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  1. #26
    Trail Rider
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    I run flats on my bikes, Welgo MG1s and they mate up well with $30 Airwalks from Payless Shoes. The soles wear through in less than a year, but for $30, who gives a crap?

  2. #27
    26 for life.
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    I've been running Shimano MT90s for the last 7 winters & Time Atacs forever.
    Great for when you're lost in the bush or at the pub on an overnight mission.
    Sent from the future to destroy the past.

  3. #28
    Fail again. Fail better.
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    For me it's clipless for riding long routes in not too technical terrain, I don't feel confident riding difficult descents when attached to the bike. They also gave me a bad case of numb toe... took 6 months to cure after a week long ride...
    Flats are the best choice for me when the going gets rough, never had problems with feet bouncing off of pedals - a good, big platform with proper rubber on your feet to match will stand it's ground. It's also more convenient to walk around, weather it's hike-a-bike or plain sightseeing.

    After trying both worlds on longer tours, I know a pair of platforms fits my needs and riding style better.

    The way I see it:
    Clipless = performance = racey type riding
    Flats = comfort = general off road touring and technical terrain
    Roads? Where we're going we don't need roads. -Dr Emmett Brown

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by hillharman View Post
    I've got a pair of these 5.10 approach shoes, and they are really great on the bike, in addition to lots of other applications. I still wear my Freerider VXis when I'm trail riding, but I will be using the Aescents for dinking around town and bike packing.

    I took Viks suggestion on these Aescents and they are sweet! What's sweeter is I found a pair on Geartrade for $46 in my size. They grip my VP Vice pedals like glue, just the right amount of stiffness and flatness for pedaling, the right amount of curve at the front for hiking, the the toe box is nice and wide for your foot to swell on hot days! Perfect for bikepacking IMO.
    GRAPHIC DESIGN : PRINT : SOLUTIONS
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  5. #30
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    Flats. I tend to wear mountain biking shoes with them as I like a stiff sole, especially when I'm cycling for long periods. With either my 5.11 Minaars or my Chrome Kursks I'm comfortable walking or hiking for a bit in them.
    ISO: 22" GT Rebound frame, year 2000 model

  6. #31
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    Albeant and Vik:

    Have you continued to be happy with the Aescents? I am interested in them for general trail riding of the moderately technical sort. Who knows if I am trail riding/doing XC country/or all mountain riding! Just riding in varying conditions for varying lengths of time in Virginia. The Aescents sound good b/c of their stiffness and their grip. The Freeriders smooth sole in the forefoot is unappealing.

    Many thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by albeant View Post
    Just to second what Vik wrote, I've settled on flats and 5.10 approach shoes for the same reasons he cites. I take one pair of shoes, along with a pair of the superlight Teva Mush flipflops. For me, there's not much loss of efficiency, and I appreciate being able to move my feet around on the pedals after hour 8 on the bike! Vik already posted some of the other advantages.

    I switched from the 5.10 Guide Tennies to the new Aescent (pictured in Vik's post) for my last tour, and have been very happy with them--just a tad stiffer, and much better ventilation. I also run the same pedals he's posted. Weird.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by csmo View Post
    Albeant and Vik:

    Have you continued to be happy with the Aescents? I am interested in them for general trail riding of the moderately technical sort. Who knows if I am trail riding/doing XC country/or all mountain riding! Just riding in varying conditions for varying lengths of time in Virginia. The Aescents sound good b/c of their stiffness and their grip. The Freeriders smooth sole in the forefoot is unappealing.

    Many thanks!
    Just a quick update. The Aescents are stiff and comfortable on the bike and grip well to the pins on my flat pedals. I was a bit surprised to find the rubber sole is not anywhere close to as sticky as my 5.10 bike shoes. As an example on any man made surfaces [wood, tile, stone, etc...] they are crazy slippery if there is any moisture around. To the point of being dangerous. My 5.10 bike shoes grip like crazy glue on any surface.

    My unscientific durometer test [poking a pen tip into the soles] demonstrates the Aescents barely deform while my 5.10 bike shoes readily deform with the same pressure.

    On rough/textured surfaces the Ascents grip fine. I want to wear them in a bunch more to see if 1) they get more flexible and 2) if the soles break in at all or if they stay hard.

    If they were as grippy as my 5.10 bike shoes I would say they were a winner for sure. As is I want to evaluate them a while longer.

    I guess one other thing I should share on the Aescents they do not feel like they have much cushioning. They have a firm feel. I kind of like that, but if you are a pounder when you walk you may find them uncomfortable. If you are used to walking in barefoot style footwear you won't have an issue.

