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  1. #1
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    Platform pedals and shoes or clipless?

    Sorry if this has been covered before, but I am just curious what preference people have for their bikepacking rigs in regards to pedals/footwear.

    I run clipless on all my mtb's but with my intent to do some multi day rides (3-4 days) I am wondering if I would be better off going with a platform pedal and light shoes such as the vibram fivefinger to reduce the need to carry additional shoes on top of cycling shoes.

    Downside is that the clipless are more efficient and better IMO in technical conditions.

    Does anyone have ideas on flats they can provide or a review of the shoes?

    Cheers

  2. #2
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    Cass Gilbert recently went through these issues going to platforms (search While Out Riding). I am personally going all flats now for bikepacking. I have some Powergrip straps but I think I will soon ditch those too and just put the spikes back on the pedals.

    I like the BlackSpire pedals.

  3. #3
    slow:biker
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    I happily use a platform pedal and 5-10 Impact shoes. I like being able to walk around without the grinding cleat under my foot. Hike-a-biking is much easier as well. I switched to this set up 2 years ago after using clipless pedals for many years.

  4. #4
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    +1 for flats for the reasons eastman115 mentioned.

  5. #5
    Unhinged Aussie on a 29er
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    I personally prefer clipless MTB shoes. I've had no issues cranking out 100+ mi days with that setup. I know others that have had great success with platform. My rides tend to be less hike-a-bike and more ride-a-bike, but if there were more hike-a-bike involved I might change my mind. I keep some Luna sandals in my bags for downtime, which actually kinda sucks because I have size US13 feet so they take up a lot of space. For once, I'm envious of ladies with small feet in that area.

  6. #6
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    I feel your pain hunter as I am 6'5 and have large feet also.. That is one reason for my post as I am trying to save some room and weight.. Can always take thongs but not always practical

  7. #7
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    I switched from clickies to BMX pedals a few years ago because of foot pain on longer rides. Better cleated shoes or different pedals migh thave helped, but I don`t see any reason to do a bunch of expensive experimenting when I already have a cheap solution. My personal preference is any pedal with pins and a large surface (any pedal fitting that description works as well for me as any other) with heavy soled walking shoes. Current shoes, New Balance model 811, are my favorites so far. YMMV.
    Recalculating....

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ads-bully View Post
    Sorry if this has been covered before, but I am just curious what preference people have for their bikepacking rigs in regards to pedals/footwear.

    I run clipless on all my mtb's but with my intent to do some multi day rides (3-4 days) I am wondering if I would be better off going with a platform pedal and light shoes such as the vibram fivefinger to reduce the need to carry additional shoes on top of cycling shoes.

    Downside is that the clipless are more efficient and better IMO in technical conditions.

    Does anyone have ideas on flats they can provide or a review of the shoes?

    Cheers


    I find real mountain bike shoes [ie. 5.10 Impact] and good flat pedals better for technical riding than clipless so that's what I ride on the trails. I also don't find them less efficient for cranking out the miles.



    For bikepacking I have worn a variety of shoes including trail runners and watershoes. My current bikepacking shoes are 5.10 approach shoes for the sticky stiff sole and great hike-a-bility.



    I have carried FiveFingers, but I don't find them comfortable for riding or hike-a-bike [way too flexible even with big pedals]. Although they would work in a pinch if I had to. They are a good option if you need to cross rivers a bunch and don't want to soak your main bike shoes while still getting good traction in the water.



    Generally I find with a lightweight shoes [trail runner, approach shoe, watershoe] I don't need a 2nd pair of shoes on tour because they are comfortable on and off the bike and they dry well so my feet aren't overly sweaty.



    To get the full performance from flats pedals you need a pair with lots of sharp traction pins and a shoe with a sole that mates up well. Not all shoes and pedals work well together. For example many trail runners and hiking shoes have a hard plastic arch that is very slippery on a flat pedal. That's why bike specific shoes or approach shoes with a flat full rubber sole work well.
    Last edited by vikb; 10-06-2013 at 07:07 AM.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  9. #9
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    Thanks very much for the reply Vik.. Very comprehensive and certainly puts it into perspective and sheds some light on the fivefingers shoes. Seems I will need to look a little further.
    I do like the Spank pedals though and will look into getting a pair of them in the future, at least for my beach riding as a minimum..

