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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    Time Atac Alium vs. Atac XE

    I've decided to change to clipless pedals and after weighing options/opinions, I think a Time pedal would be right for me. Anyone know if there's a huge difference between the Alium and XE? Seems the biggest difference is the weight, which isn't a huge deal for me. If that's all there is, I'd probably lean toward the Alium. But if the XE is really much better, I'd spend the extra money.

    Looking forward to many embarrassing falls and bruised knees!

  2. #2
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    Main difference is weight

    The XE is made of a lighter material, and the body design is different. The ads for the XE typically say they have sealed bearings whereas the Alium ads I've seen don't specify a bearing type. If weight is not an issue, get the Aliums. I have two pairs of the Aliums and they are very good pedals.
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  3. #3
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    I just recently started riding clipless myself and while I haven't used the XE's, I do have a set of Aliums on my bike. I couldn't be happier with them! They work great, are easy to get out of, but no so easy that my foot pops right out. I'd definitely buy them again!

    Kris

  4. #4
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    I am using the Aluminum ones myself. Weight issues are not a big concern for me. So far I love them. Using the lighter settings and have not had an unwanted pop out at all. Picked mine up for $49 at the local LBS. Have seen them online for same price as well.
    [SIZE="3"]Cleverly Disguised As A Responsible Adult[/SIZE]

  5. #5
    local trails rider
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    I have not heard of anybody complaining about Aliums. I think some have said that they prefer them to the newer models.

    Personally, I am very happy with my ATAC XS (like XE but with tension adjustment that I never use...)

  6. #6
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    Thanks, y'all. I picked up a set of Aliums for $46. Now if I can just get them ON the bike. The old pedals will NOT come off. Grrr ... although I'm taking my bike to the LBS tomorrow for a free tuneup, so I'll let them take a crack at it.

  7. #7
    local trails rider
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    There must be hundreds of threads about stuck pedals here... Try searching in the Beginners, Drivetrain and General sections of the forums.

  8. #8
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    Yeah, I was reading some of those threads yesterday. Tried some of the suggestions, but no dice. I think this is a job for someone with greater powers than me. But I did feel much better knowing I'm not the only one who's had this problem.

  9. #9
    Newbie...yeah that's it
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    I was recently given a set of Alium's. I'm a newbie and have never used clipless, so do you have any tips or tricks for these pedals? I don't see an adjustment for the tension but was told that they are easy to learn how to use clipless with.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZSunGod
    I was recently given a set of Alium's. I'm a newbie and have never used clipless, so do you have any tips or tricks for these pedals? I don't see an adjustment for the tension but was told that they are easy to learn how to use clipless with.
    The best tip I can give is practice clipping in and out a lot, over a SOFT GRASSY area, before going out on the trail, pavement, gravel, etc.

    I also use Aliums, they are good pedals.

  11. #11
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    I have a set of Alium's and XS (same as the XE but with a tension adjustment). I notice no functional difference between the two and the Alium seems to be more durable. The XS is severly marred just from laying the bike on the ground. I would go with the Aliums unless you think you might want to go the weight weenie route in the future.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZSunGod
    I was recently given a set of Alium's. I'm a newbie and have never used clipless, so do you have any tips or tricks for these pedals? I don't see an adjustment for the tension but was told that they are easy to learn how to use clipless with.
    I've had my Aliums for about three weeks. I have found them easy to get used to. Since there's no tension adjustment and they're more or less maintenance-free, the best advice is probably to just practice, practice, practice. And understand and prepare for the fact that you WILL fall. At first, just stay stationary and hold yourself up with a tree, wall, or whatever and practice clipping in and out.

    In the beginning, I found that the twisting motion to unclip felt exaggerated, but that's just because I wasn't used to it. But after a while, it starts to feel natural. One tip: If you draw a mark on your shoe where the top of the cleat is, it might make clipping in easier. On the first few rides I was moving my feet all over the pedal because I couldn't get the cleats lined up right.

    I'm still trying to master that whole "just clip out one second earlier" concept. But each time out I fall fewer times. And I can now clean obstacles that I couldn't before and ride faster/more efficiently, which boosts my confidence, which makes riding even more fun. I'd never go back to platforms.

  13. #13
    Newbie...yeah that's it
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    Quote Originally Posted by MightyTurtle
    I've had my Aliums for about three weeks. I have found them easy to get used to. Since there's no tension adjustment and they're more or less maintenance-free, the best advice is probably to just practice, practice, practice. And understand and prepare for the fact that you WILL fall. At first, just stay stationary and hold yourself up with a tree, wall, or whatever and practice clipping in and out.

    In the beginning, I found that the twisting motion to unclip felt exaggerated, but that's just because I wasn't used to it. But after a while, it starts to feel natural. One tip: If you draw a mark on your shoe where the top of the cleat is, it might make clipping in easier. On the first few rides I was moving my feet all over the pedal because I couldn't get the cleats lined up right.

    I'm still trying to master that whole "just clip out one second earlier" concept. But each time out I fall fewer times. And I can now clean obstacles that I couldn't before and ride faster/more efficiently, which boosts my confidence, which makes riding even more fun. I'd never go back to platforms.
    Thank you for the tips,is one day enough to get a little use to clipping in and out? I want to put them on tomorrow and ride with them Sunday, or should I use my platforms for my ride Sunday? So I have more time to practice??

  14. #14
    local trails rider
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    When I put on my ATAC XS, it only took me a few minutes to convince myself that I can get out of the pedals. It takes a lot more time to be able to do it instinctively. The major issue with me was that I lacked confidence and started chickening out at sections where there was a possibility that I might not clear it. So there is a bit of a learning curve.

    For a long time, I had to remember to clip out, plan for it.
    I still have not done the "timbeeer" move at a traffic light

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZSunGod
    Thank you for the tips,is one day enough to get a little use to clipping in and out? I want to put them on tomorrow and ride with them Sunday, or should I use my platforms for my ride Sunday? So I have more time to practice??
    Well, I spent about an hour at home practicing before I had to go to the trail because I was eager to try out my pedals. So I'd say if you feel comfortable and confident enough, go for it. BUT, I ride XC trails where the ground is rather forgiving, so I wasn't worried about falling (which I did several times). If my local trails consisted of a lot of rocks and super-technical obstacles, I think I would have practiced at home a lot longer.

  16. #16
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    I think what causes a lot of begginers to have trouble getting out of clip-in pedals is they try to pull up and out to release them. With the Times any upward pull is going to tighten the spring making it even harder to twist out. Instead what I do is push down and out like you are trying to scrape mud off the bottom of your shoe.
    The grassy field idea is the best way to build confidence. I started off just riding slow and practicing releasing, then progressed to track-stands, sprints, stationary hops, bunny-hops, endos, manuals, wheelies etc until I could do everything with the Time pedals that I could do with the platforms.

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