's nice to have both options. I can get my foot off the pedal easier on the clipless side though due to the screws on the platform side (makes me have to lift up my foot first) compared to just swinging my heel out.
    I was gonna remove the screws, but they work geat in the snow, so I left them in. I dread the day when my leg runs down those screws though lol!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bataivah View Post
    I got these on my bike atm. Almost never use the platform side, but I can if and when I want too and it's nice to have both options. I can get my foot off the pedal easier on the clipless side though due to the screws on the platform side (makes me have to lift up my foot first) compared to just swinging my heel out.
    I was gonna remove the screws, but they work geat in the snow, so I left them in. I dread the day when my leg runs down those screws though lol!
    ya, and they are so friggin cheap... and just work great... easy to rebuild if bearings get gunky... just all round nice pedals for general use.
    Going to try and bring Trail Tire TV back. go take a look... http://trailtiretv.blogspot.com/

  22. #22
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    Yea, with clips on both sides it's easy to smash the side your not useing on rocks also. They're not the lightest but so heavy duty you cant beat them. I got 2 years on mine and the spindals are'nt even broke in yet. I was going to use them till I got used to clipless, then switch to my dual sided clipless
    ultra-lights and never have used the ultra-lights yet. They do clog with ice and snow in the winter but
    in snow and ice I use the platform side so it's no problem.

  23. #23
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    Start with flats. The reason is that on the trails you want to worry about the terrain, not getting stuck in the pedals. Sure you know how clip less work, but you want to have the confidence to get out fast and not fall over. This confidence is a key for mtb riding.
    Joe
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodmojo View Post
    I would recommend starting with clipless first. The reason being is that you are going to start with beginner trails and the learning curve of clipless + beginner trails isnt too bad. Then move to flats after 6 months once you are doing more technical stuff and the clipless start holding you back (due to fear). Platforms are really helpful for learning things like wheelies, manuals and hucks which you need to do drops. Platforms will also force you to properly do bunny hops.

    Once you have the technical stuff conquered (mentally) move back to clipless to regain the efficiency.

    If you start with platforms on the easy stuff, then progress to challenging trails, when it comes time to switch to clipless it will be a much bigger gap because you have the full clipless learning curve on technical trails. You might need to drop to less technical boring trails for months to safely make the transition.

    If you start with clipless on the easy trails, you get the clipless learning curve out of the way while you are being challneged by beginner trails.
    I agree with everything here, except I think if a rider started on clipless he would build his skill over the 6 months and they wouldn't hold him back, but who knows. Very good post.
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  25. #25
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    This really depends on your technical ability. If you are very comfortable on a bike starting on clipless wouldn't be a problem at all, especially since you're use to them. You just have to make sure your bike is in the correct gear so you don't spin out and don't attempt to conquer a really hard trail. Ride around some parks, going over curbs, and finding other obstacles and try a beginner trail. If I were in your shoes, I would go clipless, but if you go platforms it is no big deal. There is extra safety that way because you can just hop off your bike anytime you're not comfortable or if you have to toss the bike.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

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