  10. #10
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    For what you describe toe clips the simple plastic with no straps work well. I use them (MTB quill peddles), have removed, reinstalled , tried both and they definitely help pedaling efficiency via any shoe or hiking boot though, I prefer my stiff sole, specific purpose , MTB shoe best.
    Last edited by Tinman; 10-08-2013 at 07:31 PM.

  11. #11
    Needed Less ~ Did More
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    Having tried all sorts of clipless pedal and shoe combos over the last 15 years I have found that for all general riding and bikepacking TNF Hedgehog II shoes with Shimano MX30 BMX pedals with longer pins are the sweet spot for me.

    Plenty grippy enough on and off the bike, Gore-Tex (I live in the UK) and not too dorky with shorts and T in the pub
    "Put any one on one of these singlespeed bikes and they could not help but have fun"
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    Otis Guy talking about klunkers c1976

  12. #12
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    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.

  13. #13
    A guy on a bike Moderator
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    I use Egg Beaters with either Shimano or Pearl Izumi shoes.

    The Pearl Izumi X-Alps are great for long hike-a-bike sections: (MTB FOOTWEAR).

    Shimano Mountain Touring shoes are good for walking too, although the soles are a little stiffer. They even have a high-top version, which provides some extra ankle support when walking: (Shoes).
    The low-top is nice too: (Shoes)

    I like the control of clipless pedals. But it's really a matter of personal preference. Walking with Egg Beater cleats can be a little noisy on rocks, but it works fine.

  14. #14
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    For efficiency and control I use clipless pedals. I have an older pair of Pearl lace ups, similar to those Toby posted, that work well on the bike and around camp and such. I pair them up with some Shimano pd-m424 (I got for free) as the platform provides some added comfort and efficiency, and I can also use them like platforms if need be.

    I also carry a pair of Vibram KSOs, usually strapped to my seat or bar bag, just in case.

  15. #15
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by albeant View Post
    and I appreciate being able to move my feet around on the pedals after hour 8 on the bike!
    +1
    For all the forum threads and jaw jacking about multiple hand positions, you`d think more people would object to having their feet welded to one position on the pedals. No matter how much float in a cleat system, there`s just no way you`re going to move your feet front to rear or side to side when your dogs are barking.
    Recalculating....

  16. #16
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    I currently have all my mountain bikes set up with Time ATAC pedals with a SIDI shoe. I really like the pedals for getting into and out of but so far the longest I have been in them was about 5 hours.. They were starting to send my toes numb by this point.. Hence the need for flats and shoes.. I do not mind walking around in my SIDI's but they are not really practical for the relaxation side of the ride.. I think the lightweight shoe option may work for me with some flats for those longer epic rides..

  17. #17
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    I have ridden my north face hiking shoes and platforms pedals many times and i didn't notice much power loss from my normal spd set up.
    maintain good form in your pedal stroke even though the clips are present makes a big difference.
    the north face hiking shoe is very stiff, more comfortable for biking than the hiking.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    +1
    For all the forum threads and jaw jacking about multiple hand positions, you`d think more people would object to having their feet welded to one position on the pedals. No matter how much float in a cleat system, there`s just no way you`re going to move your feet front to rear or side to side when your dogs are barking.
    IMO that can be a big downside to flats. Having to use energy to keep your feet on the pedals can't get annoying. But on that note, has anyone tryed Holdfast staps? I have been wanting a set for my commuter.

    I also wanted to add that I have worn my Five Fingers on the ride to work quite a few times and have almost lost my pinky toe enough times that I would hate to try them off road.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_papa_nuts View Post
    IMO that can be a big downside to flats. Having to use energy to keep your feet on the pedals can't get annoying.
    Sort of like you need to match your cleat to the pedal system you are using and sometimes modify your shoe's sole to work with a clipless pedal...you need to pick a shoe and a flat pedal that work well together.

