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  1. #1
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    Thinking about making the move to flats on the Riot. A few questions...

    In Oct of 2015 I fully ruptured my left achilles tendon. Brutal injury, and took me the better part of a year to fully recover. While I'm back up and riding now, I still don't quite have the lateral movement that I did before the injury. My leg feels fine as I've done a ton of strengthening exercises, but from a size standpoint my right leg still dwarfs the left.

    I have been riding the CB Mallet DH and most recently the Mallet enduro clips since they were released. I still love them, but had an issue the other day on a steep boulder climb where i went down and couldn't un-clip on the left. It scares the shit out of me thinking about injuring that again. My achilles certainly felt it on that fall, and I'm really considering making the move to flats.

    Specifically I'm considering the Canfield Crampon MTN pedals. Is this a wise move, or should I continue to stick it out with the enduro mallets? I live on the east coast, so plenty of punchy climbs with short downs and lots and lots of pedaling (plenty of roots). I occasionally take the riot to the bike parks as well. Figured I'd reach out to the canfield crowd and get the general opinion, especially from those also recovering from an injury.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    i'm schralping yer thread
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    The Crampons are fantastic -- simple design, low profile, big platform and super sticky. I've also run Spank Oozys, Xpedos, and Straitlines in the past; but the Crampons have always been my favorite.

    Just got a pair of Deity TMacs to try something new and I'm kind of regretting moving away from the Canfields...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeePhroh View Post
    The Crampons are fantastic -- simple design, low profile, big platform and super sticky. I've also run Spank Oozys, Xpedos, and Straitlines in the past; but the Crampons have always been my favorite.

    Just got a pair of Deity TMacs to try something new and I'm kind of regretting moving away from the Canfields...
    Right on, thanks for the feedback. Were you ever clipless or have you always been on flats?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpolism View Post
    In Oct of 2015 I fully ruptured my left achilles tendon. Brutal injury, and took me the better part of a year to fully recover. While I'm back up and riding now, I still don't quite have the lateral movement that I did before the injury. My leg feels fine as I've done a ton of strengthening exercises, but from a size standpoint my right leg still dwarfs the left.

    I have been riding the CB Mallet DH and most recently the Mallet enduro clips since they were released. I still love them, but had an issue the other day on a steep boulder climb where i went down and couldn't un-clip on the left. It scares the shit out of me thinking about injuring that again. My achilles certainly felt it on that fall, and I'm really considering making the move to flats.

    Specifically I'm considering the Canfield Crampon MTN pedals. Is this a wise move, or should I continue to stick it out with the enduro mallets? I live on the east coast, so plenty of punchy climbs with short downs and lots and lots of pedaling (plenty of roots). I occasionally take the riot to the bike parks as well. Figured I'd reach out to the canfield crowd and get the general opinion, especially from those also recovering from an injury.

    Thanks!
    If you're having Achilles issues, definitely check out the Catalyst Pedals from Pedaling Innovations

  5. #5
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    I say go for it, first one up the hill waits the longest!

  6. #6
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    I ride both clipless and flats, though these days my MTB is almost always set up for flats. For the kind of riding I do normally (slow technical climbing followed by flow/gnar DH), there is a negligible difference in efficiency/power output between the two styles.

    I do believe that in terms of sheer descending speed, clipless pedals are better. Having your feet attached to your bike in the chunder is a major benefit. But most of my riding doesn't involve racing and I strongly prefer flats for jumping, skinnies, and generally stuff where I might need to bail quickly.

    One thing to consider though, flat pedals, especially good ones like Crampons, have pretty much no rotational float. Your knees and achilles may disagree with that.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jminus View Post
    I ride both clipless and flats, though these days my MTB is almost always set up for flats. For the kind of riding I do normally (slow technical climbing followed by flow/gnar DH), there is a negligible difference in efficiency/power output between the two styles.

    I do believe that in terms of sheer descending speed, clipless pedals are better. Having your feet attached to your bike in the chunder is a major benefit. But most of my riding doesn't involve racing and I strongly prefer flats for jumping, skinnies, and generally stuff where I might need to bail quickly.

    One thing to consider though, flat pedals, especially good ones like Crampons, have pretty much no rotational float. Your knees and achilles may disagree with that.
    Thanks for the feedback. Just so I know, what do you mean by rotational float? As in once the feet are planted on the pins you can't rotate unless you take your weight off essentially lifting your foot?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpolism View Post
    Thanks for the feedback. Just so I know, what do you mean by rotational float? As in once the feet are planted on the pins you can't rotate unless you take your weight off essentially lifting your foot?
    Yep, that is exactly what I mean. You would be surprised how different and uncomfortable it might be for your knees. I had some issues when I started riding flats on longer rides, though I think my legs have adapted and I don't notice anymore.

