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  1. #1
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    Regret going clipless?

    Hey, I'm a fairly new rider (go my bike almost a year ago) and went clipless a couple of months ago. I must say when the trails are easy they are great compared to what I had before, but on some of the more technical parts I get a little nervous. Once or twice every other ride I fall because my tire spins in loose stuff or roots going up steeper hills which is annoying. One of these falls even resulted in a knee injury that is still bothering me a bit weeks later. Im just wondering if anyone else regrets their decision to go clipless.

    I just feel like maybe I jumped aboard too early and didnt give myself enough time to develop the skills and confidence. Anyone else feel this way or is this just one of the cons that everyone has to deal with?

  2. #2
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    Just a few thoughts...if your tires are spinning on the uphills try a bigger gear. If I'm in too easy a gear I can spin the tire on just about any uphill...but if I anticipate the slope I can be in the right gear to get up anything I have around here (your trails might be different though).

    If you're riding a really slick tire it might also be hampering your uphill traction. Could your current tread pattern be part of the problem?

    Roots can be a pain...especially when they are wet...I've got nothing to offer on that...although they are easier on my FS than my old hard tail.

    I don't have any regrets thus far going clip less. The few close calls I had were actually at the truck after my ride...a few times I rolled up to a stop and forgot I was clipped in.

  3. #3
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    I too thought I jumped on board early with clipless.
    I went out camping and biking with my platforms and immediatly swithed back to clipless.
    I also had a bad knee injury during one of my falls. It will take time to heal as the Dr said but I doubt I will ever go back to platform.
    As far as knee injury, mine was a sprain and swollen miniscus (sp).
    Dr said to make sure to stretch before and fater the ride and ice it after.
    Take Aleve twice a day (2 morning and 2 as needed at night)
    He also said to continue to ride since it is the best therapy for knees.
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  4. #4
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    I regret not going clipless from the beginning. You will adjust to it, and learn how to handle the climbs, rocks and roots. A tire spinning has nothing to do with you being clipped in. It has to do with your body position on the bike. Fix that and you will stop the spinning. Your weight is too far forward on the bike, and your rear tire will spin out on a climb.

  5. #5
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    For me I've had clipless on my road bike forever, than put them on my xc. After a few years i still didn't want them on all my mtbs, especially dher, so I decided it was habit or fear and went cliples on all my bikes to see. After about a year i went back to platform on all but the same road bike, and xc.
    Sure you'll hear that you gotta try these pedals because they are the best, and of coarse those who claim to have Superman like reflexes that can unclip just as fast as not, but in the end I think it's a matter of what you like and only you can decide that.
    Round and round we go

  6. #6
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    It is a 5 minute job to change pedals guys!
    I ride clipless for XC racing and training and platforms on some of our more technical trails, why limit yourself?
    I wouldn't advise those worst of both worlds clipess 1 side, platform / bearclaw the other - they are ok on commuters but not for trail riding

  7. #7
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    If you have a problem with nerve then take some time to practice. What worked for me was trackstand. I start with flats first then when I'm comfortable enough I switch to clipless. When you know you don't need to unclip when it gets super slow or brief standstill then you don't panic.

  8. #8
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    I find that beyond the advantages in climbing and pedaling efficiency with clipless I seem to have better bike control overall now. Due, in no small part I'm sure, to the fact that when your clipped in your committed to an extent to whatever line you chose. Through a rock garden for example. Or a twisty. Especially drops...

    I have no regrets about going clipless and I really can't see myself going back to platforms again. Clipless is awesome, and the pros far out weigh the cons.
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

  9. #9
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    Yawn.

    This again?

    Clipless

  10. #10
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    yeah... this again. but I did order some new tires which I've been waiting for for a week and a half. free shipping from jenson is sloowww. hopefully they will help some since my slipping uphill is mostly due to roots or rocks the tires have trouble grabbing onto. should also help in the light mud also.

    I must say it is much nicer not having my feet bounce all over or getting pedals in the shins. the stupid falls because I cant get out fast enough are annoying though.

