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  1. #1
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    So why is it no one rides with clips?

    Newb question. I'm not talking those old toe clips with a strap. But when I first started riding a little, I bought a used Trek Hybrid from a guy a few years ago, and it had these plastic toe cages. I've used them ever since. Seems the are helpful, allowing pulling on the upstroke too. They are not as efficient as clipless and a shoe, but better IMO than just a platform.

    So in mountain biking, why is it either / or, platform or clipless. Why does nobody use a toe cage? ( not sure "toe cage" is correct term)

  2. #2
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    Because when your foot slips off it is really hard or impossible to get your foot back in the cage fast and easy.
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  3. #3
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    I suffered through toe clips (and straps) for years before spd's came along and the first time I tried clipless I realized they were hands down superior to toe clips in every way. I have ridden bikes with the half clip strapless versions that I believe you're referring to but can't see any real benefit to them, clipless or decent flats are both better IMO.

  4. #4
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    I ride platforms because I'm more comfortable on them. I never liked straps they can v
    Be hard to remove yourself from when you're wedged in there and have to get out in a split second.

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  5. #5
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    The alternatives are better, that's all there is to it.

    You're obviously not comparing them to flats, if you want attachment you're comparing them to other systems that do that, and they are all better. Try Power Grips or, if the budget stretches, clippless and you'll understand fairly quickly.

  6. #6
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    Rat cages have no place in mountain biking. If adjusted tight enough to offer any benefit, they will be slow and unreliable to dismount - and it has to be done from the rear. Forget about them completely. Install them on a city fixie if you want to hit the bar in regular shoes, but make another choice for trails.

    Flats are fine, a lot of people love them. I sometimes ride flats. A good flat pedal has a low profile with a big platform and pins, and together with a proper shoe they are very stable. Clipless offers a performance advantage when sprinting or mashing, and beginners often feel more secure on the bike over bumps when riding clipless. With flats you need to practice technique before feeling secure on the bike over bumps and jumps. If you race, you will probably want to go clipless. For the casual rider it's 100% a matter of personal preference, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

  7. #7
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    Cause clipless work better.
    Like JB Weld, I rode toe clips and straps back in the day and it sucks. When you are trying to get going in a tough spot the clips hang upside down and drag on everything, You'd break a clip off that way every so often. Get to a hill and reach down and pull the strap tight as you could get it, then remember to loosen it before you needed to put a foot down.
    I had clipless shortly after they became available. They were heavy and had no float but they were wonderful.

  8. #8
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    I use toe clips on my commute bike. Basically so I can wear whatever shoes.

    I lived with them a little bit when I first started. But clipless pedals are better at everything except not making me wear a goofy shoe. I actually like the shoes a lot too for athletic riding, so if I'm setting up my bike for mountain biking or road riding as a sport, I don't feel like I'm giving up anything I care about by committing to clipless.
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  9. #9
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    my first "road" bike had clips and straps. once adjusted tight enough not to slip out, they don't let go. maybe it helps to have slick shoes that slide out easier, but I fell over trying to slide my shoe out of the pedal on a few occasions. one time it happened while I was stopped at an intersection in front of a line of impatient drivers. I could have been run over. I can't imagine how anyone would want that on trials. I feel fine on SPDs on trails and on the road because, with a little practice, they clip out when you want them to and stay attached the rest of the time.

  10. #10
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    To clarify, I wasn't talking about a clip with a strap. That would be nuts on a mtn bike IMO!
    I was talking about just the toe "cage".

    I ride Time MX2 pedals with a Specialized shoe and understand the advantages.

    It seemed to me these toe clips withou straps wouls be somewhat of a transition between flats and clipless pedals.

    What I'm reading here is they are fine for a commuter with street shoes but become a handicap actually for mountain biking. A good platform with proper shoes, or a clipless is either one better than the toe clips. I can certainly see them as a hindrance, hanging upside down trying to get going on a steep uphill after a stall.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I suffered through toe clips (and straps) for years before spd's came along and the first time I tried clipless I realized they were hands down superior to toe clips in every way. I have ridden bikes with the half clip strapless versions that I believe you're referring to but can't see any real benefit to them, clipless or decent flats are both better IMO.
    Yeah same here. OP, to really understand why you must give it a try
    Last edited by Max24; 03-02-2015 at 09:07 PM.

  12. #12
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    You don't get the same upwards pull (different muscles/not as strong) as you would when using a SPD.
    Plus with an SPD you clip out sideways (safer/faster) not back like a cage.
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  13. #13
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    Re: So why is it no one rides with clips?