  9. #9
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    http://pedalinginnovations.com/
    https://www.pinkbike.com/news/pedali...view-2016.html
    https://www.singletracks.com/blog/mt...-pedal-around/

    This is the only pedal I will ride...on any bike. I used to ride clipless. Never again.

    Once you understand why the pedals are shaped as they are and feel the difference on the trail...wow.

    As a reference, take your near max squat weight and try and replicate it under 3 scenarios:

    1. Feet on a flat floor (how a heavy squat is normally performed...the Catalyst pedal is as close as you can find to replicating this)

    2. Feet wrapped over the top of a 2X4 (roughly equivalent to most normal flat pedals...at least close enough to make the point)

    3. Feet with heels up and on the ball of the foot (equivalent to clipless...use carbon sole clipless shoes if you like, it won't matter)

    Then, do the same thing but with weighted lunges which replicates the power movement we need on the bike even better than squats.

    Once you "get it" and try the Catalyst...it all makes sense.

    I wear size 13 shoes and wish they were longer.

    Good luck!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jminus View Post
    Yep, that is exactly what I mean. You would be surprised how different and uncomfortable it might be for your knees. I had some issues when I started riding flats on longer rides, though I think my legs have adapted and I don't notice anymore.
    I don't think you will have an issue if you choose your flats properly. See my post on the Catalyst pedal.

    I have had two friends now that complained of knee pain while using standard size flat pedals.

    They switched to the Catalyst and the knee pain went away instantly.

    It also solved the issue of the foot fatigue I would get on long rides using normal flat pedals.

    The key with the Catalyst is getting the foot and seat positioning correct. Your foot will be farther forward than on other pedals. You will want to try to lower your saddle height (try an inch to start) to get into proper position. Then, you need to give yourself time to build strength in the posterior chain muscles if you're coming from the tippy-toe clipless position. If you're already on flats it's an easier transition.

  11. #11
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    I started with flats, switched to clipless, then returned to flats.

    I prefer flats not because of the risks associated with crashing with clipless but I feel more human with flats since I can move my legs/feet as needed instead of being attached like a piston.

    yes i do ride with heavy feet, but i tend to move around and being on clipless greatly limits this.
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  12. #12
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    Also east coast, not a racer but not slow either. This winter I switched from clipless (SPD and crank brothers) and I definitely had to learn how to ride with heavier feet at times (both bikes are rigid). Yes, I miss the float (there is some on flats) on the crank brothers but now I can roll my feet in certain instances. Some of the tech climbs are tougher when I'm tired and I can't cheat the back wheel up anymore (not as much of an issue when I'm on a fs bike), other than that I don't miss it.
    I like bikes

  13. #13
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    I originally switched to flats for the same reason you are contemplating it now. I tore my right Achilles a year and a half ago and switched to the spank spike pedals once they gave me the go ahead to get on the bike. It allowed me to get on the bike a lot sooner as I could move my foot forward as I didn't have the calf strength right away. I am sure there are better pedals out there but that is I what I use and like them. I still ride the flats and have just put an oval chain ring on the Canfield balance to help with power at the 12:00 position. I still ride the flats as I like that I don't have to worry about getting out of the clips. You will need to give flats a bit to get used to them. My feet wanted to come off the pedals the first few jumps I went off but picked it up pretty quickly. You will need to get a good pair of shoes to go along with them. I have the 510s and once your feet are on the pedals they don't slip around. They feel locked in place. There are other shoes out there too. I enjoy riding with the flats and will never go back to clipless.
    Good luck.


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  14. #14
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    So I tried the Canfield Crampons and in my opinion they are terrible in the grip category, I slipped all over the place. Switched to Spank spikes/oozy and the grip is tremendous. I think that both pedals (canfield & spank) are manufactured very well, I was simply overly underwhelmed with the Crampons performance. They are now on my ss roadbike and it is the perfect application for them.

    You will learn how to move your feet around on grippy flats. It's great on long boring sections of trail to be able to move your foot position around at will.

    Sent from my SM-T550 using Tapatalk

  15. #15
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    I go with inexpensive VP pedals. I Now have there Harrier pedal which is huge. I switched back to flats this winter and discovered, how much more I feel connected to the bike by not being connected to the bike! I really started cheating with clipless and lost my feet heavy riding. Starting to get that feeling back now and really glad I went back to Flats. Also having them on the most playful 29er ever just makes sense I think.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatboy43 View Post
    So I tried the Canfield Crampons and in my opinion they are terrible in the grip category, I slipped all over the place. Switched to Spank spikes/oozy and the grip is tremendous. I think that both pedals (canfield & spank) are manufactured very well, I was simply overly underwhelmed with the Crampons performance. They are now on my ss roadbike and it is the perfect application for them.