  11. #11
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    Sean, I think I know exactly what you are going through. I went to clipless a few months after getting back into riding. I was super excited with how much stronger I felt and how much more control I had over the bike... until I had a pretty serious fall. I found myself feeling timid after that, and I never carried any momentum into climbs or over obstacles. I went back to platforms but not the stock pedals, I upgraded to a quality platform and I couldn't be happier!!

    I put the clipless on my single speed rigid which never seems any really technical stuff.

    However, the biggest difference for me was riding with a much more experienced group of guys that showed me some technique tricks. Body position, scooping my feet, pulling my arms, picking my line...etc etc. Even with a well worn Spec Fast Track LX, I can climb almost anything now!!

    As with the other posters, pick whatever works and feels comfortable. I for one would rather have more fun and confidence on the trails and accept that clipless is not the best for me.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean831 View Post
    Hey, I'm a fairly new rider (go my bike almost a year ago) and went clipless a couple of months ago. I must say when the trails are easy they are great compared to what I had before, but on some of the more technical parts I get a little nervous. Once or twice every other ride I fall because my tire spins in loose stuff or roots going up steeper hills which is annoying. One of these falls even resulted in a knee injury that is still bothering me a bit weeks later. Im just wondering if anyone else regrets their decision to go clipless.

    I just feel like maybe I jumped aboard too early and didnt give myself enough time to develop the skills and confidence. Anyone else feel this way or is this just one of the cons that everyone has to deal with?
    No regrets here, but it did take me 2-3 years before I went clipless. It did also take me 4-5 rides this to get back used to them after I took a 8 year break from biking. However now I can use them with ease. In fact I probably need to tighten them up a bit.

    As for falling over every one does when starting out. It happens.
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  13. #13
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    I had a period of thinking I went clipless too early.

    I stuck some inexpensive but serviceable flats on my bike for a few weeks and worked on some handling skills that I was doing with brute force and the ability to lift my pedals, rather than finesse.

    I'm glad I did that, I think it's made me a lot smoother. I still went back to clipless.

    As someone above has said, it's a five minute job.
    As someone else (actually a few people) has said, there's no right or wrong answer here. Try 'em both, go with your favorite or the one that helps you develop a skill you're working on.
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  14. #14
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    i regret not doing it sooner than I did.

  15. #15
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    I switched to clipless a number of years ago. As noted above learning how to track stand helps alot because it gives you a few moments of pause to release your foot.

    Clipless has some advantages as it helps you control your bike, your feet do not come off the pedals over rough stuff, and they are more efficient for pedaling.

    You could try practicing on some soft grass to get comfortable. Practice clipping in and out, if you fall on the grass big deal. Then move to turning in tight circles and practicing a track stand on the grass. Do this until to you can unclip without thinking about it.

    Good luck.

  16. #16
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    I wavered back and forth at the beginning but ultimately stuck with it. After you get used to it you'll fall less and less and gain more and more confidence.

    BONUS: If you're anything like me, you'll also get a lot less cuts and scrapes from pedals hitting your legs all the time.

  17. #17
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    Maybe you have them set too tight? Set the release a little looser so it's easier to get out of until you feel more confidence.

    I'm new to biking ... about 3 months now. 3-4 times a week. Been riding clipless for about 2 of those months. I must have them set pretty good for me as I have not fallen over from not being able to unclip.

    I've talked to many people that have never set their release strength of their clipless pedals. They just installed them on the bike and rode.

    For me, I backed the screws out and then counted how many turns so I could get them all the same. I also adjusted the angle of the clips on my shoes as I got knee pain with the shoes parellel with the bike.

    I kind of do miss being able to wear "regular" shoes. But for me the advantages of being clipped in outweigh it.

  18. #18
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    yeah, try loosening your clips so you can get out faster. Go to a grassy field and practice clipping in an out over and over. This is a safer way to learn it.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean831 View Post
    Hey, I'm a fairly new rider (go my bike almost a year ago) and went clipless a couple of months ago. I must say when the trails are easy they are great compared to what I had before, but on some of the more technical parts I get a little nervous. Once or twice every other ride I fall because my tire spins in loose stuff or roots going up steeper hills which is annoying. One of these falls even resulted in a knee injury that is still bothering me a bit weeks later. Im just wondering if anyone else regrets their decision to go clipless.

