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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    What pedals and how do I know which kind to get?

    I'm new to the off road part. I've been commuting on a low end MB for two years now. I just bought a true off road hard tail but I have no idea what kid of pedals to get. I have never clipped in and I don't like the idea, but from what I read, that is the way to go. I suppose with some practice, I'll get use to it. I understand "clipless" pedals are not what they sound like. Are these the way to go? I've read where some guys talk about riding flat. Does that mean riding with a flat pedal not clipped in?

    BTW, great site. I'm trying to learn a lot quickly.
    Thanks,
    Ed

  2. #2
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    Clipless pedals are great fun and will make you a more efficient and powerful rider IF you learn how to use them properly, i.e. pulling up with a considerable amount of force. However, it will take time to use them properly, due to the fact that the hip flexer is generally not a strong muscle unless it is trained.

    Clipping in and out is a very basic process, and you will get it down your first day. It's REALLY hard not to figure it all out after a day

    However, some people just don't like it; it spooks them knowing they're stuck to the bike.

    Aside from what people tell you, do you think you want clipless?

  3. #3
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    Yea, I want to go clipless. Any suggestions on a good pedal under $150. However, the cheaper the better but I know you tend to get what you pay for.

  4. #4
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    150? You've got quite the budget for pedals alone!

    Shimano SPDs can be had for 50 dollars, and they include the cleat. Just spend your 110 on a decent pair of shoes (TRY THEM ON IN THE STORE) then throw the cleats on the bottoms of the shoes and ride away! (don't forget to practice clipping in and out on the front lawn, you'll be glad you did)

  5. #5
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    "clipless" is NOT what is sounds like, to a point. You are positively connected, but not with a toe clip. It's a cleat on the bottom of biking shoes that engages the pedal. "flats" are just what they sound like. Flat pedals that 90% of the bikes in a shop come with. There's plenty out there, different sized pins, profiles, etc.

    It's a personal preference, and it's best to try out as many as you can. Just sitting on the bike and clipping in/out will give you a feel for how each pedal differs, and which one feels better. I just went to clipless (hesitantly) and tried Shimano 545, 970, and Crank Bros Egg Beaters. Loved the Egg Beaters. You have 4 sides to clip in, from the front, back, in, out, doesn't matter. They clear the dirt and muck MUCH better than my buddies 545. I did like the ability to change the tension on the cleats. The Egg Beaters are smooth enough, and have a few degrees of play, they feel great. The cleats can be reversed on the shoes, and it changes the degree in which your foot disengages, either quickly, or more deliberately. It's up to you. It's a personal preference, and there are definately plenty of reviews and testamonies on this site. Search em out. You'll find it more helpful to ask SPECIFIC questions about models that catch your eye, than to just throw out there, "tell me whats best". Everybody needs something different, so they look for something different, and their best differs from everyone elses. Good luck, and don't forget to post your first "clipless" trek and how many times you fell. its fun!
    1x9 Hardtail, yummy.....

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingCrimson
    150? You've got quite the budget for pedals alone!

    Shimano SPDs can be had for 50 dollars, and they include the cleat. Just spend your 110 on a decent pair of shoes (TRY THEM ON IN THE STORE) then throw the cleats on the bottoms of the shoes and ride away! (don't forget to practice clipping in and out on the front lawn, you'll be glad you did)
    +1 . Most pedals have a break in period, and they become smoother and much easier to clip/unclip after everythings settled. Just stand there and clip in/out a few dozen times, and then ride around the block. Make sure you practice clipping in on inclines, as you may actually have to think about it a few times (clipping while already pedaling isn't as easy as it sounds the first time...)
    1x9 Hardtail, yummy.....

  7. #7
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    Okay... thanks.

  8. #8
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    Just something to add, different cleats will give different "float," not just pedals. My SM-SH51 cleats have a TON of float, and gives a very nice ride.

    All pedals have an adjustment for how stiff the connection is. Keep it loose for a while! If you ski, this function is much like the DIN setting on your bindings, and they will release in exactly the same fashion. If your foot rotates relative to the binding, it will pop out.

    Eggbeaters are the coolest looking pedals ever made, especially if you like kitchen appliances! If you're a weight weenie, something to point out is shimano pedals are HEAVY. They're made of chrome moly and are thick and doublesided. Eggbeaters are much lighter, because they are a much more minimalist design.

  9. #9
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    It sounds like your set on going clipless but I would suggest you take another route and stay on your platforms for a little while so that you can learn good pedal technique first (being able to muscle your bike around without depending on your feet being held in place by the pedals). Kind of like learning your basic skills on your hardtail so you'll be that much better when you get a full sus.

    Plus this gives you more time to research peddles.
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  10. #10
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    Have a good look on this forum for posts on clipless pedals too. You'll see some pretty good advice about them if you read a bit. I do think you should know that it may take you a while to get used to them. It took me several months of riding - despite doing lots of practice in the house - which was a real pain. It seems that some other people have been able to teach themselves without ever falling over - but me, I got really frustrated and hurt myself a couple of times. The issue isn't a technical one - clipping out in the shop is a piece of cake - it's teaching your feet to do it when your brain is too busy thinking about something else. However I'd not ride off road without them now - and I take them with me if hiring a bike somewhere.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by FastZR1
    I'm new to the off road part. I've been commuting on a low end MB for two years now. I just bought a true off road hard tail but I have no idea what kid of pedals to get. I have never clipped in and I don't like the idea, but from what I read, that is the way to go. I suppose with some practice, I'll get use to it. I understand "clipless" pedals are not what they sound like. Are these the way to go? I've read where some guys talk about riding flat. Does that mean riding with a flat pedal not clipped in?