    You will learn how to move your feet around on grippy flats. It's great on long boring sections of trail to be able to move your foot position around at will.

    Sent from my SM-T550 using Tapatalk
    Agreed on the grip of the Spank pedals. Very solid interface.

  17. #17
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    Awesome. Huge thanks to everyone for the responses!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpolism View Post
    Right on, thanks for the feedback. Were you ever clipless or have you always been on flats?
    Yep -- rode clipless for years (SPD, Crank Bros and ATAC); but have pretty much switched over to platforms exclusively.

  19. #19
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    The Catalyst pedals are great if you adopt the arch-over-spindle pedaling style (see my review here). My only complaint with them is that I found myself clipping the pedals' edges due to my bike's low BB. Switched back to Spank Oozys, but the Catalysts definitely offered more (foot) support.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by GRAVELBIKE View Post
    The Catalyst pedals are great if you adopt the arch-over-spindle pedaling style (see my review here). My only complaint with them is that I found myself clipping the pedals' edges due to my bike's low BB. Switched back to Spank Oozys, but the Catalysts definitely offered more (foot) support.
    That's a really solid review on the Catalyst. Consolidated personal experience and technical info on the pedal's origins. It's going to the top of the info list when I talk to friends about this pedal. Thanks!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by titusquasi View Post
    That's a really solid review on the Catalyst. Consolidated personal experience and technical info on the pedal's origins. It's going to the top of the info list when I talk to friends about this pedal. Thanks!
    Thanks. I had actually started experimenting with the arch-over-spindle technique before discovering the Catalysts. I don't always pedal that way, but it seems to work really well for climbing out of the saddle (especially when you use a slightly higher gear).
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  22. #22
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    Is the two dot cleat on your right foot? If not, you may want to switch cleats and try a 15 degree release instead of 20 before abandoning your Mallets.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Diesel View Post
    Is the two dot cleat on your right foot? If not, you may want to switch cleats and try a 15 degree release instead of 20 before abandoning your Mallets.
    I'll have to look tonight. I'm pretty sure I put the 20 on my right (non-injured) side. I'll look tonight. The two dot is the 20 correct?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpolism View Post
    Thanks for the feedback. Just so I know, what do you mean by rotational float? As in once the feet are planted on the pins you can't rotate unless you take your weight off essentially lifting your foot?
    The Crampon MTN has a spot for a pin in the center of the platform, with it installed it helps keep you shoe from imbedding so hard so you can shift your foot easier. I would think that would help with you Achilles. It's nice on dirt jumps and park where I'm throwing the bike around a lot.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatboy43 View Post
    So I tried the Canfield Crampons and in my opinion they are terrible in the grip category, I slipped all over the place. Switched to Spank spikes/oozy and the grip is tremendous. I think that both pedals (canfield & spank) are manufactured very well, I was simply overly underwhelmed with the Crampons performance. They are now on my ss roadbike and it is the perfect application for them.

    You will learn how to move your feet around on grippy flats. It's great on long boring sections of trail to be able to move your foot position around at will.

    Sent from my SM-T550 using Tapatalk
    I can't imagine needing more grip than the Crampons. What shoes were you wearing? They dig into my 5.10s so hard I cant move my feet with out lifting them completely off the pedal.

    FWIW, the concave shape is my favorite thing about the pedal. I ride with them centered under my arches and I prefer the feel.

  26. #26
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    I wear 5-10 impacts. It comes down to pin size. The pins in the Spanks look like a baby's arm holding an apple. They have a great shape that supports the foot really well and the chamfered and angled shape does a good job deflecting strikes without completely stuffing your pedal stroke.

    The crampons had good grip on the double track on the way out to the trails but when the sh*t turned sideways after the double track they gave up pretty quickly; for me at any rate. The Spanks haven't given up yet.

  27. #27
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    I started on flats growing up racing BMX, but switched to clips exclusively from '90 through 2013. Since 2013 I've been riding both. Took a little getting used to going back to flats, but after 3.5 years riding flats maybe 70% of the time, I'm now equally comfortable on clips and flats.

    I've also ruptured an Achilles before. Going back to flats, my pedal position has shifted to more arch-over-spindle as others have mentioned. Though I don't have any residual issues from my ahcilles injury (many years ago), I do have some other tendon issues in my left ankle, and in general, I'd say the arch-over spindle positions feels like it puts less stress on my achilles/ankles.

    So, regardless of whether you switch to flats or not, it may be something you want to experiment with.

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