    If you are putting energy into keeping your feet on the pedals you aren't using well matched gear. I ride very rough terrain at high speed on my FS MTB and I don't spend any energy worrying about my shoes coming off my pedals or heck even moving on them.

    For casual city riding I'll wear anything, but for long hours of riding I want a hassle free shoe + pedal experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by big_papa_nuts View Post
    I also wanted to add that I have worn my Five Fingers on the ride to work quite a few times and have almost lost my pinky toe enough times that I would hate to try them off road.
    +1 - I tend to bash my feet on stuff in techy terrain so a shoe with a solid front and side rand is beneficial even if I don't crash.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  20. #20
    weirdo
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    I`m not sure exactly what you mean about energy to keep my feet on the pedals, but I DO appreciate my feet not boucning off on bumpy stuff. For me, that was the biggest downside to giving up my cleats. There`s no free lunch.
    Recalculating....

  21. #21
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    I use a combination of old school/new school. Traditional "toe clip"/pedal combinations are generaly too narrow under foot causing the straps to get caught up in the tread of shoes & light hikers as you go in and out of the toe clip. The newer, wider flats w/ they're traction pins work much better. They are generaly longer front to back as well though so traditional toe clip structures need to be modified to fit correctly. I cut the orriginal mounting flange (designed to mount to the front of a "cage" pedal) completely off and "size' the toe clip to my shoes; position them for my ideal possition; then drill them to be bolted/screwed directly to the top of the flat pedal. W/ some pedals you can use existing traction pin holes and with these, I was able to use some old derrailuer adjustment screws that had the same threads as the traction pins.

    These allow me to use any type of shoe, crank 'em down, run 'em loose or even tie 'em up to the pedal and use 'em upside down as "open" flats. Cranked down, the traction pins make for a very solid, traditional conection and with the wider platform, the straps at the base are much less likely to get caught up on your shoes than the toe clip systems we used in the old days.

    Also, with most plastic toe clips, you can dip them in boiling water for a couple minutes (use the pedal as a handle) to make them malable and re-shape them somewhat to fit the bigger toe's of light hikers, larger shoes, etc. I start w/ Lg. sized toe clips so after all the mod's the strap ends up far enough back over my foot to get a good "cinch".

    FILE0041

    Tied up for "open" flat use
    FILE0038

    My "adventure shoes" are an older pair of Lake's that I had re-soled with Vibram hiking soles. Great pedaling performance and darn good hiking performance as well. If the trip was going to be more hiking than biking, I might choose to use a light hiker instead for a little more hiking comfort. But if more pedaling, I prefer somthing w/ an insole meant for pedaling.

    S1190004

  22. #22
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    I like to be clipped in, unless I'm riding during winter and need big boots. I'm just used to clipless pedals, so it is more familiar to me. I pack extra lightweight shoes, in case I do want to hike around for a bit. But like someone else mentioned, I go out for more ride-a-bike than hike-a-bike.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post


    Generally I find with a lightweight shoes [trail runner, approach shoe, watershoe] I don't need a 2nd pair of shoes on tour because they are comfortable on and off the bike and they dry well so my feet aren't overly sweaty.



    To get the full performance from flats pedals you need a pair with lots of sharp traction pins and a shoe with a sole that mates up well. Not all shoes and pedals work well together. For example many trail runners and hiking shoes have a hard plastic arch that is very slippery on a flat pedal. That's why bike specific shoes or approach shoes with a flat full rubber sole work well.
    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.

  24. #24
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    Bontrager alloy pedals, strapless toeclips. Shimano MTB shoes for stiffness/support but the plug will be staying in the bottom. It's what I started out with in the 80's, and haven't had a reason to change...yet., but now "ward's" platform mod has me thinking.

    Maybe because I've seen too many "tipovers" from my careless friends clipped in. I did see one buddy heading OTB and was able to unclick jump over bars and land on his feet. I am nowhere close to having that kind of quickness, and I accept that!

  25. #25
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    last overnighter I did, I used my hunting boots, but I was hunting. Worked well.
    So it depends on the situation. I can go either platform or clipless, just depends on what else is going on.

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