    I just feel like maybe I jumped aboard too early and didnt give myself enough time to develop the skills and confidence. Anyone else feel this way or is this just one of the cons that everyone has to deal with?
    Nope...with my clips I learned how to manage a slipping rear wheel.....ie I can know ride through it.

    Nope gotta learn sometime....loosen the tension to minimum.....check for interference with the shoe sole when releasing....

    Then practise the out and down motion to build muscle memory......you can do it every time you stop just use one leg while you are standing there and click in and out a few times.

  20. #20
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    I'm gonna differ with most of the posters here and say go with flats until you build some skills - hopping onto/over obstacles, getting through rock gardens, climbing steep hills, etc. If you are using clipless and can't do those things, you're shorting yourself on the best trail experience and building those skills up. People often won't try sketchy stuff clipped in because of the fractional difference in bailout time - whereas they would try it and build their skills up w/ flats.

    For perspective: I've been riding almost exclusively clipless for ~11 years, and I'm now thinking of going back to flats because I'm not satisfied with my technical skills - I either don't try stuff or I rely too heavily on being clipped in rather than proper technique.

    Dirt Rag had a nice article about this in Issue #163, recommend checking it out if you can get your hands on a copy.
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  21. #21
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    While I've had my share of "can't unclip in time and time over" falls. Which are hurt your pride more than anything. The worst injuries I've had were due to the pikes on the flats. The worst, in terms of pride and injury, was I was standing at a stop light, in flats, with one foot on the ground, I let out a huge sneeze and my right leg jerked back and into the spikes. You would have thought that I tried to back kick a porcupine.

  22. #22
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    I regret not having gone back to flats sooner. I've learned so much on flats that has really changed the way I can ride.

    I think there is absolutely nothing wrong with going back to flats for a while if you are feeling uncomfortable with your current clipless pedal setup. I probably wouldn't throw them out, just keep the clipless setup in a closet at home for when you might be ready to try again.

    Despite what everyone will tell you, there isn't any viable reason you need to ride clipless pedals. They're both valid choices so go with what makes you comfortable.
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  23. #23
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    did flats to clipless and now back to flats on anything not pavement or gravel.

    id throw the flats back on for a while and build up some more skill and confidence and maybe try the clipless again in the spring.

    those of you hitting your shins need to try a good pedal/shoe combo. i honestly cant remember the last time my foot slipped. (well, while both tires were on the ground at least.)

  24. #24
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    What's with this "efficiency" thing with clipless pedals I always read thrown around? Is there some scientific study or proof that it's more "efficient" vs. flats? I'm just curious...and at what "efficiency" rate? 5mph+ over a decent flat?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by adonis_abril View Post
    What's with this "efficiency" thing with clipless pedals I always read thrown around? Is there some scientific study or proof that it's more "efficient" vs. flats? I'm just curious...and at what "efficiency" rate? 5mph+ over a decent flat?
    There are some studies but it's done on a control enviornment. Many who refers to "efficiency" mostly refers to the push and pull motion on the crank but that's not accurate. Pulling up on the pedal is less efficient than a downward stroke.

    Serious racers and single speeders will benefit from clipless over flats but not avg riders, similar claim was said about xc is more efficient than xc full suspension bike, it may feel that way but it's not. If it makes you ride better or faster then go for it.

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    Hi, all. Brand new rider here (as in I-bought-my-first-MTB-bike-two-days-ago kind of new). Anyway, I just bought new pedals for my bike that are the split clipless/platform design, and I'm wondering if this was a bad idea or not (I can always take them back).

    Anyway, my thought process was that, since I don't have the shoes yet (spent more on my bike than I intended), but would like better pedals, I would go 50/50 for now and eventually go full clipless once I progressed to that level.

    Is this doable or a mistake? Thanks in advance for the input!

  28. #28
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    Clorox - I'd recommend you return those and get a decent set of flats. Wellgo makes several (some of which are also boxed under other brand names) for under $40. IMO the split pedals are OK for around-town use but not MTB riding - they end up being more difficult to use than either flats or clipless, since you always have to hunt for the correct side of the pedal.
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  29. #29
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    Like others have mentioned, it isn't like "going clipless" is an irreversible decision. If you don't like it, switch back. Don't let anyone feel like you're a lesser rider because of it.

