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  1. #1
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    bit the bullet and bought a bike

    So, I'm 6'8", 215, haven't been on a bike in 15 years (early high school). I went jeeping with some friends in moab last weekend and was the only one that didn't bike. Instead of finding something else to do, I demo'd a Specialized stumpy fsr 29er in XL. We rode the sovereign trail, and I absolutely had a ball. The bike felt a little small, but I was hooked comepletely...a lot like jeeping but without a motor. When I got back home, I got on a Stumpy XXL and it felt good, so I pulled the trigger since they were on sale for like 800 bucks off. I can't wait to head back to utah in a couple weeks and put it through the paces.

    Here's my question. The bike came with the shimano m520 clipless pedals. I've never used clipless (last weekend on the bike was the first time I pedaled anything since I could drive). I'm not opposed to the idea, but might feel more comfortable if I could be on a pedal with a platform as well for the downhills when i might like to eject before going ass over handles (my demo model was platform only, and had a couple times on the trail where I was very thankful for that). Should I look to invest in platform clipless pedals, or just get good and practiced at unclicking rapidly on the shimanos that came with the bike? Opinions? Pros/cons of either way? Also, any suggestions on decent shoes that are spd, but perform well on platforms as well and won't sketch out if I have to bail on sandstone or granite? I appreciate any feedback, and am absolutely stoked to start racking up the miles.

  2. #2
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    Take your bike/shoes/pedals to a grass field. Ride around for a few hours turning sharply, stopping quickly, and what not. Clipless pedals can be one of the best upgrades to your bike. There is no energy lost between your legs and the crank arms, it's pretty freaking amazing. Also, with those Shimanos, you can set the release really light, to where you can pull up on the pedals and get out of them.

    What size shoe do you wear?

  3. #3
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    pretty standard (lucky) on the shoes...coming in 12-13 depending on brands.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 307local
    pretty standard (lucky) on the shoes...coming in 12-13 depending on brands.
    The M520 are pretty solid. I have a set of M540 and older M747. Keep them really loose in the beginning until you unclip by nature. Don't worry about when you crash. Any other direction and you'll unclip pretty easily. I've fallen twice and never had an issue staying clipped in (there were ... other things to worry about).

  5. #5
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    Pretty old debate and I always get sucked into adding my opinion.

    Platforms for me. Why?
    1. I like a range of shoe choices when I ride...sometimes in my flip flops, sometimes a hiking boot, you get the idea. Camping is really an inconvenient time to wear clippy shoes while out exploring the area.
    2. I always seem to anticipate the moment when I may need to unclip. Distracting and most of the times, I just unclip anyway.
    3. IMHO practicing in a grass field will teach you how to unclip and clip in a grass field. Try getting back into your clipless pedals on an off camber, steep incline covered in roots and such...oh and add a mud or moisture just for fun. The peg that's left is almost useless as a pedal.
    4. I find that I *can't* seem to unclip when I least expect falling (i.e. really easy tech feature) and you're on the ground before you know it. Always fun to be on your a$$ with your bike still attached to your feet and you are left wondering what the heck happened
    5. Clipless pedals are a crutch for a bad bunny-hop technique...I learned to bunny hop pretty well (I thought) with clipless and about killed myslef the first time with platforms. I had to relearn a lot and I think it's made me realize what the bike is doing vice what I can force it to do with my clipless.
    6. Finally, and this is a bit of a stretch, you can buy pedals anywhere that'll get you through a day or two of riding. Sure, it might be Walmart specials for a day or two, but at least your trip won't be ruined because of a bad cleat or damaged clamp. ('course at that point you can just switch anyway I guess)

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