    BTW, great site. I'm trying to learn a lot quickly.
    Thanks,
    Ed
    Shimano 520's...super cheap. Set the release tension light and you should not have a problem. Tighten the tension as you gain confidence.

  12. #12
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    It's not clipping out that is hard, it's learning to do it with out thinking about it, the same as you simply step off a platform pedal.

    My clipless-related falls all occurred under 1mph, when I was learning to unclip w/out thinking about it.

    I would recommend either Shimano M520s or M540s ($40 and $60, respectively). All the non-platform clipless Shimano pedals have the same binding mechanism, the only difference is lighter materials and stronger/lighter spindles.

  13. #13
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    so on a side note does anyone have an opinion on clipless/platform combo pedals?

  14. #14
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    I just went clippless and I'll never go back. Despite the fact that I dislocated my thumb my first clipped in ride! I went with m540 and Sette element shoes.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProjectBomber
    so on a side note does anyone have an opinion on clipless/platform combo pedals?
    I'll give you an opinion, then I'll give you a fact. It's a bad purchase, as you're getting only partial benefits of each style, and they don't compliment each other. Egg beaters with a platform, for instance, decrease the amount of mud they are able to shed, while only providing a mediocre, at best, platform. Now, on to facts. The platform on one side with clipless on the other will screw with you. You only have one side to clip from, rather than two or four, and wouldn't ya know it? The platform will 9/10 time sbe on TOP, as the clipless side will swing under from the uneven weight distribution. It's one reason why so many roadies who wear clipless have recently switched over to MTB clipless. They have more options, and it's easier to clip/unclip and not have to think about it. Not to mention size and weight. Back to opinion, get some decent clipless pedals, accept the fact they have a learning curve, and you'll grow to love em. Heck, i can ride my egg beaters without being clipped in to them, so even while learning, if you can't get it right away, you're not just stranded. And if your cleat breaks, you are NOT stranded with clipless pedals. Whoever thinks that is either stupid, or just doesn't know how to ride a friggin bike.
    1x9 Hardtail, yummy.....

  16. #16
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    Should mention that on clipless that float in the middle of platforms, still giving you two sides to clip in (C.B. Acids) you are provided with a semi-decent platform, but your foot will slip. It's about the same as riding a shimano 545 without being clipped in. The only difference is, the eggbeater in the middle is now limited to only 2 sides to clip from, and less mud shedding. So you've destroyed the best part of their design....
    1x9 Hardtail, yummy.....

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProjectBomber
    so on a side note does anyone have an opinion on clipless/platform combo pedals?
    Pedals with a platform around the clip are good if you want to go with a shoe that is not as stiff (you think you might be walking a lot). They are really not much easier to ride in unclipped, though (compared to, say, Shimano M520s). The Shimano M324s have a clip on one side, and a platform on the other, so you can ride in tennis shoes. But, I wouldn't recommend them because, as AndysTrek pointed out, the clip always falls to the bottom.


    These are pretty nice.They have more support than the Crank Bros candy. The Shimano pedals will give your foot more support if you are not riding with a stiff shoe, but with a stiff shoe, you won't notice the difference between these and Eggbeaters.

  18. #18
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    Any opinions on the Egg Beater SL's? I just ordered them last week after taking 5th place in a race out of 65 riders. I was the only top 10 finisher with Platforms and I was in 3rd place until the last Hill in which I was passed by two riders (I'm hoping the Eggs will help me improve on the Hills and stay on the podium).
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  19. #19
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    I got Crank Brother Mallets which are a egg beater in a good strong platform.

    I like them so far but I went with them because I had been out of biking for a long time and I thought the platform might serve me well, anyways I try not to use the platform part of them regularly. I dont regret my decsion as they were a great deal and even if I don't get cliped in then the rubber on my cleats (not the clip in cleat) tend to grab the platform and give me a little grip until I get moving and clip in normally, good for downhill, uphill does not work as well. So I guess if your worreid about confidence of clipless go with the mallett, if not and you hink you can pick it up quick then might just want to go with a clipless with no platform.
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  20. #20
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    My road bike had platform pedals with SPD cleats on the bottom, and they were hard to get into, and easy to get out of. Now I have a set of Crank Brothers Quattro SLs on, and they're easy to get into, and a little harder to get out of. (My opinion, not absolute scientific fact) I'm pretty sure I've done the fall over sideways act with both types, but once you learn it, they're pretty hard to beat. I've got a set of stiff-soled shimano road shoes, and a softer pair of lace-up izumi off-road shoes. The road shoes aren't good for walking more than out the door and down to the street, but the izumis I can walk around in without complaint, and without scraping the cleat too much. That is, it doesn't scrape on flat surfaces, but on asphalt and stuff it will a little. You could probably get into a set of crank brothers pedals and shoes for well under 200 bucks, depending on what you want of course. Jim

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by FastZR1
    Yea, I want to go clipless. Any suggestions on a good pedal under $150. However, the cheaper the better but I know you tend to get what you pay for.
    These were my first clipless pedals, Shimano PD-M520, you can adjust the tension so it is easy to clip out when your first starting off. The price is only around $45-50 too, highly recommended

    .

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