    I screwed around with clipless for about 5 years. Switched back, haven't hardly missed them at all. I would prefer clipless on a long XC'ish ride where I'm spinning for extended periods of time, but otherwise, I'm happier on good platforms. I do ride clipless on the road, and would probably put clipless pedals on an XC bike if I had one.

    I think too many people go clipless too early, fall too much or hurt themselves as a result, and get burned out on riding. The alleged benefits (marginal increase in power and efficiency) certainly don't outweigh falling, getting hurt, and not wanting to ride anymore, which seems to be happening to the OP.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by burnedthetoast View Post
    Clorox - I'd recommend you return those and get a decent set of flats. Wellgo makes several (some of which are also boxed under other brand names) for under $40. IMO the split pedals are OK for around-town use but not MTB riding - they end up being more difficult to use than either flats or clipless, since you always have to hunt for the correct side of the pedal.
    Thanks for the input. I guess I'm a bit torn because this is my only bike currently and figured I'd use it for quick trips and getting around a bit too. But maybe I'll just end up keeping platforms on in general and switching to clipless before I hit the trails.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clorox View Post
    Hi, all. Brand new rider here (as in I-bought-my-first-MTB-bike-two-days-ago kind of new). Anyway, I just bought new pedals for my bike that are the split clipless/platform design, and I'm wondering if this was a bad idea or not (I can always take them back).

    Anyway, my thought process was that, since I don't have the shoes yet (spent more on my bike than I intended), but would like better pedals, I would go 50/50 for now and eventually go full clipless once I progressed to that level.

    Is this doable or a mistake? Thanks in advance for the input!
    Well I suspect that you actually have a dual sided clipless pedal with the "test ride" platforms installed. Which are little plastic platforms that actually attach to the clipless mechanism so you can take a bike out at your LBS for a spin. They are not meant for trail usage and will come off as soon as you start riding with them. They look like this (random external image, don't fail me now):



    If they are truly dual sided pedals then you can probably give them a try and make your own decision. I find them to make me furious because they are never the proper side up, but if I had them on a bike, I'd at least give it a try before I went and spent money. If you get serious about riding, ditch those for a decent set of either type of pedal. Pedals are easy enough to swap that it doesn't make sense that you should need to compromise on the most important part of your contact to the bike.

    As a beginner, I would suggest getting some good platfom pedals and put the clipless pedals in a drawer for now until you get more comfortable with riding. Once you can handle all the sections of your local trail with no problem then you can bring the clipless back out for a trial. Good platform pedals to get would have a metal body and pins for traction. The metal body will last much longer than (most) plastics and the pins provide much better traction than a molded in or stamped feature of the less expensive pedals. Also be aware of your shoe choice; running shoes are not idea and if you have a flat soled shoe it will grip much better on pinned pedals than a featured sole like a hiking boot or running shoe.
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clorox View Post
    Thanks for the input. I guess I'm a bit torn because this is my only bike currently and figured I'd use it for quick trips and getting around a bit too. But maybe I'll just end up keeping platforms on in general and switching to clipless before I hit the trails.
    The problem with two sided pedals cleats and flats.....is one side is always a little heavier than the other so it is always ready to go....

    Normally the flat side will be up....so clipping in can be difficult...and that kinda makes getting gonning on a steep hill tough...

    So if you want flats and cleats then two pedal sets is better.

    Heck if you don't feel like changing just put on the other pair of shoes.

    I rode the little plastic flats for a couple of weeks then went cleated all the time.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    A bunch of useful info.
    Thanks for the tips. The pedals I had decided to give a shot are the Wellgo WPD M-17C's. (can't link due to post count)

    It's kind of sounding like they may not work out too well, but we'll see...