    For another data point I reviewed a pair of Scarpa Rapid Light shoes on my blog:

    vikapproved | Scarpa Rapid Light Shoe Review

    They were too flexible for me to be comfortable pedalling all day, but the sole was nice and grippy on all surfaces unlike the Aescents.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  8. #33
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    Many thanks! All very good to know. Stiff sounds good to me (I use Sidis now) but slippery off the bike on wet surfaces sounds bad--especially as I'd like to use them as more than dedicated on the bike shoes. As you note, perhaps they will become less slippery as they wear in. I am willing and ready to make the shift to platforms but it's not urgent. Would you say the Aescents for trail riding are more or less capable than your other 5.10s?

    Thanks again

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by csmo View Post
    Would you say the Aescents for trail riding are more or less capable than your other 5.10s?

    Thanks again
    Much less capable. I wouldn't even entertain the thought of going trail riding in them vs. my normal shoe a 5.10 Impact Low.

    OTOH the Impact Lows feel like overkill for my bikepacking trips.

    I did some research and the Aescents are supposed to be made with the same S1 rubber sole as the Impact Lows and 5.10 points to the softness of the rubber and traction as a feature of the Aescents. Something is wrong. Either the marketing guys wrote the wrong copy or the shoes were made with the wrong rubber.

    I sent a question in directly to 5.10. If I get a useful reply I will share it.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  10. #35
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    Very helpful. Thanks. Much appreciated. I'll be curious to read your updates and, if you receive one, a reply from 5.10.

    Best wishes

    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    Much less capable. I wouldn't even entertain the thought of going trail riding in them vs. my normal shoe a 5.10 Impact Low.

    OTOH the Impact Lows feel like overkill for my bikepacking trips.

    I did some research and the Aescents are supposed to be made with the same S1 rubber sole as the Impact Lows and 5.10 points to the softness of the rubber and traction as a feature of the Aescents. Something is wrong. Either the marketing guys wrote the wrong copy or the shoes were made with the wrong rubber.

    I sent a question in directly to 5.10. If I get a useful reply I will share it.

  11. #36
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    So what about being able to pull up when pedaling? Say on a steep climb. How does that transfer with flat pedals? I'm a through and through clipless guy who is flat pedal curious.

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by sherpaxc View Post
    So what about being able to pull up when pedaling? Say on a steep climb. How does that transfer with flat pedals? I'm a through and through clipless guy who is flat pedal curious.
    The short answer from the flat pedal point of view is that it is bad form to pull up on the pedals, and you'll become a better rider by learning how to stop doing it (i.e. by riding flats).

  13. #38
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    How so? Honestly, to me that doesn't compute. I have almost zero experience with flats though. I ask because I will be doing the Colorado trail this summer. I've done it before clipped in, but I'm still curious about flats and being able to use a shoe like what vik posted. There is a fair amount of hike a biking on that trail. Sargents Mesa. Ugh.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by sherpaxc View Post
    How so? Honestly, to me that doesn't compute. I have almost zero experience with flats though. I ask because I will be doing the Colorado trail this summer. I've done it before clipped in, but I'm still curious about flats and being able to use a shoe like what vik posted. There is a fair amount of hike a biking on that trail. Sargents Mesa. Ugh.
    I don't know that I could explain it, but I took this advice in switching to flats, and it has some traction for me. It forces you to keep your wait down through your feet which ultimately leads to more stable and powerful pedaling.

  15. #40
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    All I can say is that after being a clipped in guy for more than a decade I went to flats and I have yet to ever want to be back clipped in.

    Perfect Pedal Strokes | Road Bike Rider

    I tried both on my commute this fall just because I still own some clipless pedals/shoes and I have rain covers that work well with them. I set my PR for my commute on flats and approach shoes. I never broke it with clipless.

    I spend lots of time climbing on tour and on trail rides. The guys who are strong ride strong regardless of pedal choices and the guys who you would expect to be slower are slower. I have not seen any breakdown of performance based on pedal choice.

    The only thing I will add is that like clipless pedals and shoes/cleats you need to mate flat pedals to the correct shoe. If you ride a poor choice of footwear/flat pedals you may not perform well.

    Given the cost it's a pretty easy thing to try for yourself and see what you think.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  16. #41
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    Are these any good?
    Nashbar Verge Platform Pedals - Normal Shipping Ground

    I'm so close to wanting to just pull the trigger and try them out. I have some trail running shoes that I think would work well enough to give it a shot. No plastic on the bottom and fairly flat/all rubber. I don't want to dive in and spend $100 on pedals. And Nashbar will let me return them if I don't like them.

  17. #42
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    Platform pedals and shoes or clipless?

    I'm a clipless rider myself but these look decent. My son has some huge platform pedals and I like them as well. I think these look decent. Important points are metal platform and replaceable pins which it has. Price is good so I say go for it.