    Quote Originally Posted by WNCGoater View Post
    To clarify, I wasn't talking about a clip with a strap. That would be nuts on a mtn bike IMO!
    I was talking about just the toe "cage".

    I ride Time MX2 pedals with a Specialized shoe and understand the advantages.

    It seemed to me these toe clips withou straps wouls be somewhat of a transition between flats and clipless pedals.

    What I'm reading here is they are fine for a commuter with street shoes but become a handicap actually for mountain biking. A good platform with proper shoes, or a clipless is either one better than the toe clips. I can certainly see them as a hindrance, hanging upside down trying to get going on a steep uphill after a stall.
    An ex-girlfriend had those. Never tried them myself. She said they helped her place her foot and stopped her from sliding forward off the pedal. I can see that being nice. I guess I didn't try it because I feel well-served by clipless pedals on my fun bikes and conventional toe clips, with the straps medium-loose, on a commute setup. I liked that I could reach down and cinch them a little tighter for extended periods of riding without stopping.

    On a tangent, I had the pulling up argument with a friend of mine a while ago, and ended up learning something different from what I'd believed. I encourage anyone who uses a secure system, whether it's toe clips, clipless, power straps, or something I don't know about, to pay attention to where and when you feel pressure between your shoe and your foot. You may be surprised...
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  14. #14
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    I use toe clips with straps, on the loose side. I use them like seatbelts for my feet; not tight enough to upstroke, but enough to stay on the bike when thrashing over rocks.

    After a scary fail-to-bail with clipless, I swore never again.

    My new bike came with flats, and I bounced right off the pedals - landed on and bent the seat! Ow.

    I may go to flats/pins at some point (as my AM craziness increases), but really don't have a problem with getting in and out of the toeclips.

    There are others that ride that way too, they just keep quiet as though it's a shameful secret to not have $150 shoes.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by WNCGoater View Post
    Why does nobody use a toe cage? ( not sure "toe cage" is correct term)
    In summary, there are multiple reasons.
    - Huge PITA
    - Ineffective at best
    - Much better alternatives

  16. #16
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    Back to clips with straps.... back in the day, I ran the contraptions on my first GT Timberline circa 1990.. My foot came out of the cage and the cage/strap ended up on the bottom. I was almost to the top of a short climb so kept going. Strap caught on a rock or a root and ****-whipped me into the ground. Took them off that day and never looked back..LOL

  17. #17
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    A long time ago I had a mtb with the cage pedals. God I hated them so much, they kept rotating themself upside down and you had to spin them back to get your foot back in the pedal because pedaling with them upside down was awkward. Trying to get your foot back in the pedal on a bumpy trail was just awful.

    I feel a million times safer and more comfortable with platform pedals and will never go back to pedals that can only be used on one side

  18. #18
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    There is one other advantage of flat pedals.

    Over the summer I've been trying to get better at jumping. Not massive air, just getting off the ground at all is good for me! One of the issues I found was trying to keep your feet in the right place on the pedals. They tended to float off in mid air so there was a risk of your foot coming off the pedal when you land. Happily, I'm getting better at it. Trying to stay relaxed, flowing with the ark of the bike and gradually getting more comfortable with not being on the ground.

    The point is that with clippless pedals you don't have to learn this. Your feet will stay on the pedals, or rather the bike will follow your feet no matter what. This is a good thing but personally, I'm glad I have the opportunity to learn the skill need to keep my feet in the right place myself. Riding a bike quickly on rough ground is tricky and things like clippless pedals and full suspension bikes do so much of the work for you that you are not developing the same level of control that you would be otherwise.

    Just a thought.

  19. #19
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    ^^^
    This is similar to why I think learning to bunny hop on flats was useful to me. I'd been doing a crappy hop with clipless pedals for a long time. Relearning without them as a crutch made me faster and smoother.
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  20. #20
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    Even just riding quickly across very bumpy ground or a few small hums, your feet can easily get danced around on the pedals. Mine have almost come off a few times.

    Flat pedals force you to learn better technique. You bend you legs more, try to drop your heels, generally relax your body and low and behold it works! Knackers you out but it works ;0)

    Again, with clippless, and especially with a full-sus bike, you can just batter over stuff and the bike will deal with it. You'll be safer and you'll get to the end of the trail just the same but you're not learning as much or working as hard. For me, to learn and work are two of the main reasons I get on the bike.

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