  34. #34
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    I started out on flats, tried clipless for about 5 months, then, for s***s & giggles tried flats again. I actually crashed the very first jump I did on my return to flats. I guess I just got used to cheating jumps with clips. IMO riding flats makes you a better rider, so flats I will stay.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clorox View Post
    Thanks for the tips. The pedals I had decided to give a shot are the Wellgo WPD M-17C's. (can't link due to post count)

    It's kind of sounding like they may not work out too well, but we'll see...
    Oh man, those are the worst of both worlds (I don't mean to offend). The platform side is one of the worst types of pedals you can have and the dual sided function means that they are more difficult to use than either a dual clipless or standard platform. I would do your best to take them back if you can and swap them for a platform pedal. I'm not quite sure how much those cost but you should easily be able to find a Wellgo MG-1 or DMR V8 pedal for approximately the same price.
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clorox View Post
    Thanks for the tips. The pedals I had decided to give a shot are the Wellgo WPD M-17C's. (can't link due to post count)
    It says it right in the product name... TOURING pedal. Not MTB awesomeness pedal. You need MTB awesomeness pedals.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by burnedthetoast View Post
    It says it right in the product name... TOURING pedal. Not MTB awesomeness pedal. You need MTB awesomeness pedals.
    Haha, I'll see what I can find with a product search. Yeah, I was curious about that, but when I was looking up reviews, I found a fair amount that said they use them for MTB. Well, live and learn I guess. Now I just need to figure out if I should go clipless and gain a few of the added benefits and efficiency, or platform and work on developing the right technique I suppose. I kind of wish I could skip the process of being such a noob at this.

  38. #38
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    Now I just need to figure out if I should go clipless and gain a few of the added benefits and efficiency, or platform and work on developing the right technique I suppose.
    If you don't know how to pedal/bike well in the first place, you won't gain much from clipless (except maybe scars in funny places). But I'm basically repeating what others have already said...
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clorox View Post
    Haha, I'll see what I can find with a product search. Yeah, I was curious about that, but when I was looking up reviews, I found a fair amount that said they use them for MTB. Well, live and learn I guess. Now I just need to figure out if I should go clipless and gain a few of the added benefits and efficiency, or platform and work on developing the right technique I suppose. I kind of wish I could skip the process of being such a noob at this.
    You got a bunch of people that like flats here....

    Cleats work just fine and you can become a much better rider with cleats as well...

    You will develop better trackstands and pedalling technique...you will learn how to commit to a climb....you will learn how to pull up and use much higher gearing to fly over hills etc...

    Choice is yours....both have pluses and minuses...

    Just last weekend I rode with two guys who have been on flats for years....both bailed early on climbs up short sections they could have easily made if they had learned to ride slower and more in control.....the just jumped off and waddled up the top....

    I was able to pull up more and get the torque to top out, I was also able to go slower almost trackstand to wait until they got out of the way...

    On the downhills we all cleaned it....

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    You got a bunch of people that like flats here....

    Cleats work just fine and you can become a much better rider with cleats as well...

    You will develop better trackstands and pedalling technique...you will learn how to commit to a climb....you will learn how to pull up and use much higher gearing to fly over hills etc...

    Choice is yours....both have pluses and minuses...

    Just last weekend I rode with two guys who have been on flats for years....both bailed early on climbs up short sections they could have easily made if they had learned to ride slower and more in control.....the just jumped off and waddled up the top....

    I was able to pull up more and get the torque to top out, I was also able to go slower almost trackstand to wait until they got out of the way...

    On the downhills we all cleaned it....
    Don't confuse technique with equipment. Proper pedaling technique can be achieved using any type of pedal. Pulling up is an inefficient method of pedaling and not considered to be proper pedaling technique. It can get you out of a jam and provide a burst when you need one, but as far as efficient pedaling goes pulling up is not an efficient movement. It's been shown since studies with (I believe) the 7-11 team in the 70s that pulling up is an inefficient movement and pulling on the pedals is a misnomer when people talk about pedaling movements. What they really mean is that you lift the weight of your leg on the upstroke, not pull against the pedal which can be done no matter what pedal you use.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    Don't confuse technique with equipment.I didn't Proper pedaling technique can be achieved using any type of pedal.Not all styles can be acheieved with flats Pulling up is an inefficient method of pedaling and not considered to be proper pedaling technique.Oh yes it is It can get you out of a jam and provide a burst when you need one, but as far as efficient pedaling goes pulling up is not an efficient movement. It's been shown since studies with (I believe) the 7-11 team in the 70s that pulling up is an inefficient movement and pulling on the pedals is a misnomer when people talk about pedaling movements. What they really mean is that you lift the weight of your leg on the upstroke, not pull against the pedal which can be done no matter what pedal you use.
    Well I pull up and it works very well....it gets you over the top of lots of things fast and efficiently...