  18. #43
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    I just went back to clipless after riding platforms for as long as I could. I kept looking down, and obsessed over my feet being perfectly positioned on the platforms. I never did that before I ever tried clipless, so I think maybe once you go clipless, you can never go back, so be careful.

    I tried to go "back" to platforms after being used to Time ATAC clipless, but I much prefer the secure and automatic perfect positioning, as well as my stiffer soles on the shoes.

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by sherpaxc View Post
    How so? Honestly, to me that doesn't compute. I have almost zero experience with flats though. I ask because I will be doing the Colorado trail this summer. I've done it before clipped in, but I'm still curious about flats and being able to use a shoe like what vik posted. There is a fair amount of hike a biking on that trail. Sargents Mesa. Ugh.
    I think that hillharman was talking about pulling up on the pedals for bunny hopping and such, and you were talking about pulling up on the pedals while pedaling. Pulling up on your pedals for bunny hopping is regarded by people with proper bunny hopping technique as a crutch you can use with clipless pedals that will prevent you from developing the proper technique. You actually can pull pretty far around the pedaling circle with flats, just not as far as clipless.

    I started riding clipless just before Shimano came out with SPDs, and have them on all of my bikes. Last February I started trying platforms on my full suspension bike and I really like them. I have a pair of Shimano MT43s, which are clipless MTB touring shoes or something like that. If I was going to do the Tour Divide I would use those. For the Colorado trail I would definitely use platforms, I have 5.10 Impact Highs that I really like.

    There are pluses and minuses for both systems. Just get some platforms and try them out. You should learn things about riding a bike whether you end up liking them or not.

  20. #45
    A guy on a bike Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Welnic View Post
    Pulling up on your pedals for bunny hopping is regarded by people with proper bunny hopping technique as a crutch you can use with clipless pedals that will prevent you from developing the proper technique.
    I've really never understood that argument. Seems to me that "lifting" your bike with clipless pedals is a pretty useful technique at times--and I don't see any downsides. Sure, a traditional clipless-free bunny hop is great too. Maybe being able to do both types, depending on terrain, speed, etc., is best of all?

  21. #46
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    I am a noob and am a bit intimidated to be "clipped in", so I went with flats, I found these at my LBS - Forte Convert Platform . I use them with my Merrell hiking shoes, so far it is a great setup for me for now, my feet stay stuck and are easy to get on the ground when I need them. Oh, in the interest of full disclosure, I did slip once with them and the pedal hit my shin, hurt like hell! Small trade off, I am on the north side of a half-century and just don't bounce that well anymore

  22. #47
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    I've been thinking of trying clipless for day rides now that I have a commuter bike and then I just read this thread and made me realize, **** that I don't need it. Plus it impresses people more when you keep up without them (which is funny since clipless add near zero added power).

    Touring I would NEVER bring clipless. The biggest reason is that you're just asking for something else to break. The same reason I like barend shifters not STIs (I have a cross bike) for that reason too. I was reading an article of accomplished bike tourers and the one thing they all seemed to answer the same was what is the one thing you didn't bring that you should have and they all agreed pedal bolts. **** that. I don't have to carry extra tools or extra shoes. If you are touring, bring flats. Around town, do what's comfortable. But get comfie on flats and be a badass.

  23. #48
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    A problem I find with five ten shoes is how they soak up water and take a long time to dry. Not good for your feet on long wet rides! Otherwise platforms are great for touring.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lap dog View Post
    A problem I find with five ten shoes is how they soak up water and take a long time to dry. Not good for your feet on long wet rides! Otherwise platforms are great for touring.
    +1 - that's definitely an issue.

    The lighter duty trail runners I've used dried reasonably well, but they weren't great to bike in or for technical hike a bike sections where lateral stability was important.

    So far I have not found the "ideal" shoe for bikepacking, but I have a few good options I can pick from depending on what the trip will entail.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  25. #50
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    Just an update on the 5.10 Ascents I tried out. They ended up being too slippery to wear off the bike so I returned them. The store I bought them from agreed the rubber on the sole was way hard and not very grippy compared to the Stealth rubber used on 5.10's bike shoes. They are also blowing these shoes out at nearly 50% off after just getting them in late last year. In case anyone in Canada wants a cheap pair.



    I settled on a pair of these 5.10 Freerider Elements. They are less bulky than the 5.10 Impact Low shoes I wear for trail riding, but they share a very grippy sole and low stable foot position. They are moderately stiff for all day riding comfort.

    The main downside is they don't dry fast.



    I have some lighter duty shoes with mesh construction I'll have to consider if the trip looks uber wet. These shoes are supposed to be "weatherized", but no low cut shoe like this will stay dry during an extended rainy period. Although you could team them up with some mini-gators to keep them dry inside a bit longer.

    As noted above I haven't found the perfect bikepacking shoe yet, but these will work for the majority of my trips.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

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