    Out on the flat run pulling up does work (the extent that you pull up can be over done)....the best technique is to imagine your knees flashing up.....

    You know you have it right when the bike smooths out......and yes if you are sensitive you can feel a ridgid bike bouncing if you don't pedal in circles....

    The above techniques are not achievable to any extent with flats....

    The above techniques provide extra power.....so why do pro XC riders ride exclusively cleats....

    And downhillers exclusively flats.....hmmmm pedal power???? ease of bailing at the top of a jump gone wrong.....

    Probably.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    Well I pull up and it works very well....it gets you over the top of lots of things fast and efficiently...

    Out on the flat run pulling up does work (the extent that you pull up can be over done)....the best technique is to imagine your knees flashing up.....

    You know you have it right when the bike smooths out......and yes if you are sensitive you can feel a ridgid bike bouncing if you don't pedal in circles....

    The above techniques are not achievable to any extent with flats....

    The above techniques provide extra power.....so why do pro XC riders ride exclusively cleats....

    And downhillers exclusively flats.....hmmmm pedal power???? ease of bailing at the top of a jump gone wrong.....

    Probably.
    Ok, time for you to do some research:

    Perfect Pedaling Technique [BIKE/SPLIT]
    Which muscles are really used during the pedal stroke? | Mountain Bike Training Programs
    The science behind Barefoot Pedaling | Mountain Bike Training Programs

    This subject has been under research for decades and the conclusion is always the same; pulling up is not an efficient pedaling movement which means that to reach optimal pedaling efficiency you can use any pedal that you wish. It is easier to learn to spin the pedals using clipless pedals but it doesn't mean that it's the only way to achieve spin.

    And as I mentioned, pulling up is a useful tool to have when you need that extra boost; there are a lot of hills I couldn't have climbed on my SS without pulling on the pedals. If you read the studies though, you will find that the extra power generated in the pulling pedal stroke expends much more energy than a push stroke meaning that if you are pulling the pedals you are less efficient than you could be.

    Your response was absolutely in line with all people who haven't done any research on the topic and who haven't spent any time lately on flats; "why don't XC racers use flats then?". I think the most important thing you should be asking is "why do I compare myself to XC racers?". When you go shopping for a high end clipless shoe, what do you shop for? Any idea? Maybe I'll help because I have high end clipless shoes for this very reason; you shop for the stiffest soled shoe. The answer to the question as to why XC racers use clipless and not flats is based around the fact that in a pro XC race the difference between winning and loosing is often in the tenths of percentage points of energy expenditure. A tiny difference in stiffness of soles translates directly into power transfer. So combine the small spindle lengths, stiff metal bodies and light weight of pedals, incredibly stiff shoe soles and you get why XC racers choose clipless; those absolutely minuscule efficiency differences. If there truly was some magical massive efficiency gain then I assure you we wouldn't be having these discussions. I'm sure they also want to be able to provide the pull stroke kick when needed (like when you're totally thrashed at the top of a climb but you see that one place in front of you, time to dig out every trick in the book).

    You can use the word "technique" all you want, but it doesn't indicate efficiency and it doesn't indicate good technique. You could call driving your car with the brake pedal half depressed at all times a technique but it doesn't make it a good way to drive a car and it doesn't indicate efficiency. For too long people have been misled into thinking that clipless is the only way and that flat pedals are somehow inferior. Now, more than ever, flat pedals are sticky and strong and shoes are sticky and stiff (not light). The gap is closing and there is a good reason why more people are going back to flats than ever before.

    Stop badgering people with misinformation and half-truths. Clipless and flats both have benefits and both have every right to be in every person's arsenal. To suggest that one is inferior to another is misleading and unfair. Some people will always like one better than the other and that's the way it should be. I just think it's time that people stop getting browbeaten into thinking that if they're not riding clipless they're somehow less of a rider. I will admit that I've been one of those "must clipless" people in the past, but that was when your choices were bear traps (holy shin death, Batman), clipless, or toe-clips. The obvious winner there was clipless; today the lines have blurred.

    Beginners should always ride (good) flats.
    Intermediate riders should give both a try.
    Experts don't care what you think because they've already chosen and probably know people killing it on both types of pedals.
    Toe clip pedals suck.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

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    I have had great luck with super cheap Well-go platforms and cheap skate board shoes. I was using the stock pedals on my Rush with tennis shoes and I hated it. I was slipping off all the time. Now with the cheap BMX style pedals and skate board shoes I rarely slip off.

    I may get some Wellgo MG-1s and a set of Teva or 5.10 biking shoes. There have been a few occasions where I wish I was clipped in, but many more where I was glad I wasn't.

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    Just to balance it out a little some of the best riders I see at my local trails are riding flats these days. It's mainly b/c there is a free ride area now and they just simply don't want to change shoes ( I am guessing here).

    Trust me there aren't any hill that these guys aren't bailing on any short hils lol. One of them did the 4 mile loop in 16 minutes and trust me that is flat out flying on this particular trail.

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    I'm fairly new to mountain biking in general, but went clipless early because I found some really good deals. I don't regret it but I've noticed I'm more scared to commit to really technical sections in fear of falling over, but I'm sure with seat time that will all change.

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    It's a good issue to discuss. Personally, I think everyone should have both if you are only on one type you would not know what's the hype is about. I agree with Zebrahum about the shoes stiffness and especially SS. When you are grinding up the hill with big gear doing 30rpm you'd need all the help you can get Also I wish I switch or add flat pedals sooner.

    Many newbies view clipless as "the right of passage" it can be a big deal to them but really for most of us who's been using the clipless for a while it's not a big deal we get used to them pretty quickly and it become second nature, we may get our heart rate up when we first encounter the gnarly section but once you cleaned it, it's no big deal. So there's no issue there.

    Efficiency? Hmmmm!! It's hard to tell especially for the avg riders the difference between clipless and flat. The correct pedaling stroke takes lots of practice and you gotta to do it right all the time for it to stick. One of my buddies is very OCD about the pedaling stroke and practice it all the time. It's a pretty hard work to correctly work your muscle in order to gain a few extra watts. Many of us don't have that kind of mentality, and we do get sloppy sometime, oh yeah we do.

    Next time you are climbing the tech climb try to unclip and see how much your shoes came off the pedal it's not supposed to be cause the scraping motion is not lifting/pulling, I know it's PITA but like I mentioned earlier serious riders and racers can squeeze extra power out of the pedaling. For an avg clipless user a flat would help with the pedaling a whole lot, smoother power delivery and more awareness of a good pedaling stroke. There's no hiding with flats if you have flaw it would show.

    One thing that clipless function better than flats is the fact that you don't have to think about your feet on the pedal and keeping the pedal going round, it does that automatically. You can also choose to be light or heavy on the pedal, can't do that with flats.

    Most riders go thru this phrase must do clipless, must upgrade, and must have lighter parts, but once you've "been there and done that" you'd start using the right tool for the right job. One of my favorite thing to do when we do group ride with newbies is when some would suggest to me to go clipless and how far superior it is over flat pedals, yeah

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    What about those of you have have more technical AM trails? I can totally see the benefit on smooth, dirt trails, but on rocky and technical trails I get nervous at the though of being clipped in. See my pic to the left, I think that would have been worse clipped in...but I have been wrong before . =)

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    It's not the pedals you need to be confident and chose better lines is what it sounds like. Keep at it and you will find yourself wondering why you didn't switch to clipless sooner.

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    Kind of surprised seeing this come back up, but yes since I started the thread clipless has grown on me quit a bit. I don't fall much any more and I'm still gaining confidence with it.

  50. #50
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    I started on BMX in the 80s so I'm used to flats. Got into MTBing in 2001 and got clipless because that's what I was supposed to do. Rode those until this year when I got an all mountain style bike and it came with flats. I forgot how good I ws on flats and only have them on my hardtail now. I love me some flats.

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